An Introduction to Organic Groups with Drupal 7

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    [drupalize.me] [Learn Drupal]
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    [♪ Music ♪]
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    [An Introduction to Organic Groups] [Organic Groups with Drupal 7]
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    [Chapter 1 with Joe Shindelar]
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    In this series, Karen Stevenson, Michelle Lauer and myself,
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    Joe Shindelar, are going to give you a demonstration
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    of the Organic Groups module for Drupal 7.
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    Organic Groups is a module that lets users and administrators
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    of your site create new groups and then place content into those groups.
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    An example of something like Organic Groups that you're probably familiar with
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    is meetup.com.
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    If you think about meetup.com, when you create a user
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    on the site you can then create a new meetup.
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    And a meetup is really a collection of content like an event
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    or announcements for the meetup and members,
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    people that have subscribed to that meetup and said
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    "I'd like to come to this and be notified when there's a new event posted."
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    This is a good example of something you might build with Organic Groups.
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    Another example that you might already be familiar with
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    is groups.drupal.org which uses the Organic Groups module.
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    As a member of groups.drupal.org I can create
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    a new Twin Cities group.
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    Other users of the site can find that group
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    and request membership in the group.
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    Once they have membership in the group, they've got one place
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    that they can go and get all of the content that's related to the Twin Cities.
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    It makes it easy for them to find the things that they're looking for
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    and group things together.
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    I've also seen the Organic Groups module used
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    on a site like a newspaper website.
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    If you think about how newspapers work
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    they usually have different sections, like the sports section,
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    the politics section, maybe an arts and entertainment section,
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    and maybe even in a really cool newspaper they've got a Drupal section.
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    Each of those sections is a grouping of articles,
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    so you write a new article, and you place it into the sports section,
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    or in this case the sports group.
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    It's just a way of keeping all the content organized
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    and grouped together logically,
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    but you can take it a little bit further too.
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    Using the Organic Group module I could do something like,
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    say, in the sports section I'd like to have the pages look different.
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    The Organic Groups module lets me do that.
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    It lets me say in this specific context
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    I'd like to use a different theme, so when I'm viewing a page
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    that's in the sports section of my website show it using a different theme,
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    and I could even take it further.
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    Again, using the analogy of a newspaper and the sports section
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    I might have a sports editor.
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    I could make the member on my site who is the sports editor
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    a manager of the sports group or the sports section,
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    and that would give them permission to edit articles
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    that have been added to the sports group,
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    but it would not allow them to edit articles from anywhere else on the site.
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    That way I can lock them down to only being editors
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    listed in that certain section of the site.
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    There's a lot of things that you can do with the Organic Groups module,
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    and it's a pretty flexible system.
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    For demonstration purposes, in this series
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    we're going to build a website for a fictitious recreation center in a small town.
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    The concept is this.
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    We want the recreation center to be able to have a website
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    that all the sports teams can come and learn about
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    their teams and other teams,
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    so in our site each sports team is going to be a group,
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    and then users of the site can sign up for a group to be either a
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    player on a team or the coach of a team.
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    We're going to make it so that coaches of a team can post announcements
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    into their team so that the players can see
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    what's going on with the team.
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    For example, when the next game is.
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    We're also going to take a look at how we can create a group that's private,
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    one that only allows you to sign up if you're invited to the group.
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    Once you've been added to the group you can see the content
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    that is also private to that group.
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    For our use what we're going to do is create a management group,
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    one that the city manager or someone from the recreation center
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    can add all of the coaches to and post announcements to,
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    but those announcements are kept private and only the coaches for the teams can see them.
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    All of the players and regular users of the site won't get to see them.
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    Throughout the course of the series we're going to learn about creating groups,
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    making those groups private and adjusting all of the different settings
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    related to permissions and access control and how we could do so
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    on a site-wide basis or make adjustments so that we can do it
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    on a per group basis.
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    We're also going to learn about creating content and assigning that content
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    to an organic group.
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    Along the way we're going to learn about permissions related to creating content
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    and how we can set it up so that certain members can create content
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    for their group or a group that they belong to but can't affect
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    the content of other groups.
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    We're also going to learn about how to display all of these relationships
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    that the Organic Groups module creates.
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    Organic Groups is all about creating relationships between a piece of content
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    and a user or a piece of content and a group or a user and a group.
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    In order to display all that information we're going to take a look at using
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    the OG Extras module.
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    This will allow us to do things like have a block on a group page
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    that displays all the people that are a member of that group.
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    We'll also be able to use OG Extras in order to display a list of announcements
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    on the bottom of the team page underneath the description of that team.
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    Later in the series we'll take a look at using the Panels module
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    to accomplish the same thing.
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    Organic Groups out of the box has a bunch of views
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    that are preconfigured to work well with Panels,
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    so we'll take a look at how we can do that.
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    We'll also take a look at how we can create some of our own new views
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    using things like context in Organic Groups so that we can
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    create a block that when it's placed on a group page
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    is aware of which group it's being displayed as
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    and can thus only display the content that's relevant to that group
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    respecting all of the access control that we set.
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    We'll also learn about using the Organic Groups Theme module
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    in order to make it so that on a per group basis we can set
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    a specific theme, overriding the defaults and making it look
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    how we want it to for that group.
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    Towards the end of the series Karen is going to demonstrate
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    using the Panelizer module so that we can
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    end up with a system that allows coaches
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    for our groups to have a different layout on a per group basis.
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    There's all kinds of things that you can do with the Organic Groups module,
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    and in this video series we're really only just starting to scratch the surface
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    of what's possible, but we're hoping that you'll pick up some tips along the way
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    and learn about some interesting things you can do with the module
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    and start to get your brain spinning a little bit and figuring out
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    how you might be able to make use of Organic Groups in your next project.

An Introduction to Organic Groups with Drupal 7

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In this video series Karen Stevenson, Michelle Lauer and Joe Shindelar take a look at the Organic Groups module for Drupal 7. The series starts from the basics and goes through the various requried modules used to build a site with Organic Groups and then gets in depth with creating groups, adding content to groups, and dealing with group membership. In addition to the basics of creating groups the series also takes a look at the various settings related to both access control and permissions and how you can combine them to create private and public groups. How to use the OG Extras module to display more information on the main group page and then how to use the Panels module to display group content and other advanced Fields and Views configuration related to OG. This video assumes that you understand the basics of content, fields, and Views in Drupal. If you need a refresher on these topics here are some other tutorial series to review:

Note: There have been significant changes to Organic Groups since this lesson was made. We use the 7.x-2.x-dev version from May 2012, or the equivalent of 7.x-2.0-alpha3, in our lessons. Though we would like to revisit this series to update it, we have no current schedule to complete that. The best place to figure out what has changed and why, would be the Organic Groups issue queue on Drupal.org (http://drupal.org/project/issues/search/og).

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