Ask Them AnythingInterviews

Ask Them Anything: Sydno

xat questions

How active can you stay during the day? (xInvaDe)

On chats, not a lot anymore sadly, maybe 1h a day, a bit more on weekends. I am however more active than that on the ticket system and I am checking my forum messages almost every hour.

What do you think about working as a volunteer, is it a special thing? (theFlower)

I am very proud of being a volunteer. However, the task in itself is not special at all. What you decide to do on your own and for the community is what makes it special. You can be a silent volunteer and only answer tickets, which is not very special, but you could also set up other projects, forward users’ ideas or manage chats.

What do you want be in xat, volunteer or main owner or something other? (theFlower)

I think this is a similar question. I enjoy what I currently do on xat. If I had to choose only one, it would be very hard but I owe xat something so I would say volunteer.

What if you are a volunteer or a staff and your best friend breaks rules, would you ban and block him, or will you help him? (theFlower)

It happened a lot of time to me in the past, even before I was on official chats, and my decision was to ban/block them. I act differently depending on the role I have. I can be very friendly with someone in private but severe with them if they break rules, or the opposite.

What did you benefit from being a volunteer and from in general? (Maxo)

I don’t know if I ever said it but, fun fact, xat signed a university recommendation letter for me in 2014 that was written by Cyan, long before I was a volunteer and because I was helping them on other things. Other than that, being a volunteer and a chat manager helped me a lot improving some soft skills such as being more organized, being clearer, improving my English, having a better leadership.

What do you think about HTML5 and the futur of xat? (YAZAN)

Good question, we ask that to contributors applicants. HTML5 took a long time to be developed but now it seriously rocks fire. Some features are not implemented yet but this is good looking. I am not too worried about xat future. The hardest part is not to make people come, it is to make them stay. Now that we have over 500 powers, it’s hard for new users to catch up and xat economy is becoming more and more unpredictable. It’s probably late but I think a new business plan should be thought out.

If you were stuck only being able to go to 1 xat chat with 5 other people for 5 years (with 0 other interactions), who would you pick to be there with you? What would you all do? (Lemona)

You can’t do that to me… It’s so hard to pick just 5 users. If I had 0 other interactions allowed, I would of course pick my wife (who technically is a xat user). Elea, Masha, Cupim and Angelo come next. I enjoy talking with them about other things than xat and they all have a different personality. Honestly, there’s a dozen other names than I can think of, I even feel bad about having to name just 5. If we were really stuck on a xat chat, I just wish we could talk about anything else than xat, such as life, science, philosophy.

What was your reaction to becoming a volunteer? (Keiner)

I was told in early january 2018, when I was still living in a 19m² student room. I was so happy I threw my chair away, I didn’t break anything hopefully. I was so happy my efforts were finally noticed. I had a pause off xat but I started helping on official chats in 2011, when foreign communities were pretty much ignored and you had to work twice more to be recognized.

From your point of view as a volunteer and main Chat owner, what does the xat community lack to be much better than now? (favourite question by Keiner)

I think xat still lacks proper gouvernance. We are working on that through Official Chats but some communities were ignored for a long time. You would expect each community to have an official representant, not necessarily a volunteer but someone you would talk to and that would forward your claims directly to a volunteer or even an Admin. It’s very confusing for new users, they think Official Chats staff are xat employees while most of the time, we don’t even know them. For a long time even chat managers were left apart. The better the link between users, their community and xat staff or volunteers, the better xat in general. I think communities are the key.

In what year was xat founded? (nomemirestanto)

Technically, it was created in 1996 but when you ask, most people would answer 1998 when xat activity was launched (optimizing pictures). However, the key date to remember is 2006 when xat chats were first added.

If there are volunteers for the English language, why are there no volunteers for the Spanish language? (perroLoco)

We are not volunteers for the English language but for xat in general and at the time, xat only supports English on the ticket system. The main reason is that volunteers have different ranks within the ticket system. In order for Spanish language to be fully supported, you would need a Spanish volunteer within each rank, which is not realistic. Hopefully online translators are more and more powerful nowadays and you could ask Ayuda’s staff to help you (just hide your personal information when asking them to help).

Do you miss the old smilies? (1532281294)

Honestly, no. I felt bad when new smilies were added but some of the old smilies were creepy, and you can just use classic power if you are nostalgic.

How did you find Trade management? (Anas)

I was pretty anxious when I was given Trade main ownership. For specific reasons, I was the best pick at the time, but everyone including me knew I wasn’t an old time Trade user. I have good economical knowledge and I used to be Commerce manager but that doesn’t make you a good Trade manager, especially after all of the time Christina spent on the chat. I am still a bit anxious because I feel I could do more. On the other hand, decisions are a lot more democratic than they used to be, our organization is much more horizontal. Basically, I think some users may expect me to take all the decisions alone, while I think not being the one taking all the decisions is something positive I brought to the chat. My thanks to Angelo (and Echo too), and even more to Trade owners who all do an insane job.

Also, why do you like Griffith? (Anas)

Griffith is my alternate account short name. It’s a villain in the manga Berserk, probably the most horrible villain you would ever imagine. I am fascinated by well designed villains even though I don’t look forward being them at all. I don’t like Griffith, I like how well written the character is.

Do you support duck rights? (Steven)

More than ever. Make it come true on HTML5 monthly mains!


real life questions

what is your favourite…

What is your favourite place to travel to and why? (Lulululu)

There’s one little village in South France called Le Poët-Laval with a beautiful hotel and restaurant.

What is your favourite meal? (Includes entrée, main course, dessert and drinks) (Crow)

Foie Gras with fig bread ; Black Angus beef with mash assortiment of potatoes, carots and celery ; Tiramisu ; Red Wine Saint-Joseph. And in France we always have a cheese course between the main course and the dessert, and I would have a brillat savarin. I don’t eat that often but that’s my full course menu!

What is your favorite coffee type? What are your favorite hobbies? What is your talent? What is your dreams? What your habits? (Duygu)

That’s a lot of questions. Strong coffee. Reading economy stuff. Good at maths. Staying happy. Can’t start a day without coffee.

What is your favorite video game that you have ever played and that has aroused more emotions in you? (Alexius)

Fable, the first one on xbox. It was so simple but so meaningful. I’d pay $100 to have it properly remastered.

How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza? (Thunderclouds)

Only if someone was threatening me.


what would you do if…

What would you do if you were gifted $10,000 dollars today? (Bryan)

In order to pursue the renowned studies I attended to, I had to contract a student loan. $10,000 is exactly the remaining debt I have right now so I would pay that debt. Then I would contract another loan to buy a house.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Eylem)

La baguette.

What would you do if you were the last person on the planet? (Skatel)

I would continue to look for other people. There’s always hope.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have only 1 item, what would it be? (Abada)

A machete or a knife so I could start building up things and make it a paradise island.



Hi syd! id like to ask if you got a girlfriend irl? (Pika)

Yes, sorry my heart is already taken :$

Do you have any advice for people pursuing a xat relationship? How did you personally manage the distance at first? (Lemona)

For those who don’t know, I met my wife on xat. It’s now been almost 9 years we have been together and we didn’t see each other in real life for the first 2 years of our relationship. If I have any advice, just look for rituals together, things you would do together every single day, whatever happens.

Something as simple as sending lovely good night and good morning messages every day is what will make your couple stable. Also try to think about the future, to plan to meet together whenever it’s possible, and don’t be afraid of both making sacrifices.



What was the experience that impacted you the most in your life? (Sevda)

My two “prépa” years in Hypokhâgne B/L. In France, there’s a system where some of the best students can replace their first two university years by two years of preparation for competitive exam. Basically, you study 12h a day and have a 6h exam every saturday morning for two years. It impacted me so much that it actually defines what I am today.

What emotion do you experience the most? (Eylem)

I am facepalming a lot. Whenever I find myself silly but also whenever someone disappoints me.

What are you most worried about in the future? (Enge)

That whatever we do, Earth will eventually vanish someday.

What is your worst nightmare? (Aylin)

Actually, I often have the same nightmare where I see a plane crashing just in front of my house. Also that’s not exactly a nightmare but I have had a lot of sleep paralysis – hopefully it’s over?

What do you consider your greatest weakness? (Lemona)

Being too rational. I can miss key points or remarks that are emotional and it makes me unable to communicate efficiently to someone mad or sad.

How have you been spending quarantine? (David)

I have been working home, only going outside once a week buying food. I bought Animal Crossing Nex Horizons and a couple of other Switch games. I also finally started watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures.

What’s something you could teach me about? (Pika)

Risk management in banks: credit risks, market risks, operational risks or even climate risks. And how to tackle those risks with data and statistics.

What’s the most useful thing you own? (Pika)

My knowledge I guess? Mobile phone is pretty useful too!

What are some challenges you think the next generation will face? (Pika)

Climatic and environmental risks. Actually COVID-19 only happened because we didn’t manage biodiversity properly.

For further references:

If you could have lunch with one person alive or dead, who would it be? (Pika)

Probably Charles De Gaulle or Napoléon.


Thanks for reading! The winner of the 500 xats is Keiner and the next interviewee is iSanty so ask them anything!

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