[h2]About Social Groups[/h2]
Social groups allow forum members to create "clubs" to discuss topics of shared interest.  It gives members with similar interests a place to gather and share information in smaller groups.

Each group has its own dedicated group page.  The page includes a list of members in the group, a description, a dedicated forum, and a gallery.  All content in all Social Groups is publicly visible, but only group members may contribute content and participate.
[h2]Social Groups Rules[/h2]
The rules for the groups are the same as the rest of the site: the short version is "use common sense."  Act with respect towards fellow forum members. Remember, your posts are public and are visible to all other visitors to the site.  Your group may be moderated by site administrators if deemed inappropriate.

Rules Recap
  • Be polite.
  • In heated discussions, address the topic not the person. No personal attacks.
  • Religion, politics and sexual topics are not acceptable concepts  or content for groups.
The following types of groups will not be permitted:
  1. Hate groups
  2. Religious or political groups
  3. Sexual orientation groups
  4. Duplicate groups
  5. Spam, advertising, or other such groups
If you are an advertiser and are interested in participating on the site and in social groups, please contact us.

Example group ideas: Niche cuisines, food sensitivity such as gluten, techniques or equipment, regional groups, skill sets such as instructors are all good concepts for groups.
[h2]Creating A Social Group[/h2]
Certain members of the forum can create social groups.  (Admins such as Phatch or Nicko)

To create a social group,
  1. Navigate to the main Groups page.
  2. At the right side of the page, click the "Start Group" button.
  3. One the first page, give your group a name and set the membership type.  There are two types of Social Groups:
    • Open membership: anyone may join by clicking the join button.
    • Membership by approval: clicking the join button initiates a PM requesting membership that will be sent to the Group Lead for approval.
  4. The group page is now created.
  5. From the group page, you can add a description, upload a group image or photos to the gallery, and invite friends.
[h2]Joining A Social Group[/h2]
To join a social group,
  1. Navigate to the main Groups page.
  2. Locate the group you would like to join.
  3. At the top of the page, you will see the "Join Group" button.
  4. Click to join.
  5. If the group is open, you will automatically be added.  If the group requires approval, a message will be sent to the Group Lead.
After you've joined one or more Groups, they will appear on your profile page. When you tag Groups, they can be promoted as "Related Groups" in relevant areas of the site in the same way that Related Forum Threads and Related Articles appear on various pages.

You may leave a social group at any time.  When you are a member, the Join Group button will be replaced by a Leave Group button.
[h2]Group Leads[/h2]
Group Leads are the members responsible for the group; the member who creates a Group is the first Lead, but that person may appoint additional Group Leads.

What can a Group Lead do?
  • Receive join requests (for membership-by-approval groups) and approve/deny them.
  • Edit the Group description and change the group image.
  • Ban a member from the group, making it impossible for that member to re-join.  This does not affect the member's participation on the rest of the site.
  • Remove images from the shared gallery.
  • Send a PM to all group members at once.
  • Promote other members to Group Lead (there can be more than 1 lead in the same Group).
  • Demote him/herself to a regular Group member.
  • Change the name of the Group.
What can't a Group Lead do?
  • Demote another Lead back to a regular member.
  • Act as a moderator within the Group forum (e.g., delete/edit others' posts and threads, etc.).

Leads can't demote each other, but they may demote themselves.