Creating a Community

As you know, communities are a powerful tool for members in your site to connect with each other. Now that you know what a community can do, you need to learn the basics of how to build a community. In this article you will learn:

  • Community privacy settings
  • How to create a community
  • How to allow members to request communities
  • How to feature communities
  • How to promote community leaders

Community Privacy Settings

Before you can create your community, you will need to think through the privacy settings of your community. Communities have three privacy settings: public, private, and invite-only.

  • Public: Public communities can be seen by all members in a site and all information (about, members, discussions, events, and files) is visible as well. Any member is able to join a public community without approval. 
  • Private: Private communities can be seen by all members in a site, but the only public information available is the About section. Members may request to join a private community but must be approved by a site administrator or community leader.

How to Create a Community

  1. After logging in and landing in the admin side of your account, toggle to the Communities tab from the left-hand navigation bar to see the backend of all of the communities in your network. Then, click the "Create Community" button in the top right corner to begin creating a new community. 

  2. Update the community settings such as name and headline (short blurb or tagline for your community) then choose the community privacy setting. Finally, add a longer description to give members more information on your community and click “Save Changes” to create the community. 

  3. After you click Save Changes, your community will show up in the list of communities.

  4. If you click into the community and select the “View Community” button, you’ll go to the member side of your community. Here you will see what your members see when they view or join your community. Add a header image by choosing Change Image. This image will display on the Communities page, in the community itself, and in your community invitations. Once you save your image, you've created a new community!
    1. For best results with your image, follow these guidelines:
      1. Images should be approximately 1200 x 1200 px.
      2. Try to avoid using an image that has words or small graphics — photos work best
      3. Images will be used in a variety of sizes; sometimes square, sometimes wide. Select an image that can be cropped without losing all context.

Allowing members to request communities

As your network grows, members may want to create their own communities. While we always recommend seeding you network with communities ahead of launching to students and alumni, you aren't expected to create every community a member may want. Therefore, we've created a feature that gives members an easy way to request their own communities. The feature can be turned off if your team does not want to provide this option. Members can request a community by:

  1. Navigate to the Communities tab and click the + in the top right to Create a new community.

  2. Members will then add a name for their community, a headline (short blurb or tagline for your community), and choose a privacy setting. Finally, members should add a longer description to give other members more information about the community. Lastly, your member will click Create Community to request the community. 

  3. When a request for a new community comes in you will receive an email notification. click the link in the email to log back in and go to the Communities tab of your admin backend.

  4. The community that has been requested will show up in the Requested tab. Here you can review the details of the community that the member has submitted and make any changes. If you think the community is ready to be approved, you can click the Approve Community button in the green bar. If you don't want to approve the community (this may be because it is too close to something that already exists or it isn't an appropriate community topic), you can click Decline and the declined community will be moved to the Declined tab.

Once a community is approved, the member who created it will become a Community Leader for that community and will be able to edit it, invite members and moderate the community. 

Featuring a community

Communities are automatically sorted to show Featured Communities first in the communities tab. Featured communities will also appear in the recommended communities area on a member’s dashboard. Featuring communities is a great way to promote communities that you want the most members to see and join. To feature a community on your site:

  1. Go to your avatar in the top right-hand corner and click the drop-down arrow. Select View administration site to switch from the member-facing side to the admin side of your site. Then, go to the Communities tab and find a community you'd like to feature.
  2. Click into the community you want to feature and scroll down to the This Community is Featured toggle option below the Description box in the community's settings. Toggle this feature on and click save. 
  3. Once you've done this, navigate back to the member-facing site and go to the Explore tab. Your newly featured community will now show up here. You may feature up to 6 communities in your site.

How to promote community leaders

Community leaders have administrative access to the community they lead. Community leaders can suspend or approve members, edit the details of the community, and invite members. These members also have the responsibility of generating and leading discussions and sharing content in their community. Community leaders are signified by the blue check mark next to their name in the member side of communities. To promote a member to a community leader:

  1. Navigate to your community and head to the members tab of that community. 

  2. Find the member you wish to promote to a Community Leader. On the right side of their name, click the downward arrow to bring up a menu. Choose Promote to leader

  3. Once you have successfully promoted a member to a Community Leader you will see this green banner pop up in the top right corner of your site. 

  4. The member will have a check mark appear to the right of their name that indicates them as a Community Leader. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many communities should I have? When it comes to Wisr communities, we always believe less is more. Focus on having strong, well-led, and engaged communities. Most schools will have anywhere from 5-10 communities, with a few exceptions. If you are wondering how many communities you think would fit your site best, contact adminsupport@wisr.io and someone from our Customer Success Team would love to chat more with you about it.
  • How do I invite someone to communities? To learn more about community invitations, check out this article here.
  • How do I get notified? You will get a wrap-up email of all the different things happening in your communities. These will come anywhere from once a day to once a week, dependent on how much activity is going on in your community. To learn more about automatic notifications, head here.

Once you understand how to create your community, read our article on inviting members to your community.

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