How can you tell which websites are legitimate and which are bad? Something that becomes obvious later on, this can be quite difficult to discern toward the beginning of one's Awakening. There are, however, a few simple ways that one can use to easily determine whether or not a group or website is legitimate.
Oftentimes, individuals assume that because a site or organization has a large following, they must be legitimate. The truth is, that is typically not the case (and is often a sign to say otherwise). Regardless of size or "power", everything and everybody should be examined equally.
How to Tell: Word Usage
There are a few ways that one can easily determine whether or not a site or group is legitimate if they are “posers.” Certainly the quickest and easiest of these methods is to judge their use of vocabulary. If they use such words as, “Cabal, Black Swan, Fledgling, and Sire,” they're probably not real vampyres. Instead, it is more likely that they are roleplayers.
Two good examples of words to look out for are: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Union/Games/events/vampire_glossary.html and http://phrozen-neon.com/vampire/glossary.htm (I ended up highlighting the words in this one because the color choice is quite poor a simple CTRL+A (select all) should do the trick). Essentially, if you see any of these words used, then it would be good sense to turn the other way.
How to Tell: Examination
The other method (which is less obvious and usually takes more digging) is to examine how the founders view their members. Some questions I tend to ask myself while reviewing sites or groups are:
- What are they selling (literally), and does it have any correlation to the real world?
- Do the owners appear to show respect towards their followers?
- Do the owners seem to value the opinions of those who believe them?
- How much out of the way would the owners be willing to go to meet a special (but reasonable) request?
- Do the owners seem pompous and full of themselves, or talk down to others unnecessarily?
- Do the owners seem to be down-to-earth and realistic, or do they appear to be mentally someplace else?
If at all unsure after checking their vocabulary (or, “Parlance,” to list another common roleplaying term), the answers to the latter questions will help you determine whether or not you should pay mind to their beliefs and opinions.