With OnlineGroups.net you have a site for your organisation. Your site can contain an unlimited number of groups. Each group is more than a listserv, it is also a place for your group on the web.
Each group gets a unique page. The group page has to serve three distinct categories of people: the administrators, the group members, and everyone else.
The group page has a few features that is useful to everyone. The first is the group name, which can be descriptive (like GroupServer development) or esoteric (such as Permolat). Either way it should mean something to potential members, otherwise they will have trouble finding the group.
The About box, at the top of the group page, is also important. It is a customised area that lets people know who the group is for, and why people chose to join the group. The About box allows HTML, so you can link to other pages in order to place the group in the wider context of the web.
For the group members
The links in the About box can also be useful for the group members, but the list of messages is the most useful part of the group page for them. In most groups it presents two views of the archive:
- The Topics tab lists the posts grouped by the topic of the conversation. This is the normal way to view messages with OnlineGroups.net, and it is a great way to catch up on on what has been going on in a group.
- The Posts tab lists the individual messages that have been posted to the group. It is great for seeing who posted to the different topics.
(In announcement groups only a specialised Posts list is shown.)
There is also some other information on the group page that is useful for the members. It is shown to the right of the page on the desktop, or below the messages on a small screen (such as a tablet or mobile).
- The Membership box shows either how to join the group, or information about your membership. Members can use the links in this area to leave, or change their email settings.
- The email address of the group is listed next. Every group gets its own unique email address, just like a listserv. Sending a message to the email address for the group will add it to the archive.
- Two more views of the archive are shown next. The list of recently active people summarises who has made a post recently. The list of files is great if you need to find a file that has recently been posted.
For the administrators
Below the list of recently posted files is the Admin area. It is divided in two parts. The first set of links is used to manage the members of the group. The second set of links are used to change the group itself. Only site administrators can change the group itself; group administrators can only modify the membership, and the About box.