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Forum, bulletin board, message board, mailing list...

Imagine having a conversation in a room full of friends, where everyone can listen to the conversation, and can join in the conversation if they have anything to contribute.

A group site has been set up at Google Groups to allow family members to communicate widely and easily.

It's a private group, you must subscribe (sign up as a member) to read or post messages. Subscription is by request - you can 'be invited', or you can 'ask to be invited'. Once your connection to the family is established your subscription can be activated.

How does the group work? The group is both a bulletin/message board, and an automated mailing list. Subscribed members can read any of the messages posted to the group (messages on the 'bulletin board'), reply to messages, or post new messages.

Every new message posted to the group will be emailed to all other subscribed members depending on subscriber preference.

Because this is a private group, all the subscribed members have a common interest in the family history and the family tree, so it's great for asking questions - everyone sees the question, and those with the answers can respond.


Forum FAQ

How do I join?
Who can read the group messages?
Who can post messages to the group?
How do I read messages?
How do I post messages?
Oops. Can I delete a message?
What happens when I reply to an email from the group?
I no longer want to read/post messages. How do I unsubscribe from the group?
Why is it a private group?
Why Google Groups?

More questions? Find answers to general questions about Google Groups here - or submit your question to a group administrator.

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How do I join?

1. Register at Google

In order to join the group you must first create a Google account. If you already have a Google user name (e.g. if you use GMail), then you are already registered, and you can use your existing user name.

For Google registration, your email address will be your user name, you will create your own password, and optionally you can use a nickname that will show beside any of your posts to the group.

Once you are registered at Google, you will be able to sign in to the DrJamesMurdoch group.

2. Ask to join the group

Once signed in to the DrJamesMurdoch group site, click the link 'Join this group'.

Choose how you want to be notified of new group messages and complete the request.

Your completed request will be forwarded to a group administrator for activation (could take a few days), and you will notice back on the group page that your membership status is now 'pending'.

You will receive an email informing you that your membership is activated, or you might receive a request for more information to establish your connection to the family.

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Who can read the group messages?

The DrJamesMurdoch group is private. Only subscribed members can read messages.

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Who can post messages to the group?

The DrJamesMurdoch group is private. Only subscribed members can post new messages, or reply to existing messages.

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How do I read messages?

There are two ways to read messages. The easiest way is to read them as they come to your email inbox.

The other way to read messages is to sign in to the DrJamesMurdoch group site, and read them there. The advantages of this method are that you can search, and browse old messages in the group's archive.

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How do I post messages?

There are two ways to post new messages or replies. The easiest way is to send an email to DrJamesMurdoch@googlegroups.com, or reply* to an email that came from the group.

Your email will be added to the group as a post, and the group mail system will forward your post to all other subscribed group members. This will only work if the group site recognises you as a subscribed member - you need to send the email using the same email account that you used to subscribe to the group.

The other way to post new messages or replies is to sign in to the DrJamesMurdoch group site, and post them there. Again, the group mail system will forward your post to all other subscribed members.

(*be careful when replying to group email - see FAQ
 'What happens when I reply..')

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Oops. Can I delete a message?

Yes. You can delete your own messages. This removes the post from the group archive, understand though that your original message may have already been sent by email to all subscribed members and can't be recalled.

You can't delete messages posted by anyone else (a group administrator can do this if necessary).

Neither you, nor group administrators, can edit/change a message after it's posted. The only recourse for correction is to delete, then post again.

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What happens when I reply to an email from the group?

When you receive an email from the group, it will have a header that looks like this:

 
From: (group_member)@domain_name   <- this is the originator's email address
To: DrJamesMurdoch@googlegroups.com
Subject: [DJMGroup] (originator's topic heading)

It appears that the message has come directly to you from the group member that posted the message. In fact it has come to you (and all other members) via the group mail system.

If you hit your email REPLY button, your reply will NOT go directly back to the originating member, it will instead go back to the group mail system, and from there it will broadcast out to ALL other group members.

If you want to have a private communication directly with the originating group member, DO NOT hit your email REPLY button. Instead you should compose a NEW email message to that person using your email program.

Simply put, if you hit the email REPLY button, then EVERYONE reads your reply. If this is what you intended, fine. If this is not what you intended, the results can be embarrassing.

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I no longer want to read/post messages. How do I unsubscribe from the group?

Sign in to the DrJamesMurdoch group site, click the 'Unsubscribe or change membership' link, then click the 'Unsubscribe' button.

If you can't sign in to Google Groups for any reason, a group administrator can 'unsubscribe you'.

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Why is it a private group?

The DrJamesMurdoch group is private in that it has been configured to deny non-member access, and insofar as it is subject to Google's privacy policy. If you trust Google to honour its policy, and if you trust that their software and hardware is adequate to the task of securing against non-member access, then you trust that the group is private.

The group is established to discuss family history and family tree information. Because this discussion could contain personal information about living family members it should be kept private.

It has been set up such that content is available to subscribed members only, and in applying for subscription a prospective member must be able to demonstrate a connection to the family.

This is a two-edged sword - if the site was open to public reading, others outside the family could search and find contacts within the family, and possibly assist with providing information. However privacy concerns must outweigh convenience.

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Why Google Groups?

There are plenty of bulletin board/mailing list software providers, Google is readily accessible, it's arguably a trustworthy brand, and most importantly it's simple to set up and simple to use.

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Remainder of content 2006 descendants of Dr. James Murdoch 1785-1848 except as otherwise attributed.