When was the last time you publicly thanked a guild mate who helped you out?
If you're like me, you tend to thank your heroic run or crafter personally, then drop group and leave it at that. In a large guild such as ours, even the most helpful and all-around awesome new player can go unnoticed by most people for months this way.
Luckily for me, my guild has a way to combat this tendency. It's the second-oldest active thread on our forums (the oldest was a LOLcats thread that got so long it started eating itself), and it came about like this...
It Started Small
Back in February 2006, one of our paladins remarked on how our guild managed to fight a prevailing internet trend: many web forums are hives of drama and inanity, while our guild managed to stay largely above the interweb fray (aforementioned LOLcats thread aside). Despite having about 300 accounts and multiple threads dedicated to DKP values, on the whole we were already managing to keep a really positive, vibrant web community that made even ex-members want to keep tabs on our guild antics.
Having judged thusly, our paladin was then struck with a vision, a way to bring the power of the Light to our already-awesome forums.
He picked up his hammer and hit the Create New Post button, and wrote a short piece titled Post Your Gratitude, offering up the thread to everyone to thank fellow guild members for favors.
"Post Distinctly Positive Things"
As it happens, when you give our guild a dedicated place to thank each other, a lot more thanking goes on. The first page of our thread expresses gratitude for the following things:
- a Lightforge belt, given as a gift
- a guildmate who flew out to open up the Dire Maul library for unkeyed players
- Doomguard quest assistance
- epic mount loans
- free bags, offered spontaneously
- raid leaders for organizing our very first forays into Molten Core
- midnight Stratholme runs
- boar intestines, sent by mail
- farming demons in Winterspring for Benediction
- free enchants
- the guild mount fund
- bailing people out of random PUGs
- the guild for being generally awesome
- SM graveyard speed runs
- help with the mage water quest
It takes 43 more pages to get to the current end of the thread, where I can read people's thanks for the following:
- a BFD alt run
- the members of a new Karazhan, for putting together a successful run even though they consider themselves latecomers to the raiding scene, and the veterans who've helped them out with alts, gear, and advice
- a Shattrath port
- a warrior who stopped to help with a pally alt's epic mount quest
- five folks who went out to go trounce the Horde on the Elemental Plateau
- a guildie who lead several hours of organized WSG that went 14-1 last weekend
- a gift of primal lifes
- a resident rogue, for being generally awesome
- two guildies who flew out to lay the smackdown on horde messing with one of our mage's alts
- a successful Ramparts run
- my 25-man raid, for giving an extra [Pattern: Boots of the Long Road] to a Karazhan-level healer
- nine people and a raid who helped support a hunter's push to 375 engineering
The Thread That Just Won't Die
In two years, Post Your Gratitude hasn't dried up. It hasn't even slowed down.
When our paladin created the thread, he said he hoped that it would strengthen the guild's sense of community, and make us more aware of the caliber of our members. I'd say it's done all that and then some: it's now an unstoppable juggernaut of altruism that encourages by example.
So if you've noticed your guild forums have gotten a bit negative lately, or if you're just looking for a way to build a stronger community within your guild, consider a thank-you thread. It just might end up one of the most popular posts on your forums.