Help Chatting - A Neopian Hobby
When you were new to Neopets, chances are you wandered into this wonderful place called the Help Chat, asking for a little help. The kind folks over there made sure you got your answer, and you wandered away, continuing to explore the realms of Neopia.
But as your time on Neopets increased, you might have found yourself returning to those ever-familiar realms of what we call the HC. Sometimes to seek help, sometimes to give help. Sounds familiar? Welcome to the hobby called HCing! A hobby carefully followed by a large number of Neopians, this one’s very special!
But, what in all of Neopia is the Help Chat, you ask. Well, the Help Chat (or HC, as we HCers like to call it) is the board on Neopets which is meant for help. Simple!
If it is just a board, then what in the name of Brucey B is so special about the HC? Well, this one’s hard to answer. Although it is simply a place for giving and/or asking for help, the HC has a special feeling to itself. First of all, consider the fact that, as an HCer, you are helping Neopians. That is to say, you’re being nice, kind, and a good Samaritan.
Apart from that, the people on the HC are definitely some of the nicest in Neopia. The HC has a special something about it, a charm that, in my opinion, other boards don’t have. If you make a trip to, say, the Avatar Chat, for instance, you’ll be swamped by lending boards. The Beauty Contest Chat is full of voting boards (although I’m rather fond of it myself). The HC is full of wonderful people. I have met many, many fabulous people on the HC, in my Neo-life.
Questions aside, now let’s embark on a journey of discovery!
Things you are likely to find while ‘practicing’ your hobby of HCing.
1. General help boards. These boards are made by people who want help with certain things.
What to do: If you know the answer to their question, post it!
Author’s Note: If you are not sure of your answer, don’t post. You don’t want to give a new user wrong information, do you? If you think you should post it, say ‘I’m not too sure of this, though, so please don’t take my word for it, and don’t quote me.’
2. Restock Help & Chat. The HC always has an RS board, one board at a time. New boards are made when the old ones ‘explode’, or in other words, exceed the limit of 500 replies. These boards are inhabited by the restockers. They are a good place to go if you’re restocking yourself, and are bored, or if you want help with restocking.
What to do: If you want RS help, or are just RSing, go there, and ask your question!
3. Lab Waiting Rooms (abbreviated as LWR) and Advent Waiting Rooms. These boards are usually present just an hour before midnight NST. They are full of people waiting for a new neo-day, so that they can zap their pets, and/or collect their advent calendar prizes. They usually answer help questions, too.
What to do: Go there, introduce yourself, and/or ask your question!
The Advent Waiting Rooms are present only in the month of December.
4. Spam. Sometimes, sadly, the HC is invaded by spammers who annoy everyone. For the uninitiated, Spam is short for Short Pointless Annoying Messages.
What to do: Simply report the spammer by clicking the report message link. Do not reply to the post; this only bumps the board up further and gives the spammer the attention they want.
A few important things you should know while HCing.
1. Be polite. This is the first rule you should follow. You are here to help your fellow Neopians. If someone asks a seemingly ‘silly’ or ‘obvious’ question, don’t be rude to them. They might be new users. Irrespective of that, you should remember that the HC is about being kind.
2. If there’s a spammer around, don’t reply to their board. Doing so only bumps up the board, and gives them the attention they want. Simply report the user, and move on. Don’t even post a message saying ‘Reported’ or something of the sort.
3. Don’t go off-topic. If you’re asking an avatar related question, for example, the best place for it would be the Avatar Chat. If you want to advertise your BC entry, the best place to do so would be the Beauty Contest board.
4. Don’t beg. Begging for other people’s art, NP, pets, items, or anything is not tolerated. It is against the Neorules. Even asking for donations is considered begging by TNT.
5. Don’t spam. Though this might seem very obvious, most users don’t realise that an off-topic thread classifies as spam too.
A few possible consequences, good, bad, and annoying, of being an HCer.
1. Random Neofriend requests. I’ve noticed that the more regular you become on the HC, the more random NF requests you receive. This can get annoying sometimes. The best solution is to block NF requests.
2. Neomail praising your account/pets/petpages/poetry/art/writing... you get the idea. This kind of mail is good, and it sure makes you feel elated! Be sure to send a reply to the person who Neomailed you with a thank you message!
3. Hate mail. This is extremely bad. If it continues to get worse till it reaches the level of harassment, please report the user, and block them.
4. Mail asking for your items/account/pets. This really infuriates you, and the best solution would be putting up an FAQ page with all the frequently asked questions you get.
5. Being respected on the HC. This is one that sure gets you into high spirits!
6. Being targeted by spammers, scammers, and impersonators. A good solution would be reporting the offenders, and then stating in your lookup and FAQ what exactly your side accounts are.
Hope this little article was both informative, and thought-provoking. Enjoy being an HCer, and join our proud ranks! But remember, always, always help without expecting any reward in return. Not even respect. : ) That is the true essence of an HCer. Have fun!