The most recent discourse release has given us back the functionality to allow group owners to approve membership to groups. This should hopefully make groups (and backstage/private categories) a bit more usable. You can join a group, or view its details, here (click through to a group): http://diatribe.co.nz/groups. Its also found in the hamburger menu at the top right.
The update also provided a few more options around groups, for those who are owners or members, so its worth taking a look.
####Owners can now:
- provide a “Full name” for a group
- provide a group description
- provide an avatar for the group, and something called an “Avatar Flair Background Color”
- add/remove members from a group
- approve membership requests
- change membership settings
- view logs for the group (includes membership changes)
- View private messages to the group
- …and view/contribute to forum categories the group has access to
####Not all groups are publicly joinable. Group owners may choose to have a group:
- open for anyone
- open for people to request membership
- completely closed