Interviewing Icons - Decibelles
rating: +39+x

Decibelle is a wonderful person and was super cool to work with on this project. As with many of my interviewees that will be coming out in the near future, she was super patient with me and even checked on me during my break. I am very appreciative and glad to be able to release this interview for everyone! ~ WhiteGuardWhiteGuard

Who is DecibellesDecibelles?

The user Decibelle became a member of this site on the 30th of October, 2014, and her top 3 most popular pages on the site by rating are SCP-2091: A Bear and His Granddaughter at +258, SCP-3090: This girl's gone bad on a game attack! at +248, and SCP-150: Ship of Theseus at +229. As an author, Decibelle has written a total of 15 SCP articles, 32 Tales, 3 GoI Formats, and 19 other pages for a grand total of 69 pages contributed. Decibelle is a retired administrator for the SCP Wiki and the previous captain of the Community Outreach staff team. The following interview will consist of 20 questions from myself with her responses.

The bold text represents the questions whereas the text within the boxes are Decibelle's responses.

Interview Questions:

So, how did you come across the wiki, Decibelle? I know that during our preliminary interview, you mentioned something about being here before your current account's join date.

I originally found it through the Guitar Hero IRC community of all places. One of my friends there told me one day about this really cool creepypasta site called "The SCP Foundation". He sent me the link, and before I knew it, I was completely absorbed and enthralled by it. This was back in 2009 and 2010 so it was may more of a creepypasta/horror-focused site. I was really taken in by this weird universe to do with a paranormal agency containing monsters. I couldn't believe something like this hadn't been explored to this degree until the SCP Wiki. I later fell out with the site for a couple of years, but then there was a resurgence of interest in the site when the SCP-087 game came out. It reminded me of the place that I had fallen in love with and showed me that it was still going strong whereas when I was there before its future was uncertain.

It is my understanding that SCP-093 used to be your favorite article on the site. Is that still the case and what about it appeals to you versus other popular ones?

Yeah, it is definitely still up there for sure. At the time that I found 093 back in '09/'10, it happened to be the only article of its type. One that tells a very long-form story which practically makes it a predecessor to the modern wiki, it was very unique back then. Reading this back in the day was absurdly mind-blowing. It was also the first rewrite of its kind that I came across. Rewrites were still a thing back then, of course. The wiki was a bit more open about its collaborative nature back then; users would just edit articles to whatever they wanted them to be. However, nothing had really been rewritten on the scale that NekoChris did when he rewrote this really shitty article with this magic ring trope. There was no precedent for rewrites of this scale or even long-form story writing like this back then, which is likely part of the reason it resonates so well with me. I still believe it holds up well to the modern wiki and it was sort of a sign of things to come. NekoChris is also a really chill person, so that is also pretty cool.

On the topic of rewrites, you've been involved in rewrites over the years as staff and for yourself. Why do you think rewrites are important for the site? Why do you think that quality control is so important?

For a few reasons. First, you get the bad content out of the site and replace it with good content. But it's more elegant than just "this idea is garbage, can it and move on to the next article". Behind a rewrite, there's always an author who really loved the kernel of an idea or the skeleton of a work and wanted to expand that and make it its own thing, which I think is very admirable. It's the sort of community-based, collaborative effort you don't see much else around the internet, even on similar sites to the SCP Wiki.

Also, I think it helps with bringing fresh perspectives to the Wiki. I don't know how it is nowadays, but when I was around, older articles would be looked at more for rewrites, compared to even new articles, which is a contentious practice among some users of the site, I imagine even now. I think it's nice to be able to bring a new twist to an idea in a work since the wiki's not an immutable thing. If the work can allow that, I think it's viable for the wiki and promotes a healthy writing attitude in bringing a new author's perspective on it or new modern standards to the article.

It helps the wiki not stagnate, is the main thing. You'll see with older rewritten articles, even if they were core or classic to the site for one reason or another, the rewrites are often better than not for the article. The reception to them speaks more than whatever I could say. The people really like seeing new ideas and originality brought to old classics. Beyond tales, rewrites offer a good way to provide that perspective, provided it's not overly "controversial", for lack of a better term.

I don't know how many people remember, but the Mass Edit, wherein hundreds of articles got rewritten in the span of months in the wiki's early days, really saved the wiki from becoming just another creepypasta site, bringing fresh perspectives into older works. I think rewrites are a good vehicle for that sort of thing.

We talked about how you were the person who made the original Attribution Metadata page. I imagine that took a lot of work. Why did you put in all the effort to do something like that? What spurred you on to do that?

History and author credits weren't being well kept or well tracked when I came back to the site and joined JS. There were attempts at that, but nothing really stuck, and the "unknown author" was who you'd see credited for a lot of these articles because people didn't want to look into it or couldn't. I felt it was very important to have something like that on the wiki to preserve it, credit people where it was due, and keep the site's history going so it wouldn't be lost to time. A project like that was already hard in 2015, it would be even harder in 2020.

I decided I would spend a week just combing through every old article with zero attribution, research as much as I could through 05command, EditThis, 4chan, whatever, and see what I could dig up. While it wasn't perfect, I did manage to get quite a number of credits attributed because, as it turns out, there's still a record kept throughout the internet of that for me. It wasn't as tough as it could've been, but it was still tough. It would suck if you wrote an article and no one knew you wrote it years later for one reason or another, and your work never got deserved credit. Even if those long-gone authors don't care or remember, I wanted to make sure something was kept so people would remember them, even if they weren't around.

Being around the wiki for a long time as a reader, a writer, and a staff member, you have been given the chance to interact with a large number of authors of the site and their works. If you had to list a few, who would be your favorite authors from over the years, and what about them makes them a favorite for you?

When I originally joined the site, authors like thedeadlymoose, TroyL, and Silberescher were immensely impactful on my writing. I loved the way Moose wrote characters and broached subjects and topics that very few others would have dared to, and not in an edgy way. TroyL was excellent at long-form writing like his In His Own Image series, as well as subverting tropes and expectations in his SCPs that more authors should study from. And Silberescher wrote in a lowkey yet funny and clever way that has stuck with me even in my non-wiki writing. SCP-1802 is one for the ages.

As I came back, writers like djkaktus, TwistedGears, Randomini, SRegan, and qntm were formative for my approach and style. Kaktus needs no explanation, especially during what I consider my favorite stretch of his writing from 2014 to 2016. TwistedGears and Randomini both didn't care what the wiki thought in terms of their approach to humanizing characters and how they'd approach SCP writing, whether lowkey striking against conventional rules like TG did or wholesale sidestepping them like Randomini. SRegan's tales are phenomenal; just read Acquisitions and New Age and revel in masterpiece writing. And qntm's science fiction writing has always been influential to me, but when he came back to the wiki to bring the kind of offsite writing he did into the SCP universe, he did so in a way that left such an impression on me.

And in particular, The Great Hippo. If he's not already regarded as a writing genius, then he should be and he should very well take his craft into published writing too. His published ideas always have a 100% batting average, and even the bad drafts I've seen him work through and refine always had some promise in them. He can be deadly serious and incredibly funny in ways that make you relate to his characters and concepts. And his commitment to an idea and seeing it through has always made me strive to do the same in my writing, and make sure I could deliver such level of care to my audience too.

Moving on to your top-rated SCP article, SCP-2091: A Bear and His Granddaughter, I remember reading this one back in the day. Despite the wacky title, the writing and direction were fairly unique to what you would find during that time period. What can tell me about this article?

Where do I begin with this one. I wrote this because there was this article posted January 25th, 2015, SCP-2875: The Town That Got Fucked By Bears, written by one djkaktus. At the time, there was a joke that he was gonna post bear articles for a week, and I wanted to join in on this silly bear week. In a few days, I wrote 2091 and fairly quickly at that. It's not as funny as the context would lead you to think; it's actually a start at my attempt to write character studies and very serious, introspective articles, so to speak.

I found this image of a clay bear statue next to this child. I don't remember where I found it, but it was adorable, and I wanted to find a use for it somehow. Eventually, I thought "Well, what if this bear watched over this child? How would that work?" Then, I thought "Well, maybe the bear is part of her family, but how would that work?" And from there, I wrote a really happy story about this grandfather who doesn't want to lose his granddaughter to an orphanage when he passes on and she doesn't have any guardians left.

I think part of that was me trying to find some sort of emotional drive that the site didn't have much before then, in terms of family connections. That's not a topic that really gets coverage on the wiki while, for me, interpersonal relationships are very important to explore in media. The site has a very clinical and cold side to it, by necessity, and I wanted to introduce some warmth and care into it. I thought "How can you derive emotion from clinical tone", and this was my attempt to grapple with that. It's not too direct, but it's not subtle either with what it's saying, which I think helps it go over well with its balance between clinical tone and emotion.

This wasn't my first SCP article, that was SCP-2110 which didn't go over well since I was being too subtle with it and I wasn't as good a writer. To add to that, the emotional angle didn't connect with people because the clinical tone got in the way. In the interview in SCP-2091, I thought of how I could avoid being too clinical, and my answer was to introduce personal pronouns into the interview, not just "it" and such. This was a contentious move at the time since you tell new writers that you can never humanize SCPs or refer to SCPs with gender pronouns, so this was a conscious reaction against that to see if I could get away with that. I was not a new writer, so I figured I could get away with that.

There's a number of things I tried to do with 2091. I threw the Serpent's Hand in there as a way to humanize them a little at the time, as well as needing extra elements to flesh out to work since I wasn't too confident in it. That's something I probably wouldn't do if I took a stab at this nowadays. The woman who took the image really liked the article and gave whole-hearted permission to use the image. It's even her Twitter header last I checked, hopefully thanks to me, not to be too vain. I'm really happy people still like it, as I still like it, and I'm surprised honestly.

Let's move on to your second-highest-rated, SCP-3090: This girl's gone bad on a game attack!. What was on your mind when you took it over for a rewrite? What is the connection with the games that were chosen?

Now with that article I actually have no idea where to begin with. As a very quick aside, Gamers Against Weed is a Group of Interest created around late 2016, around the 2016 Presidential Election, which is important since GAW is a very activist-minded, political group, despite being a bunch of internet shitposters. 3090's a rewrite, and it was originally more or less the same idea: a humanoid with a TV for a head that GAW made. I liked the idea but I couldn't figure out why GAW would make something like this. I had the hardest time with GAW at first, despite being one of their biggest cheerleaders nowadays, since I couldn't grapple with them making Misters like Wondertainment makes Misters. That just seemed against their philosophy to do something like that to people, a group that's humanitarian and caring. I thought "How do I reconcile this with this cool idea"?

So I reached out to the author, th4nkyoub3n, and co-wrote the rewrite with him. I wanted to present a less sociopathic GAW for making misters and tried to make a more realistic alternative. "Here's this teenager who didn't have a chance at life, and now they do playing video games." I wanted to try and turn it into a more wholesome thing before I inevitably made it sad and angsty, as I do sometimes with my writing. GAW, I think, could've been left out, but I wanted to incorporate them as it presents a more humane side to them. Not only are they making humanoid SCPs, but taking care of them, which is very important, since if 3090 was just this SCP abandoned by GAW, no one would want to read something so dreary and against the group's odds. I expanded upon those ideas in a tale, You Ain't No Family. I think it worked since people seemed to mostly like it.

Most of the games I chose were in the original article. I don't know why the original author chose them, but I assume he has a connection to them. As far as Pokémon goes, I actually started getting into that last year, which is very funny since I didn't know a thing about Pokémon when writing this article. I had a bit of trouble making it make sense and read realistically. Ben helped me out with that when writing the video game references. I did play a lot of Animal Crossing: New Leaf when it originally came out, and I loved it, so I felt it was a natural inclusion. I do like Super Mario Bros quite a lot. I think it's overrated, but I thought it was a good story tool to introduce a new mechanic to Heather's powers. I also like Tetris; it's just Tetris, y'know?

Last but certainly not least, Danganronpa is literally my favorite thing ever. I think it's a perfect visual novel series, even if it has imperfect moments, and it's inspired me a lot in character writing, and writing in general. I basically asked Ben to add this Danganronpa angle with 3090 to be self-indulgent, so the wiki can never escape Danganronpa. As you've probably read from the comments, people did not like that reference, or that 3090 was like a Danganronpa character, but to them, I say "Who cares? That's my prerogative." I do like playing video games, but I don't play as many video games as other people I'm friends with, so many of the references in that article were hard to capture efficiently, so most of that's thanks to my co-writer Ben beside Danganronpa.

3090's probably the article I'm most proud of, with both the positive and negative reaction. I never expected any article of mine to have a fanbase, let alone this one, but people really like Heather which I'm always grateful for and bewildered honestly. Last year, on DeviantArt, I saw this 3090 cosplay thing, which I don't know how to react to. There's so much to it. I'm glad it still has relevance on this site even today when I never expected it to break 50.

SCP-150: Ship of Theseus was rewritten by you and A Random DayA Random Day, and was originally by The RavenThe Raven. Where did the idea for the rewrite come from? How was co-writing with a very famous author on the wiki?

I had a lot of fun writing this with ARD. As a disclaimer, I wanted to rewrite this because I wanted a Series I slot, I must be honest. A lot of people feel that sort of lure when they see a low-rated Series I article, which is more or less what I did with 150. So, despite me having an actual phobia of bugs and insects, I said "You know what? I want this slot so badly, I want to rewrite this." I didn't know what angle to take it in, though, and I felt the rewrite pressure, so I thought "Surely if someone has good ideas, it's gotta be ARD" because I really trusted his feedback and opinion for writing and a lot of stuff. I reached out to him, we brainstormed, and he gave me the Ship of Theseus idea which is this old concept about replacing your body to the point where you question whether it's truly your original body anymore. I really hate that philosophy a lot, but I thought that it was an interesting idea for 150, so I thought "How could I subvert it?" I couldn't think of a way, but I thought it'd be interesting to not make it a straightforward horror trope, despite having bugs and the Ship of Theseus attached to it.

I asked ARD "Hey, do you want to co-write this with me? This idea rules!" To my surprise, he said "Sure." and so we wrote it. To ARD's credit, everything before the interview is ARD, and the interview on is a lot of his writing, though it's where I contributed the most. I did the skeleton and ARD did almost everything else. When I say it that way it sounds bad, but I promise I didn't just shove this on him and take credit for it. He's just such a great writer, so good at clinical tone. That's probably his greatest strength, the balance between clinical tone and engaging storytelling, which was a big boon for 150 when you had to iterate on a generically creepy, few-paragraphs-long idea.

As far as my big thing to this, it was mostly the interview which, while I'm not good at science, I wanted to create this perspective of "Well, 150 is replacing your body, and it's certainly weird, but that's not too bad, right? If it's benefiting you, then is it really as bad as it seems?" I couldn't fully nail that angle, but it was what I was going for in addition to creep since the big failing of the Ship of Theseus is that it doesn't consider "Well, what if I want to replace my body and make it cooler and better?" which is the angle I wanted to take with 150. It's dangerous, against the status quo, and doesn't benefit everyone, but I think what it does is not something I've seen people on YouTube, Reddit, or on-site really consider when it comes to 150 while it's one of my more proud moments of writing an article. It's trying to fight against philosophy with your own philosophy as best as you can within the confines of a rewrite of a creepypasta article. It was a fun experiment, and people seem to really like 150, so I'm grateful for the attention it has gained.

But yeah, I literally can't look at this article without enabling uBlock to block the image because it'll just freak me out if I try to open 150. My phobia's that bad.

Also, people seem to think it's a mistake that, when they test the D-Class, the D-Class gives these weird answers. None of that's typos; the SCP's purposely affecting the way the D-Class thinks, and the D-Class had brain matter removed for this operation so things will sound wacky. I've had criticisms, though, even though we knew what were doing.

You authored the Gamers Against Weed Dossier, which details the lives and abilities of several Gamers Against Weed members. Why did you write it and what do you think of the GoI overall?

I wrote the Dossier because I needed a reference for myself on the GAW canon, really. I wanted to keep track of certain character attributes: "How old are they, what is their religion, what do they make, etc." I needed that logged somewhere, and it eventually turned into a tale since I thought maybe others would like it too. It's my highest-rated tale now, somehow. Swag. I'm still surprised by that and I guess it speaks to GAW's popularity on the Wiki still. My first experience with GAW was Scantron's Mr. Meme, posted in 2016. I remember reading that and thinking "What is this garbage?" because I couldn't understand the group's intentions, the SCP itself, and that a group of mostly teenage internet-dwellers managed to mingle with the Foundation. It didn't make sense to me at the time and, while I'm absolutely farther left than most of the Wiki, I couldn't understand the need for the heavy-handed political references in the early GAW articles.

The 2016 Presidential Election happened, which really kicked into gear my political leanings and affiliations since before then politics was just something that I read about and kept up with; it may have impacted me, but it wasn't something I had to think about since the status quo was built to keep me from being impacted as much as others. Coupled with the conservative politics I was raised in, and such a really shitty, privileged mindset infested, but that's how I felt up until my young adult years, so I had a strong negative reaction to GAW articles. Even when the status quo screws you, your mindset can still be awfully resilient to change. When the election happened, that shifted my thinking and made me care more, so when I started thinking that way GAW made more sense to me as a group. They were very politically inclined, as they can help make minorities' and oppressed people's lives better. They want to produce joy as opposed to evil or selfish gain, and they protect their own members with lots of care. That sort of communal feeling was something I felt the world and the wiki needed more, so I took to GAW in the coming months since Mr. Meme, and be their sort-of cheerleader and hype them up.

Obviously, the wiki did not take kindly to GAW back then; it was a very baffling group to make sense of back then and, I'd argue, still now. There isn't a group like GAW, for better or worse, and that was a thing people couldn't wrap their heads around. Thus, a lot of initial reaction was, while valid, very negative, much like mine. I was one of the more liked authors for GAW at the time since I was more well-known at that time, I believe an admin already by then. So, I tried to get people interested in this group on IRC and otherwise, and, eventually, I wanted to write GAW articles myself. The Dossier was a part of that; I could help spread awareness of this group. This was a couple of weeks after my first GAW article, SCP-3015. I decided to make that tale so soon after 3015 to push onto people "Hey, this is good for the Wiki! You should consider them!" I don't think the more shitpost-y GAW articles are bad, I think they're good in their own right, but people didn't take them seriously, so I wanted to write GAW articles that people had to take seriously and recognize GAW as a serious group. Thus, I purposely avoided a lot of the shitpost-y nature of GAW articles to push a serious side of them so people stopped being so down on them.

For example, 3015 opens up with a Mister that teleports you to a warehouse if you crawl up its asshole, but after that, it stops being so silly and goofy, and I tried making it a serious thing. Especially with GAW, you can balance the absurd with the raw and emotional, so that was my thought process with them.

You have a character, Rose Labelle. Who are they and how have they been written into the SCP Wiki? Does this author character's background resemble your own in any way?

Rose Labelle is a humble programmer and IT specialist. I wanted to write an author avatar to feel like a part of the site writing community since there were a lot of author avatars and people were having fun with them. This was after people stopped giving a shit about author avatars. So, I thought "I'll just come up with one and I'll have fun writing her, who cares?" I didn't really put much thought into her, at first, since it was just a fun little thing. So It Was features her, but only retroactively. I came up with the name first, and only later made her Rose Labelle. Then, later, I started to think "What can I do with this character? How can I make her her own thing?" I kind of wrote myself into a corner since I'm neither a programmer nor an IT specialist and I made a character who was, so my answer was to just not think about it. Instead of focusing on day-to-day work, I would just focus on her daily activities, slice-of-life stuff. That's what I was more interested in, really, was the character studies.

So I didn't have to write a researcher character who mainly researches since other people will do that for me if I don't do it, clearly. I mean, Jacob Conwell did use Rose Labelle in his stuff before, which I'm thankful for, and thedeadlymoose wrote a whole tale about Rose Labelle, sort of. I just want to have fun with the site so, even if I write all dour stuff, I'm not dour, I want to have fun writing. I decided to just come up with my own researcher, write her into stuff, and, even if not in a lot of stuff and not popular, she's part of the site. I still like her and I think she has room to grow as a character with the groundwork laid by me, Jacob, and Moose (sort of). Only sort of a projection of myself, not entirely.

I know you didn't do the first two, but you posted the third And Then I Died.... Could you explain what that is since it's not really ongoing right now? What impact do you think things like this have on the site?

And Then I Died… is a silly, story-form game where someone writes a mini-tale involving a death scenario and an SCP, people guess the SCP, and whoever guesses right gets to write the next mini tale, and so on. There were two installments of it before I started it up again and there hadn't been much activity for it at the time, so I decided that I wanted to make the communal thing again. Thus, I rebooted it and it took off for a little bit. I think stuff like that can get even non-writers involved since, if the average community member wants to join in on the game and they guess right, they have to write something and that lets them become engaged in the site as opposed to passively lurking. I figured it'd make natural sense to do something like that, get the community playing, and bring people together. It was just a fun little thing, nothing too lengthy.

You mentioned that some of your most proud work is your tales. I didn't want to narrow it down, so what is the work you either enjoyed doing the most or something you feel people would like hearing about, or even something underrated?

The first one I want to talk about is my ...Like Clockwork series since that is one that resonated with a lot of people when I wrote it, at the time. …Like Clockwork is about SCP-3999 and that SCP is in my favorite top 5 on the site. I liked it so much that I wanted to put my own spin on it. With LordStonefish's permission, and at the tail-end of some dark times in my life, I wrote this series hoping to get something out of it and to make it stick with people. I think that series explores a very narrative-heavy side of me as well as an abstract side which, I think, comes through in my writing sometimes but not always since I write more grounded, realistic scenarios. It was my first tales series and, for a lot of what people might know me for, they would get a lot out of that series and be able to understand both me and my writing better.

The second thing I wanted to mention as far as tales go is I Forget Myself in This Wondrous Night which is about SCP-1467. That SCP, also, similarly impacted me, though it has the unfortunate issue of not really characterizing its SCP since that wasn't part of that era of writing. I wanted to characterize that SCP, make it more humane so that people would be able to appreciate it more, and react as strongly to it as I did. So, I wrote this somber tale about it and it really emotionally affected those who read it but never really took off, maybe because a) tales and b) obscure SCP at the time. I think that tale does a good job at exploring my character-driven side since it's basically a character study with someone becoming undone from reality.

The third thing I wanted to bring up is Misfire tales series, which I wrote for Jamcon 2018, the first of its kind. I improvised that thing very, very heavily. I took breaks, obviously, but I was basically writing the whole three days that the contest was on because I really wanted to write something for it, and I had the insane idea, from the very beginning, of "Well, what if I connected all disparate themes in one tales series? That's a crazy idea that'll win me the contest for sure!" Obviously, I didn't win but, y'know. I think that series does a very good job at exploring my improvisational side which comes through in my writing sometimes. It can be obvious when I wing something to make something work, and that tales series was basically me winging it the whole way through. But, despite how little attention it got, I very much love it. It's not polished at all, and I don't ever plan on polishing it; I think its rough style suits it pretty well to its frantic energy. I think people may enjoy that one quite a lot. It's very character-driven, anime-inspired, which may be a breaking point for some people, but everything I write is anime-inspired so what are you here for if not that?

You've mentioned you've enjoyed writing tales and how they're often the best works on the site. There have been attempts over the years to bring more attention to tales. What are your thoughts on tales and GoI-formats on the wiki, and their place and importance?

I like tales more than SCPs, and that comes from me liking long-form stories more than the SCP format. SCPs are more condensed and not as free-form as traditional prose which, while original, isn't my preferred sort of writing. I'll take the Dadaist tales more than traditional SCPs. Tales, I think, are a way to flesh out the SCP world more than an SCP ever could, mostly because you can only do so much with SCPs, even if you involved with GoIs or expand it like SCP-093 expands itself, you're still stuck within the confines of an SCP to tell your story and build your world. That's fine, but there's only so much you can do, and I'm unsure of the site's longevity with SCPs specifically.

That's why tales are more interesting to me and where, I think, the site's writing shines the best. SCPs work, but you have to think outside of the box in terms of the SCP world for tales, which is why canons are so important to the SCP wiki's lifespan. While they can include SCPs, they primarily consist of tales and GoI-formats which flesh out the logic behind the SCP universe, its characters, the SCPs themselves, the GoIs, etc. Those, to me, are what really make SCP have its strong identity. Tales can flesh out all the world's in-betweens. While tales will never be as popular as SCPs, I strongly encourage anyone who's not read tales to try and find tales on their favorite SCPs. After that, you can spend hours and hours lost in the Wiki. That's what happened to me; I would spend hours and hours reading SCPs and, when I found tales, I would spend days reading tales since, for me, that's where the magic is. I'd definitely tell people to read tales and GoI-formats and hopefully enjoy them on the same level you enjoy mainlist SCPs.

I believe the Site News originated with the Russian Wiki, but you wanted to bring it over to the English wiki. What's the deal with it? Do you think it is something worth the upkeep?

At the time, I was part of Community Outreach and Internet Outreach, so I tried to be involved with other sites. Part of that was reading the other sites, at minimum, once a week, and one day I stumbled upon the Site News on the Russian wiki and it fascinated me because I never even thought of a newsletter before, how helpful that would be, or for art and on-site goings. That was such a cool idea, I wanted to bring it over to the English site. I don't remember if I contacted any Russian admins about it, but I did contact English staff about it. I came up with a proof of concept and they approved it so I just rolled with it. It proved immediately popular; it was very helpful for a lot of people, at least at the time I ran it. People found more articles because of it; articles at plus 10 would become plus 60 by the week after because of the attention they get from Site News. I was very proud of that sort of thing, of people finding new content, and for a while, I did consider it my baby since I essentially ran it by myself, foolishly. Never run things that you could get help with by yourself, that's my advice. I had a lot of fun with it, I know it's in good hands now. I don't know how popular it is compared to when I was running it but, regardless, I think it's a very welcome feature and should be supported by the community long-term. If someone gets use out of it, then I did my job a hundred times over.

I believe you've hosted two different contests, both in the same year: the Mobile Task Force Contest and D-Class Contest. Tell me about the impetus for them, how you came up with the ideas, how the contests went, and your general thoughts on contests.

Both times, despite my name headlining, I mainly got help from TroyL and Dexanote, I just took the initiative to get those contests up. Both contests were really fun to run but very stressful since you have to deal with a larger part of the community about contest questions and concerns which can be really surprising since it's a lot to take in if you don't know about it. I didn't know at the time, so it was a very humbling experience to do that and realize "Oh, these are what the other admins have to deal with when running contests. I get it now." MTFcon reignited popularity in MTFs since, before, they were seen as faceless military men that went out to kill SCPs or contain them. But after the MTFcon, that all changed. Now, MTFs can be anything, they don't have to be violent. There are infinite possibilities, which brought a more healthy side of MTFs to the community. Before, it was military gun fetishists only, but it transitioned to something people not familiar with the military could do well with and contribute to the SCP lore.

As for D-Con, while it didn't really redefine the role of the D-Class or reignite interest in making D-Class perspectives, it's still very interesting to see what people came up with. You could ask any number of people what D-Class is and how the Foundation deals with them, and you'd get just as many answers. I think D-Con really helped, if nothing else, bring us a lot of really great works to the site.

I love contests. They really help bring the site together, produce tons of great content, and make people interested in writing. It also helps people become interested in writing for the first time. For example, while I did not finish it in time for the Dystopia Contest, my first tale was for the Dystopia Contest. Missed out on it by a few hours but whatever, y'know? Contests are fun and, while I'm inconsistent in writing for them, I highly recommend trying one out whenever they come up in the future.

You've been around for quite some time, and quite a lot as a staff member and admin. How was your time on staff? How was it being a staff member and admin, at least during your time, and what did you do?

Being a staff member was really fun, honestly; I have a lot of great times helping the community out, being with them, making sure the site was functioning. It's a very stressful job, and I don't believe anyone who says they want to join staff just for funsies because that's a great way to burn out. But being staff was cool, I met a lot of good friends, I had a good time, I gained notoriety and infamy for being outspoken as a staffer and whatnot, and I got fans for that same thing. I think, overall, I did a good job as a staff member and had a nice time with everyone. It's something that was very formative for me in managing communities and becoming more social. Being staff gave me confidence and made me more outspoken.

You were the team captain for Community Outreach for a long time, partly why you were involved in contests. Can you describe what you were involved with in those days, what you as a captain wanted CO to be able to achieve, and, specifically, why you chose A Random DayA Random Day and ProcyonLotorProcyonLotor as your successors?

CO has a lot of different jobs or did when I was part of it. We did forum introductions, contests, collaborations with IO to bring more site awareness and activity, collaborations with other staff teams like rewrites, and even Disciplinary functions. It was a Jack of all trades job but, aside from being an admin and staff member in general, CO has the most attention with all the functions it performs in general. This contrasts with me as I was not a social person when I joined CO, so this helped me become more active in the community whenever I could as it was part of the job.

CO was a very chill group in general since everyone who was on at that time was, by nature, a social person. So bringing them all together was a good time, as well as helping the community out whenever we could. It was super important to make everyone feel welcome on the site. I also felt like CO should emphasize site engagement. If you don't do special things every once in a while, people don't feel motivated to engage besides their own things. Contests are part of that motivation, allowing people to be competitive and have a good time. Same thing with introductions; we wanted intros to feel personalized for each person so everyone felt on the same level. You treat new members just as any other member, not as a newbie. You don't want to give the impression you're staff, just a community member who happens to be staff.

ARD and Procy showed to be very helpful on the team with handling contest ideas, introductions, page suggestions, being recognizable, showing leadership. I could sense all those sorts of things in them, and I felt they were far more close to the community than I was, not that I wasn't close, but I felt I couldn't be as engaged with others as I should. Thus, since I wasn't gonna be a CO captain anymore, I felt these two were the best to step up. I wasn't sure about picking two captains, but I felt both were indispensable, and I couldn't choose between the two. Even though ARD has stepped down, his sense of spirit and camaraderie still runs through the site with how active he's been and how he's impacted people. Same with Procy. Those two make such a great combination with one another and, when one spends time with them together, you can see the chemistry between them as friends and staff members. They were the best replacements I could ever find.

Are there any projects or anything you have been up to since retiring from the wiki?

Admittedly, I haven't done that much. I've mostly kept to myself, although I do work on music a lot. It is a very casual process that I don't release much of, but I have released some music since retiring from the wiki. I also write music reviews and film reviews as a hobby on sites like RateYourMusic and Letterboxd. For a short while, I also did podcasting with a videogame website called videogamechoochoo. This podcast wasn't actually for games, it was an anime podcast. I was part of the staff there for a little while helping out with articles and mainly the podcast of course. Besides that, I still write fiction, but most of it is just for my own practice, not for the wiki. Recently, I have been working on some stuff for the wiki to get back into things, so hopefully, I will have something out before or after this interview gets posted.

So, who would you say "Decibelle" is?

She's some kind of online psychobilly freakout, that's what she is.

When did you first realize that SCP was a mistake?

When I learned I'd never get an official SCP dating sim.

This concludes the interview. I hope you enjoyed it! I would like to thank Decibelle for being a great interviewee! Thanks again to all of my readers! It has been a joy to do this series. I already have the next interview in this series prepared, and I believe everyone will enjoy hearing from my next interviewee!

Thank you for reading!

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