Sunday, June 10, 2012

Custom Group Meta Data

Every Organization needs slightly different information from their small groups when advertizing their small groups to potential members. For a softball team, it may be open positions, or when they practice. For study groups, it could be normal meeting times, or what they are studying, or if childcare is provided.

Without this kind of meta data about the small group (meta data means data about the data, or data above the data), potential group members have incomplete information on which to base their group selection criteria. solves this challenge by allowing Organization leaders to set meta data about their organization. This is presented as a set of questions to each Group leader who answer those questions. These answers provide rich detail to potential group members when using the Group Search feature.

Organization Leader Meta Data Management Screen
When Organization leaders define the meta data for their Organization, they first enter a name for the meta data. They then set the meta data type to be Free Form, Yes/No, or Select. Free Form allows the Group leaders to answer the question with free form text, with no limitations. Yes/No asks for a Yes or a No answer from the Group leaders, and the Select type takes a comma delimited list of options from which the user must select (i.e. Childcare Provided with minimal cost, Childcare not provided, Childcare provided for free). Some meta data may not be relevant for all groups, and the Organization Leader may set those items to be 'disableable' (yes, not a word, but it goes the point across). Once an Organization is set as Searchable, a "Manage information you would like each group to provide" link is presented on the Organization Leader site.

Group Leader Meta Data "Answers" page
Group Leaders answer the questions via their "Change the Group's Details" link. They then enter free form test, choose Yes or No, or select appropriate values for the Organization entered meta data. In addition, Group leaders may hide those disableable items. Outside the group description (which is also editable from the "Change the Group's Details:" link, the meta data is one of the best ways to ensure an accurate view of a group is presented to a potential group member.

Finally, that meta data is presented on the group details page on the Group Search site in

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