Groups work like the group features on Ning, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Any member can access public groups. Private or hidden (invitation only) group(s) would require special access logins. Within groups, users can share info on topic areas that interest them.
Besides an activity stream, members can also list and send invites to groups they are in:
1. Ideal for more in-depth discussions
2. Excellent for sharing the conversation with the entire network.
Rolls of Group Members
The three roles that are assigned members in groups in decreasing level of responsibility are:
- Admin – highest level of group access. Full access to managing all aspects of the group.
- Moderator – has increased responsibility within the group forum.
- Member – Able to write/edit/delete own forum posts and replies
Here is a summary of their differences based on User Capability:
Navigating within a Group
Within a group, the Groups menu has five options:
1. Home – displays the group’s home page where you’ll see all the group’s activity. You can also post a quick update to the group.
2. Forum – displays the group’s forum page where you can post new topics, read and engage in discussion threads.
3. Members – lists all the current group members
4. Send Invites – this link is only visible if you are a member of a group. This is used to send invites to join the group to your friends.
5. Admin – this link is only visible to group administrator and group moderators. It contains all the options for managing the group.
Using the Group Home page
The Group Home page is just like any other activity stream page:
- Lists all activity from within the group
- Allows you to post a quick status update directly onto the Groups activity stream
- Allows you to Reply and/or Favorite activities within the Groups activity stream
- However, it also includes a RSS feed so you can subscribe to the Group’s activity using a feed reader such as Google Reader.
Working with a Group Forum
Group forums are made up of:
- Forum Topics – the proposed subject of a discussion
- Discussion threads – the conversations (replies) that result from the topic
- You normally create a New Topic if it is a totally new conversation — otherwise you reply to your own or other group members topics.
To publish a New Topic in a Group forum:
1. Click on the forum menu item
2. Give your topic a title
3. Add the information you want to discuss or share in the content field
4. Add tags
5. Click “Post Topic”
6. Note: Sometimes this ability to post ones own topic might be disabled.