January 19th, 2003
|03:53 pm - EW Mods -- Post Eight -- Mod Comments|
Mod comments. They're in between the THANKS! and update info. Moderators leave comments when pictures are rejected. (or when we like stuff) Usually they're pretty specific. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read what we're saying. We're trying to help people out. If you read what we say, and change your pic/story, it'll usually get in a second time, or if you move pictures from one area to another it's really appreciated. I've modded tickets where the pics have been edited or moved to be in genre, and it's always nice to see that happen, because it means people listen. quick note... mentioning the changes you made to make the pic on topic might help.
On the other hand, don't try to reupload a rejected picture without editing it. It won't help. We can see when and why pictures are rejected. So reuploading and hoping you'll get a different nicer mod who'll let you in? Ain't gonna happen.
If you feel you've been unfairly rejected, or don't know why you were though, feel free to email the support staff. Upload and link to the rejected picture so we're able to see it, and the support staff will take a look at it, and tell you why it was rejected. Or if you're lucky, tell you it shouldn't have been. But READ THE ENTIRE EMAIL FIRST. I've done support tickets where people were given the reason for rejection, but didn't see it.
so, to summarize:
1. Read the entire email. Carefully.
2. Read the mod comments, change your pic/story so it's alright and feel free to reupload. Mention the changes.
3. Don't reupload pictures without editing them. It'll just get rejected again. And tick off the mods.
4. If you have any questions or disagree, ASK! that's what the support email is for!
December 7th, 2002
|07:34 pm - EW Mods -- Post Seven -- On Fantasy|
okie. Just some reminders for everybody.
Reminder #1 Anime, and portraits
Lets say you upload a generic blue haired anime human lady portrait. First thing to remember is... ANIME DOES NOT EQUAL FANTASY. Portraits ARE NOT ALWAYS FANTASY If you say "i drew this cuz i wuz bored" or "this is my best friend anime style" it's not gonna get in. It's not fantasy. If you claim it's an rpg character in the description, it can go one of two ways, depending on the rest of the update and your gallery.
Case 1: Most of your gallery and update is filled with this type of picture. Nothing really too fantasy about much of them, but they could maybe pass as rpg characters. It's not going to get in. VISIBLE elements of fantasy are really quite important.
Case 2: Most of your gallery and update has visible elements of fantasy. Like angels and dragons and elves with glowy swords. Or even another pic of the lady with the portrait (the one without visible fantasy) casting a spell or something. Then the portrait of the rpg character without obvious fantasy elements will probably get in.
Reminder #2, normal animals
Normal looking animal.... like a wolf or tiger. NOT fantasy. If you say it's an rp character, it's still just a normal animal to us. If you say it's a werewolf and it looks EXACTLY like a normal wolf.... we'll treat it as a normal wolf. There are a few exceptions. If it looks like a normal wolf, but you call it a werewolf and have it chasing down a unicorn, fine. If you call it a werewolf and have other pictures of it in 1/2 human 1/2 wolf form, it should be alright. Linking to that would help a lot.
#1 Anime is a style of art. It's not automatically fantasy, even if you give the person blue hair.
#2 You can have some portraits of characters without visible elements of fantasy in your gallery IF the rest of the gallery is obviously fantasy AND the description is fantasy.
#3 Normal animals are not fantasy. If you say they're fantasy, back it up with something.
#4 If a pic of a character doesn't have fantasy elements, but other pictures of that character do, MENTION the other pictures, or even better, LINK TO THEM.
|06:50 am - EW Mods -- Post Six -- Surprise! Another update!|
The end of the year is approaching. We're adding a few more moderators to (hopefully) help us work through the ticket queue a little quicker. The queues were extremely backed up for a little while there, but everything is slowly getting back on track.
Now would be a great time to join. The new join queue is quite barren.
Expect several days for a Lothlorien, Zone47, Wyvern's Library, or Fanquarter ticket to go through.
A few reminders:
Please, please, please do not upload something that you know is going to be rejected. If you think it doesn't meet the genre requirements then it probably doesn't.
Current Mood: calm
September 15th, 2002
|03:50 am - EW Mods -- Post Five -- Surprise! An update!|
Wyvern's Library tickets are no longer backed up. The WL mods
have done a great job with the queue and things are running rather smoothly.
Speaking of Wyvern's, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that
the file size limit for stories is 100Kb and the maximum illustration size is
The entire ticket queue is moving rather well. A few new
moderators have been added to the team, which may or may not have something to
do with it.
That's it for now, so cheerio and happy Elfwooding!
edit: Oh! I forgot to mention that this month's Woodworks is out.
Current Mood: cheerful
July 19th, 2002
|03:23 pm - EW Mods -- Post Four -- No, we haven't forgotten this journal.|
It's been said before and we'll say it again (and again, and again, and again): looking at what place you are in the queue is more or less useless.
Presently Wyvern's Library tickets are severely backed up. Many of the mods for this particular area are on vacation, gone, or quite possibly dead. As library tickets remain the most difficult to handle, our current short staffing is causing a jam up. Be patient, it's being worked on. In the meantime, if your ticket is not a Wyvern's Library ticket, it will probably be taken care of in under a week, and we stress that, as Wyvern's Library tickets are moving very slowly, checking your place in the queue may not tell you very much.
If you would like to help us deal with this, remember that when submitting a Wyvern's ticket, doing more, but smaller, tickets is a much better route to go. In Wyvern's, larger tickets may take days to process, especially considering few moderators have the patience or physical ability to read through a ticket containing 34 stories in one sitting. Moderators are just human: our butts fall asleep, too.
Current Mood: working
Current Music: the sound of a mod suddenly wondering if they can get Mirar to install a radio in the extranet...
March 26th, 2002
|04:14 pm - EW Mods -- Post Three Point Five -- Another Brief Note on Library Updates|
The Library Moderators would like to announce that there is a Graphic-Eating Monster on the premises.
The Graphic-Eating Monster or GEM, as we've named it, is believed to be a bug that has come in contact with George. It lives off the pixels of any image that passes into the screening halls of the library and is known to be particularly fond of anything marked 'me.jpg'. All writers are advised to hold on to their photos and illustrations until the Extermination Team removes our little problem and declare the Library a safezone for images again.
Thank you for your coorperation.
Current Mood: hopeful
March 21st, 2002
|02:47 am - EW Mods -- Post Three -- It's a long road to success. It's a long post, too.|
We'd like to start by asking all of you out there reading this to feel free to give the journal URL to people who complain about modding. And for the people complaining, particularly in Elfwood-related communities.... There are around 25 mods right now, all of whom are presumably active enough members in Elfwood to want to volunteer in the first place. If they're that active, don't you think they might be involved in Elfwood communities? After all, Thomas isn't growing us in cloning vats in his basement. So before you complain, either make sure you have a valid basis for your complaint, or else consider just who might be listening.
Now, some current stats for the interested. The are currently about 25 mods, about 20 of which have been active the last five days. Where'd the other five go? Spring break. No, really. We do have lives, remember? :)
On the other hand, due to the global nature of Elfwood, which is reflected in the mods, as well as some of the more... interesting... sleeping habits some mods possess, modding is literally going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chances are someone is always modding.
Time in queue is currently running, at max, about eight days, but that's only for joins. Library, Zone, Loth, and FanQ tickets are all currently running at about six days or less. You may have seen in the extranet that the oldest ticket was around 15 days old, but this isn't representative of the actual queue--only one ticket is this old, and we've been saving it for an obscure modding reason which we cannot reveal unless we kill you.
So, to repeat: the queue time is around a week; sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. Not two weeks, not three weeks, and most certainly not a month, unless of course something really wrong happens with your ticket. Errors do sometimes happen, and sometimes tickets need to be held a little longer in order for the mod in question to consult with a higher authority. And keep in mind, we're just talking individual ticket processing: if your work gets rejected for a correctable problem and you fix and resubmit, that's an entirely new ticket and new time count.
Also: don't refresh your progress in the queue every five minutes! This slows down the extranet and as a result, actually slows down the processing of tickets. Checking once a day is probably best, but if you must check your progress more often than that, try once every two hours.
In the last post, we mentioned that there's been a problem with bouncing emails, and we're like to repeat that. Indeed, more than 95% of the mails that the moderators address at Elfwood receives are bounces. Sometimes this is because a fake email address is used, and sometimes it's because the email has been typo'd. Sometimes it's just because the mailbox it's being sent to is full. So make sure our emails can reach you before emailing us to ask why you haven't received any response!
Now, in our last post, we promised some tips on making your ticket faster and easier for the mods to process, so here we go:
For those of you who have successfully negotiated joining and are putting together your first publish, we recommend starting with more than the minimum number of needed items. If you're getting an art gallery, we recommend six to eight items, and if you're getting a Wyvern's Library shelf, we recommend at least four. This way if there is a problem with even several of your items, you can still get published. If it's your first publish, however, and you fall below the minimum requirements of your area, the entire ticket will unfortunately be rejected, and if that happens, you'll have to fix things, resubmit, and wait through the line again.
Keep the above in mind if you're removing items at the same time as submitting new ones. Don't remove so many items that if your new items are rejected you'll fall below the limit!
Now, if you want to get your updates processed faster, or at least make it easier on the mods...
First of all, keep in mind that the size limit on pictures is 700X700. Art mods find themselves rejecting pictures that range higher than 1000X1000. Why do we enforce these limits? Well, Elfwood hopes to be a place where people on almost all kinds of computers can view and enjoy art, and unfortunately many people have small screens. Even with 700X700 some screen resolutions will have to scroll to see all the picture. Also, slower connections will have difficulty loading your work.
This problem is also why the art mods generally prefer updates of less pictures over more. Sure, uploading 20 new pictures gives you practically a whole new gallery, but think of the poor mod who may be trying to load all your images on a single page -- over a dial up connection. Quite a few of us are blessed with LANs, Cable, and other fast connections but there's never enough to go around. Remember: kindness to mods = good karma.
We also prefer smaller updates to the Library. Many of our mods feel an intense urge to run screaming at the sight of a library update with ten items -- because unless these are all small items, it can take hours to read through and process a single ticket of that size. Remember that mods check everything -- which means we have to read the entire story! So smaller, but more often, updates are probably better.
Plus, if you update more often, but smaller, there'll always be something new in your Library or Gallery -- which can be nice in and of itself.
Another extremely important thing to remember for the library is that the rules have been clarified by the ERB and we will stick to them. If we can't, in and of itself, tell that a story or poem fits into the accepted genres of Wyvern's Library, it will be rejected. Also, all text must be in black, and must be uniform. By that we mean that you can go ahead and center or maybe enlarge chapter headings and the like, but all the text within the main body of text must: A: be of the same font face; B: be of the same font weight; and C: be indented along the same pattern. Switching from a heavy weight Times New Roman indented font to a non-indented light Verdana font halfway through a story will almost certainly get the story rejected!
We'd also really, really like to recommend that you don't rely upon Word alone to generate your HTML. Word produces HTML with often mixed results. If you're looking for text-to-HTML converter, you may find the source of some linked to in the FAQ.
That's it for this edition of As the Queue Turns. Up next: We're not sure yet, but it might involve George.
Current Mood: mischievous
March 8th, 2002
|04:08 am - EW Mods -- Post Two -- An Ode to Joins|
The moderators of new joins, upon observing a trend in the Wyvern's joins to say that Wyvern's is only for pre-modern fantasy, would like to make a statement. The statement is "Huh?"
Yes, it's time for another EW Moderators post. We're dedicating this post to joins, and advice for how better to assure your join actually gets accepted--and believe us, people apparently desperately need these tips.
Now, we understand it's unlikely many people will read this LJ before sending in a new application to Elfwood, but we're hoping that some of you may know people who intend to join and can pass this along.
First, and perhaps most importantly: double check your application before sending it on it's way. We get lots of errors that could be avoided otherwise, such as questions with no answers, email glitches, and so on. Make sure you've answered everything--applications where a question was left blank will not be approved--and make sure your email address is correct. After all, if it's not, even if you do get approved, we've no way of telling you.
Also, make sure there's no way the email could bounce. For instance, hotmail's junk filter tends not to like mail from Elfwood. Also, if you're on AOL, you have to go into mail controls and make sure you're set to accept mail from the internet. Another thing that could cause problems is if your mailbox has reached it's size limit and can't accept any new mail. Remember, regardless of the results of your ticket processing, if the mail can't reach you, you'll never know--and even if you email us to ask why you haven't heard anything, any reply is likely to bounce as well!
Secondly, there are certain questions we're noticing almost everybody misses. Now, while we can't give out the answers to the questions, even in a place like this which will most likely be read largely by pre-existing members, we would like to advise a few areas you might want to double check before submitting a join. The sections dealing with how Elfwood runs and who the Mods and the ERB are in the FAQ is particularly important, as is rereading the ERB main page to understand what to do in the situations you will be asked about.
We also want to note--because we really see this a lot--that if you answer "I don't know" or some variant to a question, we're probably going to just consider it wrong. C'mon people, this is practically an open book test! Open another browser window and check what the rules page says as you're taking the quiz. No one is going to accuse you of cheating. o.- In fact, we're okay with the entire concept, because at least that proves you've read the rules once.
Thirdly: the misconceptions about Wyvern's Library are becoming almost frightening. The number of people applying to WL who don't even seem to understand what it's for are alarming, and for once we're not just talking about people who seem to think non-genre stuff is acceptable. We've seen joins that consistently insist poetry is unacceptable in the library, joins which seem to believe you can upload in just about any file format from Word docs to Appleworks, and perhaps most frightening, a vast number of people who believe that Wyvern's Library is only for pre-modern fantasy. That's Lothlorien, people! It was amusing the first few times, but by now the mods are just plain worried. So tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your Aunt Flora--you know, the weird one that makes lace dollies--that all types of fantasy (high, medieval, mythological, modern, futuristic), all types of science fiction, and all supernatural horror are just fine in Wyvern's Library.
We'd also like to suggest that you try not to be witty on the join forms. It's not that we don't like humor (if you still have that impression, you need desperately to reread these entries), it's that, if you checkmark a wrong answer as a lark or something similar, we have no way of telling you're joking, and so that will count as a wrong answer and could very likely get you rejected.
There is also likely to be a seven to ten days max wait on join forms. Why so long? We're getting a great deal of join applications and this is just how long it takes to work through them all. The problem may get better as we get more mods, or may not. Be patient!
And finally, we mods are adopting the rat. If you've looked at the new join forms for Zone47 or Lothlorien you may recall a question involving a giant mutated rat. The rat, we feel, gets an unnecessary amount of bad press. We like the rat. We've named him George. So please, don't dis George anymore. o.-
Remember to encourage people to watch this journal for more information. Our next post should be tips and tricks for making your update or first publish ticket faster and easier for mods to process.
Current Mood: surprised
Current Music: The rustling of a constantly shifting stack of pending tickets
March 5th, 2002
|07:36 pm - EW Mods -- Post One|
As of this, the first entry in the Elfwood Moderator's LiveJournal, the ticket system has been in place for a little over three weeks. Bugs have been reported, found, fixed, refixed, and occasionally beaten into submission. More than 8,000 tickets have been processed, in all of the categories -- new joins, FanQ, Zone47, Loth, and the Library. More than 2,000 tickets remain in the queue, but ticket processing goes on 24/7.
And we mods, frankly, are utterly exhausted. o.-
The purpose of this LJ is to fill in anything we mods might wish the public to know -- not necessarily just errors and bugs we see cropping up fairly regularly, but little humorous things. The mods are, contrary to some opinions, quite a silly bunch, and you might, while reading this journal, be startled into laughter a time or two. This is encouraged -- after all, like the ERB, the mods are regular people too. Regular people who happen to own a flamethrower. And a tank. And a rocket launcher. But really, aside from that, absolutely regular.
(The above was a place to laugh. Try it. It feels quite good.)
Moving on to address some concerns;
Yes, it is taking a while to process tickets. That was always one of the drawbacks of the current system, complicated further by the fact that there are relatively few moderators currently, many if whom are still learning their duties as they go along. Keep in mind, however, that back in the olden days of Elfwood, publishing delays like this were quite common, and it remained fairly common for Wyvern's Updates to take a while to process even when Zone and Loth updates became faster.
As we said, many of the mods are new and still learning their duties -- in fact, even the most experience mods are still coming across new situations that require redefining of their duties! Naturally this makes for a certain amount of inevitable errors. Please, be patient with us, as we're trying to be patient with you. We've heard the complaints, and are trying to make our rejections more specific as to exactly why things were rejected, and if a problem crops up where you're sure the moderator has made an error, a polite, well worded email to moderators @ elfwood.lysator.liu.se, explaining your case and the error(s) you think was made, will usually produce some kind of result, if only a clarification of why an item was rejected. Please, if you are writing about a rejected picture, include a copy of the picture if at all possible, preferably in the form of a link to a site where it is stored.
Those of you with Library tickets may have noticed these are moving slowest of all. However, there's a reason for this: library tickets generally take the longest to process. After all, it takes you longer to read a story than it does to look at a picture, doesn't it? Also keep in mind that library mods are enforcing the clarified Library content rules, visible at erb or in the Rules section, so some items that might have been postable before no longer are. Again, be patient with us -- we're reading as fast as we can!
Joining Apps are not required to be 100% correct -- in fact, we only ask they be about 90% correct. However, a great many join apps are still being rejected, so if you or anyone you know is thinking of submitting an app, tell them to be very careful about their answers and to go over the Rules and FAQ at least once more before applying. You can, of course, apply again after being rejected, but this makes more work and a longer queue for the mods, so it's best if you get it right the first time.
That about concludes it for the first, and largely serious, post of the moderators to the world at large. As a closing thought, if you should be interested in becoming a mod yourself, email hr @ elfwood.lysator.liu.se (remove the spaces) mentioning that you with to volunteer as a moderator.
And big thanks to everyone who has expressed appreciation for what we do. At the end of the day, a little thanks can make a big difference. :)
Remember to add this journal to your friends list or bookmark it if you want to keep up on the status of the mods and modding, our advice for better results, and other useful updates.
Current Mood: cheerful