This is a message from one of the Ball's previous hosts!
"What about the Gaian Annual Ball is so important?
Gaia Online is a Community Run Site. Yes, the administration may make all the big site decisions, but they do so as users and as people who are interested in our community. Imagine, if Gaia Online wasn't created by the original administration, do you think they'd be users of the site right now if someone else created it? I think so, but then again, who could have done it better than they did? I think a better question is if they could have done it without us!
As the site began to sprout, the community came together for one event. The Annual Ball. Completely user-run. It wasn't planned by the administration nor known to users the wonderful event that was to come. This is the essence of the Gaian Community. Whether it be a single thread, or a single piece of art, it comes from the user. Gaia Online may have grown tremendously over the years it's been online, but I think a large part of its tradition remains the same, even as a larger amount of the original users and the original community begin to fade (not necessarily a bad thing, as this is a result of change). Users continue to work hard towards making the site better, and most of the input comes from us. How often are events run by administration anyways? They wouldn't be worth announcing if they were all so common now would they!
The Annual Ball's goal is not to be elitist or talk about how long you've been on Gaia. I think people who use it just for this are truly mistaken, and have lost their Gaian Spirit. Think about it, what did they talk about during the first Annual Ball? It couldn't possibly been about how long people have been on Gaia, but perhaps it could have been about how amazing it was to see such a tightly knitted community come together and work towards a single goal, even though Gaia had not even been around as long! The Gaian Annual Ball takes a lot of work and effort to set up. You have to worry about prizes, themes, getting advertisements across Gaia and other forms of support. Simply having your own forum or area to hang out isn't enough.
Besides being a place to hang out and talk to people on Gaia that you wouldn't normally have been able to talk to, I think the Annual Ball is proof that Gaia is still here. Gaia is still a site for the community. The day the Annual Ball fades away is the day that Gaia no longer has a community that cares and supports it, as the Annual Ball takes strong will and community togetherness to make happen.
Why stop with a forum, though? Why simply be happy about the fact that you were able to get a few people together and chat? Gaia Online has grown to epic proportions. We need to think about the future of our community. We need to take our new member groups and backgrounds into consideration. Gaia still has a lot of the role players and story tellers, but Gaia's audience has traveled abroad, and has come back with ships full of people from all over the world.
We need to begin thinking about the future of the Annual Ball, and we need to begin taking advantage of the new user base! From the new artists and musicians to hobbyist flash developers, our new community has a lot to offer. I think that because of this, the Annual Ball will only become stronger. This is why it's so important. It is *the* ultimate representation of the Gaian Community. Without it, we have nothing. Gaia Online would just be another internet site with a "community", but one that doesn't give a darn about each other.
We need to begin thinking of the future of Gaia. What do you see in Gaia's future? What is the ultimate form of Community Input? I think creation. Can you see the day when a new type of Annual Ball occurs, or a new type of user input comes flowing through the site, where users are actually creating areas of its content? We already do through forum posts and profiles, but what about flash and other areas of output that we can give? If it's going to happen, we need to show we're capable of it. We need to come together and work towards making the user run events the greatest of all.
Will you collaborate with the rest of Gaia and share your talents and abilities with it? You can make it a better place. You already do every day when you give feedback to the site. Let's take it a step further. Let's keep the Annual Ball going on forever, and continually growing in size and diversity. Live on."
Thanks for your Time,
An unabridged history of 11 years of Annual Balls:
In 2003, Misao made the first ever Annual Ball. The admins were so impressed with what she'd done that they released the red rose corsage and black bow tie for her ball. Note that these were the first non-store items on Gaia ever!
In 2004, Misao refused to make the next annual ball convinced that the greed on Gaia was far too much to yield it. In light of that challenge, Setzer appeared. He made a topic in QnF calling for people to help out and make the 2nd Annual Ball. This year, instead of one host there were many each with their own distinct rooms. It gained so much popularity amongst the users that Setzer decided to ask for our own forum to party in. As some of you know, the answer was yes. This was the first time Gaia had ever opened a Forum up for a user run event. Really this ball is extraordinary. Not only that, but again the admins seemed to be impressed and decided to release the G-pins (much to everyone's surprise since we (the hosts) didn't think there would be ANY items involved.
In 2005, it was that time again. Setzer passed the torch onto Razumi Yazura to host the 3rd Annual Ball since Setz thought that it would be best to change the main hosts every year (a very wise decision). That year we developed a theme which was planetary. All the rooms were based off of planets, but they each had their own underlying themes. Again the ball gained popularity and of course we asked for a forum. But this time we were getting the mansion! This of course was the first and last time the mansion was going to be opened for a User event. No items this year, but it was still a HUGE success!
In 2006, the fourth annual ball was hosted in a guild , due to unforseen complications, and the fact that the admins didn't want to open up the mansion for the ball. The slim staff of 16 worked day and night a mear two months before the official date of the ball, to keep this seemfully dying tradition alive. No official host was named this year, and command was shared between all those who were involved. Needless to say it was a quiet year that year, but it was the first ball that had a plot totally made by the users! Quiet, but still a success and fun!
In 2007, Leyna hosted this year's ball and the moderators allowed the ball the have it's own forum for the 5th Annual Ball for the public to join in on the fun. The Ball's theme this year was Elements and it was quite exciting being able to make it public once more to a new generation of Gaians. It was a huge success and helped to open up the Ball to more people to help.
In 2008, with the Ball so successful as the year before everyone wanted to make this year's the biggest and best of them all. This year's host was chosen to be Freaksrus! Again for the 2nd time in a row the Ball was able to successfully gain a forum for the6th Annual Ball. The ball was able to gain new ideas with the publicity of the last year and the ball's theme was chosen to be Time Periods after a quick change. Despite being a previous theme chosen for the 2nd Annual Ball all that participated had a ton of fun especially with a fun twist on the plot and the Ball's first time have it drawn out Manga style!
2009 was a library filled with magical books, each room being one fairy tale or another. As one of the largest balls in the history of the Annual Ball, there were eight role-playing room and a newsroom! A fun fact about the newsroom: this was back when the Annual Ball still had permission to use actually Gaiaonline NPCs and settings, hence the Gaia Action News reporting on all the action in each of the rooms.
In 2010 the Ball was, once again, a huge success. It was perhaps the biggest success that the Annual Ball had reached up to date. With its theme of Mt. Olympus and the greek gods, it was a heavenly delight for everyone involved. This ball was a more educational ball as each of the hosts did their research and played an authentic figure from Greek Mythology. Everyone had a blast at this ball, setting a new standard to achieve for all the balls to come.
2011 featured a new theme: the 7 Deadly Sins. Princess Angelishia hosted as the princess of the pride palace, and each of the seven rooms featured a combination of sins and their opposites. It was a lot of rooms, but it was successfully pulled off thanks to all the hard work from everyone involved. It was concluded by a large after-party in towns for all the guests, hosts, and co-hosts to go nuts (and they pretty much did!)
2012 was our last ball, presenting a story about dreams. With Broken_Bleeding_Angel as the main host, playing the Dream King, and LilChibiUsa as her CO and the Dream Queen, all the rooms were tied together with one plot about the failing worlds of dreams. Each room's plot resolution was one more step towards saving all of the worlds from being lost. This was the 10th Annual Ball and a milestone for the URAB.
2013 -- this year has yet to be written, but with everyone's help it will be everything that the past years have been and more!
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[color=indigo][size=18] Tell me what you see in my future[/size][/color]
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jessieomer is a pagan, it's true. She has an unnatural amount of energy that builds up, and by working with her tarot cards it calms her enough and seems to take some of that hyper energy away from her. She tends towards giving more serious answers, along with a bit of advice. But alas, if you want to know jessie has decided the corporate side of business management was where she could make her mark, and with her psychic friend, they have much fun.
KissMeHappy involves herself in reading through difficult times. She firmly believes that no matter ones personality or background, a reading will teach you more about yourself and others. Often, it's not the cards that are most important but instead the reaction to them. She draws upon her own history and past interpretations of cards and outcomes to attempt to give the most helpful reading possible. To Kiss, it's not about the cards, but instead the person seeking them.
YamiNozomi has been doing Tarot cards for about 10 years, Pendulum work for as long as she can remember and she's been studying runes for the past year. She only uses one deck, The Goddess Tarot as she is very in tune with it and have found it gives me the most accurate readings. She uses a amethyst pendulum.