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Guild Idea

June 21, 2011

Dear Reader,

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)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Katherine permalink
    June 21, 2011 8:04 pm

    Well the problem with that is not everyone wants their real name associated with WoW or wants their guild to know their real name. Not everyone wants to be contactable all the time – wanting to raid vs not wanting to but being hassled by your guild because they can’t raid without you (or would have to pug DUN DUN DUNNN) and you feel guilty so you go anyway and burn out faster etc etc.

    I’m sure it would work for some guilds though.

    • June 21, 2011 10:00 pm

      You don’t have to use your real name on Facebook though. You can use whatever name you want. If I had a guild that worked with Facebook, I’d make a separate account just for gaming stuff.

      I think it would work pretty well and I sort of suspect this will be the way of the future. Facebook has all the same features as a guild website and more, all for free.

    • June 22, 2011 12:14 pm

      I remember that Crusaders of the Realm (a much previous guild of mine) had a Face/Space type site. I’m not sure which it was, probably MySpace based on the timeline. A lot of people had made, then, pages for their toons (or cats or the like) to be on that site, so I assumed that’s what people’d do, too. Thanks!

    • June 22, 2011 12:10 pm

      Ophelie hit most of what I’d have said here, but I do agree that it would only work for a certain type of guild. I feel that it would fit the Part-Core mentality very well since having time to be around doing nothing (translation – doing all the work that goes into guild running and raid planning, so about as far from “nothing” as can exist) on WoW is pretty limited, and the use of the social media sites helps to avoid that. I’m sure there’d be people who’d feel that this type of guild might be too intrusive, but, then again, they don’t have to join, do they? (; Thanks for the comment!

  2. June 22, 2011 2:39 am

    You have some very interesting thoughts here. I don’t use either media myself (is it really us teacher types? heh) and I think as a raidguild you would still want and need a page that acts as database for all your guild internal affairs, but by making the main communication inside the guild more ‘mobile’, you could certainly improve a lot, I would imagine. assuming the entire guild was willing (which is kind of a condition for this to work), you could make absolutely sure to reach everybody and more directly; this helps lots for last-minute changes or important announcements. also on the light chatter side of things, communication would get more fluent and spontaneous; maybe more people would partake too because its easier to do from work (many cant access forums).

    while the officer ‘tag-team’ sounds lovely, am not sure that works so well though hehe; issues with knowledge sharing come to mind and on a different level privacy: you just need to keep in mind a lot more as a leader and have access to certain information that is crucial but cannot be passed on easily. but maybe that too depends entirely on your type of guild.
    Great, thought-provoking article. 🙂

    • June 22, 2011 12:14 pm

      While I was writing it, I thought about that very point; how do you ensure private conversations stay that way? Since I know nothing about Facebook or Twitter beyond what my limited experience of my kids setting up a fan page for me (embarrassing, but I just pretended not to know) has taught me. I assume there’d be some way to use those sites (the equivalent of whispers or Pms) for such things, or just chat rooms for officer’s meetings.

      That said, there’s a lot to be said for officer transparency. I’m not sure where I land on it, but I do know another huge fight in one of the guilds that I witnessed (I can’t remember if it was the same guild or a previous one… but I think it was a previous one) where (oh it was definitely the previous one I now remember) “ranks didn’t have meaning” for a long time, then, after a little brawl (that I was a part of), the officers suddenly decided they wanted officer-only forums. I didn’t particularly care, but it infuriated my wife (who’d kept her hands clean during the previous brawls).

      I think I’ll write on this today. A guild without guild-level secrets. Thanks, Syl!

  3. June 24, 2011 11:35 pm

    I’m just honestly freaking out about not having a guild forum. We do most/all of our raid planning on the forums so that when we’re raiding we don’t have to waste a lot of time standing around while we thrash out strategies.

    For keeping in contact with “fun stuff” and general updates, I’d be fine with facebook/twitter (and my last guild had a VERY active Facebook presence).

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