Getting Started - Chat Groups

Getting Started - Chat Groups


Chat groups on are used to facilitate conversations on specific topics or among specific groups of users. Chat groups may be focused on a specific scientific discipline (e.g. physics), activities for a particular demographic group (e.g. middle-aged men experiencing their second childhood), recommendations for science fair projects, useful science resources (e.g. my favorite science YouTube videos), or whatever else you might find useful in your pursuit of science education.

Any member may start a chat group (see our Getting Started - Membership guide to learn how to sign up). Groups can be private (restricted to a specified list of users) or public (open to all visitors). The creator of the chat group is also the moderator, with authority to edit the group settings (visibility and guidelines), and manage membership.

Viewing chat groups

Selecting the CHAT GROUPS item in the top menu bar shows you a list of all public chat groups, and any private groups for which you are identified as a member. Click on a title to go to that particular chat group.

Posting a comment

If you have a account, you can participate in chat group discussions. Begin by logging in. To add your own comment to an existing group, use the "Add New Comment" form at the bottom of the chat group page, or click on the "reply" link to any previous comment.

Starting your own chat group

After you have logged in to your account, select the CHAT GROUPS item in the top menu bar and select "+add new chat group" at the bottom of the page, or simply go to ADD CONTENT in the user menu and select a "Chat Group". You'll be prompted to type in a descriptive title for your group, choose whether it is public or private, and write some guidelines for the group that identify the topic of discussion and/or the intended audience. It usually helps to be as specific as possible about your intentions for the discussion. Hit the save button at the bottom of the page to create your new group. It will now be listed along with other groups in the CHAT GROUPS menu. If at any time you wish to change any of the settings of the group, you can return to the edit page by selecting the "edit" tab at the top of the group page.

If you create a public chat group, all visitors to the site can view your group discussion, and all users can post comments. If you create a private group, you will need to specify a list of users who will have both viewing and posting privileges. Navigate to your chat group page and select the "Group" tab at the top of the page. Here you can manage the membership of the group, adding or deleting members. When adding a new member under "Add people" the user form will autocomplete with a list of account names that match the characters you have typed, making it easy to select the people you want to join the discussion.