(SURVEY RESULTS 2020 - Top Tools) We launched a group tools survey in October 2020, and you can find a summary of the results here. The results have been added to our list of tools and links as you consider your tech stack.
Inevitably one tool will not meet all of your use cases. You'll likely be using, connecting, and integrating with tools in the categories below.
Group leaders will probably want a dedicated chat or email channel (see conversation tools)
Databases (for members, etc)
If all you do is host events, this could just be an event page (e.g. Meetup, EventBrite)
You could use a Meetup.com or other platform to host your group website.
Wordpress (blog) (open source option)
Fastpages with Github Pages (open source)
Drupal (open source)
Some of these include, or are optimized for, blog posts. See also Knowledge, Content, and Code Management.
Commenting plug-in for websites: Disqus
Some examples from the Autodesk Group Network
See group leaders' advice on social media tools.
Help people in the group connect and converse with each other throughout the day and throughout the year.
Email account for the group (incoming requests, outgoing announcements)
Can give users access to on-demand help or mentorship
Can be structured for different discussion topics
For some groups, like company practice groups, the ability to ask and answer questions during the workday may be really important.
For other groups that aren’t as focused on daily practice, this might be something members check-in on periodically: after work, when they have news or a job to post, or around the time of an event.
Pros: easy & intuitive, multiple channels, widely adopted (corporate-friendly), private and public channels + messages
Cons: unfriently threaded conversations
Pros: multiple channels, private and public channels + messages, recognizes code and can automatically format it
Cons: may not be corporate-friendly, does not support threaded conversations, gamer jargon knowledge required.
Pros: Microsoft is investing in it and it's starting to be adopted in the workplace by Office 365 users, well integrated with Microsoft Product like Skype, Outlook, OneNote and others.
Cons: heavier corporate feel
Horizon (Facebook/ Oculus)
On-site event scheduling + navigation
Not all tools are digital. For physical events you might want to create an event hosting toolkit with things like nametags, sharpies, flip charts, and signage.
Digital tools to host and broadcast may include:
Virtual Events/ Conferences
Airmeet.com - "Airmeet is an all-in-one platform to host immersive events and build real connections, online." Use it for more immersive and interactive formats (workshops, meetups, fairs, summits, conferences, hackathons)
You have a lounge, for example, where people can virtually seat with other people and have a conversation. In the paid Conference, you can setup concurrent sessions, have the lounge and setup some booths for other people or sponsors.
Try using the digital whiteboarding and shared notes tools during your meetings.
Shared files and drives
Google Slides + Google Docs
The group may produce content that you'd like to distribute and make available to help others.
Use content management on your website/ blog (Drupal is built well for this)
10 top notch community tools (OpenSource.com)
Tools and Resources to Help Build an Online Community (BlueHost.com)