New Version of Google Groups Gives Groups Their Own Home on the Web

January 23, 2007

New Options for Custom, Private Web Pages Take Groups Beyond Message Boards

Starting today, the latest version of Google Groups can give your group its own easy-to-build home on the web for sharing and maintaining information, including tools for creating customized web pages that help you give your group its own special look and feel. Whether you’re running a forum for technology lovers, sharing the latest reviews from your book or wine club, posting practice schedules and team information for your soccer league, or planning a neighborhood barbecue, Google Groups gives you a colorful, central place to collect photos, documents, links, messages, and more over time.

Web products for groups have traditionally focused on an email thread or message board format; they’ve been largely text based. Google Groups, however, now provides a richer forum for group collaboration with the following new features:

  • Pages. Create and contribute to shared web pages with simple drag, drops, cuts, pastes, and clicks (i.e., no coding).
  • Customized look and feel. Select pictures, colors, and styles to express your group’s style.
  • Member profiles. See who else is in the group and read their profiles. Personalize your own profile with a photo and other details.
  • File sharing. Post documents that anyone in the group can access.
  • Easy reading of group discussions. Read easily in a Gmail-style interface.

Group owners have a variety of options for managing access to the group. They can choose to make all content completely private and visible only to group members, or they can offer their pages and resources up to the world. There are also options for controlling viewing and editing capabilities for individual group members.

For those groups who value active discussions, Google Groups continues to offer a variety of options for keeping up with the conversation. From the group’s space on the web, you can reply to another member’s posted message, or post a message or questions of your own. You can also choose whether you want to read and post messages through the group space, or just use your current email account to read and respond.

All you need is an e-mail address to join a Google Group, though a Google Account will enable you to fully take advantage of all the new features of the latest version of Google Groups. All users – including those with existing Groups – will see the new version of Groups when they log in. This is available today at in English (US), English (UK), French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Polish, Turkish, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.

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