Groups: How to join one

Daily Kos Groups serve two key functions: they help organize content for readers and they support site members who create such content.

Congratulations on identifying a group whose posts enrich your experience of the site. We have many hundreds of dynamic and interesting groups, and most of them are ready and willing to accept new members.

Joining a group is as simple as possible considering several important factors, particularly the interest of group Admins to determine membership and member roles for their groups. Read on for answers to:

  • Why join a group rather than follow it?
  • How to initiate the process of joining a group?
  • What can I expect after joining a group? 

Joining vs. following a group

Following a group AND joining a group are both possible. These features serve two different though complementary purposes.

Following is simpler. The related article linked below, "Groups: How to follow one," explains what is involved with following and how to go about it. Basically, that's the feature that puts a group's posts into your Activity Stream. It does not convey any permissions relative to group membership. 

Joining a group means being involved in the group's publication and communication processes. All group members, even contributors are able to queue stories to be published through the group. Group editors and admins can also communicate via group Kosmail. Group roles and responsibilities are explained in detail in this related article: "Groups: Member roles."

How to join a group: Getting an invitation

Sometimes conversations on the site between a group admin and a prospective group member will prompt the admin to issue an invitation to join the group. But it is also considered acceptable, not presumptuous, to ask a group admin for an invitation to join. For their part, however, group Admins are under no obligation to extend such an invitation. 

To ask for an invitation, visit a group's profile page, whose URL will be in this format:{group%20name} (where the %20 stands in for any spaces within the group name). In the left sidebar, click on the Send Message button to open a direct message (Kosmail) window to the group. Compose and send your request to join. Your message will be received by all the Admins and Editors of the group, though only Admins have the ability to extend an invitation to join a group. 

Since Kosmail messages sent to groups do not trigger an alert to the group members, you may find it more efficient to send an invitation solicitation to one of the group's Admins, also listed in the group's left sidebar. Clicking on an Admin's username will redirect you to that user's own profile page, where you'll see a similar Send Message button.

Invitations to join a group are now sent to a user's email of record for Daily Kos. If your email of record with Daily Kos is current and you have access to it, you'll soon see a message in your personal email inbox extending the invitation to join. (Only the invited user will know whether that email is up to date; group admins do not see that email address at all.)

Note: You must accept an invitation to join the group. You are under no obligation to join, however, and you may also leave a group at any time.

How to join a group: Accepting the invitation

Clicking on the "Join the Group" button within the body of your emailed invitation will open a tab to Daily Kos. If you're logged in, you'll see a confirmation right away: "You are now a member of {groupname}." If you're logged out, the confirmation will show when you next log in. Whether logged-in or -out, you'll have been added to the group as a contributor by virtue of accepting that emailed invitation.

Since not everyone keeps their Daily Kos email of record up to date, you might not have access to the invitation. It also sometimes happens that the invitation message is routed to spam, or otherwise interrupted along its way. If the invitation is still in effect--and it does not expire unless an Admin cancels it--you may also signal your acceptance in another way. 

The back-up method of accepting a group invitation entails logging into the site and visiting the group's URL with /join added to the end of it. The pattern for it is{group%20name}/join Again, {group%20name} here represents the group's actual name.

Note also: It is possible to verify/change/update one's email of record quite easily. While logged in, you may access your own Edit [my] Profile page, where there is a field to enter a different email address if necessary. Please keep in mind that being on the Daily Kos Recommended list and receiving those emails regularly says nothing about whether that email is associated with a Daily Kos site username. They're completely independent systems.

What happens after I join a group

Once you have become a group Contributor, you'll be able to queue your own unpublished drafts to the group and add other published posts (by you or anyone else) to the group's republication queue as well. The group Admin(s) will be able to promote you to Editor or Admin if they so choose; both of these roles carry special permissions related to the group's activities. See "Groups: Member roles."

Keep in mind that joining a group does not mean that you have also followed it. Group members often do follow that group as well, in order to get that group's posts added to their Activity Stream, especially they're not involved in the administration of the group.