Introducing Humanities Commons Groups Month

In March 2019, Humanities Commons will host HC Groups Month by posting various challenges and encouraging tips on our Twitter account, @humcommons. By the end of the month, participants will have a better understanding of how they can take full advantage of the many benefits that HC groups offer.

Why should you take part in HC Groups Month?

Groups are an important feature of Humanities Commons because of their incredible networking potential. By participating in HC Groups Month, you’ll not only learn how to better utilize HC groups, you’ll put your learning to work immediately. This means that your work within the challenges will work for you: you’ll grow your digital network and hopefully make vital connections with other scholars in your field. This can help you grow your digital presence and share your work with a wider audience.

While building your network on HC groups, you’ll find many other benefits:

  • Find support for your work. Each HC group has a “documents” feature, which allows you to share and co-edit documents. This is a great way to ask for feedback on work-in-progress. Additionally, HC users can choose to share their CORE uploads with specific groups. Once shared, you can again ask for feedback, or simply sit back and bask in the knowledge that your work will receive a larger readership than had you not shared it with a group or uploaded it to CORE.
  • Fruitful discussions had at conferences no longer have to end there. You can create a group for a specific conference or society, allowing you to continue conversations held at conferences and share presentations and papers. This will also allow other scholars who were unable to attend the conference to read the work presented and take part in these important discussions.
  • Find the right type of group for you. Each group fulfills a specific purpose for a specific group of people. For example, you might want to support a particular network that currently has very little digital presence. Or, you may want to create a group for one of the courses you’re teaching or a workshop you’re leading. You might also want to create a group for a society or organization. HC allows group creators and members a number of personalization options. As a creator, you decide how public your group will be. As a member, you are in control of how many notifications and/or emails you receive from the group.
  • Enjoy advantages from the listserv model. During our opening Twitter chat announcing HC Groups Month, one HC user mentioned how much she enjoyed using HC groups over listervs because of the streamlined discussions and searchability of HC groups. It can be difficult to locate past conversations hosted in an emailed listserv; however, on HC groups, all discussions are easily located and neatly archived. Similarly, all documents and CORE uploads shared with HC groups are easy to find. By shifting your conversations from a listserv to an HC group, you won’t even lose your ability to post by email: group members can conveniently post discussion topics and replies by sending an email.

Ready for HC Groups Month?

Us, too! We look forward to hosting you on Twitter as we work through our groups-based challenges. Our calendar is below:

WEEK 1 (March 1-7): Invite 3 new members to a group you’re in.

WEEK 2 (March 8-14): Respond to a discussion post that somebody else began.

WEEK 3 (March 15-21): Post a new discussion post. Let at least 3 people know about it.

WEEK 4 (March 22-28): Make a new CORE deposit that gets shared to your group(s). Let folks know, in the group discussion or via social media!

End of Month (March 29-31): Help us add to our list of best practices for generating participation in groups. 

As you complete the challenges, share your progress! If you’re on Twitter, tweet with #HCGroups.

Extra! Group Admin Challenges

If you are already a group admin, or want to become one with a new group of your own, here are some extra challenges for admins!

WEEK 1 (March 1-7): Set a welcome message for your group that all new members will receive.

WEEK 2 (March 8-14): Change the group photo or cover image. If you like the one you already have, feel free to switch it back!

WEEK 3 (March 15-21): Show or hide a menu item for members. For example, if your group doesn’t use one of the group features, you can remove it from the menu to decrease clutter!

WEEK 4 (March 22-28): Advertise your group! Share it via e-mail, social media, in-person conversations, etc.

End of Month (March 29-31): Help us add to our list of best practices for generating participation in groups.

HC Groups Month begins on Friday, March 1st. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@humcommons) so you don’t miss out on anything. Give us a shout out using our hashtag, #HCGroups, so we know you’re ready to grow your digital network using HC groups!

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