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I agree

I'm starting work on the "Groups" feature. Any requests?

12 Aug, 2016 10:36
Hi all,
I'm about to start work on the "Groups" feature and I'd like to involve the community to see if you have any suggestions or requests. It would be good to hear them early because they will of course influence the design of the implementation.

My vision is roughly explained below.

Groups might fit in one of the following categories:
  • Club or association (self-explanatory)
  • Professional network (e.g. a university, or an observatory)
  • Internet community (e.g. people that know each other on some forum or Facebook group)
  • Friends (self-explanatory)
  • Geographical area (cities, countries…smile
  • Collaboration unit (people getting together temporarily to complete a project)
  • Other (there always needs to be an "other" category :-) )
A group might be PUBLIC or PRIVATE.
Public groups are for all to explore and join (or request to join).
Private groups are hidden everywhere except for members, and joining is invitation-only.

A group might be MODERATED or UNMODERATED.
Moderated groups need a moderator approval for people to join and post images.
Unmoderated groups don't.

Automatic means that if you're part of that group, your images go there automatically when you upload.
Manual submission means that you need to manually click some button to "send this image to a group".

Groups should have a group specific forum.
The group forum would be visible only in the group page, and not on the normal forum pages. Members only can post. There would be an option in your settings on whether you want to receive a notification when a new post is published in groups you are a member of.

So, am I missing anything? Would you like to make some suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
12 Aug, 2016 20:49
Is there plans for a way for groups to make announcements via text? I think that would be a useful feature, especially for collaboration groups.

Otherwise, I can't think of anything to add. smile
13 Aug, 2016 07:49
By "announcements via text" you mean a message that everybody in the group will receive an email notification, with no option to opt out?
That's a good idea I think. I'll make it like a special section in the group specific forum, called Announcements, and only the group owner or a moderator can post there.

Thanks for the suggestion!
15 Aug, 2016 19:21
Salvatore, what's driving this? I guess I don't see the value in this compared to other feature requests, and I worry this might fracture the community here some. If I only play with people in my group, then I'll be missing out on what the larger community is doing. Or am I missing something obvious? (it often is the case )
15 Aug, 2016 19:36
Hi Goofi,
I've gotten this request privately many times, and I think it would be a really nice-to-have one. I think your concerns about fracturing are invalid. There would be no way a group would achieve isolation:

  • Public images are public and appear everywhere (home page, wall, search, user galleries) whether they are in no group, in a public group or in a private group
  • Non public images (i.e. work in progress in the staging area) remains non public even if posted in a private group
Hope this clears it!
17 Aug, 2016 13:58
Thanks Sal ….
30 Aug, 2016 07:26
It's progressing nicely!

30 Aug, 2016 23:34
Looks nice! Any time-frame on when it comes to the masses?
Edited 31 Aug, 2016 01:08
31 Aug, 2016 08:39
Ethan Chappel
Looks nice! Any time-frame on when it comes to the masses?
It's a very complex feature with lots of edge cases and functionalities… I'm thinking 4 to 6 weeks.
01 Sep, 2016 16:04
Nice feature. I think I like it.
02 Sep, 2016 20:15
Why do you whant to split the community in different groups?

Maybe i dont understand your explanation to Goofy, but i dont see a improvement by creating groups.

I guess a lot of Pictures will hide in those private Groups and will not be shown to every Astrobin member.
03 Sep, 2016 06:11
Hi Klaus,
this does not fragment or split the community. Private gorups don't mean private images. In fact, all images are still public by default (except Work in progress images, just like now), but you can send your public images to such private groups.

The only thing that's private in private groups is the group's forum. And I'm sure that people who want to have private conversations will find other means if AstroBin doesn't have a private forum.

There are lots of improvements by creating group, for the people who want to:

  • Have a place to group the images by a group of people together (see planned group categories above)
  • Have a place for group communications (sure, there are mailing lists, google groups, facebook groups, etc) but this would be consolidated within AstroBin
  • Be able to easily notified about the group's activity (new images, new forum posts, etc will all have new notifications that you can subscribe to in the settings
I'm sure with time more interesting use-cases will come up too, possibly suggested by the community :-)

But the main point of this message is that the community is not split by groups. Groups are an extension of it.

Hope this explained it!
03 Sep, 2016 11:30
Hi Salvatore,

Yes, this is a better explanation to me.

I will see how it will work in the future.
07 Sep, 2016 09:26
I'm doing good progress on this feature! I would say that I'm 80% in. But as you know from the 80-20 rule, I'm far from finished :-) But now it's just the little side-stuff.
08 Sep, 2016 23:15
Hi Salvatore.
 I would like to see an EAA group.  Electronically Assisted Astroimaging.  A place for images of say—less than 5 minute exposure–less than 10 minute total integrations .  Little or no post processing.  Basically near live image captures.

09 Sep, 2016 06:46
Hi Brad, everybody will be able to create groups! This is entirely community driven.
09 Sep, 2016 07:43
09 Sep, 2016 19:08
Alright, coming back to the community in search for suggestions and ideas. I am now finished with Public Groups. You can create, edit, manage groups. Invite people. Members can submit images and post to the group specific forum.

Next I need to do:
  • Private groups
  • Notifications
  • Activity stream events
I need your input regarding the latter two. What are your suggestions to improve group discoverability and visibility? Should there be notifications (and sent to whom?) when groups are created? When members join/leave? When members post new images? When members post to the forum?

What about the activity stream on the home page?

I will think of all these things, but your input is always precious. The goal here is to maximize the visibility on the fact that there's a "groups" feature, and I want people to be aware of what groups exist and are active, other than a simple list of all groups.

Thanks in advance! smile
09 Sep, 2016 20:27
Salvatore Iovene
I am now finished with Public Groups. You can create, edit, manage groups. Invite people. Members can submit images and post to the group specific forum.

Is it possible to do it right now?
If yes - How does it work?

I think the most suggestions will come, when it is possible to try it.
Notifications are one important thing inside groups.
New images and new members should be reported.
In my opinion a group-page should look like a member-page with also the same posibilities. Especially with the same sorting options.
09 Sep, 2016 20:27
Hartmuth Kintzel
Is it possible to do it right now?

Not yet, will release when everything is pretty much finished.
12 Sep, 2016 21:29
We're getting really close now! I'm super hyped because this is shaping up really well and it's been A LOT of work so far…

Hope you will like it!
I estimate another week, two at the latest, until I can ship this.  smilesmile

For the curious monkeys out there who know how to code, here's the summary of my git diff:
63 files changed, 3705 insertions(+), 61 deletions(-)
That's a lot…
Edited 12 Sep, 2016 21:31
14 Sep, 2016 13:13
Great news! This feature is now complete!  smilesmilesmile
I will release it tonight, get ready!
14 Sep, 2016 13:43
Sweet! I'll be on the lookout this afternoon (here, I assume)!
14 Sep, 2016 14:45
I'm thinking I should be able to push this to the server at around 10 pm EEST.
14 Sep, 2016 20:03
It's published! Will start writing a new topic about it now smile
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