Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm the new Polymer Clay Smooshers guild master!

And how awesome is that?!  When I first found out that the Polymer Clay Smooshers guild on ArtFire had been deleted I was really upset.  I've been a proud member of this guild for 3 years, and loved participating in the challenges, promoting other members, and sharing all sorts of things related to the medium I love.  So what does a girl do when she's totally bummed out?  Well she calls her mother, of course!  My mother happens to know a lot (and that's putting it mildly) about the internet, marketing, building successful sites, and guilds.  My younger brother is a very successful guild master for his World of Warcraft guild, so there's a good bit of experience in my family.  Although I initially called just to have a shoulder to cry on, by the time I hung up the phone Mother had convinced me that I could and should become the new guild master and keep the Smooshers going.  Luckily the previous guild master made me an admin for the Smooshers fan page on Facebook, as well as the Smooshers blog, and she didn't delete the Smooshers Flickr group.  All are still active and all the links still work.  Unfortunately the private forums on the zetaboards were gone, which meant I had to set up new forums on a different site.  This actually turned out to be a good thing, because Mother helped me get the forums set up on invisionzone, the same site that hosts my brother's forum.  This is a paid site (which I was more than happy to take care of), so there are a lot more options available than on the previous forums. The new forums are fairly easy to navigate, allow members to set up a profile with links back to their shop, and allow members to have a blog and post pics to the gallery if they choose.  I spent about a week getting everything set up, learning the site, and testing things out.  So far things seem to be going fairly smoothly and I'm just thrilled with the response I've gotten.  I also dropped the activity requirements that were a part of the original guild.  I want to give everyone a chance to participate at their own level.  I know some members had left the guild because they simply didn't have the time to be as active as was required.  Now those members can come back, and if they can only stop in to the forums occasionally, or only have time to share a post on FB here or there, that's just fine.  Of course, the more active you are, the more exposure you get, but something is always better than nothing. 
I am so excited about this and have a lot of ideas for making this guild better than ever!  And with the help and support of the rest of the Smooshers, I think we can do anything! 
And I want to thank ColtPixy for starting the Smooshers in the first place and building it into the amazing guild it is.  Without her the guild never could have gone as far as it did.  I also want to thank Haffina for stepping in and taking over as guild master when personal issues forced Coltpixy to step down.  Both women are amazing artists and did so much for the guild, right from the very beginning.  And a big thank you to all the members, past and present, whose contributions helped turn the Smooshers into one of the most popular and active guilds on ArtFire!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

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