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Groups

Overview

Google Groups is a service for the members of a group to collaborate via email and the group's posting webpage.  This page contains User Guidelines for working with Google Groups.

ORG-specific

The organization (ORG) has deployed this service in the following specific manner to address our requirements.
  • The names of our groups will start with "ORG-"

Getting Started

Prerequisites

It is NOT necessary to have a Google Account to join and participate as a member in a Google Group.  However you will be limited to email interactions, and will not have access to the website resources.  Note that other services that we host using Google Apps may have restricted access to their content with permission shared via group membership.  Therefore to access any such services (including a Google Group page), you must have a Google Account and must be logged into the account to access the content.  Refer to User Help -> Accounts for help with account options.

It will be typical for our groups to require that you be a group member in order to post messages.  If you would like to join a group follow the instructions below.

Initial Setup

How to join a Google Group

If you see a group listed on the organizations website and you want to join, you may do one of the following: 
  1. Join via email
    • Using your email account that you want to be in the group (n.b. you will have access to more services if this email is associated with a Google Account, but it's not mandatory), 
    • Send email to <group-name>+join@orgname.com inserting the particular group name for <group-name>. You’ll receive an email that you made this request, and the manager of the group will receive your request. 
    • When the manager accepts you into the group, you’ll receive an email. 
  2. Join via website (This method is available only to people with Google Accounts).
Note:  if you have one of our Google Apps accounts you can search our directory of groups at:  https://groups.google.com/a/orgname.com/forum/#!forumsearch/

Email Delivery Options

As a member of a Google Group you can select how you want group updates delivered:
  • All Email – Send an email for every new message 
  • Digest Email – Send combined updates (up to 25 in 1 email) 
  • Abridged Email – Send daily summaries – 1 message near the end of each day 
  • No Email – Don’t send email – You must go to the Groups web page to see updates (NOT recommended for groups in which you are active). 

Adjusting Memberships Later

Managing Memberships – you can manage your group membership settings (such as changing your email delivery option) centrally for several groups on these pages:
Or for a individual group, when you are on the group's webpage, select the My Setting (in the top right) and select 'Membership and email settings'.

How to Unsubscribe

If you would like to terminate your membership in a group, you may do this via email or from the group webpage.  To remove yourself from <xyz-group>:
  • Send email to: <xyz-group>+unsubscribe@<orgname>.com using the account that you use for your membership
  • for a individual group, when you are on the group's webpage, select the My Setting (in the top right) and select 'Leave this group'.
  • To work with multiple groups:  via the web, go to (for googlegroups.com)  https://groups.google.com/forum/#!memberships or for ORG:  https://groups.google.com/a/orgname.com/forum/#!memberships, identify the group, and click on the 'Manage Membership' link next to your name, a dialog box appears, select the 'Leave group' link located at the bottom of the dialog box.

Using

Some tips for participating in the Group.

Posting Messages

Depending on the settings for each Google Group, all members may be permitted to post messages to the group and reply to the entire group.  However, some groups may restrict the ability to post messages, limiting it to group managers.  Similarly the ability to reply to the entire group may also be restricted.

Posting via Email

To post via email, send a message to:  <group-name>@orgname.com.  Since most groups will require you to be a member to post a message, you will need to send the email from the account that you used to join the group.

Posting via Group Webpage

You can also post messages while visiting the Group webpage:
  • New Topic - you can start a new topic using the 'New Topic' button.
  • Reply - while you are reading posts, you can add your reply to that thread by clicking the 'Post Reply' button.

Google Groups Webpage

Each Google Group has a webpage that you may access when you are logged into your Google Account. To access Google Groups either: 
Note that a Google Group may also be embedded into another webpage.  The embedded gadget provides users with much of the same functionality as the Google Groups webpage.

Group Permissions

As a member of a group you are implicitly granted the group's permissions to access items (to which the group has been granted permission).  These can include: calendars, drive files, sites, and photo albums.

Calendar Invitations to Groups

Groups can be invited to Calendar events.
Key points:
  • This is done from Google Calendar on the 'Edit event' page using the 'Add Guests' section
  • When the group is added to the guest list, if the user has permission to see the group member list, the group address is expanded into a list of all group members.
  • When saving the event, the user has the option to send an invitation to all guests (and clicking yes sends an email with all calendar information)
  • Guests can respond Yes, No, Maybe and can add comments (like 'I will be 15 min late").
  • If the event is subsequently updated, the user has the option to send an email update to all guests.
  • When a guest receives the invitation, it gets added to their personal calendar (separate from them viewing the group's calendar)
  • Google Group Posts - while the calendar invitation gets emailed to all group members, it does not appear in the Google Group posting list (since Calendar expands the group name into a list of members and contacts the members directly).
Steps:
  1. Go to your Google Account's Google Calendar page
  2. Create or edit an event
  3. Enter the standard event information: subject, date/times, location, description (text and URLs), attachments (Google Drive or uploaded files)
  4. Add Guests - in the field enter the group's email address and click 'Add' and you'll see that the group address expands into a list of all members (this only occurs if the user has permission to view the group members).
  5. Guests can - in this section select the options you need. For open groups, you should probably check the 'See guest list' option at the minimum.
  6. Save and send invitation - click the event's 'Save' button and a 'Send Invitations' (or 'Send Update') dialog box appears, click 'Send' to send email.
The invitation email is delivered to each group member (regardless of their email delivery settings for the group) The event will appear on their personal calendar, immediately upon receipt, or upon accepting the invitation (depending on their calendar settings). When a member replies to the invitation 'Yes', 'No', or 'Maybe' and optional comments, that information is reflected in the calendar event.This calendar behavior is different than when a user is viewing a group calendar that they've added into their Google Calendar page.

Learn More

Note: Google Groups is typically deployed in a fairly basic configuration, however it can be targeted for predominantly email, predominantly websites, internal teams, Q & A sites, etc. There are many settings available to the group owner to tune the group's behavior.

Here are some links to Google Help and Learning for this service:
Additional Google Apps help and learning resources are listed on our Google Apps Help page.