Over the past few weeks, the AC and moderators have discussed revamping the Advisory Council into a form which enables the Moderators and Users to come together and talk about issues in a "Focus Group" type of environment. The purpose of the Focus Group (FG) will be constructive discussion between members and moderators on various issues of concerns. The Focus Group will be comprised of users brought together for discussion on a particular issue for a short-term period. In order to allow the free exchange of ideas, the Focus Group discussions will take place in a separate forum to which the users will be granted access for the time it takes to resolve the discussion. The outline for the Focus Group is as follows: 1. Members of the Focus Group can range anywhere from 2-12 people at any given time, and are brought into the Focus Group by asking the moderator in charge of the Focus Group to begin a discussion on a particular issue. Moderators can also request Focus Groups to work out issues in their forums. Moderators/Managers will participate in Focus Group discussions that affect their area of expertise or management, therefore, not all Mods/Managers will be expected to participate in every discussion. 2. A Focus Group discussion can continue for up to two weeks (or longer if the Focus Group moderator(s) deem it necessary). Moderators and users will attempt to work toward resolution of ideas and problems but will not be expected to create board policy or submit formal reports on their discussions. 3. Focus Group discussion will take place in an intially new forum, and each thread will be locked when discussion is completed. After discussion is over, the Focus Group moderator(s) will remove the Focus Group users' access. 4. Discussion in Focus Group forum is limited to active Focus Group discussions. Moderators and/or users may not use the forum as a gathering place to discuss issues best left to the Mod Squad or Communications. 5. While users may contact the Focus Group moderator to request a topic discussion, it does not guarantee that this topic will be taken up by the Focus Group. The FG moderator will be responsible for examining the requested topic's relevance to the Group's purpose and initiating the invitations to the discussion. 6. Each Focus Group will have a "team lead" that will be responsible for directing the topic throughout the discussion period. This individual will help keep the discussion flowing throughout the 2 week (or longer) period and solicit ideas as needed from users who are not included in the Focus Group. 7. Since users will be invited into the Focus Group to discuss a particular issue, they will be discouraged from joining in on other discussions that may be going on simultaneously in the FG forum. This is ensure that the Focus Group stays on task for their specific discussion and does not disrupt the flow of other FG discussions. In summary, the AC will change to meet the needs of the boards. The AC as well as the mods, managers and administrators feel that a Focus Group environment will enable a more topical discussion of issues utilizing users that have a vested interest and experience in a specific area. We feel that in this way, users can bring up issues with multiple mods/managers rather than in a one-on-one PM conversation.