Provide ability to set group join policy by each group
I keep wanting to love Wild Apricot. But time after time I run into limitations that truly make no sense to me. I am glad that WA instituted some other way than Member Level to limit access to Restricted Pages. That was way too limiting. But the way Groups work to limit access is an all or nothing affair because of the way Group Participation works.
Let's start off with an example of various groups you might have in a HOA: Board Member, Volunteer Group, Newsletter, Swim Team, Tennis, etc. Now let's say that you want a restricted page for Board Members only. Well this won't work in the current schema in WA. Because my choices in setting up Group Participation in the Database Fields section are to allow users to opt in to all Groups or to none at all. So if I allow them to opt in to all groups, anyone can make themselves a Board Member and get access to the restricted pages. And if I do not allow each member to opt in to groups of their choice, they cannot add themselves to social groups like Volunteer, Newsletter or Tennis. An admin would have to field requests to add people to groups and that is way too cumbersome. [pulling my hair out].
Dmitry Buterin commented
OK, so just to reconfirm (we have thousands of organizations using Wild Apricot in very different ways so it is not a good idea for us to assume too much):
What you would like to see is ability to set 'join policy' for each group separately. So that some groups will be shown on the new member application form and anyone can join - while others are maintained only by the site administrators.
Please confirm/comments and I will rename ths thread and move to the wishlist.
Um, what he said above. It's pretty self explanatory as to what the solution is. As far as over-dramatic, OK...I'll give you that. But if a function does not work as you advertise it, then I would say it is a fatal flaw. In your Help file on Groups you say, "This function gives you the ability to organize members into groups - such as 'Board of Directors', 'Volunteer Committee', etc.". So you make HOA groups like ours hopeful that you have built in functionality with us in mind. Then a few paragraphs later you write, "Here are the main ways you can set up Group participation control:...2) Member access: View only. In this case members will see their groups via their profile - but can not change it. This is the most common setup in our experience." What's the point of groups if people cannot join them? And on the flip side what's the point of restricting pages to group membership if everyone can opt in? If this is the most common setup then the former contradicts the latter in regards to usability.
Like I said, this one should be self-explanatory.
I noticed this limitation myself as well when wanting to setup groups. How about giving each group the option to make registration public, instead of globally allowing everybody to register for groups or not allowing them to. That way, I can have a board members group and a group I want people to signup for.
Dmitry Buterin commented
OK, can you elaborate what would you see as the ideal solution to this situation?
I would love to hear what other people think too.
Personally I think your post title is overdramatic :-)
I am looking at the groups feature, and right now it's set so that our members can assign themselves to groups, which are our committees. I like that and want to keep it that way.
However, I'd also like to have groups for my BOD and Sponsors - groups that I don't want people to be able to add themselves to. Is there any way to have two sets of groups, each with different controls?