We’re happy to announce some new features to help build community – member groups and events.
The motivation for groups came after polling members (see "Give your thoughts on Agnostic.com feature priorities for 2018!" ) and noticing that as the website grows, it’s harder for members to keep up with all the new posts and to find similar members.
Groups enable similarly-interested members to share topics more intimately than in the main forum. While the features are live for all members today, we are still actively working on improvements and bug fixes. We're happy to get your early feedback so we can prioritize what to work on.
Here's some questions/answers:
What can groups be about?
Groups are typically either topical or geographic. Groups can be listed as "online only", "offline" or both as well as setup to be local, regional, state-wide, country-wide or international (default).
We are currently pretty open to what can be a group but might come up with more guidelines depending on feedback. We do have limits on content (e.g., no nudity or overtly sexual content as it doesn't help the mission of this website and there are other websites that better suited).
Who can create groups?
Currently any level 5+ member can create a group by going to the main groups page and clicking "Create Group". You'll see a form that has some basic directions. In the next week or so, we will probably open it to newer members so long as they first join (participate in?) a few other groups. We want to avoid having thinly populated groups.
What are group moderators?
Moderators are just members that the group originator lists who have similar access to admin tools for the group as the originator.
While we have not yet implemented these features, group originators and moderators will be able to remove posts and members at their discretion.
How to join groups?
There is a big "Join" button on every group that you can join. Eventually, we may have some join rules for the group originator to set such as member level and location.
How do posts work in groups?
First, you'll need to be a member of a group before you can post. When you post, you have the option to have the post go only in the group or both in the group and in the general discussion pages. We hope that 90%+ of the posts will stay in the group so that the conversations stay intimate. Eventually, we might add some restrictions on who can make a group post also go to the main discussion page. Originators and moderators only perhaps?
Where do I see posts in groups where I’m a member?
For now, you’ll see the last 5 group posts on the main page. Perhaps we can create a toggle to let you have more control on what you see there. You can see the specific groups that you're a member on a tab on the groups page.
What are events? Why so few listed?
We decided to put live the event directory along with groups before we spend too much time adding events. We hope to have your help in posting events that you think will be interesting to other members. You can record whether or not you'll attend the groups as well as post specifically to other attendees.
How to connect events and groups?
If you have a geographical group that has events, you can connect them to your group by including your group's hashtag when you create or edit the event. The event will show up on your group page and the group will show on the event's page.
Any points for participation?
Yep. You get points when members join your groups or attend events you list. You still get the same points when you post in a group as if you post generally. Comments are treated the same as well.
What things are coming to groups and events?
We are currently working on a simple chat room which we plan to connect to groups and events. The idea is that you can schedule a chat "room" for a set time (e.g., 1 hour) so that the group members can talk together.