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One of the hardest concepts community members had difficulty understanding was the differences between Groups and Spaces when we launched our internal Jive community.  I had many people request a space for a project, a club and other various "non-space" appropriate entities.  I found myself getting frustrated explaining the differences and still getting the "Uh-huh?" face from the people I was trying to enlighten.


So, late one night, I came up with this explanation and it has worked miracles explaining the differences and benefits of a group and space.


Groups are a democracy.

  • Members are allowed to participate equally.
  • There are leaders (administrators) of the group, but their responsibility is to facilitate the will of the entire group.
  • Membership is controlled by the participants. (Through self-selection or invitations.)
  • Groups are their own entities and do not need to be associated with each other.
  • Anyone in the community can create a group.


Spaces are a dictatorship.

  • Administrators decide at what level users will participate.
  • Administrators have control over the content in the community.
  • Membership is decided by the administrator.
  • There is a strict hierarchy.  A space must reside underneath a higher level space.
  • Only Jive administrators can create spaces, so they must be requested.

Hope this helps others in their adventures with launching Jive!

Thanks to Deirdre Walsh for encouraging me to post this article.

Lyndsay Lantz

Information Architect | SailPoint Technologies

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