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NeoPets Guides - Creating A Guild (Advanced)

 


by bombberries

Need a more simple guide for NeoPets guilds? .

Introduction to this guide:
This guide is about guilds. Even though it may have some not-so-obvious morals, its primary focus is on guilds. The not-so-obvious morals may be that planning is important, you must believe in yourself and just as important believe in your team. This guide isn't one with pictures nor one that tries to make everything nice and simple and especially not one with pictures or cross references and helpful links.

This is a guide for someone who already knows how to Create A Guild, pick the colors, and edit HTML, if you don't check out my much nicer Guilds (Basic) guide which gives you the 1-2-3s of creating a guild. I also suggest reading this entire guide, and not skipping, because I mention other parts of it throughout and it'll help you.

About me:
Me? Well. My name is Doug, I'm 14 and believe it or not most people like me. I've been playing NeoPets for about three years and recently stopped playing it due to lack of time and I now run NeoLodge.com. I've had a couple of very successful accounts on NeoPets including guildspro, Bombberries, hickoryberries, and a couple others. I'm sarcastic and as you read this guide it'll become more eminent that I don't like stupid people and I have loads of sarcasm, especially in my writing. If you do have any questions, comments, or concerns about this guide, email me. My email address is doug<#AT#>neolodge.com. Remove the <#AT#> part and replace it with an @ symbol (only we could abbreviate a two letter word). I'll be more then happy to answer your questions, reply to comments, and/or discuss your concerns.

As far as guilds go I have been involved in them for about two and a half years. My first guild had about 60 members, and was owned by Glenchivers. He really got me into guilds and I still talk to him. My first big guild was Point Zero, which at the time it closed had over 38,000 members, and I was the third council member. That REALLY got me into guilds, and started my tear around NeoPets' guilds. Followed by that was $ Money Tree $ (1,500 members, second spot), Neopian Millionaires Guild (2,500 members, second spot), and last, but not least Rich Neopian's Guild (1,500 members, third spot). I've joined and helped other guilds, but those were the main ones. I know what I'm doing and if you don't think so, find another guild guide. Who knows, it may have pictures.

Dedication:
This guide is dedicated to everyone I have met through guilds, which is a lot of people. However, I would like to dedicate this guide to Michelle (I won't include her username), who was a former council member in my main guild, Point Zero. I have learned so much from her, about guilds and about leading a team. She really helped mellow my ego as well, but that's another story. In addition to Michelle I've met Glenchivers, who really got me into guilds, eviloatmeal13, who really taught me the values of trusting and picking a good team, joebob48, who taught me the value of a good layout and web site, and Maor who taught me a similar value, and really helped me gain the knowledge to run a successful guild, in all aspects, and a host of others. So to all of you guys (and girls), thanks!

What's a guild?
If you don't know what a guild is please leave now, and save everyone the time and hassle. According to the dictionary a guild is: "An association of person who share a trade or pursuit, formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards" and the other definition is "A similar associate, as of merchants or artisans, in medieval times." The first definition applies to a NeoPets guild much more than the second, simply because of the fact we are way past the 16th century. Where's King Arthur! AH!!!! Guilds in NeoPets may be for a certain group of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or whoever/whatever lovers. However from my experience the general themed guilds (guilds with no particular theme, etc.) tend to be more popular, simply because they attract everyone.

What's success?
It depends on the person to define success. Some people may want a guild with 25 members, and a nice and active message board. Others (like myself) want 25,000 members, and a nice and active message board. This guide is geared to get the latter, and won't really work (if you follow it) on getting the first, unless you immediately stop after you've achieved what you'd like.

Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Maybe.
There's a checklist you should have before you even think about starting a guild. Below are some things to consider?

  • Do you have time to create, run, and grow your guild? For students it'd be best if it was in the summer. Allow plenty of time.
  • Do you know enough about how a guild operates? You should know the guild admin system like the back of your hand.
    HTML, CSS, WHO? You should at least know how to edit HTML, and maybe CSS or a similar programming language. If you can't make layouts, know someone who can.
  • Freewebs.com/myguild/? A respectable guild shouldn't have a web site on Freewebs, or any hosting company with ads. Know your way around web hosting, FTP, and the overall aspects of running a web site to provide your members with information and maybe some interactivity.
  • AIM, MSN, WHO? You should have at least one widely used messenger just so you can communicate with your council. AIM, MSN, and Yahoo can be downloaded from aim.com, messenger.microsoft.com, and messenger.yahoo.com consecutively all for free. None of the above mentioned programs contain anything that'll damage your computer, I have all three.
  • Class, Class, and More Class. Don't type like a moron, don't make your guild colors so no one can read them, don't do anything tacky, and don't promise things you can't give.

If you can meet most of those, you can go on. If you can't I'd get working on them. Search for HTML Tutorials on Google, or Free ADLESS Web Hosts, or ask around to friends.

To theme or not to theme, that is the question.
It should be a rhetorical question in my opinion. If you want your guild to succeed and have great hopes for it I'd stick with no theme. Don't jump to conclusions that themed guilds don't succeed. There are plenty of Harry Potter, faeries, and paint brush guilds that tend to succeed, but if you look at the top five guilds in NeoPets more than likely they have no particular theme. Most of this guide can still apply to you if you'd like a theme, but I'd personally avoid themes, it's just another pain to keep up with whatever theme.

Pick a place, any place.
Not quite. Where you base your guild or as NeoPets calls it the neighborhood is your guild's happy place, casa, home, or whatever you would like to call it. Point Zero along with all my other guilds were based in Neopia Central, which at the time was on the top left of the guild neighborhoods (if you look at that page). Last time I checked it was the Air Faerie Cloud occupying the main spot. So see who has the main spot (or at least the first row) and put your guild there if you want members. Think about it. The newbies will click the first one they see. If you are on the top of that neighborhood, they'll click you and probably join you.

It's all in the name.
Ever wonder how people think of names for their guilds? So do I, and I honestly have no idea, names have never been my thing. Some sites have a page for guild names. Reread that sentence and think. If the site is big it may gets hundreds and possibly thousands of hits a day, and probably a good amount a day just on that page, wouldn't you think the names would of already been taken? Who'd want to name their guild something like that anyway? A few tips for guild naming:

  • Short and sweet. Try to keep your name short, and to the point.
  • Meanings? They don't have to have them. What'd Point Zero mean anyway?
  • Avoid !, @, ~, etc. in names. Letters and MAYBE numbers only. For numbers use the actual word (i.e. Point Zero instead of Point 0).
  • Be creative.
  • Ask around once you have a name. Ask people you know (not that you don't know) what they think of the name.

And what do you think number two?
I have found it vital to have a good co-owner for anything whether it be a company, a web site, a guild, or whatever. You can't go to eCoOwnerHarmony.com and pick someone based on their chemical match to you. All of my co-owners I've known before I have asked them to be co-owners. You should know them too. Co-owners should be:

  • Honest and trustworthy. If you can't run your guild for an amount of time, and can't trust your co-owner what will you do?
  • Have skills in areas you don't. You can't make graphics? You can't deal with people? Find someone who can do what you cannot; it'll make everything work better.
  • Make sure they're mature. You don't want it to seem as if your number two is a four year old.
  • Creativity is an essence. A creative co-owner can really help grow your guild.
  • And of course they have to know about guilds too.

Another rule with co-owners, don't be stingy with the admins. Give them all admins possible, and in addition to that access to the guild web site, email accounts, guild accounts, or anything related to the guild. Heck, I have even given my co-owners access to my account.

What about three, four, and five?
Now that you have number one and two (yourself and your co-owner consecutively), what about council member three, four, and five? I have seen newbies on the guild chat advertising: "if u join my group u can hav council, clk here." Ignore that the post is lacking necessary vowels and think about it. If you give away your entire council what do you get? Four more members, that's it. That really isn't enough to get anywhere, and you've blown your entire council. Wait until your guild gets bigger and you have actually have people to choose from, then make your decision on how will be the key members of your guild, the council.

I shall have the power.
I've noticed that many guild leaders are either extremely stingy, or extremely lenient with the giving out of administrative powers. I have had a guild leader offer me.. get this, gallery admin!?!?! I thought to myself, "woohoo I have an admin power that I can't even do anything with, but I do have the star next to my name." Just because you give someone the star next to their name, doesn't mean they'll be happy. Think about the powers:

  • Layout - ability to create/edit/remove the guild layout. Also has the ability to modify the guild hierarchy and logo.
  • Member - ability to delete, change rank, suspend, and ban members. Also ability to search for members, which can prove very helpful.
  • Message board - ability to delete messages, remove messages from a user, or remove messages older than x amount of days.
  • Poll - ability to create/edit/remove the guild poll.
  • Calendar - ability to remove entries from the guild calendar.

Those are the five admins that you can actually do something with. I've seen guilds with ranks called Calendar Monitors. Come on, what is a Calendar Monitor going to do? Give whoever watches the message board that power. Think about it though. How many people need to be able to modify the layout or how many people need to change the poll, or monitor the message board? A guild should have more people with message admin than any other type of admin. Calendar should be given out to some of the people with message admin. Council members should all have member, and poll admin, and your top council members should have all the admins including layout. Not everyone needs to be able to add a poll, or change the layout or change the guild hierarchy and/or logo. So only give admin to people who need it, and can actually use it. Don't give layout admin to a someone who knows nothing about HTML.

The 10 Ranks.
Each guild has 10 ranks which is called a hierarchy; Council 1, Council 2, Council 3, Council 4, Council 5, Member 1, Member 2, Member 3, Member 4, and Member 5. Council 1 is you (the owner), and member 5 is the default for someone who joins the guild (the lowest). Some ranks can do certain tasks (like people above member 4, can invite members), but really there isn't much of a difference. The higher the rank (closer to Council 1) the farther up on the member list they will be. Some guilds have a system where you need to post a certain amount of messages to get promoted, which I think isn't bad and by the time they get up there, they'll most likely be into the guild. Others have a message and amount of stay requirement, also not a problem. Due to new rules you can't have a donation requirement, which I've never been a fan of, since I've never donated to a guild even though I can afford it, I don't believe in buying your way into a higher position.

The visual appeal.
The first thing everyone will see when they go to join your guild is your layout. This is the first impression they'll get, and some people may either join your guild or click the Back button based on your guild's visual appeal. Here are some suggestions:

  • If you need to put "Please Wait for the Layout to Load" anywhere, don't use that layout. Keep in mind a lot of people have slower connections and won't wait for the guild layout to load, or even read where it says that.
  • Have a reliable image host. If your layout doesn't show up, might as well not even have one. Make sure your image host is reliable and can meet the necessary requirements of your guild.
    Have it be simple. NeoPets has basically made it so that's all you can have is a simple layout. No Flash, Java, or anything spiffy like that. Stick to quick loading, relatively low resolution graphics, but still get your point across.
  • Make sure your layout is easy to update. Even though NeoPets has a character limit (which they have had plans to increase) make sure the vital parts of your layout such as the news, contests, and some links are easy to update. If you use images for things, make sure you have the source file and it can be easily updated. Plain text is best and allows for the best formatting.
  • Have information on your layout that people will actually read such as important times, and maybe random facts. This will keep people coming back to your guild. A section for avatars is great too.

Depending on your graphics skills you can make your own layout, or have someone else make it for you. Ask around to your friends, post on the guild boards, or the Battledome boards (if you have a high budget). Some people may expect you to pay. There are companies that will do it for you. You could try contacting a fan site with graphics, and they make one for you in exchange for a donation to their notice board fund or whatever. And remember if your co-owner can make graphics ask him or her to do it. There are also plenty of sites with Graphics boards where you can request them, mostly for free.

www.who?
A web site is also important for your guild. Make sure your web site provides information on any contests, competitions, and having free graphics, help, etc. on it is always a great idea. Have things on your web site to get people coming back and make sure you have these things:

  • An explanation of guild ranks.
  • A page for guild rules.
  • A page for any guild policies whether it be about contests, or whatever else.
  • A page for contests, etc.
  • An area for goodies like graphics, times, avatar help, etc.
    Have news about the guild either on the homepage or a specific page.
  • Easy to update navigation and of course pages.
  • UPDATE YOUR SITE OFTEN!

All web sites need a web host. Make sure you have an FTP program like SmartFTP (downloadable for free from SmartFTP.com), an HTML editor (like Dreamweaver by Macromedia, or FrontPage from Microsoft). Some NeoPets fan sites provide free hosting, and companies like Web1000 and HostRocket do as well (web1000.com, hostrocket.com). Search for free web hosts on Google or ask around as well.

Conclusion:
This guide is only a guide to create a guild and do it right. I'm working on more guides to actually run, and grow a successful guild. So stay tuned for that, and for now good luck with your guild, and who knows if it grows over 1,000 members send me an email and I may join it.

This guide shall not be published on any other web site besides NeoLodge.com without the explicit permission of Bombberries. Bombberries's email is doug<#AT#>neolodge.com. Remove the <#AT#> and replace with an @ symbol. Email me for permission to this guide, even though it will more then likely be rejected. Questions, comments, concerns, or corrections should also be sent to the above mentioned email address.

[Editor's Note: We look forward to seeing your upcoming guides about guilds, I'm sure they will be great.]



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