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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 60 > Articles > Guide to Guilds: Membership

Guide to Guilds: Membership

by shidi

Overview
On November 7th, 2000, the News section announced a wonderful event.

GUILDS!!! - We have been working on Guilds for the past few weeks and here they are - ready at last. Be one of the first to create a guild, by clicking here.

Wanting to be 'one of the first to create a guild', I clicked there as instructed. Since my husband and a lot of my friends played Neopets, I figured that we'd all have this nice little guild to hang out in. After fiddling with colours and coming up with the name ARC Angels, the guild was born! I invited Aus, and ten of our friends, and our little eleven person guild was enjoying our first day, when suddenly… people started joining. People we didn't even know. "Wow, this is great!" I thought. Two years and 1,840 members later- I'm still enjoying the feeling of meeting new friends from all over Neopia.

Guilds can be a very rewarding experience. Meeting new friends, getting advice on games, chatting to friends on the guild message board - all are great and a lot of fun! Unfortunately, as time went on, and people created more and more guilds, a lot of less scrupulous people created guilds. Just a scant few weeks after guilds were originally created, way back on November 28th, 2000, there was this message:

IMPORTANT NOTICE - Yesterday we had to delete an entire guild and freeze about 20 people for hacking accounts. Please do not do this. It is in total violation of our terms and conditions and makes a lot of people upset. We also find it pretty easy to track down. If you hack, or help hack into somebody else's account, then all of your accounts will be frozen permanently. If any guild is set up for the purposes of hacking, it, and of all of its members will be also frozen permanently.

Selecting a Guild
For the guildless person in Neopia these days, the choices can be overwhelming. Guilds of every shape and size and interest are out there. How does one choose from so many options? Well, I'm glad you asked that, because if you didn't this section would be blank.

1) Consider your interests. What are you into? If you really love a certain TV show, movie, band, or book, chances are, you can find a guild about it. If there's one particular feature of Neopets you enjoy more than any other (painted pets, PetPets, book reading, Neopian Times writing…) you can find a guild about it. There are guilds that are 'just for girls' and 'just for boys', if you're not too keen on those pesky members of the opposite gender. Or perhaps you're just looking for a place to meet new friends and chat, one that has a more general outlook on life.

2) Features. Once you've figured out what you like to do, start browsing through the neighbourhoods for guilds that meet your interests. See what features they offer that might make them a good possibility. If you are new to Neopets, for example, you might want to find a guild that has a NeoMentor program, or tips for newbies. If your pet gets sick a lot, you might want to find a guild that has a pharmacy shop. Into training your pet? Some guilds have an exchange shop for trading codestones, useful if you just don't have the right codestone for the course.

3) Honesty. If a guild charges 'dues', requires donations for promotion, has activities that involve you giving stuff to the person in charge (or to a 'guild shop'), or wants to take anything from you whatsoever - do not join. Look for guilds that aren't just out to make their leaders rich off members' backs, and that don't advocate the use of hacks or cheats (a sure way to get you frozen).

4) Shop Around. Check out the home pages and guild pages of those guilds that interest you. See what being a member entails. Consider guild size - do you want a large guild, a small guild, a medium one? Each has its own merits. Send a Neomail to the leader or one of the council members politely asking them to tell you a bit more about the guild if you are unsure this is the place for you. Don't just join and hop around from place to place until you find the right one; that's time consuming for you, and rude to the guilds. Research carefully to find the guild best suited to you, then join.

Joining a Guild
When you join the guild, after having followed the above steps, take some time to read the message board and see what's going on. If you notice that most or all of the messages are in full, complete sentences you don't want to start off your relationship with your fellow guild members by typing "yo , dudz wasssup????!!!" Similarly, if you decided 'Kewl 4 gurls n guyz" was the guild for you, you don't want to post a soliloquy in Old English. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression - use it wisely! A good first post includes something about you and your pets, that you're happy to be in the guild and hope to make new friends, and any questions you may have.

Being a Good Member
Don't just post your introductory message and then never visit your guild again. Be active! Offer your advice and viewpoint on discussions, and/or start discussions of your own on the message board. Participate in guild activities and make friends! Learn the rules of your guild, and be sure to follow them. Respect your council members and guild leader. If you have a complaint or issue with another member that cannot be resolved, avoid fighting it out on the message board. Try to resolve the matter calmly over neomail, and if that does not work, ask your leader or a council member to arbitrate the situation.

If you have ideas to make your guild better, don't just keep them to yourself! As a guild leader myself, I can tell you that most of us love to receive member suggestions about what can be done to make our guild even better. A good guild leader will listen to member suggestions and incorporate those that are appropriate and actually helpful. Naturally if your suggestions are, "Give every member a paintbrush!" or "I should be the leader!" and things of that nature, you're not likely to get a positive response.

Leaving a Guild
Even if you researched carefully, the time may come when you need to leave your guild. This may be for many reasons - your cousin made a guild and wants you to be on the council, you've found a new guild that better suits your interests, the guild you're in has become inactive or corrupt, and so on. Whatever the reason, it is often hard for people to part company with their guild in a graceful and constructive manner. Keeping that in mind, here's how to leave your guild gracefully and honourably:

1) Try to work things out. Are you leaving in a huff over a dispute, or a bad situation? If you are, take a moment to calm down and sort your feelings out. Neomail the person you had the disagreement with and try to work it out, or neomail the guild leader or a council person to try and explain your point of view. Often times, this will prevent a simple misunderstanding from being blown way out of proportion.

2) Saying goodbye. Don't just disappear off the face of Neopia, leaving people wondering why you left. Post a polite message saying that you are leaving, and a brief explanation of why. Never insult the members of the guild, the guild itself, or post "I'm leaving to join the Someotherguild!" This does nothing other than to make you look bad, and will most likely result in your post being deleted. A graceful exit will leave members sorry to see you go, as opposed to helping you out the door with Basic Shovels.

3) Send a Neomail. Neomail your former guild leader and say goodbye personally, particularly if you had a good relationship with that person. Let them know it was nothing personal if you're leaving to join another guild, and wish them well. You never know; you may want to return to this place someday. If you left due to a disagreement or bad circumstances, explain your point of view politely, and give some suggestions for how the guild might prevent this situation in the future.


Membership Isn't for Me
Some people decide not to join a guild at all. They're perfectly happy to be individuals without affiliation in the Neopian world. That's just fine, it's a personal choice! But what if you want to make your very own guild? Creating and leading a guild is the subject of the next article in this series, so be sure to read it next week!

Author's Note:
This guide on guilds is based solely on my experiences as guild leader and member. Your experiences may vary. Yes, I am completely against guilds being used as a place for cheaters to congregate and as a venue for making their leaders rich. As always, if you have a question, comment, or complaint, Neomail me!

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