Thousands of people make up the wonder that is Elfwood, and it seems only natural for various smaller communities based on this organization of artists and writers to evolve. Some might claim that an organization as large as Elfwood might have difficulty in creating a strong sense of community among its members, but that doesn't appear to be the case here. For the curious Elfwooder looking to make him or herself known to the Elfwood community at large, there are several different options available to them, including mailing lists, LiveJournals and more.
The Mailing Lists
For those diehard fans of mailing lists, Elfwood has three fairly active lists to choose from. All three lists are located on Yahoo! Groups, and so a Yahoo! ID is needed for you to participate, as well as some form of email service. Aside from that, there isn't much to using the mailing lists, but make sure that you change your settings to "daily digests," otherwise you'll probably wind up flooded with emails. Elfwood's mailing lists are: woodchat, the general list for Elfwooders, wyverns, a list specifically for Wyverns Library, and FARP, the list for getting help in art creation. Of the three, wyverns is probably the most active, generating nearly twice the amount of daily digested emails as woodchat in the same time period, and FARP is the least active. For the most part, members of the mailing lists seem to treat each other fairly well, and discussions range from Elfwood related topics to art and writing tips, and various topics in between.
It's unusual to find someone who hasn't heard of the internet phenomenon known as LiveJournal, the online journaling website discussed in the July issue of Woodworks. LiveJournal has a convenient community feature for its journalers that Elfwood has put to good use. Several very active journal communities have been created for Elfwood, and they are used for a variety of purposes from providing information regarding the technical side of the site, to giving disgruntled Elfwooders a place to blow off steam, and nearly everything in between. LiveJournal is easy to join, all you need is an invite code to get you started, and it is extremely user-friendly, with a thorough FAQs and several community journals available to help you on your way. Existing members of the Elfwood LJs are generally open and friendly, and there is almost always something going on there.
Mailing lists and LiveJournals are all fine and dandy, but sometimes nothing can compare to real time chatting. To that end, two IRC channels have been established on the RPGworlds and Shadowfire servers to offer chat rooms for Elfwooders, and fans of Elfwood, to congregate in. The two channels are #lothlorien on the RPGworlds server, and #wyverns_library on the ShadowFire server. Accessing either channel is fairly easy, you need only follow the instructions found on Elfwood's IRC information page, or visit either channel website. The members of the channels are usually quite welcoming, and topics discussed in channel cover an extremely wide range. The entertainment value from visiting with other Elfwooders in a real time chat environment alone makes it worth giving the IRC channels a try. However, be warned in advance that visiting #lothlorien and #wyverns_library may result in an addiction with side effects including bouts of laughter, smiles, good times, and of course, friendships.
Another community, the last of which that shall be mentioned in this article, and which is also quite addicting, is Elftown. Elftown, the youngest of the online communities available to Elfwooders, appears to be a forum based community, still in its testing stages, with a growing population of Elfwood artists, writers and fans of Elfwood already participating. To access Elftown, you only need to visit its website and register a username and password, and you're ready to go. It's that simple. Once you've registered, you have the options of sending messages, voting in polls, participating in the forums, writing on wiki boards and more. Elftown gives you a chance to meet and interact with various members from around the world. If you have any questions regarding Elftown, there are plenty of people to ask, and most are incredibly friendly and more than ready to help out. For more information regarding Elftown, check out the community profile, also in this issue.
There are several communities available to the members and fans of Elfwood to join. Mailing lists and LiveJournals abound, as well as chat rooms and an elaborate forum based community. With so much to choose from, there's only one question left to ask, which one is right for you?