Guide to Guilds: Guild Features
Note: You may have been looking for this stunning conclusion to the Guide
to Guilds in last week's issue of the Times. Well, guess what? It wasn't there!
We could pretend together that this was because of any one of a number of fantastic
reasons from Sloth Invasion to dung, but let's suffice it to say that it's here
now, and you can still read and enjoy it. Right? Right. Good, here were go then...
FIRE FAERIE VOLCANO - Guild features have gone through several changes and
upgrades since I first created my guild two years ago (11/07/00 - Happy Birthday,
Chances are, sometime in the future, they may even add more features to the
guilds. It certainly would be nice, at any rate. The features currently in the
guild can be easily navigated from the Home page (that's the page you first
come to when you visit your guild, not to be confused with a guild Web site,
or any other such thing).
First, let us examine the structure of this page itself. The Home page helpfully
tells you some important information about the guild, and your status in it.
At the very top is the name of your guild (you didn't forget this, did you?
We hope not) and a welcome message set by the guild's leader, generally a brief
advertisement of a guild's features, goals, and interests. A small strip shows
your name, your rank in the guild, and what guild neighbourhood you are in.
Under that, is the body of the Home page on the right side, with whatever helpful
information and/or eye candy your guild leader has provided. On the left, however,
is a little sidebar.
A cheery guild logo is usually the first thing you see here. If your guild hasn't
posted one up, or if your guild leader forgot to resize their logo appropriately
to 100 by 100 pixels in size, you see a rather uninteresting white square with
black lettering that reads Your Logo Here. Under that is Guild Council,
with a helpful listing of your council members, in order, with the guild leader
at the top. Guild Stats shows you some quick information about your guild.
The 'Page Views' listing shows how many times users have seen your guild's Home
page. 'Members', as one might guess, is a running count of how many other people
are in your guild. 'Messages' shows the number of messages currently on the
guild message board - a good way to check if there's been any new messages since
your last post, or if the guild leader has cleared the message board lately.
'Photos' gives the number of photos in the guild photo gallery. 'Founded' gives
you the exact date that the guild was created. That's all pretty self-explanatory,
Next up on our very useful sidebar is the Options menu. First on the list is
'Home', which will take you back to the Home page from any other page in the
guild you find yourself on. 'Messages' takes you to the guild message board,
where you can read current messages or post new ones. 'Photos' brings you to
the guild photo gallery, where you can view or upload photos or drawings. 'Calendar'
sends you to the Guild Event Calendar, a useful way of remembering important
dates. 'Members' opens the member list, where you can look at the names of all
active guild members, and see which ones have administrative powers (denoted
by the star next to their name.) 'Invite' takes you to the invite screen, where
you can type in a username, and have an invitation to the guild sent to that
person. This is useful for inviting your friends to the guild, but irritating
when used to invite random people - especially if they're already in guilds
- so don't overuse it. 'Link' gives you the link to the guild, in case you can't
manage to read the URL as listed in your browser, or in case you are using a
browser which, for some unknown reason, refuses to show you where you are. The
last option, depending on whether you are in the guild or not, is either 'Join
Guild' or 'Leave Guild' - which adds your name to the guild roster, or removes
your name from it.
This is the place where you can vote on various topics of interest, or view
the results of a vote. This feature is discussed in more detail later in this
article. Poll administration privileges belong to the guild leader, and anyone
else said leader has bestowed them upon. A guild member can only vote once in
a guild poll, so choose your vote wisely!
Admin gives you administrative options if you have any within the guild. If
you don't see this, you don't have any administrative powers, and don't need
to worry about it. If you do see it, and want to know more about using these
powers, the functions of this area are discussed in previous installments of
my Guide to Guild series.
Using Guild Features
The message boards are your primary point of contact with other guild members.
They're the place where you can discuss matters of interest to your guild, and
things about life, the Neopian Universe, and everything. Be sure to follow the
rules your guild has set up for their message boards, and the Neopian Terms
and Conditions in general. If your message board is dull and lifeless, try stirring
up some conversations by asking people what they think of a new feature or game.
Above all, be polite and friendly to your fellow members, and they'll usually
return the favour.
The calendar is a frequently overlooked feature that can be both a source
of entertainment and information. You can mark all of the species days on the
calendar, the half price days, and other special Neopian events in advance,
so that no one forgets. You can also use it to mark personal events such as
your birthday, dentist appointment, and other things you'd really want to remember.
An interesting thing to do with a calendar is have someone post a Neopets trivia
question of the day, or a "This Day in Neopets History" listing what Neopian
events happened a year or two ago on that date with the aid of the old News.
The guild poll is where you can participate in a limited amount of democracy.
Questions could be as broad as 'Which colour of pet is your favourite?' or as
specific as 'What layout should we change the guild to next month?' With the
power of the poll, every member can have a say in the decision making process.
Just remember from the previous installments of this series: Democracy is bad
in guilds. Say it with me. This will never change. The illusion of democracy,
however, in small limited doses, is good for morale.
The Photo feature is useful for sharing pictures or drawings of any kind.
Show off your talent and get opinions from your fellow guildmates before sending
in an entry to the Art Gallery, for example, or share a picture of your real-life
pet dog. Just remember that space is limited, so it is in the best interest
of you and your guild to keep your image file sizes as small as possible
Author's Note: Well, there you have it - the ins and outs of guilds, from
creation to features. I hope you've found these articles useful and relevant
to your own guild experience. If you have a question, comment, or complaint
that doesn't involve how to upload or resize a guild logo or asking me to personally
help drum up business for your guild (I've received way too many of those requests
and they're getting annoying), please feel free to Neomail