Guide to Guild Success: Part 1
After being part of the Guild Community, or Guild Chat as it's referred by most people now-a-days, I have realized several things about what the current guilds are both offering and lacking of. While it may be easy to create a guild, it does not mean it is going to last forever. You can be a hard-working, dedicated and active guild owner, but fifty percent of the guild relies on its members. Even you offer many things, it's a different story because if you have no members then what your guild has to offer will not be appreciated.
With this guide, I plan on writing different articles that will explain most of the hardest parts about owning a guild, upkeep, and on top of that: making it succeed. I hope to provide helpful tips and advices that will come in handy for those who are both old and new to the Guild Community. By no means is this the law, but after years of experience I want to share my knowledge about the place that I got attached to the best. Neopets without guilds would pretty much lack the sense of community and even more, sense of family.
Part 1: Guild Members
In the process of making a guild, one should ask: What is the most important thing I will find in a guild and what are the tasks I have to achieve in order to keep it? Of course, members are more than just a thing that belong to a guild. Simply, a guild will only succeed with it's members' help. No one can expect a guild to be run just by the council, because it does not matter how much you will be offering or how wonderful the graphics are, if you have no one to appreciate them then what is it the point of a guild without it's members, without the people who make the guild reach it's own meaning? A "guild" is defined as an association of people of the same pursuits, formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards. We all know by now that guild members are the most important thing in a guild. No members, no guild.
Yes, we all have gone through the "newbie" phase when joining a new guild. Sometimes it's hard, and sometimes it is not. Those times when it's easy to fit in a new guild are because the members who previously joined have found the right way to welcome new members. Because it's not easy to leave a guild when you have been there for months, where you may have surely met wonderful people, and when that new guild receives you with open arms it means that guild is doing something well with it's members. Let's face it, if a guild is not welcoming and does not suit the close-knit atmosphere they say they are, it's unlikely members will feel “at home” and therefore, they won't welcome members in a more pleasant way when they have to. We can simply welcome them and poof from the board or we can welcome them and take the decision to stay and get to know them better. Those are the two differences between a close-knit guild and a guild with just members. Now-a-days, it's easy to point how close-knit and supportive a guild is, when in all reality we stumble upon a guild that it's either inactive or very clique-y.
Some people may look at guilds according to different aspects, whereas some others just stick to either their activeness as in how many messages they get every day or the day the guild was founded on. If you were doing this in your guild hunt, I'm afraid to tell you that is the wrong way to look for and find the perfect guild. If you don't get to know at least one member before joining, it's most certainly sure you will be leaving from it within the first week. Same happens if the guild council doesn't worry about greeting and meeting new members personally. From my very own experience, I have neomailed every single new member personally just to welcome them and let them know that the council will always be around when they need something. Not because they may have issues when first joining the guild, but because not all of us are familiar with guilds and how they function, it’s better to show new members interest in them so they know they can rely on council if something pops up. Likewise, being helpful and patient is the key to help new members get settled. Take all the time you need to explain them and show them you do want them to stay in your guild.
Let me explain now what I meant with clique-y guilds. Those guilds are basically guilds where there are group of members who just talk between each other, making newcomers feel a little bit lost or just completely ignored. While it’s wonderful seeing how unknown people got to meet each other and that now they are so close, that by no means is meant to affect the way they interact within the guild while trying to click with other people. It’s fantastic you are best friends with others, but let me remind you are in a guild with more people and making them feel excluded is something no one wants to go through. My advice for council is to always avoid this, because otherwise it’s easier if you close the guild and make a new one just for your friends but we don’t want that, do we? Council needs to open eyes widely and pay attention to this. No, no one will be banned from the guild board, but when there are more people chatting, please make them feel they are part of the guild and not some sort of spy.
With that in mind, the best way to welcome new members is to neomail them after they joined. It’s better if just the council neomails them, because that would mean more if the people who represent the guild do it themselves. In said neomail, you must include a few lines explaining how things work within the guild briefly and asking newcomers to introduce themselves is the way to go. Because a simple “Hi!” is not going to help neither the new member nor actual members get to know each other, asking them to introduce themselves and write a few lines describing themselves is what I suggest to do. In my case, I have provided a Newbie Guide, which detailedly explains new members everything about the guild. From the first steps they have to follow to what they can do once they got settled. So, remember that the first impression is everything and if you keep an optimistic attitude towards new members, who knows, maybe you will be calling them best friends in the future.
Being bombarded with neomails and questions when your guild gets new members is something you have to expect. In all honesty, I would rather receive them because it shows me how dedicated all the newcomers are and will be toward the guild and how interested they are. If you see you haven’t talked to new members or received any neomails from them, I would try to go and ask them how things are going. All members, once they discover how great your guild is, will find their place within it. A guild is not just a guild until it becomes someone else’s home. You see, a lot of people refer to their guilds as their “home away from home”. Believe me it or not, that’s something not all members are willing to say. By it’s definition, we can find that home means a lot of things. From being an environment offering security and happiness to a valued place as a refuge. Guess what? A guild, when it becomes a home, it will resemble these meanings.
Because in a guild you just don’t talk about how to get an avatar or how to get into the Neopian Times, you talk about everything. When you get home from such a busy day, you hop onto your guild board to unwind and relax, you start talking about your life in general. When Neopets topics become a second aspect of what it’s talked about in the guild, I’m happy to tell you my fellow friend that’s the time your guild became your home. Your guild members will always be there for you, but they will be more when you involve your daily life into it. This does not mean you that, if you had a bad day you will fight with people, but in fact it means all the opposite. If you had a bad, tiring day, your fellow guildmates will be there for you to listen to you and advise you. Because a guild not only provides a friendly atmosphere but also a positive one. Counting on your guild when you have a problem is what we, as the council, expect you to do. When you start opening yourself to all your members, you will find out how wonderful you are, and slowly you will find your own place within the guild.
If I had to describe what guild members mean to me, I wouldn’t exactly have the right words to do it. They are just not my guild members, they are my friends. Loyalty is something you don’t find in all places but you will find it in guilds. You just ought to be patient and driven. Guild Members don’t just join a guild, they try to belong to it. Once you reached this goal, your guild now became your home.
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