Triratna Resources

Tip No. 2: Invisible Groups and Order-only Groups...

On Wed, 20 June, 2012 - 20:39
Candradasa's picture

We’ve had a few enquiries about this, so I thought I’d write a tip about how to get the most out of Groups on your Project and still keep some things completely private.

As you’ll recall from our last tip, unlike Projects (which are always visible and completely public so anyone can ‘follow’ anytime), we’ve set up Groups so they are always visible but private by default. That means people need to click ’+ join’ to take part and see any content that hasn’t been set as ‘introductory’, and their application needs to be approved by the Group’s admin person. But sometimes you might want even more privacy than this! That’s where ‘Invisible Groups’ and ‘Order-only Groups’ come in…

We thought about what happens at Buddhist Centres all around the world. In most rooms, most of the time, meetings and events and conversations take place that are open to everyone. But sometimes you want something to be confidential (eg. a Chapter meeting) or to have a very specific kind of conversation (eg. an ordination kula meeting, a Council meeting). Perhaps its just that you’d like to set up a Group where senstive things are aired and trust and security are important, or where only some of the Sangha would benefit from participation. Whatever the reason, when you want to create a very private or particular sort of space that’s invitation-only, it’s easy!

Invisible Groups
When you create a Group, you’ll see a ‘Group Visibility’ option. This will (slightly confusingly!) be set to ‘Public’ by default, though what that really means in this context is that the Group is visible to everyone on the site (see above). If you want to make a Group that is invisible to people browsing the site and accessible only to existing members via a direct link, simply click ‘Private’ under ‘Group Visibility’.

But how do people join invisible Groups?!
Simple: you send them an invitation and they accept! After all, you want it to be private. So after you’ve set up an invisible Group, we suggest simply emailing all the prospective members and asking them to join the site if they haven’t already, then let you know their username. After that, all you need to do is go to the Group, click ‘add members’ in your admin panel (on the top right of the big header picture for your space) and enter their username(s). Once you’ve added someone they’ll get an email letting them know the direct link to the Group (unless they’ve turned off email notifications), which only members can view.

Order-only Groups
If you want to set up a Group that is only for use within the Order, you have the same two choices. You can tick the box beside ‘Is this an Order Group’? and we’ll set up a Group that is visible to all registered Order members and no one else. Anyone who can see the Group can then apply to join. But if you’d like it to be invitation-only, under ‘Group Visibility’ set it as ‘Private’ and only Order members you invite will have the option of joining.

Hope that helps! As ever, please do centres [at] (subject: Help) (get in touch) if you’ve any questions.

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