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Proud to Present: An interview with Invision Community President Charles Warner


Nearly two decades ago, Invision Community President, @Charles , set out to make a leading online community platform. 

Around that time, Charles also met his now-husband of 18-years and hasn't looked back since. Until now. 

Behind the code, product updates and newsletters are a group of people who share a passion for community building. Considering how volatile and toxic the Internet can be, we want to become more visible, transparent and vulnerable.  To help you familiarize yourself with the masterminds behind Invision Community, starting with Charles, we're kicking off a new series that'll highlight our team.

I interviewed Charles for the first installment. In it, he commented on the state of the Internet: "I do think some times, for or better or for worse, people forget there are real people on the other end," he said.

Mr. Warner also touched on Invision Community's evolution over the years. 

"People don't like change. No one likes change," Charles said, adding "sometimes you say, 'we really need to change something' either in the software, or how you do things, and people push back. It might be we change a feature or maybe internally we change the way we do something. Sometimes you have to move forward. Sometimes it's irritating at first. 'Why did you change that?!' And also you have to recognize that sometimes you're wrong. Sometimes you might change something [and think], 'no, it's not better...' I really find that that's a big thing – to constantly be looking at all those other options and try stuff out. It doesn't harm [anything] to try things."

And in the spirit of Pride Month, Charles opened up about being part of the LGBTQ community and also President of a successful company. He hopes it'll inspire others.
 

Quote

"I am lucky, and it's a privilege. [For one] that the world we're in now is different than the world was five years ago, 20 years ago... but also being an Internet company you have a unique position where people don't know your gender, your age, your race, anything about you online... Particularly 20 years ago when we started even less so... that's the thing that's always kind of been there. I think I'm lucky in that regard. I recognize some people don't have that unique approach to things that I've enjoyed. I would say on that whole it hasn't really been a big thing and I'm lucky that it hasn't."


The full interview is available to watch up top. 

After watching, please drop us a line in the comments and let us know your thoughts! 🌈 

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From a cis male ally, I loved this! I've been a client from the very, very beginning, and have always wondered about Charles, as Matt seems to be the one in spotlight more often. (I imagine Charles prefer a more private life.) I also grew up in Virginia, and it's pretty unusual to see a large company from one of these Virginia towns, so more curiosity for that reason.

@Jordan Invision you're a star! You have great energy and presence. (I saw one of your posts on an outside forum about Invision, and also loved your responses there.)

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First off, great interview. 

Secondly, who's next? please be @Lindy 😛 

Thirdly, since linux was mentioned in this thread, and having been a long time user and advocate of opensource software and using linux as my daily driver for the last 15 to 16 years. I must say, i'm glad to see the passion still out there for linux and the hopes of the "year of the linux desktop", it takes me back :). However, I don't believe linux is quite for everyone, or even sure it ever will be. I'm a very experienced user with it and there are things that i still run into that make me bash my head into  my desk.

Linux and its distro's (just being plural) shows how fragmented the linux ecosystem truly is. so much resources/code and developers are spread out over so many different things. Like example, the desktop managers, there are possibly hundreds of them (i'm including window managers as well). sure these things give users choice, but also at the same time, it keeps linux on the fringe. Not to mention some of the absolute state of some of the subsystems, like audio and display. 

The audio sub-system has been a mess for years, pulse was a bandage, but that bandage has been peeling off for years. I can't count how many times a week i have to switch back to my speakers from waking up or restarting, cause pulse thinks my micronphone is a speaker...I guess there are some new bandaids out there on the horizon, like pipewire that fedora is using, but i don't think it addresses the underlying problem, that audio is crap under linux and i don't really see it getting better.

Same with xorg and wayland, they are both in absolute embarrassing state. xorg cause it is bogged down by 1980's backwards compatibility and tacked on "modern" features, as well as its security issues. then you have wayland, which just completely lacks direction, the developers of it are hostile, and considering how much money and other resources that have been dumped into it, its debut date was suppose to be back in ubuntu 11.04, we are now on ubuntu 21.04 and it only supports a small fraction of gpu's out there and even less compatible with popular applications. sure we can get into a petty fight like apple does about how nvidia is the worst, but nvidia is like that, cause they are popular and on top and have been for a very long time, so they've sorta earned the right, where a project like wayland has no real credibility to be telling the largest gpu manufacturer in the world what they should be doing. 

Sure you can make a lot of things work with it, but as i've grown older, i've also become frustrated with linux. One reason why i am hoping wsl becomes a shiny beacon in the night in windows for development (cause development in windows just sucks, sucks so much that it has made me endure the inadequacies of linux all these years). 

I also just purchased a mac mini, god help me that i don't become one of "those" computer users 🙂. the appeal of the new architecture, with most of the benefits that linux offers, without most of the headache, is very appealing to me at this point in my life. 

on a finally note to steer the conversation back, I would like to add my two cents about anonymity and toxicity. I have over the years, as many of  you can attest, have been toxic myself. I will say things i would never say in real life to others, as well as try to purposely raise the temperature just to get a reaction out of people. A lot of that is cause i've always viewed the internet as sort of the "wild wild west", that it offered a level of "freedom" that polite society doesn't offer. It is also easy to forget that the avatar/username you are replying to, has a person at the other end, they lack humanity unless they are in your circle. as for a solution to that, i don't know if there is one. 

any way, good interview, will look forward to future ones. 

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I loved watching this. As a member of the LGBT community myself I related a lot with this video. Thanks for sharing this content, it truly is amazing, and I’d love to see more.  🏳️‍🌈 Happy Pride Month 

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