Member Spotlight: Kytheria al'Shea
Author: Sandriel Andarin, September 2012
For this month’s membership spotlight I tracked down Kytheria al'Shea of the Blue Ajah. Kytheria Sedai has been a member of TarValon.Net since 2003, and she has held the title of Aes Sedai for over seven years. Since being Raised she has continued to contribute to the site by serving in a variety of staff and administrative positions. Like most Blues, Kytheria Sedai is constantly up to her elbows in plots and rarely has a free moment. However, I was able to corner her long enough to conduct a short interview.
Sandriel: How did you first hear about TarValon.Net and what made you join?
Kytheria: In college, one of my roommates was really into TarValon.Net and WoT in general. Kathy, or Katarianna Sedai, is the one who introduced me to both. I then discovered that my cousin is also a fan of the books, and she'd found the site on her own, though she didn't stick around. I probably never would have joined if I hadn't been introduced to it by people I knew in real life. I was kind of sketched out by "Internet folk," to be honest! But I made good friends on our site, and those people kept me coming back.
Sandriel: Where do you spend most of your time on the boards?
Kytheria: Most of my time is spent in the private Blue forums and in Marketing. I used to read and post frequently in MDD as well, though that's slowed. I also check Site Announcements, of course, and often have to post news in there. After that, I don't have much time for other forums, really. I do try to keep up on a few threads in the Hallways, though.
Sandriel: In a nutshell, why blue?
Kytheria: That is a tough question to answer in a nutshell. First, I guess, I could tell right away as a JM that my humor, wit, and personality fit best with Blue. Beyond that, I'm a very independent person, and I can be that way amongst other independent women in Blue, while still feeling connected to the others. We tend to get right to the heart of discussions, and don't shy away from productive discourse. We all look for solutions to problems; we offer more than sympathy when someone has an issue. The individuals in our group are involved, but only as much as each person wants to be, in the things in which she's is truly interested. All of these aspects, plus of course the particular brand of humor and fun, are [some] reasons I'm Blue.
Sandriel: You are currently our Director of Marketing. What made you want to get more involved with the site? have you held any other positions over the years?
Kytheria: I applied to be Director of Marketing simply because, when I read the job description, I knew I could offer a lot to the site in this role. I work in marketing in real life, and have a lot of experience that can help expand the department beyond graphics into other aspects of marketing.
Before becoming Director, I was the Recognitions Coordinator (a staff position in the Dept. of Community Outreach). That program was phased out before too long, because the Merits system was being developed. In both of these cases, as well as serving as Sitter and Heart, I just volunteer for the jobs because I feel I can do them competently in such a way as to benefit our community. I like to give back in the particular ways that I can.
Sandriel: Tell me a little bit about your love affair with David Bowie.
Sandriel: You've attended several RL events. How do you feel about them? Would you recommend them for newer members?
Kytheria: The official events I've been to so far were all Anni parties. I went to the one in Corpus Christi because I wanted to finally actually meet some of the friends I'd made on the site. (It took me a long time to get over the 'meeting people from the Internet' thing.) I have lots of friends from the Denver area, so I went to one Anni there, and then Millersylvania, WA is the closest party we've had (in recent years) to where I actually live, so that was an easy one for me.
Honestly, the official events are not something I'm super into. That's just a personal preference, though. For newer members, I recommend attending a real-life event and seeing how you like it. The smaller, local, unofficial events where you basically just hang out with friends (who happen to also be site members), are much more my style. I think people should try things out and see what works for them.
Sandriel: Talk to me about your bond with Whil. What made you decide to bond him? How do you handle that rogue?
Kytheria: We became friends right away once I joined the site. I think we bonded first over similar taste in music and similar senses of humor. We both went through active/long inactive periods, but stayed friends regardless. I never really thought about bonding anyone, actually; it just sort of happened naturally between us, eventually. And I think this image sums up how I deal with his roguish ways: