Well, if you read parts One, Two and Three you’re probably all set up with the beginnings of your very own “world beating” premiere VC group now. If so, congratulations… welcome… that’s awesome – now, whatcha gonna do with it?
Are you just gonna hang with ya homies there and natter? Share the good gossip? Watch everything that’s going down outside your group and have a laugh about it? Yeah, ‘scool – unless you wanna take over the VC world.
Are you going to get involved in some serious philosophical and academic discussions about the modern living Vampyre culture? Try and solve some of the riddles of our Nightkind universe? Write and share meaningful editorials or articles about the culture? Awesome, discussion is a welcome and evolutionary process, even debate – carried out properly – is healthy and valuable.
Are you going to go one step further and get actively, and regularly, involved in the interactions between our culture and the, forgive my use of the term, mundane world population? Maybe charity work? Regular balls, banquets and/or Salons? Magnificent – keep it real, keep it on an even keel and project a good image of the culture.
Are you going to open up your group to “public” from within the culture, turn it into a cesspit of “slamming”, “abuse”, “endless repetitive arguments”, “circular bullshit griping and whining”, “armchair critics” and the like?
You see, as with EVERY single group there is a direction, it may be one planned, it may be one that develops as the group grows, it may be a controlled path, it may be complete fucking chaos… as the owner and Grand PooBah of the Group it’s up to you. It’s your call.
So, how do you know what to do? What path should you/ will you set your group on? Nobody can tell you that, that’s between you and your admins/members but there are a couple of things, above all else, that you need to consider.
Reputation and Credibility
I am going to imagine that everyone, regardless of whether they have their own group, or not, is looking to be considered as a credible commentator in the culture and/or they want to build a solid reputation as a good leader and a contributor to the modern culture. If you don’t, stop reading now because nothing I say after this point is going to mean shit to you.
If you let “Loonies” into your group your place will become an asylum and you will be laughed at.
If you let ego-maniacs loose your place will become one great cesspool of self-masturbatory back slappers and no one, except yourselves, will even spare you a second thought.
If you let the rules get huge and overwhelming… well, modern Vamps don’t like being TOLD what to do…
The balance of membership in your group should not only be somewhat articulate but able to think at the sort of level that you do. If you are all about setting yourself up as the monarch of a slave race who can’t muster a reasonable thought between them then you are just a, pardon the unimaginable metaphor, “a slave trader” and your members won’t hang around for long because they ain’t getting their jollies from you.
If you want to interact, frequently and meaningfully, with other groups you need to be able to present a credible and respectable face. Long gone are the days when “fangbangers” could gallop through the culture yelling about “juice boxes”, “Chew toys” and the like… that’s so old and so stupid that nobody pays attention anymore.
You have to remember, what your group members do, both within and outside of the group, reflects DIRECTLY on you as their leader. Either build a good group or get to be a nasty, grumpy, snotty overbearing S.O.B. – Your call.
The other thing you need to be attentive to…
Your group’s path, purpose for existing and methodology should have been solidly worked out before you floated the group to any audience, be it members or public. You should know what it is you want to achieve with your Empire, know what path you are going to take to get there and know what you’re going to do once you arrive. That’s smart planning and will mean the difference between success and failure.
If your group path, focus and aims keep varying wildly, if you dart off in a million different unconnected directions at the same time, if you keep dropping, making, dropping and remaking yourself and your group people will get seriously bored with trying to keep up with your antics.
Seriously, think about it… Mom and Pop Jones open a bakery, they start baking the most delectable donuts any has ever tasted and they get very popular for their donuts then all of a sudden they decide they’re going to focus on lunch sandwiches… well, there goes their faithful donut customers and they have to do ALL that work, all over again, to try and develop a following for their sandwiches, the best damn sandwiches either side of the Rockies of course… at which point they decide fried chicken is the way of the future… booom…!!! There goes the clientele again….
Same story with modern Vampire culture groups.
Focus, Path, Aims, Goals – All need to be realistic, pragmatic, achievable and, when you have got it in the palm of your hand don’t play the “Oh, I’m so bored…!” card and drop it to start something new all of a sudden… that gets you a name as being vacuous, non-committal and flaky… there goes your personal credibility and respect again.
What on earth to do?
Every successful organisation on earth has what is known as a business plan. It is a forward projection of where they’re headed for, how they’re going to get there and what they’re going to do when they get there. I’m not saying turn your group into a business… unless you want to of course but have a plan, even if it’s only notes you jotted on a breakfast napkin, doesn’t matter a toss, it’s your “plan”.
Follow it and as you develop, and mature, your group strengths in certain areas use that as a solid base for outgrowth. Sure, you can “add strings” to your fiddle as you go, you can start off-shoot projects as you go, small developments and improvements that, ultimately, enhance the serviceability of your organisation but ALWAYS keep your eye fixed firmly on the goal you set for your group at the beginning of the ideas/planning.
The modern Vampire culture has far, far too many little splinter groups and offshoot groups that come and go and come and go and come and go and so on ad nauseum. DON’T BE AN AD NAUSEUM.
Start out being respectable, start out with a plan, grow as your plan proceeds and succeeds. DON’T come blazing out with proclamations, treatises, manifests and the like, DON’T be charging out telling us all how we’re all fucked up and how you have the answer and we all have to toe your line – You’ll get crucified every time.
PROVE to us you’ve got a plan, an idea and a sound concept… the smart ones out here will recognise it and will get behind you, the others? Well, they don’t REALLY matter do they? – Like I said, your call.
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