Rebuilding a Guild
So you're just playing innocently, idly posting on your guild chat while battling for that elusive Carnival of Terror of avatar and BAM! You've got a neomail. Not just any old neomail, oh no, the most important neomail of your neolife. Your guild leader who had seemed to have done a disappearing act has finally reappeared. No longer do you have to fight to keep members in the guild, or sneakily create recruiting boards, or bombard the leader with suggestions. That thing people sometimes talk about, real life or whatever, has gotten in the way of her guild leading and she has made a decision. First is the shock. She's quitting as leader? What happens now? But then you read on. Your position as a measly member is over, although you did like being a Sensei. Now you are La Jefa, the big cheese, the boss man. You have the power; you are the master of guilds! You quickly accept, elation kicking in, feeling the power wash over you. You have the say in what happens to those pesky peasants below you. You know that if you didn't love your fellow guild members like a family, you'd be a tyrant.
The first thing you do is obviously head to the guild chat. You stay for a while, gushing to your friends about how fortunate you are, how much you appreciate the opportunity, how much you love them. Then you sit for a while, just staring at your username at the head of that list. La Jefa. It feels good.
A good few hours later, you avert your eyes from that wonder and think, what actually has changed? The guild looks the same. You were expecting the layout to look jazzier, the links to look more glamorous, and the board to be glitterier. But it's just the same. The same old dying guild. Then the passion sets in. You're going to make this great.
You study every aspect of the guild, looking for that certain something that makes the guild seem better for you. You have the best rank there is, but you feel there's something missing. Then it clicks. It doesn't seem like your guild, it's as if you don't belong in that esteemed rank. Time to change that. You decide to learn every aspect of your guild, because it is yours to learn.
Upon further inspection you find something new and exciting below your Guild stats. Admin. Electrifying, sparkling, wonderful. You click Guild Layout, ready to be amazed. Modify Guild Preferences. Hmm. Ooooh. You can change the guild name, although you like what it represents. You can change the header, the layout, the privacy, everything! Now this is fun. You don't change anything, especially the coding, because you mess up everything. But knowing that you can change everything is what matters, because finally you can change the fate of your guild. No more helplessness, no more dying. We can be great, and we will be.
Next in line: Modify Guild Hierarchy. You have no idea what the current guild ranks actually mean, but hey, they sound cool. Moving on, Modify Guild Keywords. Nope, no idea. Update/ Change Guild Logo. Well, we do like slorgs. A slorg logo would be pretty. It seems a simple enough process, so you leave there. You have better things to do with your time; you have a job to do. You have a guild to lead.
The Guild Members tab confuses you for a bit, what all the Admin Powers you can give people actually do is seemingly impossible to know. Log Admin? Board Monitor? Mail Privilege? You'll figure it out with time.
Guild Council. Ooh, applications! How you're going to explain to a member that "because I'm awesome" isn't a valid qualification for council can wait for another day.
Guild Board. Boring.
Guild Poll. Confusing. Why isn't the poll you just made showing up? Oh, but it said 'Click here to activate'. You clicked there. You have to manually do it? Jeez, TNT, way to make my life difficult.
Guild Log. Booooring. They had to put all the exciting stuff first, didn't they?
Quit Leadership. Don't click. DON'T CLICK. NO NOOOO. Oh, phew, panic averted.
Delete Guild. Best avoid that too.
With familiarising yourself with the guild finally over, you start with the hard graft. Making this guild work. This will be a great way to avoid studying for your exams. You buy a red notebook especially for the guild, you're ready for this. There was still so much to figure out, so much to learn, and the member count was dropping by the minute.
First to mail the guild, notify them of the change in leadership and fresh start. Oh. How do you send a guild mailer? There really should be an instruction manual for this (coughTNTcough). On your way to messaging your guild bestie about it you find the answer. @guild_list. You began to type your message, proud at how far you have come in your first guild, when bright red lettering catches your eye. Guild mailing is temporarily offline. Oh dear. Postponing your victory mail, muttering about how TNT is out for you under your breath, you set about a to-do-list. Everyone has been inactive for so long, the portal is glitched and the pages aren't updated. Coding isn't your thing, but delegation is. Everyone pitches in, the bonds of our family reforming, and everything seems cosier for a minute. But nothing is ever good for long. You painstakingly create page upon page of things for the guild, and yet getting members to participate is impossible. They are comfortable in their complacency, and guild mailers never do the trick as they come with no notification, and the guild members are hardly champing at the bit, refreshing their inboxes for one. No one checks the updates, or message header, or guild header or their inbox. This is infuriating.
It feels as if you'll spend the rest of your life creating recruiting boards and bumping them hour upon hour. The good luck messages are nowhere near comforting, and the users aren't desperate to join. There are so many guilds out there, so many good, established guilds that newbies don't seem to have a chance. Without a reputation new members are few and far between. We started at the bottom, we worked our way up, all the way wishing that we had just started a guild from scratch, that option appearing so much easier than rebuilding. Carrying on and repairing someone else's work wasn't easy.
And yet, we carry on. The member sweeps were tedious, ridding ourselves of over half of our members. The judgements of others annoying when all you are trying to do is help them and their guild. Everyone seems to think they can do a better job; I'd like to see them try. The differences of opinions were a setback, with everyone wanting different things from their guild. The loss of friends was heart-breaking, an experience never sought after. The gain of members was amazing, the feeling of hope and success overwhelming. The inactivity of members was worrying; we didn't seem to get anywhere. The praise of members, the movement of the guild board, the participation in activities, the volunteering to host pages, the ideas and the feedback all gave hope, and hope fuels passion. We'll get there, we'll be well known, we'll have members and activity and we'll have fun. Because in the end that's what it's all about: a family having fun together.
We still face problems, most recently the sudden shutdown of our portal and layout overnight. Our guild, or the guild of a thousand glitches as we fondly call it, is still great, even with all of its issues. The portal's broken? So what. Invites don't work? So what. The join link is broken? So what. These things don't make a guild. The people do.