The Groups system has made it very easy for members of fandoms and mediums to come together, and whilst members are what makes a group work, sometimes smaller groups seem to lack the attention that the larger ones get. A small group can be just as fun and rewarding to be a member of as a large group.
This article has a couple of ideas for how to keep up interest in a smaller, more niche group. Some ideas may also be useful for medium to larger groups.
Making the group easy to navigate and understand can be done with thoughtful use of folders. In most groups the folder types are governed by the group content and purpose. The default folder in all groups is the 'Featured' folder; often this is used to showcase certain submissions rather than being the folder everything goes into. One can use the Featured folder to highlight a examples of what the group is about or to reward members who joined a group activity by featuring them. Adding thumbnails or 'SitBack' to the main group profile will showcase these deviations to existing and future members.
When starting out, think about the group folder structure; what would be the best way of dividing up the submissions? For example, a fanart group could be divided up into two different folder structures, character-based or medium-based. Having both at the same time may be confusing for members to choose where to submit their work. Clearly make the folder names descriptive and concise, add additional information blurbs into the folder descriptions to guide the members.
With a smaller group it is easy to redirect incorrectly selected folders; with fewer submissions it is often easier to move a submission manually than it is to decline and force the user to try again. If the group is rather small with a very small number of submissions, maybe have a 'submission' folder that is open and then move into the correct folder after accepting the submission.
Note: If the notification the member receives about group submission does not list the folder, often they will not know it has gone into the wrong folder.
Customising without being a Super Group
Often with a smaller group it is hard to get the funding to support being a Super Group. Members can still enjoy a group that does not have journal skins and lots of fancy widgets, however there are a few options available that may assist. A non-super group can display the Featured folder as the 'Gallery Folder' and one Custom Box.
The custom box, whilst it is not as customisable as on an individual profile, can use thumbnails, icons and dividers to add flair to the group profile.
Journal Skins are not available, however some clever custom box code can provide a simple background and content area. Whilst it does not have the features of a proper journal skin, it can add a little bit of distinction to the group. Like a custom box, don't forget that the background needs to be large enough to cover the entire journal content.
Countdowns are very useful, but alternatives are websites such as www.timeanddate.com/ where an off-site Countdown can be maintained and linked to.
PE: Profile Presentation: Tips and TricksProfile Presentation: Tips and Tricks
Your profile page can say quite a bit about what kind of person you are, and having a well-designed profile page will help ensure that your visitors leave with a good impression of you and your work. And if you do a remarkably fabulous job at designing your profile, people will not only be impressed, but they will also keep coming back to take another look. In this article, I will go over some useful tips and tricks for making your profile look professional but also personalized!
This article is mostly directed towards Premium Members, but non-Premium members can still use some of these concepts to personalize their page.
In addition, for those who are new to profile decoration, I highly suggest reading my Decorating Your Profile tutorial first, as it goes over important basics of profile decoration.
Basic Design Concepts
Before we get started,
Custom Box - Troubleshooting + FAQCustom Boxes
Quite a few people still seem to have issues with getting their custom box backgrounds to work correctly so I thought I'd put this little troubleshooting guide and FAQ together to help. If you follow the instructions closely, you shouldn't have any problems.
If you encounter any issues that aren't explained here, please let me know. I will update this guide with any extra info or solutions as they are requested.
You can read more about customising your profile page here.
<div class="popup2-moremenu"><div class="floaty-boat"><img src="http://website.com/image.png"></div></div><div class="gr-box gr-genericbox">sample text</div>
Copy the code above and paste into a Custom box on your profile page. Replace the green text with your background
Running a contest in a small group can be beneficial in not only gathering the interest of the current members, but attracting new members. Try to make the contest very descriptive, if the wording is too vague the members will find they can not decide what to do. Too specific, and they may find it too difficult to get an idea. More detailed and useful information on running contests: PE: Contest Pointers.
Often with small groups it can be a long time between submissions and even with scouting and inviting submissions it can seem like the group is 'dead'.
Activities can be a way of giving the members something to participate in, but without the overhead and stress of a contest. The themes can be specific to the group, for example a character week theme in a fan art group. The activity can offer features or even small prizes to one participating member or to all participants (e.g. small amounts of points). Scheduling can be regular (weekly, monthly, etc) or on a schedule of activities at a particular date/period of the month, eg. a character week on the first week of May.
Keep a list of the current and upcoming activities in the custom box widget and use journal updates to inform members of upcoming activities and when they are finishing. Uncheck the 'This edit is minor (your deviantWATCHers will not be notified)' option to push out updates instead of having to code up a new journal entry each time:
Questions for Group Members and Admins:
- What things do you like about a smaller group?
- Do you prefer formal contests or informal activities on a more regular basis?