Interview with Shawn Gossman
A interview with Shawn Gossman a 27 year old male from the USA. A guy with tons of hobbies and interests at heart. His favorite project is Another Admin Forum. If you want to know alot more about him I suggest you to go to: About Shawn Gossman.
1. Max Pen: Could you tells us a bit more about yourself so the readers know who you are?
Shawn Gossman: Well you know my name, that is my real name. I am a 27 year old male and I live in rural southern Illinois. I have many hobbies including forum administration, programming, web design, GFX, cycling, photography, fishing and storm chasing. I am a full time manager of a security department for a large cable manufacturing plant. I am also a full time college student getting a PhD in Management of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I have a few degrees in Criminal Justice at this time. I am a country boy but with a little bit more education and technological thrill than other country boys!
2. Max Pen: You mention you are a storm chaser, how did you become that? What sort of exp has it been so far? Ever felt in danger?
Shawn Gossman: When I was 13 years old, I was scared to death of even a clap of thunder. One night while running to a storm shelter during a tornado warning, I happened to turn around and look towards the sky where the tornado was right as lightning struck. I saw the tornado and instantly fell in love with its fury. Since then, I have chased well over 100 tornadoes all over the United States.
I have drove into them, got extremely close to killer ones and have done things that most would be way to scared to do. I don’t like death or destruction and I would rather see the tornado in an empty field. I am also a certified SKYWARN storm spotter and that is where I volunteer to spot severe weather and report it to the National Weather Service to warn people and save lives. I also own and run the National Skywarn Program forum.
3. Max Pen: Could you share with us some pictures you taken while being close at the storm/tornado?
Shawn Gossman: You can check out my YouTube video which have plenty of severe weather videos at: Storm Chase Group
4. Max Pen: Why did you become a SKYWARN Storm Spotter? In the 15 years you been doing it, do you remember the busiest year? To what type of people would you recommend doing it?
Shawn Gossman: I became a storm spotter because I wanted to help save lives. Storm spotting is the backbone of the severe weather warning system, without spotters, many would not survive tornado events. I also recommend other become a spotter since its free (volunteer) and for all ages. You can check out the main SKYWARN website at www.skywarn.org and the main forum at www.skywarnforum.com.
5. Max Pen: Why did you choose to study lawenforcement, what makes it interesting to you?
Shawn Gossman: I hold a few Criminal Justice degrees however, I am getting a PhD is the Emergency Management area which relates to law enforcement but is geared more torwards incident management of disasters whether nature like tornadoes and floods or technological like nuclear accidents and terrorist attacks. Again, I like to help people and I love to save the lives of my felloe humans. It is what God put me on the earth to do.
6. Max Pen: When did you get into forums and eventually owning them? Do you remember your first project?
Shawn Gossman: I was 13 when I first got into forums. Before that, the internet wasn’t that big of a deal to kids. My first forum was a ProBoards hosted forum (on server 1 at that!) and it was for WebTV tips and tricks since I was a WebTVer back then, haha. I got into forums because I liked the interaction verses a static HTML site which was what I did before all the time.
7. Max Pen: How do you combine being a full time security manager and full time college student? What have been so far the pros and cons of combing these two activities?
Shawn Gossman: It is actually quite easy. I do online college so I work at my own pace. I apparently know what I am doing because I am a great boss and I make the client extremely happy and I am a great college student with straight A’s and a GPA of 4.0.
8. Max Pen: When did you get interested in criminal justice and what made you choose it? To those unfamiliar with the term, what does it mean? What type of jobs can you do when having studied that?
Shawn Gossman: Since I could remember, I had always wanted to be in law enforcement. Remember when you were a kid playing cops and robbers? I was always and I mean always the cop otherwise I wouldn’t play, haha. Now I am more geared towards emergency management and homeland security which related to LE quite a bit but I will play more of a commander role.
9. Max Pen: You got a Private Detective certification, what does this mean you know or can do?
Shawn Gossman: Through the State of Illinois, I am a licensed Private Investigator. I can do various detective services such as insurance investigation, missing persons, etc. The most exciting things I have done as a PI is video tape worker’s comp violators in the woods while dressed in a yeti suit and camo face paint all over me. I am responsible for a few people going to jail and getting very large fines but that is what happens when you are ignorant enough to cheat worker’s comp in public. I feel no pitty for them, honestly.
10. Max Pen: How did you come up with the name Another Admin Forum and its project?
Shawn Gossman: I looked at all the other admin forums and thought to myself, here you go Shawn, you are making another admin forum and the name just came to me. I also made a forum network with other forums with “another” before the topic keywork and “forum” after it but the brand is no longer there. AAF will remain the same name though as I have made it fairly well known.
11. Max Pen: Hardest challenges so far with the project?
Shawn Gossman: Getting people to quit griping about it being ran on SMF and not XenForo or vBulletin. I care about free software and when we quit using it then one day it will vanish and everyone will regret it. I continue to use SMF to show my support for the free software makers who dedicate their time and energy in making a software for no pay at all. Those folks are the real folks who have made our internet so great! What can you get free off the net? Not much! Now imagine nothing being free on the net! Support free software!
12. Max Pen: Do you find it easy or hard to dedicate time to your online projects?
Shawn Gossman: Not at all however, when its warm and hot outside, I like to spend more time outdoors than anything. So I think I am most active on my websites in the winter.
13. Max Pen: Could you give a list of your 11 forums, the first one being the first started and the last one being the last started?
Shawn Gossman: The first one started which is still open is www.ilskywarn.com which is the largest Illinois Skywarn forum online. The last one I have started is www.cyclingtopics.com which is a bicycle and cycling discussion forum.
14. Max Pen: Are you a hobby webmaster or do you consider yourself a proffesional webmaster?
Shawn Gossman: I consider myself more of a hobby guru webmaster than an elite or expert one. I don’t do it for the revenue, I do it for fun. However if the websites pay for themselves, I will not complain, haha.
15. Max Pen: What are some of the things you think could be done better on your projects? What needs to be worked on?
Shawn Gossman: I have a to do list for each one of my forums which creates new features not seen on other forums. I just need to get these things done, haha. I work on them every day though so they are getting closer to being done. I guess I will tell one secret. I am making a series of BIG eBooks on forum administration, promotion and revenue earning that will be free to members of Another Admin Forum.
16. Max Pen: Could you tell us some of your webmaster skills?
Shawn Gossman: I am good with any mainstream forum software. I am also good with other software like WordPress, drupal, phpfox and phpnuke. I am also programming various software including a forum software called anotherbb which will have a lot of social features. I am getting quite good at graphic design with photoshop cs5 as well.
17. Max Pen: Do you have a favorite project? If so why that one?
Shawn Gossman: Another Admin Forum is my fav right now. It isn’t even a year old and its doing so well that I didn’t expect it to be this well so fast. I spend a lot of time and energy of that site. I always get offers all week to sell to others but I reject all offers because I have a feeling I have built something that is going to be extremely successful.
18. Max Pen: Why do you want to get involved in homeland security?
Shawn Gossman: Disasters strike every day and that sort of crisis can tear a country and even a world apart. I want to do my part in helping the mass cope with disasters and helping to prevent terrorism.
19. Max Pen: If you had to describe all your projects online in 5 words, which would those words be?
Shawn Gossman: Exciting, Fun, Social, Friendships and Helpful
20. Max Pen: If you had to choose between being a security officer or working in homeland security, what would you choose and why?
Shawn Gossman: I would choose homeland security simply because I would be able to help more people. In security, I am just helping the client and parties involved with the client. In homeland security, I will get a chance to help mankind and that is awesome to me!
21. Max Pen: Could you share with us some pictures you taken of landscapes, nature or such… (As you mentioned your hobby is photography.)
Shawn Gossman: I actually don’t have my photos public at this time. They are all on my Facebook. However, I will soon be moving them to my personal blogwww.ShawnGossman.com in time. You can keep looking there and eventually you will see them. I use various cameras but my main one is my Nikon D3100 DSLR.
22. Max Pen: Finally if you could alter the past online or offline, which would you should and what scenario would you change?
Shawn Gossman: To be honest, I am happy with all the results I have faced. I spend less time worrying about the past and more time learning from experience.
Thank you Shawn for doing this interview with me! I really enjoyed your replies and hope the readers will to. -Max Pen