22 Replies Latest reply: May 31, 2012 12:09 PM by Trisha Liu RSS

    When do you use member-only groups?

    saramiller


      I can't find a real great "use case" or example of when someone might want to use a member-only group. Part of the reason is because it appears member-only groups are still "open membership" groups. So, what's the benefit or use for a member-only group setting? Thanks in advance for your help!

        • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
          Nikki Bussard

          The benefit of a member only group is really for the group owner, not the participants. If you want to be able to see everyone who is engaging in the conversation, it is convenient (to the group owner) to force them to join. Otherwise, it's just a confusing label that implies a group is not open when it actually is.

          • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
            Kathryn Everest

            Hi Sara,  Members Only group type is a great way to get a membership list because in order to participate (contribute that is) you need to join the group.  This helps "generate" a membership list.  For example, you may want to have a group for Project Managers - but there is no reason to keep it private, but you want to find out who in the company are also playing the role of a Project Manager.  Having a "members only" group encourages people to join in order to contribute - thereby allowing you to look at the people tab and see who is contributing. 

            • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
              saramiller

              Wow - those are really great examples! Thank you so much for the quick response, too. My client is very happy that I could get back with a recommendation ASAP.

              • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
                Ted Hopton

                Although I agree with the examples above, I want to offer a slight caution. I have had inexperienced users get confused about why they can't respond to content in a Members Only group. They did not understand that they had to join to participate -- they simply didn't see any option to comment, for example. I wonder how many never ask about that and simply go away without participating.

                 

                Also, now that I have the Community Manager Reports I am starting to question how valuable it is to have people who "joined" a group compared knowing who is active in the group. Hence I have shifted from from early preference for Members Only groups to Open groups.

                  • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
                    Nikki Bussard

                    I agree with Ted. This can be confusing, so can be a barrier to participation. With the CMR, the only thing you are missing is an easy way to email all the participants (email members of the group function). However, if they really are interested, they can still join.

                     

                    I've also seen group owners get confused about the designation. At least one person posted sensitive information in a members-only group that stated in the group overview "No one can see this content unless they are members." Both of these cases could be arguments for removing the members-only option altogether.

                  • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
                    Kevin Crossman

                    Jive provides some widgets to display members, which can be a way of providing a visible part of the community vibe inherent with certain use cases for Groups.  I do think Members Only is useful at letting people browse but making them "commit" to joining the group to participate (this also by default opts them into email alerts, which we have found great benefit for).

                     

                    Agree with the previous points about the UI requesting Joining before posting can trip up some users. And we have some occasions when people didn't understand that Members Only didn't affect viewing/reading permissions.  Overall, we do like this type of group (and if we had our way we would do away with the Open Group category).

                    • Re: When do you use member-only groups?
                      Melissa Rosen

                      Interesting take on open v members only-- I would not have thought of it that way. Since we are just rOlling out, I've definitely got communities that feel they must have members only because they don't know what they'll do if they can't send people email!! They like that they can export the list to cab file to use in outlook.