UK Forums for Tech Champions

How UK Forums is organised

Our UK Forums are on a platform called Discourse. This is extremely powerful discussion software that scales to thousands of users discussing thousands of topics. However, presenting every user with every topic under discussion by everyone would be confusing, so we have organised it so you only see the discussions you are interested in.

We have done this using Security Groups. Being a member of a Security Group allows you to see those forums associated with the group. We use 2 kinds of Security Group -- public and private. Anyone can join public groups, but people have to be invited on to private groups by the group admins.

We use public Security Groups for the Reception Forum for each organisation (working group, local group, affinity group, etc.). If someone wants to talk to that organisation, they can join their public security group, and they will see the reception forum (and any other public forums belonging to the group).

We use private Security Groups for private discussions inside an organisation -- usually a forum for general private discussion, and often one or more forums for working groups in the organisation. If someone outside the organisation wants to join, they need to contact the organisation (e.g. through joining their public group, and posting a request in their Reception forum, or contacting them via email, or on Facebook, or whatever).

How it looks on screen


The boxes above are the main category headings. You can click on one to expand it, and see the most recent posts within that category. The blue links in each category are the actual forums in that category.

You can see from the screen that I am in a lot of Tech working groups (both private and public), in the Shrewsbury local group.

How to join a public Security Group

There are two different ways to join a public Security Group, so you can get in touch with an organisation.

Firstly, there is a list of UK level Working Groups in [Getting Started/Join groups]{.underline}. You can click on items in that list to join the security group.


Likewise, there is a list of Regional Groups in [Regional groups/About the Regional groups category]{.underline}, a list of local groups in each region in a post for each region in the [Regional groups]{.underline} category, and a list of Affinity groups in [Affinity groups/About the Affinity groups category ]{.underline}.

If I scroll down, I can see:


If I click on Citizens' Assembly Working Group, I see the group information:


If I then click on Join, I become a member of the group.

The other way is to look in the Groups list (from the main menu), which lists all the public Security Groups (and any private ones you are a member of):


There are lots of groups, but you can type into the filter box (where it says All Groups above) to narrow down the list to ones that match what you type. Click on one to get the option to join it:


Now my main screen looks like this:


Two new forums have appeared in the Political category -- Citizens' Assembly W General (for general discussion) and Citizens' Assembly W Reception (for talking to the working group).

Joining someone to your private group

To join someone to your group, go to the groups list to find your group, and click on it. You may find it helpful to limit the list to groups you own (only group owners can add members -- all tech champions should automatically be group owners for their groups):


Click Add Members:


Type the name of the person to join -- a helpful pop-down will show a list of people matching the name. Click on one to add them. Repeat until all the people you want to add are shown in the list, then clock the Add button.

Removing someone from your group

Open the group again, but click on the spanner icon next to the person you want to remove -- an option to remove them will appear.

You may find that xrukadmin is a member and/or owner of your group. Xrukadmin is the login that the Hub uses to add people to your group, so please do not remove it (it will break the Hub connection if you do).

Editing your group description

Open the group again, but click on Manage.


Edit the About Group description, and click Save Changes.

Editing your forum description

As a Tech Champion, you can edit the descriptions of your forums -- you should do this when you first create your organisation. First open the forum. The description should be the first post. Click on it to open it:


Click on the edit pencil icon to edit it (you may have to click on the ... menu first to make the edit icon appear).