This is pretty cool - thanks for looking into making groups better, @tgxworld!
Generally, I’m still downplaying groups in my community because people continue to get confused by what it means to be watching categories (containing topics/discussions) vs joining groups (containing people/can be mentioned to alert them to topics about them or that they should respond to).
That said, I’ve been experimenting with a few groups that people can join to express their affiliation (e.g. people into the Open Government Partnership), but have not really seen it gain traction yet. I have not had any groups that people are required to request and get approval to join because the current functionality sends the request to all group members which doesn’t work for us. We don’t want to spam our users who are in the groups already, and we don’t like how group messaging works right now generally and avoid using it. For our purposes, it should only go to the group owner (or owners).
I’m actually ok with the PM approach as it functions now. It’s not really a burden on group owners to click across and add the users individually unless they start getting too many requests in which case maybe they need to rethink how they use groups.
Here are some ideas for improving the PM approach:
- I see there’s a 24 hour limit on multiple requests to join - that’s a reasonable compromise but I think it would be better to just prevent users from requesting again by greying out the button, or if clicking again just takes you to your previously sent PM requesting access.
- the PM is created and submitted automatically. I think it would be preferable to let the user edit the message before sending, in order to explain why they want to join and maybe ask any questions about the group.
- as I wrote above, the request to join the group is sent to all members as a group PM. That doesn’t work for my community. The request should go to the group owners only.
If you were to create specific functionality for this, here are some ideas on how it might function:
- to user not in group: display
request membership/cancel request button in group list and on group page
- to user approved:
leave group/rejoin group button in group list and on group page
- to user rejected:
request declined (greyed out) button in group list and on group page
- group owner notification when user requests access, linking to the group members list
- group owner sees list of pending users at the top of the group members list, with an
accept/reject button next to each.
accept is selected by group owner, send PM with welcome message (that can be personalized before sending), add user to the group and change button the user sees to
reject is selected by group owner, send PM with reject message (that can be personalized before sending) and change button to
request declined to the user
- there may be a need to provide an admin/moderator feature to delete requests.