The rest of this article describes how you could set up a Yahoo Group as a web portal for your neighborhood. Please note you could also use other such applications like Google or MSN groups and set up something very similar. This example is based on a real neighborhood portal that was set up using Yahoo Groups. This is intended to illustrate one possible way of using such an application to facilitate communication between people in a neighborhood. Depending on the needs of your NCW and other constraints that you may have, you may need to choose another way to implement this.
[This section is detailed and is only required for those who intend to setup the group and act as moderators. Others can skip this post and click here to go to the next part of the article.]
1. Create Your NCW Web Group
Let’s say you want to call your group The Cherry Lane NCW.
1.1) Go to the Yahoo Groups page
1.2) Click on Start your group.
1.3) Choose category (anything you find appropriate)
Suggested category: Cultures and Community -> Crime -> Crime Prevention
1.4) Click on Place my group here.
1.5) Group name: CherryLaneNcw
1.6) Email CherryLaneNcw@yahoogroups.com
1.7) Enter brief description.
1.8) Choose your Yahoo Profile and email address.
If the name is available, your group will be created. If not, try a different name.
2. Customize Your Group
2.1) Your group home page will be:
2.2) And the mailing list address will be:
2.3) Next click on Customize your group.
Read the description and click on Get started.
IMPORTANT: These options are critical to ensure privacy of the group.
2.3.1) Do you want the group to be listed in the Yahoo! Groups directory?
Choose No, make the group unlisted.
2.3.2) How can people join your group?
Choose People can join only with my approval.
2.3.3) Who can post messages to your group?
Choose Only group members. (Private discussion group)
2.3.4) Do you want to approve messages before they are delivered?
No, messages are delivered immediately (recommended choice)
2.3.5) Message replies should go to:
All group members (recommended choice)
2.3.6) Do you want to use group’s web features, such as photos, files, calendar and polls?
Yes, I want to use the group’s web features (recommended choice)
2.3.7) Who should the message archives be available to?
Choose All members can view archives.
Be sure not to choose Anyone can view archives.
2.3.8) Who should be able to access the following web features?
Choose Members all options except the following:
For this, you can choose Members or Moderators only (recommended), depending on your choice.
This decides who can send out invitations for get more people into the group.
This completes the customization of your new group for your NCW activities.
3. Invite Members
3.1) Click on Go to Group. This takes you to the home page.
3.2) Next invite members. Locate the Invite button on the left sidebar and click on it.
3.2.1) Enter email addresses of people you wish to invite in the box one per line and click on Submit Invite.
3.2.2) Review the invitation message carefully in the next window, edit if necessary, or click on Invite people.
3.3) At this point, you have created a new Yahoo group, customized it for NCW purposes, and have also sent out invitations for your neighbors to join.
You can now keep checking periodically to see if people have accepted your invitation.
As the people you have invited accept by clicking on Join the group button the email they receive, you will receive notifications. If you get the message that your approval is needed, accept it to let them join the group.
3.4) To view members who have joined, you can click on the Members button on the left sidebar. Click on Pending to check if anyone else is still awaiting your approval.
3.5) Once you have everyone signed up, you are ready to start using the group features.
[Next post in the series: Communicate.]