I have always thought "Organic Groups" was a funny name. Visions of a team of gardeners always popped into my head. But in this situation, we are viewing "group" functionality as having a growth and development analogous to that of living organisms. Your website administrators and users can create new groups and add content to them. Over time, this part of your website can grow on its own. So that brings us to, "What is a group?" A group consists of people and content.
There are three "group roles" a person can have:
- There is the group owner or manager. This is the person who originally created the group landing page (node) and they have the power to add and remove people to the group and even give other people administration privileges. Note that these permissions are confined only to the specific group to where they were given.
- A group member is someone who elects to join a group or is assigned by a group owner. A person can be a member of several groups. Often groups are configured to be private where only members can view the associated content. Members often can create new content just for the group.
- A non-member is akin to Drupal's "anonymous" role. Depending on configurations, they may not be able to view any content in groups for which they are not a member. And if your site allows it, they can request membership to any group.
Although content can take on many forms, just like in other sections of your site, there is one requirement: the group landing page. This is a special content type that the site builder creates and this is what allows for unique configurations regarding member permissions. In addition to the "group node," you can create other content types that can be associated with your groups.
Drupal's own community site, groups.drupal.org is powered by the organic groups module and is a great example of the organic nature of content since logged in site users are able to create new groups and post content into any group for which they are members.
In our Organic Groups Series, we will be taking you on a tour of our example site, My Town Sports, where we'll explore the site from the group owners' and group members' perspectives. And throughout this series we will show you different configurations you can make so that you achieve the functionality you need.
You can get started with the first few videos in Organic Groups with Drupal 7 Series:
- An Introduction to Organic Groups with Drupal 7 (FREE!)
- Organic Groups Overview (FREE!)
- Groups from a Member Perspective
- Groups from a Manager Perspective
We'll be releasing the rest of the series over the next month, so you can follow along and see how My Town Sports grows -- organically, of course!