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UNFØRGIVABLE'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL GROUPS.


Welcome!

This is a guide to how to make successful groups. This article also contains page information, coding advice, and question and answer- If you have any other suggestions for this article, please leave a comment down below or shoot me a message on my wall. This article was made around 2018-2019 and may not be frequently updated as it used to be. Over time, I've added and edited little things to make this article better.

How many groups have I led?

Three successful ones (and I've only totally made three) with lots of high ranking roles in other ones. Castawayclan is the most popular one but that's from 2018– along with The Range, a heavy plot oriented pack set in the roaring 20s.

This page is pretty heavy with my opinions and advice, so if you don't like it, you can exit the tab.


Page Content.[]

Here we go. First of all:

Page content is important. We all know that. It lists the lore and information in an organized manner. You have your rules on one side, your member count on another side, how the group works on another place– if you don't have good page content, you're pretty much screwed.

What's a good example of page content?

SpringClan. This page is impressive– good grammar, excellent writing– it makes me very happy to look at. Once I finish reading the page I get a sense of what type of place this environment will be.

There's not really any specific advice on writing– writing is writing. Everybody has their own style. Just make sure to include:

  • Proper grammar & capitalization
    • Yeah, you're not in English, but you don't want to sound like a seven year old either.
  • Set of rules & lore
    • Do I really have to explain this?
    • Make sure you close every loophole as possible.

What do good pages look like?

MistClan (TabbyTailz) and ShadowClan are both great examples. These two pages have these bullets in common:

  • The information is listed nicely in a neat and organized way
  • The page is nice to look at
  • It's clear that the clan itself has a long history of good leadership
  • There's a balance to the amount of coding, colors, and information

The true purpose of a page is to have enough information listed for newcomers and members to look at. The information on the page should be enough for others to read it over and tell you what the group is about. Mistclan is a good example of this; information is listed neatly on columns of scrollers to give you a sort of introduction.

Articles like Juniperclan have the right amount of mix; a perfect page in my opinion. I would like to applause the coder(s) who made the page. Juniperclan is not only nice to look at, it has the correct amount of information listed on the page so that people reading the article will have a sense of feeling of balance– enough content to realize that the group is well developed and organized but friendly and welcoming at the same time.

I also suggest that you make a list of members that are currently with you at your stay. This goes with people who have broken your group's rules so that you won't get confused.

Here's what we've listed so far:

  • Page content should be neat and organized
    • This includes rules that should be ordered numerically
    • Hierchay/List of members including their ranks, username, and information about their character(s)
  • Page content should have enough to give the reader a sort of sense that they can jump right into the clan's roleplay with little/no questions.

Page Coding.[]

Page coding isn't necessary. Although in this time of era, most successful groups that I know have either little to a lot of coding in the content. Because there are very few successful groups that have no coding, I suggest you brush up on the guides made by Wammer17, Duskaa, Søuls, and Fubsy's coding guide neo. These coding guides are clear enough to give you an understanding of what coding is and how to use it.

If I were to list every detail in how to code for your group's page, I'd probably break both my hands. So I'm not going to list every single thing, but if you want a more specified list just contact me.

Again, coding isn't exactly a requirement, but I still suggest it. Coding gives you a bit of candy for eyes to see; beautiful colors and images will mix up nicely along with beautiful text and will make your page give a unique feeling. A "signature," so that if viewers come across that page again, they'll instantly recognize it.

Colors should strictly be within the image's hex code range- What I mean by this is that if you have a forest image as a banner, stick to forest colors, such as tans and greens. If you really wanna get specific, I suggest you download the chrome extension Colorzilla. Colorzilla is a simple, easy to use extension that allows you to pick any pixel's html color code and keep it in a small, stored file space. It allows you to pick a color palette easier and for your group's coding to be more aesthetic.

  • Q&A: Why should my page be more aesthetic? I mean, isn't it perfectly beautiful already?
    • A: Aesthetic page coding is something nice to look at. It will give more of a suggestion that you and your coder(s) worked rather hard on the page to become more attracting than it already has been. Examples are FloodClan, SpringClan, and NightClan (Azaalea). The palette is easy to look at.
  • Q&A: I have no idea how to code, what should I do?
    • A: If you can afford it, maybe try commissioning a person or asking a friend to code the page for you. I don't recommend using f2u group formats (as helpful as they are) because they're overused and won't make your page unique. If you really want to, you can use them.

Here are some page don'ts:

  • Bright colors/texts
  • Confusing/Overused fonts
  • Overusing a certain code, such as scrollers or backgrounds
  • A plain, colorless page
  • Images with text
  • No colorscheme (sticking to one color)
  • Overuse of clickables

BRAIN BREAK!



Groups subject.[]

This is my question to you. "What is your group about?"

This is the main spreading on the cake.

Group subjects are what your roleplay revolves around on. It's what people who join are interested about; what they're looking forward to roleplay with you as a leader.

Here are some popular group subjects:

  • Groups that revolve around dark/gory subjects.
  • Groups that live on mountains
  • Groups that live in the forest
  • Groups that live in the beach
  • Groups that live in the urban ares (cities)
  • Traditional clan w/ casual roleplay

What I've found over my years exploring the wiki is that over time, people get sick and tired of traditional clans with no sense of creativity. Not many Traditional Clans such as Thunderclan and Shadowclan are around anymore– it's because these clans tend to die out very fast. Traditional clans are great for casual roleplay, but eventually once a few people lose motivation because nothing new is happening the whole group begins to die. Characters can't develop by themselves– they are influenced by the things occurring around them and the environment they're influenced by. Plots with traditional clans are always:

  • Natural disasters
  • Humans
  • Disease
  • Murder

Yeah, sure, these are great, but they're really boring (in my opinion). They're really predictable too. Not just stereotypical clans too– I can apply this logic to those dark and edgy packs.

  • Sparring
    • Always ends up with a person being incredibly unhappy. Never ends well.
  • Edge lord 3000s
    • Names like Hades, Loki, Chaos, etc
    • I'm the son of a demon...
  • Really bad fights with other packs
  • Probably named something like "Demons of Hell"
  • Still stuck in 2012 Tumblr

Not many people are actually willing to stick to the old rules of the clans. People are starting to lean towards new subjects and ideas.

Summary?

Use your creativity.

The reason why certain clans become so popular is that the lore/subject of the roleplay is interesting. You may not live on/near a tropical paradise, or be able to perform magic/have powers, but your character can. Groups like these are so popular towards people because it gives them a chance for their imagination to expand on. Lore gives your character a chance to perform fun tasks or rituals. This lore influences your OCs and gives them a chance to be unique.

Ceremonies like the usual apprentice's and warrior's still exist, although they aren't that fun anymore. They've become a bore.

I mean, it's literally just sitting down in front of a rock and smiling. C'mon.

If you plan on making a group based off of magic or mutations, make sure you pay attention to how they roleplay. Some members might take advantage of the magic and mutation (which they should, but not in a bad way) and become super over powered, or a big mary-sue. This will ruin roleplay for everyone, and I assure you your members will complain about it soon, which brings me to the topic of-


How to lead your group.[]

Your group will become your family. Your children to take care of, in a way. If you teach your children wrong, they'll kill and overthrow you. Maybe not in a real family, but certainly here.

  • Strict Rules:
  • Strict rules are essential in the base founding of your clan. This presses a justice and order of what to follow- What to do and what not to do. Some clans enforce the "Three strike program." This rule states that mistakes that are easily solved and forgiven for may give yo another chance, although severe rules that people broke (Homophobia, Transphobia, Racist Comments, Double-Grouping) will most likely lead to a strict ban. The punishments you give are a threat, something to let your group know that there are consequences and that you could likely fall into that category.
  • Recruiting
  • Recruiting is mostly found on animal jam. Recruiting is a way to let other people know who roleplay on animal jam that hey, I opened this group and you might wanna join! If you followed the page content/coding rules correctly, there is more of a chance that that person may join! On AJ, go to Sarepia Forest in the server Aldan and copy and past a phrase that states your group's subject, name, and other information that'll be able to fit in one speech bubble! The best way to get kick starting in my opinion is to have your friends to join your group (let them know before hand!). Many people are hesitant to join new groups because they know the group won't have enough people in their taste. If your group's platform is Discord or AJCW thread, just actively edit the page. People are more likely to join sidegroups than active groups. I don't suggest sidegroups to be strictly AJ.
  • For Discord/Thread platforms, just frequently update the page (do not edit farm) and people will eventually see it. Seek advertisement channels such as ones in your group currently or the one in the AGRW discord server. DM your friends to try and ask to join.
  • Welcomes:
  • Sadly, many groups have problems with this. Many groups often see there members as something to pick and choose from, which I get why it's true, but people aren't objects. You aren't in a produce store. Yes, there may be rotten ones, but everybody deserves a chance. Welcomes are essential, and I repeat, essential in the making of a good clan. Including someone in roleplay, pushing your character to meet their's, or even responding to their chats or jokes can make them feel much warmer. This gives them a better chance that they might stay for a longer period of time. This goes to visitors as well.
  • Making gatherings for your group.
  • As you may have noticed, there's a very slim chance that the entirety of your group will go on at the exact same time when you surprise them with a gathering. It may be your choice to go on a with a small ceremony, such as promoting several apprentices that are currently here in rolepay. You may not wanna do it if you know that several people who want to see the ceremony aren't here. That's why it's a good idea to make plans, or a schedule. You may announce, if your group has an active and thriving discord, that you are planning a gathering at this time on this day. This can go on anywhere where you know your members can check, such as your page's comments. Be sure to include the time zone(s) though, to avoid confusion.
  • Plots
  • CHOOSE: Plot oriented (heavy lore, backstory revolving around characters, clues & mysteries) or self development.
    • Plot oriented groups are a lot more fun and can influence everybody's characters experiences in a good way instead of living in a dull and simple life, waiting for drama to stir up. The only con is that you can get tired out very quickly.
    • Self development groups are more casual paced with a few mediocre plots every month or so– these almost never survive. Don't make OCs self reliant.
  • Unless you're a group that is specifically focused on improving/practicing roleplay, I suggest you do plots on occasion. You should start plots with your new group at about 12 members and make a notification (see "Making gatherings for your group" for more info about how). Plots should be approved and looked forward to by the rest of your group members. Wether it is a mini-plot or a big plot involving your whole clan, you should have the correct amount of people wanting to participate, of course.
  • Alliances/Enemies
  • Alliances should be within reason- You must read their page over if they have any lore, consider with your group's others (your members or just your high rankers). Alliances (I think) should have the same species as you are. If you are leading a magical group, try to stick with magical groups.
  • I might as well say this straight up, but a lot of groups have their own way of promoting characters. The most common way is to look at the character that is being roleplayed actively throughout the roleplays of your group, but I don't entirely agree. If you want to make high ranking promotions then you should not only choose from the OC itself, but also the person who is roleplaying the character. You should be able to gather some information of your future choosing(s) of members before making the promotion. Members being promoted should show some type of leadership and self-righteous manner in the group that inspires the others to do so also. Second in command choosings should be able, at your thinkings, to continue the clan when you step down or leave. Maybe you might wanna enforce the demotion rule too; higher ranks who are too inactive to handle their job should be demoted.
  • Active Members
  • The major functioning tip for a good group is to have enough active members so that others will be inspired to roleplay too. With no roleplay, your group is likely to disband. The members who apply should be able to roleplay at least 3 times a week at your knowing. Most groups that disband fail to follow this rule.
  • Active Editors
  • If you know your group might have a lot of members joining, you might want to ask your most active group members who go on the AJCW a lot to be a part of your editing team. These people will actively add, delete, and change the stuff on the page. Your most trusted members should only be able to do this.

BRAIN BREAK!



Are you fit to lead?[]

Leading is the important thing. It is the founding, the base of the pyramid, the cake to the icing. Lose or don't replace it, and it'll fall apart. The question you should be asking to yourself is:

"Am I fit to lead?"

Here are some requirements you should meet.

  • Activity
  • As a leader, you must be able to go on your group's platform actively at least once a day. If you are unable to participate within any reason, you should let one of your most trusted members lead roleplays for that day.
  • A firm hand
  • You really need this. Having too loose of a personality will lead you to many problems. Keeping your face towards the rules and your back to even your friends will be seen as a challenge to you. As How To Be A Successful Leader said wonderfully: '"The Ability to Decline Even Your Friends. Saying 'no' is hard, very hard. Especially towards the people you love. But if you know that the opposite of what they want is the right thing, you are going to have to not give into temptations." You will also have the task of being able to control your members choices.
  • Patience:
  • Unfortunately, you will come across some very hard-to-work people sometimes. As leader, it is your duty to stay calm and act maturely towards the members in or out of your community.
  • Seeing both sides
  • Every leader will be stuck between an argument to sort out. There is no specific right or wrong; each person has their reason to justify why they are arguing with another. The best way is to make both of them apologize. If you think that the other person was breaking a rule or harassing a member, you should be able to give them some sort of punishment, wether they mean it or not.
  • Not being lazy.
  • Get up from that couch of yours and start typing. Even though getting onto a device and roleplaying doesn't seem that hard, you may lose interest in it. The best way is to not lead a group if you don't seem to have a passion for roleplay anymore. If you just stop roleplaying in the middle, pass the group onto another set of trusted hands.
  • Make sure you...
  • Make it clear what your intentions are. You need to have some sort of fluent tongue that can speak out the words that are meant to come from your brain. Misunderstandings can easily lead to arguements. Be able to speak reason towards others when you know what to do.
  • Protect your groupmates.
  • Even though they may be annoying, they are still apart of the family. You will defend your groupmates and admit their mistakes wether they are right or wrong. Mistakes that go unpunished can lead towards several arguments with the victims. Your members are your responsibility. You will have some sort of blame for every fault they make. Be prepared to be able to uphold the complaints.
  • Determination.
  • Every group has that moment where several of their members leave. This may discourage you somehow, but let be known that if they leave with some type of complaint, you better fix that if you can. Missing one thing from your newcomer's list can screw you up entirely. Push through that moment. Know you'll survive.
  • Don't be stupid.
  • Sadly, groups can be disbanded when the leader does something stupid. I can name one great and successful clan that was going along well before their leader screwed up. Majorly. Make sure you think before you type. Typing is a way where you can think before you enter the words that you have to say. Rash decisions and joke gatherings should never be held.

Discord Organization[]

Realized that since not many groups use AJ as a platform and prefer good ol' discord, I might as well make this category.

Discord is great. It's convenient, you can carry it around with you at all times, you get instant notifications to everything, and best of all, there's no restriction to what you're talking about.

This means that you won't have to type for 10 minutes and be told by AJ that you're typing something inappropriate! Wow! Great!

Being a discord admin and organizing things honestly isn't that hard after you watch some tutorial videos. It's really easy, actually. Here's the article: link.

What I strongly recommend to do when setting up a discord server:

  • Set CATEGORY permissions first before setting up CHANNEL permissions. This way you don't have to go to every single channel and edit permissions.
  • Let staff members verify newcomers in order to access channels. This two step verification is great for filtering out trolls and people intending to raid servers.
    • Make sure these staff members are active/have different time zones for every single person.
    • Are active on the page and discord.
    • Know how to add roles.
  • Include all information on the page in the server.
  • Have organized & color coded roles with permissions.
    • Always turn on "show role separate from members" for rank roles.
  • MAKE A SERVER TEMPLATE with pre made role permissions.
    • This way you don't have to make a new server and repeat steps every single time. Saves time and your fingers.
  • Private staff channel for staff members & management
  • Roleplay categories for specific places (ex Camp, Mountains, etc) with channels regarding to those locations
  • Categories including rules, announcements, help desks, hiatus channel (a must need), lore
  • Character development category (matchmaking, help, roleplay call)

This is updated literally every other year, so if you want something new, you're going to have to wait until the next update (2022).




Made by User:Unførgivable. For more information about how to lead your group, see this article.

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