Private groups are here! We just released them along with several enhancements to the existing group features on ActiveRain. The three main improvements were, the addition of private groups, the ability to invite members to a group, and categories to help people find groups to join. Details on all of these below...
Private groups are groups that are only accessible to members of that group. New members must either be approved or invited by the group administrator(s) before they are granted access to view the messages in the group or post. For example you might want to create a private group for your office, your company, or your group of friends.
Creating a Private Group
You can create a private group in much the same way you create a normal group and you can also change a existing public group to make it private.
When someone who is not a member visits a private group they get the following message
If they request to join the group the request goes to the administrator(s) ActiveRain Inbox and to their email notifying them a new member wants in.
When a members application is approved or rejected they are also notified in their inbox and via email.
One key difference with the private groups is unlike existing groups, blog posts can not be added as posts within the group for reasons of commentor privacy.
Invitations to Groups
The second key enhancement to groups is members can now send invitations to other ActiveRain members to join the group.
If you don't know a persons user-name it is visible on the top of their profile or displayed in the profile search.
We also added the ability to groups to be categorized allowing them to be found easier. There are about 20 categories ranging from "General - Market", to "Companies - Real Estate", to "Regional - NW US" If you are a group administrator you can easily edit your group and put it in an appropriate category to help it be found.