Communities may be organized hierarchically by making communities members of other communities. This way the organizational hierarchy of an enterprise can be mapped to BSCW communities. Members of a subcommunity may access the community workspace of a supercommunity. The respective community workspaces are not necessarily related in any inclusion relations.
For demonstration purposes, take the case of the bulletin board for a large department which we organized as a community workspace above. The associated community has as members all employees of the department. When you as community manager would like to set up, e.g., also bulletin boards for the subdepartments (let’s call them A, B, C), which are also to be implemented as community workspaces, you could proceed as follows:
• Go to the members’ page of the department community by first clicking on the icon shown in the ‘Share’ column of the community workspace entry to view the members of the community workspace and then clicking on the community entry.
• Tick the check boxes of all user entries of the employees of subdepartment A and click in the multi-selection toolbar to create the new community for subdepartment A.
• In the ‘New Community’ form that is presented next, you enter the name of the new community (in our case ‘Bulletin Board of Subdepartment A’) and select the community role as well as the admission policy (in our case Restricted member and Hidden Community). This also creates the associated community workspace that will appear in your home directory with you as owner and manager. If you do not want to manage the subdepartmental bulletin board, invite someone of subdepartment A as manager to the new community workspace.
• Repeat the above steps for subdepartments B and C. Now the members’ page of the department bulletin board community will show no more user entries of employees of the three subdepartments, but only the three entries of the subdepartment communities.
This way you have created three subcommunities of the original community. You could subdivide the new subcommunities further, proceeding exactly as described above. Note that the members of the subcommunities may access the community workspace of a supercommunity in the community role of the supercommunity, i.e. the community role of the supercommunity determines how members of subcommunities and sub-subcommunities etc. may access the community workspace of the supercommunity – regardless of the community roles in the subcommunities.
Instead of building a hierarchical community organization by subdividing an existing community, you can also proceed bottom up by uniting existing communities so that these communities become subcommunities of the new community. Let’s assume that you have already created three communities A, B, and C for the three subdepartments and now want to create a department community with exactly these three communities as members, so that all members of the three existing communities may access the community workspace of the new department community.
• Open your address book by selecting GoTo Address Book in the top menu. There you find entries for the three communities A, B and C. When you create a community, a respective entry is automatically generated in your address book.
• Tick the check boxes of the three community entries and click in the multi-selection toolbar to create the new department community with the three communities as members.
• In the ‘New Community’ form that is presented next, you enter the name of the new community (in our case ‘Bulletin Board of Department D’) and select the community role as well as the admission policy (in our case Restricted member and Hidden Community). This also creates the associated community workspace that will appear in your home directory with you as owner and manager.
Alternatively, you could first create the department community and then invite the three communities A, B, and C as subcommunities:
• Create the department community D along with its community workspace in your home directory using File New Community . The new community has no members initially.
• Click the icon shown in the ‘Share’ column of the community workspace entry to access the members’ page of the community workspace D, which shows as only member the community D.
• Select Access Invite Member in the action menu of community D and invite the three communities A, B, and C using the option ‘Choose from my address book’ in the ‘Invite Member’ form.
Note: The fact that a community Y is a member of a community X, i.e. is a subcommunity of X, does not imply any inclusion relation between the associated community workspaces X and Y. The members of community Y can access the community workspace X, but community workspace X is not automatically made part of community workspace Y. This situation is completely different from seemingly similar relations between workspaces and their member groups: when the member group of a workspace Y is invited to the member group of a workspace X, then workspace X is automatically made part of workspace Y, i.e. is contained in workspace Y.