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Building Online Community: Organic Groups

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On today's episode we continue our series about Online Communities by talking about forming small online groups on your church website. We talk about why we call them "organic" groups, tying them to the physical world, what these groups might look like, and what types of content you might put into these groups.

The second half of the show is for our Drupal lovers. We talk, specifically, about how to build online groups using the Organic Groups module. When doing so, we talk about the different setting options on organic groups, add on modules, and some things you can do to customize the layout of the content.

But before all this, we announce that Rob and Matt's new podcast, The Super Average Podcast is now online with the first episode ready to download. Jump over there and check it out today!

Notice Sheets.... I don't think th

Listening to Ed Ross, a "Notice Sheet" is not the "Newsletter" or bulletin (mailed/provided to people remotely), but the sheet with similar info that's handed out during service....
along with the "Service Program" or "Order of Service".

We used to print this just as part of the "Program", but when switched to a filler sheet when the demand for content outstripped spare space on the program.

Mark

Ah, you can see all the words we know

I didn't even see that angle. Thanks for the clarification. Some of these terms we are not used to.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

language

Well, just goes to show: we really are two nations divided by a common language!
I didn't even think there was going to be such a fuss made about the name of the thing I was talking about, else I would have tried to clarify at the start.
Most of it should relate to any similar publication anyway, so the semantics of the names shouldn't make that much difference.

Right again

Ed, you are right again... on a roll eh.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Reminds me of a particular song...

Ed, this reminds me of a particular song (if you're offended by questionable content, don't click this)

This "two nations divided by a common language" must be a UK phrase...I had never heard it before knowing The Streets song...(and seeing it in your comment)

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Widget

The new widget rocks! It works great as sometimes, I just listen to the podcast at work on my MBP and do not have my iPhone handy for listening.

Thanks!
Shrop

Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator
http://geeksandgod.com/users/shrop

Submitted to Apple

I went and submitted it to apples widget site. It just needs to get approved then it should be listed in the podcast section of the widgets on the apple dashboard widget site.
Being listed on Apples dashboard site might help others who don't know about G&G turn them on to it.

I'll post a direct link to it once it's been approved and posted there.

Thanks

Thanks for building and submitting the widget. That's really cool of you. If it becomes a burden to host at any point please let us know. We'd be willing to host it for you.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Welcome

Your more than welcome. Glad to offer something that would get some use. No problems with hosting. Plenty of space and bandwidth with media temple :)

organic groups or a subsite?

Hi - I've been listening to your organic groups podcast with great interest. I am about to build a new site, to accompany our Church's television show, so this is really timely. This site will have two purposes, and two different "audiences". The first is the public (ie viewers), and this will be the "front end" of the site, containing things like broadcast schedule, show notes, contact page etc.

We also want to include a whole subset of content specifically for our volunteer production team, and the content would consist of training materials (online and downloadable), crew-only news, and general stuff which will be strictly private to our production team.

Before I heard of the OG module (sorry about the name too, Rob!) I was going to do this by way of a sub-site under the primary site (using the Drupal multiple site mechanism), or even the brute-force way of having a whole separate Drupal install sitting in a subdirectory beneath the main site...

But I got very interested in the idea you discussed about having e-mails sent to group members when content gets updated - this is exactly what I am thinking for our team (they all get e-mail, but not all are on RSS).

I would be very interested to hear comments on what you think would be the "better" way to do this.

Cheers,
Pete

multisite

Pete,

From your description, I would go with multisite with separate databases. You can share the same theme in /sites/all/themes if you want the same theme. You can share modules in /sites/all/modules.

We do something very similar. We have a public facing church web site and then a Drupal site where we do worship planning.

OG might be useful for you private planning site if you want to have multiple groups or subgroups of folks in teams. I would just keep OG off of your public side unless you are using OG for public content.

Thanks
Shrop

Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator
http://geeksandgod.com/users/shrop

Or....

If you want to keep things all on one site you could use access control on content. So, one people in a certain role could see certain things. There are modules for notification you could use to add email notification to these nodes.

Basically, there are a few ways you could solve this problem. The question to really ask yourself is are you looking to have online groups or are you looking to have member content with email notification when new content comes out?

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

restricted access but mostly common content

thanks Shrop & Matt - (as an aside, should I have started this thread attached to the episode as I did, or should I have put it into the G&G drupal forum?... please feel free to move this thread over to the forums if that is appropriate).

Its probably not OG (or not as we know it, jim...) but rather member-only content (including access to a private forum via roles) - and access control as you suggest, Matt.

Certainly I want the same theme for the entire site, and there is a lot of overlap - the initial entry point will be from the one public site. From there the crew could then log in, and after that we could present them with some additional menu items so they can navigate to the "crew-only" area.

Another alternative is to go for something like www.example.com for the public site and then www.example.com/crew for the team-members only section - but can I do that via the multi-site function?

I guess I'll have to do some experiments - which is relatively simple seeing as the site is not yet "live". It's nice having multiple solutions to a problem... hmmm....

Cheers & thanks
Pete

multisite options

Pete,

Multisite will certainly allow you to have the public site on www.example.com and another private under www.example.com/site1, www.example.com/site2, etc. You even add in site1.example.com using subdomains.

The INSTALL.txt file in the root of the Drupal install has some instructions on the basics for setup. It can bec onfusing at first. Basically you careate a folder with settings.php for each site under /sites/. The folder name for each site is what Drupal uses to determine which settings.php to execute.

Thanks!
Shrop

Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator
http://geeksandgod.com/users/shrop

multisite or private areas

You really can do this two different ways. You can do it with multisite or all in one site. At this point in time I'm personally a fan of multisite setups. We recently did this with my churches website. It is broken down into a members or guest site. Since we did it this way we have very different setups on the two different sites and each of the sites was built for the specific needs of the sites target.

This stopped the members section from being an add on to the site who's target was guests. Both are built around the needs of the particular user and neither takes second billing to the other in the architecture. So, I'd consider more than just technically how to do it when making this decision.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Geeks and God Widget now on Apple.com

It's been approved and is now available for download on Apples site
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/radio_pod...

Matt and Bob,
I just copied the description for the About part from what I found here. If there is anything you would like changed, just let me know.

It's also on iusethis.com

Sweet

This is too cool, techmate....
Just my 2 cents: You might want to put something in the description (if you can change it) that says what the widget actually does :) Let people know it's for playing the podcast on your dashboard, etc....

Just an idea....

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Good idea

Didn't think about that one. Good idea. It's done. Might take a bit for apple to update the page.

How about a link?

Ok, now maybe I'm asking too much...but how about a link on there to the main G&G site? :)

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Actually it does link to G&G

The page on Apple for the widget actually does link to G&G. Wouldn't have it anyother way.

You click on my name and its linked to G&G. I know its kind of strange, but it hyperlinks the authors name with the link to the site where it reads company name.

youth social network

check out www.tuggle.it

This is a free online social network for youth ministries and other ministries to use. I have over 400 students in our ministry who currently use it and love it.

Demo

I love the topics that you guys address. I look forward to the Joomla days. Any chance that you guys could make these things more "visible" or having a site that you add the things that you talk about each podcast. Would be pretty cool to see it grow like that.