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User Lookup Spotlight: How to get started.

by obn0xious


UL - Being a regular reader of the Neopian Times myself, as most of you, I don’t find it difficult to read on numerous occasions articles regarding guides on how to get one of those shiny Spotlight trophies which are given out once a week by Neopets: Pet Spotlight, Petpage Spotlight, Gallery Spotlight... and so on.

However, it appears to be that the recently-added User Lookup Spotlight has drawn the attention of most Neopians everywhere. Your User Lookup is the best way to start knowing you and, above all, is your best opportunity to show it off! Accessing to your User Lookup (UL from now on) is… quite easy, actually. If you don’t know how, it must be some kind of miracle you’re actually reading this right now o_o;

Anyway, due to numerous concerns amongst Neopians on getting to know each other, you can see quite a large number of different lookups:

-First off, there are some which are… simply default. Meaning these people can’t even be bothered touching the original code Neopets provides. Somehow, it will go unnoticed unless you have an uber-old shield on it.

-Slightly edited: Maybe their one concern was to change the width of the table, the font, the links’ colours… It may turn out to be a relief finding these neat ULs once you’re bored of seeing the same ones below all day along.

-Premades. Now, who hasn’t ever used one of these nor saw them every now and then? Okay, lucky you. They are a good alternative and, sometimes, it does fully overcome what the user may be able to do, but honestly, the more premades you see, the quicker you close the window and go on surfing the boards ^^;

-Original ones. Or simply, those which are worth paying a visit and are nice to read. They’re usually centred on one only theme and, being Neopets-related or not, they always go by the rules. Hard to find, you may think. Well, just take a look at the latest User Lookup Spotlight winners so you get the idea. (Good work, guys!)

Owning one of the previously mentioned ULs doesn’t mind you’ll get a free ticket to free items, NPs, nor you will receive tons of Neomails about it; it’s merely a commendable work! Even if your restock screenies are “1337”, you have the most uber-rare items on trades or you have a five-year-old shield, what actually counts is your hard work on Neopets despite how long you may have been playing. Playing fairly, that is.

Nevertheless, since this article is obviously addressed to future User Lookup Spotlight applicants, we’ll have to work our way through the most original, nicest UL possible so you have a chance of winning or, simply, entering in! Most of the contestants, however, tend to forget what the bases of this contest are, so here’s a little reminder for you all:

-You CAN’T forge your own stats! As said before, this isn’t the actual purpose of the contest. It doesn’t mind you don’t have those default hobbies, you have a shop sized “204059” nor you’re in the most well-known guild, but your CREATIVITY! Fail on any of these requirements and your entry will be disqualified, simple as that.

-You can only enter your submission ONCE. Once you finally send it in, your UL code is stored in a database so the judge can easily look at it regardless the changes you may want to add later. If you send your entry in more than once, then the original code will be overridden and the last one will be the one the judges will consider (especially handy if you feel it’s necessary to make some slight changes to your entry before the contest ends).

-Even for those who still don’t realize about it… In a Neopets contest, what is judged on a UL is its Neopets theme! ^^; You are free to choose between Coltzan or Jelly Wor—well, that doesn’t exist obviously, but what you aren’t allowed to do ever is putting up a banner of something which has nothing to do with Neopia! Of course, that means no Harry Potter, Anime or Lord of the Rings ;)

-Okay, so now you have the finest lookup, no stats covered whatsoever, it clearly has a Neopets theme, amazing graph—WAIT. How come these other users have the same one as you do? What you chose is no other kind of lookup but a premade one, and since it weren’t your own work, you cannot send it in! What would be the point of it, anyway?

-Fine, so know you feel completely sure you are ready to submit that amazing User Lookup which took you hours and hours to do, but there’s still an inconvenience to keep in mind. Neopia can be accessed through numerous browsers, being IE, Firefox, Netscape only a few- Having said that, have you ever thought about compatibility? If your UL is only properly seen through IE while most Firefox users only see a messy table floating around, then there’s still something to fix about it. That way, a larger number of people will be able to enjoy your hard work! ^^

-Finally, let me get this straight: having an original, unique UL doesn’t mean you have to cover your lookup with flashy, disturbing images, blinkies or constantly-playing music. After all, it’s only a matter of combining your creativity with a few CSS/HTML codes ^^ Otherwise, you’ll make it impossible for the judge to even look at your work.

Last but not least, if you don’t have what we call a way with HTML codes, then you may find it difficult to get started decorating your lookup, but there is no solution to a problem without reading and learning ON your own. If you decide to go your way searching the Internet you’ll find some incredible, comprehensive guides regarding all sorts of HTML or CSS codes ever made. But, off the record, before you start suffering massive headaches or throw in the towel, have you ever realized Neopets has its own, easy to understand guide? If that weren’t enough, were you aware that there are complete petpages covering just what you need to know? ;)

So, now, there isn’t anything left to do, right? Hopefully not. After a long wait, if you turn out to be the winner, then congratulations! You did not only win recognition among millions of users, but also a unique trophy to display.

All in all, there is no lack of interest, is it? Now, stop begging for codestones to the Tombola Man, put your paws off the Wheel of Monotony and start working NOW! Your UL could be chosen this week, or maybe the next one! Remember: If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything. Good luck!

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