I've been a member of Gaia for a little under two years, and I've been having a blast ever since I joined. I feel like I've been able to accomplish a lot on the site in many different ways. I've participated in events, met new people, designed avatars that have gotten a lot of praise from people I respect, played the games (including zOMG! the MMORPG), decorated my car and aquarium, and I've even gotten friends and family to join the community. And just a few days ago, I was able to meet a big goal of mine: my avatar was featured on Gaia's homepage!
The previous Friday before Milk Kittea was featured, I received a message from a Gaia administrator. He let me know that it was likely that my avatar would be featured on the homepage the following Friday. I was incredibly excited. >w< The week beforehand, a friend of mine had been featured and I realized that a Friday feature meant that Milk Kittea would not be up for the usual one day-- she would be displayed Friday and all throughout the weekend. As excited as I was, I started to become a little anxious. The admin had warned me that the Featured Avatar often gets bombarded with private messages, comments, and friend requests. He suggested that I turn off some of those features if I didn't want all the attention. After thinking about it, I knew I wanted to keep those options open. Really, what fun would be if I isolated myself from people? This was an honor and I wanted to enjoy every second of it!
This last Friday, March 19th, I woke up and found myself staring at my little message center on Gaia. Over the next four days, I experienced the following:
Needless to say, those few days were extremely exhausting. All in all, I think I received a couple thousand comments and messages (not to mention friend requests). I made it my mission to try to answer as many of them as possible. As people who have read my blog know, it's always been a priority for me to respond to those who take the time to contact me. I feel that people deserve replies if they took time out of their lives to write to me. For the most part, I received extremely positive feedback from both strangers and people who know me around the forums I frequent. I was shocked that I didn't receive a lot of phishing messages (trying to trick me into giving out my password). In fact, over the whole process, I believe I only saw one in my inbox! People were mostly interested in congratulating me for being featured and for my engagement to Shawn, which is mentioned in my profile. Other people commented on my Hello Kitty engagement ring. Some wanted to know more about my blog and its contents, especially my dollies. ^__^ A good number of commenters wished to know details about my avatar's items. I tried to respond to as many people as possible, especially those who wrote really long messages to me.
But of course... there was also a handful of people who felt it was necessary to find some way to insult me. Whether it was done out of jealousy (which most of my friends believed), or just plain hatred towards the Featured Avatar, they tried to hit me in personal ways. One lady told me that I was not a good writer and that I made a lot of mistakes. She proceeded to tell me this by writing:
"I read something about you being a great writter. Well you made Lots of mistakes. But whom am I to jude right?"
I laughed pretty hard after reading that one.
Other people tried to attack me for being a bad photographer or by saying that I was "too old" to be on Gaia. *chuckle* It was hard to hold back a smile with most of them. I'm a very positive person so that kind of stuff doesn't affect me very much. I never like creating drama so I just ignored the negative comments and focused on the positive ones.
After about two and a half days, I started to lose steam. I was upset to find out that people had started stealing my images from my post style. It caused my Photobucket account's bandwidth to exceed its limits and made all of my account photos unable to be viewed. In a panic, I transferred most of the images to a new Photobucket account in the hopes of making my Gaia account keep its clean and professional look. I was exhausted and realized I had enjoyed my status of the Featured Avatar long enough.
Overall, I had a wonderful experience. It got a little rocky towards the end, but I feel the good heavily outweighed the bad. I'm so proud of everything I've accomplished on Gaia with Milk Kittea. n___n
Please note: Since my old Photobucket account's bandwidth was exceeded, some images are not appearing properly on my Vox blog. This is not a permanent problem; they'll reappear once my account's bandwidth is reset in April!