Life as a Community Intern

Well I’ve survived the first week of my internship, and I’m here to report back that it wasn’t as scary or intimidating as I had thought it would be.

I’m a community intern at Mashable.

I’ve been reading Mashable religiously for about a year now, so when I found out they needed summer interns I pounced on the opportunity. I can honestly say interviewing in their New York office and getting the call back was one of the most exciting moments of my life.

Here’s how I spent my first week:

Shameless plug: Follow @mashablejobs for journalism related job postings and job related news. Everyday I tweet out from there and post to the Mashable – Jobs Facebook page.

I also moderate comments from the back-end of the website for a three-hour shift each day. I’ve moderated comments before in past internships, but Mashable’s comments are on another level. Their readers really know what they are talking about and commonly have extensive conversations in the comments section. It’s my job to watch the comments as they roll in (4 – 6 every minute) and make sure that the commenters are abiding by Mashable’s commenting guidelines.

I delete spam comments, racist comments, lewd and obscene comments, AND THE OCCASIONAL OBNOXIOUS ALL CAPS COMMENT.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you spend too much time responding to a question or if you get wrapped up in the conversation occurring in the comments.  I need to get better at honing in on the problem comments and deleting them right off the bat instead of investing so much time into each one.

I do engage with the readers by responding to their comments, but mostly I just answer their questions. During our training we were told “never to feed the trolls,” so although I desperately want to respond to some of the negative or hilariously off-topic comments, I have had to learn to restrain myself.

I wrote three stories this week, and I cannot wait to have the opportunity to do more.

It may not look like much, but the Mashable Photo Challenge story took me five hours to complete. The photo challenge is a story that the site does every week. I used Twitter and a site called Olapic to aggregate the pictures from our readers. I picked the best ones and created the slide show. Painstakingly copy pasting HTML over and over again. Then I dropped them in the widget that displayed all of the other pictures, wrote the copy, embedded some links and it was good to go! (Look at all of those fancy tech words — I’m on my way to fitting in!)

Stay tuned for a post about Mashable’s office culture.

Cheers!

-Katrina

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