The Role of Groups
Groups are used to identify skills and expertise. Civically makes it possible for everyone to participate equally, however it is still useful to know who can do what.
This includes identifying recognised expertise such as lawyers, software developers or teachers. It also includes identifying typically unrecognised expertise such as community organisers, family maintainers or caregivers.
What Groups Should Not Be Used For
Groups are not used to identify ideological positions. There can be a group for political expertise, but there can’t be a group for progressives or conservatives.
Similarly, groups are not used for advancing particular causes. There can be a group for protest organisers, but there can’t be a group for reducing coal production or for reducing immigration.
The purpose of a group is identification of expertise for benefit of other users, i.e. for the benefit of the community. While it is possible for groups to talk privately on Civically, groups are not designed to be private forums for like-minded experts.
The Relationships Between Online and Offline Groups
Membership in groups identifying certified expertise, such as legal or accounting, will be controlled in the same way it is in the relevant place. If you’re not recognized as a lawyer in your place, you can’t be recognized as a lawyer on Civically.