Dive right into recruiting with WoW Lemmings

Marcie Knox
M. Knox|07.03.08

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Dive right into recruiting with WoW Lemmings

Recruiting isn't what I'd call a fun past time. Ever since server transfers exploded on the scene, it's not unusual for our guild's officers to spend 30 min to an hour per day scanning the WoW Guild Recruitment forums (Alliance and Horde flavors). With summer hitting, no major content in the immediate future, and what I'd like to call the 3rd Year Burnout affecting players, recruitment is more important than ever to keep a guild's progress going.

There are a lot of options out there to find people LFG, but the WoW Guild Recruitment forums continue to be the largest source of potential class replacements. They're not perfect, though. For one, you'll spend more time trying to find the class you're looking for than actually posting replies to viable recruits. And with the speed at which new posts are made (20 minutes after you post, you're on page 5), it can be extremely daunting trying to keep up with them all.

Join me after the jump to learn how WoW Lemmings has changed all that.

WoW Lemmings converts the WoW Guild Recruitment forums into a searchable database for guilds looking for players. Pick your region, faction, class, and server type and get the results sorted by post date. There's even an "Idiot Filter" that will automatically eliminate those that haven't figured out how to spell their class's name or like to use excessive l33t speak.

Once you get your results, a quick mouseover will give you the first paragraph or so of the person's post. Clicking on the link takes you to the actual thread on the WoW Guild Recruitment forums so you can read more or post a reply.

The best part of WoW Lemmings, though, is the RSS feeder. Set up what you're looking for and have it automatically update in your reader. Potential recruits are delivered to your doorstep. This is a boon for those that are work internet challenged, too. Do the bulk of your recruiting during lunch and then all you're left with is follow-up contacting when you get home.

But wait! There's more! I got the chance to electronically sit down with Hanzo, the creator of WoW Lemmings, to find out a bit more. Here's what he had to say.

1. Why "Lemmings"?
The current popular WoW sites all seem to have easily identifiable labels. I picked something that would be easy to remember, and hard to mistake for another fan-site. It's also a clever way to refer to the sea of WoW players out there that have no home and are on a death-march out of the game...unless the right guild comes along to save them.

2. How long did you scan the WoW LFG forums before you had enough/gone blind and started on WL?
I've been in a constant state of recruitment for my current guild, Descendants of Draenor, since we began raiding the old world content. We are a family oriented guild and need to maintain a large pool of players in order to keep a constant 25-man raid lineup progressing through PvE. Every time I went to the LFG forums to look for new recruits, I kept thinking to myself, 'There has to be a better way to filter through this...', since the majority of posts are guilds looking for people, and not the other way around.

Finally, in February of this year, I decided to sit down and come up with a solution.

3. How long did it take to get WL up and running?
I started with a bare-bones version that wasn't ready for public consumption that I gave to my guild's officers to test and play around with in early January, which only took a few hours to put together. After several weeks of testing and revising, based on their suggestions, I moved it to a public server, gave it a user-friendly facelift, and expanded the beta-testing pool to more people. A few final bugfixes and tweaks later, it was publicly announced.

4. How many people work on WL and what's the weekly maintenance time like?
Aside from the public-facing GUI updates that were designed by a colleague of mine at a previous job, the entirety of WoW Lemmings was developed and is currently maintained by yours truly. Weekly updates are less than 15 minutes, as it was designed from the ground up to run its own self-maintenance tasks. I peek at it here and there, and get alerts if things go drastically wrong, but for the most part, WoW Lemmings sits quietly and does its duties automatically so that I can get on with other things.

5. Why do you think WL has succeeded where other stand-alone recruitment sites have failed?
For one, WoW Lemmings requires you to do nothing more than you already do, as a WoW player looking for a home. WoW players are already posting to the forums that they are looking for new guilds; they don't need new steps to follow, new sites to register at, and new rules to adhere to. From a Guild Recruiter perspective, it simply optimizes what you already have to do to find new people: Scour the WoW Recruitment Forums. The only different here is that it gives you a few additional features that may shave a few minutes off your search. Any time saved is a success in my book.

Other recruitment sites that ask you to register, fill out forms and questionnaires, etc...only succeed when they are used, and must be used by a massive amount of people. If they don't have a good adoption rate, the pool of data that they have to play with to mix and match guild members with new guilds is minimal, and the site fails. WoW Lemmings needs no registration, and its adoption rate is equal to the frequency of posts to the WoW Recruitment Forums, and there aren't many data pools for WoW Recruitment larger than that.

6. The WoW LFG forums recently split into Alliance and Horde. What problems and/or solutions did that create?
WoW Lemmings was designed to handle multiple sources of data from the start, in the off-chance that other recruitment sites wanted to provide their forums/data sources, so there was a minimal amount of work to be done. If I recall correctly, the forums were split without my knowledge, and a fan of WoW Lemmings dropped me an email to let me know the split had happened. I believe I had implemented the appropriate changes by that evening.

7. Why no RP server love?
The PvP / PvE filter was implemented because of the cross-server restrictions that Blizzard imposes on character transfers. It is simply there for guild recruiters to filter down players based on who they are restricted to recruiting, due to server type. RP and RP-PVP would therefore fall into the PvE and PvP categories, respectively.

8. If you could choose one word from the Idiot Filter, what would it be?
"Rouge". Probably the most misspelled word in the game. It isn't hard to spell correctly, people. One is a class in WoW. The other is a type of makeup.

9. Like most sites, you have ads. What are your dos and don'ts for them, if any?
I try to do my best and stay on top of filtering out the gold farming and leveling service ads, but there's only so much you can do there. I just keep adding to the list of ads I choose not to serve, and hope I don't piss too many people off as new sites slip through the cracks.

10. Speaking of ads, why does Google think I'm looking for a resto shaman and a crystal chandelier?
It's all based off of keywords it sees in the page you're viewing. Perhaps you were reading up on a player looking for a guild was describing his previous guild, <The Crystal Cavemen>? :)

11. To get back on the first page of a search, does bumping my LFG post get me there or is my best option to make a new post?
WoW Lemmings knows if a forum post has been bumped and disregards it. The best thing you can do as a person looking for a guild is to create a clear, concise post on the WoW LFG forums, and be sure to utilize all the keys in your post's title that WoW Lemmings looks for (ie. PvP or PvE, Class, etc), and include a link to the armory in the body of your post. [Here's a link to Hanzo's recommended posting format - MK]

12. What's on the horizon for WL?
I've had multiple requests to add a tagging system that allows recruiters who frequent the site to mark or 'tag' posts that they've read to come back to at a later date, which would save even more time, so this is currently on the to-do list. As well, keyword filtering is a big request for recruiters to drill-down into things like specific progression (ie. SSC / TK / MH / BT ), so I'm looking into that.

So if you're looking for a better way to find that missing healer/dps/tank, give WoW Lemmings a spin.

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