So you want me to tell you All about
Alfandra? That's a tough task... Where do I start? To the closed-minded
person, Alfandra is probably one of the following - a waste of time, a
distraction from the important things in life, a place where semi-lunatics
meet to share their collective delusions, or simply another Newsgroup among
the thousands. If they're feeling particularly open-minded that day, they
may see it as a place for Role Play activities. To someone with an imagination,
Alfandra is a whole lot more than that. Alfandra is a welcoming community,
a place to call home, and somewhere it's safe to let down your guard and
If you REALLY want to know All About
Alfandra, I'd suggest a visit to the Newsgroup alt.fan.dragons itself,
and/or to the Website dedicated to it. But before you go, I'll try
to answer a few of your questions... (I'm sure you've got questions, don't
What does Alfandra stand for?
Alfandra is the name I prefer for the Newsgroup.
It is a simple derivation of the NG description ALt.FAN.DRAgons,
(also abbreviated as Altfandra, Alfandria or simply AFD) but it gives the
place more reality than the simple title. However, it is not the ONLY name
for the group, not by a long shot. Alfandra prides itself on being open-minded,
and part of that includes being open to new names for the place where we
Other common names for the NG include
Where The Dragons Are
The Dominance of Dragons
The Wang Toodle of Dragons
The Place of Draks
and The Place of over Twenty-five Names
(recently updated to The Place of over Forty Names - Weyrlady compiled
a list and we saw how many there actually were.) You can view the complete
list on Weyrlady's page by clicking here.
Who can come to Alfandra?
We're a family group, open to people
of any age (there a lot of teenage AFD readers and there are also Alfandrans
old enough to be grandparents (so they say)) so the answer to that
would have to be Anyone who Wants To! Well, actually, anyone with Newsgroup
access. If you're not sure whether your ISP carries AFD, run a search for
it. If the answer is no, they don't, try asking them. You never know, they
might say 'sure, we'll add it to the list.' If they don't, there are a
few web-based browsers that let you access the NGs (Newsgroups) They're
not very good IMHO, because they're much slower than a Newsreader, and
they have various restrictions, but they'll give you a very small taste
of what Alfandra is like and help you decide whether to take any further
steps towards getting there.
Do I have to be a dragon if I come to Alfandra?
Short answer - NO! Alfandra was established
for and by dragons, but there's no law that says you have to be one (or
even want to role-play one.) Alfandra is currently home to Dragons (Eastern,
Western, Fairie, Robotic and Pocket) Fire Lizards, and also to Fairies,
Elves, Shape-shifters of various descriptions, a Wolf, and some everyday
humans. The only requirement is that you like Dragons and want to be a
Dragonfriend. No Dragonslayers need apply (unless you're reformed :-))
What sort of things do people talk about there?
Anything and everything. Role Playing is
common, but not compulsory by any stretch of the imagination. I like to
think of Alfandra as the home of the three 'f's - Food(fights), Friends,
Story-telling and Poetry-posting are
encouraged, and Serious Discussions (on any subject of concern to you)
are welcomed. Once you've made yourself at home in Alfandra you'll find
that it's a great place for friendship and also for moral support should
disaster strike you in Real Life.
Are there any rules I should know about beforehand?
Only a few, and most of them involve simple
(This is what
happens to those who deliberately break them)
Avoid posting any of the following,
and you can't really go wrong:
Flaming (posting abusive messages to other
group members) - we have a reputation as a very friendly and open bunch
of people, and we'd kind of like to keep it that way.
SPAM (posting advertising material which
is irrelevant to the group) Boring, wastes bandwidth, and doesn't get you
anywhere (except kicked off your ISP if enough people complain.) If you
want to post a notice about something on AFD, make sure it's relevant to
the group (eg.the URL for your new dragon-related Webpage), is ONLY posted
to the group, and is only posted ONCE.
Cross-posting (can easily be misconstrued
as SPAM, and makes some Beings VERY cross with you. And don't REALLY want
to have a Being half the size of a planet cross with you... )
Graphics and/or HTML - simply for legibility.
Not everyone uses Netscape or Internet Explorer, and other Newsreaders
don't have the ability to read the HTML coding. Also, including graphics
and HTML adds to the bandwidth your message takes up, making it take longer
for others to download, and taking up more valuable room on their computer
(and the Server at their ISP). It might not seem like much, but when there
are 200 posts to the group per day, it adds up fast. Smaller bandwidth
= more posts kept on the Server = more time for people to read your message
before it is wiped. If you really want to share a picture with us, put
it on your webpage and post a link in the group.
For the same reason, please try to clip
out the irrelevant parts of other people's posts when you reply to them,
and avoid posting a one-line reply on the end of a 250-line post. Unlike
some NGs, it's fine to post ROTFLs, and 'me toos' (giving feedback to others
is part of being a Community) but remember to snip, snip, snip! Almost
everyone's read the message you're replying to, so they don't need to read
it again unless it's REALLY RELEVANT to what you're saying.
Another Don't - don't assume that people
are 'just playing' unless they say they are. Some people in AFD are just
having fun and playing a role, but others are deadly serious about
their Draconicity. I'm not joking about this, and neither are they. If
you're not sure, ask in a private email, and you might get an answer (or
you might not - a person's draconicity is really nobody's business but
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