7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2016 2:18 AM by mcollinge

    Community Group Creation Process


      Hi all,


      We are currently facing an issue on our external community where we have a huge number of groups that have been created (over 500).  Many of these groups are blank, old, duplicated or in other ways defunct.  I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue and what you have done to alleviate it.  We are currently going through and doing a massive audit, but I think a large contributor of the problem is how easy it is for a user to create a group.  We do not want to lock down this process as we like the idea of users sort of creating and managing their own micro communities on our domain, and in fact have seen this be successful. However, we also don't want the current situation either.  Has anyone come up with a way to reach a middle ground with this? Perhaps making the group creation process a little more involved to act as a deflection to defunct group creation?


      Also, we have noticed that there are some groups that get used for a specific project or event, but after that event or project is completed, the group is no longer actively used.  Due to this reason we do not want the group to show up in search anymore, but would still like the content to be available, so deleting the group would not be an option.  Does anyone know of any functionality or has developed anything that can "archive" a group?


      Thank you all for your support!


      Hassan Atassi

        • Re: Community Group Creation Process

          In our community we do not allow users to create spaces (groups): we have a managed creation process where space requests are submitted to a committee that evaluates the request.  The committee checks if a similar space already exists (sometimes just a new category within the existing space is enough) and the requester must have some moderators ready and committed. 


          Even with this model, periodic audits are needed: dormant spaces can suck up resources and make it harder to navigate the community.  We have some minimal thresholds established for monthly visitors, number of monthly activities and number of followers.


          About archiving, I would first try to merge the content into a similar space/group/project: if there are only 20 content items, there's no point in keeping the space.  If there many items (500+?), update the title so that it reads that it's an 'archive' and just update the permissions of the group/space/project so that no one has contributor rights.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Community Group Creation Process

              I think something key to keep in mind here is the differentiation of spaces and groups.

              Groups have the pink icon.

              Spaces have the yellow icon.


              The difference between these is that spaces are meant for static, larger units. Business Units are a perfect example: Sales, Marketing, Legal, etc. These things will not change within an organization despite a potential change in userbase. The same applies for external communities: spaces are static hierarchical categorizations. E.g. Product categories: Mobile, Web, Enterprise, etc. or categories like Partners, Products, Customer Service... and drilling down from there.


              In contrast, groups are less static and can be surrounding events outside of work, work groups, territory grouping, role grouping, etc. Same goes for external, you can have groups for enthusiasts, DIYers, Noobs, etc. all living within a space: Customers


              Be careful so as not to get the two confused.



              Hassan Atassi - regarding your question around lots of group creation, this is something to expect. People are going to create groups given the privilege to do so. I think you're at the point you established in deciding whether you want to limit user ability or allow them to continue to create groups. I would guide towards the latter, and designate audits. This, combined with the following answer should help curb the group management you have to do.


              Regarding the second part of your question (and I believe this is higher priority), I would post a few best practices/blogs differentiating a project and a group. Projects are meant to fulfill the one-off use case you described, whereas groups are meant to be slightly more static and outlive projects, but have a shorter or equal lifespan compared to spaces. The hierarchy should look like:


              Spaces - The most static of "places"; meant to outlive users and be the highest tier of categorization, e.g. Sales, Marketing, Products, etc.


              Groups - Meant for discussion around a consistent topic within a space (e.g. Hiking in Outdoor Activities, or West Sales Team in Sales, etc.)


              Projects - One off collaboration. Tends to be with a smaller set of people, has a shorter lifespan.


              ... so push projects for the use-case you were discussing

              • Re: Community Group Creation Process

                Jason Lax


                I would love the ability to "Moderate" the creation of new Groups. For discoverability they see that they have the option to create a new group but it must go through an approval process before it is made legitimate. For the time being I will probably need to create a process by which users fill out a form and then I will work through the process of helping them set up the Group. I don't want to end up with a proliferation of groups around our site adding noise and reducing a well kept look while balancing the needs and energy of our members.