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14 June, 2001

foldr "The Clan Leader's Bible": (page#8)
 
  Get a clan MESSAGE BOARD:


Clan Message Boards are very important:

One of the most important tools for your clan is a free Message Board or "forum". A message board allows each and every member and also future members to see what is happening around the clan. A message board shows activity and is a visible outside link to potential new recruits to your clan. You should encourage members, guests, and future members to post their questions about the clan or game there. You should encourage every one to read and HELP others that ask for  help there, just don't give out CD keys ;-). Make sure that the only people that are in or going to be in your clan use your clan's message board, as other "moocher clans" will try to "hang out" on a more active clans message board (and potentially steal recruits from your clan, be disruptive, mooch resources away, etc). Members, guests, or potential new recruits should NOT post 'private questions or problems' on your clan's open message board. Personal problems should instead be communicated by ICQed or email directly to a Council Member to maintain candor and protect the privacy of the troubled individual.

Message boards and fights are NOT a good mix, usually things only get worst (usually worst fairly quickly). If someone is 'really mad' the best place is NOT to post on the clan message board, suggest that the 'hot headed individuals' take some time (3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, or however much time is needed) to coool off. Have people that are arguing or fighting meet on a private Roger Wilco channel and discuss their differences in "private" with a moderator. It looks REALLY BAD to see a clan message board with a bunch of "I hate his guts" messages. Fights do happen, try to keep them low key and just between the 2 people that started it. Don't forget you can always KiCK ouT a troublemaker if needed. It is very important to have GOOD communication up and down and through out your clan, this makes your clan message board very valuable.

Occasionally your message board might be spammed by a random net-mosquito, to stop him or her, what you should do is ban them by their ip number (or entire sub net if needed), make sure the message board that you sign up for allows you to ban troublemakers from posting there. You might even want to get a extra message board that you setup to be 'password-needed-to-post' and only give out the password to members, guest, etc. You will need at least (1) board to be 'open', however, so potential new recruits can see that your clan is active and alive and thriving as evident by it's message board traffic.

GET A GOOD message board:

We can  recommend that you get your clan a FREE message board at EZboard.com or Bravenet.com . They are pretty stable and reliable as far as FREE message board companies go. Since we have been running the [TiC]Clan, (3) major free message board companies have died (www.broadhost.com,  www.inside-the-web.com, and www.coolboard.com), all had been good board companies.

There are plenty of other free message board companies, see our LINKs page for the other message board companies.

When you sign up for your message board, TRY to use a "USER LOGIN NAME" or "USER ID" of your actual clan's name (example "youngwarriors" or youngwarriorsclan").

When you get your board make sure you use ALL "lower case" letters in your "USER ID" ("USER LOGIN NAME") when you sign up for the account (it matters at some places), so that your URL web address (to your site), will be a simple easy to find address http://members3.boardhost.com/youngwarriors/ (example "youngwarriors", instead of "YoungWARRIORS").

There are many different features offered by the various free message board companies. "EASE OF USE" and "RELIABILITY" are your top priorities in selecting a message board for your clan. If a free message board is always off line, who cares what it looks like.

Typical Message Board Features:

  • Banning spammers by their IP#.
  • Password-able boards.
  • Registering before posting.
  • Pre-approval of messages before display.
  • Ability to have one or more moderators.
  • The ability to add links back to your home page.
  • The ability to change the pages' or fonts' colors, sizes, look, etc.
  • The ability to easily delete spam messages.
  • RELIABILITY (does the FREE board actually work?).
  • Easy of use, is it hard to add new messages ?
  • There are many more features, to see a complete list of FREE message board companies go to our LINKs page.
 

Text chat: "Instant Messengers", IRC text channels, Game Email:

Message boards or forums are "static", you type a message and post it, then when people read the board an hour or day later, they post a response. With email, you type a message and email it. Anywhere from 1-25 minutes later the email will have  been shuffled threw internet to the person, then the recipient reads your email (when they check their email), they respond with an email, etc. As there is a delay, conversation can take days to complete.  "Text chat" is instantaneous. You  type something, they read it immediately (if they have it turned on) and type a response back, you read and respond, etc, etc.

There are several versions of FREE "text chat" software programs out there that your clan members could use  to communicate with others inside and outside your clan. You could use one of  the "instant messenger" style programs like  ICQ, AIM, Windows Messenger instant chat (text chat that is like instant email) for small clan classes and clan  discussions if needed. Btw, most of the modern style  clans use Roger Wilco or some type of voice software for this instead. Most gaming clubs use ICQ -and- Roger Wilco both, as they compliment one another. However, since  "Windows Messenger" comes with Windows, this is quickly growing in popularity amongst clans.

 If you compete in most of the current leagues, they usually require you  to get an IRC "text chat channel" (even if you already have a voice chat channel or an instant messenger program) to communicate between your clan and the other clan before a match. IRC is very popular amongst clans because of this. There is free client and server software available for IRC. Some games and gaming related software have a limited IRC chat capability build into it (Half-life, GameSpy). If you want to get a free multi-feature IRC program, a lot of people use the IRC client software called  mIRC , its FREE. You can get a  FREE IRC text chat channel hosted at Gamesnet.net . If you have questions or need help you can get tips, help, and more info on IRC at ircHelp.org or at mIRC site or Gamesnet.net . IRC is only needed if you get into leagues, other wise save your time and just use voice communications. There are a lot of people that still use the old IRC, and thus it would help you as a limited recruitment tool.

The are several FREE  web based email services: Hotmail, Yahoo Mail. There is also  Bigfoot that is a free email redirector service. You could get an email address like ticclan@bigfoot.com. This serves to hide your real email address from spam bots as you communicate with people posting it on web pages and in forums, etc. Also you and your members could get each get  a "yourclan_yourgamename@yahoo.com" or at Hotmail. The reason why you might need this is when your clan gets bigger, instead of getting emails from "tomjefferies@ispnet.net", you will know that it's  "[TiC]darkforce" who just sent you the email, because his game email  would be "tic_darkforce@hotmail.com". You would know that the guy that sent you that email was in your clan and who he was.

 


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