Interactive Groups and Applications

There are a number of ways we can use to stay in touch with each other and they are all available either free or for a minimal outlay. All that most will need is someone who understands the technology to be able to administer and operate it and perhaps assist club members who need support.

Online Forums

If the club already has a website, it will already have web hosting. To add an online forum as another web resource is fairly easy to do and requires little maintenance once set up and configured. It is also possible to set up an online forum with access limited to club members if that is preferred. The software needed for the web forum is often available free of charge so the only cost would be the web hosting (which may be no extra to what is already being paid for the website). Most forums allow posting of text, images, videos and documents which cover most needs. The AWGB forum is an example of what can be done. The content and subject matter can be tailored to suit.

Social Media

There are a number of options here – the popular ones are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Each of these work slightly differently so it’s worth familiarising yourself with each first. If you want to create an online presence for the club, each of these three will facilitate that. If you want either a private or public group, Facebook is probably best placed to do that.

There are those who have concerns about social media and privacy. If appropriate security settings are applied to personal accounts and common sense is applied, the risks are minimal.

Messaging Apps

For those who want to enable instant sharing of messages and discussions within a small group (family or club), the messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram are useful. Both these applications enable messages, images and videos to be sent to all members of a group so they can interact, participate in discussions, see what others are making etc.

WhatsApp registration is based on a mobile phone number and is intended to be used on a smart phone. Versions which run on other devices such as PCs etc. are available but it is only possible to be registered on one device at a time.

Telegram is preferred by many because the application offers interaction with messages, images and videos without the baggage most social media platforms include. Telegram can also be installed and operated on multiple platforms simultaneously so you can pick up your messages from whichever device you are using at the time. Registration is not dependent on having a mobile phone number, you just create a user account. Private groups can be set up with access by invitation only.


This option is included for completeness. Most people who have a connection will have an email account so it can be considered the lowest common denominator. However, it’s probably the least effective of all the technologies mentioned for interacting with a group. It is probably the one most often the cause of complaint by people who receive emails they don’t want so if you do set up an email distribution, be prepared to keep the list current.