Community

This page explains functions available to community leaders. To have access to these functions, you have to be a leader of at least one community.

Create a New Community

Click on the green plus (+) sign next to Sub-communities subtitle. The sub-communities box will appear either in the right column if a community already has less than nine sub-communities, or in a separate section on the bottom of the page if there are more than eight sub-communities.

Choose a title for the new community, a name, and an optional description. The title and the description will appear in the community directory, and will help potential members decide whether to join yor community or not.

The name of a community consists only of letters, numbers and dashes, and in addition to becoming part of the URL, it will also be used as the left side of the community email address. The name will appear as well in the beginning of a subject of every message sent from this community.

Only leaders can add new communities.

Once community is created, you can enter it by clicking on its name in a list of sub-communities, and then click on Settings to customize its settings.

Community Settings

Title is a human friendly title for your community. This title will appear in a community directory. Preferably it should be descriptive enough to entice someone to look into community’s content or to remember what the community is about.

Name is how the community will be addressed on the Internet. This is the address you will share to users so that they can access the community. The URL must be unique within CommunityCloud.

Community email address serves to submit discussion items via email. Enter a full email address in the form name@site. Community membership determines the security level of your community, or in other words, how can one gain access to community content.

Invisible to the users of the system is useful when one needs to hide a community – for example when using a community for team communication about financial issues, etc. A hidden community does not allow unsolicited membership requests, nor does the community appear in community directory. The only way to know of the community existence is to be invited as a member. Use this type of community for small groups.

If a community is not invisible, then its content is visible only to its members, but any non-member can request to join, and leaders can invite other users to join. Non-members know of existence of a community, but cannot access its content, nor can contribute content.

Read only community does not allow any contributions, except requests for membership and requests to create sub-communities. One would create a read-only community as a root community for other users to request sub-communities.

Content security has a few additional facets one can apply to a community:

  • A community can accept email from unregistered senders – normally, only community members can email discussions to a community. Sometimes, however, it makes sense to allow anyone to send messages to community’s email address – for example if a community is used for support, or one wants to survey a group of people for certain answers without requiring people to create a profile. Messages from non-members are always moderated, regardless of community’s moderation settings. This is a spam prevention measure.

  • One can also show list of community members so that other members can see who else is involved in a community. The list contains names, titles, and countries of community members, and does not expose sensitive details such as email address. Not showing the member list makes sense when dealing with sensitive topics, or if members belong to competing commercial organizations.

  • Most of the time, email notifications are distributed only with links to documents, to prevent large attachments clogging people’s mailboxes and slowing down their connection. Clicking on a link might require a log in to the system, which many users find annoying and unnecessary, especially if a document is not highly sensitive. Ticking do not require login for document download will allow email recipient to click on a link in the message and immediately start document download. The document statistics in that case might show anonymous download – that is, the system might not be able to tell you who exactly downloaded the document.

  • Ticking content available to unauthorized users (read-only) will expose all content to everyone on the Internet. The pages will look the same as to a community member, but will be read-only – that is, non-members will be able to browse all community content, but only members will be able to contribute. This setting is useful if the group has implications for the wider audience, in which case membership primarily serves as spam-prevention measure.

  • A community can use a specific default language of the user interface and messages in email notifications and invitations. This setting does not determine the language of member-contributed content. A member is still able to contribute content in any language. The language designator, however, might indicate to users browsing the directory the content of this community (even though this would usually be evident from title and description already). Leave on Automatic to let users' browser or language preference decide on the language of the user interface and use English as a default language for email footers and invitations. User’s choice of a user interface language will take precedence over this setting when browsing the community web site.

Tools

Tools determine the content type a member can contribute to a community. A leader can limit contributions to only certain type of content by checking off some of the boxes next to the content type.

Moderated community requires approval for all member content contributions. One can choose to moderate all content all the time, or only first contribution of each user. Once a member’s contribution has been approved, future contribution from that member do not require leader approval and are visible to all community members immediately.

RSS

Often, an organization wants to share CommunityCloud content on the intranet, or on a project web page. The preferred means of automatic distribution of CommunityCloud content is through RSS. The RSS section lists URLs for selectively sharing community content. Long numbers at the end of the URL allow intranet or web servers to log in automatically into CommunityCloud and read the appropriate RSS feed, without requiring a separate username and password (which complicates programming for those implementing the intranet or a web page).

SECURITY NOTE Do not share these links with users – each user has own personalized links for reading community RSS.

Delete a Community

To delete a community, open Settings dialog and confirm deletion on Delete tab. Once a community is deleted, all its content becomes inaccessible.

All sub-communities of a deleted community are deleted as well.