TOP 10 best Practices in world of Warcraft guild management …And how they Translate to real life Community Management

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TOP 10 best Practices in world of Warcraft guild management …And how they Translate to real life Community Management -It takes a community to slay a dragon- By Ryan Meiselman

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Personalizing Your Structure 1 Leader or multiple Co-Leaders? -Make sure you have an appropriate number of leaders for your guild structure. Having a good group of officers is crucial to a successful guild, because it’s impossible for one person to make everything run smoothly. Only give an officer rank to someone you trust completely with guild affairs. A bad officer can cause a lot of issues. Have several ranks of players, from recruits to officers or leaders and everything in-between. Make moving up in rank a big deal, or else nobody will take the rankings seriously Real-life connection: One size does not fit all. Intelligently customize your community structure to meet the needs of the community.

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Effective Money and Item Management Real-life connection: Be unique, set yourself apart from your competitors, and offer special benefits to draw in new people. A bit of investment into a large guild bank may be beneficial, as it is something that can attract new members to joining, and prevents current members from leaving. Guild repairs are often very sought-after, but unfortunately this is a huge expense. Perhaps try offering temporary repairs as a reward for loyalty or good performance. Item management within the guild bank is also crucial, as you want to help your members, new and old, with their affairs, but you cant give everything away to the first person who asks for it.

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Guild Recruitment Know your audience - if you want to attract certain types of players, cater your recruitment towards those players. If you are recruiting for a raid or some other important guild position, make absolute sure that you want this person before adding them to the guild. Be concise, but unique in your recruitment messages Real-life connection: Tailor your marketing and advertisement to those you wish to attract into your community.

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Raid Management Sometimes a guild leader will also act as raid leader, but sometimes the guild leader will appoint someone he/she thinks would be better for the job. This is up to you. Raid item management is important, specifically the type of loot system used. Make sure you have the right loot system, and if it doesn’t work out, don’t hesitate to change it up. There will be a number of sellable items that drop in raids. Most guilds choose to sell these items for guild bank profit or use them to craft new gear for raiders. You must make sure everyone involved is on the same page to avoid conflict. Real-life connection: Clear communication is the cornerstone to keeping your community and its leaders happy.

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Maintaining Guild Image Only appoint an officer rank only to those who will uphold the reputation you want for your guild. Feel free to recruit anybody who wants to join your guild, but be weary that people may not have the best of intentions. If you want to be more selective about people, go for it, but realize that your numbers will be much lower because of it. If starting anew on a new server or character, think of it as a clean slate. Make connections and a good name for yourself on this server, and people will know you. Real-life connection: The image of the community will determine its ability to attract new members.

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Dealing with Bad Reputation If an incident occurs that damages the image of the guild or its members, deal with it swiftly and thoroughly. Something small can evolve into something much bigger if you don’t deal with it right away. If said incident involves select members of your guild, punish them or risk people thinking you tolerate such behavior in your guild. Real-life connection: A bad apple can spoil the entire harvest. Aggressively uphold your community’s standards, or risk ruining its integrity.

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Guild Outreach and Inclusion Make sure everyone in your guild feels included and important in some way. If you have a server on a VOIP program such as Ventrilo or Teamspeak, make sure that many, if not all, of your guild members have access to said server. Vocal communication with your guild is very important in establishing lasting members. Simply having a lively discussion going on in your guild chat works miracles for the sense of community felt by your guild members. Even if it’s something simple like saying congratulations for a level-up, every little bit helps the vibe. Real-life connection: Make sure your community members feel valued and appreciated. Positive reinforcement for contributions will make individuals feel included.

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Guild Events Building a sense of community is absolutely paramount for having a successful and fun guild. One popular way to do this is to hold guild events. These events can be anything from a trivia contest to a scavenger hunt to leveling up fresh characters together during a specific time. If you happen to do events that cater more towards max-level players, such as dungeon runs and raids, make sure you also plan events for the lower-leveled players, too. Real-life connection: Special events help build and reinforce a strong sense of community.

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Inter-Guild and Server Relations Forming friendships and alliances with the other guilds on your server’s faction is a great idea, not only because it promotes camaraderie, but it can also be very beneficial to everyone involved. Tight-knit guilds who are into endgame raiding will particularly benefit from these types of inter-guild relationships because of the nature of raiding. It provides both guilds with a greater player base of max-leveled characters. Real-life connection: Collaborate and intermingle with your community with others to increase their value to their members. Everyone wins!

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Out of Game Responsibilities and Costs Being a guild leader has certain responsibilities associated with it, but it also may come with some real-world costs. Most serious guilds will have a server for a VOIP program such as Ventrilo or Teamspeak, and said server costs money, usually in a monthly fee. Work out how you(and possibly your officers) will pay this fee. Most guilds also have some sort of web presence. This site is usually a place containing a forum, event calendar, and other things related to the guild. This usually will not cost money, but it requires a certain amount of maintenance and start-up work. Real-life connection: You may need to invest in infrastructure to make your community as you plan it to be. Cutting corners on spending may hinder early progress.

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Thank you! Who I am: Ryan Meiselman - Community Management Student at Hampshire College Edgaralanbro – Level 90 Orc Hunter, co-leader of <Broner Patrol> How you can reach me: Twitter: @Rmeiselman LinkedIn: Ryan Meiselman SteamID: RMeiselman