Bliki by Eklas – now with more nostalgia.
You're reading this right. After a one-and-a-half-year long hiatus, I have decided to write a new bliki entry. Is this the beginning of a whole new season, or will this post forever remain the solitary item in its dedicated section of the template? I don't know. Let's not think about it that hard.
Nothing better ahead
Since September, I've been going through a depressive episode and the lockdown obviously didn't contribute positively to my well-being. I was actually starting to pick up some pieces of hope again in early March, right before the crisis hit. Oh well, what can you do? Just like the legend and icon Hayley Williams sings, you should know when things are going good, that's when you get knocked down.
I am not writing this to receive sympathy – really, being hopeless is nothing to be congratulated on – nor do I want to sound sentimental or dramatic. I just want to say that on days when it's hard to find a reason to get up, knowing well that nothing good or at least meaningful will happen that day, OpenGeofiction remains one of the things that sucks less than the others and I truly appreciate it for just that.
East Uletha has changed
Things Have Changed during these past 18 months. One particular has been relevant to this post, and that is that I've become the regional coordinator/moderator of East Uletha last August.
And in September, the depression started. Being now one of the admins has presented an interesting challenge to the creation of this entry, in that I feel obligated to write about East Uletha stuff now, and that I also feel pressure to be more serious and professional. Damn, who knew the line between being an honorable member of the admin team and being a meme boi would be so fine?
If you follow me on Twitter or if you're a member of one of the off-site online communities, you probably have already seen the picture on the left. It's an illustration of the 16 sectors I have divided East Uletha into for purposes of territory administration and development and might as well be the best thing I have created in a while.
My opinions and attitudes on administratorship have changed in these past months. I have to admit I was going in with a radical vision and I'm only slowly learning to accept other people's ways; I've come to the conclusion that part of what makes this project so beautiful is the unbelievable diversity in taste and style. But ultimately, while I do believe that every user deserves a chance no matter their skill level, I don't think that means we should resign on mapping quality. Yet instead of asking, 'Is it perfectly realistic?', recently I'm trying to ask myself, 'Is this pretty?' and 'Was this made with a creative intention?'
This is how I would want to define my efforts in East Uletha. I have outlined some plans for the region and you can read more about them at User:Eklas/Sandbox/Uletha; the standards for getting a new territory remain reasonably high and the withdrawal process is also quite fast compared to the other continents (which I think is sensible considering Uletha is the most requested continent). But with the exception of the very largest territories, where I do expect a high level of quality, I don't want to give people a hard time. My plans rather concern the development of grey areas, and the navigation of new users into territories that will be the most suitable for them. In general, while there are certain entry conditions, I just want people to like, chill around, and have fun.
At this point I would also like to give a shout-out to Wangi, the moderator of Archanta. Of all members of the admin team, they get by far the most messages and requests, and I admire them for not only still going, but actively managing the continent and a bunch of collaborative territories. If I had to respond to twenty OGF messages every week, I would probably have quit.
How much do you know about East Uletha, the region, the better half of the continent, the 95 megabytes of data stored on a remote server in Germany? Are you an all-knowledgeable wizard from the swamps of Oestermark, or a just rickety rookie from the dusty suburbs of Bend, Midistland? Test yourself now!
Question 1! Prior to me (Eklas), who has been the moderator of East Uletha? (easy)
c) MOI N, the mapper of Cygagon
d) I don't know her.😎
2. What is the total area of all territories in East Uletha as of May 2020? (easy)
a) 12,804,206.75 km2
b) 16,976,328.17 km2
c) 24,381,581.12 km2
3. Which of these capital cities is NOT located in East Uletha? (easy)
c) Campo Verde
4. UL19a, UL20a and Orinoco are the three largest countries in the region by size. But at 742,871 km2, which one comes fourth place? (medium)
a) Nordmark (UL23a)
b) Ataraxie (UL30a)
c) Suvuma (UL33e)
d) I prefer not to answer.
5. What does EUOIA stand for? (medium)
a) East Ulethan Organization of Independent Allies
b) Every User Operating in Archanta
c) Easy Urbanism Obviously Inspired by America
d) Erotic Understanding of Interchange, Axelland
6. Alright, moving on. Which one of these lost countries could previously be found (a pun, hehe) in East Uletha? (hard)
a) Sonela Gohi
d) tag yourself i am lost
7. Final question! In which continent is there NOT an exclave of Mergany? (hard)
Easy (1 point each): 1 b, 2 b, 3 c; Medium (2 pts each): 4 a, 5 a; Hard (3 pts each): 6 a, 7 c
Less than three points: You don't seem to know much, but that's okay. You might want to look into a career in politics.
4–6 points: I have a feeling you're not using JOSM. Big mistake. Huge. You should fix that right now – it is the superior editing tool after all.
7–9 points: You are a stay-at-home mom from the suburbs of Saviso, Vodeo, who has way too much time on her hands and wastes it by filling out online quizzes. Keep on rockin', Brenda. And don't forget, Verona Coffee is the best brand out there. Much better than Ew-mpire.
8–10 points: You're a hopeless citizen of Kistoshoopaa, Viljanni. Good luck finding your way home because all streets look the same.
11–12 points: Sometimes, things go wrong in life and that's okay. You're a runner-up, and nobody is going to remember you in twelve months' time, but it will be fine, I promise.
13 points: Congratulations. You have earned the honorary title Bachelor of East Ulethan Geography. Feel free to put the title BcEUg in your name and demand to be addressed as such.
Odrava has changed
I own two territories and not one of them is in East Uletha.
Now for my country, Drabantia. Obviously, there has been a lot of new stuff since November 2018, but the thing I feel perhaps the most proud of is my recent work in Odrava, the capital city. And, inspired by projects such as Queering the Map, instead of writing a boring essay about it, I have decided to make an interactive map with commentary. You can both learn what my inspiration was and what the local citizens have to say, what their memories are, which I just thought was a nice extra layer to add to the map.
There are a few useful words to learn: in particular, sídliště, which is equivalent to the German Siedlung or English estate, in other words, a planned neighborhood with modern apartment buildings; and secondly, panelák, which is the Czech word for houses built from prefabricated concrete panels that are quintessential to every Central and Eastern European city. Eskadské předměstí certainly is a sídliště and there are so many panelák buildings that at its height, almost 50,000 people were able to live there.
In the great tradition of my bliki, feel free to open this legendary 2010 hit song of the same name by Sia and let it play in the background. And also, tag yourself, which one of the characters in the video are you? I am the guy in a green sweater holding a fire extinguisher and crying.
I have to admit, reading back, some of the older posts in my bliki series have been kind of iconic. This entry, or any of the ones immediately following it, if there are some, aren't created with the intention of replicating that success. I don't think I can do that. No – this is not another one of those personal journey, I'm like,, a completely different person now, stories – really, the only difference with me is that I've grown a beard. Sure, some cool things have been created in Drabantia over the past year and a half, but I'm not the real glow-up story here. For that is the community.
*gabbie hanna voice* i am so proud of this community
No, for real: I have seen people do neat stuff on the map. Some of the same people I used to call out in my earlier texts (thinking I was the sh*t back then; I sure did have things to say in 2017) have stepped their game up a whole lot. I am especially pleasantly surprised by the amount of nicely drawn railways I have been seeing recently. How far have You come since November 2018? Please share your stories and creations in the comments.
This concludes today's post. Lastly, I would like to say, I'm sorry if you expected a more fun read. But the Bliki has always been about balancing millenial nihilism, gen Z irony and pop-culture propaganda, after all. I'm Taylor Swift and this is my Reputation era. I'm Paramore making hit single Ain't It Fun in 2013. I am the one doctor out of ten who doesn't recommend. I'm the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend the band Lake Malawi sang about at Eurovision last year. I'm in the business of misery, let's take it from the top.
Comments are... appreciated
If you have been around for the original season of my Bliki, you are eligible for a senior discount. Use the coupon I-KEEP-GETTING-OLDER at your local Verona Coffee now!
She's back! The Blikisaurus is back! :) All joking aside, I'm pleased to see another installment, even if only this one. I love the annotated map of Odrava. The cat on the 12th floor needs to go away. It's a clever idea, and certainly something I think more of us should do. I'm definitely thinking about good ways for this to go. On another note, your previous instruction and private help on railways has really helped me in Mauretia (and even in the planning and beginning workings of Mennowa). Iola has undergone some major changes, but your railway help has allowed me to really keep things realistic. The new station on the Iola waterfront (not all the lines are connected yet) is a direct result of your instruction. Many thanks to you. Stay strong, even during this time. You'll come through stronger! — Alessa (talk) 16:29, 4 May 2020 (CEST)
- Oh Alessa, you're always so nice. Thank you! I wish I could go on vacation to Mauretia, it looks like the dream Mediterranean place to sit on a balcony with a sea view and just relax. If there is anything more I can help you with, please don't hesitate to contact me. --Eklas (talk) 08:04, 5 May 2020 (CEST)
Wow! randomly found your bliki while searching for info about Uletha (kind of lucky)... I love the mapping you've been doing around Odrava lately, but the annotated map ... is just astonishing (wig)! Even tho I'm not a compulsive writer and I never comment anything down here I must confess that I read all your blikis (!), so even tho you never write again I'm happy to hear from you!. Regards from a friend of a friend of friend (another GenZ desperate one),Oscar2002 (talk) 13:31, 8 May 2020 (CEST)