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Organizing an alliance, part I


Ferrous

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For some of you, some of this stuff may seem obvious. For others, this could be a replacement for a late-night brainstorming session with your alliance mates. Either way, hopefully you'll find it valuable.

Some time ago, I posted an article a friend wrote up called, "Spectrum." In it, he wrote out one possible way to organize an alliance - and I believe it could be effective. But one interesting aspect of spectrum was that the head of each department was chosen in a different manner - the MoFA was elected by the FA staff, while other heads of departments were appointed, and in one case, one head got there by defacto (the only restriction was a time limitation). Given that I believe there are some definite benefits to democratic styles and autocratic styles, and that each alliance should tailor their organization to their membership, let's take a journey as to what I would think would be an "ideal" alliance for what I like.

First, let's make a list of everything an alliance should do. For the purposes of this discussion, it is useful to refer to the NPO slogan, "Peace, Power, Prosperity", which really shows the three most important aspects of an alliance: their military (power), their foreign affairs (peace), and their ability to maintain the strength of their alliance, both for themselves and for their allies (prosperity). Additionally, we can say that there is a need to establish some focal point for the community - a level of trust, a theme (I don't like OOC themes, but if it works...), or something else to keep the alliance "on the same page." So right off the bat, we're talking about 3 departments, with a possible fourth. It is important to emphasize that this "maybe fourth," a department to help the community should not be a propaganda machine to work against the members of the alliance itself, but rather to develop some means of keeping the membership involved in the alliance. Propaganda is like marketing - it may work for a while, but it doesn't stick forever. However, keeping members invested in the alliance is much healthier, both for the alliance and for the individual. For argument's sake, we'll make this a fourth department.

So in terms of ministers and departments, there may be smaller ones, or less significant ones - but given the role that these four areas play, it is reasonable to assume that the role of the leader of each of these areas should be a notable leader of the alliance. Hence, we get four major ministers.

There is the possible argument that "recruitment" is a need for an alliance. To some extent, this idea is correct - people will inevitably leave the alliance, and "new blood" can be a welcome sight. However, some alliances get along okay without active recruitment, acting more as a "magnet" alliance. The newly formed NSO would be an excellent example of such an alliance, although I suspect that the magnetism will not last forever. So we can say that recruitment is high priority, but not a necessity for an alliance.

So now let's think about everything an alliance could do. I believe that keeping membership actively involved is highly desirable for the alliance, as the members keep invested in the alliance itself (retention), helps better inform the members as to what is going on (your lowest level volunteer will know what's happening more often than someone who does nothing), and can help ease the stress from the higher ranked members in filling out their own duties. So here is the list I came up with:

  • Securing trade circles
  • Helping with distributing aid to newer nations
  • Coordinating tech deals
  • Auditing nations so that we can make sure they all know how to be building their nation efficiently
  • Maintaining a roster of all the members of the alliance
  • Sending out messages to the members of the alliance to keep the informed of the happenings in the alliance. (including sending out newsletters to the alliance members).
  • Sending out newsletters to allies and other political connections
  • Sending out a newsletter (of sorts) to the general public. Think like STA's state of the alliance addresses.
  • Maintaining and creating diplomatic connections
  • Produce propaganda and other graphics/media for the alliance
  • Collect intelligence on other alliances (NOT espionage, but rather looking at stats, looking at political movements, hearing rumors from friends and pooling that information)
  • Educate the members on all things Cybernations
  • Recruitment
  • Forum maintenance (making sure things are stickied/unstickied when needed)
  • Social forums moderation
  • Military organization
  • War planning, strategy

Granted, I may have left a few things out, but I believe that covers pretty much everything. Now, comes the fun part - organizing them all into the four departments if possible.

Economic Affairs

  • Securing trade circles
  • Helping with distributing aid to newer nations
  • Coordinating tech deals
  • Auditing nations so that we can make sure they all know how to be building their nation efficiently

Domestic Affairs

  • Maintaining a roster of all the members of the alliance
  • Sending out messages to the members of the alliance to keep the informed of the happenings in the alliance. (including sending out newsletters to the alliance members).
  • Educate the members on all things Cybernations
  • Recruitment
  • Forum maintenance (making sure things are stickied/unstickied when needed)
  • Social forums moderation

Military Affairs

  • Military organization
  • War planning, strategy

Foreign Affairs

  • Sending out newsletters to allies and other political connections
  • Sending out a newsletter (of sorts) to the general public. Think like STA's state of the alliance addresses.
  • Maintaining and creating diplomatic connections
  • Produce propaganda and other graphics/media for the alliance
  • Collect intelligence on other alliances (NOT espionage, but rather looking at stats, looking at political movements, hearing rumors from friends and pooling that information)

Dividing up the responsibilities beyond that would require a few active deputies who each like to take on a specialized role or two. Underneath those people can be alliance volunteers who fit into one "sub-department" as necessary. A head of propaganda, for instance, could be a deputy (or not even, necessarily) who works in the FA department.

So at this point, we have four departments, and numerous ways to keep people involved. The level of sub-organization would depend on the size and the makeup of the alliance. Forcing people, I should mention, also is not what the goal is - but giving an opportunity for, and encouraging individuals to become involved is our goal so that the alliance as a whole can achieve their desires that much more effectively.

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