TᵢG

Guide to Participating Groups

  
By:  TᵢG  •  TechMeta  •  4 years ago  •  24 comments

Guide to Participating Groups
An author within a group can now promote an article to the front page - making it available to the entire NewsTalkers community. 

Groups Have Grown Up


NewsTalkers groups provide a forum for like-minded individuals to focus on a particular subject matter.    As an example, we could easily have a Chess group where chess aficionados discuss the latest in the chess community, analyze games, admire chess piece designs, etc.   The group members could informally communicate using the group wall (like a bulletin board) but could also host articles and discuss same.    But groups have the downside of being out of the limelight.   Articles produced within groups can only reach group members.   This makes it difficult to attract new members and deprives the general NewsTalkers community of (often relevant and interesting) content generated within groups.   

To remedy this while still preserving privacy and protections, we have the functionality of Participating Groups.  A participating group is one that can, by its own choice, make some (or all) of its articles available to the general Newstalkers community.   This is accomplished by promoting articles.

Promoting Articles


An author within a group can now promote an article to the front page - making it available to the entire NewsTalkers community.   The author can promote (or demote) an article at any time by clicking the check box ' Promote to Front Page ' in the details of the article.

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A promoted article will appear on the front page in the Recent Articles section.   Everyone will be able to click on this article, read it and read the comments.   The following shows three promoted articles as they appear on the front page:

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You will always be able to identify a group article since the group avatar will be attached to the lower right of the article's image.

Group Membership


Everyone can read the comments in a promoted article but only group members are allowed to enter new comments.   Joining a group, however, is easy.   NewsTalkers members who are not part of the article's group will see the group badge on the upper right corner of the article.   Clicking the badge (see below) takes the member to the group and thus access to the ' Join Group ' button which instantly allows the member to comment.

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Group Ownership


Every group has a distinguished owner who serves as the ultimate authority for the group.   Each owner has the ability to allow or disallow members from participating in the group (using the Active checkbox).   The owner also determines which members of their group are allowed to promote articles they have authored to the front page.   To allow promotion, the owner clicks on the member's avatar and clicks the new ' May Promote Articles ' checkbox:

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As long as that checkbox remains checked, the member will have a ' Promote to Front Page ' checkbox on the member's articles for this group.

Group Moderation


The owner of a group is also the lead moderator for the group.  Owners can also recruit other members as group moderators.   The 'Group Moderator' checkbox above lets the owner empower the member as a moderator for the group.   Each group moderator has certain capabilities - similar to those of the site moderators (the traditional NewsTalkers moderators).   A group moderator can:

  • edit or redact a comment on an article
  • ticket a comment (or an entire article) as a violation of policy

The system used for group moderation is a subset of that used by site moderators.   It is driven by the NewsTalkers flagging system which is now engaged for all group articles.   When an item in a group article is flagged, the flag notification will not go to the site moderators but rather to the group moderators.  It is up to the group moderators to determine the course of action for each flag.   Group moderators run their own show (albeit with site moderator oversight).  

If a flag exists for any group in which a member moderates, the personal menu (on the far right under your member name) will have an entry labeled 'Group Flags'.   Clicking on this menu item will present the Group Moderator - Flagged Items panel:

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This panel allows the group moderator to see all flags for all groups the member moderates.    From this panel the group moderator can go to the comment (or article) flagged and look at the context.   Alternatively, the group moderator could click the Comment button to see the comment without navigating to its hosting article.   Ultimately the group moderator will either issue a Ticket or Allow the comment (or article) to stand as it.   The Allow button disables the flag and removes it from the list.   The Ticket button provides a form showing the comment, allowing the group moderator to edit if needed, and lets the group moderator select the offense.   

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Any changes to the comment will appear in the article.  The offense will be shown (along with the name of the issuing group moderator) on the lower right of the comment.   For this example, here is how the issued ticket looks in the article:

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All tickets issued by group moderators are warnings.   However, comment contents may be deleted and the group owner might, at some point, remove a repeat offender from the group.

Private Groups


Groups can be made private (as before).   Private groups do not have the ability to promote to the front page.   They remain isolated in their own private chamber.   However the articles within private groups now have flagging and group moderation functionality if the group wishes to use it.

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TᵢG
Professor Principal
1  author  TᵢG    4 years ago

Groups can now be used as a center of operation for content within a subject area.    Groups still have all the privacy they wish but can now leverage their content on the home page.   (Among other things.)

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Expert
2  Raven Wing    4 years ago

Glad to see the function is now available to the Members. Well done!! thumbs up

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Raven Wing @2    4 years ago

Do you think anyone has noticed that groups are now 1st level players on NT?

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Expert
2.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  TᵢG @2.1    4 years ago

Not really yet. I think they need to be made aware of the fact that the little icon on the comments on the FP indicate a comment from a specific Group. Perhaps a posted notice would enlighten the Members more about which comments on the FP are from a Group. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  Raven Wing @2.1.1    4 years ago

I disabled group comments on the front page temporarily to do some touch up work on a filter.   But once I re-install this filter we could try your approach.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Expert
2.1.3  Raven Wing  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.2    4 years ago

Thanks TiG. I'll be watching to see how it works out. 

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3  dave-2693993    4 years ago

May I ask a question?

What happened to the blogs? Did I miss something?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  dave-2693993 @3    4 years ago

They appear with the other articles.

Also they are under the Blog main menu item and member blogs appear on member pages.   Also note the columnists section which shows recent blogs and original articles.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1    4 years ago

Than you TiG,

I was used to seeing a block of 4 most recently updated blogs arranged in a 2 X 2 table just below the featured blog. Now there is nothing below he featured blog. Here is a screen print. Is this how it is supposed to be now?

Missing Blog List.jpg

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.2  author  TᵢG  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.1    4 years ago

Yes.   Your view is working correctly.  

Blogs, discussions and group discussions are all articles.  All three will appear in the Recent Articles list.

Blogs (all of them) are still under the Blogs menu item.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.3  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.2    4 years ago

Alright thank you.

On more test. May I post another image here?

I think I noticed a resolution  anomaly with that last image, but would like to try a couple more images.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.4  author  TᵢG  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.3    4 years ago

Absolutely!

Pick the larger image (original is the best).

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.5  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.4    4 years ago

Okay, thanks TiG.

I will start by reposing my previous screen print and then a few more.

Original image is 1233 x 684. Choosing to render at 512

Missing Blog List.jpg

hmmmm? I think the first time I tried to post it I did so at the default 24.

Let me reload another copy and make sure 512 rendering is selected first.

Missing Blog List  Copy.jpg

Same thing. Not rendering well.

Here is a smaller 280 x 420 set to render at 512

special 3.jpg

That shows signs of resizing. Still it looks more crisp than the large image that was reduced.

These are in between at 640 X 640 and set to render at 512,

Alright you Ruskies Get Outta Hear.jpg

Alright you Ruskies And Stay Out.jpg

It looks like the ones that started off as pictures turned out better than the print screen even though the print screen began as the larger image. They are all jpg files.

Any idea about that?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.6  author  TᵢG  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.5    4 years ago

When you select your image, try the extreme - pick the original option.   The picture will be very big but this is just an experiment.   When you resize the picture to properly fit you should see the best resolution.

Generally, for NT, I suggest picking a resolution of 800 pixels wide.  That is what typically will fit without modification.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.7  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.6    4 years ago

Alright, i will try that with the screen print.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.8  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.6    4 years ago

Interesting. Original shows up very tiny, though it is 1233 x 684.

The large and best rendering of the print screen was selected to render at 800 as you suggested. Then I reduced it to 566. Okay, 800 rendering seems the best selection to start at.

Thank you.

Missing Blog List.jpg

Missing Blog List - Copy.jpg

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.9  author  TᵢG  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.8    4 years ago
Original shows up very tiny, though it is 1233 x 684.

That does not make any sense.   Original, as I understand it, does no scaling.   It takes the actual file format.  That is how it always seems to work when I do it.    

Try original again just to make sure.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.10  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.9    4 years ago

Alright I will try original for the screen print then try original for one of Julia's 640 X 640 pic and then as the smaller 280 X 420 something pic.

Screen print rendered as original 1233 x 684:

Missing Blog List - Copy.jpg

Julia acting a nurses part 280 x 420:

special 3.jpg

Julia chasing Russians over the border 640 x 640:

Alright you Ruskies And Stay Out.jpg

The print seems to render out of alignment when rendered too. ?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.11  author  TᵢG  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.10    4 years ago

I looked at the actual code (the HTML) and all three images shown are files that have a 24px width.   Note that when you click on 'Upload An Image' the system (unfortunately) defaults the size to 24px.   (Not my code so I cannot change this.)  So make sure to set the Size manually after you click 'Upload An Image'.   Also, to use original, ensure you are uploading (not just picking from images already uploaded).

The jagged look is because of the float: left directive.   The platform offers this option but IMO it is not a complete implementation.   I recommend not using the float directives;  use Position = normal instead.

Images.png

This functionality does work, but there are 'tricks'.  

 
 
 
dave-2693993
Junior Participates
3.1.12  dave-2693993  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.11    4 years ago
Also, to use original, ensure you are uploading (not just picking from images already uploaded).

Good tip.

Thanks for all of that TiG.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 years ago

Amazing job again Tig! This will really help promote groups. For those who were used to NV, this is the best of both the old and new versions of the site. The groups could be used as nations and the front page can still like the one on the original version of NV

And let's not forget about the blogs. The blogs belong to the individual and they have complete autonomy. They are also syndicated, so they can be shared around the net. 

There is truly something here for everyone and a big hat tip has to go to you! 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1  author  TᵢG  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    4 years ago

A brief summary (not for Perrie since she is quite aware of all of this):

Groups on NT have a distinguished owner who is automatically a group moderator.   The owner can designate select member(s) of the group to help out in the moderation.    Moderation in a group means moderating the articles produced by the group.   The CoC applies universally and the group moderators do need to conform to the CoC.   The site moderators oversee this.   Group moderators have a ticketing system which is a very simplified version of that used by site moderators.   So members will see a uniform moderation / ticketing system at play.

Importantly, groups can choose to promote any of their articles to the home page.   This is totally within their control.   If a group promotes one of its articles, that article will appear in the recent articles and recent comments.   It becomes part of the main game.

But groups can also choose to not participate.  Private groups remain private.   Non-private groups have no obligation to promote anything.   But those who want to create a group on an interesting subject area  such as cars, architecture, evolution, games, religion, etc. can do so and are no longer confined to simply share among themselves.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Expert
4.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    4 years ago
There is truly something here for everyone and a big hat tip has to go to you! 

thumbs up

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5  Trout Giggles    4 years ago

Good job, TiG! Glad to see the new feature up and running

I joined a new group this morning due to this feature