In the past 2 years or so I've been in a number of clans (maybe 2 big ones, the rest were not so big). I've tended to see the same trend every time, from my old days in ElmoradProphets (a very, very old Diez clan) to my current clan, DarkCrusade. There are some good points in every clan, and there are some bad points.
Like Machiavelli, I'm a theorist - I perhaps don't know how to act, but I want to attempt to explain a certain idealism that I believe in. Therefore, maybe you don't want to take me seriously, and maybe you do - it does not matter to me.
Disclaimer: I want to say that everything I say here is not necessarily a response to recent actions that I've taken; instead, it has been a culmination of almost 3 years of KO (has it really been that long?) - maybe even more. I haven't specifically been keeping track.
A clan should, I believe, be a market sanctuary of coalitive amity. I probably invented a word in that term, but it describes my idea well. Let me care to explain this term:
Sanctuary: A clan should be different from relations from outside the clan. This is a sanctuary where one can retreat to in the case of difficulty. This means that the clan should support one another, and they should not be unwilling to help - after all, what's a sanctuary without the actual refuge? In even more simple terms - it should be a place of aid.
Amity: Keep your friends close, and your better friends closer. Clan members should be friends. Maybe they don't have to be the BEST friends, but everyone should know a little about each other. First of all, everyone needs to know that the other person exists; that is, each person in a clan should know who is in the clan. New members should be known by the clan rather quickly, and therefore this calls for active membership on the part of all involved. If fights occur, problems should be dealt with rather quickly - that is, people should either notice fights and report them and deal with them, or they will escalate into something greater.
Market: A clan also means business. It's a place of friendly business. Each person in that place is looking for a goal, whether it be to "just have fun" or to "be the best". Regardless, one's goal should be clear. One shouldn't apply each purpose when only when it is convenient - if one is playing "just for fun" - they should act like it. If one is playing "to be the best" and "gain lots of National Points" - they should act like it. In addition, a main issue that occurs in many clans is the clan drop system. Each person must be in agreement with the clan drop system. However, there are certain systems that are much more difficult to uphold than others. For example, I've classified clan drop systems into two: either the strict policy, where the clan gets every unique drop, or the loose policy, where the clan lets the players decide what to do with the drops. The strict policy is much harder to enforce, as you must have clan members who are very loyal, and usually if you attempt to enforce this with clan members that have loose loyalty, it doesn't work out, and you end up losing respect, as few people will follow the rule. It's up to you to see how much loyalty you have. In addition, a last point I must make is that what you put in is what you get out - basically, if a clan member puts in work and gets a bunch of Warrior Earrings, Iron Belts, Ring of Courages, etc. they should get the same out. Sure, if you're already rich, you should probably yield to others, but clan members who attempt to boss hunt should be allowed to. Think of the clan bank as a market where legit dropped items are traded to people who need them. IE. - A warrior got a Ring of Life last night. A rogue got a Ring of Courage last night. Though maybe the two rings may be slightly different in price, it'd be reasonable to have 2 clannies trade them. That's what the clan bank's role is. You put in work to get that unique, you should get out approximately the same, with items that suit you.
Coalitive: Derived from "coalition". Let me attempt to define coalition in my own terms. A coalition is a group of people for a purpose to achieve a goal. Therefore, your clan must have a purpose. Why are you a clan? Why do you have so many or so little members? What is your purpose? A leader needs to decide this. In addition, it needs to be made clear, and cannot change very often (meaning it may change on a new server once, after a server becomes very developed, but should not change much. Think of it as a Name Change - you wouldn't change your name very often). How serious is your clan? Is your clan attempting to be the #1 clan on your server, and control the Delos castle, or is your clan a clan where something like that would be nice, but you're just out there to level, PK, and farm? Or is your clan not serious at all; you're just looking to have fun? The purpose needs to be defined specifically. and, again, there should be no ambiguity whatsoever. Coalition invovles working together, and a clan needs to do just that.
So using this, how can you keep a clan together, and keep a clan going, and maintain friendship, business, and purpose continually?
Simple. Here are my fourteen points (historical innuendo #4):
Communication is by far one of the most important keys to success in a clan. You need to really talk to each other, and there must be communication among ALL clan members, not just small groups inside your clan (cliques are fine, but shouldn't disrupt a clan). Ventrilo/TeamSpeak is very, very important, as it brings a more personal aspect to things. If some clan members don't want to talk on these programs, that's fine - but they still need to log in to listen. You can even buy a Ventrilo channel for $10 from ko4life (which pays for 3 months, so that's like $3.33 per month), or, if you really don't want to pay any money, you can just use any of the ko4life public channels. You need to communicate.
Some last points...
Clan Websites: Clan websites are quite ignored by many users in clans. However, it is a great utility to keeping a clan together, but only if everyone uses it. Either require all members to use a clan website, or don't have one at all; either choice is fine, but having some members visit the website while others do not creates distortion in ideas, and different people recieve different information, which causes a significant amount of confusion - people begin doubting what they hear, and this results in a detachment.
Leaders - Don't Be Herbert Hoover; Be Franklin D. Roosevelt: I really, really need a historical example here. Starting in 1929, the United States underwent the Great Depression - a large percentage of the country lost jobs, and people began doubting the government. However, Herbert Hoover stayed rich due to his strategical economic plays. Once he was elected president, he didn't play the political game. People were starving in the streets while he had fanciful dinners on the lawn of the White House with an abundance of food, eating heartily. What I'm trying to say is: if you're rich, don't flaunt it. People know you're rich. Don't hide it, or attempt to be modest about it - be in the middle. As a leader, it's difficult to stay this median route, but it must be maintained. Be like Franklin D. Roosevelt - the "greatest" politician; though he came from the Hyde Park Democratic Roosevelts, and therefore inherited a large sum of money, he didn't do what Hoover did, and instead made the public confident in him by being the public. Your clan isn't a place of worship for one all-powerful rich being, but instead a market sanctuary of coalitive amity.
I hope this helps in creating a more friendly community. This game has gotten so off track...