Guild Admin Powers and How To Use Them
Guilds have long been an essential part of many Neopians' lives, and as a long-time guild owner, I can personally attest that owning a guild can be a very fun and rewarding experience. Owning a guild takes dedication, planning, and no small amount of hard work. But it also requires knowledge. In this article, I'd like to walk through one very basic but essential aspect of guilds on Neopets, and let you know how best to use them to your advantage: admin powers.
Admin powers, how they work, and how to make them work for you doesn't tend to be something a lot of people think about when making a guild: instead, recruiting members or making a guild layout are the first things on their minds, and admin powers tend to be somewhat forgotten in the exciting rush of working out how to entertain your members, and how to recruit them to join in the first place. But admin powers are worth taking some time to think about when putting together your guild, because you'll be encountering, and using, them all throughout your time as a guild leader.
As you can see as a guild owner, there are several different categories of admin power: some have very obvious functions (such as 'Delete Guild' and 'Quit Leadership' – obviously, you don't want to click either of these options lightly, and, if all goes well, not at all!), while others are more mysterious. Each one is important and should be used to its fullest capacity for a well-organised, well-rounded guild that all of your members can enjoy.
Quit Leadership, and Delete Guild
Obviously, these ominous links are to be avoided unless you need to make use of them as a last resort. The 'Quit Leadership' power switches the owner of a guild to your second-in-command: but be warned! This does not simply switch your positions around, it puts your account, which was previously at the top of the guild hierarchy, at the bottom and removes your admin powers too. If you use this admin power, you are completely surrendering ownership of your guild over to your second-in-command. This admin power will not work unless you already have somebody in the second (II) council position.
'Delete Guild' is, of course, the option you must use if you wish to totally remove your guild from Neopets. This will only work if you, the leader, are the only member, so luckily you can't accidentally delete your guild if you have at least 1 other member. So go get recruiting, in case of such accidents! (That's my excuse for advertising my guild everywhere, anyway.)
What's a 'guild log'? It's not something you put on the fire, or something you eat at Christmas: it's a record of all the major changes that have happened in your guild, made through admin powers. For instance, if your council member changes the guild layout, or deletes some of your members, you'll be able to see who did it, what they did, and on what date. As a guild owner, I personally tend to keep this admin power to myself, and not give anyone else this power. In this way, I can always see if someone has made drastic changes without my permission (not that I believe they would... I love you, council members!) This can be cleared by any member who has the 'Guild Log' admin power, so hand out this power wisely! It cannot be seen by anyone without the 'Guild Log' admin power.
Need to ask your members for their opinion on an important change made to the guild? Or perhaps do you just want to find out what kind of socks are their favourite? (I prefer fuzzy knee socks, myself, thanks for asking.) The 'Guild Poll' admin power gives you the perfect opportunity to ask questions, see statistics (Total Votes lets you know the number of people who have voted, so you can easily compare the number to the amount of members you have in the guild. You can also see how many people voted for each particular option), and have some fun too. Anyone can see the results and any member can vote, so be wary if you wanted to ask an important question that can easily be skewed one way or another. Polls made through the 'Guild Poll' admin power can be displayed at the bottom of the front-page of the guild, or in the side-bar: I personally always choose the side-bar, as this is less likely to mess up any coding, and is displayed on every single page of the guild instead of simply the first one.
Here is where you can see all of the applications your members have submitted via the 'Apply For Position' link in the Guild Council sidebar module. Applications are displayed ordered by date, with the most recent appearing at the top of the list. Be wary of choosing to 'Reject' or 'Delete' an application – if you want to read it again in the future, you can't: it's been deleted permanently. Applicants may only apply once (they can't apply for more than one position!), and you'll have to delete the application manually yourself if they want to apply again, either for a different position or for a second try.
The 'Guild Board' admin power simply allows you to delete messages from the guild Message Board, though you can do this in two ways. You can clear out all of the messages from the board above a certain age, to allow your 'Messages:' stat in the Guild Stats module to be more accurate – or, you can simply delete messages manually from within the message board itself, choosing 'Delete This Message' (opposite 'Reply To This Message').
If a member is causing you problems, you have deleted them from the guild and reported their messages but they are still showing in your message board, you can also choose to delete all of the messages posted by a certain username, removing them from the board in a similar manner to the user receiving a warning from TNT. Please note that deleting all messages posted by a certain member will also reset your guild's 'Messages:' counter.
With this admin power, you can see a list of every one of your members, ordered by several different methods: the default method of ordering the list is by 'Rank', and if you click on the table headers, 'Name', 'Rank', 'Posts', or 'Active', you can change this. 'Name', for example, orders them alphabetically by username. 'Posts' orders the list by post-count; and 'Active' orders it by the date the member last posted in the guild Message Board. From this list, if you click on the username you want to choose, you are taken to a page where you can change certain things about the user's membership.
You can rank up/down, suspend, and if you are the guild leader, you can even award the person admin powers themselves. Leader-specific powers, such as the ability to award or remove admin powers, cannot be given to other members, and even if a member has the 'Member Admin' power, they cannot delete, suspend, or otherwise affect the guild leader.
When a member is suspended from the guild, the only thing they are able to do in the guild is look at the front-page, and leave the guild. They cannot browse the message board, post, vote in polls, or apply for council – or anything else, either. This suspension is not automatically undone, so if you wish to punish a member's rule-breaking through a suspension, remember to undo it and choose 'Reinstate Member' through the 'Member Admin' power, or else your member may get impatient and may simply leave, thinking you've suspended them forever!
You may also permanently delete or ban someone from your guild, too. Deletion is in some ways more serious than suspension – the user loses their post-count, rank, and any admin powers they may have been awarded: but at the same time, they can also immediately join again, so this may not be as appropriate a punishment for more serious rule-breakers than being banned or being suspended. Banning a member can be undone, if you decide to give someone a second chance.
Using the 'Guild Layout' admin power, you can use HTML and CSS to spruce up your guild's front-page, and make an attractive layout to entice your fellow Neopians into joining your guild. But, the 'Guild Layout' admin power can also be used for purposes other than this, most obvious function of the admin power.
Things like the privacy setting of your guild (do you want anyone to be able to see it, or would you prefer to have to send them an 'Invite' before they can see your guild or be able to join?); whether or not any member in your guild can send a Guild Invite, or whether that's an admin power itself; and even your guild's name and description (which appears under your guild's name and location) can be changed here. (Guild Neighbourhood, like Lenny Library or Cute City, cannot currently be changed.) Guild Invite admin privilege can be given through the 'Guild Members' admin menu.
The colour-scheme of your guild is also edited in this section. This changes the colour of the headings, the background of your guild's pages, and other things like that, based on table design. Experiment and use the 'Preview' link to find out what best suits the environment of your guild – different schemes give very different atmospheres to the guild board. There are even pre-made schemes that you can use and edit to make your guild that little bit more unique.
In addition to these more well-known functions of the 'Guild Layout' admin power, we also find that we can change the guild rank names through 'Modify Guild Hierarchy', add keywords to make our guild searchable in Guild Headquarters through 'Modify Guild Keywords', and change the logo through 'Upload/Change Guild Logo'. A guild logo can be made in anything from Paint to a sophisticated program like Photoshop: the requirements are that the file is saved as a a .GIF or .JPG/.JPEG file type. Even though the page says it needs to be 100 x 100 pixels in size, in reality, whatever you upload will be automatically resized! Of course, you have much more control over what it looks like if you upload a 100 x 100 image instead, though. The true limit of logo files is that of file size: there is a maximum file size of 25,000 byes, or approximately 24.5kb. You should have little problem staying within this limit if you choose a 100 x 100 px .GIF or .JPG image!
Miscellaneous Admin Powers
There are also a few different admin powers that you can award your members, including the power to send out guild mails ('Mail Privilege'), and the ability to delete entries in the guild calendar ('Calendar Monitor'). Some guilds may use these functions very rarely, so these may not be very necessary functions, but it's good to think about all of the possible ways that you can entertain your members, and get them involved in the guild. Allowing regular, but very trustworthy, members to monitor the calendar or board for spam can be a good way to get people involved and helping out in the guild.
So, I hope that after reading this article, you have a better grounding and understanding of what sort of function the admin powers of a guild can have, and where these can be used. As a guild leader of at least eight years' experience, I have found myself using each and every one of these powers at some point or another, and without the knowledge of how to use these, I would have been lost at some crucial points of my guild's history. I hope you, too, can learn and make good use of these basic but essential functions, if such a time should come where you need to use them! If you have any questions I can help you with, feel free to Neomail me and I will do what I can to help explain further.
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This is a short story about my two Neopets, Flameteria the Xweetok and Charmeteria the Kacheek!