Private forums- could use some help

We want to build an option for Private Forums. Our platform is custom as of now, and could really use advice from others who are using different platforms. Thanks in advance!

Some of my questions:
Should the private forums be visible in the main form list for every user? Or should they only be visible to a user who belongs to the private form?

And should the private forums appear under a new heading on the All Topics page or if there will be a new tab for private forums on the menu?

Should any user be able to create a private form? Or should only an admin create a private forum? Should an off/on option be provided for this and Admin can decide.

Should an admin click “Add Forum,” and there will be an option to make the forum private?
Should we put a section for adding members to the forums under the user account since each user might have multiple private forums?

1 Like

I can share some recommendations based on how some of our customers use our platform:

If you want your members to “want” to participate in the private forums, you should set it so they can see the forum name (and maybe even the topic subjects), but can’t see the contents of the topic. If you don’t care about attracting people into the private forums, I’d hide them completely (I tell people to do this often for private working groups or board of director forums, where you don’t necessarily want the rest of the community to know they exist.)

I typically don’t differentiate at the top level which ones are private, because they should be prominently labeled as such when you go to them. I feel it adds clutter to separately tab them.

I usually recommend against allowing users to set up private forums willy-nilly. You might end up with a weird balkanized community. However, if you have a way to consistently communicate with members as the admin, and they are requesting a new private forum for, say, BRCA interested folks, then you can set up new ones by request. In our platform, the options for setting permissions on the forum is part of the new forum setup flow.

Not sure I understand your last question…are you thinking about how to invite the specific members into the different private forums?

Hope this helps! I’m actually a member of your community :slight_smile:

Thank you, this is incredibly helpful, especially since you are familiar with us :blush: I see you are with hoop.la?! That platform looks amazing. I’d be interested in a demo, as we need/want to shift platforms in the near future.
No worries about the last question. I think I got a bit confused re. where things should “live” on the admin side.

So glad to be helpful! I’ll private message you :slight_smile: