Guidelines for creating a Chatlands™ site
Many people would like to have their very own chat site, but creating a
chat site can be difficult. There's a lot of work involved in
setting up and running a chat site. Preparation is required, and cash or
deltas will be spent. There are hours of effort involved, but when all of
it is done, you can sit back and admire your great accomplishment!
What follows are the things that you'll need to accomplish
in order to create your very own Chatlands™ chat site.
A To-Do List: This is a list of
the things you need to complete in order to reach your goal for your new
chat site. Basically, it's the rest of this document. It might be a good
idea to actually create a list, though, and check off the items as you
Choosing a Theme: One of the
first things that you'll need to do is decide upon a theme. So make this
decision is a part of your TO DO list. How do you want your chat site to
look? Who is the site for? Do you want the site to be for
all ages or would you prefer that it is only for those 13-and-older or
possibly even adults only?
The site theme also reflect the storyline for your chat
world. Please try hard to pick a unique idea! After all, there's
more to Chatlands™ than anthros and animals! So, try to think a bit
"outside the box" and you will probably have more visitors.
Some ideas... What about a space station theme or science
fiction theme? Or perhaps buccaneers and pirates theme? Or, how about a
chat site where the avatars and backdrops are all simple (but artistic)
"scribbles"? Or, a site made entirely from clay models, construction paper
and other household items? There are all kinds of themes out there!
What will yours be?
The Chat Map: One of the first
things that many new site owners work on once they get their site is the
main map. When your site is created, it comes with a premade map. You can
use this map, or you can replace that one with one of your own design. Of
course, most people want their own map eventually, but it's up to you.
You need this map so that people can click on the room
dots and enter the rooms. You'll also need room dots, too (discussed
below). Most of the Chatlands™ maps you see are are PNG, JPEG or GIF
images that appear to "float" above a background, typically a field of
stars. You do not have to follow this style however. Your map can be
designed to any way you would like it. You can create your own artwork or
commission someone to do the artwork for you.
Some of the chat sites have requested full screen maps.
These maps are still in "beta" testing. There are some problems associated
with using full screen maps. Full screen maps have to be hand-coded by
Underdog, which takes a bit of time, and then the room dots on these maps
can't be placed using the standard "map editor" (more on that "map editor"
later). So, to begin with, it's likely you won't be able to use a full
page map, but with any luck, this will be an option in the near future.
The Rooms: We recommend at least
10 different rooms be set up on your map. It is not a good idea to create
a site with no place for people to go! You can create the artwork for the
rooms yourself or you may decide to commission someone else to create them
for you. As mentioned above, you must obey copyrights and other
intellectual property rights laws. Also remember that a good design
attracts more chatters. The same applies for a good map.
Pose Sets: You can get the use of
the free modern wolves with Underdog's permission, along with the Coyote,
Fennec, Jackal and Wolf Pup sets, but a unique set for your site is highly
recommended so that people have a choice. Unfortunately, sets take a lot
of time to make. There are special rules that follow upon their creation.
They must be colored in a special way so when they are put in your version
of the body shop they will look proper and people can change their
Administrators: People must be
taught how to be an administrator. These people will represent your site.
Making a poor choice for an administrator can turn into a disaster. An
admin is there to guard the safety of the chatters, to watch for unruly
behavior, to check pose uploads, to check room uploads, and much more.
Choosing the proper admins is crucial to the success of your chat site.
The communications between an administrator and the chatters are some of
the most important and challenging aspects of running a chat site. You
will want to make friends, not enemies. Remember that age requirements are
also a factor. You do not want an administrator who is a 13-year-old.
Administrators may see foul language and other forms of adult behavior not
suited for children. While this is not a requirement, we strongly suggest
that all site administrators be at least 16 or older.
Choose Your Administrators
Carefully: Be sure that the people you have chosen to be your
administrators don't have a bad history with other chat sites. Excessive
use of vulgarity, sexual language, indulging in "mocking" or irritating
people, and "power hungry" people should not be admins at all.
Maximum Administrators: We want
you to have 2 administrators that are well prepared for the launch of a new
site. Have others in training while the 2 main people are working and
learning the proper way to run a site. Why do we say 2? It's because you
can't have 5 chatters online and 5 administrators. Chatlands™ needs
to make enough money to stay online. Sites like this can't be created
without making any revenue. If there are 10 admins and 1 chatter, no one
is paying for the server the site is on. It is lost revenue.
Important Notice about Copyrights:
When you are planning the artwork for your chat site, remember that you
must obey U.S. and International Copyright Law. You are not allowed to
something that you "found on the web" until you understand what the
property rights are for that image. For example, it is not
permissible for you to use "Google Images" to search for something, and
use what you find. Any image you find is presumed to be copyrighted and
thus not permissible. In order to use it, you have to actually see
something that says it is ok for you to use it. This means that all of the
images that are used on your chat site must belong to you, or you must
have permission (preferably in writing) from the copyright owner, or the
images must be free or otherwise in the "public domain". This rule applies
to all of the content on your chat site (such as avatars, rooms,
and so on).
Remember: YOU ARE THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT ON
YOUR CHAT SITE. You don't want to have your site shut down, or worse, to
face a lawsuit brought against you, because you (or your admins) knowingly
allowed poses, room images or other content violates copyright law (or
other laws). You must do your absolute best to prevent people from
making illegal use of intellectual property (copyrighted artwork, music or
text, for example). Having someone in the art field as an administrator is
a good idea. If you don't enforce this, not only will you be harming the
very community that gives life to all of our Chatlands™ sites, but
your site will be shut down. As you can tell, we take copyright laws
seriously and you should too!
Important Notice About Privacy:
Always keep the information available to admininstrators (such as that
shown on the admin pages) secret. Information such as email addresses, IP
addresses, private or public conversations said on the chat, real life
names, addresses, phone numbers or other personally identifiable
information, all of these things and other similar things must be kept
private. These things should should NEVER be divulged to a
non-administrator and should be used ONLY for the official purposes
of providing a safe and fun experience for chat site users. These are our
rules, but they are also the law! Do not reveal things you have learned as
an administrator to anyone except other administrators, and then only when
it is necessary to do your job.
Your Home Page: Some people use
a free web site that makes it easy to create a home page. For example, webs.com provides a selection of pre-made
backgrounds and you can create your FAQ, rules page, and other pages there
as well. Currently, the Chatlands™ site does not allow you to modify
the home page, but if you contact Underdog, and send him the artwork,
he'll set one up for you. We'll have the home page editor working very
Home Page Picture:
You will want to have an image (gif, jpg or png) on your home page that
represents your site. Have informative buttons on the side so they can
read about your site, log in, check the site rules and whatever else you
need to keep people informed.
Other Pages: It isn't required,
but you may want to create other pages that link together and cover
different topics. Some things you could create are a rules page, a
help page and a price page to explain subscriptions to new
users. These pages already exist, but some site owners want to customize
them for their own site. Another page you may want is a pose sets
page showing the poses for each subscription level, or perhaps a page
that tells the background or storyline for your chat site,
telling your visitors what makes this site special. You might
publish other information about the site, about it's creators, or
provide links to other websites that share a common interest.
Cash and Deltas: Unless you have
a lot of artists who can make rooms and poses for you for free, and
someone who can create web pages and understands links, along people who
know how to do the many other things that need to be done, you may end up
spending a lot of real money or Chatlands™ deltas (or both) in order
to create your site. Do not expect people to do this for free.
RegardingDonated or Purchased
Content: Unless you personally create all of the content for your
site, which is definitely a very large job, there will be more than one
person working on this project, and possibly there will be quite a few.
These people will be creating the images and writing the text for the
site. Make sure that there are clear agreements in place in
advance that explain who owns the copyrights to the artwork and other
creative content. The reality is that some people, no matter how well they
are getting along today, may decide tomorrow that they no
longer want to permit their poses or room backgrounds or other contributed
work used on the site. The best policy is to make sure that everyone
understands and agrees up front on how such situations will be handled,
should they arise.
Responsibility: It is your
responsibility to create the TO DO lists for your chat lands site. It is
your responsibility to keep the site in proper order and to make sure that
the terms of service for all
Chatlands™ sites are followed. Unruly behavior, trolling to other
sites by your admins, or running to other sites to try to draw people to
your site is considered rude and abusive.
We are all in this together. Trying to compete in unfriendly ways
with other Chatlands™ sites is not only inappropriate, it can end up
shutting down your site and possibly getting you or your admins banned.
Let's work together to grow this and draw in new people, because, after
all, there's an awful lot of room to grow!
Once Accomplished: The more you
accomplish while on Dream Isles, the faster the site will be put up.
Remember, on Wolfhome rooms are approved and put up typically within a
day or two. The same applies for your islet and maps. Once you have
everything set up, and you are ready to launch your site, keep creating
these to-do lists and build them up before handing them to underdog. He
can accomplish things more quickly with a detailed list than one item
at a time.
Once You Are Up and Running:
Don't expect the site to be loaded with lots of people "instantly". It
can take time for people to learn about your site and decide to explore
it. If you are in a hurry, you might want to try these things: Advertise
on web sites. Use Photobucket, Deviant Art, Facebook, Twitter and other
sources to get the word out about your site!