If you've been invited to join the 10000 Islands through NationStates via a telegram, or even if you joined without being invited, then you should check out the House system. There are several Houses around the 10000 Islands, and for a newer nation, it may get confusing. To clear things up, read over this simple guide.
Houses are simply groups of nations recruited by the House steward and other House members (with a few exceptions explained below). They are a fun way to converse with other people and socialize with other members of the forum. Joining a House also shows your appreciation for the fantastic recruiters and welcome-message senders we have in the Islands.
There are two options to go about joining a House here in the 10000 Islands. They depend on how you came across the region.
1) If you were invited to the 10000 Islands region by one of the nations who is already here, via a telegram through NationStates*, then you should join the House that they're in, if they're in one. If the person who recruited/invited you is part of a House, you'll may receive a telegram and/or private message on the forums regarding which house you should join. Some people may also inform you on the welcome thread (here). If you're not sure which House you're in, look at the profile of the person who recruited you. There will hopefully be a line under their number of posts that says "House of: [Name]." If they don't have that, then you should ask them which House they're in. If they are not in a House, then proceed to step 2.
2) If you've come across the region by some other method besides an invitation telegram, then you should choose which House you wish to join yourself. Whereas when you're invited, it's respectful to join your recruiter's House, when you've joined without being invited, you don't have to join a certain House, and you can choose.
* Note: The one exception is if you received a recruitment telegram from a nation belonging to Cerberion with "tag: api" as the recipient in the header of the TG. That means you were recruited by automated telegram, and can join any House you wish, per option #2.
To actually join a House, just post in the House's thread (listed below) saying you want to join or send a message to the House's steward.
Which Houses Are Out There?
There are several houses around currently, all started by dedicated recruiters. Some houses have more members than others. But remember, it's not about the quantity all the time, it's also about the quality. So, here is a list of the houses:
Click on the House names for their threads.
How Do I Add My House and Generation to My Forum Profile and Signature?
To add a listing of your House or Generation in your forum profile, go to "Profile," then "Edit Profile," then the "Personal" tab. There are located dropdown boxes for "House of" and "XKI Generation."
You can also add a pixel badge for your House to your signature, if your House has one. First read how to add images to your signature(here). Then, copy one of the following codes into your signature and add [img] before and [/img] after the code:
More badges will be added as they will be designed.
What Are Generations?
Generations show in what time period you joined the Islands, usually marked by the date you joined the forum (which can be found on your profile). The full list of generations can be found here. Some generations have their own threads (Elder, TITO, United Nations, Recession, Initiative, Acylyndia War, and Redesign). The generations and other population trends are graphically depicted by the XKI Genealogy Project here. The XKI Genealogy Project (headquartered here) is run by the Genealogist Paffnia and also manages the XKI Family Tree.
The XKI Family Tree (in its third version, created by the XKI Genealogy Project and found here) visually depicts the relationships between recruiters and the nations they have recruited, as well as nations' Houses and generations, similarly to a family tree. You can sign up for the tree and learn about the requirements here.
Three times a year--in January, May, and September--the month-long House Cup and House Shield Competitions occur, run by the Senator for Lyonnesse East. The House Cup is awarded to the House that does the most collective recruiting over the month, based on a points system awarding nations recruited and recruitment telegrams sent, with bonuses at the Senator for Lyonnesse East's discretion for things like nations registering on the forum. The House Shield is awarded to the House that does the most recruiting per capita--each House's total House Cup points are divided by the number of eligible members of that House to determine the House Shield winner. All the details can be found here.
Additionally, the Senator for Lyonnesse East may also concurrently run the House Sceptre Competition, begun by The Candy Lane. The House Sceptre is awarded to the House of the individual nation whose recruitment telegram (sent out at minimum 500 times in the month) has the highest percentage recruitment success rate, provided that nation is willing to share the the telegram. Unlike the House Cup and Shield, the House Sceptre is not established by law and is run at the Senator for Lyonnesse East's discretion.
To make the Senator for Lyonnesse East's life easier, all House stewards should keep a list of House members in the OP of the House thread, updated at least right before the House Cup and Shield starts. A note should be placed by every member who has CTE'd, is in the WA, or is Accelerator-eligible (in the WA and has been on the forum at least two weeks with at least ten posts), the last of which is used to calculate the House Shield.
Besides the House Cup and Shield, the Houses may compete informally in game threads in Shelter's Taco Island and competitions hosted at the discretion of the Senator for Lyonnesse East. Here are a few examples for House Games:
If you have any questions or comments about Houses or anything else in this guide, contact the senator for Lyonnesse East, who is responsible for maintaining the House system, currently Keswickholt (Keswickholt's Office).