Would love to hear more interviews like this! Maybe a series with everyone on NG Staff, and Ivan, PhantomArcade, etc? Would be supercool. It gives a whole different perspective on the work being done here, and all the dreams, ideas, etc. Really cool to get a glimpse.
Regarding the potential removal of the UJ system, with Blams in particular... I can definitely see the potential benefit, but can't help feel it'd also irrevocably change a large part of the culture here. It just wouldn't feel community-controlled the same way. Maybe it'd solve current problems with voting bias entirely, with people opting to vote on extremes just to get their B/P, but it'd also give new artists a hard time to stand out, and be noticed. With the scouting systems currently in place there's such a large gap between the scouted and the unscouted ones, whereas with the UJ system in the Portal everyone has access to everything right away, and it feels like a bonus with this is that up and coming artists also get a way larger slice of initial feedback, overly critical though it may be, than with the other content forms.
But then again the differences in amounts between for example Art and moving media is just INSANE (you didn't factor in unscouted art with your start report right?). And audio's always been more difficult to review, what with it requiring more insider knowledge to really critique than other, easier, more visual art forms. Who knows how it'd really work in practice.
I believe a lot of valid points were made on both sides of this debate in the news topic mentioned above. Whichever path lies ahead: I just hope it's a well-considered one; one that weighs both benefits and downsides, and doesn't just strive for change in regard to how everything works elsewhere, with the intention of garnering a larger audience by making them feel at home here, but in regard more so to what's actually best for the user. Even if it's a system that takes some getting used to. I believe everyone will appreciate that in the long run; it all pays off.
Appreciate all your input on this @PsychoGoldfish though! Also just gotta say, regarding the topic of full-width responsiveness, I really don't like how many other sites mismanage that. With wider screens in particular there's not much benefit to a layout that really stretches to fit the screen. The focus area can't match the screen at all times, so I believe side-space is a functional aesthetic. Maybe you're all for a max width for stationary either way though. Just getting rid of sidelining distractions.
Regarding explanations/introductions: if this hasn't changed since last time I tried making a new account, a couple years back, then users really could use a proper intro. It seems when someone signs up is the ideal time to show them around. To give a little info on what the site is about, what they can do here, how different controls work etc etc. We do have the wiki, but it's something users have to actively seek out. I imagine an intuitive little guide, maybe some kind of overlay, could really bring people in better from the start.
I really like the idea of picking up the gamification aspects more again! And those tokens: awesome idea. :D Another thing I imagine could be a huge activity boost: short-term rankings. Rankings you can sort by for example month/year/all-time - that default to a shorter span of time than all-time. One of the problems with the current lists are that this place has been around so long that everyone on them have stat amounts that seem if not impossible, then at least really tiresome to reach. for anyone who signs up now. Shorter intervals would open up for competition, with new and old users alike. Everyone could compete short-term, and long-term it'd all add up. Aside from two-step authorization I think that's my #1 wishlist item up in here. If y'all ever have time to tackle something like that.
While we're on the topic of feature requests, as I'm writing this I also notice it'd be useful with visible scrollbars on the review box...
Once again this was a great interview. A lot of insight, but also so much PASSION! It inspires. Keep doing what you do; let's keep making this place greater and greater!!! Not again. :P