When the new PeakProsperity.com site launched back in June, we introduced the 1.0 version of our new Groups functionality.
We knew it wasn't perfect, but we were (and still very much are) excited by the enhanced ability Groups offers our readers to connect around an interest and/or a location.
Over the past month, we've been able to invest in making several improvements to the Groups experience, two of which we want to highlight here:
Group activity notification
How can I easily find out if there's been new activity in the Groups I belong to? many of you have asked us. There's a consensus request to be kept better informed in a more timely manner about these useful discussions.
In response, we've created a daily email that will be sent to you, summarizing any new activity (new posts, comments, etc.) in the Groups you belong to. No matter how many Groups you're a member of, you'll receive just one email with all of the recent activity of all your Groups aggregated within.
This email notification will start as of tonight (12/18/12), and will only be sent to you on days when there is activity in your Group(s); if there hasn't been activity, no email will be sent.
You can decide at any time to stop or change the frequency of these emails. Instructions for doing in are included within the email, or you can always email us at [email protected] for assistance.
We're hopeful that this enhanced visibility will enable Groups to realize their full potential as this site's best way to have an organized discussion around a particular theme. We think there's a virtuous cycle we can create if we indeed get the formula right (in other words, more activity and better content will lead to even more activity and even better content).
A more intuitive process for creating Group content
How the heck do I create a new post within a Group? is a question we've also heard more than we'd hoped. The default controls that Drupal made available to us, admittedly, were not that intuitive.
Well, we think we've fixed that, too.
We've introduced a substantially more prominent & convenient panel for creating new Groups content: whether a Discussion (a.k.a. a post), Event, or Poll. This is the panel highlighted in red below (a sister panel appears in the sidebar, highlighted here in orange):
These controls rolled out a few weeks ago and early feedback indicates that they've largely succeeded in making this core use of Groups much more intuitive.
Other improvements are coming soon
We've also added a 'Groups Help' module in the sidebar, which links to short video clips showing step-by-step instructions for how to perform the most common tasks in Groups. We're still rolling those clips out, so be patient with us for the next few weeks.
Lastly, we're working on additional changes to the Groups interface, to make it even easier to use (for instance, we've heard that the current 'Activity Stream' layout isn't as valuable as it should be). We'll update you on these improvements as we deploy them.