Creating a group blog on NYCGA.net – part 1

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Screen capture of a blog pageWorking Groups deal with many levels of engagement. From the die hard leaders who have committed their lives to this movement to the leaders who can only spare 1% of their time (that’s about 7 hours a month fyi). Keeping everyone in the loop is a challenge. Forums need lots of attention, in person meetings don’t work from some, e-mail lists can get overwhelming, and reading through meeting minutes is tedious. Some of our supporters and allies just want to get an idea of the pules or direction of the group.

That’s why blogs are so important. Every group on nycga.net has the power to create their very own blog. This post will go over creating a group blog on nycga.net while part 2 will cover making your blog look good and part 3 will cover ideas about what that blog can be used for. 

Please note: This tutorial assumes that you are an admin of the group you wish to create a blog for. If you are not an admin you can contact you’re group admin and ask for access. Group admin’s can be found on the top right of your group’s page.

We will be creating a blog for the Architecture group.

Step 1: activate your blog

Log in to your nycga.net account and navigate to your group page.

screen shot of the group page on nycga.net
The Architecture group page

Now, assuming you are an admin, you will need to navigate to the admin > group blog settings page. You can directly link to this page with the following URL: nycga.net/groups/your_group_name/admin/group-blog

screen grab of admin menu
If you don't see these menu items you might not have permission on this group.

Let’s review the options available to you:

group blog settings

Enable group blog: This is where the magic happens, just check the box to enable your blog (that was easy!)
Use one of your own available blogs: You can safely ignore this.
Blog Title: This will be the main title of your blog, you will be able to change this later!
Blog Address: This is the subdomain your blog will live at. Check out the URL of this page, notice how is says tech.nycga.net. Tech is the subdomain of nycga.net. Your best bet is to stick with the default name provided, but if you feel that you can shorten it or improve the name feel free to do so.

Member Options enable you to automate permissions on the blog. You can learn more about user roles in WordPress here.

admn blog member options

Enable Member blog posting: I strongly suggest that you enable this option. Currently there are three types of members in your nycga.net group. Memebers, which is anyone who clicked the “join group” button. Moderators, are members that can edit, delete, and add updates and forum posts. Admin, exactly like moderators but they can edit group details and add/demote other members. When you create a blog these roles can be mapped to roles on the blog automatically. This means that when a new member, moderator, or admin is added to the group on nycga.net they will also be added to a specific role on the group’s blog! If you do not enable this you will have to add members to the blog by hand.
Default Administrator/Moderator/Member Role:
These radio buttons will map the nycga.net group role to the blog’s user role. You’ll most likely want to keep the default settings here. Though, you may not want Members to be Authors so you’d set their role a bit lower. Details about roles are available on the settings page for reference.

Once you have all the settings how you would like click Save Changes.

screen grab of new blog

That’s it! You now have a wordpress blog for your group! You can access the dashboard by simply adding wp-admin to the end of the URL (like: architecture.nycga.net/wp-admin)

Here are some helpful links:

Part 2 and Part 3 will cover set-up, design, and use. Stay tuned.

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