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Moderator Guide
The purpose of this guide is to support community organizers and stewards in creating and maintaining a thriving online presence for their groups/communities.

Definition of a Moderator

Community organizers or group leaders are the visionary of the community. They determine the mission, vision, and values of the group. They set the ‘container’ or dynamics of the group. Moderators are responsible for maintaining the container of the group based on the mission, vision, and values outlined by group leaders, for safety, clarity of purpose, and meaningful collaboration in their Hylo Group.
The role of a moderator expands beyond group administration, as they maintain the tone of the group, 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:

Identifying your Group

What is your Group’s Purpose?

Determine what your group’s purpose, values, and priorities are and consider creating a mission statement outlining your community’s goals. This will be a central pillar of collaboration within your group, articulating the culture of your community, and the value of being a part of it.
Users will want to know
  • What is this community about?
  • What do I do here?
  • What is our common thread?
Identifying your mission, vision and values sets clear intentions for your group and can encourage members to join.
Community organizers can refer to this Spreadsheet to map out their Group structure, purpose, audience, etc. Mapping these aspects of your Group will assist greatly when creating Groups on Hylo. Consider making this process a collaborative effort with your group’s founding members.

Who will Steward your Group?

Group admins or moderators are an essential part of an online community. Identify early adopters who will help steward your group! Bring together the organizers and leaders to co-create the foundation of your group.
  • Who are the early adopters who will help steward your group?
  • Identify individuals who want to create engagement.
Once you identify these individuals, you can cooperatively create a plan for engagement.

Identify your Group’s Governance Model

How will your group members treat each other?
Communities need a set of guidelines and operating agreements so members know how to contribute, how decisions are made, and many other details. Some helpful guidance can be found here:
Community organizers and moderators should collaborate to identify a set of agreements for how a group will operate.

Map out your Group Ecosystem

A unique function of Hylo is the nested network structure, allowing groups to create a sophisticated network of groups that don’t exist in a vacuum. Groups can be nested in other groups, creating a larger network and ecosystem. Community creators can create unlimited nested groups and link these groups to other communities they are a part of.
What is the landscape of your group’s ecosystem?
  • How do different parts of your group connect and relate to each other?
  • Will you have affiliated groups?

Nested Groups

Hylo allows group creators to set up a nested group structure that reflects how your group is organized in real life. For example, you can set up a main group that contains several working groups as subgroups nested within the main “Parent” group.
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.

Create an Account with Hylo

Once you have mapped out your group structure and identified your early onboarders, you are ready to create your Group on Hylo! Note, You will need to have a personal Hylo account set up already. Refer to the User Guide to learn how to set up your user account.
Build out your own profile to serve as a model for others joining your group.

Create a Group on Hylo

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.

Choose your privacy settings

Hylo has two dimensions as it relates to privacy.

Group Visibility

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)

Group Accessibility

Who can join your groups?
  • Closed: This group is invitation only and is only visible to members of the Parent group.
  • Restricted: People can request to join this group and must be approved. Note: They can see the group image and description. (see Join Questions)
  • Open: Anyone who can see this group can automatically join it.
Is your Group a member of other Groups? A unique feature of Hylo is group nesting. Learn more about parent and child groups.

Customize your Group Settings

Once your group is created, navigate to the right side of the screen and click Group Settingsto customize your group.

Settings

Edit your logo and banner image

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

Create a Group Description

Enter a description or intention statement for your community. This will give users a clear sense of why they are coming together.

Add a Group Location

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.

Edit Group Visibility and Accessibility settings

Join Questions

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

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.

Relevant Skills or Interests

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.
Group Access Questions
You can set group Access Questions that another group is required to answer when they request to join this group. These are similar to Join Questions, but are for groups rather than users.

Adding Moderators

Moderators are an essential part of stewarding a group and can help manage a group’s operation on Hylo. See How will your Group be Stewarded?
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.
Moderators have admin privileges in your group. See List of Admin Privileges.

Topics

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.

Group Suggested Topics

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.

Topic List Editor

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
  • 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

Invite New Members

We Invite you to create some content in your group prior to inviting new members. See Building Engagement in your Group.
To invite new members to your group, click "Invite people" on the right hand side just below the members list. Or click the "Settings" button just above the members list, then click invite on the bottom left.
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.

Inviting by Email

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.

Pending Invites

At the bottom of the screen, you can see currently pending invites for the community, which you can choose to resend or expire.

Join Requests

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.

Related Groups

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. prerequisite groups.
  • 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.

Export Group Data

Moderators have the option of exporting member data as a CSV file. The data will be emailed directly to the Moderator.

Delete Your Group

If you delete this group, it will no longer be visible to you or any of the members. All posts will also be deleted.

Moderating Your Group

Moderators can access Group Settings anytime by clicking on the “Group Settings” button on the right side of your group, above the Members list.

Moderating Member Posts

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.

Flagging a Post

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

Pinning a post is a way to highlight a post by pushing it to the top of the stream.

Deleting a Post

Remove a post from Hylo. This deletes all subsequent comments as well.

Explore Page

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.
The explore page displays a welcome message, recent announcements, recent posts, open requests and offers, upcoming events, recently active projects, recently active members, and sub-groups.

Curate the Explore Page

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.

Welcome Message

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!

Creating Announcements

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.

Removing a person from 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".

Creating Group Engagement

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.

Help Group members feel at home

As Hylo is your group’s online home, there are ways you can curate landing page to feel more welcoming:
In addition, have moderators build out their profiles to serve as a model for others!

State your Group’s Intention and Guidelines

Remember your Group's purpose? It’s important to clearly state why your group is coming together.
It’s also important to state your Group’s guidelines and operating agreements, so members know how to contribute, how decisions are made, etc.
This content could be included in your Group description or your welcome message. You can include links in either of these areas to your website or other documentation you may have.

Create a plan for engagement

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.

Posting Schedule

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.

Commenting on Posts

An essential part of creating engagement is commenting on posts. Model this behavior by commenting on posts created by other individuals.

Model the behavior you want to see within your group

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.

Create content prior to inviting new members

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.

Building Engagement

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.

Utilizing Topics

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.
Group moderators can create Group Suggested Topics, which will be suggested first when members create a post.
Tips for engagement:
  • Share your mission statement as a post and pin it to the top of your stream! Invite your members to share their personal stake in the success of the group.
  • 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.

Appendix of Admin Privileges

Contribute to Hylo

Stay in conversation with us! Join the Building Hylo group on Hylo to stay up to date on bug fixes, new features, and the product journey. You can also contribute your suggestions within this group!

Upcoming Features

  • 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