The story starts with me working full-time in California, pregnant and leaving soon for another state where I'd transition into full-time motherhood. I wanted some sort of job that I could do from home, hopefully with limited, flexible hours.
A friend of mine told me about job opportunities at a new NYT website called Abuzz. I applied, and got a job as one of the moderators there. The job included starting interactions, making reports, and getting rid of spam and flames.
In addition to my official identified Abuzz account (it was a different color font, or something, I forget now how the staff were demarcated) I started another account -- sozobe -- to just goof around. Originally I was didn't say whether I was male or female and was assumed to be male for a long time.
After about a year (? six months?) of working at Abuzz, the tech bubble burst and there was less and less money to go around. There were rounds of layoffs, which I kept surviving, until I was part of a skeleton crew. The skeleton crew was not enough to adequately moderate all of Abuzz (a large and active site), but we tried for a while.
Then there wasn't enough money for us either, and that was that.
One of last staff members, on her way out (absolutely nobody was left on staff, the NYT left Abuzz up but nobody was being paid to do anything with it) went ahead and allowed me to keep my moderating permissions even though I wasn't being paid anymore. (She was not supposed to do that, but also cared about Abuzz and didn't want to see it go completely belly-up.) I then tried to pretty much single-handedly keep Abuzz going, for a long time.
You might remember various things I did like the Hotlist to find good threads (a replacement for the automatic featured threads that ended with the end of paid staff), and Tilting at Windmills (a way for people to report things so I could find 'em and zap 'em).
There were a couple of other people who still had mod tools too but they were around less and less.
This was all pretty stressful, and as it got to be more and more work (unpaid mind you) for less and less return, I started to finally back away from trying to do it all.
I then started spending more time on other sites, like parenting sites and Les Anarchistes Artistiques (with Tsar).
Then Robert started this site, and invited various old Abuzzers on board. I came on over.
(Some people know this but not that many. For a while I was careful not to say anything, partly to protect the Abuzz staffer who kept me going, now there isn't really any reason not to.)