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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 3rd day of Celebrating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 61 > Articles > Guide to Guilds: Creation

Guide to Guilds: Creation

by shidi

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 instead.

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 screen.

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 areas.

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 like it.)

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 d├ęcor, 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.

Attracting Members
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.

Chatboards
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!!!!!

Shop Ads
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.

Noticeboard
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.

Member Fame
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 members.

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 me.

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