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  1. What's the difference between public, protected, and private groups?
  2. How does communication between members of a group take place?
  3. How do you 'join' a group?
  4. Is there a way to join a particular state group instead of the United States group?


What's the difference between public, protected, and private groups?


TypeDescription
A public group is visible to everyone, and anyone can join or leave the group at whim. You are not able to restrict letterboxes or trackers to those in a public group—it wouldn't be much of a restriction if anyone could join whenever they wanted to, after all!
Protected groups are hidden from everyone except from those who are members of it. Nobody outside of the group can read messages on boards in a protected group, and members will be able to restrict boxes and trackers to members of their group. Any member of a protected group can invite non-members into the group.
A private group is almost identical to the protected group, except only group admins are able to invite new members to the group rather than any member of the group.


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How does communication between members of a group take place?


Message boards. Once you've created a group, create at least message board for group members to discuss issues or ask questions. You can also organize times for members to use existing chat rooms, but at this time there is no way to create a chat room that only members of your group can enter.

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How do you 'join' a group?


For a public group, find the group details page and click the "Join Group" button. For instance, take the Cheese Lovers group. If you aren't a member of the group already, you'll see a "Join Group" button near the right side of the page. (If you are already a member of the group, you'll see a "Drop Group" button instead.)

For protected and private groups, you must be invited into the group. Private groups require that the invite come from one of the administrators of the group while the protected groups allow anyone who is already a member of the group to send an invite.

There are some "special" groups as well where none of the above apply. The Everybody group, for instance, has everyone, and you cannot drop yourself from it. There's also a Premium Members group, but AQ will automatically add and remove you from that group as necessary based on whether or not you're a premium member.

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Is there a way to join a particular state group instead of the United States group?


No, you either join a group or don't join a group. There is no way to "partly" join a group.

If you want to follow the message board for a particular state, you can mark the states you're interested in as a favorite and only those will show up on your Favorite Boards widget. Clicking on the heart icon next to the board name will automatically add that one board as a favorite (and insure you're included the group it's a part of).

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