This is MetaGroupies, a group blog where Group Founders and Administrators meet to discuss issues of group management, share tips, policies, organizational choices and the like.
Hi everyone - I'm tmo (god I wish I'd come up with a catchier username but this was back in 2004 when I wasn't thinking it would last this damn long). The groups I've founded are "Livelihood Chronicles", which is for providing resources and support and advice for unemployed or underemployed or unhappily employed Kossacks, and "Oakland Community Blog", for gathering all the Oaklanders on DK.
I was thinking that it might be useful to discuss us coming up with a set of recommended "best practices" for group admins and editors that we can publish regularly and/or post somewhere accessible. This would just be some guidance for new admins and editors, to give them a place to start so people aren't constantly having to re-invent the wheel.
For instance, I think Limelite's idea of strongly encouraging all the new members to write an introductory diary is very cool and really forces you to jump into the pool. :)
I think to help build your group's name as one that can be trusted, it's a good idea for every diary published directly to the group to include your group's name in each diary title, if you can make it all fit. Or you can use an acronym in each diary title like the "WYFP" (What's Your F**** Problem?) and "GUS" (Giving Up Smoking) groups use. The point is to use something that's consistent and memorable so that people have a good idea of what they're getting when they see the diary title.
I would recommend that each diary writer put the same brief description of the group in the intro to each diary so you give new readers a context of what this group is about. Yeah, the group page has a description, but I think it's more enjoyable for new readers to get a sense of context right up front.
Group leaders can also recommend to their writers as Limelite has the tags they should apply to their diaries so they're the most relevant. I think I have read that Markos at some point in the future will let groups have tags, which would let groups be found more easily and would ideally would then propagate automatically to each diary published to the group.
I think it's nice when the blog founder sends out a nice welcoming message or diary describing themselves, what they intend the purpose for the group to be, long-term plans if there are any for the group's purpose.
There were some great ideas in a previous diary in this series: Reprise: On Being a Group Editor. I want to make sure these don't get lost for consideration as best practices:
- DaNang65 had a good comment about working with Contributors, who because they are not allowed to schedule diaries have no control over when they will get published and may not be available for replying when they're published. The suggestion was that Contributors send a group message specifying when they would like the diary to be published so it creates a public record; editors and admins are "honor bound" to check the messages before scheduling or publishing anything.
- another good idea from DaNang65 was to create a draft diary where you stash a welcome message for new admins; since there's no apparent requirement that drafts ever be published by a certain date, it seems like a good place to keep any kind of content that you might publish often. You could even use a dummy draft diary to keep the standard intro you want everyone to use and the standard tags.
Many of you have much more successful groups than I do :) - so what would you recommend us little guys do to create consistent group-themed diaries and to create a more successful group? And where can we post a list of recommended best practices so new group admins can see it?