How to use Apple’s new .Mac Groups

Banner Apple today debuted .Mac Groups. You can use .Mac Groups to create a website that brings together family and friends who share a common interest. After you set up a group, you can invite anyone with an email address to join.

All .Mac groups are private and accessible by invitation only. Members can share personal profiles, read and post messages, publish photos and movies on group webpages, view a group calendar, share links to other websites, and more.

To set up a group, you must be a full .Mac member and have at least 100 MB of available storage in your .Mac account for the group’s messages and files.

To create a group:
1. Go to http://www.mac.com and click Groups on the .Mac tab. If you’re already logged in, you can also click Groups on the .Mac main page.
2. Click “Create a new group” and follow the onscreen instructions.
After you set up a group, you will receive an email confirmation that contains a link to your group’s page on the web. To invite people to join your group, go to your group’s website and click “Invite.” You can invite anyone with an email address to join. For more information, see “Inviting a new group member” in .Mac Help.

To invite a new group member:
1. Go to http://www.mac.com, log in, and click the group’s name on the .Mac main page.
2. Click Invite at the bottom of the Members list.
3. Enter the name and email address of the person you want to invite.
4. Type your message in the “Personal message” field.
5. Click Continue and preview the invitation. To edit the invitation, click Back.
6. If you want to receive a copy of the invitation, select the “Send me a copy” checkbox.
7. Click Send.
After your email is received, the recipient can accept your invitation by clicking the message’s request link and signing up for a .Mac ID if they don’t already have one.

Joining a group:
A .Mac group website is private and accessible only to the group’s members. To join a group, you must be invited to join by the group’s owner or a current member of the group. If you’ve received an email inviting you to join a group, you can click the message’s request link to accept the invitation and sign up for a .Mac ID if you don’t already have one. Note: If you were invited by someone other than the group’s owner, the owner of the group will need to accept your membership request and add you to the group.

To add a link to another website: If you’re a member of a .Mac group, you can share a link to another website by adding it to your group’s page.
1. Go to http://www.mac.com, click Groups on the .Mac tab, and then click the group to which you want to add a link. If you’re logged in, you can also click the group’s name on the .Mac main page.
2. In the “Other links” section, click Edit.
3. Type a name for the link in the “Link name” field. This name will appear on your group’s homepage.
4. Type the webpage’s address in the Link URL field.
5. Click Add.

To directly contact another group member: If you’re a member of a .Mac group, it’s easy to directly contact other members who have chosen to share their profile information.
1. Go to http://www.mac.com, click Groups on the .Mac tab, and then click the group you want to go to. If you’re logged in, you can also click the group’s name on the .Mac main page.
2. In the Members section, find the member you want to contact by searching or by clicking an arrow at the bottom of the Members list.
3. Do one of the following:
• To view the member’s contact information, click the Profile button (a person’s head) next to the member’s name.
• To go to the member’s website, click the Web button (a house) next to the member’s name.
• To send an email message to the member, click the Email button (an envelope) next to the member’s name.

To edit your profile: If you’re a member of a .Mac group, you can change your profile, including your name, address, contact information, and whether to make your profile information available to other members.
1. Go to http://www.mac.com and click Groups on the .Mac tab.
2. At the bottom of the “My groups” page, click Edit Profile.
3. Edit the information you want to change.
4. Click Save.

Opening your group’s iDisk if your .Mac membership has expired: If your .Mac membership or trial account has expired, you can still open your group’s iDisk.
• If you’re using Mac OS X, choose Go > Connect to Server, enter http://idisk.mac.com/groups.groupemailaddress (where “groupemailaddress” is the email address used by your .Mac group), and then enter your .Mac ID and password.
• If you’re using Windows XP, use Map Network Drive and enter the group’s iDisk network address: http://idisk.mac.com/groups.groupemailaddress (where “groupemailaddress” is the email address used by your .Mac group).

Opening your group’s iDisk using Microsoft Windows: You can open your group’s iDisk using Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows 98.
• If you’re using Windows XP, use iDisk Utility for Windows to open your iDisk and access your group’s folder. (To locate your group’s folder, open the Groups folder on your iDisk.) To download iDisk Utility for Windows, go to http://www.mac.com and click .Mac Member Central. Note: If you use iDisk Utility for Windows and repeatedly get an error message that says the password you entered is incorrect or that iDisk Utility is unable to establish a network connection, you need to use the Add Network Place Wizard in Windows to connect to your iDisk. Choose My Network Places from the Start menu, then choose “Add a network place” in the Network Tasks list. In the Add Network Place Wizard, enter the following as the location to add: http://idisk.mac.com/groups.groupemailaddress (where “groupemailaddress” is the email address used by your .Mac group). Use your .Mac member name and password for authentication.
• If you’re using Windows 2000, open My Computer, choose Map Network Drive from the Tools menu, then click “Web folder or FTP site.” Enter the following as the location to add: http://idisk.mac.com/groups.groupemailaddress (where “groupemailaddress” is the email address used by your .Mac group). Use your .Mac member name and password for authentication.
• If you’re using Windows 98, open My Computer, double-click the Web Folders icon, then double-click Add Web Folder. Enter the following as the location to add: http://idisk.mac.com/groups.groupemailaddress (where “groupemailaddress” is the email address used by your .Mac group). Use your .Mac member name and password for authentication.

To cancel a group membership: If you’re a member of a .Mac group, you can cancel your membership in a group at any time.
1. Go to http://www.mac.com and click Groups on the .Mac tab.
2. At the bottom of the “My groups” page, click Edit Profile.
3. Next to the group’s name in the “Group preferences” section of your profile, click “Cancel membership.”
Note: You cannot remove yourself from a group if you’re the group’s owner. You must transfer group ownership to another member before you remove yourself.

For more information click “.Mac Help” after logging into your .Mac account.

Learn more about Apple’s .Mac and sign up for a free trial here.

[MacDailyNews and iPodDailyNews are Apple .Mac affiliates. Thank you for your support.]

Related articles:
What’s new in Apple’s Backup 3 – September 20, 2005
Apple debuts new .Mac features: .Mac Groups, Backup 3, 1GB storage, French & German Localization – September 20, 2005

15 Comments

  1. anyone read this in FAQ:
    PC users can create a .Mac ID (and get a free trial membership) just the way Mac users can. The .Mac ID is theirs to keep and use for .Mac groups, AIM and iChat chats, the iTunes Music Store, and the Apple Store

    iChat at PCs?

  2. Happy to see the increased disk storage, but overall underwhelmed. Still the .Mac web portal is nothing but advertisements even after you log in, and this .Mac groups seems to be a thinly veiled attempt at viral-marketing on the backs of current members to lure their contacts into .Mac

  3. I’ve already created a group, synced a new calendar for the group, uploaded a logo image. It seems useful for collaborative work. I like the fact that it is just for the invited, not a webpage for all to access.

  4. Expanded storage is GREAT! The idea of groups is great. However, I work with teenagers and many, if not most, will not download the .mac trial because they aren’t allowed. I’m sure that if they asked their parents they still won’t be allowed to download it because they’re affraid there’s a “catch”. I made a group but I don’t think I’ll get anyone to group with me…story of my life! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Jim this is the same apple user ID that users have to set up to download iTunes. There is not software to download just register a name with Apple and it is yours to keep. What the FAQ is talking about is that when you signup for a user name you are given a demo .Mac account. This account allows you to access the .mac mail servers. the iDisk and the .Mac web servers.

    As for flicker being a reason to avoid .mac…….um I guess I just have higher expectations. Or to be fair, maybe just different.

    .Mac provices webdav access to files. So I can have a word document on my iDisk go onsite to a client. Mount that iDisk on their computer and open the word document directly from the web. When I close and save the document is updated on the web. This is the biggest value .mac provices, but not the only one.

    My calendars are published and sync’d between my systems as well as shared with my friends and family both through a web interface and for those with applications that support the iCal standard format also through automated updates. Publishing photos, movies or even my family tree all is as easy as saving documents to a local drive.

    If you don’t like the “standard” home pages use any HTML editor that you like and simply publish your own site but with the ease of simply saving the data to a local drive (no FTP back and forth)

    Now with the new group features I can allocate shared iDisk space to members of a group and even setup blog’s like this one. All without any ad’s.

    Oh yes and I can upload a full GB of data and users can access 10GB of bandwidth. flickr allows me 20MB/month?. It would take me 4 years to upload a single GB of photos to flickr.

    To make a long story short. If you don’t have a use for .mac, don’t use it but don’t dismiss it’s value if you don’t understand it.

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