Local Groups pilot

Continuing the discussion from Creating sub-categories at OKI Discuss in our local languages/groups:

We’re ready to start testing out some functionality here and will use this space to maintain an open conversation about the process.

We’re going to run this pilot with the following groups:

Brazil with @everton137
Spain with @ignasialcalde and @conchacatalan (cc: @alberto_abella)
Australia with @Stephen and @Starl3n
Nepal with @nikeshbalami
South Korea with @jgkim
Sweden with @mattias

To prepare I’ve done a few things that you need to be aware of:

  • You’ve all been granted ‘moderator’ status/privileges
  • You all now have a category set up as a home for your Local Group’s discussion, they are all sub-categories here: Local Groups - Open Knowledge Forums
  • You’ve all been added to the Local Coordinator Discourse group. This is tied to a badge that you should receive at some point in the next 24 hours (they are processed once a day).
  • I’ve set up Discourse groups for each of your local groups. (* note that these are not visible unless you have admin status, which some of you do, but generally you won’t need access to manage this process. We may have to revisit these permissions later, but for now we should be ok.)
  • I’ve set up Badges for each Local Group. They are visible here: Open Knowledge Forums Ultimately, this page will allow people to browse our Local and Working groups and discover the members in each.

Let’s get to filling up the groups with your members!

We will do this by using the bulk invite feature as described here:

This is what I need from you all:

  1. Post a welcome topic to your local group category. It can say whatever you like. Here’s a couple good examples: Fórum da Open Knowledge Brasil or
    About the Australia category

  2. Generate a .csv file per the bulk invite instructions above. One member email address per line. You can export all of your member email addresses from your existing Mailman lists or just invite a smaller subset of your members to the forum. If you need help doing this, let me know.

  3. For the second column you need the group name:
    Brazil is “okbr”
    Spain is “okes”
    Australia is “okau”
    Nepal is “oknp”
    South Korea is “okkr”
    Sweden is “okse”

  4. For the third column you need the ID number of the topic/thread you created in step 1 above. For the Brazilian example I used that number is “995” as you can see at the end of the url.

  5. Once you are confident you have a clean CSV file, follow the instructions above to send a bulk invitation.

If all goes well, this is what will happen:

  • Each person on your list will be sent an invitation email, once they click the confirmation link they will have an account on the forum (It would be good to encourage them to fill out their profile in more detail somewhere in your welcome message!)

  • Each member will be added to your corresponding Discourse group and be assigned the Local Group badge that goes with it.

  • Once a member clicks the confirmation link, they will be directed to your welcome message thread, so be sure to make it welcoming!

A couple of important notes:

  • I am out of the office on Friday August 28. It might be best to wait until next week to trial this process, but feel free to go ahead. @danfowler is also available should you need technical assistance.

  • The badge icons are generic for the time being. The local group logos as they are designed don’t show up very well at the size they need to be for badge icons. We are working on a better solution, stay tuned.

  • It’s up to you, but it’s our hope that this forum can largely replace your mailman lists as the primary tool for group discussion. As of now, there is no ability to reply to notifications via email but we are working on that and hope to have it in place within the next two weeks. If there is other functionality that you would need to make this a reality please let us know.

  • We have encountered a few bugs in this process and generally have found the discourse documentation to be a bit lacking. Please let me know if you encounter technical difficulties.

  • For now, this is the best method to assign people to groups and get them properly badged. We are working on a method to automate this and make it possible for any user to request membership in your group and the corresponding badge.

Thank you for your willingness to try this out! Please post your feedback and questions here so we can work through this together and benefit from each others experiences



Thanks @nealbastek. I’ve used the bulk upload before but didn’t know about the second and third columns. For others, the invitation looks like this - it would be nice to add a personal message in the future.

Just to confirm, Australians that are already on the forum will need to request membership to the group later using a yet to be implemented function? If so, how can we easily identify those people and message them in bulk to bring them into the group? I think we’ll need something like the /users page but with a column to sort/filter by country.

Is it possible to change the user who posted the About topic? Currently we have @everton137 - I’m thinking this should be our local chairperson.

I’ve added a local logo to our category and look forward to improved badging and icons.

@Starl3n, I’ll leave preparing the CSV to you as you have better access to this information.

Another thought, It would be good to distinguish between internal and external links. Our Australian About topic is full of external links that will send people away as soon as they arrive!

Only Admin can use “Bulk invites from file” features, It doesn’t appears on my invite page. what can I do now, I had invited some members by sending one one invites to them. How can I grant them OK Nepal badges.

Just worked out how to change ownership of a topic. @Starl3n is their any particular Open Knowledge Australia Board member you’d liked added to the About topic (assuming @everton137 you don’t mind)?

Here’s how to change ownership…

Select the topic

Press change ownership

Add the new owner and then, press change ownership.

Sure I don’t mind. :stuck_out_tongue: I tried to discover how to do that, but since it took more than 5 minutes, I gave up. Thanks for this!

Agree on the personal message, noted.

We are looking into a solution to add existing forum users to a group/badge. There are supposed to be ‘request this badge’ buttons showing up on each badge page and they are not. Hoping a software upgrade squashes that bug.

Thanks @everton137 for fixing the category parent. Those posts should always be authored by someone from the Local group.

Noted on the internal vs. external links.

Also, filtering by country (and other key fields) is in the works for the /users page.

It was not me who fixed it. I don’t know yet how to change the post owner. :smile:

Apologies about the admin only situation on bulk invites. We’ll figure out how to work around that. If you (or anyone) would like, send me your csv file and I can process the invitations.

We’re working on the badge requesting functionality and hope to have that resolved this week.

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Ack, looks like that was @Stephen, thank you!, was reading too fast…

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@Stephen Could you also help me change the ownership of the About topic of the South Korean Local Group? I cannot see “change ownership” button in the box.

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@jgkim you are now the owner of the South Korea category About topic.

Confirmed. Thank you, @Stephen! :slight_smile:

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its okay, I had already invited them one by one through personal email and some of them had already joined the discussion list too. now all we need to fixed it that badge requesting function!!

We’re working diligently on the badge requesting functionality and hope to have it sorted this week. A recent release of Discourse stripped out some of the badging features, but they are back as of an update yesterday and we should be able to figure out a reasonable process soon.

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@Starl3n another thing we need to consider is what privacy laws apply and what permissions have been given by Open Knowledge Australia members. It may not be appropriate to use their emails in this system without permission.

kk- i’ll check the mailman signup process for the OKFNau list people would have used. But generally the fallback will be to repeatedly ask people via that list to jump over to the discussion here :slight_smile:

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Hello Neal,
Can you please change @ccgbcn to @conchacatalan here?
Thanks, Concha

@conchacatalan, I updated the username in the topic. (cc: @nealbastek)

thanks! :slight_smile:
don’t know how to copy @nealbastek :confused:

Hello all.

We got a bit hung up with the first script and have come up with a different approach.

The group functionality that is built into Discuss isn’t very mature and requires central admin control which we would like to avoid as much as possible.

We’ve taken a different approach and are testing out a new badging script. We’ll have this for you all to test early next week.

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