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New feature: Clubs!

Frank Hagan

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I added a new feature for Supporting Members: messing-about Clubs.


What are Clubs For?

Clubs are intended for your local racing friends, sailing club, one class association, or really any group of people you want to provide a place to share. Create a family genealogy club, or a club for your hunting buddies. Clubs can be for businesses too; while you can't place ads on the pages, you can create a community for supporting your side hustle or giving your customers a place to discuss your product or service.


Supporting Members can create and manage their own clubs, fully integrated with messing-about. Club owners can add new sections to their club, like forums, galleries, calendars and more.  Members of the club will see content in their activity streams, search results, and will get any notifications they have configured, just like the rest of messing-about. Non-members will not see the content if the club is set to private.


Clubs can be for political or other controversial topics. We don't allow "adult content" (porn) as it affects the content filters that block sites by IP addresses, or any illegal activity like copyright violations through file sharing or conspiracies to kill Frank. Especially that last one.

Public, Private, Open, Closed

Club owners choose an appropriate club type to determine how much they share with the rest of us. While some clubs for boat-related topics may aim to be fully visible to the community, others dealing with non-boat or sensitive subjects may want to be more hidden, and messing-about provides the tools to do that.

Types of Club Content

Club owners can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, files and so on. These content areas are fully functional just like the rest of messing-about. For members of the club, and for public and open clubs, the content will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content.  Each content area an owner adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name.


Club Locations

Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify a physical location for their club. Let's say you run a community for one class sailing enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page:




Each Supporting Member can create two clubs per year in our Clubs section. Supporting Members donate $12 per year to help support messing-about, and the support has helped us stay online as our server costs have increased. If you are not sure if you donated, make sure you are logged in and go to the Clubs section. If you see the green "Start a Club" button you're a Supporting Member.


If not, and you'd like to become a Supporting Member, you can do so by visiting our Supporting Member order form that accepts credit cards or PayPal.




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