After reading Matticus’s rules for social media, I was struck with the thought: what about a guild that only works on social media. Lose the “guild website” (which is in varying states of disrepair depending on how frequently it’s updated), drop guild forums (which are frequently only used by some and not all), avoid the calendar (which some see and some don’t see, and some use correctly for invitations and some do otherwise), and function only off of sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Now, the irony, dear reader, of me suggesting this is that I specifically don’t have a Facebook or have anything to do with Twitter. I’m not sure what my aversion is, but being a teacher is part of it. I certainly don’t want my students to find my Facebook and begin to bother me (privacy and viewing rights aside, one of my kids found my wife’s Facebook page – she doesn’t even have the same last name as I do – once and kept trying to friend her until I had a “chat” with him about it). At any rate, me suggesting this blew my wife’s mind.
Part of the idea is to make the guild more social outside of just the game. There’s still the electronic divide, so I’m not looking to make game friends “real life” friends, but at least to move things in a more friendly direction.
I also think that utilizing social network would help with recruiting. I know some guilds already have a Facebook page, but I wonder how the dynamic would change if it was only a Facebook page. I don’t mean to say there’s not an organized guild online – obviously there’d have to be for all the appropriate perks, but that other than /gchat, there’d be no real communication away from the social media site.
I feel like this type of interaction would also lead to having more direct and honest communication within the guild. Having more openness and more of a relationship beyond through the WoW screen might encourage more honesty between members. Imagine a guild meeting taking place via Twitter, so anyone could participate regardless of proximity to a computer. Imagine setting up a raid by planning an Event on Facebook. Imagine preparing boss strategies with the “like” and “dislike” feature.
Another completely unrelated guild feature I’ve been pondering is the idea of opt-in officers. Essentially, you see a lot of officers get burned out by constantly having to deal with guild issues rather than being able to play. What the “opt-in” feature would allow would be for officers to basically turn off their officership at times. This could work like a tag-team function, where one officer tags off onto a another and can take a break, or it could work on some loose schedule so that the player is only an officer between 5 and 10 pm on weeknights or the like. That gives everyone a heirarchy they can still turn to but also the opportunity to relax free of responsibility once in a while.
One of the big guild arguments I’ve been witness to (but not part of) was in a very large guild with a lot of officers (probably 15 or 20) who had been in the guild a LONG time. Some of them had alts that weren’t identified in the guild roster as their alts, and apparently some player had made some disparaging remarks to an officer without realizing it. The officer then took the remarks back to the other guild leaders and Things Happened. Who remembers what. I do remember a very long set of forum posts that centered around two basic ideas: officers have a right to take a break from time to time (hence the anonymity), and, on the other side, players have a right to know who they’re talking to because we naturally interact with different people differently (consider how you talk to your boss versus your coworkers, or friends versus parents, or whatever).
This isn’t a perfect solution, but it would alleviate the aforementioned situation. The officer would still “be” an officer, he’d just be off duty, like a police officer.
At any rate, those are my thoughts for the day. I’m not starting a guild any time soon, since Blizz has made it virtually impossible to do so (in that who would leave a level 25 guild for a level 1 guild, really?). Just food for thought.
Stubborn (never an officer in any guild I didn’t help found, ever, no matter how long I stayed or how many responsibilities I was given, even being head guild raid leader, recruiter, and monitor of forums. I wonder if that says something)