What are Groups?
Groups is an addon for very large communities to allow their users to form their own discussion groups. These groups allows for having discussions outside the normal forum category structure in self-contained areas. Very large communities can be difficult to approach for new users. Groups can be a useful way for users to find other folks with common interests or backgrounds.
Groups have an events list, their own announcements, and leaders who run the show. Users can join a group freely, by application, or by invitation. Your normal moderators (with the permission Moderation.Manage) will have the ability to moderate inside groups as well.
Why only very large communities?
Groups can cause discussion segregation and draw attention away from your main forum categories. Cliques can form within your community which hurt its cohesion and growth. We strongly recommend against using Groups on sites with less than several thousand currently active users (users that participate once a month or more).
Getting started with Groups
Try creating three to eight groups as a pilot program to introduce groups to your community. Carefully managing the list of groups available can encourage the creation of fewer groups with higher quality and participation. Ten groups with 30 members each will create a far better experience than 100 groups with three members each.
Adding your first groups
After enabling the Groups addon, “Groups” will appear in your top-level navigation. In a customized theme, this may not be the case and you’ll need to go directly to the URL “/groups” from your forum domain (e.g. “yoursite.vanillaforums.com/groups”).
As the administrator, click the “New Group” button near the top of the page. The “Icon” image shows on the groups lists. The “Banner” is the large image at the top of your group’s page.
Editing and deleting groups
From the groups list, use the options (gear) dropdown menu next to each group to edit or delete them. Any edits are applied immediately. Deleting a group is irreversible and deletes its discussions as well.
Editing the members list and assigning Leaders
Click “Members” at the bottom of the group’s page to see a list of everyone who is currently in the group. From this list, you can promote group members to “Leaders”. Leaders have the ability to manage the group’s members and edit the group’s settings, events, and discussions. The group’s creator cannot have their leader status removed.
If you need the owner of a group reassigned, contact support.