Google Groups integration with Tech Projects
Tech integrates Google Groups with the Tech projects to help teams improve their communication. This integration automatically synchronizes the team member lists with Google Groups lists and provides the following benefits to both project managers and volunteers:
- Automatic invitation to the project's communication channels when a new member joins a project
- Automatic removal from the project's communication channels when a member leaves the project
- Improved communication among group members (no one is left out of the loop)
- More options for team members to customize how they receive project-related emails
- Centralized archive for conversations, thoughts, and ideas
How it Works
Project managers can request that one or more Google Groups be created for their project, and they can choose from three different group types. The Google Groups have different levels of interaction depending on what you want set up. The group options are as follows:
- Announcements Group: This type of group provides a read-only distribution -- users receive email updates and can read past messages only. This type of group is useful for sending information about new builds, pending releases, or other major project information. An advantage of an Announcements Group is to eliminate discussions and replies -- keeping the traffic low. If you have hundreds of community members in your group, this option reduces the risk of annoying "reply-all" emails.
- Discussion Group: This type of group provides an opportunity for members to receive updates, comment and share ideas, and provide feedback. Users of this group include the team actively working on the project. This group is ideal for people who may be technically inclined and who want to listen and participate in the project discussions.
- Commits Group: This type of group provides an incoming stream of updates for developers to understand how new changes might affect their code. When developers commit code to subversion, members of this list are automatically notified of the update. This group is intended for the core developers of the project and possibly some QA team members.
Automatic addition and removal to groups
One of the advantages of the Google Groups integration with Tech is that there is little to no maintenance required for the project managers after the group is created. As volunteers sign up for Tech Projects, they will automatically be added to the project’s Google Groups. Users can access the archive of messages or change their email subscription preferences for the group by setting up or using their Google account.
Removing users from a Google Group also requires no maintenance by the project manager either. Members are immediately removed when they leave a Tech Project.
Custom email settings on Google Groups
The Google Groups integration also helps users get just the right amount of information they want as they volunteer on projects. Google Groups allows each user to customize their own notification settings. Upon entering the group, members can click the My Membership link and customize their notification settings to one of four settings: Abridged, Digest, Email and No Email.
A description of each setting is as follows:
- Abridged email: Sends a summary of activity once per day to the group member. This is perfect if you're an active observer on the project.
- The digest email: Provides a summary of the latest 25 new messages in a digest email to the user.
- No Email: Leaves your email box empty and puts the burden on you to periodically log into the group and check up on discussions. This is perfect for those who just want to check in every once in a while to familiarize themselves with how the project is going.
- Email: Sends you immediate email for each message. This setting is intended for those heavily involved developers or managers who need a constant stream of the activity for the group.
The "My Membership" button also allows you to customize the way you are represented in the group. You can provide a nickname and even link to your Google profile.
Customizing email settings on Tech
You can further customize your experience through the Google Groups subscription interface on Tech. For example, if a project has multiple groups, or if you're involved in multiple projects, the subscription interface shown below allows you to choose which groups you're subscribed to.
To access the Tech Google Groups interface:
- Log in to Tech.
- Click Projects on the top navigation menu.
- Click the Groups subtab.
- Click the + plus sign next to the groups you want to subscribe to.
Google Groups integration on Tech is new, and we're still adding more information about it. If you have questions, add them to the Discussion tab on this page.
Requesting Google Groups for your project
If you are a project manager for an Tech project, you can request to have Google Groups created for your project. Contact Steve Gallafent or Tim Riker on the #ldstech IRC channel or by email with the request. You will need to know which types of groups (Announcements, Discussion, and Commits) you want created for your project. By default, the email address for your project discussion group is the same as your project name with dashes substituted for the space. If you would like a shorter version of your project name as the email address, be sure to suggest that when you request your groups.