About 6-7 years ago, we lived in a great ward in Columbus, OH.   I was introduced to the concept of a yahoo group.  The women from church were a great resource to each other.  With the click of an e-mail, one could offer a no longer needed couch, ask advice etc. to all the women from church at the same time.  We only lived in that ward for one year.  After moving to another area of town, I dearly missed having so many resources at my fingertips, so I started a yahoo group.  The same thing happened.  It became a great resource for everyone.  The women from church were able to help each other.  New people were able to glean information from those more seasoned.  It was amazing!  Over the years, with all of our moves, I have started several of these groups.  It seems that everywhere we roam, we meet friends who finish school, finish residencies etc. and then move away.  Oftentimes, they’ll leave and miss having a yahoo group-to ask questions to several people at one time, or share a good deal, or share an event.  I’ve  been asked more than one time how to start a yahoo group.  So, I’m posting this as a reference for myself (if anyone asks me this again…it’s already typed) and for anyone else who ever wondered how to do it. 

First:  Why Yahoo instead of a google group or other group?  I started a google group while in AZ just to see what it could do.  Things might have changed since looking into this, but at the time, my google group could not do polls, or links, or some of the features I really like about the yahoo group so I’ve stuck with yahoo!  

Starting a yahoo group 101

Go to www.yahoo.com

Scroll down on the left hand side of the page.  Click on more yahoo sites.  You should see an alphabetical list of all the things yahoo has to offer.  Click on groups.  Just under a search yahoo groups box is a create a yahoo group is as easy as 1-2-3 and you will click on start your group.  You’ll log in with your yahoo account.  You’ll select a category.  I think I chose family and home, clicked on family again and then individual families.  There’s an icon that says place my group here.  On the next page, you’ll choose your group name and write the description of the group.  This is the description of what we have on plattewoodspostings: 

 

This is a great place to where you can have the whole ward at your fingertips without having to make 15 phone calls! It is an appropriate place to post things including but not limited to:

– Notices about church events, upcoming lessons, etc.
– Notices about upcoming community things like festivals, U-pick farms, discounts on museums, etc.
– Requests and offers for service (including giveaways).
– Introductions of new move-ins and move-outs, announcements of babies and other good news
– Recommendations for local services (good OB or pediatrician, dentist, babysitter, etc.)

This group, however, has no official connection with the church Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To find official ward/church information, please visit www.lds.org!

You are welcome to copy any or all of this.  I would recommend emphasizing that there isn’t an official connection with the church.

So, your next page, you will set up your settings.  I have everything going to my gmail account.  Then you’ll just type the code word.   From here you can customize it which I’d recommend.  I’d recommend it to be private-you will have to accept people joining the group and not just anyone can get on.  I’d recommend that you have it in the directory-it makes it so people can come in the back way if for some reason they can’t figure out the invitation you can help them.  I’d make it so people can join only with approval though.  There are weird people on the internet.  I like the default-only members can post—it makes sense.  I don’t have to approve messages before they are sent.  I would feel that I was censoring the messages and discouraging people to post.  Usually problems with inappropriate posting are addressed individually.  I like to keep that open.  (It was closed in an existing group in AZ where the moderator had to approve all messages an NOONE used it).  I do the default on messages going to all members and members have capacity to use polls etc.  I keep all the default settings on the next page.  Then you’ll want to start inviting people.  One of the things that I do in the beginning (which may seem weird) is that I invite myself in a different e-mail address (or use John’s) so that I can see EXACTLY what the person I’ve invited to my group receives and I can then talk them through joining etc if there is a problem.  You can invite up to 49 people/day. 

When you first start the group, it’s good to put out conversation starters to get people to see the utility of it and want to start using it.  (even if you are asking things you already know). 

Some other things that you can do as the moderator/member:

On the home page, left hand side, you can add a link.  Sometimes it’s nice to do this (again just to show people that it’s cool…post the link of your favorite cooking blog).

Click on management (bottom left).  Under group settings (box on the right)….click on memberships:  I have it set up to send the following letter automatically when people join the group: (again if you want to copy this you are welcome to) which allows the new members to understand how to use the group.

Welcome to the plattewoodspostings group!

 You’re set to connect with other members of the ward.

 The simplest way to use the group is to use it like an email address.  You can post to the entire group by sending an email to plattewoodspostings@yahoogroups.com . If you reply to any message you receive from this email address your message is sent to the group.

 Alternatively, you can log on to the actual group page by going to yahoo.com, clicking on “my groups”, and signing in.  You should see the plattewoodspostings group on the left.  Once logged into the actual site you can send emails to individual members by clicking on the envelope underneath their name.  You can also look at past posts in the website (some of which may be helpful to new members of the ward as they contain answers to questions about where to find this or that in Kansas City).

 You have the ability to choose whether to receive individual emails each time someone posts to the group, to receive only a once daily update including all the messages posted to the group that day, or to receive no emails and simply log on to the website each time you want to read posted messages. The default setting is to receive an email each time someone posts, which is the setting most people choose.  (At current posting volume-generally, you won’t receive more 3 e-mails/day)

 If you have any trouble getting onto the site, logging in, navigating or another questions, please feel free to e-mail me (camillecraw@gmail.com) or call at 816-200-0298 with questions.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Camille

You can look (also from the management page) at your group activity.

 One last thing that might be helpful while building up your group is adding other moderators.  You can change someone to a moderator by clicking on members (again from the home page—same place that you can send an individual emails from).  Underneath each member name is an edit membership icon.  You’ll click on that and scroll near the bottom of the page.  You’ll click on change to moderator and then you’ll be given a list of moderator privileges.  I like to do most of the moderating for my group so about the only privilege I give them is to invite others to the group. 

 So, in a nutshell—this is how you start a yahoo group.  It’s pretty simple to do, but as you know can be super resourceful (especially for newbies).  If you ever decide to do this and have questions please let me know.

 Camille

 

 

Advertisements