FAQ – Groups on the Alumniportal

1. Who is entitled to create a group?

All members of the Alumniportal Deutschland’s online community are entitled to create and administer their own groups. Once you have registered free of charge, you can get started right away. 

2. What are the technical steps to creating a group?

It is quite easy: Just click on the green button saying “New” on your personal start page and select the option “Create a new group”. This way, you can very quickly set up the profile for a new group. Don’t forget to upload a description and a profile photo for the group and to assign certain key words (tags), so that the group will be frequently displayed in search results. After setting up the group, you can invite your contacts to join. You can edit and adjust your group’s profile at any time. Here’s a tip: Post some comments or features in your group before inviting your contacts, because this may motivate visitors to engage in discussions.

3. What else should I bear in mind when I create a group?

Before you create a group, consider what the aim of your group should be. Will the topic appeal to a large number of members and does it encourage lively discussion? Remember: The more members a group has, the more discussion within it you can expect. Invite your contacts to join and recommend the group outside the Alumniportal, too.  You should also read the suggestions for running groups.

4. Are there any examples of particularly successful groups?

If you’d like to have a look at some particularly interactive groups, we recommend “Deutsch als Fremdsprache“, “Spotlight on  Jobs & Careers” and the group “Digitale Gesellschaft – Digital Society”.

5. Who can I invite to join my group?

As group administrator, you can directly invite all your contacts on the Alumniportal to join your group. You can also contact members who are not your contacts, and you can send them a link to your group, but you cannot directly invite them to join. The Alumniportal has developed this procedure to avoid spam.

6. How can I invite contacts to my group?

You will find the function “Invite contacts” via the extendable button “Recommend group” on the right hand side of the group’s page. Select the contacts you would like to invite, add a message if you want to and click on “Send”.

7. How can I recommend my (or any other) group outside the Alumniportal?

You can recommend all groups of which you are a member and this of course includes groups administered by you. To recommend a group, go to its cover page and click on “Recommend group”. Now you can enter e-mail addresses of people outside the Alumniportal Deutschland’s community to whom you would like to recommend this group.

8. What should I consider in running a group?

As group moderator, you should regularly update and look after your group. This could entail posting your own contributions and files or images, but it could also mean commenting on other members’ posts. You should welcome new members personally and keep all members informed on any news via e-mail by regularly using the function “Contact members”. Members will receive these messages directly via e-mail so that they will not miss out on the group’s latest activities. Moreover, all group members and also administrators will receive notifications about group activities on a regular basis via e-mail, as long as they haven’t unsubscribed. The settings for the notifications can be changed via the button “My portal” in the right upper corner of the dashboard. Finally, all group forums posts, comments and files that are made visible to the Alumniportal community will be shown in the news stream on the dashboard.

9. What are the most important success factors for a group?

How can I initiate activity within the group? The group’s topic is a very important factor for its success. There are many regional groups or groups that specialize on certain topics. Usually, specialist groups are more suitable for discussion. But take care to choose a topic that is broad enough to appeal to more than just a narrow group of people. Certain regularity is vital: Make sure to post new entries regularly and encourage other members to join in. Comment on others’ posts and welcome new members. Send a contact request to other members and become connected with them. This will increase mutual trust and lay the foundations for a pleasant atmosphere of discussion within the group. The administrator’s personality is a crucial element in binding members to the group. That is why you should introduce yourself personally and send news on recent group activities via the function “Contact members”. Use visual material to complement your forum entries. You can upload files, photos and even videos.

10. How much time will it take to run a group?

The time needed to run a group can vary, depending on how active the group is, how much stimulus it needs and how much time you can spend on the group. Our experience shows that you should expect to spend around one or two hours per week on running your group.

11. Can more than one person run a group together?

You can make one or more members of your group into additional group moderators. Go to your group’s list of members. Under the three-point-symbol which can be found on the right hand side of each member, you can assign moderation rights to the respective member. You will remain the group’s administrator.

12. How can I transfer the group’s administration to someone else?

As the group’s administrator, you can transfer the administration to any other member of the group. Select the member to whom you would like to transfer the administration from “Members”. Click on the three-point-symbol and select the option “Nominate for group admin”. Once the Alumniportal’s administrator has agreed to the transfer of the group’s administration, you will be informed via e-mail.

13. How can I inform all group members about important news?

All members who regularly log into the group will of course see the news there. Group activities which have been made visible to the Alumniportal community are also shown in the news stream on the start page.

But as the group’s administrator, you moreover have the option of sending an e-mail to all members. Use the button “Contact members” which you will see on your group’s cover page. Finally, all group members who have subscribed to our notification service will receive regular and automatic updates about the most recent group activities via e-mail.

14. How can I create a notice on the group’s start page?

You will find the function “Edit notice” via the extendable button “Recommend group” on the right hand side of the group’s cover page. Here you can enter and save a heading and text. The notice will then appear on the group’s cover page above the newsfeed.

15. How can I confirm a group membership?

You will be informed about membership requests for your closed group via e-mail. Follow the link in this e-mail to confirm the membership. You will also find a button “View requests” under the heading of “Membershiprequests” on the cover page of your group. There you can see all membership requests and either confirm or delete them. As soon as you have confirmed a membership, the new member will be informed about this by e-mail. If you delete the request, the person requesting membership will not receive a message.

16. Can I exclude a group member from the group?

As group administrator you can expel members from your group by clicking on the menu item “Members”. Click on the three-point-symbol and select the option “Request exclusion”. The exclusion will be reviewed and carried out by the Alumniportal-Administrator.

17. How can I turn a different group into a partner group?

Go to the Alumniportal’s group directory and select the group that you would like to be your partner group. Via the three-point-symbol, you can send a “Partner group request” to the group in question. As soon as the other group’s administrator has confirmed your partner group request, this partner group will be displayed in your group, to the right of the group’s newsfeed. Partner group requests sent to your group can be found via the extendable menu item “Recommend group” under the menu point “Partner group requests”. You can either accept or deny open partner group requests.

18. How can I delete my group?

You will find the function “Request deletion” via the extendable button “Recommend group” on the right hand side of the group’s cover page. If you select this function, the group will be deleted by the Alumniportal’s administrator.