The Neoboards and YOU! - A quick guide to the boards
Over the years, the Neoboards have been a forum for the citizens of Neopia to gather and discuss whatever is happening on the site. Needless to say, the boards never completely covered all the possible topics, and they have grown to cover other topics than they were originally intended. That is not to say it is entirely unrelated from the description, but the boards have grown to encompass topics never envisioned when the descriptions were written. Because of this, I believe it is worth our time to examine what each board means together:
The Official Neopets Team Message Board: As the title states, this is a location for official messages from TNT. Since there is no option for user submitted topics, it has not grown into something different.
Site Events: As one of the more active boards, the Site Events board generally consists of conversations about current and upcoming events, like Daily Dare, Charity Corner, and the Altador cup, but frequently is home to discussions about past events, news posts, and the content of the editorial. Occasionally it can be home to posts about time sensitive events such as Tarla appearing or Turmaculus being asleep. It’s also worth noting that many of these threads are not created to foster discussion, but in attempts to get the attention of TNT praising or complaining about updates depending on individuals points of view.
Art: Rather than sharing tips for creating art or asking for advice about entries for the various contests, the Art board has transformed into a Beauty Contest centered board, sometimes abbreviated BC. Here you frequently will find topics advertising Beauty Contest entries or topics requesting others to share their entries with the promise of potential votes. From my experience, people here will complement just about anything they see regardless of quality, as I have submitted several intentionally terrible drawings created in 5-10 minutes MS Paint and asked for feedback only to have the vast majority compliment them rather than giving constructive criticism.
Avatars/NeoSignatures: This board is commonly abbreviated as the AC, and mostly ignores the NeoSignatures component. It is another one of the boards that host active discussions on the site. Here many users request lends for various avatar related pets or items, commiserate with each other over hard to get or retired avatars, Discuss avatars, or have off-topic discussions with a blurb or question about avatars thrown in at the end so their topics don’t get deleted.
Battledome: The Battledome board is slightly slower than the Site events or AC boards, but it is home to many of the more opinionated and dedicated players on the site. Here users organize Battledome tournaments with custom restrictions, trade Battledome weapons, and discuss all aspects of the Battledome. This can range from discussions about new weapons to debates on how users think the Battledome can be improved.
Customisation: I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know anything about this board, as I don’t actually customise my pets. However, from reading through several threads and looking through the board, it looks like the Customisation board has stayed true to its purpose, fostering discussions about Neohome and pet customisations, and users rating each other's customisations.
Exploring Neopia: From what I understand, the Exploring Neopia board is an off-topic chat about anything and everything Neopets. It’s a very slow board, with only a few posts every day, so it’s hard to make any generalizations about it.
Fan Clubs: Another slow off-topic chat, but not actually restricted to Neopets topics. Users talk about things they like, but there aren’t many active conversations.
Games: A medium activity board where users talk about anything and everything to do with Neopets games. Ranging from feeding Kadoaties to getting game trophies, tracking game score to NP ratios, and getting some of the older unsupported games to work, this board stays true to the original description.
Ghoul Catchers: a low activity board dedicated to the Ghoul Catchers mobile game. Very little discussion here, so if you have a question about Ghoul Catchers it might take a few days before anyone sees your post let alone replying to it. When it comes down to it, it’s really a ghost of a board.
Guilds: True to the original intent, the Guilds board hosts threads advertising guilds, as well as occasional posts from users looking for join guilds. Most of the guild related threads have smilies or other special characters to make them stand out in their titles. While it may seem to be a fairly active board from the number of threads with posts on any given day, much of the post count on any given thread is made up of thread bumps so their ads will remain at the top of the page.
Help: HELP! I NEED SOMEBODY! HELP! NOT JUST ANYBODY! The help board consists of posts from users that have had issues with some feature on the site or users looking to assist others in resolving said issues. The type of issues can range from users looking for help finding items for quests to users talking about support tickets they submitted in hopes of a TNT staff member getting to their tickets sooner. This board stays true to its purpose with moderately frequent posts, but with most threads only getting a few responses.
Ideas / Suggestions: The ideas / Suggestions board serves simultaneously serves a double role of allowing users to make suggestions for new site features to TNT, as well as acting as a quarantine zone for some of the more ridiculous user requests. The vast majority of the posts made here are shortsighted or selfish, requesting new features or content updates without considering their feasibility or their long term impact on the game. It is a moderately low activity board, but ultimately serves an important purpose on the site.
Key Quest: Lets be honest, this board no longer serves any purpose on the site. With keyquest gone and unlikely to return any time soon, this board has been mostly abandoned and almost all of the posts are users asking or demanding TNT either bring back Key Quest or remove the board.
NC Mall: The NC Mall has changed purpose entirely from fostering discussion about the NC Mall and its contents to a home for users to trade or show off their NC items. The majority of users create threads looking to trade, but only blindly bumping their own boards rather than reading other boards to find people looking for their items or with items they are interested in. This gives the board the illusion of being much more active than it really is. Don’t go here if you can avoid it, as your posts are likely to be lost in a sea of blind bumps, and odds are if you get anyone offering to trade, they will be looking to take advantage of anyone new that isn’t intimately familiar with the community accepted trade "values".
Neoquest + NeoQuest II: No question about it, this is a dead board. While all the posts here are related to the NeoQuest games, so few people actually visit that it may as well not exist. At the time of writing there were only 14 topics on the board, and one of them had no replies after almost a week.
Neopian Pound: This board has horribly twisted from discussions about neopets being abandoned and adopted to a board centered around trading unconverted pets and pets with extremely short names or real words for names. Most of the users here ultimately don’t care about the pets in question and are just trading with the goal of trading whatever they get later for another pet that is perceived as more "valuable" than what they originally had. Most users strictly adhere to arbitrary value guides when trading pets, so please be careful and visit at your own risk. Remember, as it says in the pound, "a pet is for life!"
Neopian Writers: Another board that has more or less stayed true to its original purpose. Most of the posts here are discussions about user submitted entries into the various site written creative contests. Not much else to say about it really.
Newbies: "You’ll never find a more wretched hive of villainy" - That is to say, this board has strayed so far from its original purpose that I can only describe it with a movie quote. Just about all of the posts here are seriously off topic spam, and some are so out there that it seems like there is no moderation. Avoid if you value your sanity.
Quests: This board is very active but just about all posts are users on faerie quests looking for help finding an item. Next to no real conversations here, since users abandon their posts after they have found help with their faerie quests. Still, it performs the role that it was always intended for, and is a very important part of the Neoboards.
Role Playing: Speaking of roles, I put on my robe and wizard hat. This board serves as a home to the roleplay community on Neopets. Featuring topics ranging from medieval fantasy to modern science fiction to Neopets roleplay, just about anything goes here. Not terribly active, but it is a niche community after all.
Shop Ads: What can I say? Players advertise their shops here. It provides a more authentic user to user experience, but if you’re looking for anything specific you might as well look it up on the shop wizard.
Spotlights and Galleries: Another board that still fits the original purpose. Just about all the posts here are discussing user submitted spotlight entries or their galleries. I honestly can’t think of any other way to describe it. It’s a fairly slow board though, sometimes with only one or two posts on any given day, so it’s not a place to go if you want to hold a long conversation with prompt responses.
Stock Tips: This board has moderately low traffic, since most users just follow the strategy of buying stocks at 15 NP (or 10 NP with the recent charity corner boon), and waiting until the stock hits 60 or 75 NP to sell. However, it’s useful for users that are new to the Neopian stock market and those that want to discuss the prospects of individual stocks. 7.8/10, Too much water.
Trading / Auctions: Last, but certainly not least is the Trading / Auctions board, commonly abbreviated as TC. Here users will frequently post about items they are trying to buy or sell, post price checks on specific items, or chat together while trying to restock items to sell. This board is one of the more active ones, but is still much slower than it was before the shop price maximum was raised. Still, it provides an important place for users to buy and sell items that cost more than 1 million Neopoints, as well as when users want to trade a combination of Neopoints and items.
Charter: The last time I had premium the charter boards were very slow, with only the general chat actively hosting conversations. With the current size of the Neopets community it makes no sense to post on the charter boards, as it is likely that the audience that will view your posts will be extremely limited.
Jelly World: What? What are you talking about? There is no Jelly World board!
Taking all of this in mind, you can see how a number of boards have shifted uses over the years and how many of the boards are rarely used. Even then, the boards are an important place for user to user interaction, and there is no substitute for them.