Greetings, curious reader, to Malisha's journal, the only place where everything personal is stored. You are free to browse and learn more about her, whether that is your objective or not. All is welcome to look around.
Currently Singing: Flyers - BRADIO
Currently Playing: Pokémon Alpha Saphhire
Currently Watching: Death Parade
Currently Writing: Once More
Guild StatsCurrently Reading: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Next Book to Read: Ungodly by Kendare Blake
Last Book Read: Half Bad by Sally Green
Best Book This Month: Half Bad by Sally Green
At the moment, I don't have too many books I'm planning to read since it seems to be quite full with other activities. Hopefully I get some of the books I put on hold such as Dumplin, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and Six of Crows but I can't count on them. My sister also gave me a $50 gift card to Chapters so what can I buy with all that? Oh, The Rose Society is also coming out next week so I'll be buying that. So many new releases...
UC Stalk List
- Sites lasted updated 1 month ago will be placed here. Sites last updated 3 months ago will be removed from here.
- If the site does not have an updates box but the user is seen +30 days ago, it will be placed here. If the user has Stealth! mode and their pets look sad, it will be placed here.
On (Semi) Hiatus/Break
Last Updated 1+ Months Ago (August)
Last Updated 2 Months Ago (July)
Last Updated 3+ Months Ago (June)
I've been on Neopets since 2007. My sister and cousin helped me create my first account, and this is my side-turned-main. I waited six years before I could go on the Neoboards. There, I was introduced to all types of groups and people, learned about guilds and roleplay, and met different people who I would later call my friends. I grew up with Neopets so without it, I wouldn't have a place to be familiar with.
I am an Altador Cupper. My team is Shenkuu. On the Shenkuu SKoreboard, I am known as the Cookie Monster, and a residential scorekeeper. During the off-season, I live under a rock. During the season, I am playing my heart out.
I used to be a roleplayer. I used to roleplay mainly Warrior Cats, but I can also roleplay: Pokémon, gifted, or Hunger Games. I also used to write for The Neopian Times but because I never got accepted, I gave up.
I used to lead a guild called Habitarium Gifting Group. As the name implies, it was when we still had Habitarium. I unfortunately closed it in November 2014 when the game was taken down.
I am part of two guilds: Stories Told, a book guild with a writing twist, and Muse, a site-owners' guild. I am the owner of four sites: Ambidexterity, Diabolical Box, Route 10, and Unwound Clock. I am no longer interested in many prospects of Neopets so all I'm here for are my sites and guilds. That's all.
My real name is Sara. Malisha was the name of my friend at the time I created this account. I am seventeen years old. I am a twelfth grader. I am the youngest in my family.
I dream of becoming a writer. I have been dreaming since the fifth grade. My parents try discouraging me but I refuse to surrender. I enjoy writing supernatural, fantasy, and mystery. I detest romance, but will write it if necessary. My favorite writers at this point are: Marie Lu, Kendare Blake, Michael Grant, Kristin Cashore, Maggie Stiefvater, and Cassandra Clare.
I am the biggest bookworm you will ever meet. I only read young adult, however, so I have no love for the classics. I am immensely in love with: Anna Dressed in Blood and its sequel Girl of Nightmares, The Infernal Devices trilogy, Legend trilogy, Warriors series (all of them), Mara Dyer trilogy, Penryn & The End of the Days trilogy, The Raven Cycle series, and The Lunar Chronicles series.
I watch anime. My favorites: Ao no Exorcist, Log Horizon, Attack on Titan, Durarara!!, Noragami and K. The only manga I read are: Ao no Exorcist, Attack on Titan, Noragami, and Black Butler.
I play video games. My favorites: Mario & Luigi, Pokémon, Professor Layton, Ace Attorney, Trauma Center/Team, Harvest Moon, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Zero Escape.
During my free time, I sing, do all of the above, and complain about life. I am a member of Scouts Canada so I do not mind getting wet or dirty. I swim, I skate, I am athletic but I have a minor case of asthma.
I first discovered the site community a few months after my guild was founded in 2012. It was an adoption agency revamped into a writing site. I lost interest rather quickly and took a break. In spring 2013, I wished to request graphics for my guild but could not find any. I decided to open a site dedicated to listing open statuses.
Unwound Clock is first of the four. Opened in March 2013, UC aims to show accurate statuses of majority of the request sites in the site community. Its name originates from Prof. Layton and the Unwound Future.
Diabolical Box is second out of the four. Opened in July 2013, DB aims to provide entertainment and resources for writing as well as story requests. I gained inspiration from my love of writing and writing opening site stories for UC. Its name originates from Prof. Layton and the Diabolical Box.
Ambidexterity is third out of the four. Opened in January 2014, AB aims to provide untaken site names for those who wish to open a new site as well as links to resources to make the journey easier. This was going to be extra content for DB but then it became a new site entirely. Its name originates from Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.
Route 10 is last out of the four. Opened in July 2014, R10 aims to provide quick services to help fine-tune or improve your site. I had fantasized about reviewing sites but because of my biases, I would not make a good reviewer. I chose to offer site services instead. Its name originates from Pokémon.
Here are the extra stuff that don't belong in any category. It will mostly consist of retired graphics and status request signs. Feel free to use the retired buttons. They all link back to their creators.
10 All-Time Favorite Books
1. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater
2. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marrissa Meyer
3. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
4. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare
5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
6. Legend (Legend) by Marie Lu
7. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
9. The Diviners by Libba Bray
10. Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
I only read young adult books at the moment with little love for the classics. I enjoy reading immensely: supernatural/ paranormal, mystery, fantasy, dystopia, and real-life. I despise romance with a passion and will avoid all books tagged romance.
I also write, too. I read feverishly to see what's been done and how it's been done. I enjoy writing: supernatural/ paranormal, mystery, fantasy, and real-life. I usually forget to include a romance aspect to it unless it's intentional. My current project is called Once More and others are: Lifeline and Trio.
Unwound Clock has a community portal where I will occasionally write an article about a topic. Here is where you can read all the old articles at your pleasure.
Attention: I will very much appreciate it if you could use these articles as references for anything or mention them to give them attention. Thank you!
1. Regular vs. Recommended - February 2015
2. The Story Behind Updating - July 2015
3. Balacning Life with Neopets - September 2015
4. Lessons in Rules - September 2015
5. Review the Review - September 2015
6. Dehumanizing Neopians: Copy-and-paste Messages - October 2015
Important: All of these articles were written by Malisha (malisha9) for the purpose of informing. Theft will not be tolerated in any way.
Regular vs. Recommended
If you browse through the lovely directories listed below, you will find that most of them have a site key. The key classifies which site is which: inactive, closed with content available, on hiatus, and so on. The two most common ones will be: regular and recommended.
A regular site is exactly what it sounds: regular. Maybe the layout doesn't work in common browsers, or the content quality could use improvement, or the content quantity is too less. Maybe the requesting rules are too harsh, or there aren't enough link-back buttons. Whatever the case, this site is regular and often overlooked by browsers of a directory.
A recommended site is exactly what it sounds as well: recommended! The layout could be fantastic and custom made just for the site. The content quality is incredible beyond words, and the quantity of it is vast. The requesting rules could be very easy to follow and the request speed could be impressive. A good amount of link-back buttons is available. This site should be visited first before any other one.
Let me give you a scenario now. Let's say you just opened a new site. You used a premade layout and know minimum coding so you know how to make textboxes and multiple pages. You don't have a lot of content available because of a virus on your desktop but you want to open your site anyway. There was only one button maker who could make you two buttons. Your requests are closed and you start by sending out neomails to get listed. They all list you as a regular site.
Three months later, you begin to learn more about coding. A friend of yours makes you a custom layout. Your computer virus is gone and you content much more regularly now. Requests open and close and you are known for making what you make. You even won a SOTM a few weeks ago and featured at one point. New directories now list you as a recommended site.
Where does that leave you? Will the other directories change the status of your site to recommended? Of course not. Once you're listed and given a status, you're like that. No directory owner will have the time to go through their hundreds of links and re-evaluate their sites and make another judgment. Your site is now in the middle- not spectacular enough to be recommended but not exactly a regular one either.
What I want to say is this: Don't be discouraged by not being recommended at directories. Each directory owner will see your site differently. Most sites always start off regular, and as they grow, they achieve better status at other directories. You will be recognized for your efforts if your site sticks around.
I would also like to encourage directory owners to use a new key: new site. Give these sites a bright bullet so visitors will see them and visit them and give them a chance to grow by requesting or sending in feedback. Check these sites whenever you can- once a week, month, year- and watch them grow. Watch, and after a period of time, make your judgment. Being regular or recommended, it means a lot to a site-owner because it tells them how much they can improve or how they can achieve better heights.
The Story Behind Updating
On most sites, you'll see a box on the front page or a page labeled Updates. What is the importance of updating and why do we do it? This article talks more about the process and pains of updating and how important it is for site owners and visitors.
The dictionary definition of updating is: To inform (someone) with the latest information. An update is as long or as short as you want it to be, as detailed or as concise as you think it should be. Did you add five icons? Say you added five icons and post which ones. Did you finish your requests and opened requests again? Say just that. Are you closing requests? Let everyone know. Updates are the second thing a visitor will see upon entering your site. For this layout of UC, the updates is right beside the introduction. For Jepzine's Cafe, there's a box beneath the introduction for updates. For Hayley's Stuff, there's another page for updates. For Line Up, there isn't a box or page but you can see when it was last updated from when the last time Cam did his rounds. So long there's a date and specified object added, it's an update.
If you're bored, updates are fun to read. Updates are also when you can advertise other sites, encourage visitors to vote for your site/graphic in competition sites, update requesters on their request status, or rant about their day, which is the same as explaining why they hadn't worked on the request yet. It's a log up to a certain time on what has been added to the site and what the owner had been up to.
What's the importance of updating? Why should you do it every time you add/remove something to your site, every time you finish a request or receive a request, etc.? For one, it's a measure of time. Sites that are "inactive" are deemed that after a certain amount of months or years. Another, is it lets requesters know if the site owner is active and online to receive requests if their status is hidden. Third, visitors should know what's been added to the site and such. They should know if anything new had happened since the last visit because what makes them continue to come back is knowing that something new would be waiting for them every time they check your site. Finally, it proves to others that your site is still active. If you aren't advertising or updating your site, chances are not very many will think you're around and won't request from you.
My last point is this: make your updates box visible. I suggest the width being the same length as your content box because it should be readable and see-able. Visitors deserve to know what's been happening lately.
Balancing Life with Neopets
I want to clarify something: I'm going to be in university come September and I only have two days worth of classes out of five. I don't have a job (I'm looking for one, okay) and frankly, not much of a life. So this article might not really help for you but I have some tips for time management when it comes to wanting to keep on top of your school work and life and Neopets at the same time. These tips aren't guaranteed to help you and I honestly don't know why I'm writing this but if it does help, I would be incredibly honored to have influenced you in some way.
Tip #1: Neopets is the last thing you do on any day. School is usually the first. Then the job (if you have one). Then friends. Then personal stuff like video games, movies, TV shows, and Neopets. You don't have to do anything on your site but log in so your status will say under a day ago instead of x days ago. This means you're alive and well. Visitors will keep coming back to see if you've added anything yet.
Tip #2: You don't have to take requests. Truly, you don't. If requests are all you have, that's fine. Find new affiliates or listers or keep your extras page updated. This proves you're still working on your site. The same goes for sites with content: you don't have to add content. It's amazing if you do but don't force yourself to take time out from studying or hanging out to draw adoptables or make banners. You already have content. Your site has something. It's fine not to have something new for a while.
Tip #3: Answer neomails as you go. This is for the sites that receive a lot of them: listing forms, suggestions, questions, etc.. If it's a listing form, you can reply to it and mass add them later on. If a suggestion, write it down for later use. Questions are always easy. Two minutes is all you need for these.
Tip #4: Requests are nice but don't break something. Accept only as many as you think you can handle. If it's one, it's one. Two, then it's two. If you're the only site accepting a certain type of request, remember that there is more than one site out there. Their requests will open eventually. Also: Offer alternate requests if you can. Instead of doing everything yourself, let the requester pick and choose what they want. Make bases and let requesters choose the one they want to personalize. Make things easier for yourself. It's your time being used to fulfill requests.
Tip #5: Goals? Goals. If you're goal-oriented, make it your goal to add xx number of graphics or fulfill xx number of requests at the end of a time frame. If not, you can make judgments as you go. If you're free this week, open requests or add new content. If you're busy for the weekend, say so in your updates and add when you might open requests next.
Finally: Hiatuses are last resorts. School is challenging and awful but fun (for some) and rewarding (for some). If you love running your site, let it show by keeping up with it the best you can until you can't. Don't feel pressured to do anything to it but keep it updated. Two of my sites are practically in limbo for most of their existence but they're still open and content is added whenever possible. Some things take more priority than them.
There you have it. I guess they're not really tips but reminders while you're juggling school, life, job, driving, marriage, whatever, with Neopets. Don't feel pressured, don't rush, and try not to go on hiatus because people tend to never come back. We want people to come back so please help us keep the site community alive.
Thank you for reading. Good luck with school, life, job, driving, marriage, whatever, and let me know if you have suggestions for future articles!
Lessons in Rules
Rules? Rules. Rules. What rules? You know, no running on the pool deck, no loitering, no skateboarding in school hallways, no cheating on exams, so on and so on. Sites have rules too, whether it be requesting rules or rules of usage or guidelines. The bottom line is: they're still rules and they need to be followed. However, there's a distinctive line between professional rules and rude rules. This article will explain the differences between each.
Each site will have a different amount of rules. Bisou has four: credit, don't steal, permission to use on graphics, and permission to use in graphics. Pamela's Lending has nine rules, which are all pertinent to the pet lending process so be sure to read them. Pandora, however, only has one (but it's an important one): credit. The amount of rules should not deter a requester from requesting. As a requester, I will read over the rules but I will tend to skim them over if it's a long, long paragraph. Remember: requesters won't have time to read essays. Play with your italics and bold. Jewel is an excellent example of this as well as Lush.
Tip: Don't bold unless you have to! Only when you're bringing attention to something. See what I did? You read it because it was bolded, right? Now, for italics, one or two words is good because they're generally used for emphasis. Bold is for attention. Italics can be difficult to read depending on the style so use that wisely.
What do professional rules sound like? How to Offer Great Service written by Turnip did a fantastic job writing on this topic in tone and attitude. Your rules convey how you sound. In essence, write rules as you would in an English class. That means: formally, politely, and straight to the point. If you need to explain a rule further, that's fine. Route 10 has a rule that asks requesters to wait a week if they're being reviewed currently and there's an explanation for that. Do your best to keep it to as few words as possible.
Rude rules sound like normal every day language, such as: Don't rush me in getting your request finished. Some things take more priority than Neopets. Or: I won't redo your request because that's all you get. If you messed up, it's your fault. There are many ways to get your message across without sounding condescending. The way we have with words is amazing and the overall tone of your site will improve drastically upon having professional rules.
Also on the topic of rules: rule tricks! Again, I link you to that section in Turnip's HTOGS about it. I used to have this for Route 10 but took it out because I feel everyone should have an equal chance to have a review. Someone might have been in a rush and forgot to add the trick or someone doesn't understand what it means and left it out. I still have it for Diabolical Box though because that's my own writing and I need to make sure I get credited for it.
If you want to have rule tricks, make sure it makes sense. Some have double tricks, which is explained in Turnip's guide, but in summary, make sure you don't forget the tricks.
In summary, rules are rules, no matter how many or how few there are. Professional rules are those written in formal English and rude rules are those written in every day speech. Rule tricks are fun and helps squeeze out those unworthy of requesting but don't overdo them.
Thanks for reading!
Note: It is not my wish to offend anyone, if anyone did find offense. I apologize in advanced.
Review the Review
If you ask a layout maker and a reviewer how long it would take them to complete a request, their answer will most likely be: it depends. There are many factors that may hinder their speed such as real life and its many demands. A layout maker could be having a difficult time editing an image or runs into multiple coding problems. A reviewer could have difficulties forming thoughts into constructive criticism. This article will be talking about reviews, as layouts have been touched on previously. What is a review and how often should you request a review? Do reviews help? How can I make the most out of a review? All of these will be answered in this article.
Here is the dictionary definition of review (that is applicable to the site community): a critical article or report, as in a periodical, on a book, play, recital, or the like; critique; evaluation. There are different types of rubrics most review sites having, common ones being: in-depth, pros/cons, Q&As, first impressions, and so on.
Each one of them varies in detail, in-depth being the most detailed one, of course. This review takes the longest since it looks at everything you have in your site- the layout, content, rules, organization, spelling and grammar, professionalism, credits, sitely, link-back buttons, affiliates, and anything else. Generally, you should request an in-depth review once a year because of its content and how time-consuming it is for the reviewer. If you continuously request this every few months, you will begin to notice you won't be receiving as much feedback as before. Wait a year to truly see how much you've improved.
The pro/con review is different since it briefly touches on the best and lacking points of your site. It is meant to be brief but more specific to certain aspects. A con can look like this: "The layout may not work for the site because the organization is confusing and makes it difficult for visitors to navigate." A pro: "Your content is beautiful and plentiful. I especially like xx icon because of the textures and focal point. Nicely done!" This review should be requested once every few months so you can see whether or not you are on the right track.
Q&As and first impressions are short and very brief. A Q&A is an exchange between requester and reviewer, where the requester asks very specific questions in exchange for a specific answer. An example is: "Is my layout's navigation confusing? Is there anything to improve it?" The answer can be: "The navigation is visible and catches visitors' eyes. However, the naming of the links is misleading. For example, 'Exit' can be renamed to 'Sitely' since 'Exit' usually refers to linking to the main Neopets page...." And so on. First impressions is usually a brief skim over the site to point out outstanding errors or focal points. Despite these reviews being quick, you should not request one every so often. Do try for once a month or so.
To truly maximize your review, do try to request only if you need it. If your last review was over a year ago when you were just starting out, you can request an in-depth review to make sure your site is improving in quality and status. If your last review was nine months ago, you can request a pro/con review to ensure your site is on the right track. If your last review was a week ago, wait a bit. A month or two. Then you can request.
Now, do reviews help? Of course, depending on the timing of it. You will find that a site with more content will have a longer review than a site with less content because there is more to evaluate and browse there. Don't worry about that. No matter what your site is, it will still be reviewed to the best of the reviewer's abilities. Please keep in mind that the length of it is influenced by the last time your site was reviewed. If you would like new feedback, wait. Reviewers would rather not repeat advice given by a previous reviewer because it means we aren't doing our job properly.
Thank you for reading! An article in the future will talk about tips to improve your site without a review pointing them out. Keep an eye out!
Thank you to reviewers of the present for keeping our sites sharp and updated and thank you to reviewers of the past for designing the popular rubrics we use today! The reviewing world would not be as it is without any of you!
Dehumanizing Neopians: Copy-and-paste Messages
When you want to send in a request or listing or ask a question or send in a comment, you'll do so in the form of a neomail. No questions asked here. Chances are you'll be polite, perhaps saying Hi, my name is blah and I was wondering... If you want to be more polite, you would add something like thank you for your consideration! or just a simple thank you! to show your gratitude. You click SEND and wait and wait and wait...and then you're hit with an automated message.
Your site has been listed at blah. Be sure to pick up a link-back button in our sitely section.
Signed by the site owner's name
I'm not against copy-and-paste messages. I know, for example, avatar lenders will need to send out dozens of NMs and do not have the time to hand type it every time. For everyone else though, unless your schedule renders you unable to, should hand type NMs whenever possible.
This is how I think of it. You want to be able to interact with the site owner, get to know them better, or become friendly with them. The only time you will ever be able to connect with them for a good reason is through requesting or contributing. To receive a non-human response back can be disheartening. You might think: do they just not want to interact with me?
- Layout from Calypso, edits made by Malisha.
- PNG from Lithe.
- Background from Beetle.
- Back arrows from Bedazzled.