The purpose of this admin guide is to tell you all you need to know in order to administrate the forum members and structure to match your needs. As forums.group handles the initial setup, updates and backups for you, we have left out instructions on how to do that in this guide. It is to be read in addition to the User Guide and Moderator Guide in order to complete your training so that your group works well on forums.group.
This section contains detailed articles elaborating on some of the common issues forum users encounter while using the product. If you do not find the answer to your question here, we recommend looking through the Support Section as well as using the Site Wide Search.
To those experienced in using phpBB forums, you will notice that on our admin pages, a number of commands are missing. That is because this platform is aimed at YahooGroup owners who are already feeling overwhelmed by moving to a different platform. We have therefore simplified the administration for them so their learning curve is not so high. We handle the setting up and managment of the deeper aspects of running the forum so that our system is easier to understand to those used to the simple menu structure of a YahooGroup, for example. We have therefore hidden those commands that they do not need to run their forum. As a managed system, we handle the technical issues for them.
A Special Message to those looking to migrate here from YahooGroups.
We understand that the thought of changing from the familiar YahooGroups platform to a different system may seem daunting at first, so that is why we have put a lot of effort into creating these online instructions with the YahooGroups moderator in mind. We think that once you have spent a little time reading through this manual, you will discover that it is not that different and where it differs, it is due to it being better and well thought out. We are using the well-established phpBB forum platform which is open source and has been developed by the people that use it. It is well proven and stable and forums.group is here to handle all the technical background issues. Let us migrate your YahooGroup for you and while we are doing that, read through this Admin Guide, the Moderator Guide and the User Guide and you will then better understand why we choose this platform. Our team had their own YahooGroups and forums and therefore fully understand where you are coming from. We designed Forums.Group especially as a replacement for YahooGroups and are now the ONLY platform capable of bringing your online archives back to life. If you want to see a real group that has already been migrated from YahooGroups, click here and have a look. It will give you a good impression of what we can do for your group.
Many of you will have moved here from YahooGroups, so let us first point out the differences in regard to moderation.
Differences in Administering a Yahoo Group and Forums.Group!
A mailing list, like YahooGroups, (referred to as 'groups' from here on) is a reasonably simple system. You sign up, and then you can send in your messages (a new topic or in reply to a message you have just received) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and providing you are a member, that message gets sent out to all the other members of the group. Before things started to change, you also had the option of writing those messages on the group's website as well where you could also read all the past messages (often thousands of them) in one long unsorted list.
Each group had an owner/moderator that was in control of the group and was able to control who joined the group and hold back incoming posts for approval before being sent out to the 'list'.
- Forums.group gives you much more control of the system than YahooGroups, yet there are a number of similarities:
- You can still decide who joins the forum and reject those you do not want to approve.
- You can moderate messages so that they are not seen before you approve them.
- Announcements can be made to the entire group. Additionally, topics can be "sticky" - that is messages that always appear at the top of the list.
- This new system adds catagories and forums instead of just one long unsorted list. This allows your group to hold many seperate discussions on a wide range of diverse topics.
- As messages can be clearly separated into related sections, it is much easier to find past discussions. Your members can find the answers to their questions much faster, if the topic has been dicussed in the past.
In addition, there are a number of additional controls available to make using the forum even better:
- Topics can be individually locked, so that no more posts can be made
- Whereas YahooGroups had just one long list of messages, forums.group lets you have a number of separate sections called "forums" where different aspects of a subject can be discussed.
- You have the abilty to give warnings to troublesome members, leave private notes on a member for other mods to see and even ban members who do not want to learn.
The administration of the forum is more about seting up the framework of your group and handling membership issues, handline the technical aspects, etc. As the forums.group platform is a centrally managed system, we handle a lot of the technical implementation and setting up for you, so that you can concentrate on your members and their messages. You do not have to be a technical genius, as we handle all the difficult stuff for you. There are however some aspects to administration where it makes sense for you as owner of your group, to be able to control yourself. This guide is designed to expalin all you need to run your group.
If you have a free-hosting group, you will only have limited administration access whereas premium members will be able to do much more. We explain the respective features, here.