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busy Changes Future Life OOC Plans

The Great Move

I am starting to get more and more nervous now. Why is that? Well, most of the people that have known me has the girl from Georgia (Oh yeah, from the same place our Kait aka Kiera Potter, small world?) Though after I started working at Wal-Mart, I quickly learned that it is a physical job, but love it none the less, and people actually talked to me. It was nice, yes. I originally got the job to start saving up for Michigan, and helping out mom because she is being garnished for a surgery I went through three years ago. While helping her out and earning so little money, saving up was just not going to be happening within the next two years. However I figured, hey, get the garnishment stopped, I’d be able to save easier, right? But, then something came along to where I may not have to worry about it.

Mom got laid off, thus being offered a job in another state. Where? New York, one hour away from Canada, in a big city named Rochester. At first, I thought that it wasn’t going to happen, and whatnot, but now I am sitting in the living room, looking at boxes and I have been told to pack my room. It was like a smack to the face. The worst part, I am scared. Utterly scared that we will end up losing everything again, and then ending up in a worse mess than before, though things seemed legit with the forms and mom’s drug test. There was another option, where I could find rides to Walmart, on crazy hours, and fight like hell to maintain a living on my own. However that is almost impossible too. I don’t have a car of my own, thus I would end up losing the job with winter coming. So, I have to go to New York before I can go to Michigan. I would end up losing my job, yes, but in a big city, mom’s work is wanting to hire me too in something. It would be cool working like 12 dollars an hour where she is making almost double than what she was making here, before the garnishment.

On an added note, I talked mom into helping me save up, because she helped Christian and Sarah get a place of their own, why not me too? So, after we get settled, I start college and have a job, with mom’s extra funds, she is going to help me find my goal. Though first, get a car of my own. Once my credit is up a bit, maybe a lease for one but I don’t want to wait a year. So, Used is my best option. I am New York Bound soon, and then later, who knows how much later but it will happen, I will be in Michigan.

This is being posted mainly to let everyone know, I am going to be in the process of moving across the freaking country, and might not have internet for a while. I have a feeling, this would be a great trip, and a better life for mom and me both. Just some thoughts running through my head right now.


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What the HELL is a [Pureblood]?!

I’ve been seeing a lot of pureblood applications and denying my fair share of them. But why are so many of them denied?

Put simply, I’m not convinced that people on HNZ really understand what it is to be a Pureblood.
The Pureblood Site Doc explains that:

J.K Rowling has stated that ‘true’ pure-bloods do not exist in the magical world, and that any family that claims to be entirely ‘pure’ has simply erased muggles and squibs from their family trees.

This means that “pureblood” by definition can never be entirely met. So what, then? The site documentation goes on to explain what we’ll consider a pureblood:

With this knowledge in mind we have set our definition of a ‘Pureblood’ to be that all great-grandparents and any direct ancestors below them were all magical. This, of course, also means that your character can have two magical parents and still not be a ‘pure-blood’.

What the document fails to explain is that your character can also have two parents who are not pureblood and still be, themselves, a pureblood (for the considerations of HNZ).

How is that even possible?!” you may be thinking to yourself. Well, it’s quite simple, actually. Just take a look at this helpful chart I’ve made:

Pureblood Explanatory Chart
Nick’s awesome art explaining HNZ policy

In the above image, only the person in red is a pureblood. The rest of the family, though, is obviously magical. Why aren’t the pureblood’s parents also purebloods? We simply don’t see their great-grandparents (another set of 8 people per parent (16 more people if you consider them together), one of which could have surely been non-magical – who knows?). Maybe their parents are purebloods. But then the odds of their grandparents also being purebloods? Extremely unlikely – another 12 people per grandparent to consider.

So, when a person submits a pureblood request but says that their character is a pureblood because all the way back to their great-grandparents are also purebloods… that’s just ridiculous. And approving 15 purebloods at once is something we’re extremely unlikely to undertake.

So, when you apply for a pureblood remember these simple things:

  • Your character’s direct ancestors, up to their great-grand parents are required to be magical but not purebloods
  • Your character can be the first pureblood in their family.
  • Approving 15+ purebloods at once is not something we like to do, or likely will do.
  • Your character can’t be part-giant/part-veela/part-monkey and still be a pureblood
  • Nick likes cookies and Cyndi likes chocolate
    These point will help you a lot!

I hope this clarifies a few things and helps you in all future pureblooding adventures!

~Nick

Post-Script: And try not to be too cliche in your applications! Originality gets you 5 million bonus points. The cliche applications are:

  1. My character is pureblood, thinks they’re better than everybody else, will hate everybody – not being a pureblood will change their character tonnes
  2. My character is pureblood, thinks they’re better than everybody else, but this will change and they will see the error of their ways
  3. My character is a pureblood, but doesn’t think anything of it. They will show that not all purebloods are bad. (Or they will crusade for the rights of people who aren’t purebloods.)

If you could shy away from those topics… that’d be grand. 😉


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Future Plans

Well, there comes a time when everyone in their life loses a job, big deal. Last night before I went to bed, I constructed a rather decent backup plan. I knew this would happen, because it has been coming since new management went in and took over. Also the mental stress of taking peoples shit all the time, 8 hours a day, without having the freedom to really say anything bad to them. You kiss their ass, and there are people always leaving because of how mental that job is. I am losing hair, can’t even get to a doctor now because they are no longer taking doctor excuses. I should have received two raises but no. So, it is not worth it. I shall find another place to work, shouldn’t be too hard. However, this may cause some moving.

I am also waiting on a phone call from an University, that will be quick to set up something for me so I can go to school online, get some grants and scholarships and finally stop wasting my life as I had done for the past year. I should have gone to college first, should have stayed with mom to begin with. Because of this, I will have to make some sacrifices, which is no big deal to me. As long as I have my laptop, my blanket and pillow, I am happy. Heck, this is nothing compared to when we were homeless. While I am traveling to GA after college gets settled out, I will be looking for mom a job too, and the road looks hard, so Prayers and all will be needed. I dreamed about this, not moving per say, but the storm was coming, something that would leave mom and I both sore and torn up to hell, but the Sun arrives, filling us with hope. Dreams like these come true, so things will turn out all right. I have faith.

I try to keep as much to myself as possible, but if questioned I will answer. Can’t help it. Can’t lie really. I applied online at Walmart, so maybe I can be a cashier again, because that was fun when I was at Food City. A part time job with college, which I shall be a math teacher and maybe do something with computers though looking at some of the codes made my head hurt (Thanks Nick :P) so math is what I truly love, and I want to teach Calculus and Advanced Math. That is my calling, and who knows, maybe I’ll end up in Michigan teaching up there or something. xD Once we get a car that is, which might be soon if the Lord is willing.

Mom’s been depressed, and I am almost sick of being burdened by feeling her depression, as far as losing my own optimism, but I need to figure out things myself. I made plenty of mistakes, but one’s got to learn. At least I don’t have a kid. Thank God! I would die otherwise. -.-

I went on ahead and made a new plan. Instead of me moving to my brother and all, I shall live with my uncle if things work out right. Which they will, I just know it. We get along and it is in Lexington, where opportunity lives. Maybe I can actually go to UK instead of online, or even that one community college. Then I would get the true experience.


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Oopsies

So I accidentally deleted the site staff blog.
But, as you can see: it’s been restored!
This is thanks to the magic of:
1) Automated backups
2) One manual backup in November
3) Google (Cached pages)

As a result of all of the above, the blog is back up to its normal level of stuff except for:
Pat’s most recent blawg.

Sorry, Pat.
I wubz j00! (I guess this just means you’ll have to blog again, twice as hard!)

It was totally my fault, too. I need to stop clicking things without fully understanding what they do. :r (And just think, they let me in HNZ’s Admin CP. xD )

Sorry once more. =[

~Nick


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A busy busy busy New Year!

I have noticed something over the past few…weeks, perhaps months. Perhaps my muse is gone for the time being, because my life got ten times more exciting. But while I have been working a full time job, I have been thinking over my recent plots from 2010. Most plots were awesome, epically, and I think HNZ members that have assisted me with making them come alive. I enjoy them so much. But once I got to thinking, some of these, they were started and never finished.

In particular, one I was really excited for, and had it written out, gotten Administration approval, and then…it never finished. Other plots were, but never that one. I watched that role-play fall apart, and others that I have gotten excited for, and things just never happened. I don’t know if it is just me, or if the plot was just not exciting enough. It makes me disappointed, to watch other roleplays get finished, but it is a miracle nowadays that I even get to finish just one roleplay. My muse is gone, and I work full time. But I normally have about 4-5 hours of computer time a day anyhow. I somehow catch up with lessons, but when it comes to roleplays, I get frustrated. I wonder if it will even finish. I mark my roleplays that I reply to as dead after a month without response. Half the time when I am lurking HNZ, I try to find global moderator things to go, such as updating the Graduation list, or something like that, because I don’t want to roleplay.

I see so much for characters, for biographys, for plots, for Accio, for Quidditch; I would love to participate in it all, but with my recent thoughts, I think the only thing I will be good for are my professor duties, and my moderating. Maybe a fancy looking biography. I had to shut down my Graphics shop for the time being because I don’t have the muse to make anything special. But I guess what is just disappointing to me is that sometimes, I spend so much time on a plot, it just falls apart. I think if that gets fixed, then my muse will return, and maybe I can get back on track. It takes me, up to two weeks to reply to a roleplay now, and I don’t want it to be like that. I want to broaden my plots, and stuff, but it seems like every time I try to, real life likes to kick the plans’ ass. xD

Perhaps nowadays I just need to relax and stick to bio-editing, lessons and moderating.

Hey, new blog for the new year! So, let me highlight what has happened over the previous seven days:

  • Facebook drama between my mother and Diana. I have ranted before about my mom, but things have most certainly changed since then
  • I end up crushing on a boy that has led me on in the past, but I am still making him grovel over it. *smirks* And the compliments and goofy stuff is nice. So, we are still friends for the time being.
  • I discover a new love for unique banners (example: Hadan’s current)
  • I worked my first 12 hour shift. Sucked ass
  • Made new friends

From the way the new year is starting out, it seems like my real life is booked, correct? Perhaps. This year brings along at least two large plots that have everything to do with Aleyha Devearux, my pet Parselmouth, the very plans that have been made over a year ago.

I also realized that when you truly love someone, it never stops hurting. I saw that one of my ex-boyfriends have just recently became single, and my heart jumped a bit. Gah, it has been like, 3 and 1/2 years, I should have been over him already. FML. Lol. But then there is that other crush, if it works out. IF. Can you all tell that I am just a complete mess? Keep in mind that I am a female, most females would know the time of when a woman’s feelings and attitude get all topsy turvy. I realized also, I want to be a mother one day. Well, pregnant, but not a mother. Ish. I know for a fact I am not ready to be a mother and support a baby (plus, marriage for me is required, and when I have some free moneys, I am going to buy me a purity ring!), but just the thought of being pregnant sounds cute and stuff, but scary and painful. I am friends with a pregnant girl in the class. I am probably empathizing for her, because I only felt like that when I was in short distance of her.

I am going to wrap this up with some things I look forward to within the next few months or so:

  • Contemplating actually going out and dating
  • Changing my last name
  • Going to the doctor after I have insurance
  • Getting a new car
  • Perhaps a cousin of mine moving in with me
  • Maybe when my aunt gets married, depending on when, if my uncle will allow me and my cousin to move in with him to attend a better college up there (I need to talk to both of them :r)
  • And college in the summer

Seems like I have it all down. Ranting, probably just something that frustrates me, but really, some things I started, they don’t mean much to me unless it affects my characters. So, if you all need a plot or a banner (absolutely NEED one), hit me up on my PM box, or on skype on the weekends. I am willing to RP with anyone, as long as there is no godmodding. ;)

Sincerely,

The Dark Orchid named Sir Kaitlyn



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Posi-Blawg

Note: I started writing this blog on Christmas Eve, but am only finishing it now – on December the 28th. So that should explain some of the time shifting between the content of the post and the date it actually gets posted. Enjoy!



This blog post was inspired by another blog which I tumbled across recently, when I heard a TEDx talk from the creator of the blog. The blog is 1000 Awesome Things in which the author identifies the small, awesome, things that happen now and then which we might not notice, but when we do we really appreciate just how great they are.

I must admit that I do have a knack for getting annoyed with things on HNZ. It’s often the small things, and those small things being repeated over and over and over again, which really get me – and then I blog. Normally it’s some insane rant, where even I have to wonder if I’ve finally lost my mind, then I get a handful of supportive messages from various members of HNZ, nothing really changes, life moves on… until the next blog.

With inspiration from 1000 Awesome Things, and the Holiday Season fully upon us, I figured I would take a break from the usual type of rant, and mix things up a bit. ^_^

Now, I know identifying 1000 Awesome Things about HNZ would be quite ambitious of me – especially considering that this is Christmas Eve and I fully plan on having this blog post up shortly. It could be done, undoubtedly, but it’d be a little much for me to just sit down and do right now – so instead I’ve resolved to do 10 awesome things. 10 awesome things about HNZ, big or small, that I often take for granted but truly appreciate, and they make me feel happy when I take a moment to stop and realize how truly awesome they are.

  • Banner Makers & Graphics Requests
    These are superbly awesome, but so often taken for granted. We’re a Harry Potter RPG – not a graphics community at all, but there are members in our community who have talents the rest of us severely lack and are willing to share their abilities openly, with anybody who asks, in a formal system like the Graphics Requests Forum. If it weren’t for people like the banner makers, HNZ would probably be a lot uglier of a place… or be filled with all of those dolls from ’07. *shivers* Banner makers are definitely something awesome which I fear many of us take for granted.
  • There’s always an open roleplay
    Plenty of roleplaying boards are full to the brim with “experienced” roleplayers who have strict plot maps for their characters, and very closed ideas for what is to happen to them. The fact that HNZ isn’t like that, and hopefully will never be like that, is pretty awesome when I stop to think about it. New members always have the option of joining a plethora of roleplays with established members. Not only that, but this also means that a certain amount of the roleplays on the site are somewhat spontaneous – and it’s these spontaneous roleplays which often turn out some of the most enjoyable results. I don’t like to imagine how stiff HNZ might be without those roleplays.
  • We welcome new people excitedly!
    Most welcome topics that are posted on HNZ, get three or more welcomes from various members. There are a handful that only have one or two – the ones that slipped through, I call them, but on the whole – we make sure new members know what to do, where to go, who to talk to, and most importantly: that we love that they’re on the site. As basic as this principle is, welcoming new members, it’s actually in short supply on many other forums. Even the most popular of forums, with tens of thousands of members, seem to have serious trouble welcoming new ones. On one forum, I posted a welcome topic and waited a week before even one person welcomed me. :( I then got a lot more attention when I pointed out how absurd that was. :tut: . So we’re doing pretty well (though there is always room to improve! ).
  • We’re not just a HP RPG Forum
    Some days, it seems like we’re not an RPG at all when the off topic board and the forum games area are getting much more attention than any roleplaying at all. But that’s kind of awesome, that despite the focus of the board being something else, we all make sure to get connected to one another, get to know the people behind the characters we’ve roleplayed with, and real friendships are forged. The community has evolved from the somewhat tenuous one of 2007, to one where 800 to 1000 page “spam” topics are ripped through regularly, we all seem to have each other on messenger and Facebook, many of us have met up with others and had a grand time, and the community continues to grow. While the growth of a community might seem natural on forums, I think HNZ does it in a way which still truly awes me. The fact that members have met on HNZ, then gone out of their way to meet in real life and their friendships have continued on, stronger than ever – that’s awesome. I can’t say I’ve ever actually considered meeting somebody from the board, but I’ve made tonnes of good friends, and met tonnes of amazing people on HNZ – and I think that’s something that I don’t always realize: how awesome the people on the board actually are, and how close-knit many of us have become.
  • If something is amiss… chances are somebody knows and eventually I’ll know
    As much as I may complain about being PM-spammed for things I already know, there are times when I don’t have a clue about things. Or when I genuinely forget and just need a gentle poke. Or when members pick up on something and do it before I even get that far down on my to-do list. If it weren’t for PMs like times like those, I think HNZ quite possibly would have drowned a long time ago. So never fear to PM me if you think something might have been legitimately forgotten (and you’re up to date on all the announcements, FAQ posts, and blog entries – where I might have admitted to knowing and being a bit late on things) – because such messages are really helpful, even if I don’t reply to you right away, and truthfully – quite awesome.
  • A thank you is never too far away.
    Even the simplest of things, like changing a new account’s group from “unsorted” to “member” seems to get a thank you. While it annoys me sometimes (because I’ve cleared out my PM inbox then suddenly I get 10 more PMs with a simple ‘thanks’), it’s really pretty awesome that gratitude is acknowledged and these things not just always taken for granted. If I had to choose between not getting any thank you replies, so my PM inbox could always be neat and tidy, and getting replies which might mess up my inbox, I think I’d take the thank you replies, for sure. Even though I often get annoyed by them, or take them for granted, they’re really nice, and I think I’d be more annoyed thinking nobody cared at all.
  • Everybody is ready and willing to congratulate other’s on their accomplishments
    This is really exemplified in how the latest character spotlight has more replies to it than the latest Bi-Weekly Update does. In fact, it currently has twice as many replies. It’s really cool, I think, that despite the spotlight being chosen every two weeks (or whenever we remember, whichever comes later), and despite it only being one person, everybody acknowledges how deserving that person is and takes the time out to congratulate them. Every member of HNZ is probably deserving of the character spotlight for one reason or another, but getting around to every member with only so many spotlights in a year will take a while, so it’s pretty great that while it may not be them for a while, everybody’s a great sport about it.
  • Inside Jokes
    While I may bemoan their uses in spam between two members who know each other outside of the forum, I think that inside jokes from HNZ itself are quite awesome. While they may make some newer members feel excluded, they also present an opportunity for those members to become a part of the community and help to crank out some of our future inside jokes. From alpha-bites to Kingy being – what is it? 700 years old? – to the Nicktator and Slaves to the Nicktator – these are just a few thing that I’ve been a part of (or the butt of) and always make me happy to think of. I know, too, that there are many more which I’ve forgotten, or was never a part of, but are just as much a part of HNZ’s community. I think jokes like these, and the ones that will surely come in the future, are something which I often just take for granted, but are really quite great.
  • People are interested, and take part in decision-making when they can
    While it seems to be the trend of democracy for people to take no interest in government, and HNZ is by no means a democracy… we do have a Nicktator, after all – but when a vote is posted (whether it be a giant site poll that we do once a year, or a poll about a major change/upgrade to the site, or just a poll added to a suggestion which we’d like to know the whole site’s take on) tonnes of people get involved and take the time to cast their vote. I trust that people are honest in their voting, and don’t use a plethora of accounts to rig the results in their favour. HNZ could be in a spot where, despite being active, absolutely nobody took an interest in the operations of the board or future changes to it, entrusting all such decisions solely up to the staff (decisions which they might later begrudge). Fortunately, we’re not. We have a community that is ready to take part in keeping the site together, and influencing the site’s directions for the future.
  • People don’t ask to become staff.
    Ok, so I’m not ending on the biggest one imaginable – but this is something I don’t normally think about, but when I do I reallllyyy appreciate it. I can’t care to count how many forums I’m a part of, or I know about, where people continuously request to become an administrator, or a member of the moderating team, or anything like that. Doing that often just eliminates people from being considered at all, and it’s pretty frustrating for the people who are staff. (Note: I must admit at this time, that I am guilty of having offered to be staff on HNZ in the very beginning – but it was more of a “You obviously need help, and you say nobody is willing, but I would be if you wanted…” sort of deal and totally got shot down. ;) ) So the fact that we don’t have that problem, at all, on HNZ is super awesome amazing sweet. It lets us worry about other things, and hand-pick staff whenever we think it’s time for another promotion. (Speaking of which… :r … I jest.)

So there’s my ten things about HNZ which I often take for granted, but think are super-awesome.
As I said above, there are obviously tonnes more, but I’ll leave those to your own imagining. ;)

I hope everybody has had a very awesome Holiday season, and will have a safe and happy New Year!

~Nick


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“I wouldn’t try to trick you.” – BOLOGNA! (AKA: A rather present absence)

I’m sure that many of you have read, or were at some point aware of, my absence post in which I informed HNZ of my impending leave of absence, attempted to assure users of the fact that they did not force me out, and reminisced to some degree about my three years on the site.

I also know that some of you were very disheartened with my post, while others rejoiced. So, the fact that I was only ever ‘gone’ for about a week was both a relief, and a let-down. Not only did I once more lurk the forums, I took up half of my duties again, personally coded some of HNZ’s largest code updates to date, and spent a fair amount of time ensuring users could not count to 10 before staff post. (See here)

Why such a severe post for an absence that really didn’t entail much of an absence?

Well, as far as I knew, I would be gone from HNZ for a very long time. All I knew was that I had to ‘leave’ and ‘leave’ was the only word I knew. I didn’t know if it was an absence, or a vacation, or forever. So, I took my initial week of being off and didn’t lurk HNZ except for my absence thread, only posted to let staff know what had to be done that I wouldn’t be doing, and that was about it.

I enjoyed my week from HNZ. In about 10 months of being HNZ’s sole administrator, I’d been fed up with a lot of things, and just couldn’t manage it anymore. HNZ was becoming a chore, not a hobby. I didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for me, either.

Now, I know some of you have been around as long as I have, some of you longer than I have, and many of you at least long enough to be familiar with Alicia Barker who was more-or-less HNZ’s sole administrator for several months, as well (before I was made an administrator, then Livvy grew active as an administrator once more). She managed it, just promoted new admin, and still remained the ‘Head Administrator’ for several more months before having to leave the site in the fall of 2008 for familial and educational reasons. However, there are some key differences between Alicia’s ability to manage the site alone, how she handled it when it was getting too much, and my situation. The first is the size of the site. From the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2010 HNZ has gained more than 4,000 user accounts. The site’s expansion was not limited to the member base, however. HNZ expanded in what was possible for users to do, what is expected from the staff, the community’s activities, etc. Being the sole admin of HNZ meant doing a lot more through 2010 than it had in 2008. Why not just promote another admin or two from the GMs? Well, this really ends up being mostly due to the fact that Livvy and I have become a team. We’re so used to just quickly running an idea by the other then going with it that adding another person would make them feel like a third-wheel, something I’ve said numerous times I wouldn’t do to one of our awesome GMs. It would also delay processing applications in that a third person would have to read them over and add their thoughts (during normal times). Outside of normal times (like during Livvy’s prolonged absence, or whenever I go away) – Livvy and I have been a two-person-duo-of-amazingness for long enough that we trust each other to make the right call for applications and just do it solo. Achieving that level of trust once more with a third admin could prove difficult, and time consuming for the first several months. So, if ever a time comes when a third admin is needed on HNZ, she (yes, I’ll say she since all our GMs have been women) should be added during a time when HNZ is running smoothly, that way a little delay while we get used to things can be handled. Throwing the person in to a wild whirlwind of chaos while one admin is away would probably be a very bad idea.

After that first week of being really away from HNZ, I realized that Livvy still wasn’t around, the staff didn’t have the means to change what needed to be changed, and things were piling up. HNZ would quite literally drown itself and (or, more optimistically, just stall) without some things happening. So I took to coding a few things. First, I coded the house points board information to be changeable by staff. Then I coded the character spotlight area to be changeable by staff. These two main things let the staff do most of what Livvy would have been responsible, which I normally handled myself. However, the problem of applications persisted.

At first I refused to touch them at all, then I realized just how far behind they were and that they would only be getting worse. So, in a few hours spare time over a couple of days I started processing the applications, using the system message feature of ZetaBoards to inform people of the status of their applications without messaging them from my account, where they might think I’d fully returned.

As midterms passed and I gained more free time, I started to socialize in the Off-Topic board again, something I hadn’t been able to do very much when I was doing everything admin-wise for HNZ before my ‘absence’. I offered new members welcome to HNZ, something I always enjoy doing, and I helped out a few members with peculiar account problems. At this point, the personal messages started pouring in. Despite technically being ‘gone’ from the board I was once more receiving countless group change requests, general questions, requests to roleplay, etc. These messages immediately stressed me out. I was relaxing, even if that relaxation was on HNZ! Why did I need to be spammed? I decided to ignore the messages. In the time it would take to reply to them all and explain why I wouldn’t help them, I could have just done what they wanted me to. This, however, proved even worse for my sanity. As I ignored PMs people started to grow impatient. They PMed as many as three times about the same issue, they bumped messages ‘reminding’ me of their presence, and one FAQ Topic was posted asking why an issue hadn’t been dealt with. It was at the FAQ topic that my sanity dissipated, and I posted explaining the situation. I could have easily dealt with the user’s group change several times over in the amount of time it took to explain everything, but now there was a principle at stake. For a time I even disabled my PM inbox, however I had to re-enable it to ensure new Professors could get the information they needed and I could be reached in the event of a true emergency on the board.

As time rolled on I continued to grow more active on the board. I processed applications openly, sending out messages from my own account, I coded more and more features as ideas came or complaints were lodged, I ensured forums opened and closed (mostly) on time, all because I knew if I wasn’t doing it, it wouldn’t be able to be done. Livvy’s real life took priority to HNZ, which is concept of that refrain which has really defined HNZ for the past 3.3ish years. “Real Life comes first”, the problem with this refrain in the context of site staff, however, is that if real life hits hard for enough of us simultaneously, the site is crippled. Fortunately, I have become adept at juggling HNZ and real life. I had rested well enough with the idea of leaving HNZ for a long while, and I couldn’t bear to see a site which I had poured countless hours or work in to, which I’ve seen and helped to grow, and where I have met so many great people, people I can call friends, and friends who enjoy their time on HNZ so dearly – I couldn’t see that type of site just slowly fall apart because I was tired of certain things.

So I did more than I said I was growing to, and gradually I came out of the absence which I had imposed on myself. Now, with my first set of University final exams looming, I know that my time is precious and I still may not be doing every little thing on HNZ, but I expect after finals I will be returning to HNZ in a fuller force. Rested, to some degree. Frustrated with some people for their ignorance and decision that it’s better to harass me than to let me rest, and with a lot of great ideas in mind for HNZ’s future.

Hopefully, Livvy will be back soon enough. Unfortunately, in the past 10 months we have seen her ‘return’ countless times only to leave again; so I am cautiously optimistic. I know Livvy misses the site, but real life really does have to come first, and juggling her life and the site also means effecting her child’s life, which is not something that should be done lightly. So her absences are understandable, but her return will be most anticipated. Hopefully, as well, HNZ will continue to grow at break-neck speeds which may well require an addition to HNZ’s admin team, who we can them bring on board with Livvy around so things are done properly. I’d love if HNZ became so large that eventually a whole team of admin are necessary. We’ll see. Hopefully everybody celebrating Hanukkah this year is enjoying themselves, everybody celebrating something else will enjoy themselves, we’ll all have a safe and happy end of 2010 and look forward to an amazing 2011. ^_^ (Any year that includes the conclusion of the Harry Potter series in film will undoubtedly be uber-awesome, amirite?)

Finally, I hope that anybody who reads this post can understand where I’m coming from. Why my post was so severe, how worn out I was, and how much I truly need the support of HNZ’s community in order to do the things I do.

~Nick

P.S: Excuse all grammar and spelling errors, please. I refuse to reread this rant, even if it is just to proof read it. =P


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Uncategorized

Frustration and Contemplations

So, we all know how things will have me frustrated to no end. Recently, I came across something on Facebook that really set me off. I mean, Jessye had to sit and hear me rant over just how stupid people are nowadays. I remember something in the Bible (don’t ask me where, cause I don’t know where) “Do not attempt to remove a speck from another’s eye without removing the plank from your own eyes.” I believe this with my entire being. Pretty much, stop being a freaking hypocrite. Unless I am reading that wrong. Which I strongly doubt.

I’ve been nice to people, and from the vine, I’ve received some sour grapes full of insults and such about me; about my friends; about the site staff. It disappoints me and I dare not repeat the things they say. It angers me so much that we, the site staff, spend a lot of our time making sure that the members get what they want. We stress ourselves out so that you members can have your HNZ. I have been to other sites, and their staff could careless about what the members and how they felt. HNZ is a heart-warming community, yet people try to take advantage of something. Then they blame it all on the ‘cliques’ just when they don’t get what they want. Favoritism…another word that goes along with the cliques.
I want to point out that someone like me, someone who has a lot of honors, even I have been rejected with applications. Two, that I remember, and I rarely put in applications. I’ve have to tweak and work to get mine approved. Not because I am a Global Moderator, but because my applications are thorough, and because they aren’t just thrown together from a show or something. They are original. I spend a lot of time on my applications, and well, sometimes, life just doesn’t want to spoil me and give me everything I want. I see that rejection is what gotten a lot of people against the site staff. More importantly; Nick and Livvy. I wonder if those people who know that they were rejected….they can easily apply again with a more thorough application at a later time. It isn’t that hard to do, and it isn’t the end of the world when you see that your application has been denied. Come on, people, this isn’t school. :tut:
As far as the ‘cliques’ go, I am not going to point out people. That would be just rude. However, people will band together, and RP with the other more than other people because they get along with someone better than the other. It is life. For example, I RP with Jessye a lot, that is no coincidence. We are best friends and very close. Yet, she is not the only RP with, and she RPs with others other than me. I love to RP, with about anyone so long as you don’t go back on your word, and don’t mess up anything, or leave me hanging. If you aren’t interested in a plot with me, don’t plan it out, and not reply. I get excited too, and thus, this affects my muse, and I come to think that my plots that smart and awesome because I allowed one person to affect me.
What does make me laugh though, is that people complain that they don’t get anything. No rewards (prefect status, professor character, whatever). You know what makes me laugh? When that person has not done anything to receive that honor. They think they deserve it, but they don’t. If you don’t do anything, and if you don’t RP and act nice to other members, you can’t expect to get much. This applies to everyone in life. You only get what you deserve. No matter how long you have been on HNZ, for example, but you don’t do much at all, you don’t get anything special just because you’ve been around. You have to really commit. I guess this goes to jobs too. My brother has failed to realize this, and well, this may apply to those on HNZ, but I have no idea if it does or not.
What else makes me laugh, is when a group of people constantly know what another group is doing, and mocking it. I have realized this: this is obsession. That obsessive group follows the other group, watches what they do, what they say, all the time, and mocking it for their own enjoyment. I wonder if they realize that the other group doesn’t care what they do, because the obsessive will just keep thinking about them, because it is eating them inside. That obsessive is doing nothing but wasting their time on following this other group that is well known and very friendly – more often than not – and the obsessive group doesn’t do anything at all. This has happened to me – where I was being followed, being mocked, and all this jazz. You know what I did? I laughed. Nothing like that phases me, because I know that they are just trying to improve their lives, by attempting to make me and my friends feel like scum…but they fail.
That has happened so much at school and everywhere else, that I am usually the last one to know. Rumors about me about to beat up someone or something, I am always the last to know. Half the time, I am just confused and I burst into laughter.
Other than the fact that I am receiving amusement from the ignorance and stupidity of people, that has been on my mind. People judge another, and that happens. But they never judge themselves. If you think you deserve, but has not earned it, and you complain, you know that is only bringing down yourself. If you apply this to the career path, you will receive failure. I would know, for I have seen it happen to my brother. He blames everyone else for himself, says that the world is against him when he needs to just grow up and earn himself a place. My advise to you all, is if you think that you aren’t getting everything you want because of favoritism, I want you to think twice. There is no proof of these happenings, and no proof of ‘cliques’.
That seven letter word makes Nick weep. But what does make me? It makes me laugh. Generally, the people that say there are cliques, are technically in them themselves. If you think about it, cliques are bands of friends, that stick together, and possible ignore everyone else, and tease the other. That is freaking high school. HNZ is not a high school.
That has been on my mind a lot lately.
Thanks for reading!
~ Sir Kaitlyn


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Admin Stuff Applications HNZ Life OOC

Applications: What the heck is up and how are they processed?

Introduction
Applications are a very important part of HNZ. They moderate who can say their character is/does what, and helps keep the board from becoming rampant with Mary Sue type characters which would surely annoy most people on HNZ. They have become ingrained in the culture of the site, I believe, and when they cannot be processed as quickly as I would like, or you would like, it becomes a frustrating matter.

Yes, me.
What’s this? Processed as quickly as I would like? Yes, me. I like applications to move quickly as well. I don’t like holding on to them for ages – they clutter things. 😉 Having them around for too long makes me go a little bit crazy.

So what’s the hold up?
Right now, as many have noted, applications seem at a bit of a stand still. This is as frustrating to me as it is to you all, but likely even moreso to me. Why, you ask? Well, you’re waiting on one or two applications. I see all twenty or so currently in queue. The hold up? As you should know, Livvy has been dealing with some large real-life problems and (as says what has effectively become the ancient statement of HNZ) ‘Real life comes first’.

Real Life Comes First
I think it’s humorous that when members are going away and leaving behind work for the Global Moderators or Administrators to catch up, for the sake of the site, we still say ‘Real life comes first’. However, when it is an Admin who needs the time off, nobody seems to be able to have patience. At all. The song of ‘real life comes first’ fades away to a mob of angry villagers, pitchforks in hand, ready to go find the monster.

Trying to Catch Up
Nearly every application, however, does have a response from me. Some are even mid-discussion between Livvy and I. Unfortunately, it seems Livvy’s life has taken her for another whirl and HNZ time has had to be cut. Livvy doesn’t like to hold things up, but she loves administrating HNZ and definitely wants to be a part of the approval process. So, I trust she will catch up in a timely manner. If she knows she won’t be able to catch back up in a timely manner, then she will ask me to process applications until she can catch back up. As much as ‘real life comes first’, there are still ways we can adhere to that without ensuring applications drown.

Mid-Discussion? Wait, so how do applications work – exactly?
I have a feeling, based on some of the results from the recent site poll that not everybody is aware of how applications are processed on HNZ. What we look at for them, and why it is that applications get denied – even when hard work has obviously been put in to them.

Every form that is sent in is given a topic in a hidden forum. There are plenty of these forums for every type of application, with approved and denied archives as well for future referencing. It’s all very helpful, actually. When a new application comes in, Livvy and I read the topic then post our initial reactions. We discuss the application with each other if applicable, and either: Approve it, suggests tweaks to it and approve it when the tweaks are ironed out, or deny it.

So what is it, exactly, that we look for in applications? Here are some of the basic things:

  1. Is it canon?
    If an application, in any way, breaks with our knowledge of the canon Harry Potter universe – it is denied.
  2. Does it make sense?
    We look over applications to ensure that what they say makes sense. If a person applies to be a Death Eater, for instance, but comes from a loving household, doesn’t believe in any sort of blood supremacy, and has no reason to be a Death Eater – then such applications are denied. It may be funny, but if something doesn’t make sense then it could really screw other things up. Making sense is very crucial.
  3. What would the repercussions of this be?
    For many applications, especially plot requests, things effect characters outside of the plot, too. Usually this is in minor ways, but sometimes it can be major. Take, for instance, a plot request where an unspeakable has found a cure for werewolves. It doesn’t go against canon – nothing says there can’t be a cure. It might make perfect sense, too. But the plot would effect everybody on the site and the future of the site as a whole. It would likely negatively influence many other character’s developments as well. If that is the case, that the repercussions of a request would be largely negative and widespread – it is denied.
  4. How common should it be?
    For special ability applications especially this is considered. We only truly meet one metamorphmagi in the Harry Potter novels, through all seven books. This indicates how truly rare the ability is. We receive plenty of requests for this gift, however. So we must consider how common it should be and, if enough have already been approved for the time being, no more are accepted (even if they’re all pretty good) unless the application just blows our minds.
  5. How many other special things does this roleplayer have?
    This is something that must be considered in conjunction with How common should it be?. We don’t want two roleplayers having a character with every possible special ability and nobody else on the site being able to have anything. We want to spread the wealth a little, so this must be considered. Has the person had many applications recently? How many special things does this person already have? Could we approve this for somebody else who does not have as many special approvals?
  6. Is this user in good standing?
    This is also something we must consider. Members who constantly break board rules, are rude to anybody and everybody, etc. shouldn’t be given special allowances. It is a reward, almost, to have special plots approved, have characters with special abilities, etc. So why should a user who doesn’t care about site rules be given plenty of extra awesome things while rule-abiding members might not? It’s just one of the many prices of rule breaking.
  7. Plenty More
    There are several more considerations that are given to applications in that time that Livvy and I review them. It’s not just a quick read and a rash response, thought is given to applications, and the most appropriate response given – even if it’s not something the applicant wants to hear.

Conclusion
In summary: Stop complaining. Don’t be hypocritical. We take necessary time and thought for applications.

That is all. ^_^

~Nicolas


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Admin Stuff Aurors Blog Future HNZ OOC Plans Positivity

HNZ: My hopes, plans & ideas

So, normally I use HNZ to blog rant about whatever has been annoying me, on or off of the site. I’ve even considered writing a “how to blawg rant” sort of blog rant where I would analyze my own blog rantings to see what made them so humorous to some and offensive to others. This post, however, will be more blog and less rant. Surprising, I know.
So, without further ado, the blog itself:

Contrary to what it seems like, I do have a lot of ideas, hopes, and plans for HNZ. Some of them are a lot larger than others, and some of them are quite unrealistic, but nevertheless I have them and strive toward implementing them.

Some of the ideas you’ve already seen thrown in to action with little to no consultation with the site, some of the ideas I’ve heard as suggestions and am just waiting for the right form to execute them in, others are ongoing as I type and many, many, others are just little inklings of thought in the back of my mind.

So, where does Nick see HNZ going? What big plans and hopes do I have for the site? I’ll share a few with you now. ^_^

Right, so first I’ll start with some of my more minor ideas – easy to implement, but I mostly want feedback on or need the help of members to do.

  • Twitter Profile Field
    The Twitter profile field was added to HNZ, but I’ve been thinking about updating its coding just a little such that if the user has inserted a link to their twitter account it becomes clickable. It’s a small thing, and easy to do, but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra three lines of code on the site.
  • Constant Feedback (Through the proper channels)
    Recently the giant suggestions topic disappeared and in its place came the Suggestions & Feedback forum. This was in an effort to invite users to openly post their own suggestions or feedback about the site, then facilitate discussion on the topic instead of just having one response and things moving on. You’ll notice, however, that the forum is no longer just ‘Suggestions’. It is ‘Feedback’ as well. This means we want to hear what you think, not just grumblings over MSN and whatever spam topic is open. An excellent example of this is Interactive Lessons. Recently a discussion has been opened about them where users were invited to share their ideas and opinions. Now, interactive lessons began several months ago and I’ve heard grumblings about it on and off since then. What stopped those users from posting feedback, constructive criticism, and their own ideas? Nothing on my end, I should hope – but I don’t know.
  • A better understanding that Livvy & I work as a team
    This has become difficult as of late, because often it is only one of us that warns any given user, or one of us that replies stating an application has been denied. Often, when it is the same admin and the same user over time, the user develops animosity toward the one admin and favours the other, somehow thinking that our opinions differ, when this is very seldom true. Hopefully I’ve taken a step toward mending that, where one of us takes all the heat, in the most recent update to the applications system – but we’ll have to wait to see.
  • All (or most all) Applications on Webpages
    Right now we seem to be caught between two systems. The older, ‘copy/paste this form to apply’ system (still used for Hogwarts Staff, Professors, Shopkeepers, and Ministry Officials) and the newer webpage/mostly automated application system (as seen with Purebloods, Plot Requests, Special Abilities etc.).
    The trouble with updating is many-fold. First, making the webpages is time consuming. This is not a large concern of mine, but it is one to consider in conjunction with the others.
    Next, for Professors – applications are only open when we are specifically hiring for a post. Otherwise, the form is moot. How, then, are we to indicate when/if we’re hiring – and would we have to update the form every time we need a new professor?
    The final trouble is the shopkeeper application. Shopkeepers can open their own shop (note: that is currently on hold) or fill a vacant shop. If they are trying to fill a vacant shop, the same trouble as professors pops up.

Of course, I also have some much larger plans than those – many of which are just pipe dreams, but thoughts I’ve had nonetheless.

  • Member Run: Aurors & Death Eaters
    This is something I, personally, would like to see in the future some time. A few trusted members taking on Aurors and Death Eaters, keeping Admin in the loop, and ensuring things stay active and exciting. Livvy and I have tonnes on our plates, we’re trying to organize and encourage DE/Auror activity while still monitoring it/tempering it so it doesn’t get out of hand. In the past, Death Eaters have been self-run, and I think both groups could do so with OOC leaders from the member base. Maybe just not yet.
  • Ministry of Magic: Election(s)?
    This is something that is likely happening, and soon. Possibly starting in Y10, if I can get some things together for it.
    Gellert Coote has been Minister for Magic for at least eight years. That’s a fair length of office term, and it’s time he retired. So who is next to lead the Magical Community of New Zealand and its Ministry in to the future? Well, I’d like that to be up to the residents of New Zealand themselves. I think it’d be a grand way for members to get involved in the site. Create characters to run in the campaign (or, better yet, use existing ones) have speeches, slogans, buttons and banners, make election promises nobody can keep, expose skeletons in each other’s closets… and then… voting day! New Zealand elects its newest leader.
    Of course, some OOC strings would need to be attached too – as having such an important character for the whole site makes things a bit complicated. The roleplayer of that account would need to talk to Admin frequently and keep us in the loop on things – but I think that’s something fun to look forward to that could add so juice to the Ministry-aspect of HNZ. ^_^
  • A New Custom Theme?
    HNZ has been using the same amazing theme made by Athene Perthro for nearly two years now. It’s excellent, I love it, it means “HNZ” to me – but sometimes change is nice. Something fresher and newer could likely entice visitors to join the board and I’m always one to see what new things might work.
    This is something I’ve pursued to some degree previously, but unfortunately it hasn’t come through, so it’s something I keep in my mind. If we were to have a new theme designed for HNZ – or even coded for it (though I could do that myself, really) – it would be a nice way to liven up some aspects of the board (though I always intend to keep Athene’s skin in the theme chooser).
  • Web Hosting for HNZ
    This is one of the larger dreams really that I have for the site. I say dream because of how unlikely it is to happen, but it could be quite awesome if it ever did.
    What would web hosting mean? Well, it would mean that we would be able to integrate some PHP to the forum and host many things ourselves – such as the galleons script which, currently, is being graciously provided and hosted by my friend Scott (Slayer766) on his web host. This would also mean that HNZ could be given a front page of sorts before accessing the forums, which would contain quick links, information, announcements, a login system of sorts etc. which could all be tied directly back to the board with ZetaBoard’s upcoming API.
    Now, why is this unlikely to happen? The simple fact of web hosting costing money. The most basic plan with the company I buy HNZ’s domain from is $72.24(CAD) for a year of hosting. I already pay ~$25(CAD) a year for the domain and my privacy protection on the domain – so that would be nearly $100 a year spent on the site. Not too terribly much, when given that it’s a whole year – but it’s a fair amount when I don’t have a credit card to pay through (so I buy stupid prepaid ones) and my job isn’t that great. Plus, I’m going in to University and will therefore be in debt the rest of my life, the way it’s looking. I also never want to put up a paypal link asking members to donate to HNZ, nor do I want to start a project that costs money without personally having the means to back that project for an extended period of time. It would suck if I paid for a year, then couldn’t pay for the next year and somehow no members came through with donations, and we lost whatever we’d become so used to/dependant on.

That’s about all the plans/hopes/ideas/dreams I think I want to share right now.
I would like to comment that in the past week, maybe two weeks, I have thoroughly enjoyed the air about the community on HNZ. A lot of negativity and animosity seems to have been taken away somehow, and I’m very optimistic for the future. ^_^

Thank you all for making HNZ so awesome, and I welcome you to share any feedback on these hopes/plans/ideas of mine. ^_^

~Nick


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