Get to know the CNET family: Q&A with Lee Koo

Take a step behind the scenes of CNET to get to know each of our staff members better and what they do at CNET.

Lee Koo Community manager / CNET
6 min read
James Martin/CNET

Hi, CNET readers and members, I'm Lee Koo, community manager for CNET, and I'm introducing a new column called "Get to know the CNET family" as a way for you, our loyal readers, to get to know us better and what we do at CNET.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase that it takes a village to raise a child (which I'm a big believer in), meaning an entire community actively participates in rearing a child to become a healthy, respectable adult. In a way, our site is our baby and I like to think of CNET that way, as the village needed to nurture, maintain and develop a giant website like ours for people to enjoy and learn from.

Occasionally our staff will share our personal favorites, like for example, our favorite car chase movies that aren't in the "Fast and Furious" series or the video games we're playing right now, and I'd like to take it one step further -- on a more personal level through this column.

What I will be doing is passing a series of Q&As around our staff at CNET, from the people you are familiar with like Brian Tong, Sharon Profis and Brian Cooley to the individuals who are behind the scenes like our video producers, copy editors, engineers, developers and product managers so you can get a glimpse of who we all are individually. We love our readers and members and I would love for you to get to know us better and what we do at CNET. I really hope you enjoy it!

Since I'm introducing this column, I'll start with my own Q&A to kick things off (yeah, I know it's weird to do my own Q&A, but someone has to start it,) so here we go.


It's just me.

Q: What do you do at CNET?

A: I've been part of the CNET family for a long time -- let's just say that I breathed and bled red, green and yellow, the colors of our site way back in the day when we had quirky commercials like this one here (maybe some of you remember them days?)

My job as CNET community manager encompasses a few things: engaging with and helping our readers and members, that's you. I oversee the CNET forums, working with our incredible team of volunteer moderators, and also the comments section working with our moderators and editorial staff, and also our user reviews. Pretty much anything involving our member-submitted content I have a hand in. I also produce and write the CNET Community newsletter as well as occasionally publishing articles to engage with you as readers.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job at CNET?

A: As CNET's community manager, naturally the most rewarding part of my job is seeing you, our readers, participating on our site. Whether it's voicing your opinion on an article, submitting a user review or getting help and helping others in the CNET forums, the participation of our members makes my day-to-day job interesting, eye-opening and a learning experience. Sure, there are occasional flame wars, trolls and spammers, but I accept those inevitable challenges as being part of being on the internet.


Me at work

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job at CNET?

A: You would think the most challenging part of being a community manager would be dealing with hate speech being thrown around in comments section, or spammers and trolls wreaking havoc. While these are headaches, they aren't the hardest part.

I'm a person who doesn't like conflicts and genuinely would like everyone to be happy, but the reality is, that's a pipe dream. I read people's feedback on our site day in and day out and it can be a colorful assortment: anything from how much you love something to mostly what you hate about it. If you love it, high fives all around. When you hate it, part of my job is to evaluate the feedback and bring it to the attention of our team to address.

But while I wish that at the snap of my fingers I could immediately fix everything to make everyone happy, it's sometimes very difficult and most of the time out of my hands. All I can do is reiterate to our team what kind of things make our readers unhappy while still understanding the business side of issues, in hopes of a compromise solution that we can all live with.

Q: Besides your phone, what's the tech item you can't live without?

A: Since I have a family, aside from my phone the tech that I can't live without is security cameras at home. Getting push notifications on my phone whenever someone is near my home allows me to get a view of what possible threat is lurking. This gives me peace of mind, as you cannot be too careful these days.


Me and my daughter fishing in a nearby lake.

Lee Koo

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: Give me a body of water and a rod and reel (a bass boat would be a bonus) and you won't see me for a while. I love fishing, especially bass fishing. Even a day of being skunked (catching nothing) is a great day. In case you're wondering if I eat the fish I catch, I don't. It's all for the sport of catching and releasing (tight lines, my fellow fishermen.) I also like aquariums. At one point in my life I had five aquariums running in my house (two saltwater tanks, three freshwater). If I had more time, money and energy right now, I would start up another saltwater tank, but right now I only have a simple freshwater tank.

Q: What is your favorite quote and why?

A: I heard a stranger at a wedding party say, "A happy wife is a happy life." I blew it off back then, but when I got married, a friend of mine said the same thing to me and it finally made sense. I've stuck with it ever since and after 16 years of marriage, so far, so good.


I'm going to win this see food challenge!

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Spicy foods and more spicy foods. However, my favorite food of all time is chinese dumplings. They are like pot stickers, but boiled instead of pan fried.

Q: What is in your pocket right now?

A: Wallet, keys, phone, pocket lint, a receipt from lunch, $8 and my pocket knife. It's not a Rambo knife, folks, but it will handle envelopes and boxes quite nicely.

Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?

A: I was born in the US, but thanks to my mother who forced me to speak Chinese at home, I do know some Mandarin and Cantonese, but mostly only at a conversational level. If I turn on the news in either dialect, I will only understand about half of what they are saying. However, it is true that knowing how to speak Chinese has allowed me connect with people in my culture here in the US and when visiting China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Thank you, Mom!

Q: What's your go-to karaoke song?

A: My singing sucks, but if I had enough liquid courage in me, I guess it would be "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley. My mom loved the song and played it often while I was growing up. Plus the song is mellow, I've heard many modern remakes of it and my deeper voice matches its tune.

Q: What's the best/worst gift you've ever given/received?

A: When I was in first grade we had a gift exchange at school. I was super excited as I had received the biggest wrapped gift! As everyone around me opened their gifts they all got toys or candy, but when I opened my gift, it was a box of tissue paper. That was so disappointing, but the tissues didn't go to waste, as when I got home I used them dry my tears while I told my mom what happened! Biggest lesson learned, bigger doesn't always mean better! ;-)


Me and the kids in Mexico.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed learning a little something about me. If you have any questions for me, hit me up in the comments section. I will be passing the Q&A torch to a co-worker next, so stay tuned for more to come. Be safe and thank you, everyone!