I’d never been inside a girl’s room before – at least not with permission – but I was quite excited. Everything was covered in pink, from the dolls house in the corner to the bunny snoozing in her cage. I could feel my masculinity slipping away by the second. The air was so dense with perfume that a thick fog had formed over by the dressing table, swallowing everything inside it. I heard a Storm was coming, so I brushed the hairs off my sweater vest and took a seat in the beanbag, throwing away the teddy that was sitting there. A second glance revealed a thin stratum of dust covering the dolls, like they hadn’t been touched or loved in years — just like me. The door squeaked behind me, and Storm walked elegantly into the room, phone in one hand, orange juice in the other. “Hiii”, she said smiling.
Hello xat Rida, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. As usual, I’m first going to ask you a few questions about your private life. Is it okay?
So, what’s your real name, how old are you, where are you living and what are you studying?
My real name is Rida (which is pronounced ree-da and not ride-a) however, most people call me Ri. I’m currently 19, soon to be 20 </3. I live in Scotland (and no we’re not all ginger or eat haggis with a can of Irn-Bru watching brave heart while ironing our kilts) and I’m studying accountancy.
What words would you chose if you had to define yourself?
Ridiculous & Silly.
Do you have an interesting/funny fact to tell on xat?
I really like bunnies and collecting short names, I don’t think anyone knows this.
As you have many ones, how do you want to be called on xat? Verite, Storm…?
I don’t mind really! As long it is one of my names.
For how long have you been on xat and how did you discover it?
I’ve been on xat since 2008. I used to play a flash game called Stick Arena. They used xat a lot to arrange clan wars and communicate with clan members.
What was your first impression?
I found it to be super cool at first and I made a lot of friends. I did however quit xat for 2 years since I stopped playing Stick Arena because I was introduced to a First Person Shooter game called Soldier Front in 2009.
What is your global impression of xat now?
I still enjoy using xat to talk to friends, but I feel a chat box isn’t so 21st century anymore. They have progressed since 2008 with xats, days and powers and there is a wonderful wide spread mix of languages and cultures. I do hope xat keeps up to date with today’s technology because it would be sad to see something like that die.
What is the best year you spent on xat?
That’s a difficult one, as each year was different than the other but still a good year. I would probably have to go for 2012/2013.
They are the years I spent the most time with my closest friends and the years I met most of my current friends.
What do you think about the community?
The community is definitely… something. There are a lot of nice people and then you have people who are the complete opposite. I would say there’s a rare bunch of people you’d want to be friends with.
Who do you trust a lot on xat?
“Loyalty means nothing to people, they’re loyal as long as you’re useful to them.”
It’s hard to find good-hearted and faithful people on xat.
Despite all of that, the person I trusted the most on xat was Spell, however he quit. He was my first ever best friend on xat. I don’t think many people knew him personally and I know a lot hated him but I also know many admired him for his work ethic. He was the only person on xat I found to be sincere and loyal. Spell was an awesome friend and an equally great volunteer of all time. Hats off to him. Nevertheless, I do trust a small circle people on xat, some of which I would consider my closest friends.
Was he your role model?
He was forever my favourite volunteer because he always put his best foot forward into anything he would do and had a positive attitude toward it. I really admired that and that’s the way it should be, you should give your best effort in whatever you choose to do at all times.
Let me ask you what your preferences are on xat.
What do you think of the new forum?
Better than the previous one, and the one before that. It’s more interactive and just a little bit less dead. I like the whole different colours for each group/title and being able to post statuses and on other people’s profiles.
What is your favourite power?
I have a favourite smiley rather than a power which is (ebsil) from the (ebunny) power.
If I had to pick a power, it would probably be (gold).
What is your favourite chat?
My favourite chat is Help since it is the only chat I am ever on and most of my friends go there.
Is it your favourite form of support?
Yes, Help chat is my favourite form of support, even if the problems don’t get solved as soon as possible, the help you receive is always in real time and I prefer that than waiting for a response.
What is your favourite wiki page?
http://xat.wiki/Nuclear because it has the app to customise the nuclear smiley.
What is your best memory on xat?
I would say my best memory would be getting Volunteer in July, 2015.
There was a time I wanted to be volunteer, but I felt I would never have got it. So when the time came, I was really surprised.
Prior to Volunteer, my favourite memories were achieving EP in 2013 and Help Owner in 2014.
Now, let’s talk about the many different tasks you do and have done on xat.
We know your main role is being a volunteer, did becoming one change your chatting experience?
I always disliked the fact volunteers barely interacted with users. When I became volunteer, I didn’t think my chatting experience would change, I felt that volunteers should always interact with users and for a while my chatting experience was still the same.
But then things get complicated and busy as they go on when you’re volunteer. Conversations begin to lessen and then you become unsure on who wants to talk to you or just complain about not getting a reply on their ticket that they opened 10 minutes ago.
You were first made wiki editor, how did that happen?
I submitted a lot of edits for the wiki back in 2012/13 and I was offered wiki editor by Cyan in December, 2013 (on the 22nd of the month to be exact)! And how do I remember this date? It was tweeted by xatAlert, haha.
What do you think of the evolution of the wiki?
The whole language and cultural mix is excellent. The people who kindly volunteer their time for the wiki are great and deserve a lot of recognition for their dedication. Translating is really not an easy task and I really respect the efforts of the wiki translators.
However, I do feel some pages are a bit clustered and incredibly long. A few pages have tonnes of information that are not relevant to each other and I think they should be seperated into their own pages.
Who is your favourite editor?
Currently my favourite editor is Andre, definitely. The wiki has improved so much ever since Andre became an editor. He is always pushing things forward for the better and always sees room for improvement. He is a hard worker and a very dedicated person. He is always looking to refine things and I really appreciate him for everything he does.
How about when you were main at xat_test?
I was made main for xat5 in the month July, 2014. I didn’t have any real experience of running an official chat before, so it was something new and interesting. I wouldn’t say I hated it, but running an official chat does take a lot of responsibility and can sometimes be a headache. It was exhausting and I don’t think I would repeat it. However, I did enjoy making backgrounds for each new power that released.
How did you discover you were the Main Owner for the month?
Last, but not least, how did you become Main Owner at Chat?
That’s a weird one. Christina had offered it to me, and that was that.
Was it a goal to reach for you?
No, personally I hate running chats because I don’t have time for them. I recently gave away the Graphics chat.
What did you bring or change when you became Chat’s Main Owner?
I don’t think I brought a lot to the table when I became Main Owner. The idea was to have Chat and the wiki team integrate as the chat is international and it would be a good home for the wiki team. It is also a good place to look for potential wiki translators.