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  • Weasley 2
  • Undercliffe 1
  • Egg 1

About this blog

Reports, Ramblings, and Revelations from your moderating team

Entries in this blog


Welcome to GSD Club!

Welcome to GSD club!   We've envisioned this club with two purposes in mind: Create a space where members can get involved and help with certain projects for the betterment of VH Keep members informed about VH and what the mods are working on   Your moderators have a lot of things we're working on at anytime and often could use a bit of help. We haven't had a great way to recruit help apart from asking people directly. And we know a lot of our members have busy lives and may not be able to commit to a steady job, but may like the opportunity to jump in and help with projects now and then. At least we hope so!   Also, we're aware that we need to communicate more with you about what's going on with VH in general. There are many things we keep to ourselves with good reason, but there's a lot we could be more open and frank with you about.  So we're putting up an OOC blog in here where we'll try to post regularly about the state of VH and what the mods are up to. We may also occasionally ask for your input on particular issues or decisions.   What you'll find in this club: Modblog - OOC blog with posts from your moderators Projects forum - short term projects you could help with Cool Stuff forum - for assisting with PR/Social Media and more to come (like VH:AH, Daily Prophet submissions, and more)   Who can join: Anyone. This is an open club. Everyone can see in here. Anyone can join and participate. Certain members may be promoted to moderators of the club if given responsibility on ongoing projects.




There's an Attack at Hogwarts! Now What? (With Pictures)

For centuries, Hogwarts has been home to some of the brightest young witches and wizards of all time. While spending seven years within its walls can be an intimidating journey in and of itself, sometimes there are outside factors that make things a little more complicated.   Because of the traditional values and success surrounding the school, Hogwarts is a target for many devious minds and groups who believe they have something to gain from destroying it, or the people within. So what do you do when there's a dastardly villain coming at you with their wand at the ready?     We've compiled a list of Dos and Don'ts to help you have a successful attack.   1) DO react!     Is little Johnny scared for his life? Does Annabelle think she can take on a fully rabid wolf? Excellent! Get out there and show us your character's greatest fight or flight reaction. Not everyone will be able to win, but you can at least get some good spells in there to show them what's what! (Or hide under a table and cry to yourself - no judgement here!)   2) DON'T ask for a custom attack!     Even though we really want everyone to have a great time being maimed or hexed or whatever it may be, it is unfortunately nearly impossible to help make everyone's dreams come true during a site-wide event. So as much as we would all like to see Greg shatter the world record for most knockback jinxes tossed at an enemy in one minute... it probably is not in the cards.  In order for our plot team to properly serve the site, it's best to let them do their thing. However, see number 3 for more.   3) DO PM your attacker if you have a problem or question.     As much as we'd like to think it, our plot team doesn't always know what you like or don't like - or even whether you want to be attacked or not. Not everyone knows this, but it's completely OKAY to have a discussion with them at any point during their time with you. While we can't always guarantee a customized plot and can't take requests, there are compromises and conversations that can happen to get the best experience for both sides!   4) DON'T think you'll never be involved in a plot.     As a plot team, we all constantly aim to include as many people as we can, but it doesn't always happen that way - and it's never intentional. If you didn't get to take part in this event, don't be too bummed. We've certainly got more coming your way!   If you ever have any questions, comments, suggestions, or otherwise for the plot team, @Birdwhistle and @Egg keep their PM inboxes open just for you! Send us a message!




Application Tips

Hello everyone!   As Weasley mentioned, lately we've been a little short on apps. I'd like to shed some light on the process and provide some tips.   Applications are shared with the moderating team for discussion, and reviewed by multiple mods before a decision is reached. The mods are all distinct human beings with unique perspectives, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I want to admit upfront that I don't know everything about this, but I have read quite a few apps so I wanted to share what I've picked up.   First off, please send us your applications! If you don't send an app, you're guaranteed not to get it. Regardless of the decision on your application, we greatly appreciate your willingness to help out VH. There's a lot to do on the site, and we need your help to make VH amazing.    There is, of course, a chance you will be rejected. I've been rejected for most things on the site at one time or another, it happens to all of us. Rejection sucks and I'm so sorry that we have to reject anybody for anything. But please don't let the fear of rejection deter you from applying. If your app is rejected, it's not personal. It doesn't mean "the mods" dislike you. Typically, the timing wasn't quite right or we got a particularly strong applicant group in that round. So apply again next time! Applying again shows your continued interest in the role, which makes your application stronger the next time around. A previous rejection for a position is not a strike against a future app, it's usually a point in your favor.   That said, if you're thinking about sending an application, here's a few tips that might help you out!   Apply for the things you really want to do! There's a lot of things to do on VH, and nobody can do all of them. We love getting applications where you're really passionate about the role you're applying for.   Communicate. If you have a question about an application, or about a position you're thinking about applying for, please ask. We're happy to clarify what we're looking for and we want to see you write a strong application! Similarly, when we send rejection messages, we typically include little or no direct feedback. Rejections can be upsetting on their own, and it's perfectly understandable that not everyone wants to know more. But, if you're looking for further constructive criticism on your application, we're often happy to elaborate and help you succeed on future apps.   Consider your audience. Think about what we might want to know when reading your application and try to include relevant content. Try to follow any instructions or word count specifications. At the same time, be honest and genuine! We read a lot of apps, so we can tell if you're telling us what you think we want to see.   Think about the IC aspect of the role. We consider whether the character you've created is a good IC fit for the job. They don't need to be a perfect fit of course, but we try to make hires that are plausible on an IC level, so this is taken into consideration.   Handle rejection as graciously as you can. Please keep in mind that what you say in chats, even to your friends, is likely to get around. It's understandable to be disappointed when something doesn't go your way, but please be mindful of your words, your actions, and your audience.   Be aware that many VH jobs will ask you to keep your staff account secret! One of the first things we ask new (non-alumni) staff to do upon hiring is keep their identities secret. Try to act accordingly when you're applying.    Additionally, I'd like to provide insight on a couple of commonly asked questions.   "When listing alters on an application to the mods, what should I include?" I recommend always including all of your current students (even your 'secret' alter, we probably already know about them anyway) and any current or previous staff accounts, or accounts in the same category as the one you're applying for (e.g. include past canons in a canon application). Alumni are nice too, as the fact that you've been around long enough to have them shows dedication to the site, and you can also include any other accounts you feel are noteworthy. Feel free to leave off other inactives and any unsorted characters you dropped before sorting.    "Once I've sent an application, how long until I hear back?" This varies. We do our best to consider each application fairly, which can take some time. Just like you, moderators have lives outside the site and may not always be the most attentive to VH. We're aware that there are sometimes delays with applications. I'm really sorry about this. We know that this is something we can improve on. If you feel your application has been waiting a long time, feel free to reach out to us to inquire about it. You can contact the moderator(s) who posted the application, or reach out to any mod you're comfortable with. Likewise, if your application goes unread for more than a week, you can reach out to the "You wrote to a mod, but they never answered?" mods, currently Snape and Undercliffe (that's me!)    And as always, if you have any questions about applications or anything else on the site, please don't hesitate to ask. The moderators are all here to help you out, and personally I am always happy to answer a question or provide assistance however I can. <3 




The Return of Nemblog

Hello VH! Once upon a time, I was named Nemesis (like a decade ago?), so Nemblog was the name of my 'blog' on VHOT.    There are so many things the other mods and I want to talk about, but I will TRY not to tackle them all now and turn this into a novel. Please enjoy the following hodgepodge of information. This is more like a rambly Site News post, sorry. Future posts will hopefully be more concise and focused.   GSD CLUB Welcome to our new club. We hope that you'll keep an eye on the club and join in on projects when you can. Projects will range from one time and small (Can someone make a list of ____?) to ongoing (social media content, vh:ah posts). Our aim is to bring projects that don't have to be secret out of the mods' hidden lair and invite you to work on them with us, if you're so inclined.   Also, as mentioned in the Welcome to GSD Club post, we want to work on communicating more with everyone and bringing a little more transparency to what we do. And that's what this blog is for.     If you want to reply to a topic or blog post, you'll have to join the club. Sorry about that. I would've made it Public so folks could reply without joining, but I wanted the ability to designate club moderators. Joining the club does not require you to do anything and membership doesn't require approval.   DEFAULT ACTIVITY STREAMS I was thinking we could make more use of the activity streams feature, so I've added two default streams to the Activity tab: Help Wanted and Site Plots. You can find them by going to Activity > My Activity Streams > Default Streams   Help Wanted: this is for all applications, whether posted by moderators, staff or prefects. Any topic which is tagged with help wanted, help-wanted, or helpwanted will show up in this stream. We ask that members not use those tags for roleplays or questions, etc. We also ask that anyone using those tags remove them after applications are closed. The mods will periodically look at the stream and remove the tag from old topics as well.   Site Plot: This is so you can see what's new with the plot folks. Currently, any topic tagged plot or the uprising will show up here. We ask that members outside the Plot group do not use either of those tags without permission.    Other Stream Ideas?: I was thinking of adding lesson streams. Would that be helpful? (If you doubt I'd keep them updated - a valid doubt, I would make it part of Sorting Day tasks to update the stream tags for the new year's lessons. I always do my sorting day stuff).  If you have other ideas for a default stream that people might find useful, let me know in the comments!   Lessons streams, would look something like this, so the Default Stream section didn't get ridiculously long:     SHOP/BANK SYSTEM I was informed recently that an update about the shop system was long overdue. Sorry about that!    The status has not changed much since my last update. Here's the main parts we're missing: items/credentials showing in member profiles admin section (to add/edit shop items and shops) earn money for posting   There are a couple more bells and whistles we'd like, but those are the essential missing bits. Otherwise it's working great.  If we could even just get the items to show in profiles, I'd probably put it up for you guys to use.   I'm very sorry that this has dragged out so long. I had gotten pretty fatalistic about the whole thing. I hadn't totally given up on it, but there'd been too many let downs so I put it way on the backburner for a while. Coding for Invision has gotten way more complicated and just knowing php and mysql isn't quite enough. A few people that offered to help did not get very far into deciphering how it all worked before giving up, so I got wary of accepting any new offers. (Thank you so much though to those of you who did offer.)   ANYWAY, I am trying again. A few mods have offered to pitch in some money so we could hire someone experienced with coding apps for Invision. I contacted someone in December who seemed like he'd be able to help, but has not followed through either. So this week I'll try contacting a couple more coders. It's going to happen, darn it!   SHOP FORUMS We've decided to downsize The Marketplace forums. Activity in the shop forums had naturally decreased quite a lot ever since we switched the shops system to direct purchase. There are too many forums in there and not enough interest in roleplaying in them. With our current population and activity levels, we didn't feel it made sense to focus member time and energy on increasing activity there.   We have bid a sincere thank you and adieu to our Shopkeepers (not including wand assistants). We will soon bid goodbye to most of The Marketplace forums as well. (Any roleplay topics already in them will remain public. You won't lose your roleplays.)   One of our first projects to be posted in here (soon!) will be to help writing up and formatting descriptions of the shops and NPC shopkeepers to post in pinned topics in the remaining forums. That way people interested in roleplaying in a particular shop can take a quick peek and include those characters in their roleplays if they so wish.   BITS AND PIECES There are a few other topics I'd really like to touch on,  but I think they deserve their own posts. So more on the following later, either from me or the other mods, but for now I will just say: We all know VH is smaller than it used to be and this affects all aspects of the site. So PR/Social Media is a big priority for us to help boost our population. Burke will be posting ways for people to assist with our efforts to lure more people in, so please keep an eye on her "Cool Stuff" forum in this club and help out if you can. Even if you can't help with that stuff, do what you can to be welcoming to new folks who find their way to VH. Applications are open for a few positions and response has been low. If you're kind of/maybe thinking of applying, please give it a go! (Check out that handy new Help Wanted stream...) If you have questions about the jobs or time commitment involved, send the mod who posted them a message. I promise they won't mind!     ON NOTICE: Murder mystery novels! I've read two this month and they let me down hard. The first ended without ANY of the mystery being resolved. (Nobody warned me it was the first book in a trilogy! UGH). The second... it was clear the protagonist's husband was secretly a murderer from the first chapter. Maybe it was supposed to be obvious? That was not clear. Try harder, murder mystery novels!   DEAD TO ME: The cracks in my walls/floors that let the ants in.    LOVE OF MY WEEK: NINE NINE! Welcome back ❤️




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