Fireside InterviewsInterviews

Fireside Interview #22 xat Sevda

Driving down to the west part of Germany for a couple of hours is worth it to meet a wonderful friend I have known for a few years. As I have walked down the road in a harbour side part of the city of Duisburg, the sun is setting down in the north giving a chilly vibe in the late afternoon yet the place has a lively atmosphere with a dazzling lights around. There a lovely figure from a far sitting down in the side corner of a waterfront dining area, waving and calling to greet me.

Hello Sevda! I’m glad to see you and have you as my first interviewee this year. Please accompany me for a while with a couple of questions I have for you.

What is your real name, where are you from, how old are you and what are you studying or working?

My name is Feyza Sevda and I am 32 years old. I am Turkish but I have been living in Germany since I was born. I am a commercial clerk.

What words would you chose if you had to define yourself?

One of my life philosophies is “Don’t be easy to define, let them wonder about you” (Moosa Rahat). So I prefer not to answer that question :p

When and how did you discover xat?

I have been here since 2009. I discovered it by chance. I was playing a game on a browser and I scrolled down, then I saw a chat box and wanted to say hi, you know now how it continues 🙂

What was your first impression of xat?

My first impression was good. I liked being here, it was different from other chat rooms. I found it very familiar. I like to entertain guests, sometimes speaking with guests is better than speaking with someone you know in real life. I met a lot of people here and some of them make me feel like they are members of my family.

What is your global impression of xat now?

There are a lot of things have changed from past to today. I am sorry about some situations. Some people thought that I really quit xat due to some personal reasons. Especially most of Turkish people population on xat decreased after the access to this site has been denied by court order. There used to be a lot of pools and people on chat boxes that don’t know each other. People didn’t used to know each other even if they were in same pool. Some people use DNS to access to this site but I believe in that if that forbidden is removed, xat will gain more users again. There are good things too, for example mobile applications can attract the attention of people again. Because mobile has been more popular currently and I am pretty sure there will be more innovations.

What do you think about the xat community?

I have been in positive and negative situations. If I need to be objective, positive situations were ahead of negatives. That’s why I am here to be honest.

Do you speak any languages other than Turkish, German and English?

No, but I would like to learn French, because it sounds cool (ono)

Who do you trust a lot on xat?

I’m not going to apologize for having trust issues, but I trust people very quickly and as a result mostly I have been disappointed. In spite of this, there are already some people whom I trust, but I don’t want to mention their name.

What is the best year you spent on xat?

My best time on xat is between 2014-2017, I started to manage Yardim and Sohbet, I became a wiki translator. I have to admit that it was hard at the beginning. It became something in time that I like. For that matter, I felt useful and helped me improve my English skills. Besides, me became allowed as a contributor was made me too happy. I couldn’t even imagine that. Actually there is a story of why I was on Yardim which is I didn’t used to know a lot of information and my xat account was locked out, I didn’t know what to do and one of users on xat showed me Yardim. but I couldn’t take the information that I need. I spent a lot of money on that xat account, also there were a lot of friends in my friend list. After that i learned things and had experience over time. Since that day I have been trying to do my best to make sure people not be in that situation. I can say that it’s my only purpose now.

Have you ever met someone from xat in real life?

Yeah, during the Summer holidays I was in Turkey and I’ve met Enes (my bf), he is the first person that I’ve ever met from xat. It was a nice time :P. By the way, in the coming days we are planning with Sandy to meet us.

How long do you think you will stay on xat?

Oh, I have no idea, I think as long as possible.

Let’s drop it to more funny things and let me ask you the things you like or liked on xat.

What is your favourite power?

Classic, because it reminds me the past days.

What is your favourite chat?

As first, Yardim and Sohbet. I know, it sounds cliche because I manage the both chats, but I have to admit Yardim is my first love. And Chat, I gained here invaluable friendships, and feel very familiar here, we are like a family.

What is your best memory on xat? When was it?

It was in June of 2015, Christina came in my private chat and said that I was chosen for main owner. I was too happy but I have to admit that I was more afraid, because I had a language problem and it was somewhere that I don’t know. But everybody was too friendly and I am used to it easily, thanks to them! Having a chance to meet people around the world is a great feeling. By the way when 42 came my chat, to be able to make him an owner was another pleasure. :p

Do you have any favourite event/s that you like or liked on xat?

I have a lot of funny and interesting moments on xat. I can tell one of these moments. While my first times on xat, I saw some users who have nicknames with glow and I really liked those nicknames. Instead of asking them, I used my brilliant intelligence, I wrote something on paint with colors and I copied them and I tried to use on xat. I am sure that everyone estimates the result. I am shy about with this experience (ono) .

Now, let’s come back to serious things, especially on what you do and have done on xat.

When did you become Contributor on xat?

I think it was 1.5 year ago.

Did becoming a Contributor change your chatting experience on xat?

Not really, because I was doing the same thing before, but without a status. Of course to become a Contributor made me happy, so its easier to share your/users opinions, ideas…

You are/were a wiki translator, can you tell us your views about the xat wiki?

It was one of the best decisions I’ve made, because I think wiki is heart the of xat, and I’m glad to be part of the wiki team.

What’s your favourite help support?

First of all, my favorite form of support is wiki because when someone has a problem with something on xat, the best and easy way to solve it is on the wiki. And officially, the Forum, users can ask questions about xat to what they do not understand, users can offer suggestions, users can exchange opinions.

We also know that you are the main owner of Yardim and Sohbet, when did you become a main owner of the two official chats and tell us about your experience as the main owner of these chats?

If my memory serves me right , at the final part of 2014, Sohbet and Yardim were reseted by volunteers. While volunteers managed Sohbet and Yardim, I was an owner on both chat rooms. In 2015, I became a main owner officially. It was not my goal to be main owner. When chats were reseted, I did not expect to manage these chats as a main owner. I am always content with what I have. I haven’t done anything in my life for gaining something. I am not talking about just xat, this is also valid for my real life. Back to the topic, as you all know it’s not easy to manage the Turkish part of xat, there are always a lot of drama and trolls, etc. I have problems sometimes on xat with some users who want to portray me badly, but their act’s wont’t stop me. I continue to work without losing my willingly. Although, I don’t think that I’m perfect and there are a lot of things I feel incompetent (especially the language problem), but I think that I do everything I can for Turkish side. Now, It is my goal that users get support correctly and spend their time better. Turkish side was badly affected by some things that happened in the past. My purpose is to correct them. And I work for it, I changed the rules of both chats. I prepared rules list according to the other official chat rooms. Then, Andre added those rules to wiki for me. Thus, I think I’ve added a more formal image. Afterwards, I changed something on Yardim, we created a blog with Andre’s support for Yardim which aim is to be helpful for users. So, I’m trying to give my best as much as possible.

How do you manage your time on xat as a Contributor, as a staff on other official chats and a chat manager on two official chats ?

It can be really exhausting sometimes. But however, it is a good experience for me to communicate with different people, to listen to them and try to help them.

Who is your role model?

There are already some people, but there is someone that I want to emphasize especially, I have known him for 6 years, he was always there for me and helped me a lot when I needed him, it’s hard to find the words to describe him. This person is our former volunteer, Ghost.

What are your opinions on the Contributor system?

Personally, I like the Contributor system, because we are a group from different countries with different opinions and ideas and are trying to improve xat. It’s nice to have a vocal about your opinions.

What do you see for the future of xat?

xat is a good social network in many ways and I hope one day it will be like it’s old days and gets crowded again.

Do you have any last word to end this interview?

Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity. It is an honor. And thanks a lot to everyone for taking the time to read this. Kind regards!

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