Moderating your Hylo Group
The purpose of this guide is to support community organizers and stewards in maintaining a thriving online presence for their groups/communities.
This is our top advice for a thriving group: An online community is just like a garden -- it needs care and attention to thrive. Hylo is designed to help you build engagement and collaboration in your community. However, if you've never built a community online before, it can seem daunting. That being said, by engaging in a few simple activities regularly, your group can thrive and collectively take action together toward your goals
Moderators are community organizers or group leaders who are the visionaries of the community. They determine its mission, vision, and values and set the ‘container’ or dynamics of the group. They serve as group stewards, responsible for maintaining this container as outlined by group leaders, for safety, clarity of purpose, and meaningful collaboration.
The role of a moderator expands beyond group administration, as they facilitate cooperation, and serve as guides or examples of good behavior. They moderate content, welcome new members, build engagement, and provide feedback to users to promote positive interactions between members of the online community. In addition, they are responsible for handling content that is flagged as inappropriate and upholding group guidelines.
Community organizers and moderators can be distinct roles within a group or be served by the same individual.
See a list of moderator admin privileges HERE.
There are multiple ways to create a group on Hylo!
You can navigate to the Group Menu button by clicking on the three vertical lines in the upper left corner of your screen. From there, you will see a button for “Start a Group”.
Alternatively, you can click on the “Create” icon on the left panel and click “Group”.
Establish your Group’s Name. Hylo will automatically populate a unique link using the name you establish.
Hylo has two dimensions as it relates to privacy.
Who do you want to see your group?
- Protected - Only members of the group or parent groups can see this group.
- Hidden - Only members of this group or direct child groups can see the group.
- Public - Anyone can find and see that this group exists and their About page. If a group is tagged as public, it will show up on the public map. Note: While the user can see this group, their ability to join depends on the access settings. (see accessibility)
Who can join your groups?
You can edit your privacy settings down the road by navigating to Group Settings --> Privacy & Access.
Once your group is created, navigate to the right side of the screen and click “Group Settings” to customize your group.
Click the small image icon on the top left of the banner image or the bottom of the logo image. This is a great way to customize the look of your Group.
Select a file from your computer, paste a link to an online image, take a picture with your computer's webcam, or upload a picture from Facebook, Instagram, or google drive. Click "Save changes" to apply your edits.
Keep in mind chosen files must be under 6 MB
Enter a description or intention statement for your community. This will give users a clear sense of why they are coming together.
Moderators can include a YouTube or Vimeo link to embed a video on the Group's about page.
After you type the location, ensure you click on the correct location from the dropdown. If you are a virtual group, you can skip this step.
Moderators can adjust their location privacy/obfuscate their location on the map. Options are:
- Precise (show exact location)
- Near (show location offset by a slight amount)
- Region (don't show a location on the map at all, shows only city, region & country).
Group moderators can specify the nouns that are specific to their operation, so that the UI for their farm can specify that they are a “Ranch” led by a “Ranch Manager”.
What is your group’s purpose? Are there relevant skills or interests you want to know about members? This is a section to share the skills and interests most relevant to your group. You can require that new members fill out their skills and interests so you can get to know each other better.
Custom Views allows moderators to add custom links or filtered post views to their group's navigation.
- 1.Determine your custom view
- 2.Select the Icon for this view
- 3.Label this view
- 4.Determine the View Type. You can chose: - External Links - Posts - Card View - Posts - List View - Posts - Big Grid View - Posts - Small Grid View
- 5.If the View is an External Link, insert the URL
- 6.Click Save Changes
Group stewards can collate specific posts into a Collection that they can name and add to the group’s main navigation. To create a collection, navigate to Custom Views in your group settings and under Type, select Collection.
You can then search for particular posts within your Group to add to this Collection.
Moderators can draw a geospatial shape/polygon to indicate the bounds of their land or operation on the map. Keep in mind, the shape you draw will only show on the map if a location has been set! 1. Set the location of your land 2. Click on the pencil icon in the upper left corner and begin drawing the boundaries of your land by clicking on the bound and moving the cursor around the border and continuing the click on the map until the shape is drawn 3. Once the shape is drawn, double-click to set the boundaries 4. Click Save Changes 5. To edit your shape, click on the shape and click the X on the left side of the map
This is where you can change the permissions of who’s an admin or moderator in your community and add/remove moderators. Note, moderators need to first be a member of your group before they can be granted moderator status. See Inviting members to your group.
If you are a restricted group, you can set Join Questions for users to answer prior to joining your group, which you can set to be required. What do you want to know about users before they join? These can serve as a screening process for your group.
Note: Join Questions do not show up for users invited to the group through Hylo. They are only accessible if a user organically finds the group OR if they click on the unique join link.
Prerequisite groups are “parent” groups that if selected, users must join prior to joining your group.
- Only parent groups can be added as prerequisite groups
- If you select a prerequisite group with hidden or protected visibility, only members of those groups will be able to see your groups.
- Caution! With these settings, people who find your group will not be able to see the prerequisite group.
- Prerequisite groups are part of Hylo’s group nesting feature.
Topics are specific tags to curate the conversations in your group. They are similar to hashtags on twitter and help organize Posts so everyone stays notified on content they care about. Group members can follow a Topic and they will get notified when there is a new post on that Topic.
Moderators can create set default topics for their group, which will be suggested first when members create a post. These topics can be relevant to your group or your group’s purpose.
In this section you will find a list of every topic that has been created by members of your group. You can search the list of topics and filter them by popularity.
Users can add any topic to their post, though moderators can edit the visibility.
- Visible: These topics will be seen by community members in the left nav panel.
- Pinned: pin topics to the top of the list to ensure users pay attention to posts in these topics
- Hidden: hide topics that you prefer members of your group don’t use
To invite new members to your group, click "Invite people" on the right hand side just below the members list. Or click the "Group Settings" button just above the members list, then click invite.
Here you have two options. A shareable link that can be copied and shared through any platform, and a private invite by email.
The join ink can be copied and sent in any shape and form, and anyone with this link will be able to join your group.
NOTE: If his link has reached people by accident, you can reset this link by clicking "Reset Link" and the previous one will no longer be functional.
To send a private email invite, type or paste the desired recipients’ email(s) into the text box labeled "Type Email Addresses". In the next section below you can personalize a message that will be sent along with your invite. You can share your group’s intention or purpose in this personalized message.
Then click "Send Invite". Once the link has been clicked by the recipient, it is immediately retired.
At the bottom of the screen, you can see currently pending invites for the community, which you can choose to resend or expire.
At the bottom of the screen, you can see currently pending invites for the community, which you can choose to resend or expire.
Users who request to join your group will show up here. Moderators will also receive a notification when a user requests to join their group.
Is your group collaborating with other groups? This is the place to set up those connections.
- Parent Groups are groups that your group is a part of.
- You have the option to select a Parent group as a Prerequisite for joining your group, which means that prospective members will need to join that group before joining this one.
- Child Groups are sub-groups.
Users will be able to see these related groups under the “Groups” section in the left side panel along with their visibility and accessibility settings.
Moderators have the option of exporting member data as a CSV file. The data will be emailed directly to the Moderator.
If you delete this group, it will no longer be visible to you or any of the members. All posts will also be deleted.
Moderators can access Group Settings anytime by clicking on the “Group Settings” button on the right side of your group, above the Members list.
Moderators have the ability to Flag, Pin, and Delete a post from Hylo. Click on the three vertical dots icon in the upper right corner to access these options.
Moderators can flag a post if it is spam, inappropriate or offensive, illegal, or for other reasons. Flagging a post brings it to the attention of other Moderators via direct message.
Pinning a post is a way to highlight a post by pushing it to the top of the stream.
Remove a post from Hylo. This deletes all subsequent comments as well.
The Explore page is a centralized view of all group activity in one place. Explore helps members discover what’s most alive in their community. You can access the explore page using the binocular icon in the left side panel.
Moderators have the ability to turn on/off visibility on any of the above areas. For example, say you only want to display a welcome message and recently active members. Navigate to the sections you want to make invisible and click on the three vertical dots in order to toggle the visibility.
The Welcome Message is a great way to make group members feel at home. Edit the welcome message by clicking on the three vertical dots in the upper right → Edit welcome message.
Curate the message with a little something about your Group, relevant links, etc!
Moderators can create an Announcement via a post by clicking on the megaphone icon in the bottom left corner of the post. An announcement sends an immediate push notification and email to all members about the post. Announcements are a great way to send a message to all members of your Group.
Moderators have the ability to remove members from their group. To do so, click the "Members" button on the right side, identify the desired individual, click the three vertical dots on the top right of their profile, click "Remove" and then "OK".
Hylo is designed to help you build engagement and collaboration in your community. However, if you've never built a community online before, it can seem daunting.
That being said, by engaging in a few simple habits, your group can thrive and collectively take action together toward your goals.
Moderators are an essential part of building engagement in your Group. In an ideal case, moderators will have created a plan prior to starting a group to set a culture of how your group will operate.
In the beginning, it can be helpful to coordinate with your other group admins to make a plan for posting and commenting to build interactions.
Your group admin team may want to commit to a posting schedule to ensure that content is regularly posted onto Hylo! Create a content plan and assign dates to specific posts to be posted in the future.
An essential part of creating engagement is commenting on posts. Model this behavior by commenting on posts created by other individuals.
You and your champions will model the types of activity that you want to see: If you want people sharing links, then share links, if you want people to be posting Requests, post Requests. You will be setting the initial culture by how you and this small group posts and responds to each other.
Rather than inviting people to an empty Group, build up some content in your group with other moderators. Create various types of posts, comment on posts, and create conversations on Hylo! When users join, they will see the engagement already existing within your group and be inspired to follow suit.
To build engagement, set aside at least 20 minutes a day to create new posts, welcome new members, invite your champions to post, and respond to other members' posts.
A rule of thumb for building engagement is that every new post should get a comment from you, or one of your members, even if it’s just a request for clarification. People generally post hoping to get responses, and if they don’t get responses, they usually won’t stick around for long.
Topics are a feature moderators (and users) can use to build collaboration within a group. Topics are similar to hashtags on Twitter and are a way to organize specific areas of content. Moderators can create topics for geographic areas in your group, interest areas, for announcements, and more.
Tips for engagement:
- Host an onboarding webinar to Hylo by creating an event. Share why you want people to engage and review some of the features of Hylo.
- Ask questions within your group… e.g.: “What are your favorite podcasts?” or “What are articles we should share with new members?” This could be relevant to your group’s purpose. Asking questions gives members an opportunity to share their knowledge and contribute!
- Have your moderators commit to a posting schedule.
Create Custom Views
We recommend mapping out your network structure prior to setting up your groups on Hylo, though parent groups and sub-groups can be added at any point.
- More powerful events: Public event pages, ticket sales, event production tools
- Collective Governance Tools: Polls, voting, and decision-making systems
- Ecosystem Mapping: Making visible relationships between communities, projects, and participants
- Project Management Tools: Roles, tasks, assignments, goals
- Wiki / Content directory: Collaboratively editable pages for your community group
- Financial Solidarity Tools: Co-budgeting, crowdfunding, and loan pools
- Community Onboarding Tools: Community design support and onboarding wizard
- Learning Platform: Educational courses with subscription fees, modules, quizzes, etc.
- API / Data Interoperability