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The Commons’ powerful email notification system lets members of a group know when other members post content. Used in conjunction with a group blog, it lets you set up a nice place to share content and get feedback.

Read More About Group Email Notification Settings

Each time a member does something in a group, such as join the group, add an item to the Group Library or the add a topic or reply to a topic in the Discussion Forum, the action is added to the Group Activity stream and an email notification is generated.

Individual members of the group can choose how to “read” the particular group, that is, when should they be notified (if at all) when some activity takes place. Some settings are available on the group level, others pertain to all the groups a member belongs.

How Do You Want To “Read” This Group

Members can easily control how they get group email notifications. Go to your group, and click on Email options tab, highlighted below.

This same setting can be changed from the Group Page – you will see the current way you are reading the group and you can simply click on the “Change” button to switch to another of the five options.

Additionally, you can select what kind of activity you want to be notified about. This applies to all groups to which you belong.

To do this, go to your Commons Profile, and click on Settings, or simply hover over profile photo and select My Settings>>Notifications.  Here you can also set  Email Subscription Options (see above), on a group level.

 

Since the model presented below involves group blogs, here’s a quick look at what they are.

Group sites are not appropriate for every group, but for many, they can provide a platform for members to post ideas, embed media, announce events, and aggregate category and tag based content.

The Group and Group Site Model

So here’s how a group admin might use a group site to make a space where members can create content, and read and comment on each other’s work:

  • The group admin creates a group and attaches group blog
  • When members join the group, they are automatically signed up as authors on the group blog
  • They write and publish posts
  • Each time a post is published, an email notification is sent out to the group
  • Members click on the link, read the post, and can comment

Members of course still use the discussion forum, and each time they post to the forum, a notification is sent out. For these they can reply by email, without even logging into the Commons. (See “Reply by Email.”) Members can use BP Docs to collaborate on projects, and similarly, when a major edit occurs, members are notified by email.

This pedagogical model is often used on the Commons to teach courses: students join a group with their classmates. The group has a private site attached to it, and they are automatically added as users to the site. They do their assignments as blog posts. Whenever a student publishes a post, an excerpt automatically shows up on the group’s activity stream, and each group member is notified by email (depending upon their notification settings), that one of their peers has posted some content. If the content is a site post, they can click on the link, read the rest of the post, and comment. If the content is a forum post, they can read it in its entirety, and reply by email, from the comfort of their inbox.