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5.1. The Group Creator and Group Host

The Group Creator is the group member who sets up the group. The Group Host is the group member who takes responsibility for managing the group. The Group Host’s responsibilities include managing the group membership and resources, managing the group permissions and promoting interaction among the members. The Group Creator and Group Host may be the same person or two different people. The Group Host is not to be confused with the Regional Host. The Group Host will be identified as a Group Admin at the top of the group page.

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You will need to log in to the site to join, create or comment in groups. If you have recently joined the site, your account has to be fully activated before you can carry on some of these activities. Full activation of your account may take up to 48 hours.

5.2. Creating Groups

Step 1: Go to the ‘Groups’ page via the main navigation bar.

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Step 2: Click on the ‘Create Group’ tab.

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Step 3: You will be required to fill in the group details. Provide the group name and a description and click on ‘create group and continue’.

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Step 4: You will be required to fill in the relevant details for each of the following areas (see screenshot above):

  • Group Hierarchy
  • Settings
  • Resources
  • Widgets
  • Forum
  • Avatar
  • Group Chat
  • Send Invites

Follow the instructions given in each step, clicking on ‘Next Step’ as you go.

Step 5: Group Hierarchy – Choose from the list of parent groups provided, and indicate who is allowed to create member groups.

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There are 15 parent groups that have been created for the site. These cannot be changed. Please locate your group within the most relevant parent group or a sub group.

Note: Only site administrators can make changes in the group hierarchy, so please contact the Network Host if you need amendments to be made once a group has been set up.

Step 6: Settings - Select the type of group you want to create, i.e. Public, Private, Hidden, under ‘Privacy Options’, as the type of group is determined by the group’s permissions.

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It is important to be very sure about the type of group, as the permissions of all the activities and contents of the group will be determined by the group permissions. The type of group (i.e. group permissions) can be changed later if you wish to (please see Help Section 8 on Editing Permissions).

Select the default mode for how you would like group members to be informed of updates to the group and its contents. They can change this setting to suit their individual preferences.

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Step 7: Select your preferences for Resource Settings. This is especially important if you have a hidden or private group, and you do not wish to allow members to share resources across to other groups.

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Step 8: As a group host, you can decide on the widgets you would like to have down the right hand column of your group. The options are ‘Text Widget’, ‘RSS Feeds’ and ‘Relevant Resources’. Please select all or any of the widgets you feel are appropriate from the list provided and provide the relevant information.

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Step 9: You can decide to have a forum in the group by selecting the check box provided.

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Step 10: Avatar - Upload a group image or avatar to give your group a unique identity for the group and enable other members to identify your group easily.

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Step 11: Check the box if you would like the group to have the ‘group chat’ option.

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Step 12: Any member of a group (except a hidden group) can share the group via facebook and twitter by clicking on the ‘share’ tab located next to the group image.

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Please note: If the group you want to share is private, people need to apply for membership.

5.3. Joining Groups

Public Groups

You can join any public group that you like.

Step 1: Either go to the Group Directory by clicking on the Group tab on the main navigation bar, and simply click on ‘Join Group’ tab located below the group description.

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You can also join by going to the group and clicking on the ‘Join group’ tab below the group image.

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Step 2: Or join by accepting an invite to join a public group sent to you by another member (please see section below on accepting group invitations).

Private Groups

You can join a private group by requesting membership.

Step 1: Go to the Group Directory by clicking on the Group tab on the main navigation bar, and click on ‘Request Membership’ tab next to the private group. The Group Host will be notified of your request. He/she will decide whether to accept or decline your request for membership. If accepted you will automatically become a member of the group. If declined, you will receive a message informing you of the decision.

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Step 2: OR you can join by accepting an invite to join a private group sent to you by another member (please see section below on accepting group invitations).

Hidden Groups

These groups are not displayed in the Group Directory and therefore you will not be able to see them. You will need to receive an invitation from the Group Host to join a Hidden Group. (Please see section below on accepting group invitations).

Accepting Group Invitations

Step 1: You may receive a group invite

  • Either via an email notification if you have selected this option under My Account> Settings> Email Notifications> Groups
  • Or in the ‘Notifications’ tab that you can see on the top left corner of any page near ‘My Account’ tab.

 

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Step 2: If you would like to accept the invitation, click on the ‘Accept’ button and if not, click on the ‘Reject’ button.

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5.4. Leaving Groups

If you wish to leave a group, whether Public, Private or Hidden, click on the ‘Leave Group’ tab next to the group name, in the Group Directory page, or the ‘Leave Group‘ button on the group’s home page, next to the group image.

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5.5. Searching for Groups

Step 1: Go to the Groups page through the main navigation bar.

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Step 2: Use the ‘search groups’ box – type the name of the group you are looking for or use key words (e.g. children, policy, mhpss) if you are looking for groups related to a particular interest area, and click the ‘search’ tab.

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Step 3: OR if you are on another page, type the group name or any other key word into the google search box. Using the google search box on the site will result in a search of the entire site and therefore the results will include more than the groups. You can select which areas of the site to look in by clicking on the cog located next to the search box.

Google search

5.6. Viewing Groups

Step 1: Go to the Groups page through the main navigation bar, which will take you to the Group Directory. Here you will see a list of all the core groups of the site on the left hand column.  Click on a core group to see its features and sub-groups.

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Hidden Groups will not be visible in the Group Directory. They can be seen only by the group members and will come up in the Group Directory if you are a member of the particular Hidden Group.

Step 2: Click on the title of the group and you will be taken to the Group’s home page, where you will see various features which are described in the next section.

Step 3: You can see either a list of all the groups or you can choose to see only the groups in which you are a member, by clicking the ‘My Group’ tab in your account.

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Step 4: Use ‘Order By’ in the dropdown menu to sort groups which were last active, those who have the most number of members (if you are looking for the most popular groups!), those that have been created recently or in alphabetical order.

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5.7. Group Functions

HOME

Activities happening within the group are shown here.

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ADMIN

If you are a Group Host or the Creator of the group, you will see this option in the sub-navigation bar below the group image.

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Under this option the Group Host can:

  1. Edit group details
  2. Change group settings
  3. Add/ change the group image
  4. Manage members
  5. Manage membership requests
  6. Manage resources
  7. Manage email options for the group
  8. Manage your widgets
  9. Organize chats

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Edit Details – Here the Group Host can change the name and the description of the group.

If you are the Group Host, you can also decide whether you want all group members to receive email notifications of the changes that are being made to the group, e.g. changing the group name, settings, etc. Remember to save the changes made.

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Group Settings – Here the Group Host can change the privacy options and email subscription defaults of the group.

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Group Avatar – The Group Host can upload or change the existing group image.

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Manage Members – The Group Host can change the ‘position’ of a group member, i.e. ‘promote’ another group member to become a Group Host (by selecting the ‘promote to admin’ option), ‘demote’ a Group Host to become an ordinary member, or remove a member from the group.

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The Creator of the group becomes the Group Host by default. However, the Creator can assign hosting powers to any other member of the group as well by promoting them as Group Hosts (‘promote to admin’). This should be done in consultation with the group members. There can be more than one Group Host. The Group Host can also change the Email Options for individual members as well.

Membership Request – All requests made by Network Members to join the group will be received by the Group Host and can be accessed here. This is applicable only to Private Groups.

Chat – you can use this function to customize your group chat settings including appearance, message input and user lists.

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Group Hierarchy – Only the Network Host can change the position of the group in the group structure/hierarchy. Please contact your Network Host if you wish to change it.

Email Options – The Group Host can use this option to send a message/ notice to all the group members regardless of their individual email settings. Use this with caution and for important notices only.

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You can also create a ‘welcome email’ to be sent whenever a new member joins, by selecting the ‘Enable welcome email’ option.

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Resources – The Group Host can edit or add new categories of documents here.

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Widgets – The Group Host can use this option to change what appears on the right hand column of their group. The current default includes featured resources, recently joined members, featured events, featured sites and RSS feeds from relevant sites.

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Forum Settings – You can enable the group members to engage in forum discussions by selecting this option.

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FORUM

Discussion forums provide an ideal space for group members to openly share and discuss ideas with each other (See Help section 6 for details).

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EMAIL OPTIONS

You can decide how you want to ‘read’ the group i.e. how much information you want to receive, and how frequently, with the 5 options given.

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SHARING GROUPS

You can share your group through Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the ‘Share’ button next to the group image. However, logging in is required to access the group and therefore, only members will be able to access them. You need to be a group member to access Private and Hidden Groups.

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5.8. Removing Groups

Please contact the Network Host if you need to remove your group from the site