A Successful Guild
So you want to join a guild or you’d like to make one yourself. After having been in some I can tell you a few things. I’m sure others out in Neopia have pearls of wisdom as well.
First thing to ask yourself: Why do you want to join/create a guild? People to chat with when you’re bored? People to help encourage you as you seek a trophy, avatar, dream pet? Looking for people with similar goals or opinions? It is very important to figure out why before anything else. If you join a guild randomly just to say you’re in one, odds are you won’t remain there very long. Do you prefer a private or a public guild, all ages or adults only? Are graphics important to you? Are you ashamed of pre-mades? Look over potential guilds carefully.
I’ve made friends with my guildmates many years ago. How do we stay together? The guild was formed to be Neo-related and we basically stick to that formula. We discuss plot/events, help with quests, encourage each other during the Altador Cup, etc. We wish members Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, etc and keep up with the holidays, here and abroad as well. We have separate interests as well which keeps things fresh. Some trade NC, some restock, some are gamers, some only appear during the full moon which begs another question but the point is we try to stay involved and inclusive. Making an effort to congratulate someone on their new trophy or award can make a guildmate feel appreciated. I’m not the only guild member that has read the Harry Potter books or plays piano but its not the focus of our guild. I would probably combust if there was a week-long discussion on sewing patterns or body piercings but hey, that’s my opinion. If that’s the kind of guild you want, it’s probably out there.
I don’t personally care for guilds that are exclusive because I feel they miss out on some wonderful people but I do understand why someone would want to make an adult guild focused on movies or a guild on one area such as avatar collecting or art or customizing. If you plan to create an exclusive guild it is important you emphasize which type of guild it is at the very beginning. No one enjoys being booted out because they didn’t conform to the guild’s theme. Does your guild have requirements? 300 avatars, 15 trophies, 5 exclusive, highly decorated pets? Guilds make requirements to try to find people committed to the site and the guild, to feel elite or a combination of several factors. Some don’t want newbies or people who haven’t had an account over 6 months or a year.
The next step is to consider how you’ll handle the Gimmees. These are people that join because they want freebies, discounts, etc. They’ll participate in 1 np auctions and make it a point to advertise their birthday, new job, new baby, new car, etc in hopes someone will send something their way. They’ll also rarely if ever host an event, give someone else a birthday token, or help someone else purchase an item. Neopia seems to be overrun with Gimmees especially during the holidays so I would suggest holding off on your generosity for a few weeks. If you’re using it as a lure to attract people to your guild, they’ll leave once the freebies dry up or you’ll go broke trying to keep them in your guild.
I am going to assume that YOU aren’t looking for a guild simply for a handout but if you are please consider sharing the wealth instead of trying to grab it all for yourself. There is a lot of give and take and once you’re known as a 99% Taker you’ll find you’ll have to guild hop regularly.
Guild hoppers are my next topic. Some do it because the guild becomes dull, there’s a mass exit, or no one posts. Others do it because they like variety. Whatever the reason, don’t feel obligated to stay in a guild just because a member helped you once and now you avoid the guild because it isn’t fun but you don’t want to hurt any feelings. If you’ve created a guild and you can’t seem to keep anyone to stay past a week or two, ask them why? Perhaps you need more council members or fewer council members.
Council. I’ve noticed a good council can keep a guild going strong or weaken it. Are duties divided? Are all opinions considered? As the leader of a guild sometimes you have to make tough decisions but it doesn’t mean you have to make them all. Being a dictator can turn people away while not being able to make a decision can have the same effect. If you know you won’t be checking in more than once every month or so, maybe someone else should be in charge of the day to day running of the guild. Absentee council is a death knell for a guild. Some guilds ask you to commit to posting on their boards every week or so, some have no stipulation at all. If you join a guild that wants you to be active and you only post once or twice then stop, more than likely you’ll be kicked out after a reminder to post more often. While real life can interfere in your guild attendance. If you have time to collect your bank interest, visit the Advent Calendar, dress your pet, and do your battles then I think another ninety seconds to say hello isn’t unreasonable. However, if your law school application is due in four days and you haven’t even started then it is understandable that you probably won’t be around for a few days. I still laugh at the member that couldn’t find time to post even a hello in the guild but had no problem being on the pound chat for hours at a time.
Some guilds are driven to be very large while others want to remain small.
A large guild is great for those that love to chat, feel comfortable in large groups, and like a faster pace. Smaller guilds are great for those that want a cozier feel or to interact with just a few people.
And finally, Drama Llamas. Oh, how they love to turn a guild upside down. Not happy with council? Try to drive a wedge between them and the other members. Not happy you didn’t win an auction? Talk down the items chosen or criticize the host and their selection. Your BFF wasn’t accepted by the membership committee? Then it is time to create a little chaos and leave the guild attempting to get as many to leave with you as possible.
If you’re unhappy about something happening in the guild, a quick Neomail to the leader is perfectly fine. Unhappy about everything in the guild? Just leave. Everyone will probably be happier and while a letter informing the leader why is nice it probably is not necessary.
I left a guild once because I thought it was stagnant and no longer in keeping with what I wanted out of one. People have left the guild I’m currently in because it didn’t fit their needs. I like to think there were no hard feelings on either side and I can’t remember ever receiving harsh Neomails from anyone. I do remember a disgruntled former member that used to get on recruiting boards and make not so kind comments but my motto is not to feed the Drama Llamas.
I have a love/hate relationship with recruiting boards. While necessary at times, you really don’t get the chance to know someone and there isn’t usually a lot of discussion prior to joining so selecting people can be a gamble. When you do make a board, please, please, please don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. I’ve been around long enough that usually new members don’t last more than a few weeks unless they get involved, feel included, are on the site consistently and don’t try to sow seeds of discord. Member sweeps are common and don’t feel offended if you’re caught up in one. You might not even realize you’re no longer in the guild for a few weeks.
I don't know what I'd do without my guild. It has gotten me through tough times and urged me on during the Altador Cup each year.
Good luck finding/creating the guild of your dreams and I hope you’re as happy as I am with my guild.