Group Hubs in the Community
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tl;dr: Group Hubs in the Khoros Community are a tool for curating forums and content. Experience has demonstrated that groups can be successful for curating around topics of interest or roles, but inhibit support and engagement when focused on regions or institutions.
Group Hub Creation Guidelines
Below are steps to help you assess if a Group Hub is a solution for your group request or if another tool or strategy should be used instead.
Group Hubs Explained
When we started utilizing Jive in 2015 for our Community, we felt particularly excited about the private groups feature. While most of the community was open and available to everyone, groups allowed us to create private places where only group members could see what was happening. We thought this idea would be great for individual institutions or maybe consortiums to have a place to talk about topics specific to their needs. However, after the first three years, we learned that in an overwhelming number of cases what people want to talk about or collaborate on in the community isn’t specific to one subset of users at an institution or in a region. Instead, we observed that people preferred to gravitate to groups of common interest or roles across the entire user base, such as the Canvas Admins or Instructional Designers groups.
Consider the analogy of the tiny house. We all want to build a little dwelling for our users that will contain everything they need—a tiny home just for them! But it turns out that almost all of the time, if you invite a Canvas user into a space customized for them, pretty soon they look out the window and realize there is a much larger community—er, village—right outside their front door with a village square where they are more likely to get answers to their questions and spark up lively conversations than they will by sitting at home in their own little IKEA-inspired domicile. Chances are they will walk out that door, start mingling in the town square, and never look back.
So, what nearly always resulted was a private group that sat empty and unused. Anyone encountering the group would likely find a few discussions or uploaded files from many months or even years previous, with no activity in the group since. Even though the community has over 30,000 daily active users, you wouldn’t know it by looking at these groups. Ask yourself this question: if you were introducing a friend to the Canvas Community, would you want their first experience to seem as if nothing happens—they won’t find answers to questions or won’t find other people like themselves to communicate with—or would you want their experience to be the equivalent of popping up in the middle of a town square during the height of an annual community event?
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