I'd like to take a moment to jabber on about The Combine.
See, I made The Combine (we call it The Combine and refer to it as the Guild, we are The Combine. It's a name. We happen to be a guild.) when I decided to jump on the clan-making bandwagon. Nobody else was doing it, so I was essentially the first guy to really make a clan for the sake of making a clan, and be able to say "I made a clan before the game was released. I don't care if it's stupid, but I did it."
At the time, I recall the major clans were were StellarStop, which is more of a fansite community. Really, it's a fansite. There's a link. Visit sometime. There was also the Void Alliance, which collapsed.
See, StellarStop was founded as a community and bunch who would get to know each other before the game. The Void Alliance was a 'heavy Roleplay based/milsim' clan. Founded on the 14th and 16th of July, respectively.
So it was a good 10 days into it that my ego hit a peak and decided to found a clan so I can say, 5 years from now, "I FOUNDED A FUCKIN' STELLAR DAWN CLAN BEFORE YOUR CHARACTER EVEN STARTED!"
So on the 27th of July, The Combine showed up, and man, that'll be remembered as a dark day.
See, I started The Combine as a Tech-race specific guild to help myself. Ya know, let it grow and crash eventually. Every clan I ever started and/or joined died or I left for some reason, so I figured this would wouldn't be any different. It'll die a few months into the game and I'd write a heartfelt goodbye and join some other loser clan or something.
That plan went screwy when The Combine actually took off. Now I had problems. People were really coming in and we were becoming a respected clan because I kept stressing intelligence and maturity in the opening that only intelligent, mature people showed up.
So I overhauled the thread, shut down recruitment for a few weeks and rewrote that trash into something useful. Took it seriously. I'mma actually run this shit and make it last, because my plan of building an ego just died with a load of awesome people flying in.
The original Combine thread is over here.
Current Combine thread is here, and a helluva lot better.
See how the original sucked ass and the new one didn't?
In the time between I panicked as my plan died and I actually took responsibility for a well-established and well-stocked clan, the Borg and Titan Empire were founded, on the 3rd and 10 of August, respectively and they started snatching up people, useless, inactive as well as mature and intelligent.
See, we mighta been founded weeks earlier, but we never became the biggest or best because our leader was a dumb, egotistic fuck who tried to manipulate our collective ass into making him more respected and when he finally got his act together, the others were way ahead. Wait a sec...
Okay, so short version is, when I got swamped by people who were awesome, responsibility kicked me in the balls and I took it up, building [bold, unjustified declaration]one of the best clans in-non-existent-game[/bold, unjustified declaration].
As it turns out, when I redirect the effort I usually use to promote myself, I can do some pretty awesome stuff.
Like The Combine: The Offsite, Official Forums!
The Combine: The Twitter!
The Combine: The Facebook Page!
Okay, maybe the Facebook Page is a little much, but you gotta admit, I do some pretty insane/stupid stuff when I put my mind to it. Like found a guild for the sake of founding a guild. And then actually turning it into something meaningful.
Since then, a whole bunch of other clans have jumped on the bandwagon and most never quite take off (or get any members at all). See? Jump on a bandwagon first and they call you trend-setter. Do it too late, and they call you unoriginal copycat.
I'm a leader now.
And I got stuff to do.
You know what, founding, building and running a guild has been a learning experience thus far. I've been stressed out, I've panicked, I've jumped with joy at the prospect of new members, I've overseen discussion, participated in them, we've made ourselves a known guild and I was at the head of it.
With the above in mind, I can say one thing with utmost sincerity and honesty;
It's really, really hard, please don't make me do it again.
I mean, really. Do you know how much effort goes into doing shit like that? If I knew, I woulda found some other way of getting an ego trip. So watcha say, Combine! Let's not crash and burn/spontaneously collapse or appear destined for greatness and die overnight like the Soviet Union did?
Also, if you look up near the top of my blog, you'll see a fish tank (with fish). Click inside to feed them. That's one fishy for every Combine member, rounded down. We're at just over 20 at time of this posting and I can safely say we have the best people here.
If the fishies aren't busy eating and you move your mouse cursor around in the tank, they follow you around. See, it's a responsibility. You can either be nice and feed the fishies, helping others, but losing attention and love they give you (or your cursor), or you can have a fleet of mindless drones following you and asskissing you at every turn, who never quite find happiness with you.
Thing is, when you're leading them around in little circles and fun shapes, you're not always getting pampered and you might just as well be leading them away from the edges of the aquarium, to swim freely (or if your guild is dumb, to swim back into the wall). And when you're feeding them events and plans, you've got a responsibility not to treat them as your personal army of do-anything-I-say drones and have to keep them functioning to what the community as a whole wants.
That's what it's like to be a leader.