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Subject: The Great Big Group Guide
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Navigation:
Section 1: General Group Information
Section 2: Group Tools (continues at beginning of section 3)
Section 3: Tips and Tricks



Introduction:
Hello all, I’ve created this thread as a guide for users of this site, new and old to understand the private group system, group tools and some techniques that are perhaps less well known are documented here. I do not take credit for any information in this guide I have just brought it together into one hopefully informative thread. I have linked content posted by other users throughout with their names mentioned for credit when required.


===Section 1: General Group Information===
In this section I’ll cover general group information such as recruiting, creating, maintaining and searching for a group if you don’t want to found one.

Groups, a Brief Summary:
Groups were originally brought in during the pre-2004 build of the Bungie website. The purpose was to allow Halo: Combat Evolved players to collaborate in order to find local players to participate in LAN (Local Area Network Events) due to the absence of Online play at the time for the Halo franchise. This purpose although still used by a few groups has been near forgotten, because of this many groups lack purpose and soon become in active (if they every reach a phase of activity in the first place).

Founding a Group
To found a group you need to have been a member of the site for at least 14 days, after this period if you visit this link (also accessible under the My Groups link at the top of the page) and follow the steps then a group can be created in a painless, simple, free process. See Section 2 for details on changing any of the details you created (other than the name which cannot be changed) under the title “Changing Group Information”.

"Help my Groups on Probation and Might Get Deleted, What do I do?!"
Groups when founded are given 60 days to reach a minimum activity level. For first time founders this may prove as a shock and concern them however 60 days is a long time and the minimum activity level is only 3 members so don't worry about it. If you've failed to gather 3 members after 2 months then your group obviously isn't attracting people so you should review your group's purpose.

How can I make a Successful Group?
One frequently asked question is “How can I make my group successful?” there are a variety of ways to do this such as providing interesting content, games, activities for members and an environment from which they are comfortable and want to return to. I would say the main thing that returns people to a chapter though is purpose. For a group to be successful over a long period of time it needs something to separate it from the crowd and it needs to be constantly updated and fresh. If your group fails to have a purpose then it will fail, if it doesn’t have one it will need one to succeed.

However don’t see a large member base as success, it isn’t. Many groups with 1000+ members have dwindled to inactivity. You can try to recruit members via PM but most of the time they’ll join without contributing. It is better to make the group good and then gather members, but they’ll find you if your group has something to offer.

“I Have something Great but I need to Recruit, what can I do?”
Although as mentioned a large member base doesn’t mean success, sometimes small tight-knit groups are more enjoyable, there are some cases where members are needed to make things function. First you’ll need something to make them active of course but if that’s sussed then here are some recruitment techniques.
1. The Classifieds Forum: This forum is quite inactive and won’t gather a large amount of members but don’t see that as a complete disadvantage. Post a good, well laid out, informative Ad here say every few days and eventually somebody who is generally interested will see it, this type of person is much more likely to be active as they found the group for their own interests rather than hearing about it via word of mouth.
2. Private Messages: This is the best way to get lots of members quickly however it is also the most annoying method and will likely reduce the chances of seasoned members joining the group because, well, we hate group Ads but you never know until you ask, just make sure you don’t send more than one or the user may block PM communications with you. Best thing to do is create a polite message and paste in the users name, don’t make it too personal and keep it simple yet informative.
3. Private Groups Spotlight This method is out of your control but, everyday 10 (semi)active groups are selected at random. Some users do check this page, me included - although not particularly regularly. A bit of luck and a bit of activity may benefit your group here.
4. Help Improve the Group Search An unfortunately less well known method of group searching can be found within this thread by Bnet user Cryptic, I suggest group founders take a look at this thread, it may be beneficial if more group founders use the method, tell your friends and fellow founders!

“Wait! I don’t Want to Found a Group, I want to Join One, Help!”
Some users don’t want the hassle of maintaining a group and just want to join an enjoyable atmosphere and find a group they’ll benefit from. The current group search system is limited but it does exist. The group finder can be found here. Alternatively you could look under the groups of users in the public forums who you think you’d get on with and you may find a group that also matches your interests. Again, see this thread for a possible way of improving group search results.




Navigation:
Section 1: General Group Information
Section 2: Group Tools (continues at beginning of section 3)
Section 3: Tips and Tricks



[Edited on 02.06.2009 9:56 AM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:23 PM PDT

Sorry, didn't know what you were doing. *meek smile* I can copy and paste that portion you have into this post if you want me to so that it runs together.

[Edited on 02.04.2009 1:26 PM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:24 PM PDT
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Navigation:
Section 1: General Group Information
Section 2: Group Tools (continues at beginning of section 3)
Section 3: Tips and Tricks



===Section 2: Group Tools===
In this section I’ll cover the official group tools, security roles and things such as group news.

Creating News:
All users by default have the ability to submit news, this can be approved by admins or users with the appropriate forum permissions using the admin tools, shown later in section 2. Only users who can post directly can link stories to the forums via a “Discuss” link as seen in the Bungie.net weekly updates. Creating a news story is simple enough, where it appears on the frontpage is more complicated. When creating a news story you can choose whether it is appears under “News” or “Announcements”, whether you click “Submit News” or “Submit Announcement” has no effect on where it appears.

The News Category Option is decides whether news is “News” or an “Announcement”. Statement and Memoranda both become news. Declaration and Directive are both announcements. This is illustrated by this image.

Changing Group Information
If you wish to change group information you’ll need to see your Group’s “Group Settings’ Page.

- Quick Linkname: Here you’ll be able to set up a ‘Quick Linkname’ which, if you look at the Group settings image address bar it is essentially the ‘halowars’ section of the url. You will only be able to choose link names that are unused by any other group. Link names cannot only include numbers unless the number matches the groups ID number which is the link name by default. Special characters are also not permitted.

- Description/Motto: You can change the Group Description which if you look at This image once again it’s the section that reads: “A group where Halo Wars discussion is permitted unlike the public forums…” etc and the group motto that is just below, in bold, conveniently labelled “Motto”.

- Membership Open/Closed: The option “Open/close Group” membership is important. A closed group means that people who attempt to join will, instead of becoming members, go into a que awaiting acceptance or rejection. An admin must go to the group “members” page to accept them into the group so, if you have membership set to closed make sure you check regularly.

Finally you can alter the way the group looks. Not completely but there is a selection of 30 (when this was written) themes you can choose from all of which are shown below:

The first 20 were originally compiled by user ecartman1214 in an old group guide thread he wrote that has been auto-locked. Please see the first 20 within his thread, it also has other information that I aim to also include in this guide, it may also help you if his wording is clearer or if his posts you find easier to navigate so don’t hesitate to read it as well.

21. Oni Smash!
Home
Forum

22. Flame on
Home
Forum

23. Evil
Home
Forum

24. Egyptian
Home
Forum

25. Data Points
Home
Forum

26. Spartan Rush
Home
Forum

27. Temple
Home
Forum

28. Rocket Race
Home
Forum

29. Dark Oni
Home
Forum

30. Grunty
Home
Forum

Admin Tools
If you look at the nav bar as an admin you’ll see a link titled Admin tools, this part of the guide will look at the tools groups have and how you can use them.

1. News Queue - Approve or reject submitted news.
2. Blacklist Management - Manage your list of users to block from this group.
3. Security Role Editor - Create or modify your 15 security roles.
4. Member Management - Approve, reject, kick, or alter security roles of members.
5. Group History Viewer - View most recent group history records.

All of these are pretty simple however it will help if you understand how each works and which members in your group can use them. This generally comes under the Security Role Editor- {See Here}

You’ll come to a page where you can set security permissions all of which are explained. I’m just going to go over the main permissions and the moderation permissions-


Admin

Modify Group Settings - Edit this group's general settings (* caution!) – Be careful, a user with this power can alter your groups quicklink, motto, location and open or close the group’s membership.

Edit Security - Edit any user's assigned security role except for roles that have Full Control permissions. (* caution!) - Users who have this power may promote any account to any role other than their own and may demote anyone but a full control user. This sounds okay but consider this, if they promote another user to full control, namely an alternate account of their’s they can boot you from the group and take it over, extreme caution is needed when handing this power out.

Full Control - Perform any action in this group, including kicking you out of it. Be careful who you give this power to! (* caution!) – Give any user the same powers you have, as with “Edit Security” you need to be very careful.

Approve Members - Approve or reject members that wish to join this group. (* caution!) – This power is only needed if groups are set to “Closed Membership”, this grants any user with this security role the ability to approve or reject people on the member que.

Kick Members - Boot existing members from the group for any reason. (* caution!) – They can boot anyone but you, be very careful or all your group members might disappear over night…


News Permissions:

Post News Directly - Post news directly to the front page, bypassing the news submit queue. – Required for a user to post an image into a public forum, glitch covered under section 3, tips and tricks.

Edit News - Edit and delete news stories, either in the submit queue (if you have Approve News Permissions) or posted to the front page of the group. – Be careful, users with this power can delete news, don’t give this power to just anyone.


{{Section 2 Continues in next post}}




Navigation:
Section 1: General Group Information
Section 2: Group Tools (continues at beginning of section 3)
Section 3: Tips and Tricks



[Edited on 02.06.2009 11:33 AM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:24 PM PDT
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Posted by: YahwehFreak4evr
Another one of those extremely helpful topics/threads that won't really go anywhere due to lack of interest?
It can be useful as a page of reference for any new members.

Dammit, I did the same as him. Sorry =/
Just get a mod to delete our posts, it's cool with me.

[Edited on 02.04.2009 1:27 PM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:25 PM PDT
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Navigation:
Section 1: General Group Information
Section 2: Group Tools (continues at beginning of section 3)
Section 3: Tips and Tricks



Forums Permissions:
These permissions control a user's ability to interact in this group's forum.

Moderate Forum – Pin, lock and reveal threads in the group's private forums.
- Pin: See the groups Forum {Image}, if you look to the right there is a box titled “Pinned topics”. Any thread which is pinned, something which can be done by going into the thread and using the moderation tools, will end up to the right rather than in the main topic listing, this can be used for important threads or threads you don’t want to disappear or you want to unlock if they have auto-locked, see section 3:{Image}
- Lock: The ability to lock a thread means that a user can stop the thread from allowing posts unless it is reopened.
- Reveal: A banned user’s posts are all hidden from public view. Clicking this button allows a mod to see all the posts that are hidden on the page, this is done 'locally', when a mod refreshes the page they have to press reveal again so there is no issue of security.

Edit Other's Posts - Edit other user's posts in addition to their own.

Delete Posts - Delete other users' topics and individual posts. – Careful!

Temporary Blacklisting - Blacklist forum posters for short periods of time. – Users can blacklist any user without full control for 7 days.

Blacklist Members - Complete control over the blacklist for this group. – User can ban anyone unless they have full control for as long as they wish. They can, like admins remove bans or change bans using the “2. Blacklist Management - Manage your list of users to block from this group.” Admin tool.

Other Permissions:
These are permission bits that don't fall into any category.

Create Resource Entry - Create new entries in any of the resource repositories. – If you look under the Articles section seen on the homepage, you can have the option to create an article which is essentially a News Item which instead allows BB codes and acts more like a forum topic. These can be useful for storing information such as rank information and group allies. I generally use them so that non-members can view information without having to join.

Edit Any Resource Entry - Edit any resource entry visible to them (even if they did not create it). – Edit the above, be careful, back-up important files.

Assigning Security Roles:
Any user who can edit a users security role must go to the “Members” page, beside each member’s name an option will now be displayed “Edit” select this to assign users with different security roles.


===Section 3: Tips and Tricks===
Here posting images in the first page of a topic will be covered, linking to individual posts will be covered and unlocking an auto-locked thread will be covered.


1.) Posting Images on the First Page of a Topic:
Here’s a guide I wrote a few years ago, refined a little but the method is still the same as it was then.


As you are probably well aware the BB code for images is [img*] so on most forums you get the link to the image (I use Photobucket) and put [img*] image link [*/img] in order to make an image.

Unfortunately [img*] has been disabled on bungie.net so it instead does this:
[img*]link[/*img] without the * becomes - [image removed]

So... here is how you get around it. I'll do it in steps. A user who can do this needs the privilege: Post News Directly.

1. First of all you need to have the ability to post news directly in groups.
2. Create a new News Story; put the news story title as the title you want to use for the forum topic. See Section 2 for details on posting news-
3. In the summary text of the news story put the image url surrounded by the img tags.
4. Put whatever you want in the body box.
5. Now you'll have a list of who you want to see the story, I make sure nobody can usually so I don't clutter the frontpage with pointless news. I also delete the story at the end.
6. At the bottom is a tick-box ‘Display link to forums’ make sure you tick that.
7. Click submit and check the forums, there should be a new topic with a picture on the first post!

There is no way to post images anywhere except the first post in groups and this is a glitch also don’t edit the first post or the image will be removed.


2.) Linking to a Specific Post in Groups:

First you need this:
http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/{group number/quicklink}/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=
This is the forum link for posts in the group which can be retrieved by copying the url from one of the topics listed in the forum listings and then removing the numbers at the end.

Then you need the post ID, the easiest way to get this is from copying the link which is available on the reply link on the post although if the thread is locked you can always use the "message user" link for the same results. This is a random example used from the Group “Index”, if you’re not a member the links will not work, don’t worry though it works, you can trust me, I could see no other way of demoing, the group is open so if you really care about seeing it in action you can join to check ;-)

message user
reply

In both links you'll see this (the bit bold)
http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/258294/Forums/createpost.aspx?postID=28281335&act=reply
The section underlined is the part you need.

Once you have the number: 28281335
Get the original link: http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/258294/Forums/posts.aspx?postID =
and then add the number to the end: http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/258294/Forums/posts.aspx?postID =28281335

This works much in the same way in the public forums except "http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=" is used rather than "http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/{{{{Group ID here}}}}/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=".

Another thing you can also do is link to a post within a thread without opening a new window which may also be of use to you. Rather than using "http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/258294/Forums/posts.aspx? postID=28281335" you can instead use /fanclub/258294/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=28281335 as your link, it will avoid the post being opened in a new window. I did this by removing the "http://www.bungie.net".


3.) Unlocking Auto-Locked Thread

Threads automatically lock in groups, just like in public forums. Unfortunately using the “Unlock” moderation tool will not work because if the last post was over 30 days ago it will re-lock again right afterwards before you can post to prevent it from locking again.

The only way of getting round this is if you have the ability to pin threads. First pin the thread, and then unlock it. Because pinned threads do not auto-lock you will now be able to post without it relocking hence removing the “last post over 30 days ago” auto-locking barrier. Now unpin the thread and you’ll see it has been bumped back to the top of the forum.



Okay, well that’s my guide done. Please appreciate that there may be errors and I may have missed things out as I have spend a long time putting this together so I expect there are errors I never picked up. If there is anything you’d like to add, or change feel free to post in a constructive manner. I hope this helps some of you ;-)




Navigation:
Section 1: General Group Information
Section 2: Group Tools (continues at beginning of section 3)
Section 3: Tips and Tricks



[Edited on 02.06.2009 11:39 AM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:26 PM PDT

I have leaked images of your mother, Trebek!

~B.B.
I play League of Legends, you should too! | Win | Boycott DHL! |
~Scientia est potentia!~

This will be good for people who can actually read or take the time to read. I like it.

  • 02.04.2009 1:26 PM PDT

Posted by: Mr SnuggIy
So I think Jun's a master chef, because he takes off his helmet and your like whoa, I think he's a chef.

So to shorten this up, Jun is master chef.

Hmm. Good idea for a thread. However, it could use a bit more content. Still, this could definitely help people looking to make groups. It just depends on if they actually look at it haha.

Edit: Mkay, didn't see the other posts. I take back what I said.

[Edited on 02.04.2009 1:29 PM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:28 PM PDT

Very nice. You have a few errors with linking, and one where you bolded this:
[b]. Otherwise... looks good. Nice job.

  • 02.04.2009 1:30 PM PDT
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Wow, that's hella ambitious Tom.

Edit: Ok it's already been pointed out that some of the URL's are broken.

If I were you I'd try to get this locked and re-posted so that you'll get the top three posts. Get a mods permission and label the topic with "Work in progress so dont post, moderator approved" until you are done.

/Batz

[Edited on 02.05.2009 4:58 PM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:30 PM PDT

The Risk Is Worth The Reward.
Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Dogs Of War.

Great guide man. This will help anyone who is trying to start up their own group, very well done.

  • 02.04.2009 1:31 PM PDT

Average Joe l Youtube Channel l Twitter
Fools react, masters respond

~B.B.

Wow, that is a ton of information. Thanks for linking all the group themes, that will make things easier when it comes time to switch themes for a group. Nice work Tom.

~Hawk

  • 02.04.2009 1:32 PM PDT

The pretty pictures keep my attention. Good job man. Too many times have I been the victim of not knowing what banners look like what. This will help me save some time now.

  • 02.04.2009 1:35 PM PDT
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Thanks guys for the feedback do far, I think I've fixed everything.

Don't worry about replying mid-way, I've put in a navigation box so it shouldn't be a problem.


Posted by: hawkeye543
Wow, that is a ton of information. Thanks for linking all the group themes, that will make things easier when it comes time to switch themes for a group. Nice work Tom.

~Hawk
Some of the themes aren't listed as Ecartman did many of them before (20 of the 30) I just linked his old thread in my OP(s). It saved me a lot of work so I have him to thank!

EDIT: I'm going to be logging off shortly, any issues please post them here, I'll check this thread tomorrow and make any necessary amendments.

[Edited on 02.04.2009 1:49 PM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:45 PM PDT

Posted by: Mr SnuggIy
So I think Jun's a master chef, because he takes off his helmet and your like whoa, I think he's a chef.

So to shorten this up, Jun is master chef.

Posted by: TOM T 117
]Some of the themes aren't listed as Ecartman did many of them before (20 of the 30) I just linked his old thread in my OP(s). It saved me a lot of work so I have him to thank!

EDIT: I'm going to be logging off shortly, any issues please post them here, I'll check this thread tomorrow and make any necessary amendments.
Fix that link. The one to Ecartman's post. Do it with haste, too, or I'll be forced to give you thirty lashes.

  • 02.04.2009 1:50 PM PDT
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Posted by: WhiffleBallTony
Posted by: TOM T 117
]Some of the themes aren't listed as Ecartman did many of them before (20 of the 30) I just linked his old thread in my OP(s). It saved me a lot of work so I have him to thank!

EDIT: I'm going to be logging off shortly, any issues please post them here, I'll check this thread tomorrow and make any necessary amendments.
Fix that link. The one to Ecartman's post. Do it with haste, too, or I'll be forced to give you thirty lashes.
Ha, fixed. I break links too frequently...

  • 02.04.2009 1:55 PM PDT

Posted by: Mr SnuggIy
So I think Jun's a master chef, because he takes off his helmet and your like whoa, I think he's a chef.

So to shorten this up, Jun is master chef.

Posted by: TOM T 117
Ha, fixed. I break links too frequently...
Damn straight you do. You need to work on that.

  • 02.04.2009 1:56 PM PDT
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Posted by: heyyou9974
Posted by: TOM T 117



1. The Classifieds Forum: This forum is quite inactive and won’t gather a large amount of members


I disagree with you. That Forum is not inactive, It goes through alot of pages. And ive gotten most of my 190 members from the classifieds. So that is false information
I never said it was completely inactive. Read it again, the word 'quite' softens the blow. There is activity but you'd hardly say it was active when comparing it with other public forums.

[Edited on 02.04.2009 1:57 PM PST]

  • 02.04.2009 1:57 PM PDT
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The End

‘The conscious is cancerous if allowed to linger’

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Posted by: WhiffleBallTony
Posted by: TOM T 117
Ha, fixed. I break links too frequently...
Damn straight you do. You need to work on that.
I did the post in Microsoft word so it automatically put in spaces when I copied links. I thought I'd smoothed them all out. Hopefully that's it now!

  • 02.04.2009 1:58 PM PDT

The Classifieds are more of a "look and join the group", rather than a "post in it" forum. But technically, it isn't active. Technicalities for the win. :)

  • 02.04.2009 1:59 PM PDT
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Awesome write up, I'll be sure to use it when I make a group.

  • 02.04.2009 2:06 PM PDT

Posted by: Mr SnuggIy
So I think Jun's a master chef, because he takes off his helmet and your like whoa, I think he's a chef.

So to shorten this up, Jun is master chef.

Posted by: TOM T 117
Posted by: WhiffleBallTony
Posted by: TOM T 117
Ha, fixed. I break links too frequently...
Damn straight you do. You need to work on that.
I did the post in Microsoft word so it automatically put in spaces when I copied links. I thought I'd smoothed them all out. Hopefully that's it now!
Well, I enjoy verbally abusing you and blaming everything on you, so whatever.

  • 02.04.2009 2:23 PM PDT

AV=http://avatar.coolclip.ru/albums/Avatars/Avatars%2090x90/A vatars_90x90_022.gif
BG=http://avatar.coolclip.ru/albums/Avatars/Avatars%2090x90/A vatars_90x90_022.gif

I declare win, Tom.

  • 02.04.2009 2:51 PM PDT

My spoon isn't the only thing that's too big

This is a pretty helpful guide. Sticky worthy? Maybe, but I think it should displace "The Screw" as a top forum topic at least. It's helpful, after all.

  • 02.04.2009 10:16 PM PDT

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. And it is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves the flag, whose coffin is draped in the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag.Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC

I appreciate the effort you put in to making this guide.

  • 02.04.2009 10:20 PM PDT

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