There has always been a need for good, solid and reputable directories for those both within, and outside of, the modern Vampire culture, to be able to access resources for aid, for research and for personal community, there have been a number of these created in the past which have, to one extent or another, been either restricted, or curtailed by any number of events and issues.
We have just become aware of a new project that has been born based in Australia, an initiative that looks very promising. The Real Vampire Directory is under the stewardship of a lady by the name of Elizabeth Hopka and seeks to combine both directory information and a knowledge/research base to be a much “broader strokes” brush in examining a wide variety of influences, forces and factors that influence and shape the modern vampire society and culture.
In developing this, open access, academic approach project, Lady Elizabeth is seeking to develop a guidebook toward better understanding and sharing the wealth of information available in the culture today.
It is a great pleasure, and honour, for us to be able to bring you a one-on-one with Lady Elizabeth Hopka.
RVL: Good evening Lady Elizabeth, it is a great pleasure to be in contact with you and to welcome you to RVL.
EH: My pleasure Tim.
RVL: Though it might seem as though the Real Vampire Directory initiative has suddenly sprung into being, how long have you actually been working on setting it up?
EH: I had the idea for about a month before I began working on the website. My main motivation was frustration at the vampire/donor classifieds websites. Although some of them work well, most of them either no longer work, lack important functionality or aren’t being used any more.
RVL: …and, as coordinator, would you mind sharing a little of your personal history with us? How long have you been involved in the real vampire culture and, if we might be so forward, do you personally identify as a modern living Vampire?
EH: I’ve been involved with the OVC for a few months now. I do personally identify as a vampire, yes. Although that identity is only 6 months old, I’ve been feeding out of necessity for 3 years. At the time I had so much going on in my life, that self-exploration regarding my need was put on the back burner, and although I found the thought of being a vampire amusing, at the time it wasn’t considered seriously.
RVL: In your own mind, what is a real modern vampire? And, what attributes do you assign to a modern vampire?
EH: My definition of a vampire is “an individual which requires blood/energy from external sources to remain healthy and functional”. Ultimately, I don’t assign any attributes to vampires (other than the aforementioned one) as I’ve found that, although there seems to be some common characteristics here and there, there is no single attribute which spans 100% of vampires.
RVL: We note, in visiting the site of the directory, that you have an extensive rating system installed for each link that you list, including a number of “stars” for each item, could you explain, for our readers, how the rating system works.
EH: Sure, the rating system is automatic. The full details on the algorithm can be found here but basically, each website’s rating starts at three stars and is automatically adjusted by the “tags” (e.g. Controversial, Informational) given to that particular website. Each tag has its own “weight” and will adjust the score accordingly.
RVL: At this time are you running the directory by yourself or do you have a team that you would like to introduce?
EH: At this time I’m running it by myself, but I’m hoping to get a few more people on board in the near future. I’m currently looking for someone who can speak fluent Arabic, as well as someone who can speak fluent Mandarin. If anyone knows someone from the OVC who fits these descriptions, send me an email at email@example.com
More information regarding positions at RVD will be released in the near future.
RVL: …and do you have particular connections with any Houses, Groups or Covens within the modern Vampire society?
EH: Not locally unfortunately. There’s not a lot of activity in my area. I’m involved with many groups due to their relevance in developing RVD. However, my primary involvements are DALnet’s #sanguinarius and Amino’s Sanguine (http://aminoapps.com/c/truevampires/ )
RVL: If we can backtrack a little now, what led you to the decision to begin this project? Did you perceive a need for something that wasn’t completely available? Was there a particular catalyst that led you to act?
EH: I was frustrated with how hard it was for me personally to navigate the OVC. After thinking to myself “I should write a list of good websites I come across for my personal use”, I reckoned why not do it right the first time and share it with everyone else.
The idea of having the entire OVC’s information at my fingertips was just too good to pass up.
RVL: Now, there are going to be certain individuals who might oppose the inclusion of Otherkin groups in your directory, what would you say to those people about why you are choosing to make that part of your project?
EH: I decided that, although the website is primarily for vampires and donors, there was no harm, and in fact much to gain (in terms of the quality-of-life for Otherkin) in including Otherkin websites, especially considering many of the vampire websites I mapped out had close ties to Otherkin websites.
If it makes some of you uncomfortable, you can simply tick the “vampire” checkbox at the top of the page and voila! It’s vampire only.
RVL: …and in the long term, what is your ultimate goal for the Real Vampire Directory?
EH: I’d have to quote a sentence from my website which answers this exact question: “To contribute to an increase in quality of life for all vampires worldwide.”
Obviously this can be quite vague, but that’s how it should be because, in the website’s early stages, its direction is constantly changing while this quote stays the same.
RVL: I would hazard a guess that you would be open to receiving suggestions for inclusions in the directory, how should people contact you with their information and what’s the web address/es for our readers to find the directory?
EH: Absolutely. I highly encourage feedback and suggestions, especially ones regarding the directory. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. For all forms of contact, see http://realvampiredirectory.com/index.php/contact/ and for the directory see http://realvampiredirectory.com/index.php/links/
RVL: Do you have any other comments or observations about the project that you would like to share at this time?
EH: There have been a few changes recently, and more yet to come so stay tuned!
RVL: We would like to thank you very much for sparing a little time for us today Lady Elizabeth and we would like to keep in touch with you regarding the ongoing growth and development of the project if that is alright? Also, we wish you all the very best of success with the Real Vampire Directory.
EH: Not a problem. Thanks to the RVL team for the interview and I look forward to hearing from you again.
RVL E-Zine is always on the lookout for new projects, initiatives and positive efforts that come up within the modern Vampire culture. A lot of people look at these new enterprises and might be tempted, because of their affiliations with other individuals or associations, to blow them off as “been there, seen that” and anticipate them being another flash in the pan, however, when you get to spend a little time communicating with people such as Lady Elizabeth it’s easy to get a feel for the new life that is on the verge of being breathed into the culture.
We regard it as a duty, at RVL, to bring these people to the attention of our readers, to present their work which forms part of the invaluable “knowledge base” of the modern culture and to give the projects every assistance to build and grow.
The Real Vampire Directory has established itself strongly in its early formation and the outlook for it, in our opinion, is bright indeed. It has been a great pleasure for us to bring this article to you, our readers, and we would like to urge you – and your associates within the modern culture, to support Lady Elizabeth in her endeavours. After all, the better and more widely accessible the information available, the better the culture becomes.
Copyright RVL & the Real Vampire Directory/ Elizabeth Hopka 2017
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