Hubs are the primary place that you will connect with the groups and organizations that you are associated with. Hubs are designed to be extremely flexible and can be configured to accommodate the needs of many different kinds of groups.
The home page is the first page that you will see when entering a hub. If you are a hub administrator you can completely customize this page to suit the needs of your group. In addition to simply changing the text, it's possible to embed a hosted image or video and even edit the HMTL for that page.
It is common to put information here that you want members to see when they enter the hub. Remember include text welcoming new members as this may be the first time that they have been involved with MemberHub. The text on the home page can change as often as a hub administrator desires.
Messages are split up between two options: Announcements and Discussions
Announcements are one-way messages to the entire group. They are designed for short, instant notifications like “Ball game cancelled tonight because of weather.”
An announcement can be received via e-mail or text message on your cell phone (depending on your personal settings). By default announcements marked as urgent are delivered via text message.
Depending on how a hub is configured, an administrator may be the only person in the group who is allowed to post announcements (this is the case by default).
Every hub has a discussion thread option for members to easily reach the group. The discussion board behaves like a mailing list and not like an online forum. By default members will receive discussion board posts via e-mail. If you don’t want to receive posts via email you can opt out in your personal settings for the hub.
Every hub has a customizable email address. Sending an email to that address will automatically create a new discussion and record the thread in the hub. To discover the discussion board e-mail address for a particular hub, look in the sidebar of the discussion board. If you are the hub administrator, you can customize the e-mail address on the General tab of Hub Settings. You can also create and read discussions in hub on the Discussions page.
Every hub has a calendar where events that relate to the group can be posted. By default members and administrators can post events to the calendar but it can also be configured to allow only administrators to add events.
When creating an event you can choose to notify members of the event and set up email or text message reminders that will be sent during the time leading up to the event.
If you use a desktop calendar application like Apple’s iCal or Microsoft Outlook 2007 you can subscribe to the iCalendar feed of a hub calendar and it will automatically import events from the hub into your personal calendar. You can view a list of applications that have support for the iCalendar protocol on Wikipedia [here].
Events from a hub calendar will also show up on Your Dashboard and Your Calendar. Other family members that you are connected to on MemberHub will also be able to view events from hubs that you are connected with on their calendars (although you can change this in your personal settings for a hub).
If you have documents or other files that you would like to share with the members of your hub, you can upload them to the file repository. This will be a safe and central place for the group to store documents.
By default both members and hub admins are allowed to upload files to the repository, but this can be configured on the Permissions tab of Hub Settings.
The members page lists all of the people who are directly affiliated with the hub. You can view the profiles of other members and thereby share up-to-date contact information. If the members are grouped by family, you can view a family profile as well as the profile of each family member. This especially useful for an online family directory.
If you are an administrator you can also add or invite new members from the membership listing.
If you have pictures that you would like to share with the members of your hub, you can create a photo album. This is a safe and secure way for you to share photos, rather than posting them in a public social networking site.
By default both members and hub admins are allowed to create photo albums, but this can be configured on the Permissions tab of Hub Settings.
Whiteboards are great way to collaborate with other members in your hub. Create whiteboards for your groups to brainstorm on a particular topic, do simple signups or share information that you want to preserve in the hub. They are a great way for members to share ideas without having to flood members inbox with emails from a Discussion.
By default both members and hub admins are allowed to create whiteboards, but this can be configured on the Permissions tab of Hub Settings.
You are able to create signups to give an opportunity for people in your organization to volunteer. Signups are essentially broken down by "items" and "time slots" and are helpful to gauge how many people will be at an event and to send them automatic reminders for things that they signup for.
You can control who can create a signup in Permissions tab in Hub Settings
You can access the settings for a hub from the Hub Settings button below the hub navigation. Depending on whether you are a hub administrator or not, you will be able to view up to six tabs in the Hub Settings area. Normal users only have access to the Personal Settings tab.
- General Settings
On the General Settings tab you can configure name, owner, and physical location of your hub. You can also modify your hub discussion board e-mail address or upload a custom logo for your hub.
On the Admins tab you can add and remove hub administrators. Hub administrators have the ability to do everything that the hub owner can do except change the owner of the hub. This means they even have the ability to add additional administrators.
On the Joins tab, you can configure the join settings for your hub. In the first section you can create a Join Page that people can use to join your hub.
On the Permissions tab you can configure the access that members have to the different sections of a hub. For example, if you would like for members to be able to invite other people to join the hub you can enable it on the permissions tab. You can also turn entire sections off or limit access to administrators only. This is useful if you feel like you don’t need a calendar for a certain hub or if you only want hub administrators to be able to access the membership listing.
- Personal Settings
On the Personal Settings tab, you can configure your personal notifications for a hub and calendar sharing preferences. For notifications you can select to be notified via e-mail about announcements, new calendar events, calendar event reminders, discussion posts, and file uploads. For certain items you can also select to be notified via text message (SMS).
On the Profiles tab you can configure the fields members are able to view on each other’s profiles or even if they are able to view profiles at all.