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A Connected Group + Site

The Commons makes it possible to create a connected group and site in one process. This process is broken down in two steps: first a group is created and then a connected site is created. To find out more about Connected Group and Sites, click here.

Step One: Create The Group

There are two ways to get started creating a group. In each case, you need to be logged on to the Commons.

  • On the Commons home page, click on the “Groups” tab and click the “Create a Group” button.

  • Hover over your avatar in the upper right hand corner, select “My Groups” from the drop down. Then select “Create A Group.” See the process below:

The first step is to create the group. Once you click the Create a Group button, you should see the The Commons Creation Portal.

All requests to create groups, sites and connected Group and Site are funneled through the Commons Content Creation Portal. Here you can easily see what each one does and select the option that is most appropriate. In this case, we want to create a Connected Group + Site, so click on the button circled below:

 

Creation Portal

 

Once you click the Create a Group + Site button, you should see the following screen:

 

The Details Tab

Group Name: This is the name of the group. This can always be changed, but please note that if the URL of your group will not change. The group URL will be formatted using the group name as you first entered it – https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/{original-group-name}

Group Description: The description will appear on the group front page. It can always be changed. It should be a succinct statement of purpose. If your group is public, it will be what users read and decide if they want to become a member.

Metadata: In order to better understand the purpose of the group, the Commons collects some basic data about it.

  • Is it for a certain campus or campuses?
  • What is the primary purpose? Choices are: Teaching, Committee, Conference, Department/Program/Center, Personal, Publication, Project, Portfolio, Working Group, Community of Interest, or Other
  • Is it for teaching? If so, the Commons will add it to the “Courses” tab. We’d like to know:
    • What Disciplinary Cluster does in fall under? Choices are: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Professional, Other, Not Applicable
    • What Semester? (spring, fall, winter, summer)
    • What Year?

Click on the Create Group And Continue button and you will be taken to the Setting tab.

 

 Settings Tab

Group Privacy: You need to decide if your group should be public, private, or hidden. Click here to understand the implications.

Group Invitations: You need to decide who can invite members.

Email Subscription Defaults: When members join the group, what email notification setting should be the default? (This setting can be changed by the new member. See more about this here: Understanding Email Notifications)

 

Click on the Next Step button circled above to go to the Photo tab

 Photo Tab

On this tab you can add a photo that will be displayed on the front page of your group. You will have an opportunity to crop the image to better fit the space.

Step Two – Create the Connected Site

Now that the group is created, we go on to create the connected site:

After clicking the button, you will see the screen pictured below:

Create a Group + Site

Site Domain: This is the web address of your site. Once your site is created, you cannot change it. It cannot contain spaces or special characters and must be in lower case. Sites on the Commons are subdomains and will have “.commons.gc.cuny.edu/” appended to them. If your domain name is already in use, you will receive a message to choose a different domain name. If you own or intend to buy a domain name, the Commons can map your site to that domain name.

Site Title: This can be anything you like and can be changed anytime using your WordPress Dashboard.

Metadata: In order to better understand the purpose of the site, the Commons collects basic data about it. By default, these field are populated with the value of your group’s metadata, but you can change them if you wish.

  • Is it for a certain campus or campuses?
  • What is the primary purpose? Choices are: Teaching, Committee, Conference, Department/Program/Center, Personal, Publication, Project, Portfolio, Working Group, Community of Interest, or Other
  • Is it for teaching? If so, the Commons will add it to the “Courses” tab. We’d like to know:
    • What Disciplinary Cluster does in fall under? Choices are: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Professional, Other, Not Applicable
    • What Semester? (spring, fall, winter, summer)
    • What Year?

Site License: All content should be licensed appropriately so that it can shared by others under conditions determined by the content creator. The Commons uses CreativeCommons licenses. The Creative Commons provides a variety of different licenses that affect whether others can use the content, modify the content(with or without attribution) or use the content for commercial purposes. The site creation process contains a wizard to help you select the correct license for your site. The default license allows content consumers to share or redistribute your content with or without modifications as long as they attribute the content to you and that it is shared for non-commercial purposes.

Site Privacy Options: Site privacy settings determine how visible/searchable your site will be. You can make it visible to the entire Web or confine access to a single individual as well as other options between these two extremes. Commonly, sites under construction are made visible only to admins, and then later opened up using different options.

 

Site Layout

The Commons offers Site Templates that are designed to get you up and running fast. These layouts are tailored for different purposes. If you don’t see a template that matches what you want to do, use the default template. It is a plain vanilla layout with no presets. In all cases, you are welcome to change to any themes installed on the Commons.

Group + Site User Roles

Also, do you want members of your group be able to post to the group site?

Click on the Finish Button and if you have filled out all the required fields, you will receive a success message, with a link to your new site and group, as well as a button to start inviting others to join your group and connected site.

Congratulations

Please note that you have successfully followed the steps to create your group, but that there are a number of custom settings that you should be aware of. As an admin of the group, these can be accessed by clicking on Manage, circled below.

Manage A Group

For more information, see Manage A Group.