Why Isn't Anyone Joining My Guild? (Part 2)
I know I have written with this title before. Yet, I rightly redress this topic, for it is not merely the lack of efficiency in recruiting that hinders the growth of a guild (as was the topic of my former article). There are numerous factors. This time I dedicate my piece to a person who ultimately makes or breaks a newborn guild: the leader.
If your guild just sits there, no one wants to put events together, no one talks on the boards, no one wants to join, if you made the guild and it is literally dead, then take a look in the mirror and slap the person you see in it. You are probably the reason why no one is joining your guild. I do not know how many times I have seen an inexperienced, or even naive guild leader wonder why no one is joining their guild, or why it is so difficult to recruit new members when it is obvious to me that they themselves are the ones to blame. I will cover four major aspects of the ineffective leader in hopes that those who suffer from this "Stupid Leader Syndrome" will know enough to seek help when this is finished.
I have to laugh sometimes when I realize a leader knows nothing about layouts, coding, or even the basic knowledge of HTML that the Neopets tutorial offers. The layout is the most important part of the guild, and the webbie the second. Effective creation of these instrumental aspects is impossible without HTML/CSS knowledge. While eventually, nice guild members will help out with the layout and graphics parts of the guild, the guild leader should construct the base of operations. The guild leader NEEDS to know how to edit the websites and layouts. He/she NEEDS to be able to communicate with the guild in a visually appealing way. If you do not even know the mere basics of graphics/HTML/CSS you should not expect a successful guild. It is as simple as that. So instead of complaining that no one is joining the guild, reevaluate the appearance of the guild. Perhaps your lack of skill is driving them away. Or instead of pestering the nice new member who has offered to fix up the guild every time you need to add a banner or make a word bold on your little welcome blog, try checking out the Neopets HTML Tutorial.
The Lazy Leader
These are the people who expect other people to do everything! The leader tells other people to recruit, but they themselves do not do it. They never provide activities or contribute np to the guild. Instead they expect others to donate to the guild, and somehow run the guild on whatever np some kind-hearted member dishes up (NOTE: it is extremely rude to demand donations, not to mention against the rules).
Nothing But Silence
It is rather ironic to see a leader who pushes their members to be active, complains when they never post, and then only spends about 30 minutes a day on the guild board. Believe it or not, the guild owner sets the tone of activity in the guild. You cannot recruit active people to a guild where there is no one to talk to. The leader needs to initiate the flow of posts. When the leader first recruits members, usually, the only person to talk to once someone does join is the leader. Dedicate a huge chunk of time to recruiting, so that you can get a number of active people all at once. They will keep each other active when you are not on. But, while you recruit, talk with them too. The first couple of days (at the very least) the leader needs to basically live on the boards. Have a window open on the guild board whenever you recruit (as I mentioned in my first article). You cannot expect active members to stay in a guild where there is no one to talk to. The most valuable members are on practically every day, and expect to have entertaining (or at least time wasting) discussions on their guild boards. The active crowd joins guilds for the talking more than anything else. If the leader of a guild neglects this function of the guild, then it is impossible for that leader to expect any more out of the members.
Note, I do not mean for a leader to post one message every 30 minutes! This is a horrible practice I have witnessed. The leader seems to not understand the point of posting. While number of posts is a factor in choosing guilds, it is not to simply the function of the guild boards to produce a post number, but to hold a discussion. Never post one message and then just leave, unless you can't stay, in which case you need to type that you are not staying. It is frustrating for an active member to think that there is someone finally on the boards to talk to and then you just disappear.
There's Nothing to Do!
No one wants to join a guild that has nothing to do. One of the biggest faults of a guild leader is starting nothing. It is annoying when I see guilds where the layout is a mess, there's no webbie, there's hardly any posts, and there are only one or two members, with a cute little note that says "such-and-such activity will start once we get 10 members." Well, guess what, you will never get even five members when the guild has nothing to offer. You cannot expect people to join a guild thinking, "This isn't so good, but that little line of text says it will get better once a few more members join." There is competition out there. The more active members will flock to the well established guilds because what they promise is already in effect. There is no waiting, no dead period of time spent waiting for people dumb enough or blind with hope to join a sure-fire-failure.
Well, that is it, the makings of a horrible guild leader. Of course, there are always remedies to the "bad leader" syndrome. The leader could have a very nice close group of friends who will run the guild for them, everything from coding to activities. I have seen it work before, but it usually ends in disaster. The only real remedy is a correction of ways. Either learn what you are doing wrong and fix it, or give up leadership to someone who does it right.
For those of you still wondering why your guild is failing, I must confess that the elements of a great guild are endless and unique to each guild. If I have yet to uncover what ails your guild in my past two articles, do not fret. I am sure there may be someone out there that will see it clear as crystal.