The 10 Coolest Ways to Revamp Your Old Gallery!
Is your gallery a one-note? Has it exhausted a single theme to pieces (“Orange!” “Faerie!” “Sloth!”) and ceased to inspire you for the last couple of weeks, months, or even years?
Many of us aim for sheer size, but that can get expensive and dull. I once saw a gallery with hundreds of blue items, and while it was an awesome sight, it was also one of the most boring galleries I’ve ever seen. There were hundreds of items, yet I scrolled through them all in a matter of seconds and then drifted off to play some games. Besides the “whoa” factor, there was nothing really compelling about that gallery to keep me there.
Many of us also take pains to put up a graphic layout for our galleries, but with all the coding geniuses out there, a pretty layout just isn’t enough to give your collection of items a significant and interesting history. Having a graphic layout that is too complicated might also distract from your collection of items, especially if you have a complicated background or a glaring color scheme that makes it difficult to view items and read their descriptions.
Here are some of the coolest ways to revamp your gallery, without breaking the bank or taking away from that Baby Paint Brush fund. There are endless articles in the Neopian Times about how to start a gallery. But do any of us really know how to maintain one? Let’s see if some of the following suggestions motivate you towards revamping your own gallery and giving it a fresh new look!
1. Use of a story or narrative
The use of a story or narrative is probably the easiest way to spice up your gallery. Having something posted that explains your choice of items or themes is one of the oldest and most popular ways of revamping that gallery when you’ve started to lose interest in keeping one.
Did you randomly start a dual collection of medicinal items and Grundo items in two separate categories? Why not post a story in your gallery description about a super-secret “Grundo Hospital” and how the viewer has just been clever enough to discover it? It never hurts to make your visitors smile, especially since the purpose of a gallery is, after all, to entertain other users and to give them something interesting to think about.
Are you selling one part of your gallery to make room for a new category? If you’re selling off your collection of hats and buying items for a brand-new Grarrl category, why not make up a story about how the Grarrl items are steadily eating away at the hats? Remember how Grarrls eat pretty much any item? Again, it never hurts to make your viewer crack a smile.
2. Use of an inside joke
Not every gallery you make has to win the Gallery Spotlight to be riotously fun. Know a lot of people in real life who also go on Neopets? Or are you part of a fun guild that routinely makes fun of its members? Set up a gallery with a private inside joke that will leave them all in stitches!
Did you do badly on that history exam? Fill your gallery with broken items such as broken pencils, torn notebooks, and anything else that shows how you’ve vented your frustrations!
Or did someone in your guild do badly against a 1-player Battledome opponent? Fill your gallery with cheap weapons and defense items and tell them that the following items were NOT good choices against that opponent! The ignominy will last for days…
3. Give yourself a history
It’s always interesting to read a brief description of other people’s Neo-related hobbies. Did you start a collection of Water Faerie items because you love the Water Faerie? Why not include a short paragraph about why you started liking the Water Faerie, and when? Use of a blog can be especially helpful here – you can put welcoming text, write about yourself and your interests, and thank all the people that made your gallery possible, if you want.
4. Properly organize your items
This is, surprisingly, one of the most ignored aspects of maintaining a gallery that I’ve seen while visiting other people’s galleries. Be sure to rank items in each category of your gallery! When you first put items in your gallery, the resulting montage of items is untidy and disorganized. By clicking the “Rank Items In Categories” link, you can assign numbers to each item and group your items according to where you want them on the page. Do you want a rainbow of colors descending down the page? Just use the “Rank Items In Categories” link and it will be easy as pie! This way you can have all the items of a certain type arranged in rows or columns. Using decimals in the ranking system can be especially helpful here.
5. Post interesting links
Many of us have galleries on more than one account. Why not advertise them by posting links in each gallery back to your other galleries? If you’re part of a guild with similar interests as yourself, you could also post links to the galleries of your friends and guild mates. That way, your links stay relevant to your own gallery, and you’re helping to promote your friends’ galleries as well.
You might also want to link back to galleries you aspire to have. Has someone already completed a gallery of Brightvale items, and you aspire to have a similar gallery of Meridell items? Why not link back to their gallery, and drop them a note of encouragement, while you work on your own collection of items? That way, you’re advertising both galleries at the same time that you’re making a new Neofriend or two.
6. Use of music
The use of music in galleries tends to get mixed reviews, especially since it takes so long to prepare the page for viewing when music is involved. Neopets has a music page at Neopets Music (http://www.neopets.com/music.phtml) where you can download MP3 versions of your favorite Neopets games soundtracks, so why not give that a try? Instructions on how to post music are on Lesson 11 of the Neopets HTML Guide (http://www.neopets.com/help/html_11.phtml).
7. Use of a counter
There are two types of counter you might be interested in. One is the type of counter that counts how many visitors you’ve had. This is an automatic counter that updates every time someone new visits your gallery, and counts how many times a website or certain page has been viewed. I love this type of counter (I use it on my user lookup) because I work hard on my layouts and I love it when people are looking at them.
The other type of counter is a manual counter that you change yourself, using CSS. Usually you input the number yourself in your gallery description, so some CSS knowledge is required. For instance, you might want to keep a counter of how much your gallery is currently worth, or keep a counter of the number of items in your gallery. Using a counter this way is one way to entertain your visitors, and it gives you something to do every time you make a new addition to your gallery.
And if you don’t want to use a CSS counter, you might as well simply type the number up in your gallery description – it’s up to you! I once saw a gallery worth over 100 million Neopoints, which was certainly a jaw-dropping sight. The amount was written up in one of those blogs that Neopets provides the code for, and was updated around once a month, according to the gallery’s owner.
8. Track your items
Is a certain rare or HTS item taking forever to find? Are you still looking for that last group of potions or plushies to make your gallery complete? It’s a good idea to keep a running tally of the items you’re still trying to find for your gallery. There are many kind Neopians out there who might be willing to help you towards your goal, especially if your gallery is magnificent and only needs a few more items to make it complete.
Or have you finally found a series of rare items, and you have an interesting story to tell about how you acquired each? A blog would be useful here, where you can track each item and also give thanks to the people who have been helping you along the way to completing your gallery. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers, or the support of your Neofriends!
9. Subtlety is key
It’s always more interesting to look at a gallery where the theme is something more subtle and unique rather than something you could get a list for easily. When you see a gallery where the owner has obviously spent a great deal of time finding all the items, rather than simply searching for a key term in the search bar, the gallery seems to take on its own story.
If your gallery has exhausted a single theme to death, why not try branching out with a related theme? Connect the theme you have with another theme to make the result more interesting. Did you start a gallery of broken toys? Why not call your gallery “The Neopian Nursery” and include items like baby blankets and baby bottles to make your gallery a little more unique?
It’s always important to try new things, and to come up with ideas that no one else has come up with before! Visit the Neoboards regularly for ideas on how to improve your gallery, and don’t get discouraged when your gallery idea seems to have been done by countless other Neopians. The tips I’ve given you should be enough for you to personalize your gallery, and to feel confident that no one else has a gallery quite like yours!