I'm Spenser, your new community manager!

9 months ago from

Greetings DN!

I'm Spenser, and I'm your new Community Manager here on Designer News. First and foremost, I'm a designer-having worked remote freelance for the last 4+ years. Online communities like DN have acted as my "home" for many years, often helping with moderation and support in my free time. When I was younger, digging through forums and tutorials helped me grow as a designer and I'm sure that was the case for many other here. I want DN to be the home for designers to grow, learn, discover, and share with one another.

I've been here since the Layervault days and have seen the ebb and flows of this community. I know we've felt unheard and have watched the site stagnate but I'm here to change all that. My first main focus is to breathe some life into DN, through AMAs, community events, and much more. Our first AMA is actually next work with Nelson Abalos from Webflow, so look out for that on the 9th! We're also working on often requested features such as downvotes, bringing back invite only registration, and other items the community has brought up. We're a small team so please be patient with implementing these.

So yeah, ask me anything! I'm here for you all in the community, our concerns and voices are what I care about. Feel free to share your opinions, changes to the platform you'd like to see, or just general comments.

You can reach out to me on twitter.com/spenserwolz, or longer form at spenser@designernews.co if you'd like.



  • A Paul, 8 months ago

    Forgive me for being skeptical, but how did you get this position? I see you have a pretty limited post history and your Twitter only goes back to March. Your website and Dribbble don't show any work, and you've described yourself as a junior designer, so I'm curious why we should trust that you'll help the community?

    18 points
    • Spenser Wolz, 8 months ago

      Hello! No worries at all, I totally get it. Andrew sent out a call to people who have a history of helping grow communities and I responded with what I've done in the past on Reddit and other sites over the years. I've been a mod on different subreddits for years, so I'm pretty used to this kinda thing! As far as post history and account age, this is actually my second account on Designer News, I had one back on the old news.layervault days. Same thing for twitter, used to have thousands of followers but just grew unhappy with the platform.

      As for my professional work, I've had steady freelance/agency gigs for the past couple of years and don't really feel the need to share my design work too much anymore but I used to post often to Dribbble.

      Trust is something that isn't instant, it's earned and I get that. What I do ask is that you believe in me, my good intentions, and the future of this site. I hope that with time, you will grow to trust me.

      50 points
    • Aaron Wears Many HatsAaron Wears Many Hats, 8 months ago

      I think that this is rather a rude and cynical position to hold.

      10 points
    • John PJohn P, 8 months ago

      To be fair someones output on their Dribbble account or Twitter account are not directly correlated to their ability to drive a community.

      I'd actually even say people who are prolific on Twitter probably don't really understand the value of one anyway.

      Excited to see where this is going.

      4 points
  • A B, 8 months ago

    Great to hear. Good luck in your new role Spenser!

    16 points
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, 8 months ago

    Man, I would love to see the life breathed into DN that it once had. I'm glad to hear that you're stepping up to take the reigns and I'm really grateful. You touched on two of the most requested features over the last few years (downvotes and invite-only registration), and I think those are necessary changes.

    I'd like to suggest that you all add the color profile rewards back if you can. I've heard that they rewards aren't being granted anymore when you reach a new karma threshold. Certainly lower priority than the other two, but it would be cool.

    Edit: I'm sure you saw it, but just in case you're looking for ideas this post is bursting at the seams with ideas for ways to improve DN.

    7 points
    • Spenser Wolz, 8 months ago

      Daniel, thanks for your comment!

      I love the idea for bringing back the color unlocks, I think they're a great way to get a quick glance at who is really active in the community, in addition to being fun to collect. I'll add that to the dev backlog!

      Edit: And yeah, I've been digging though that post pretty heavy to gleam what changes we wanna see. It's been very helpful!

      1 point
  • Daniel De LaneyDaniel De Laney, 8 months ago

    In your view, what kind of content should we be seeing on DN?

    Which stories exemplify the content you want to encourage and grow?

    4 points
    • Spenser Wolz, 8 months ago

      Hey Daniel, this is a really great question. If it were up to me, I'd like to see content that sparks discussion, or advice for someone in a tough career spot, people sharing their journey as a designer and having other people find bits of themselves in other's story.

      But, it's not just up to me. The community will decide what content we all want to see. I'm not here to be like this is better than that, I'm here to listen to the wants and needs of this community and make sure those are being met. That being said, I think the AMAs we used to have on here were the highlight for me personally. The engagement from the community was through the roof, and often long from discussions would take place. Where else on the internet do you find that kind of thing? I hope the community takes to the upcoming AMAs just as much as we used to.

      1 point
  • Ken Em, 8 months ago

    Welcome and thanks for taking on this role. :) A huge issue I brought up in the other thread was spam that sits on the site for days before being removed (and apparently mods don't have the ability to remove spam, only the devs do?). I think having invite-only registration will go a long way in curbing that spam from being created in the first place.

    4 points
    • Spenser Wolz, 8 months ago

      Hey Ken! I agree, that always bugged me in the past about spam but as referenced in my other comment-we've been really cracking down on it in the past week. It's a never ending battle but I'm hoping like yourself, that having the site invite only would ease the struggle.

      I think allowing the mods to remove posts/ban people could be a great idea, I'll add that to our backlog!

      1 point
  • Ken Em, 8 months ago

    So for all of the accounts which are already here and which are posting poor quality content, what happens to them? Will they be deleted? I mean, they are likely just going to keep posting the same stuff. I guess if downvoting gets implemented that would help.

    3 points
    • Spenser Wolz, 8 months ago

      Ken, you're right on the money. We've actually already started that process of weeding out spam accounts heavily. We're hoping with turning it back to an invite only process, along with downvotes that the spam decreases.

      We've even talked about a longer account age before you can post a link or something like that. I think that'd help too!

      0 points
  • Joe CJoe C, 8 months ago

    Welcome, Spenser. I think this is a positive move from DN.

    One thing I think could help, if DN is going to start putting more value on 'karma', is for comment upvotes to count towards a users karma (I'm pretty sure that isn't the case today). If we want to encourage positive discussion in the comments then I think we should reward that behaviour, albeit with meaningless internet points ;-)

    2 points
  • Eric BlattbergEric Blattberg, 8 months ago

    Welcome, Spenser! I'm eager to see what some editorial guidance, open communication, and more-active moderation can do for this community.

    2 points
    • Spenser WolzSpenser Wolz, 8 months ago

      Thanks Eric! I'm totally with you on these points. I think before I came on, it was difficult to see if anyone was paying attention to us here on DN, if anyone was listening to the community and more importantly-responding to feedback. I was brought on to be that person. That being said, I don't see myself as "steering the ship" or anything like that but more like we're all in the same boat together pushing this thing in the direction we all want to see.

      As far as moderation, since I came on last week-we've really cracked down on banning accounts for spam, blatant self promotion, voting rings etc.

      2 points
  • Giulio MichelonGiulio Michelon, 8 months ago

    Bring back the "invite only" model. That was the turning point for me.

    Welcome aboard!

    2 points
  • Jonny BeltonJonny Belton, 8 months ago

    Hey Spenser, congrats! looking forward to seeing your impact around here :)

    1 point
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 8 months ago

    Great news. Good luck in helping defend DN against the non-stop barrage of spam. :D Very good to see you in the role.

    1 point
  • Benjamin WillemsBenjamin Willems, 8 months ago

    Best wishes. I hope this position treats you well. ✨

    1 point
  • Ken Em, 8 months ago

    Circling back to the spam issue, I reported a spam post a couple of hours ago and now it's gone. Thank you!

    1 point
  • Cameron GettyCameron Getty, 8 months ago

    Welcome to DN, Spenser! Glad to have you.

    1 point
  • Mauricio Paim, 8 months ago

    Congrats Spenser. I am a casual user of DN but I can see the amount of value this tools brings to designers. Good to know there are improvements on the way.

    1 point