Groups

Groups, courtesy—the Organic groups module, can enhance our community by providing an area for groups of users to communicate and work together. Users can create groups, join groups, contribute to groups, and subscribe to groups, thus creating a series of smaller communities within the site.

Groups for Dino Space

Why might we want to provide groups in our Dino Space network? Let's take a look at some potential groups:

• New users group—help and support for using the site

• UK Dinosaur owners group — related discussion and comments specific to the dinosaur owners residing in the UK

Groups support a number of different membership options, including:

• Open membership—where requests for memberships are automatically approved

• Moderated—where new requests must be approved

• Invite only—new members can only join on invitation by an administrator

• Closed — all memberships are managed only by an administrator

This allows us to have private groups should we wish that option.

Of course, as these are Organic groups, users can create new groups as the need for them arises.

Organic Groups module

The Organic groups module requires some simple configuration. To get it up and running, we need to:

• Create a new content type to act as the root node for a group

• Configure the page content type to allow it to be contributed to a group

• Configure the relevant blocks

Create group content type

We need to create a new content type from the Administer | Content management | Content types section, by clicking the Add content type tab at the top of the page.

Under the Identification tab, let's call it a Group and the type group.

Identification

Name: *

Group

The human-readable name of this content type. This tojct will he displayed as part of the list on the create content page. It is recommended that this name begin with a capital letter and contain only letters, numbers, and spaces. This name must be unique.

Type: *

group

The machine-readable name of this content type. This text will be used for constructing the URL oF the create content page For this content type. This name must contain only lowercase letters, numbers, and underscores. Underscores will be converted into hyphens when constructing the URL of the crests content page. This name must be unique.

Description:

*

=

A brief description of this content type. This text will he displayed as part of the list on the create content page.

Next, under the Organic groups section, we need to select this content type as a Group node, so that creating the content of this type effectively creates a new group for us.

V Organic groups

Organic groups usage:

@ Group node

© May not be posted into a group.

© Standard group post (typically only author may edit). Sends email notifications. © Standard group post (typically only author may edit). No email notification.

Specify how organic groups should treat nodes of this type. Nodes may behave as a group, as group posts, or may not participate in organic groups at atl.

Next, we click Save content type to save the new content type.

Configure page content type

So, we have a content type which can be used as a group. That is great! But we need to be able to post information into the group, preferably by creating pages within the group. To do this, we need to configure the page content type, to allow it to be posted into a group.

From Administer | Content management | Content types, we need to click the edit link associated with the Page content type. Under the Organic groups section, we need to set the content type to be a Standard group post, which allows it to be posted within a group.

v Organic groups

Organic groups usage:

© May not be posted into a group.

® Standard group post (typically only author may edit). Sends email notifications.

O Standard group post (typically only author may edit). No email notification.

Specify how organic groups should treat nodes of this type, Nodes may behave as a group, as group posts, or may not participate In organic groups at all.

Enabling the block

The Organic groups module comes with a number of blocks which can be displayed at the side of our Drupal site to provide further information about the current group, and groups within our site generally. To configure the block, we need to navigate to Administer | Site building | Blocks.

t PUBLISHING l

The following blocks should be set to Right sidebar:

• Group notifications

• Group details

Right sidebar

*** Group notifications *** Group details *** New groups

Right sidebar Right sidebar configure configure

Right sidebar » configure

The New groups block provides a list of recently created groups in our Drupal site. The Group details and Group notifications blocks are only displayed when they are within a group.

Creating a group

To create a new group, we must create some new content, of type group from Create content | group.

Let's create a T-Rex owners group. We will call it T-Rex Owners, with a Description of, a group of owners of T-Rex Dinosaurs, and a Mission statement detailing the group.

T-Rex Owners

Description: *

a group for owners of T-Rex Dinosaurs

A brief description for the group details block and the group directory o Menu settings

Description: *

a group for owners of T-Rex Dinosaurs

A brief description for the group details block and the group directory o Menu settings

Mission statement:

Split summary at cursor

This group aims to provide help and support for owners of T-Rex

*

dinosaurs!

A '.-.is¡corns greeting for your group home page. Consider listing the group objectives and mission.

A '.-.is¡corns greeting for your group home page. Consider listing the group objectives and mission.

Let's set this up to be an open group, so that anyone can join instantly. Let's place an option for joining the group on the user registration page, as well as make it available in the directory of groups.

Membership requests:

@ Open - membership requests are accepted immediately. © Moderated - membership requests must be approved. O Invite only - membership must be created by an administrator. © Closed - membership is exclusively managed by an administrator.

How should membership requests be handled in this group? When you select cfased, users Mill not be able to join or leave.

0 Registration form

May users join this group during registration? If checked, a corresponding checkbox will be added to the registration form.

0 List in groups directory

Should this group appear On the list of groups page? Disabled if the group is set to private group.

Using our group

Once our group is created, we are taken to it. Let's review the group screen.

T-Rex Owners Edit E-mail

Group notifications

This group offers an email subscription.

No posts in this group.

This group aims to provide help and support for owners of T-Rex

T-Rex Owners

dinosaurs!

° Create Page Invite friend

1 member

Add new comment

Manager: Michael

New groups

T-Rex Owners

rri >f'itw

From here we can:

• See that there are no posts in the group at the moment

• See the mission statement

• Email subscribers of this group

• Set if we wish to receive an email every time a new message is posted to the group using the Group notifications block.

• Create a page, invite a friend to the group, see members of the group, see the manager of the group, and manage our membership of the group from the Group details block.

• See new groups added to the site, from the New groups block.

This module opens up a whole new world with our site, allowing us to create subcommunities to discuss and collaborate on various topics. We could create groups for discussing site policy and direction, and create a group for users who are contributing, using the book module. Groups can give these users private areas to thrash out ideas, or public areas where anyone can participate, while maintaining a list of users who are following or contributing to the group.

0 0

Post a comment