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Administration Manual

Create a Subscription

All online groups sites are free for the first month. No credit card is required to start a site. The first month of a new site is free. During the first month the Site Administrator must create a credit card subscription. At the end of the first month, and every month after that, a fee is charged to the credit card.

To create a subscription carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit the Site Administration page. Log in if necessary.
  2. Click Create a subscription. The Subscribe page will be shown.
  3. Enter your credit card details into the four fields:
    Name on Credit Card
    The name on the credit card.
    Credit Card Number
    The credit card number. You may enter the number as one sixteen-digit number, or in groups that are separated by spaces or dashes (-).
    Credit Card Expiry Date
    The month and year that the credit card expires. You cannot enter a date that is before the first payment date.
    Credit Card Security Code
    The security code (CVC 2 or CVV2) appears on the back of the back of the credit card. It is printed after the account number on the signature panel. It is three to four digits long, depending on the type of card.
  4. Click Subscribe. A subscription will be created.

Note Your credit-card information will be held by PaymentExpress. OnlineGroups.Net will store the name and a summary of the credit card number so you can identify the card that will be charged each month. We store the expiry date so we can remind you to renew the subscription when the card is replaced. The information stored by OnlineGroups.Net is insufficient for third parties to make charges against your credit card.

Start a Group

To start a group carry out the following tasks.

  1. Go to the Start a Group page.
  2. Enter the name of your new group in the Group Name entry.
  3. (Optional) Chose an identifier for your group by altering the default identifier in the Group ID entry. The identifier will be used to form both the email address and web address for your group.
    • The default identifier will be a lower case version of the group name with punctuation removed and spaces replaced by the dash character (-).
    • The identifier can only contain letters, numbers, dashes (-) and underscores (_).
    • The identifier must be unique: there cannot be another site or group with the same identifier, including your own site. The page will check to see if there is already a site or group with the same identifier.
    • The identifier cannot be changed once the group has been created.
  4. Select one of the privacy settings for your new group. The three settings change who can see the group homepage and the messages within the group, as shown in the table below.
    Visibility of pages for different settings
      Visibility
    Group Homepage  Messages
    Public  Anyone Anyone
    Private  Anyone Group members only
    Secret Group members only  Group members only 
  5. Click the Start button.
    • Your new group will be started,
    • You will be made a member,
    • You will be sent a Welcome email, and
    • You will be shown the homepage of your new group.

Viewing Past Payments (Receipts)

To view the past payment that have been made as part of your subscription to OnlineGroups.Net carry out the following tasks.

  1. Visit the Site Administration page. Log in if necessary.
  2. Click View past payments. The Past Payments page will be shown. The page shows all the payments that have been made, with the most recent payment at the top of the list
  3. Click on a payment to view the Receipt page for that payment. The Receipt page shows the product that has been paid for, the amount paid, the date the payment was made, the name on the credit card that made the payment, and a summary of the credit-card number.

Note: the link to the Past Payments page is only shown if payments have been made.

Invite a New Member

People can join groups in three ways. They can join public groups. They can request membership of private groups. Finally, you must invite them to join secret groups; you may invite people to join public groups and private groups. To invite someone to join a group carry out the following tasks.

  1. View the page for your group. Log in if necessary.
  2. Select the Admin tab, and click Enter the details of a new member. The Invite a New Member page will be shown.
  3. Create the invitation.

    The invitation is an email from you to the person that you are inviting. To create the invitation you must carry out the following.

    • Enter the email address of the person you are inviting.
    • Write a personal message to the person you are inviting.
    • Select the message delivery options that the recipient of the invitation should have after he or she accepts the invitation.
    • Enter the details about the person you are inviting.

    Note: It is best to make the message to the person you are inviting as personal as possible. This will make the recipient more likely to respond, and it more likely that Spam filters will allow the invitation to be delivered.

  4. Click the Invite button. An invitation message will be sent. The message will include:
    • Your email address,
    • The personal message that you wrote,
    • Information about the group, including the number of members, the frequency of posting, and the privacy of posts, and
    • Information about you and your role as an administrator of the group.

Change the Site Name

The site name is shown at the top of every page on the site, in the body of many page, and in email messages sent from this site. To change the site name, carry out the following tasks.

  1. Go to the Change Name page.
  2. Enter the name for the site in the Name entry.
  3. Click the Change button. The name of the site will be updated.

Cancel a Subscription

You will need to cancel the subscription for your site to stop making the monthly subscription payments to OnlineGroups.Net, or to change your credit card details. To cancel your subscription carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit the Site Administration page. Log in if necessary.
  2. Click Cancel your subscription. The Cancel Subscription page will be shown.
  3. Click the Cancel button. The subscription will be cancelled.

Respond to a Membership Request

People may request to become a member of a private group. When someone does this you will receive an email message, containing the request. The message will contain the following

  • A link to the profile of the person making the request.
  • The email address of the person making the request.
  • A message from the person making the request, explaining why he or she wishes to join the group.
  • A link to the Respond page for the group you administer.

To respond to the request carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit the Respond page. The Respond page lists all membership requests awaiting a response.
  2. Select Accept or Decline for each request.
  3. Click the Respond button.

If you accept a request then the person that made the request will become a group member. If you decline a request then the person that made the request will be sent a message stating your decision.

Change the Group Homepage About Tab

The About Tab on the homepage of the group contains an introduction to the group. Site administrators can change About Tab by carrying out the following steps.

  1. Log in
  2. Visit the homepage for your group.
  3. Click change this about tab.
  4. Enter the new text for the About Tab in the Text field.
  5. Click the Change button.

Add a Member

It is possible to add a member to a group without issuing an invitation. To add a member carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit your group. Log in if necessary.
  2. Select the Admin tab, and click Add a member. The Add a New Member page will be shown.
  3. Enter the email address of the new member in the Email to entry.
  4. (Optional) Select the delivery settings for the new member. By default the new member will receive one email per post.
  5. Enter the name of the new member in the Name entry.
  6. Click the Add button. The new member will receive a Welcome email and will be added to your group.

Change the Maximum Posting Rate

The posting rate determines how frequently each member can post to a group in a single day. There are two reasons to set it. First, it prevents one person from sending an overwelming number of messages to a group; setting a value in the range 10—30 posts per day will achive this. Second, setting a very low maximum posting rate (less than 10 post per day) can cause people to consider their posts more, because it creates a high cost to making "me too" posts. (The flip side of this is that it can cause a member to post off-topic because he or she can only post a few times per day.)

To change the maximum posting rate carry out the following steps.

  1. Log in.
  2. Visit the homepage for your group.
  3. Select the Admin tab, and click Change the maximum posting rate. The Change the Posting Rate page will be shown.
  4. Enter the maximum number of posts per day in the Posts per day entry.
  5. Click the Change button. The maximum number of posts per day that can be made by each member of your group will be set.

Note: The maximum posting rate does not apply to the administrators of the group.

Sticky Topics

A sticky topic is shown before all the other topics in the Topic tab on the group page. An administrator can add a topic to the sticky topics, and remove a topics from the sticky topics.

Add a Topic to the Sticky Topics

To add a topic to the list of sticky topics for the group carry out the following tasks.

  1. Vist the topic.
  2. Select the Sicky checkbox. The topic will be added to the sicky topics.

Remove a Topic to the Sticky Topics

To remove a topic from the list of sticky topics for the group carry out the following tasks.

  1. Vist the topic.
  2. Deselect the Sicky checkbox. The topic will be removed from the sicky topics.