A Bulbagardener's Guide to Social Groups
Social Groups are a great way for users to share common mutual interests, lounge around ideas, and create private topics within their control. They're handy for discussing a variety of subjects at a depth not as accessible from your standard thread. Think of each group as a mini forum for that specific topic that you can expand upon as large as you'd like.
Just remember, all of Bulbagarden's forum rules still apply, in addition to the Social Group rules, found here.
Social Groups may be found directly on the front page in a few places. There is a link provided to the right of the navigation bar at the top of the page, just under the Site Banner and another link in the Outside the Box Forum. Additionally, when you join a social group, the 5 most recent groups posted in will appear at the bottom of the site for your convenience.
On the main Social Group page, you will find three columns. To the left there is a column that shows all the groups you belong to, arranged with the most recent group you joined on top to the oldest towards the bottom. The middle column will show the 10 most recent updated groups in the system. The right column shares the 15 newest groups created and below that is a tag cloud of all the different categories that belong to the system right now.
Clicking on the 'All Groups' Link from this page will show all the groups we currently have in our system. Clicking on the 'Create Group' Link will take you to the page that creates a new group.
Note on the Tag Cloud:
The current categories are static, as in those are the only labels you can utilize right now. However, we are always free to add more than what we have. If you have a suggestion for any new categories, feel free to mention that here and we'll see about adding it.
Elements of a Social Group
A good name helps people identify your group. The more obscure the title, the less likely it will draw attention. Use something catchy and recognizable to help others find your group.
This tells users what the group is a bout. If you feel your name may be too obscure, be descriptive as necessary to help define your group. The search function will pull terms from here too.
A large, clear image helps identify your group at a glance. Having a recognizable image helps make your group more attractive for enticing any potential visitors. The Maximum file size for images is 200x200px and it is recommended you fill that size.
A group leader has the option of making their group public or private.
If you wish to cater to as many people as possible, it is recommended you keep your group open.
If you wish to allow certain members in, the user has the option of accepting and declining any users that join or if they so wish, they may choose to invite members individually.
For more positive communication, it's most effective in allowing users to openly create topics for the group.
If the leader wishes to organize discussion in a specific manner, like for instance a personal event or a type of story that they wish to have control over, then it would be appropriate to limit creation of topics.
However, for groups that feature general topics like fan pages, Pokémon pages, or other daily common interests, it is always better to follow an open format to help stimulate group activity.
There are 13 categories available to choose from when creating your group. Pick a label you feel best suits the needs of your group so that it may be more accessible for people searching for your group.
Click to see all the available categories
When you have your group together, feel free to promote it via your blog or signature in order to attract people to your group! Freely invite friends and users you know.