What are groups?

Groups are collections of site-members who share the same interest, hobby, or are just friends. You can start a group and invite other members to join, or you can find groups to join.

Public and private groups

There are two types of group - public and private.

Public groups can be joined by any member at any time. You do not need an invitation from another member to join a public group. The group will be listed on the "Groups" page.

Private groups can only be joined by those with an invitation. You will need to receive (or ask for) an invitation from a member of the group, if you want to join. The group will not be listed on the public groups page. You will only see a reference to it the "My groups" page if you have been invited to join, or already a member.

Private groups can still be seen by other members on the "Groups" page, but non-members cannot proceed to view the group page itself.

Joining a group

If you've found a group you are interested in, it is really easy to become part of the group. You can join any group, provided it is a public group. That is, if the leader of group chose to allow anybody to join. If the group is private you will need to await an invitation to join.

Step 1: Find the group you want to join

First of all find the group you would like to join. You can find groups either by looking at the "Groups" page, clicking through from another members' profile page, or through your "My Groups" page.

On the group page, you'll see a link saying "Click here to join the group". Click this and a confirmation screen will appear.

Step 2: Confirm your joining

To avoid mistakes, you need to confirm you would like to join the group in question. Click the link labelled "Click here to join this group".

You will then be made a member of the group. That's all there is to it!

You can see which groups you are a member of on your "My Groups" page. You can also invite other members to join the group, upload photos, use the conversations boards, and much more.

Starting a new group

It's easy to start a group of your own. Click onto "Groups", then "My groups", then "Start your own group". You'll be asked to supply a few pieces of information which will help other members to use your group.

Privacy: choose whether you would like your group to be open to all, or private (invitation only).

Group name: give your group a descriptive and snappy name so others will easily be able to recognise your group.

Introduction: the introduction to a group is a short sentence or two which describes the group. This can be seen in searches and other lists so it should be clearly explain what the purpose of the group is.

Description: The group description is where you can fully describe your group. What is the purpose of the group? What sort of people would be interested in joining? What are its aims? Does the group have a charter (set of rules)? If so, describe it here.

Tags: Tags are keywords that other members can use to find your group. For example if your group is about walking in the Peak District, tag your group like this:

peak district

Here are further useful examples of using tags rightly and wrongly.

Tag examples
Right Tick  Wrong Cross
walking walking group
peak district we walk in the peak district once a month
derbyshire we mainly come from derbyshire

Once you have filled in your group details, click the Create button to start the group. Our system will create the group, and assign you as the leader of the group. It will also create a Conversations board for the group that only group members will be able to use.

Group leaders

The leader of a group is the person who started the group. The group leader has certain special priveleges that group members do not share. The group leader can:

  • update the group introduction, description, and tags
  • remove spam or other messages from the group Conversations board
  • remove members from the group

On the other hand, the group leader cannot leave their own group unless they are the only member, as this would make the group leaderless.

Inviting other members to join your group

You can invite other site members to join any group you belong to. To do this first go to the group home page, then click "Invite others to join". You can then search for the other member by entering their screen name. Once you've found the person you're looking for, click the "Invite into group" link. You'll be asked to confirm the invitation. We'll send that person an email telling them they're invited. We'll also put a reminder on their home page when they log in.

We won't send a second invitation if that person is already invited. You can always send that person a private message to remind them they're invited.

Leaving a group

You can leave a group that you belong to. To do this, visit the group home page, and click "Leave group". You will be asked to confirm this. Once you have left the group you can always rejoin at a later date if it is a public group. If it is a private group you will need to be invited again.

Removing a member from a group

If you are the group leader you can remove another member from the group. There may be a variety of reasons why you would want to do this. For example the member may no longer participate in the group, or has left the site, or has broken the rules you have set up for the group. To remove a member click "Remove" under their picture on the group home page. You'll be asked to confirm the removal first.

Deleting a group

If you have started a group but now want to wind it up, you can delete it if you are the group leader. You will have to first remove all other members from the group. Use the procedure above to do this. Once you are the only person left in the group, you can remove yourself from the group, and this will automatically delete the entire group, along with everything associated with it, such as group invitations, Conversations boards, etc.

Removal of unused groups

If a group has not been used for over a year, we will likely automatically remove the group, deleting the memberships and Conversations boards. This ensures that only lively and active groups are shown.

Groups Conversations boards

One of the best things about starting your own group is that you can have your own message board which is private to you, and cannot be accessed by anybody who is not a member of your group. Although discussions on private Conversations boards are still bound by the site rules, and all UK laws still apply to you when posting, site admin will generally expect you to run your own group according to your wishes.

Use the Conversations boards just as you would use the public Conversations boards.

If you are the group leader you have special rights to remove spam or unwanted messages from your Conversations board. To do this click "Remove spam" underneath the offending message. If you are not the group leader you will not see this link.