This diary was written during the weeks of my training... It is kept for future hopefuls who want to know exactly what they are getting into-- Good luck to you all!

The Acceptance

 Two weeks after applying for the post of community leader, I got my letter of confirmation! With it came a whole slew of addresses (Internet) to poke about, including a secret one with CL info... My official training doesn't start until a few days from now, though, so until then I'm laying back form contacting anyone about responsibilities.


Some things I've done prior to the official "training":

I've pretty much tired out the Welcome site for trainees and CLs (I can't include the URL here, sorry. It should be in the letter of acceptance). It really has been helpful in getting me started and giving me something to do while waiting to get a mentor.

I'm now registered to watch the 9000 block of Athens and the 3000-3300 blocks of Athens/Agora. I did this by first checking out the available sites (link on the Welcome page, second column) and then emailing the blocks coordinator (email available on the third page of getting started, towards the bottom). I'm not sure how many we're supposed to watch, but I decided the number I started out with seemed plausible.

I also submitted my info on the 4th page on getting started. Pretty elementary.

Now my next objective is to look for a deity to represent me in the Parthenon and scan a photo of me. And, of course, scan my blocks.

Scanning my blocks

I've been coming across quite a few "not moved in yet's" and "under constuctions." Others are cobwebs, dating back to 1995. I guess that not all of us can be web enthusiasts.

I emailed anyone who hadn't moved in yet, offering my services. I really wish there were an easier way of getting my introductions around. I got a few responses, asking about links, and profile managing.

I've scanned all the pages from 3000 Agora to 3050 Agora, and Athens 9000 to Athens 9030. Whew!!! I made a page dedicated to a more in depth rundown of what I've found, showing the page, the type, and any comments. In the future I'll post any sites of interest.

Got a letter!

Finally I was contacted by the head Trainee manager! She wrote a nice letter to all of us (apparently I belong to a class) telling us of what lies ahead. I also found out by looking at the CL in training page that I now have a mentor, Sarah. : ) I should be hearing from her in a few days.

The first lesson and my mentor!

Well, I met my mentor! He (the assignment got changed) sent me the first lesson, which i started during my lunch period. I had to go through the process of becoming a homesteader again, play around with all the file manager tools, install the usual geostuff (counter, geustbook), then pretend to respond to an email from someone asking for help getting a homepage. I set up a page in another neighborhood, and sent the URL to my mentor. Prom was this weekend, so i warned that I wouldn't get that much done. I hope to be finished with the first lesson this week.

First Lesson Continued

I've been adding things to my site that a homesteader might want, like a counter, or a guestbook, or an ftp'd file. I also had to learn how to use GeoMail. Actually, its not a bad idea, especially for hotmail people like me. I attached the pop3 account to my browser, and made the forwarding address my regular address. Now i can email someone w/o having to go to homail!

Second Lesson

In this lesson I had to learn my way around Geocities, and how to guide someone else. I answered hypothetical emails, nice and rough... One thing I learned: ALWAYS BE NICE! Manners are vital to being a CL.

This lesson took much longer... I spent at least 3 hours researching and responding to the emails. But its worth it. I'm learning so much about Geocities, and have even helped someone! A homesteader in my blocks has written me several times with various problems (browser incompatability, etc) and I helped her! :D That's the best feeling...

I haven't had much time to update my page.. I feel bad. I hope to put aside some time this week. I did finish scanning Athens/Agora 3000 and Athens 9000, though.

Lesson Three

Onward and upward! This lesson was about Geocities violations we might come across while scanning our blocks. The major infractions were pretty self explanatory (I mean, of course nudity is illegal). It was the small ones that got a little tough, like counters and indexes.

The test part was fun. I had to 'scan' a number of pages, find their problems, and write to my CL mentor how i'd respond. I wonder if they used ex-deleted pages, or made up their own? Anyway, the lesson took me 2 hours.

Featured Pages

This one probably took the most effort. I had to look at a series of pages and say if I would recommend them for Featured Pages or not, and write a hypothetical letter to the owner about why I am rejecting/accepting the site, with recommendations on how to improve. Very long letters.

One thing that came out of this lesson was the consideration of becoming a critiquer. Now that my training is coming to a close, I need to start wondering what I want to do (we are required to join at least on project). I'll post what i decide.

I also need to find more about this "Liasons" thing. We have to report to someone to show we are doing something. However, what i have to report, and how, is a mystery.

Also, I now see where my site falls short. As of now I am redesigning to make it easier.

Real Scan

For this lesson I had to scan some real sites on my block and write up what was wrong with them (if anything). Sadly, none were without complaint, and most were cobwebs. :( Most forgotten: Geolinks.

Almost to the end!!!

Whew! This last bit took a while-- I had to choose 3 of 5 activities to partake in... I chose helping out in the help forums, scanning some more sites, and a neighborhood scavenger hunt (getting familiar with the natives). I took my time, and my mentor contacted me, wondering what the hold-up was. So don't think they don't notice when you aren't prompt

Wrapping it up

After my last bits were turned in, my mentor and his other student and I all met in an ICQ chat. (If you don't have ICQ, get it! It's most useful as a trainee and CL. Download here.) We discussed our experiences, asked questions on the exam, and got the URL for it to take at our liesure.
The exam took me 30 minutes to complete, but 60 was suggested. A few days later, I got some official greetings, my name got moved to the CL pages, and I rejoiced! I've joined a few committes (page critiques, hopefully a graphics team), made a few friends (esp. the newbies like me), and met a few head honchos.

Closing statements

Don't underestimate the duties of training or of CL hood... I highly recommend knowing your stuff a bit before going in. Its hard to have to learn to do EVERYTHING cold, and then write about it like you could do it in your sleep. But also, don't underestimate the awards. Not only do you get the hokey warm feeling inside, but you also meet a great group of individuals who are not only caring but knowledgable.

What now? I'm considering keeping a CL diary of struggles, tips, and anecdotes for the posterity. We'll see. Thanks to all who watched this grow, and for those considering trying it out...

Good Luck!


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