FIRE FAERIE VOLCANO - Can't find the perfect guild for you? Perhaps you should
consider creating and leading your own. This is a very big decision, however,
and should not be taken lightly. If your guild is successful, you will face
the trials and tribulations of leadership as well as the joys of being the one
in charge. If your guild is unsuccessful, you will feel the stinging pain of
miserable failure. Like many circumstances in life, guild creation is a calculated
risk. You are trusting that whatever you are interested in will also interest
others, or that you can entice people into becoming interested by sheer force
of charisma or creative advertisement. This article will help you determine
whether leadership and guild creation are for you, and give you some helpful
hints for becoming a success.
Leaders and Followers
Are you a natural leader? Do your friends, and classmates or co-workers always
look to you to have the perfect plan or solution? If you're one of the lucky
few who are blessed with natural charisma and authority, guild leadership will
be a breeze. Just follow those instincts and keep your feet on the ground -
don't let your ego get carried away.
If you're not a natural born leader, cheer up - you can learn to fake it.
Giving the illusion of always knowing the best thing to do in any given situation
isn't as hard as it seems. If you've got a good head on your shoulders, and
the ability to plan and reason, you'll probably be able to learn the leadership
skills you'll need along the way.
If you're a follower, don't even think about forming your own guild. People
will just walk all over you, and not respect your authority as you acquiesce
to peer pressure and the popular trend of the moment. Find a nice guild to join
Creating a Guild, Step by Step
While it is tempting to rush right into the creation process and just start
messing with things (what does this button do?), your guild creation should
start with a pencil and a piece of good old fashioned paper (shocking!) Take
pencil to paper and start brainstorming. What do you want your guild to be about?
What should it be called? What sort of colours would look good together? When
you have a clear concept in mind and on paper, it is then time to go bravely
forth and create.
1. On the guilds page, click Create New. You will be given an options
2. Select a neighbourhood for your guild. Go with what is most appropriate
for your guild's theme, or if it would fit anywhere, try one of the least populated
3. Type the name of your guild. Be sure to give it a good title, one
that gives a bit of a clue as to your guild's theme. Capitalise appropriately
and do not punctuate. Make sure that you have spelled correctly, and have not
used chatspeak (unless, of course, you are trying to attract people who use
chatspeak to your guild for some unfathomable reason or because you happen to
4. Guild descriptions are what appear as a welcome message, both at
the top of the guild and viewable from the neighbourhood screen. This area is
changeable once your guild is in existence, but you should still try to spell,
capitalise, and punctuate appropriately.
5. The guild welcome message will be the text visible on your Home
page. You can update this later when you have the guild running to include HTML
and such, so for now, just type a sentence or two and let it go at that.
6. Will this be a private guild? I personally find the concept of private
guilds doesn't work very well unless you have a specific group of friends or
people that you want to be a part of your guild, and wish to exclude everyone
else from even looking at your guild. Snobby, but effective. Most guild creators
will smartly choose the no button here, welcoming the public to join and be
a part of their guild.
7. Colours are important - they provide the atmosphere of your guild.
Please select complimentary colours that do not hurt the eyes. Click the preview
link to see what the colours will look like together and make changes appropriately.
Don't worry if you can't get it quite right - you can always change it later
once you have the guild made.
8. Default rank names are given, which you can customise to fit the
theme of your guild. If your guild is about a television show, for example,
you may wish to give member ranks names that fit the characters of the show.
If your guild is about PetPets, you might want them all to be the names of PetPets.
This is something else that you can change later if you don't like your original
choices, so don't sweat it too much.
9. Check everything over carefully to make sure you've got things the
way you want it. Pay careful attention to the title - there's only one way to
change that once you've hit Create a Guild, and that's to delete the guild and
go through this all again. Groan.
10. Click Create A Guild!
Preparing for Members
Ah, what a beautiful moment! There it is, your new guild, waiting for you to
fill it with members and lead it to places unknown. Before you start inviting
people to join, however, there's still a bit of work to be done. You'll soon
find that this is a trend. Guild leadership is work, no two ways about it.
Create and upload a logo for your guild, one that embodies the spirit of your
guild and matches the décor, if at all possible. If you are graphically challenged,
like me, open your paint program and make a solid coloured square. Into that
square, put your guild name or its initials. Resize to 100 by 100. Save as a
.gif or .jpg. Tada, a logo! You could also use an existing Neopets image, shrink
it to the right size, and modify as appropriate. Save this somewhere on your
computer, then click on layout under the admin area. Click upload/change guild
logo. Upload your guild logo by browsing for the file on your computer. If it
won't upload, don't Neomail me about it- you've either neglected to resize it
or failed to save as a .jpg or .gif. Try, try again.
Create a poll for your guild. Once again, this can be found in your administrative
options. Make a simple poll to begin with, like "What would you like to see
as part of our guild?" Polls can be updated or deleted, but once again, try
to punctuate and capitalise appropriately. Polls can be positioned either in
the sidebar or in the welcome message. If you don't have a lot of content to
put in the welcome area at the moment, the poll makes great filler.
Into the welcome message area, place whatever greeting you think is appropriate,
and a bit about the guild. If you are going to create a Web site for the guild,
provide a link to it from here. If you would like to use HTML to spice up this
area but don't know how it works, there is an excellent tutorial just for you.
Click on Help in the yellow sidebar of Neopets, then the HTML guide. Step by
step lessons are provided.
If you have a circle of friends or family who play on Neopets, this job is a
little easier. Start by inviting them to join your guild. You could use the
invite function of your guild, or send them a personal Neomail, or tell them
at work or school. If you have no friends, or at least, none who play Neopets,
this will be a bit more difficult. Strike up some conversations on the chat
boards, check out profiles and tell guildless people about your guild, and be
social. Either of these methods should net you about 5 to 10 guild members,
which is a good starting base. If this is your first leadership experience,
get used to leading that small group of people first before you dive right into
finding more members.
Word of Mouth
When you are ready, encourage your guild members to tell their guildless friends
about your place. You would be surprised how quickly a guild can grow in this
way. Satisfied members will want to tell their friends, and those friends will
tell friends after they've joined, and so on. Happy members are your best advertisement.
The Neopets chatboards are a great way to find people who are looking for a
guild, or to talk about your guild. Just be sure to keep your posting to the
appropriate guild board area, if you are advertising the guild. Tell folks about
your guild in good marketing terms, but not unreasonable platitudes. Don't be
pushy. Use your best language skills.
For example: Good: Our guild is personable and friendly. Though we have just
started out, we have a lot to offer our members (list features)! If you like
(theme of the guild) like we do, and don't have a guild of your own, why not
check us out?
Bad: hey wazzzup! U stink lik dung if u don join da kewlest guild in neopia-
my guild rox!!!!!
Placing a guild banner, or shop doll, into shops of members is another constructive
method of advertising. Make sure this is a small, cleanly loading image and
not a huge offensive hog of bandwidth that will give your guild a negative connotation.
A waste of your NP and time - don't even bother with it. I only included it
here to let you know how much of a useless feature it is. Only the high-paying
boards ever get noticed, and that is if you can manage to load the page with
all the garish dung people shove into their advertisements. Don't view it, don't
pay for it, and don't bother.
When a member of your guild (or you) wins a spotlight, storytelling contest,
beauty contest, or battle - or when they've had an article like this one published
in the Times- people will check out their lookup. Guildess people will be among
those checking the profile out - and some of those people will join your guild.
Therefore, it pays to be active in the Neopets community if you want more guild
Now that you've got a guild and some members, you face the daunting task of
Leadership. What's that Council for, and how can you best use those positions
to help you in your quest for effective guild management? Look for effective
leadership and council tips (the art of delegation) in the next article in this
series coming next week!
Author's Note: Yeah, what can I say... this series was originally planned
to be about three parts or so when I realised that there's a lot more material
to cover than three parts will allow. Apologies to those who were looking for
leadership to be fully covered in the scope of this week's article - it'll be
broken up into sections as we go along. As always, if you have a comment, question,
complaint, or just want to say hello to me and tell me what you think of this
series, please feel free to Neomail