The groups feature is newer than most of the rest of the site.
You have to be a current member of this site and logged into your profile on this site in order to see them. Just like your regular Search Results, Groups are not for anyone else, active anywhere else, publishing anyplace else, or otherwise disseminating information to anyone else on the internet.
Groups are not something you signed up for when you filled out your profile originally. You would opt in separately, IF and ONLY IF you'd like to do so.
Within your regular Search Results, you are ONLY allowed to see other members when your collective search options mesh.
Some appreciate this extreme level of privacy. It's also what we promised when we set the whole thing up, so we're not going back on that now, nope, nothing doing.
But in the meantime, many members were asking to see other and more members, even when their collective search options did NOT completely mesh. They understood our extreme privacy restrictions, but still found them too . . . restricting. They wanted to spread their wings, get to see more profiles of other members NOT already in their Search Results, expand their social possibilities.
So we wanted to create a way for those folks that wanted to see additional other folks to see each other . . . but without changing the way the search options work, or forcing new features on current members that didn't want them.
"How do I join Group(s)?"
To join a group you go to your Account Settings in the very top menu (that'd be when you're on the board, not the very top menu of this particular page).
Inside Account Settings is "Add/Delete Group(s)." Select that and you'll see a list of "Secondary Groups." (In case you were wondering, your "Primary Group" is just that you're a member of lesbotronic and are allowed to log in at all.)
You add Groups by clicking those boxes, and don't forget to hit the Save button at the end.
"What am I supposed to do once I join one?"
Once you've joined Group(s), their Members Only - Group area on the board and the profiles of other members in that Group will become accessible to you as well. In case this wasn't already self-explanatory, only the members of a particular Group have access to those, not other members of lesbotronic that have NOT joined that group, and NOT the rest of the internet at large.
It is possible to join a Group then confine your participation to privately messaging other members of that Group.
HOWEVER, it would be more efficient and more social to post in your Group area of the board as well. Posts intended for the Group would be a way to introduce yourself to and interact with multiple members of that Group without necessarily having to privately message each one individually.
"Do I have to join any groups? What happens if I don't?"
No you don't, and nothing at all.
The default is no groups. Meaning, if you do NOT join any groups, your profile will NOT be visible within any group.
"How many groups can I join?"
In theory, you could join all the Groups.
But we don't recommend that.
We recommend joining the Groups that interest or apply to you personally. How many that actually is is up to you!
"Why aren't there more discussions in my Group on the board already?"
Please feel free to be awesome and start something!
Don't be a wallflower, or think you have to just wait around for somebody else to get the party started.
"Will you email me when new members enter my Group?"
Nope, we will NOT email you when someone new enters your Group(s) (again, that is, if you joined any).
We DO email you when a brand new member enters your Search Results; we are NOT going to email you when there's someone new in your Group(s). If you'd like to know if there's someone new in one of your Groups, you only need to come look.
No, we can't change that at this time. Sorry, but the volume of email we send out for the Search Results is already tremendous. Adding to that is not practically feasible right now. Thanks for understanding.