Kalianna Nicholotti

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Poll of the Week: Everyday Speech

There are a number of quotes from our favorite television shows that we can return to, inviting a flood of memories back about the episode and what we were doing in our day when we heard the words. Few shows have grown beyond that, but Star Trek is definitely one of them. Rather than having to stop and explain a scene to your friends or coworkers, it’s easy to let one of these popular phrases fly and get a response from nearly any audience. Even those who don’t consider Star Trek a part of their lives will recognize some of them.

Perhaps that is why Trek had such an amazing following throughout the years. It wasn’t just the progressive attitudes and the willingness to delve into the unknown both in the show’s reality, and in our own psyche, but the manner in which the words resonated through multiple generations.

And that, of course, brings us to our poll of the week. What is your favorite famous Trek saying?

Let us know if it’s one of those we love, or if you have your own, and don’t forget to join the conversation and tell us when you put your favorite phrase to work in the discussion that follows.

Forums Roundup: October 2015

Do you smell that? Yup, it’s Pumpkin Spiced Everything. The very scent lingers in the air constantly around this time of year, and if you like it, we’re certain you’re excited about the incoming autumn season. We are too, and we’re showing it with our usual celebrations, along with some unique twists. Here’s some quick links to what’s happening around the 118 forums!

Of course you can’t miss all of the new avatars people are sporting these days. We are dressing up for the annual Halloween avatar contest and this year promises to be amazing just like these last few years have been. Learn more from the contest forum here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/535-halloween-avatar-contest/

New this year is a special Halloween graphics contest! We all celebrate this time of the year differently, so it’s pretty certain that they celebrate it differently in the future. That being said, how do you think Trek celebrates Halloween? Learn more about the contest here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/topic/12606-halloween-graphic-contest/#entry348798

Want your name to go down in group history? If you earn the title of ‘Plotmaster’, it most certainly will! Participate in the contest that will help us decide on the next fleetwide plot arc by sending in your proposal! Learn more about this, along with the rules, here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/540-2016-fwpa-proposal-contest/

And while we’re all in costume looking our best, don’t forget to share the sims that you consider the best with the entire fleet. Enter them into the Top Sims contest today: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/283-top-sims-contest/

Finally, if you want to dive more in depth into the realm of Starbase 118, be sure to check out our IC forums here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/464-in-character/

With plenty of spooks and goblins out there this season, it’s sure to be an exciting start to Autumn. As the nights get cooler, we know we’ll see you around the forums more often. It’s good to have you all back, and we really are looking forward to what happens next!

Poll of the Week: Colorblind

We all know that when Star Trek originally made its debut, the uniform colors were a bit different than what we saw as the franchise developed. Like any good military, evolution came with time, and that included both the uniform style and the colors that were used for the different departments. Modern military uniforms have gone through their own evolution as well, though we see less in the inclusion of colors and more in the style. For Trek, though, colors have a very important significance – they tell us a person’s job.

Between The Original Series and The Next Generation, command duty stations turned from gold to red, while engineering and security went from red to gold. Science and medical remained blue, but only for the time we know of. And that is what leads us into this week’s poll of the week!

If you could recast the color of command again, what color would it be? Would you stick with the dark red that seems to command respect, or would you opt for something entirely different?

Let us know what you’d choose, and comment on why below the poll!

Poll of the Week: Foreign Exchange Officers

We’re often enamored, or at least intrigued by cultures that we are unfamiliar with in our world. From different ethnic foods, to traditions that we aren’t used to, there’s a lot to learn from stepping outside of our comfort zone and immersing ourselves in the realm of another group of people. Certainly this isn’t a new idea, as exchange student programs have been around for a while and people have been traveling the globe for hundreds of years. But what would happen if that globe suddenly got a whole lot bigger?

That brings us to this week’s poll of the week question: If you could choose to be involved in an exchange officer program with any other Star Trek ‘nation’, which would you choose?

Each of the options offers intrigue and the opportunity to learn a great deal, just like exchange programs here on Earth do, but which appeals to you the most? Is it the Romulans and their secrecy, or the warrior nature of the Klingons? Or maybe you’d like to spend a year with a race from the Gamma quadrant? Let us know, or feel free to add in a race we didn’t think of and let us know why!

Forums Roundup: September 2015

The summer is officially behind us, and in many parts of our player’s worlds, things are getting cooler and back into the normal routine. While much of the year’s fun might be passed us, there’s still plenty to get into around the Starbase 118 forums. Here’s just a sampling of things that you can enjoy while the weather gets cooler and the world heads towards the darker days of winter.

There’s life in the Character Guild again. Be sure to stop by and check out the different threads that make you think about your character and how deep your personal rabbit hole goes: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/499-characters-guild/

We’ve all been a part of sims where things might turn a bit dark. Now you can show off your character’s darker side in the Autumn graphics contest. Head over here for more information on how to submit your entry: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/topic/12193-autumn-graphic-contest-announcement/

Get back to basics and join in our Trek centered conversation on our Trek threads. http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/215-star-trek/ Or just talk with other members from around the Fleet in our general discussion threads. http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/14-general-discussion/

The Featured Bio team is seeking new members. If you’re interested in joining and judging entries for the various rounds, learn more here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/topic/12416-the-featured-bio-contest-needs-you/

Likewise, the many teams that make Starbase 118 as great as it is are also seeking help. Stop by our Team hub and check out all that is available. http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/105-group-elements/ If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the facilitators of these teams or the Taskforce Facilitator directly for more information.

Even as the world turns towards the colder months of the year for a lot of us, there is still plenty to get into around the Starbase 118 forums. Be sure to stop by and check it out. Until next month, we’ll see you around the threads!

From the desk of the Taskforce Facilitator

It’s been a couple of months since the new Taskforce Facilitator role was created and work began. In those months, not only have we seen a lot of information flow in as we start to track team and guild related data, but I have personally be able to step in and help some teams achieve goals or find help in achieving goals that they set at the beginning of the year. Overall there is lots to learn from the overview of it all, some of which I wanted to share with you, the 118 Fleet!

Since I’ve stepped into this role, it’s been a pleasure to help connect team leaders with the resources they need to complete their goals and get things done in a better and more efficient way. Time is a valuable resource here, so in connecting teams to the right people and things, we can save time for everyone while maintaining the flow of any given team. In the past couple of months, some examples of this have been connecting the Publicity and News teams so that our best stories can be shared throughout the internet, and finding additional team members for teams where only one or two people have been shouldering everything. We’re also working to make sure that everyone knows about the various opportunities that the fleet has available through our teams, guilds, contests, and more.

We also have seen some officers step up to facilitate or co-facilitate teams to get them back on track. The Character Guild has two new facilitators – LtCmdrs. Holly and Traenor, who are working to build a go-to forum and wiki area that can help old and new officers design and flesh out amazing characters. Commander Chen has also stepped in to help the overworked podcast team so that we will see the awesome podcasts 118 has gotten used to again.

It’s nice to see such a variety of officers from every ship in the fleet serving on the various teams we have as well. No ship is unrepresented in the mix, but there is always room for more – of course. With all of our teams on track to do great things for our fleet between now and the end of the year (and then again next year!), we’re always looking for people to volunteer for one of the many projects we have going on across our many teams.

Have a few minutes to spare? Check out our teams and join up to help spread the word about 118, make 118 a better place, or even help train the next generation of 118 officers today.

Still not sure what you can do? Contact the Taskforce Facilitator (me, Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti) directly with any questions you may have.

Forums Roundup: August 2015

The summer is actually drawing to a close, bringing us ever closer to my favorite time of the year. With back to school, autumn, and the holidays just around the corner, there are definite shifts going on both on and offline. Regardless what these shifts bring to your life, remember that there’s always something exciting going on around the 118 forums. Check out some of the following to get involved in the conversation today!

The newest round of the graphics contest has been announced recently. Whether you have a lot of experience in photoshop or other graphic editing software, or you are simply dabbling in the art, submit your piece and be a part of why 118 is so much different than any other sim group out there. http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/topic/12193-autumn-graphic-contest-announcement/

Wondering about ranks and how to get promoted in the 118 fleet? There’s lots of answers and plenty of discussion over in our rank and promotion threads: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/178-rank-and-promotion/

Check in with our duty post threads and talk to other players around the fleet who are playing the same duty post as you are. Learn from different perspectives and share your own ideas here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/52-duty-posts/

With all of the changes going on throughout the fleet, you’re likely to see a number of new ship names listed on the forums. Be sure to check in with your ship’s threads and get to know your crewmates better both IC and OOC: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/216-starbase-118-ships/

Help to get the word out to the entire internet by taking part in one or more of our simple publicity projects. They are hugely helpful for the growth of the fleet. You’ll find information and instructions here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/66-publicity/

And of course, like always, there’s plenty more! Until next month, hope to see you all around the forums.

Introducing the Taskforce Facilitator

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been laying the groundwork for a new role that will help our myriad of taskforces to focus on the goals we set each year in our State of the Federation Address. This new role is the Taskforce Facilitator, the purpose of which is to help our taskforce leaders.

There are lots of teams that help to provide depth to our fleet and through the work done by their members, our experience is enriched. Each team has a different directive, pursued by the members of that specific team, but the results of their efforts ripple outwards and have an impact on the rest of the fleet regardless of how small that impact may seem. From our monthly fleet-wide chats, to our Training Team, and even our Graphics Team, it’s certain that our experience here at 118 would not be the same if it were not for the hard work of our team members.

But with so many taskforces, there are lots of things — like those goals we set every year — that can fall through the cracks when people get busy. The Taskforce Facilitator will work with team leaders to track membership, goals, and keep records so they are readily available to the EC, CC, and leaders looking to get a picture of where a team stands. By working in conjunction with the Promotion Coordinator, the Taskforce Facilitator will also help by finding appropriate leadership roles for up and coming command officers.

Often, we find that our time is limited and our goals seem so far away. To make things easier on our leaders throughout the fleet, it is hoped that the creation of this role will take some of the stress from those leaders so that they can refocus on their team’s goals with renewed fervor. With direct support (from me!), team leaders will have a better chance of attaining the goals they’ve set for themselves at the beginning of the year, and moving on to bigger things.

Have questions or want to know more? Stop by my corner of the forums and say hello or ask a question.

Forums Roundup: July 2015

Summer is in full swing and there’s lots going on outside. It’s pretty awesome that there is a ton going on around the Starbase 118 forums as well. Here’s just a taste of what you can get into this month!

The Species Guild has started a new series of conversations about many species throughout the Federation. Some are canon, while some are specific to 118. Head on over to join in the conversations: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/451-species-guild/

Have you read a great sim lately? Let the fleet know! Submit your favorite sims to the Top Sims contest where they can compete for one of the most prestigious awards the Fleet offers – Top Sim of the year. You can even submit your own sims if you’ve impressed yourself with one! Don’t wait, share the best sims from your ship today. http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/283-top-sims-contest/

Our fleetwide teams are always looking for help. Without these teams, such as the publicity team, we wouldn’t be able to expand because we wouldn’t be gaining new members. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, head on over to the publicity team threads and join us in spreading news of 118! http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/66-publicity/

The one thing that has brought us all together here is our love for Star Trek. As such, it’s only natural that we get together to talk about our shared passion. You can join us in our Trek themed forums here: http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/215-star-trek/

Our duty post forums are far from used as much as they could be. Not only are they a great resource, but they offer officers a way to connect with others across the fleet. Most are seeking facilitators as well. Think you’re up for the job? Or maybe you just want to learn how others are playing your favorite duty posts? Head over and join the conversation now! http://forums.starbase118.net/index.php/forum/52-duty-posts/

Of course there is much more as well! Don’t be a stranger – the forums are open 24/7 and always offer something for everyone. Until next month, see you in the threads!

Writer’s Workshop: Keeping it Real

One of the things many of us seem to struggle with throughout our simming is the simple (or not-so-simple) ability to ‘keep it real’. What does this mean? Well, we know that we are all writing in a fantasy world, even if that world is well set up and spelled out in many ways. With so much that could go wrong, literally, it can be much easier to lose control of the story – and wreck the realism behind your character – than it can be to play it like you would if you were standing in your character’s shoes.

That’s why it is important to know how to handle escalation in your story the right way. Sure, we could create enough chaos to send every writer in the Fleet into a chaotic tizzy, but the result of that would be a number of one dimensional characters that everyone will quickly lose interest in. After all, what good are our characters when they are no longer ‘big’ enough to save the universe?

Thanks to io9, here are a few tips that can really help you keep your perspective in the middle of the chaos we all sim through during our missions. By keeping it real, so to speak, you will end up in a far better place than if you chose to go the easy route and allow your characters to become just part of the backdrop. Keep these tips in mind as you write your next sim and see how you can manipulate your story into something purely epic.

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