Lots of us are, and I occasionally hear of group admins, especially new Founders, wondering how to set things up or manage things. If this stuff is already obvious to you, please forgive - it isn't obvious to everybody.
Before getting into technical matters, here are some policy issues:
What to do about the Featured folder?
There are at least three possibilities: the simplest is to treat it just like any other folder.
Many groups, especially larger ones, reserve this folder for admins' choices, and either lock it out from ordinary submissions, or simply ask members to refrain from submitting to it.
Simply asking tends not to work very well, because, well, people are lazy and don't read the rules. (I've been pretty careless about that myself.) So if you want to reserve the Featured folder, you need to lock it - see "Technical matters" below.
The third alternative, favored by some small groups, is to set up Featured as the only
available folder, so everything gets submitted there. The admins (or in one case, just the Founder) will then go through new submissions and move them into other folders.
This is practical for small groups with onlY a few submissions per day. It does not work well for larger groups, where I would recommend locking the Featured folder, asking people to submit to the correct folder, and declining miscats.
A corollary of requiring people to submit to the correct folder is that folder names must be clear and unambiguous. This is a problem in at least one group where I'm an admin: even those of us who are familiar with the folder names often have trouble deciding whether a submission is to the correct folder or not. (Other times it's obvious - shame on you, submitters.)
A very good idea for larger groups and groups that are subject to occasional "spamming", as when somebody submits a huge number of pieces all at once. People who have to vote on fifty items from one person, HATE it, especially because the submissions ALL have to be examined in case some are valid and some not. (See "Technical matters" for how to set this up.)
This can be a good idea, especially for a larger group, when the quality criteria are clear and objective - for instance, no drawings on lined paper, 3D images with no poke-through, etc. The criteria also need to be stated in the rules.
The problem arises when admins are given discretion as to whether a submission is "good enough", i.e. whether they like it, and if the person voting doesn't like it then it's out. I've even left one group where the "quality control" was openly arbitrary. (The voter in question simply didn't like 3D art. Period.) It may be OK to have a few groups try to set themselves up as juried art shows, but that is not the spirit of dA.
At the other end of the spectrum is automatic acceptance - again, this is suitable for small groups but probably not for large ones.
---- Technical matters
A lot of admins don't know how to use the Admin Area to control various things. It's extremely useful though.
Within the Admin Area is a sub-area called Manage Members. It can be a little elaborate to use this, but not difficult.
In the Manage Members area, on the left you need to choose the "rank" you want to control - Founder, Co-Founder, etc. - if you want the same rules to apply to various ranks, you need to set them separately for each one.
On the right is a set of controls for that rank. If you are the Founder, you probably want to give yourself full control of everything.
"Join Requests:" has three options: Are Not Allowed, Are Subject to Vote, Are Automatically Approved. Choose the most suitable one; if "Are Subject to Vote", you'll need to decide how many votes are needed and how long before a request expires.
Many other fields in this area have the same three options.
"On Gallery" - you may want to have different rules for different folders, especially if you plan to lock the Featured folder or leave it open and lock the others. In these cases, select Show All Folders. You can then set submission criteria ("Are Not Allowed", etc.) and submission limits if any, for each folder.
There are some other fields - hopefully this is enough to give you a feel for how to use those. You're more than welcome to note or message me if you have more questions! There's a lot I still don't know, so the answer may be "Ouch" or something to that effect, but I'll help as much as I can.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On thanking faves:
I like to! Even when I run into curmudgeons who actually object to being thanked.
However, I have the problem of being popular! Well, sort of. Not, thank God, popular enough to make enemies, but popular enough that I can't thank every fave. So as a compromise, I thank everyone who faves and
comments, and everyone who faves more than once during the period (typically four or five days) before the next time I go through and delete messages. So if you fave and don't get a thank-you, sorry, I thank you all!
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