In your "Welcome Back" box you will find
many helpful links including your "stream"
Groucho Marx, or some other dead guy once said, “I would never be a member of a club that would have somebody like me as a member.” Always seemed like sound reasoning to me. But then I joined Daily Kos, and with almost 1000 groups created by community members, it seemed possible to find a place in which even I might fit in.
There are many flavors of groups covering a wide range of topics, so many I can’t cover them all here, but I can give you a taste. The biggest group is actually a network of local action groups, “Connect! Unite! Act!” Founded by navajo, C!U!A!, has established groups in all but a few states. Besides working together online, these groups actually meet up offline for activism or just to socialize. You can find your local group at this interactive map. Other groups are formed around topics political; Climate Hawks, Support the Dream Defenders, In Support of Labor and Unions - or not; Genealogy, Quilts, Top Comments and Beer. Still others are open threads, a place for people to gather and share the day’s events.
Whether starting your own group or joining an established group, collaborating with other like-minded members can be reassuring, encouraging, and productive. Below we will get into the what, why, and how.
Finding a group
Often you will find groups serendipitously as you notice groups republishing diaries that you find interesting. You can see the names of the groups responsible for republishing a diary near the bottom before the first comment.
Or you can use one of the two group searches available. Under the Daily Kos banner on every page you will find the “group” vertical where you can search by most active, most recent, or most prolific.
Or you can search by keywords, phrases or names
To join, follow or both
I follow every group I’ve joined, but haven’t joined every group I follow. When you “follow” a group or diarist it will include them in your “stream." Your stream is your personalized reading list. There are many reasons to not just follow but join a group - working on group projects, collaborating on diaries, group communications, assisting with administrative duties, etc…
To join a group, just send a request to the group through kos-mail, and then wait for a group admin to send you an invite.
Due to the screwy kos-mail system, often messages will be missed by the groups’ admins. If you have not received a reply after a couple days, resend your request directly to a group admin. They can be found on the group’s “members” page.
Collaborating with a group
The ways in which groups work together is as varied as the groups themselves. Some groups were created only to republish diaries on specific topics, others collaborate on diaries, while others work on projects like blogathons or writing model legislation. For more on this topic, I suggest the article written for New Diarists by smileycreek.
Creating a group and managing members
It’s pretty easy to create a group, in your “Welcome Back” box find and select “groups.” There you will find a link to create a new group, easy! After creating your group you can invite others to join from the “members” page.
Often people will post a kick-off diary announcing their new group, its purpose and inviting others to join.
As a BlogAdmin you have access to all the group’s tools, as well as control of inviting members and their roles; BlogAdmin, BlogEditor or Contributor. It is not a bad idea to invite at least one other user to be an admin. Stuff happens and a group without an active admin can no longer invite new members, change roles, etc…
BlogEditors have access to the group queue and group kos-mails. They may queue and publish diaries for the group. They can edit diaries published through the group queue, both before and after they’ve been published.
Contributors’ access is limited. They can queue diaries to the group queue, but cannot publish or republish them. They can only read and participate in group kos-mail threads they’ve started.
Problems, they happen
More than once I’ve seen drafts in progress get published by accident and of course the only person able to unpublish it is the diarist who is no where to be found. It’s always a bummer, either because the draft is unfinished or because the diarist wanted to be around when it posted. What I’ve done before is open the diary in edit mode, copy and paste the text and formatting into a draft diary, then save the draft to the group queue. Then replace the text in the unleashed diary with a message informing readers of the mistake. Later the diarist can copy and paste it into a new draft.
This may be hard to believe, but I’ve seen this happen, people fight. Usually some diplomatic soul will step in and soothe the upset, but sometimes people need to be removed from the group. Don’t let it get you too down, human nature and such. I always take in to consideration that written internet communications is not always read with the same inflection it was written with and vice versa. And also, most members of Daily Kos are fierce and passionate advocates for their causes, a good thing, but sometimes they forget to laydown their swords when with allies.
Got questions? Comments? Ideas? We're all ears-- just join us in the comments. And remember: Since this diary is for New Users no question is too basic, no matter how long you've been here!
For More Helpful Diaries, Check Out Our Archives:
Everyone is encouraged to review some of the previously written goodness that survives here in the DKos archives, going back to WNU founder ek hornbeck and including the list of teaching diaries republished to our Group page.