Closing a Community or Business Group

From Community Council Community Group

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Determining Which Groups To Close

Out experience suggests this approach for closing inactive groups.


  • Create a plan with timeline (example)
  • Create a candidate list (using list-closure-candidates.js) and send to team-community-process.
  • Create a spreadsheet to track feedback on the list (example spreadsheet). In particular, track requests (from groups, team, or others) to stay open and explicit requests to close.


  • Inform the Systems Team of the plan (example)
  • Request review of the list by Team (allow 1 week; see sample email to Team))
  • Notify candidate groups of the plan (allow 30 days; see email template for first-time candidates and email template for repeat candidates).
    • The JSON data in the candidate closure list includes the group name and home page link, which can be used to draft mail to the group. The group's mailing list can be derived from the group's home page URL (same Ian uses mutt for merging data into a template and mass mailing.

List of Groups to close

  • Allow at least 30 days for discussion before closing groups.
  • Create a new candidate list (using list-closure-candidates.js). This new candidate list may differ from the original candidate list for several reasons: (1) some groups may have become active as a result of discussion, or (2) tooling has improved and therefore is detecting activity that previously went undetected.
  • The list of groups to close is the union of:
    • Groups where the chairs have requested or agreed to closure (whether or not the group is newly active).
    • Groups where the chairs have requested to keep the group open but the rationale is insufficient (e.g., continued lack of activity and no plans for repeat candidates).
    • Groups where nobody requested that the group be kept open and the group does not appear in the updated candidate list. In other words, if the group is "newly active," whether or not anybody requested to keep it open, we will keep it open.
  • Send the "groups to close" list to team-community-process, along with other data to support that computation (e.g., link to the spreadsheet with feedback, list of groups that requested to close, the newly computed candidate list).

Example code

Using the candidate lists and feedback from discussion, create these files (each file is a series of lines of the form "Web Tech" where that is the name of a CG; no blank lines):

  • orig.txt: Initial candidate closure list.
  • updated.txt: Updated candidate closure list.
  • asked-to-close.txt: List of groups where the chairs requested or accepted closure.
  • agreed-to-keep-open.txt: List of groups after discussion where the staff has agreed to keep the group open.

Then generate the results as follows:

comm -12 <(sort orig.txt|uniq) <(sort updated.txt|uniq) > tmp.txt
comm -23 <(sort tmp.txt|uniq) <(sort agreed-to-keep-open.txt|uniq) > tmp2.txt
cat asked-to-close.txt tmp2.txt | sort | uniq > to-close.txt


  1. Look for the group in our DB:
    1. Start with the Community/Business Group State Manager
    2. search and query
    3. Click the group name to open the group page in the Community/Business Group State Manager (save for #4 and #5)
  2. Update the mailing lists archive headers:
    1. Use the mailing list customizer
    2. Syntax to customize a CG/BG mailing list:
    3. todo for public-groupid, public-groupid-contrib and internal-groupid
    4. In "header of the archives" and "description of the archives":
      1. s/is/was/
      2. Remove "Anyone may read or write to this list." or "Only group participants may post to this list."
      3. Add: "Group closed YYYY-MM-DD."
    5. Update each.
  3. Close (deactivate) the Group's mailing lists (there is a daily cronjob that automatically deactivates the mailing lists for closed CG):
    1. Click the "services" link in the Community/Business Group State Manager
    2. Click "List Management" for each of the group's mailing lists
    3. todo for public-groupid, public-groupid-contrib and internal-groupid
    4. Click "deactivate this list" for each.
  4. Update the Group's description on the CG Website:
    1. Use the group page in the Community/Business Group State Manager
    2. Add: <p><strong>Group closed YYYY-MM-DD</strong></p> at the start of the "description"
    3. Click "Update"
  5. Close the Group:
    1. Use the group page in the Community/Business Group State Manager
    2. Set the "Status" of the group to "Disabled"
    3. Click "Update"