And more importantly, I wanted to practice what I preach. Before I shared this, I wanted to create a group charter for the My developerWorks enthusiasts group. I procrastinated for several weeks and when I actually sat down to write it, I found I was over-thinking it - I mean "group charter" - that sounds so serious. It sounds like it should be at least 10 pages written in legal gobbledy-gook. Until I realized this should be quite simple! Hopefully I can make it simple for you too...
What is a group charter and why you should have one:
- Define what your group is about - what's your topic and your purpose
- Share what to expect from your group
- Share any guidelines for your group
What should be in your group charter:
- What is the purpose of the group (this could also include who the group is for, what the group will provide, etc.)
- What types of activities should you expect from the group (for example, is there a project going on, are you actively building wiki pages, etc)
- What types of communications should you expect from the group (for example, will there be weekly blog posts on X, or monthly emails on Y)
- What is the role of the group members
- Who are the group moderators/owners and what is their role
- And anything else you feel is important to share... There is no "perfect template" for this - it's up to you!
- Keep it simple - don't say more than you need to!
- Create a page in your group wiki for your group charter - here's an example
- In your group overview description, link to your group charter - here's an example
- When new members join and you thank them for joining your group, you may want to provide a link to the group charter.