Since the beginning of time, guilds have dealt with the problem of “us versus them” mentality with officers versus members.  (For example, Saga’s recent troubles.)  Right now, Eff the Ineffable has no officers.  This means – no officer chat.  On first glance, this may seem insignificant, but I think it’s huge.

One way that people become cliquish is by having a private place to talk.  After all, it’s alluring!  Why talk in a public forum with a lot of people when you can share your insights with the select few in your super-secret spy channel. And more often than not, the super-secret channel is used to let off steam about conflicts with people who are NOT in the channel. Us versus them is born.

Officers don’t want to step down, ever, or they’ll lose the social connection with the other officers that they’ve forged with their secret channel and forums. They’ll feel out of the loop. So you have people unwilling or unable to do officer duties with a powerful incentive to remain officers – leading to top-heavy guilds.

So we’re not doing it.  Eff the Ineffable has no secret channels.

  • No officer chat.  Well, except the GM has officer chat by default, but there’s only so much Alas can talk to herself.
  • No private forum.  None.  Seriously.  If you’re a guildie, you can see every forum there is on the site.

Will this be an incredibly awesome idea or turn out to be stupid?  We’ll keep you updated on this bold experiment.


No Officer Chat? No Officer Forums? Unpossible! — 27 Comments

  1. A bold experiment, and one whose success I’m personally invested in assuring! (Effemera may be young, but she’s hardy.) Keep us updated on how things work out, you leaderless heathens.

    • Even if the leaderless thing doesn’t stick, I really hope that the officer-chat-ban stays. People do tend to use it to socialize in their super-secret-room, and then gchat just falls silent.

  2. Interesting idea. The problem is, I think, that the egalitarian model works just fine until problems crop up. then…. well, there are plenty of ways to talk behind people’s backs without using officer chat.

    Whether or not you have officers, in any group of people there are some whom will take the lead, do extra work, jump into various roles and run with it; that’s how people work. As time goes by, they’ll start communicating with each other, because they have to; eventually other people will release or sense it, and the same thing comes back…

    Pessimist? Maybe. You guys can make it work, certainly while you are small and all share a common goal.

  3. I think it’s a fine idea. Having seen the devolution of officer chat first hand, to the point that I ASKED TO BE RELIEVED AS AN OFFICER SO I COULD TURN IT OFF, I know all too well how that can play out.

    And, sure, cliques can form and start their own chat channels. But at least the guild is not, in this case, greasing the rails. You gotta grease your OWN damned rails.

    And let’s face it, everybody loves grease.

  4. No officer chat and no private forums is a noble idea. Though sadly I can see how it may cause some problems, I think it’s pretty essential for Officer’s to have private channels to discuss issues in private, it keeps things in GC calm, and allows the officers to sort things out without bugging or panicking the general populace – it is entirely possible (though I’ll admit not necessarily easy) to have both of these and not end up with the officers as a Clique.

    In my own guild (The Ice Drakes on Draenor EU) we have a few levels of guild officers – all use officer chat, but all are equally (if not more) active in guild chat, our GM really hates the ‘us and them’ thing, and rightly so – it can destroy the confidence of a guild’s members in it’s officers – make you look unapproachable. We work hard to keep communications flowing with the members as well as amongst ourselves.

    Like I said, it’s a matter of balance, and not necessarily an easy one to maintain always. But that depends on the officers and the size of the guild I suppose in the drakes (with our 400 odd members the thought of not having a private channel to discuss guild issues without the whole guild dogpiling in makes me shudder lol :) )

    Best of luck – I hope it works out, as an experiment it’s a grand one – will follow this with interest :)

    • after reading a few more comments – it looks like the system could well work for you. As the entire guild is built on that kind of open interaction.

      I was obviously only commenting from my own personal experience

      • I think the size of the guild factors into it as well as the personal responsibility of the officers.

        If the officers are using o-chat as a needed rabble-free channel to coordinate activities, that is a valid use. I’ve seen it used properly this way when officers were trying to coordinate 2 10-man groups and making sure that both groups were balanced before taking off for the night.

        If the officers are using the channel for “evil” such as badmouthing a guildie or chattering, that’s not cool.

        I guess, the guideline for an o-chat or private forum is: “if this suddenly became public and all that I’ve said could be read by the entire guild, would I be ok with that? Would it look like I was using this to do my job?” If the answer is yes, then the channel is being used properly.

  5. I believe this idea requires a great deal of trust within the guild. Everyone has to bring something to the table and be reliable, dependable, friendly, respectful, and agreeable. It is a wonderful idea, but regardless of steady planning from a consistent group of people, EVERYone can see the “planning” and chime in when they would like to. Some people are content to lead; some are content to follow. If you let everyone choose their own level of involvement without making them feel isolated for it, I believe you will have an excellent guild (as you do now).

    Carry on!

  6. I’m really interested to hear how this works out.

    In general I’m all for officer chat being used to discuss officer business; like did so and so pass their trial period (or is the trial period even over yet) and which raid are we going to tonight etc. etc. – but it should never EVER be a socialising place for officers who decide they rather just chat to only officers instead of everyone. (And this is of course where my guild fails, it’s not even all officers, but a couple – and they kind of ruin it for everyone since it means if you want to/need to talk to them.. you have to go to the officer channel – talking vent now obviously .. grrrr)

  7. Guilty as charged… and loving it. For my guild, the “clique” was pretty much a given, since the guild itself exists because of it – we met, we clicked, we were friends, then decided to make a guild. And 99% of the people we invited knew about our friendship beforehand. That being said, there’s 3 of us in officer chat – me, my friend Laura and her boyfriend. Guild decisions are made mostly while we’re at work and chatting on GTalk, so the only “officerish” thing that goes on in there happens during raids – strategies and the like. Otherwise (like Laura actually noticed a few days ago), we use it as a personal chat channel while her boyfriend probably facepalms at us 😛 Why? My reason is simple: officer chat is blue and I won’t ever confuse it with a whisper or a RealID chat. That way, turquoise (RealID) = my boyfriend, dark blue (/o) = Laura and purple (whisper) = other people. Easy sorting!

    So far, this hasn’t caused any problems – mostly, I think, because we’re also very vocal in guild chat. Too vocal, actually, which is why we move some of the inane chat elsewhere (what can I say, we’re both girls and chatty…) We do use it as a private bitching channel too, but we’d do it in whispers anyway, so I don’t see the difference.

    I don’t think I could deal with a guild without an officer chat (with more than 2 officers) simply because of the coordination issues, i.e. whispering the same thing to 2 people takes more time than typing it out once.

    (I did have bad experiences with officer chat, sort of like Grimmtooth. I asked for a demotion because the crap in /o made me not want to log into WoW anymore. Though, on the long run, that might’ve been a good thing – it showed me that the guild wasn’t my home anymore and I ended up in a better place.)

  8. There’s an interesting point in all this, in that sometimes cliques form for perfectly good reasons, such as friendship.

    Mid-BC, my old guild had a major blowup in the guild, and one of the people that left claimed that the guild officers would often go into heroics with each other, and that others felt excluded because of that.

    The point was that we weren’t doing so because we were up to something. We just enjoyed each others’ company.

    Goes to show how something innocent on its face can be mis-interpreted from another perspective as something dark and sinister.

    In our case, the rank of ‘officer’ was far less serious than I took it at the time (I eventually learned better). But for a guild more interested in regular raiding and retention of good raiders, the officers may have to make sacrifices such as one sitting out to ensure that everybody else gets a little bit of attention from time to time.

    This can even be a problem without officers. In our case, above, we could have removed that title, and the story would have been the same. The GM and her besties would have been doing the same sort of thing, because we knew each other, liked each other, and trusted each other to perform to a certain standard. The “outsiders” in this case would have properly labeled it a ‘clique’ and the rest of the conversation would have been identical, I’m afraid.

    Jeez, I could have made this into a whole blog post, sorry about that. I must have issues to work through or something. :)

    • I need to rant about this. One of the things that drove me away from the guild I mentioned earlier was the way (some of) the officers felt entitled to be in every single damn raid. To the point where one of them didn’t sign up for the first Ulduar raid, wasn’t picked (duh) and threw a huuuuuuge fit over it, then went to raid with some friends of his. I was livid, this goes against everything I think is important for an officer. Get angry because the rules were applied to you (guess they were only for other people?), then bail on the guild because you’re angry? Way to set an example…

      In my current guild I’d *want* to sit out sometimes and let others raid… but we never have extra healers, so it doesn’t happen :(

      • One of the reasons Alas, Mr. Alas, ATT and I split off on our own is because this sense of entitlement was actually eating away at the old guild. We lost one officer and her husband over ONE raid spot decision. There was snarking about how I got to attend every raid, even though I was a healer and there was no backup healer to take my place.

        Last night, we had 6 signed up for 5 heroic spots. I volunteered to sit out. Lonomonkey had transferred over and the least I can freakin do is make sure he’s having a good time and getting included. And you know what… I lived. I watched TV. I got some extra sleep. Not a big deal.

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