I'm trying to I understand the fundamental purpose of a "Group" in a NodeBB forum.
From what I can see... it seems to be an aggregation of existing forum users who all share the same label. By visiting the group page (like this one, for instance), it's literally just a feed of all the most recent posts those group members have made throughout the global forum, regardless of which category they've posted in.
Being in a group doesn't give those users access to any hidden, private, privileged conversations that only those group members can see. The average user would never be compelled to pay for group membership, because a group doesn't seem to do that much.
The only functional purposes I can see are:
Those group members might have some kind of elevated "status" within the community since they've been placed in said group (and if we're going to make this argument, it would probably be more effective to give these group members had some kind of optional "badge" over their profile picture to clearly indicate "This person is in ABC Group! Look how cool they are!").
If any forum user wants to see what all of those group members are posting, there's one central place to see the 10 most recent posts from these members (note that the feed stops after 10 posts... so the usefulness of this is quite limited).
Am I missing anything? It seems like there must be something else...
In my mind, and in a perfect world, the real purpose and value of having a group would be in giving those group members some kind of private or privileged platform to talk amongst themselves, having conversations that:
- cover Categories and/or Tags that aren't visible to the rest of the forum (sort of like a sub-forum that only group members have access to)
- cover Categories and/or Tags that are visible to the rest of the forum, but only the group members can post there
...almost like a private Facebook group, but without all the horrid distractions of Facebook.
Do groups serve some other purpose that I'm missing?
And does this kind of functionality exist within NodeBB groups and I'm just not seeing it?
If not, what would it take to create this kind of functionality?