Loomio

Group coordinators and subgroups

RG
Rob Guthrie Public Seen by 401

I want to start a discussion around the behaviour for group coordinators and subgroups.

Currently, we're seeing people experiencing a problem: Any member of a group can start a subgroup, but the group coordinators don't have coordinator rights in the subgroup by default. We get many support requests from confused group coordinators asking why they can't do admin actions in threads which are in subgroups of their group.

I'm going to propose some changes to discuss:

  • When a subgroup is created, the admins of the parent group are added to the subgroup (as coordinators) by default.
  • If you are the admin of a group, you can always see, join, and then make yourself a coordinator of subgroups in your group.

The first suggestion could be a setting on the parent group. IE: By default, coordinators are added to new subgroups, but you can turn that off.

The second is a change in permissions that would not be optional.. IE: Coordinators can see all subgroups, and can always join and coordinator them if they wish.

What do you think about these ideas?

MC

Matthew Cropp Thu 6 Sep 2018

Can we have coordinators for just subgroups?

For instance, a Tech Committee chair might have a admin permissions to the Tech Committee subgroup, but not for the main group.

RG

Rob Guthrie Thu 6 Sep 2018

Yes! That's the case right now, and these changes would not change that.

GC

Greg Cassel Thu 6 Sep 2018

I think both possible changes make sense, and either change would be a major improvement.

LF

Luke Flegg Thu 9 May 2019

I think yes! And I think I'm replying to this very late and it's probably already been implemented by now

RG

Rob Guthrie Thu 9 May 2019

It has! If you're the admin of the parent you can join and become coordinator of any subgroups that are not secret.

RG

Rob Guthrie Thu 9 May 2019

It might be worth putting a "no parent admins allowed" checkbox on a subgroup so in a few places this can be overridden.. but we'll wait for feedback on that one.

DS

Danyl Strype Sat 3 Aug 2019

The problem with this is that if all of the coordinators of a subgroup go AWOL, the group is left with an orphan subgroup that it can't add new coordinators to if it's still needed, and can't delete if it isn't.

DS

Danyl Strype Sat 3 Aug 2019

One question that occurs to me; is a group that isn't under the administrative umbrella of the parent group and its delegated coordinators, really a "subgroup" at all?

I suspect we need to talk more about specific use cases to get the bottom of this. But one suggestion is to have two types of associated groups:

  • subgroups: all coordinators of the parent group can see these (even secret ones), join them, and make themselves (or other members) coordinators. Only members of the parent groups can join. A user who joins an open membership subgroup within an open membership parent group, automatically becomes part of the parent group as well.

  • allied groups: coordinators of the parent group can only see these, join them, or become coordinators, with the usual permissions as set by the existing coordinators. They can be associated with more than one parent group. Users who are not members of the associated parent group(s) can be allowed to join, depending on the policy of the allied group.

The subgroups would be for things like subcommittees in Robert's Rules organisations, or 'working groups' in large collectives (eg tech teams or food teams). They could also be used for grouping sets of threads that have something in common (eg all threads related to finance).

The allied groups could be for networking and coordination between parent groups (eg shared working groups for a co-organized event). They could also be used as spaces where members of the parent group can consult with people outside the parent group, independently of its coordinators, but with its discussions visible to the members of the parent group (or maybe publicly visible).

RG

Rob Guthrie Sun 4 Aug 2019

Yep. I'm thinking along the same lines. Allied groups or Networks of groups are linked together by a directory page, but don't have a parent/subgroup relationship.

Subgroups are explicitly for the case where parent administration is required.

The stuff mentioned in the context box here is all implemented now.

Parent admins can join and become admins of closed subgroups. If all the admins of a group leave, anyone can make themselves the admin of the group.

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

Wondering about whether Admin should get a Join group button (at least to make a Join-Group-Request) when they access secret subgroup pages and see "Join this group to see private threads" @Rob Guthrie

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

Alternatively, obviously (and as I believe you've considered), maybe it's better for them to not see secret subgroups they're not part of

RG

Rob Guthrie Mon 23 Dec 2019

yes, that' actually the right answer. you should only see a secret subgroup your're not a part of, if somone invites you to a thread that is part of one. When do you see one?

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

Testing the Demo* (parent) group yesterday as an admin, I was able to see its Secret subgroups I was not part of (I started investigating as I thought they were closed but got confused that they didn't have a "Join group" button)

*You're a member

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

I invited you into one of the secret subgroups. Troubleshoot and Storytelling Guild are also secret ones, for you to test with

RG

Rob Guthrie Mon 23 Dec 2019

troubleshoot is visible to parent members. storytelling guild does not show up unless I receive a link to it. I'm not sure I see a bug. Can you name a private group I should not be able to see?

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

AFAIK there is no setting for Secret subgroups to be visible to parent members:

[screenshot of Troubleshoot's settings]

RG

Rob Guthrie Mon 23 Dec 2019

what if you refresh dashboard rather than the troubleshoot url, does it still appear in sidebar? (thanks!)

JG

john gieryn Mon 23 Dec 2019

hard refresh from /dashboard and yea i still see it in sidebar