Who in the World is Sam DeWitt?

In Interviews on February 7, 2008 at 7:00 am

dove2He may be the friendly Help Desk Manager for Associated Content, but Sam DeWitt is more than just our customer service guru.

He’s a pseudo-native of Denver and lead singer of Lazyface, a Denver-based band. When he’s not entertaining the crowds, you might find him working on his first novel – only after perusing AC’s Sports and Humor sections, of course.

I couldn’t sneak into one of Sam’s shows, but did manage to catch up with this busy guy to learn what in the world Sam DeWitt does at AC:

S: How long have you been with AC, and how did you find the opportunity?

SD: I joined AC in late 2005, around October or November. After struggling through my post-college life, I found AC on Craigslist and figured it was a perfect fit for my skill set.

S: How often do you read AC content just for fun?

SD: Every weekend, actually, and if I’m low on Helpdesk emails during the week, I’ll check out the site. I love the different points of view that our site affords everyone.

S: What’s your all-time favorite article published on AC?

SD: That’s a really difficult question, actually. There is a lot of content on the site that I really like. I’m a big humor buff, so I really like stuff that makes me LOL, and sometimes ROFL. I’m a big sports nut, too, so anything that is interesting and about sports, I eat up. Funny story: when I was still working in the queue, I actually found out about Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game while working through submissions. I had no idea, and actually had to check the facts to make sure it was a real story.

I do love it when AC teaches me something.

S: Describe the ideal Content Producer in four sentences or less:

SD: The ideal Content Producer, to me, is someone who really wants to be a part of something special. Someone who wants to be a part of a community. Someone who has a story to tell, experiences to share, and is willing to help the less-experienced members of the community to become better Content Producers.

S: Name four qualities of a GREAT article:

SD: Well-written is the first thing I’d highlight, simply because when an article is written poorly, I don’t trust the information within, and I expect readers will feel the same way. I’m something of a grammar snob, so that’s the most important to me.

Second, evergreen content is terrific. It’s a challenge to write something that is always relevant, so when it happens, it’s very exciting to see.

Third is the title. The title is absolutely the most important thing to draw people in and make the content discoverable so it will actually acquire readers. And while many titles are fantastically creative, they don’t say anything about the article itself. This is why we change titles on occasion.

Finally, the topic has to be interesting and something people search for online. If you have a well-written article on an interesting, evergreen topic, with a descriptive title, that piece is going to do very well.

S: Besides running articles through the ‘Google checker’, what’s your favorite hobby?

SD: I love sports. I’m a big Denver Broncos football fan, I love baseball and basketball, and during the warmer months I like to golf and play tennis. I also sing in a band.

S: Name a content category/topic you would rather not see on AC:

SD: Wow, that’s a tough question. I don’t think I’d want to eliminate any of the topics or categories from AC. Each one adds its own value to the site, and to the community, and the more topics we have, the more unique content we have.

S: Your biggest pet peeve on content submissions?

SD: Poor grammar. Folks that type in all caps.

S: Besides copyright infringement, what’s the biggest mistake a Content Producer can make?

SD: That’s really the only “mistake” that a CP can make. Everything else can be overcome, but the minute you steal someone else’s work and try to pass it off as your own… well, let’s just say you’ve got more problems than getting in trouble with AC.

S: Your dream location for AC Headquarters is ____?
SD: EASY. Overlooking Ka’anapali Resort and golf course on Maui, Hawai’i. I’d surf in the morning, come into the office early, and leave early to grab a quick round of 18 before heading home.

S: Your favorite form of caffeine/fuel to get through piles of content submissions:

SD: The DaVinci Latte from Expresso up the street. White chocolate, macadamia nut syrup, steamed milk, four shots of espresso. Delicious. Necessary. And unfortunately very fattening.

S: The most important item on your desk?

SD: Probably my Lafayette “Fat” Lever bobblehead. That, or my AC water bottle.

S: The content category you read most frequently?

SD: Sports and humor.

S: One CP/article that really made you go ‘hmmm’:

SD: It’s very controversial, and because of that I’ve spent a great deal of time reading through it, but the article is called “Victim and Victimizer: Are They The Same?” Seeing such passionate responses to a controversial topic is one of my favorite parts of watching AC grow the way it has.

S: One pearl of wisdom for both new and veteran CPs in 2008?

SD: Try to be nice to your friendly, handsome Helpdesk manager. Remember, I’m human. If you have a legitimate issue that arises, I will take care of it as well as I can. Calling AC names or sending me rude emails is unnecessary, and disappointing. Try to be kind, please.

  1. I enjoyed reading about Sam. Great work, Sabah!

  2. Great interview! Sam rocks!

  3. As soon as I saw the post, I had to read the article. Sam Dewitt has proven reapeatedly to me that he is a great CM and a very interesting person. Good article, Sabah.

  4. Excellent interview questions, Sabah. It was very interesting to read about Sam. 🙂

  5. Loved reading about Sam. Sam is always quick (well as quick as anyone ever moves at AC) to jump into a forum discussion and provide clarification whatever the problem du jour happens to be.

  6. Thanks for the interview, both of you. Since I’m a newby I have no idea what the AC-people in the office are like. Now I can put a face to at least one of them. I hereby apologise for some of my e-mails……..if I had known they are so nice, I wouldn’t have sent them.(because I am not really a nasty person) Picasso

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