Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Letting them know..

"Hey, do you know when the next raid is?"

I know this seems like a silly question, and lets face it, if you are at all doing your job as a GM, or the Raid Leader, you usually have this posted in at least one of two places, if not both.
  • Guild Message of the Day
  • Guild Website (if you have one)
Now for me as a GM, I get a little bit bugged when I get asked this question, especially a couple months down the road of scheduling raids, and posting them in those two respective places.
I know it's not really a big deal to answer the question, or refer them to where they can find it, but I'd like to throw a little plug in here.

A guy at my work turned me on to a service called

I decided to try this, and so far it has been a pretty good success. So much of living in our times is based around using a Cell Phone. As an older-user guild (few, if any, parent-reliant creatures), it's a pretty safe assumption that most people own and use cell phones, and have at one time or another used a text message.

It's free, and its really simple. Its a shortcode that you can text to, and either have an auto reply, or have it send a message to all your subscribers. I decided that I didn't want to really wonder if I was bugging my Raiders with text-message spam, so I just set up an auto-reply with the raid schedule, and keep it current.

The way this works, is you set up a keyword that you want for your guild. Be it your guild name, or something that relates to your guild, it's really your choice. I am not sure if there is a size limit on the word you choose. Once you have that word reserved for your subscribers, you text that word to the number '41411'.

Now doing this the first time will subscribe you to the list. You can unsibscribe, and it outlines that in a return message it sends on your first go. Depending on how you are set up you can go from there. Like mine, you can have an auto-reply, and update the schedule from the website's control panel. I always keep the next two raids in there, or three if I will be out of town, and unable to update it.

The other option is to have it send out a text to all your subscribers. There are two ways to do this as well. The first is that you can open up the list, so you can text your raid schedule to your keyword, and it will send that message to everyone. The second you can type out the message in the control panel on the site, and send that out to your users. If you choose the method of sending the message out to everyone on the list, I would suggest the latter approach, and keep the list locked so other people cannot spam your list. There may be a way to promote a subscriber to a status where they can do it, and noone else can, but I haven't found something like that yet.

Both are definitely good options, but I chose the very first one I presented, due to the fact that sometimes people just get sick of unsolicted texts. I favor the idea that my Raiders can query it at any time, from anywhere they have their phone, and do it as much or as little as they want. If they lose the message, they can simply get it again, and requiring no extra work out of your busy GM schedule.

It is an extra step in maintainence on your part, but I find that I can refer someone to that in guild chat, and it can preemtively stifle future verstions of this question. The first day I announced it in gchat, it was met with "That is so cool!" "Oh, nice" "OMG that's the same number I text to do my attendance at school!" I also put a forum post on our guild website about it, and bump it from time to time to hopefully stimulate some word-of-mouth.

It may not be much, but I have found it a viable third option to keep my guildies informed of what is to come. It is another medium to reach some person that may not be inclined to re-check the GMotD, or don't see it when they log in, due to too many addons. Perhpas a good way to reach that person that refuses to check the website, and would rather ask you in the middle of healing the PvP boss in heroic MagT. I don't think it will ever kaibash that question, but it can, at least, make a dent in my annoyance levels, and maybe yours as well.

Good luck!



Cynra said...

Throw me into the "Oh, wow!" group. That's so amazingly resourceful! I'm definitely bookmarking this for future use.

Andrew said...


I am glad if just one other person finds it useful, hehe!