To piggy back off of Sam's earlier post about staff ranks, we thought it would be beneficial to explain the various other ranks you see all over WF. After all, that guy over there looks awfully young to be a veteran, and why the heck am I not WF's friend? I added WF on Facebook and everything! Sometimes the slew of colors that show up everywhere can be confusing. So, combined with Sam's post, you've now got the color legend for WF's box of crayons.
Patrons: These guys (and gals) are sort of like ex-cops who turned in their badges but can't quite leave the lifestyle behind. Well, sort of. What it really means is that they once served on the uppermost tiers of staffdom, contributing hours upon hours of time and general know-how, and while they have indeed given up their badges, we like to keep them around in case there's a nuclear holocaust or a mass outbreak of psychotic kittens. It could happen; you never know. Seriously though, these members have no staff responsibilities whatsoever, and are free to come and go as they please. But because they were once senior staff, this user group was created in recognition of their valuable contributions. And because they really know how to deal with psychotic kittens.
Friends of WF: No, this isn't an elite group of our favorite people. Nor is it some cultish, high school clique. That's not to say that this particular user group doesn't consist of entirely awesome people, but you don't have to ritualistically slaughter anything in order to join. All you have to do is sign up. There's a button on the right sidebar. You click it, you choose the length of your membership (anywhere from one month to one year) and then you pay the subscription fee. Boom—you're now a FoWF. This gives you access to a couple super-duper secret areas of the forum, including the chat room where you can hang out, shoot the breeze with fellow members, and occasionally learn a thing or two during a guest chat. Also, instead of having a standard title (ink blot, scrivener, etc), you can choose your own custom title and you can change it as often as you like. You wanna be The Eggman? How about The Walrus? Well, goo goo g'joob, my friend.
Veterans: The expression “cream of the crop” comes to mind when I think about this user group. Some of them are former staff members, while others have turned down offers to join staff. They're just regular members who stand out, who contribute to the site when there's no obligation for them to do so. Also, they stay out of trouble. Well, apart from that one time they filled the Admiral's shoes with peanut butter, but then again, I do believe some of the staff were in on that too. Either way, to become a Veteran, you have to be a member for at least a year (this is negotiable), and you have to be infraction-free for six months (this is not negotiable). That makes you eligible, but then you also have to be nominated by at least three different Veterans in order to be accepted. Now, bear in mind, there isn't a specific criteria for getting a nomination. You just have to contribute something to the site—helpful critiques, lending a hand with the LM, being a friendly face, or any other "something." It's that X factor that makes the Veterans such a cool group of people. Oh, and if you earn too many infractions after becoming a veteran, the status can be taken away, so watch out for that.
Members: Dear, sweet, wonderful members, what would we do without you? Nothing. We wouldn't have a site at all without having such a diverse, all-around amazing group of members. You're the ones that keep this site alive. I know we have all these special groups to showcase certain people, but everyone on this site is, first and foremost, a member. Even the Admiral. He might wear the pants around here (well, most of the time anyways!) but he's still a member just like everyone else. He logs in every day, checks his subscribed threads, likes a few posts, and writes a few replies. That's what members do. They keep threads moving by adding their thoughts to the discussions. They create their own threads, whether it's writing posted for critique, a question about dialogue, or an off-topic discussion about mayonnaise. That's what a writing forum is all about, and it certainly couldn't exist without general membership.
New Members: These are sort of like pledges for sororities and fraternities, except that we don't make you run our errands, wash our cars, or generally humiliate yourself. We're pretty cool like that. Due to a horrendous amount of spammers (that is, people and bots who register just to advertise their crap), we have to put a few restrictions on new accounts. You can't create any threads in the creative areas (the Workshop, Fiction, Poetry, etc), and you also can't update your avatar or your signature right away. Sometimes your posts don't appear immediately, usually because of links and images that cause the post to be flagged as possible spam. Don't panic though--they'll appear after a moderator approves them. (The amount of spam we receive is unbelievable, so bear with us on this.) However, the good news is, all you have to do in order to lift these limitations is make ten posts (but they have to be thoughtful posts, not “this is cool” or “Wow!”). Or, if you simply need to upload that angry cat picture and use it as your avatar right now, you can also pay the subscription fee and become a Friend of WF. Either way works.
So there you have it. From patrons to newbies, WF's elusive color chart has been revealed. Now, let me go find a new member--my car needs washing.