This page includes information about the purpose of groups and how they can be utilized to stimulate dialogue and build community on the SSF Hub.
Purpose of groups
The SSF Hub’s Community Forum includes an area of the website dedicated to groups. Groups are a place for SSF Hub members to participate in discussions and share information on a topic or area of common interest on an ongoing basis. In addition to focusing on a specific topic, groups can also be used to organize discussions within a specific geographic area, for example groups can be created for a particular country, region, or fishery.
Small-scale fisheries are diverse and groups provide one way to find online networks of people interested in the same small-scale fisheries-related issues, topics, or places that interest you.
What is the difference between groups and discussions?
The Community Forum has pages for groups and discussions, so what is the difference? Discussions are generally used to ask questions or share information, but the discussion might be narrow in scope, or only focused on a single question.
Groups are generally organized around a specific topic or area of interest on an ongoing basis. Additionally, there can be multiple simultaneous discussions within a group that are relevant to a group’s topic or purpose. Finally, groups can be customized with different privacy settings, which allow content to be shared exclusively with group members if desired. For more information on these privacy settings, see the Types of groups section below.
How groups can support small-scale fisheries?
Groups can be used to share information on specific topics and act as a virtual network of small-scale fishery stakeholders. When paired with Hub features such as events or the Resource Library, groups can be a tool to help organize action on specific topics, or share information and experiences. Groups can also support in-person networks by making communications and knowledge sharing continue after in-person events.
What features are available to groups?
Each group’s webpage has multiple features, described below:
- Stream: groups have a “stream” where group visitors (or members, depending on the group’s settings) can view recent activity within the group. The stream provides members an easy way to see what is new in the group.
- About: the about page includes background information about the group, including a description of the group and its purpose. The about page is viewable by non-members and it should include enough information to let SSF Hub users know if they would be interested in joining the group.
- Events: each group has a dedicated events page where information about relevant events (either web-based or in-person) can be posted. The group moderator(s) is able to create and post events to the group’s page. For example, a group moderator might create an event to advertise a video meeting they are hosting for group members to discuss a topic. Or a group moderator might use this feature to share information about a web-based event that is hosted by an external organization but is relevant to their group’s theme.
- Topics: the topics page is where discussions can be found. Each group can host many discussion threads on the topic or area of interest. Discussions can be created by group members and discussions are frequently posed as questions to the group, or they can be used to share new information or anything of interest to other group members.
- Members: the members page in a group shows current group membership. From this page you can view each user’s profile page.
Types of groups
There are several types of groups with different privacy settings on the SSF Hub, including:
- Public Group: Public groups and their content are visible to everyone, including those that are not logged into the Hub. However, people can only post or comment on group content or enroll in group events after logging into their SSF Hub account and joining the group.
- Open Group: Open groups are groups that SSF Hub members (that are logged-in to their account) can join without permission from the group manager. All of the discussions and events in an open group are visible to other logged-in users. Non-group members cannot create content in the group or comment on any of the posts, events, or topics unless they join the open group.
- Closed Group: A closed group is a group where SSF Hub members can only join if approved by a group manager. The stream, events, and discussions created in the closed group are not visible to people that are not a member of the group. Non-group members are only allowed to read the about page, and view information about who group managers and members are.
Why might you start a group?
You might consider starting a group if you are passionate about a particular topic and want to work with other SSF Hub members to explore that topic, have discussions, or share information.
I’m interested in starting a group. How can I find out more?
If you are interested in forming a group, please browse the list of existing groups here and see if one already exists for your topic of interest. Additionally before considering starting a group, we ask you to first consider:
- Is there a clear topic or specific purpose for the group?
- Would a Discussion on the Hub better accomplish your goals?
- Does the group you are interested in forming bring a unique value to the SSF Hub community?
- Are you willing to moderate the group?
Groups are moderated by volunteer members of the SSF Hub community. We ask that the people or organizations that create a group identify a moderator (or moderators) to help monitor the group’s activity and ensure that the group follows the SSF Hub’s Community Guidelines, resolve any issues that arise, and ensure the group’s success.
Any person or organization interested in starting a group will be asked to commit to a set of basic responsibilities. As part of these responsibilities, we will ask you to identify volunteer moderators for the group that can help ensure that the group adheres to the SSF Hub Community Guidelines. To find out more about group moderation responsibilities, or for more information about creating a group, please contact the SSF Hub administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org.