All AboutAlfandra

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 play.

If you REALLY want to know All About Alfandra, I'd suggest a visit to the Newsgroup 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 you?)

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 gather.
Other common names for the NG includeRed Dragon Flying

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, and Fun.
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 Newsgroup Ettiquette.
(This is what happens to those who deliberately break them)
Avoid posting any of the following, and you can't really go wrong:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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... )
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 their own.)

Still Interested?

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