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What happened to "Groups?" Answered

What happened to Groups?

They still exist--you can still add your instructable to a group.

The only way I could search or explore Groups was to click "Groups" on my personal page, then on the "Join other Groups" link at the bottom of the page. I couldn't find another way in (other than the advanced Search function.)

There doesn't seem to be a simple or straight-forward way to access them otherwise... I sure don't see a way to create a new one (not that a little weeding-out of the existing groups isn't called for.)


Edit: Oh, wait, I see it--you can Submit a new group.

But a lot of casual users probably aren't even aware they exist...

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JamesRPatrick (author)2009-01-31
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I am a knexer, but I do tend to agree.

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noahw (author)2009-01-26

You are totally right, we've let groups fade off into the past. Groups were just never an active part of the Instructables experience, and with some of the new features that we've been working on, the group system has suffered. We don't want to get rid of groups entirely, however, it's unlikely that we'll be making any large changes to the system in the immediate future.

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kelseymh (author)noahw2009-01-26
I agree with GMoon. Groups (could) provide a substantial level of structure and "birds of a feather" (remember ACM?) organization, which the top-level Forum categories simply do not. If they weren't an active part of the "I'bles experience," I would lay some of the fault (if such it is) at the lack of a coherent and advertised interface.

I think that if there was better/more integrated support for the Groups concept, they might develop into something more widely used. A few ideas, which hopefully wouldn't be overly large. Listed in my preference order

  • Fixing the new-topic-in-Group bug
  • Providing after-the fact "add topic to Group" similar to "add I'ble to Group"
  • Indexing (and having a display of) Groups according to Forum category
  • Having the new-topic-in-Group automatically link to the associated Forum category

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kelseymh (author)kelseymh2009-01-28

The first item above (Fixing the new-topic-in-Group bug) has been fixed in the new "Answers Release". Thanks to Rachel for announcing the fix in the appropriate topic!

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gmoon (author)kelseymh2009-01-27

Providing after-the fact "add topic to Group" similar to "add I'ble to Group"

This missing feature alone could have had significant impact. I suspect it would have sparked much more group usage.

That, and the sub-communities would be more focused, as well as more organized. Maybe there wouldn't be 10 redundant threads a month on "How do I use LEDs..."

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gmoon (author)noahw2009-01-26

Ah, OK. If it matters, I still like the concept of groups. It democratizes the site, in a way. I was hoping it took some of the pressure off you guys; not having to create new forum sections, etc. Regarding forums--I wonder how many user just click "view all" anyway, lumping all the categories together. I viewed groups as a possible path to organizing all the disparate (and old) threads... Sure, democratization can be taken too far (like the groups dedicated to individuals.)

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kelseymh (author)gmoon2009-01-26

As to your question, I have found myself "having" to use the view all interface to Forums. I don't really like it, because there's no information about which Forum each post belongs, but there are two issues which have forced me to it.

First, it's the only way to see any brand new topics with zero replies (other than stepping through each Forum individually).

Second, because of the current bug with the summary "last post by", the view all page is the only way to see recent postings.

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Kiteman (author)2009-01-26

Maybe an extra tab on the "explore" page? It would help, though, if the groups were "tidied up" a bit - there are a lot of "dead" groups, and a lot of duplicate or over-lapping groups.

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CameronSS (author)Kiteman2009-01-27

I've done my part to clean it up...another member had a group identical to one of mine, and we mutually agreed to combine the Instructables, inform the members via PM, and delete one of the groups. Rinse and repeat 1,426 times.

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gmoon (author)Kiteman2009-01-26

Yes, there really are a lot of duplicate and silly groups.

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