29/06/2014

Blogging About Your Guild

I always find it interesting to see how much or how little detail people go into when they blog about their guilds. The question of when and how much to talk about my own guild on here is also one that I've been forced to think about more than a few times.

Positive posts are never a problem. Everyone loves to hear that you think your new guild is awesome. Maybe some of your guildies will even chime in in the comments, agreeing with you on what a great night you had or posting in-jokes. Nobody minds you bragging about how you just got a new boss down either.

Things become a bit trickier however, as soon as you can't be a hundred percent positive about your guild anymore. You may not even think that you're saying anything particularly negative - yet you might still find an angry PM about it in your inbox the next day, written by a guild member who you thought wasn't even aware of your blog. Outright complaining about anything, even if you think it's about an obvious issue and you're justified in bringing it up, is like asking for drama to break out in your comments.

After much deliberation, I've settled on the following rules for myself in regards to posting about my guild and its members:

- Unless your blog is literally protected from the public by a password or something, assume that the people you write about will find it at some point, so never say anything about anyone that you wouldn't be happy to say to their face. Not using people's real names doesn't really fool anyone. Also consider that writing about people in third person on your blog will usually come across as a bit colder and more distanced than if you were saying the same things in casual conversation. Adjust your tone appropriately if you want to make sure that you're not hurting anyone's feelings.

- Avoid being outright negative about your guild. You may think that it's not a big deal and that you're just expressing an opinion, but most people won't see it that way. To them you're a big bad blogger (never mind that you get less than a hundred page views per day) who's doing the online equivalent of slandering them on a national newspaper, or at the very least rudely airing dirty laundry in front of the neighbours. Try to keep conflicts private by addressing them only with others who are directly involved or by venting to your friends in private. I know this can be hard if you're used to using your blog as a place to let off steam, but trust me when I say that no good is going to come of sharing guild-specific grievances with the world at large. Unless you're the guild leader or thinking about quitting anyway and going out with a bang... in which case: sure, go wild and tell everyone about how much your guild sucks.

- If you really want to talk about a particular subject that shines a less than stellar light on your guild, for example because you think that it would make a good cautionary tale for others or because you want to ask for advice, try to focus on your own feelings instead of what other people did or didn't do. People are less likely to take offense to you saying that you're not happy with the new loot system than to you framing the same issue as leadership switching to terrible new loot rules.

- Keep in mind what kinds of comments people will leave on your post as well. I've found that especially with guild issues, readers really seem to love jumping to conclusions based on their own experiences. Pretty much every time any blogger expresses any kind of concern about something happening in their guild, at least one person will leave a comment about how the described events are a clear sign of the guild being a terrible place and that the writer should run while they still can. Don't be surprised if your guildies express unhappiness upon seeing such comments.

Now, with that said... your willingness to write about your guild also serves as a good indicator of how happy and comfortable you are there. Sure, the honeymoon period (during which you'll insert the words "my awesome guild" into every single post of yours) can only last so long, and sometimes you just won't have anything interesting to report. But if you find yourself actively restraining yourself from talking about guild matters because you don't want to say anything bad and yet that's the only thing you can think of writing about, maybe it's time to re-evaluate whether your current guild is still a good fit.

3 comments :

  1. These are really great common sense rules when it comes to blogging about your guild. (Also spot on, as I've seen everything described here over the years).

    As a guild leader, I have a few extras that I follow. Specifically when it comes to dirty laundry or negative things, I allow myself to write about them but only after a certain amount of time has passed. 3-6 months depending on what and who was involved (and whether they are still in the guild). Sometimes these from experience incidents make a good blog post, but nobody wants to hear about current guild drama on their GL's blog, or feel as if they've been exposed to the internet at large when they didn't ask for it.

    It's tricky, but adhering to the guidelines in your post (or similar) has helped me avoid any guild x blog related drama over the years. :D

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    1. Posting about things only after some time has passed is definitely another great piece of advice. I generally think that it's not a good idea to post about something while you're feeling highly emotional (whether it's guild related or not). By all means, write a draft to get things off your chest, but if you wait with posting it until you've had some time to calm down, you'll often find that your opinion on the matter has changed by then anyway.

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  2. My rules about blogging, although similar to yours, can be boiled down to one sentence: it's not worth the drama.

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