Friday, April 20, 2007

Feature of the Week: Groups and Friends

If you have bookmarks and publications, that you want to share with specific people only, you can define them as being your friend (on the friends page). Then you can post selected bookmarks and publications to your friends only. On your friends page, you can see whom you have declared being a friend up to now. You will also see if others have declared you being their friend.

Groups extend this idea of collecting and/or sharing resources. There are two aspects of groups. First a group can be used for aggregating the entries of a specific group. An example is which collects all entries that are tagged with "myown" by at least one person of our research group, and which we use for generating our publication page Second you can restrict access to posts to your group. If you select a group when posting, only members of that particular group will be able to see that content.

The posts still belong to the original user. This means that if the user leaves the group, or cancels her account, the information gets lost for the group. In order to prevent the loss of group knowledge, posts can be automatically copied to one or more groups which the posting user is a member of by attaching the special tag "for:username" to the post. This causes the post to be copied automatically to the respective group, with an additional tag "from:username". This function is also useful if you need a mechanism for finally committing entries to someone else, eg as project deliverable, see (which is reused here) for an example.

For turning a normal user account into a group account, write an e-mail to . We will then make this user the group admin.

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