This official Developers' Blog is copyrighted by Jagex. It is a direct quote from the RuneScape website.
The blog is written by Mod Chihiro, and dates to 7 December 2010.

Clans are a big part of the RuneScape community. Over the years, millions of players have been a member of one of the thousands of varied clans. Each clan has its own aims and identity, and many of them have been with RuneScape for several years.

But running and organising a clan needs tools to help manage and communicate with clan members; at the moment, we know that we don't provide you with the tools you need. We have been using the friends system to give you what we can (i.e. Clan Chat), but we have always known that this is just the first step towards full clan support, and that we are going to have to come up with something better for the long term.

This is not a small job, and we are not treating it as such. The good news, though, is that this job is now beginning. We're currently pulling together a list of features and requirements that we'd like to be able to provide for clans, and outlining all of the work that needs to be done.

None of the technical departments escape the work, for new Game Engine and Web Systems features are needed. We'll also require new servers to host and store all the clan information, plus a team of content developers working on integrating clans features into the game.

We can't give you too many details yet, as with any such technical project details can change, but we can confirm a few things that we know the community have been asking for a long time.

We will be giving you a separate 'clan list' similar to the current friends list, but with features specific to clans. This will free up the friends system to be used as it was originally intended: to keep track of your friends. We'll also be adding extra customisation options to assigning clan rank names, and improving labelling members of your friends list while we're at it.

We'll be keeping you up to date with progress, and talking to clans and clan leaders (in the clan forums) about some of the finer details we'd like your feedback on, but the main thing we wanted you to know is that clan support is on its way.

We also have been watching (and will continue to watch) the forums for interesting clan-related ideas. If you'd like to discuss the content of this blog, visit the Tools for Clans forum thread.

To find out more about clans, check out our knowledge base article.