The Many Paths
...we typically don't award wizardship to
people who ask for it...
Personally, I don't think that power corrupts. Instead, I think that
power attracts the corruptable. When it comes to picking new
wizards at Communities.com's
Main Palace Sites, this theory can be shown in practice.
- JBum, Original Creator of ThePalace
I am constantly asked "how can I be a wizard?" In fact, I doubt
I've been on line for more than an hour in the past three months
without having someone ask that question. Often, the people asking are
guests. For a while, the standard answer was the one devised by
jbum: "The wizard password is inside the honor bar in the Honeymoon
Suite. Open the honor bar, and you'll get the password." To date, no
one has yet succeeded....
In fact, this question was probably the single most prominent
reason for me to put up these pages on wizardry so I can just pass on the
URL http://www.botzilla.com/house/wizmain.html and entirely skip
the more pointed answer: "you can't be a wiz."
In truth, you can. Some people obviously are! But it's important to
know this about Communities.com wizardship, a fact oft-repeated: it's not a
reward. No one is ever made a wizard because they have "been on
long enough" or accrued any other sorts of "points," nor simply because
they happened to be friends with some particular wiz. Nor are wizards
(generally) employees of Communities.com.
Wizards are typically chosen because it's thought that the palace(s)
need their help or sometimes because it's believed that this person
will make valuable contributions to the palace culture simply be being
able to perform wiz tasks such as room authoring, particularly-good
hosting social skills, etc.
Such decisions have typically been made by Communities.com executives with group
input from the existing batch of squabbling wizards, who occasionally
come up with lists of nominees hashed-out in secret via email. Such
groups of nominees usually come along every two or three
months, but there is no particular schedule. Even communal wizard
meetings are rare (and often occur at non-Communities.com palace sites).
As you might have guessed, this makes Communities.com wizardship itself rather
informal. Despite ill-iformed rumor-mongers, very few are employed by
there are no fixed duties, no formal schedules, no quotas. Do wizards
often spend (too much) time running about chasing down snerts? Sure.
But it's up to them.
What Attributes Make a Likely Wizard, Then? No one set of attributes;
here are some things that have come up as "positive points" in past
discussions about potential wizards.
A Completely Unofficial List
- Could this person be sent out into a packed palace and take a
monumental amount of snertly abuse and still remain calm about it?
Or would they turn into a writhing `smartbomb machine? Do they
have mood swings, are they habitual liars, or are they all around cool
- Is this person already a great help to others across the palace
community? Do they have a good working knowledge of palace (not
just technical, but social)? Do they contribute via PUG, ?Magus,
web pages, etc.?
- Is this person around? When? What time of day? Do they hide, or
are they social? Does anyone know them from Adam? Most regular
users eventually know most of the existing wizards.
- Unique Skills
- Do they bring something new to the mix? Do they speak a foreign
language? Draw? Write scripts? Know Steve Jobs?
- Is this person already wizzing at another site? How are they
doing? Have they created their own established palaces? Some
wizards have also been AOL guides or prominent figures in other
"virtual community" environments, such as WorldChat, Powwow,
LambdaMoo, or Habitat.
- One might think this goes with the territory: Level-Headedness,
Experience, Helpfulness... but at times the old calendar also
plays a role. To date, no one has ever been made a Communities.com wiz until
they were at least old enough to vote. I know it's not fair. Take
it up with congress....