Home / Intro to Commons, Part 1: How to Manage Your Online Community [September 11, 2013]

Intro to Commons, Part 1: How to Manage Your Online Community [September 11, 2013]

Want to learn more about Acquia’s products, services, and happenings in the Drupal Community? Visit our site: http://bit.ly/yLaHO5.

Drupal Commons is online community software that works right out of the box. It is used to build knowledge sharing networks, collaborative spaces, and discussion areas with levels of privacy to support vibrant communities.

In this webinar, we will examine Drupal Commons from the perspective of a Community Manager. We will also use several case studies on online communities built in Commons so you can get an idea of how you can best manage your own online community.

You will learn how to:
• Navigate the site to see content, members, and activity
• Create and share content
• Manage users and participation

Publish on date: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Click to see video transcript

Moderator: Today’s webinar is Intro to Commons, Part 1: How to manage your online community, with Heather James who is the Manager of Learning Services at Acquia. We’re really excited to have Heather on the call.

Heather James: An introduction to Drupal Commons and I’m going to give you some details about it. As Molly said, I’m the Manager of the Training Program. We have a really active list of events. I think there’s something in a lot of major parts of the US, there are events in Europe and Canada. So I hope if you are interested in learning more about Drupal that you do check that out. It’s a great way especially if you’re just taking the Drupal tutorial. It’s a great way to get your head around some different possibilities with Drupal. So even I looked at the calendar and I couldn’t believe how many specific days we got multiple events on in multiple cities so I hope you do check that out.

So in this webinar, we’re looking at Drupal Commons. Drupal Commons is a piece of software that you can use, your team can use to build your own community website. The example I’ll give is Dev.twitter.com, which in the beginning, they actually started with Drupal Commons, not this newest version but a previous version. In fact at this stage, I guess you could say they’ve customized their site so much that probably, it’s quite customized at this stage but it is built in Drupal. It is an example of a company that’s using the community to help each other. So there, you have a community of developers that provide peer support and ideas and resources so they’ve got ways of sharing ideas about how they’re developing applications that work with Twitter, and the documentations, the discussions. Of course, Twitter is busy managing their own software so they don’t want to have to do that. So of course Drupal makes a really great alternative for them. It allows them to bring together multiple aspects of their developer community. So maybe you can relate to that.

This session really is for community managers who probably want to know what Commons can do or you might already a Drupal Commons site or you may be getting one soon and you want to know what’s going to be like for you to manage your Drupal Commons site. You can also schedule a demo, so you can get a personalized demo where you can ask questions and really dig in with one of our sales engineers. So definitely check that out. Like Molly said, the schedule points out that we have a part two next week. We are going to have a more advanced version of this, an introduction for developers who maybe know all the basics but want to know - and maybe even know a little bit about Drupal, but want to know how to expand commons, or how to use it, or how to customize it. So that’s coming soon. It’s not listed on the site so please do go to Acquia webinar’s list and see what’s there soon.

So let’s assume you are a community manager then, what do you do all day? It sounds like you have a really great job. You may be working in lots of different types of communities, so that may be peer-led product support, sort of what we saw at Twitter’s dev site. You may be a moderator in a sensitive community related to health or something where personal identity or safety is very important. You may be working as the public face of a government agency, a health agency, or some type of initiative or you may be in a social, like just a social group, just like I have a group for people who like to meet about Drupal once a month. You may have something like that for your own hobbies or interest, or your archery group or whatever. So as a community manager, I wanted to think about your job and make this webinar relate to what you have to do. Part of what you’re doing is obviously making content that gets people interested and also listening to what people are doing especially if you’re running a social community for a company, you want to hear what people are saying, what they’re talking about, what their interests are so that you can communicate that back to your company. So you’re actually acting as a liaison between the community and your organization.

Of course, you need to analyze as well, monitor how things are going, and generally commit to be friendly. I know that a lot of what you have to do to make people feel comfortable is probably entertain a lot. So there are a lot of aspects to the community manager role I find really fascinating. Probably, some of the challenges you have right now are that balance of representing your company organization without sounding like a marketer, [Laughter] making sure you balance the growing membership at a steady pace, and encouraging people to participate, and also get the message across whatever it is that the aim of your community is. A lot of organizations have all these kind of fractured across a lot of different systems. So they’re maybe using Legacy CMSs that have a really page-centric content or CMS where you really can’t have a forum, or a blog, or a wiki. So you, of course, had to go to other software or you end up having a discussion forum software, another one for blogs, and another wiki for a knowledge bases. What we’re finding is that companies are coming to Acquia because they want to bring these together to make them easier because in the end, you want to be able to share content. You may have a great knowledge resource, whether that’s an article or some type of a documentation that you want to share in your forums or in your various groups to people who are interested in specific topics.

So some of these old models don’t really apply that well. So you may be using a lot of different tools whether that’d be social media, the different environment or certain communities you’re part of, your e-mail campaign tools, your analysis software. Like I was saying, there’s this fractured system. So what we’re talking about with Drupal Commons really is trying to bring some of these elements together, some of these systems together.

So we’re going to do a general introduction to Drupal Commons now. I’m going to take you through a tour and a bit of a guide of what you can do. We’re going to see how to log in, what members can do, and groups, creating groups, and adding content, and moderating that. So first thing you’ll notice when you load up a Drupal Commons page especially if you haven’t logged in yet is you’ll see some streams of what’s going on and you’ll see a welcome message, for example. When you log in, it looks quite different. So what I’m going to do right now is just go to my own browser and show you a page where I’m actually logged in already. So I’m going to go to my home page here. It says, “What’s going on?” So here I can see recent site activity list, content that’s interesting to me that’s related to some things that I’m following and that I’m interested in. If we compare that to another user, this person has similar content but she’ll have something different because she sees something different than I do, she follows different groups, et cetera. So what we can gather from this is that Commons is really trying to give people an easy way to find out where the relevant and interesting content is for them. So for example, I’m going to show you the groups landing page here. I can see a lot of different groups available so I can, for example, I’m not following the New York Group. If I click follow and I go back to my own, my home page any New York content is going to show up there. So let’s test that out. I’m going to go back to my – I’m going to clear a browser here and I’ll go to my groups. This is me logged in. I keep on - sorry to switch back and forth. I’m switching back between two different users I’m keeping in two different browsers. I figured that would be an easier way for us to keep track of what a different experience is like. So I’m going to post in here and we’ll go back to Lisa, she’s a moderator. I’m going to go back to her home page. So she sees the recent post from someone and she can even see which group it’s in, for example.

If I were to log out from that, from Lisa’s account, I’m going to log in as a different user. We’re going to log in as - bear with me a second. I forgot Joe actually is already in the New York City group. [Laughter] If I don’t follow, I can’t unfollow this. I’m not actually following it. I am a contributor in the group actually. Here’s my profile, Joe Nono. So as a contributor, I’ll actually get updates for it, for a specific group. Let me go back, actually, at Lisa again. Right, so I guess what I’m trying to show you is that the way the groups work is that you don’t actually have to join a group in order for you to post to it. So just like your forums - I guess we’ll talk about this in a little bit, just like with forums, you don’t have to join a specific topic forum in order to post to it, so that’s sort of how these groups work. Yes. So they’ll look different whether or not you’re logged in. The whole idea with allowing non-members, for example, this is what’s configured by default anyway, is that it’s like forums that you can lower barriers to participation. We all know that if there’s any barrier or any hoops that people have to go through to participate, it’s going to make it much more difficult. So if you add another button to click, and you add another thing to sign, and we want to just make that as minimal as possible I guess.

So instead, the language in Commons is really all about following, following content that you are interested in and topics that you are interested in as opposed to finding yourself to a group, for example. Instead of seeing just members who arbitrarily just listed themselves as members of a certain group, instead, the contributors list here shows people who’ve actually added content to a group. So in that sense, it encourages people and actually highlights the activity and contributions that people are making. It encourages people to participate. Overall, that’s the gist of the software. So hopefully, we’ll dig in to some of the little examples of the things you can do and hopefully that will come through.

So look at right now at your users. Your user name is actually based on your e-mail, that’s just the way it’s setup by default, and my default users can’t change their user name. I’m making modifications in this site. I’m going to highlight them as we’re talking. I made a change where people can change their own user name, so I’ve made that okay. A lot of these modifications will be done at the time you develop your site. It’ll be done by your developer team.

Are there decisions that you have to make about how your site is going to work? If you want to know more about that, I did mention I’m going to be doing a follow up to this where I’m going to be speaking more to a developer and someone who has to work with your team to make the decisions and make these configuration changes. So I’m just sort of making some assumptions that these changes have been made. Most likely, your site will be very unique in a way. So for example with creating accounts, by default, anyone can register, any visitor can register an account. I’ve changed it so that visitors can register accounts but administrator approval is required. Again, that’s probably something that you may change. For example, in our internet at Acquia, the only people that can register accounts are administrators. So that’s a decision you’ll have to make based on your own group.

So let’s look at the profiles. Profiles have some info; a name, biography, and the profiles are hidden from public view by default. So it’s sort of like Facebook, you wouldn’t be able to just look at the profile of somebody unless you’re part of that community, for example. It depends. I suppose you can actually choose with Facebook. It’s a little bit different. [Laughter] The next part of that is your account listing and your account, like I said, you can’t edit your user name by default, but I’ve set that in mine. That’s where you change your password, your e-mail, and your picture. The final setting people will be able to do is their notifications. Let’s look at an actual profile so you can see what it looks like. I’m going to click on Lisa’s profile here. This is her profile as she sees it. If I go to Mary Manager, she’s going to look at groups here and look for Lisa’s profile. Here we go. So this is what I see as Mary looking at Lisa’s profile, so a few differences there. Obviously, I can’t see any “Edit it” links, for example.

So as Lisa, I’m going to click on editing my profile. I can change, obviously, my first and last name, biography, and add in my social links and edit the account. I can set my time zone, for example, a password and sort of my regular account settings. This isn’t by default, this is something I’ve changed. I’ve allowed it so that my users can actually disable the private settings options so I can actually set it to make it so nobody can e-mail me if I was Lisa. I wouldn’t want anyone to contact me, for example. So I’ve given that option to my users. Notification settings, giving you really fine-grained control over what things I want to get e-mailed about. So it will show me for example, specific topics that I’ve followed, so this is actually for example, an event or maybe this is someone’s question. If I reply to it, it will automatically show up in my list of accounts that I follow. So I may not want to follow it as sort of activities die down or something. I’m also able to follow up people and I can also follow specific topics. So in this sense, I can actually choose then if I want to get specific e-mails about a topic or something like that. So I think that participants have a little bit more control.

So the roles that are available within Drupal Commons, if you look on the left here, this is a list of the roles that are available outside of the box. What role allows you to do is group different capabilities. So by default for example, there’s an anonymous and an authenticated user, someone who’s not logged in and someone who’s logged in. Anonymous users for example, we’ve made it so that they can’t look at user profiles. We’ve let authenticated users add content to any open groups. They’ve also added some other roles, content moderator and administrator and I’ve added a community manager role. So this is again a decision you’ll make as you’re developing with Commons. You’re going to think about what roles you need. This is something that specific to Drupal. It’s quite different from other systems because first thing, you’d have multiple roles and roles should be generic. So they probably wouldn’t be matched directly to your business functions, you don’t need per department roles, for example. We try and keep the functionality and what the capabilities are generic enough so they can be reused across your organization. So I’ve added the community manager role and I’ve listed a whole bunch of changes I’ve put in here but you don’t have to write these down or take notes because all these slides are going to go up on slide share and of course the recordings are going to be up so you can come back to this if you like. Just so you know that, they have a lot more editing capabilities, they can administer things. I’ve given this community manager like more robust roles. I’m actually also going to assign my community manager administration roles so that you can see what the difference is towards the end.

So let’s looks at next. Member to member communication within Drupal Commons. So I’ve mentioned before that people can follow contents. So you can follow topics, you can follow groups, and you can also follow up people. So if I look at someone’s profile, I have an option to follow them and add a trusted contact. So following is like Twitter in that I don’t have to prove someone to follow my Twitter feed but you also can’t control I suppose, unless you’ve got a private Twitter account. Anyway, the follow is kind of like a one to many in a way. As a trusted contact, it’s more like Facebook because it has to be agreed on both sides. So if I go to add someone as a trusted contact, then I’ll get a message as you can see here on the bottom right that it’s waiting confirmation. When Lisa logs in, she then has to approve the request. At that point, when she approves the request, I’ll be listed then under her trusted contacts or Mary will be listed under trusted contacts. If she looks at my profile then, she’ll see an option to message me. She won’t see anything about managing the relationship. You can see under trusted contacts, I can select a specific one and break a contact. So it’s sort of a different model.

It does mean then that once we’ve added it as trusted contacts, we can send these private messages to each other. So I’m going to give you a demo of reading your private message and adding a trusted user and sending a private message. Let’s see how this looks. So here I am, Mary Manager, and I see up in the upper right-hand corner – I’m just going to make it a little bit bigger. You can see I’ve got a little notification and a little green one telling me that there is a new private message. So oh boy, she’s saying, “Hello, Mary. Did you see that post in the New York group? That Joe guy is not cool.” So something is not working out here, “I’ll go check it out.” So something must have happened, obviously. I’ll go over to our groups and go to New York City and there’s obviously a troll who can’t type. He’s obviously not making any sense. He’s talking non-sense and stuff again. They’re going to be something against our guidelines, our community guidelines. At this point, I can report this as inappropriate. Now, I’m actually a content moderator so I can actually help fix this problem. I’m going to show you just briefly what it looks like as a regular administrator. So I’m going to go content. This is again a different browser now, I’m in Chrome. I’m logged in as kind of administrator over the whole site so I can see things up none of my users can see and this is sort of the back end of the site. I could look at the list of reported content and I can see there are a number of reports, there are two. It’s looking pretty bad so we’re going to have to deal with that a little bit later.

So what’s happened is I’ve received a private message and I’ve reported the content but I have a feeling that the group manager probably may not have noticed this. He obviously maybe didn’t see it. The group organizer in this case is Drew. I’m looking over at Drew’s profile and I’m going to add him as a trusted contact. That’s awaiting confirmation and I’m going to log out as Lisa. We’re going to pretend we’re logging as Drew this time. Drew got a message or little notification up there, the number one next to his profile and there’s an invitation. I’m going to trust Mary Manager so I’m going to approve her. At this stage, I’ll get a notification back at Mary’s profile. What will change, basically, is that I can message him now. Let’s see. Okay, so now that I can direct message him, I sent him a message. So only Drew can see that and Drew is going to get e-mails about those notifications based on his settings so we’ll just go back to this notification settings. No, I think that’s actually what happens basically. This will automatically get sent to him. So let’s go back here. So what we’ve seen, basically, is someone reading a message, adding a trusted user, and sending a private message. We’ll follow up with that story in a few minutes.

So let’s think now about really the group dynamics. I sort of hinted, I almost kind of hinted at this and give it away in a sense. Groups are like forum topics in a way. Actually groups’ people’s conversations in a way, rather than the type of group we have in Facebook. You can customize this and change this behavior completely but just so that you understand. When you create a group and open a group, you can have privacy settings where any site member can contribute. So like I said, it’s a bit more like a forum than say a Facebook group. You can change those privacy settings though and I’ll show you one where joining requires an invitation where all of the content is totally private and only people involved in that group can post to that content. Only people involved as members can post to that group. So whenever someone post a new group, it becomes subject to moderation and you can change this again as this is something you can customize as well but by default and in my website, I don’t want people to be creating groups willy-nilly because sometimes they can just miss the fact that there’s one very similar to it so I’m going to have some moderation happening where after the group that’s created, I want to be able to approve that.

So I’m going to show you the demo of adding a closed group. So in this case, what we do is create a group which we’re upon joining, it requires an invitation. That means only the person who’s administering the group can add people and people can’t even see the group actually. It’s a totally protected group meaning that even if I found the link somewhere or someone had shared the link, I could not get it. I would have to log in to access any of the content. The activity is even hidden from non-members, so even the fact that someone created a group, it wouldn’t be available for everybody to see. Again like I said, you can lower the barriers in a way so you don’t need to join the group but anyone can add content. That’s going to make it a bit easier. So let me show you what that looks like. So I’ll go here to the groups and I’m logged in as Drew. I’m going to create a group here. Okay, topics: food, cooking, recipes, travel. Every topic, I’m adding I’m pressing a comma. Those topics then categorizes the content and categorize the group so we can find an image and that group logo will show up on the listings for example, and I’m going to set it so any site member can contribute. As you saw, I’m getting that message that, “This group center has entered the moderation queue,” and it’s even showing up pink. So I can see that it’s a little bit different. This is actually unpublished as it is. It’s not available, it’s not public.

I’m going to go back in. This is again, I’m in as an administrator so this is something that’s not available. I didn’t make available to my community managers, for example. It just depends on what’s appropriate for your group. So I’m going to go to my – this is in the content list under groups and I can see that there’s a new group available and I’m going to publish. These are proposed group. Sorry if I didn’t make that quite clear. These are proposed groups and these are published groups. I’m going to click on the published group, this is quite small. I think that’s better. So in the proposed groups, there’s quite a number that have been proposed. I’m going to okay these three groups and publish. Now, I can see there are no groups waiting to be moderated. Here it is, listing there. When we go back, Drew will see that his groups are available, it’s public there, and it’s showing up as a new group listed. So let’s see, all right. So I think for now we can go and dig in a little bit to talk about engaging content. I think this probably to me seems like the most fascinating part of the job as a community manager. I know that you probably are working hard to stay current, relevant, making sure you’re not planning too far ahead because you want to see how people react to your content and where the activity is and where the interest is. So that work is sort of like more responsive in terms of making something that New York Community members really want.

Engaging content is the type of content that people want to reply to, so questions, and guessing games, and debates. Instead of just having a boring old update, you can put it into a poll and get people’s feedback. I’m going to show you the different types of engaging content you can make. You’ll notice when we look at the demo, just pay attention I guess, that the forum for adding content appears above a list of summaries so that encourages people to see what’s already happening there before they go add something new. So in a way, I think it’s another way that Commons is almost engineered to try and get people to communicate together and sort of knit the community together more strongly, and just something quite so like that. Another thing we’re going to look at is adding a wiki page. So a wiki page, if you aren’t familiar with Wiki, it just simply means that multiple people can edit content - a piece of content, and collaborate on it. I’m going to show you how you can add a wiki page into multiple groups. So I’m going to show you those two types of group content first. So I’m going to look at a new member - or sorry, a different member I should say, at the group’s list. See that? There’s this new brilliant recipes group, which I love recipes so I’m definitely going to follow that group, and here is Mary Manager. I see there are some posts available. It’s like that what posts are post simply as a one simple text field.

At Q&A, I’ll allow someone to ask a question. Wiki, again I was mentioning about that’s a collaborative document, and then a poll. Okay, so let’s see. I will actually add in a Wiki. I already added one for rice pudding actually, [Laughter] but maybe I’ll find – okay here we go. So thank you BBC. I’m borrowing some content for this demo. So here, you can see, as it’s pasted in, there’s a lot of formatting. I have some options to format the content within, I suppose within the constraint of the WYSIWYG editor, this little editor here. You’d probably want to keep things as simple as possible. You’ll notice that not all the formatting is probably going to come through exactly the way you embed it and I suppose that’s not that unusual in a way. So here’s the wiki page I’ve created. When I go back to look at it here, I see the formatting isn’t exactly as I pasted it in. So there we go. So back to the favorite recipes page – or sorry, the favorite recipes group, excuse me. I can see that someone’s added a cupcake recipe. Then you’re sort of seeing not the whole page but – not the whole recipe I should say, you’re seeing just sort of a snapshot of it or a summary I guess. So let’s add a quick Q&A. Actually, sorry. We’ll add a poll. Cupcakes or fairy cakes, it’s an eternal debate, at least if you travel over in the UK, I guess. So I’ve created a poll and when I go back to the favorite recipes page, I can see a new poll has been added and I can vote on it.

So let me go back and look at it now with Mary but I’m going to look at it as Drew. He’s going to check out his favorite recipes page and he’s probably quite pleased that somebody’s joined his group and that other people are adding content. So you sort of get to see that he’s getting a different view of things I suppose. I almost wish I had a third browser, a fourth browser. [Laughter] That would be useful. I’d love to show you a non-logged in user which will help, so we’ll just log out, sorry. So again, as a non-logged in user, all I can see is that this is the group. Now, this is a recent group that’s been out and this is recent content that’s there. Basically, what Commons is doing in the background is it’s bringing more active groups and more active content up to the top. So we’re able to make sure the most relevant, interesting stuff is available.

Right. So we’re going to go back and look at another type of content which is, for example, just a page. What’s interesting is if you look at some other software like your garden variety forum software, it’s easy enough to configure the forum and add in posts and topics, but it was difficult to add just a standard page. There’s a lot of software that sort of works really well as a content management system or it works really well as a community forum. So what Commons has done is actually brought some of these things together.

So what I’m going to show you is adding a demo page – sorry, adding an actual page, a basic page I should say. So here’s the about page on my site and what I would like is a link here that has the community guidelines. It’s really clear that I can show Joe and anybody else. If there are some things I don’t approve of, I can add it there. By default, let me go back to my moderator group. Right. So I’ve actually created this moderator group and I’ve customized this page here where I have a list of all the different content types and the manage content link.

What I’m going to show you is just adding a page outside of the group. You’ll notice that in the group listing, you can add a page to a group. That’s just the way it’s setup. You could configure it to be able to add pages to groups but that’s just how this is done. So we have our guidelines and I’m just going to get some Latin here. It’s written in Latin so that absolutely everybody can read it. That’s very important for a guideline and the size, we’re done with this already but you can select text and do a certain amount of formatting with it. It gives you some of the different options. One thing is maybe happening in my browser, so probably I may be having trouble with this, I guess. Not showing up. Let’s see how it looks like. We did give a title. Let’s try one more time here. Okay, one more time, just see. I’m trying to select some text and put it to Heading 3. Let’s see. Okay, well the formatting is coming through. It could just be a browser glitch.

So you’ll notice that the guidelines page here is actually not showing up in my menu yet, I have to go back and edit that. Sort of rush through. I’m going to put in an image, first of all. This is something that I’ve configured out of box. There isn’t an option for a banner for pages. It’s something that’s been out in development, for example. I’m doing these changes so you can get a sense of how things work. So I’m going to save that, right? Okay. As a manager, I’m actually not able to modify any menus on the sites here. So this is something I want to go back - excuse me, again, as the administrator. You can see the site looks very different for this type of user. So I’m going to go to structure, menus, this is again something as a community manager, you won’t really have to do ever. This is just so you can sort of see how things work. I’m going to go to the “For more information” menu. That’s where I’m going to be adding a link. Here, we can see community guidelines. In order for me to add a link, I’m going to be simply going back to getting a link to my page, basically. Just put it up there, and when I go back - I’m sorry I’m clicking the wrong one. Refresh. I’ll see my links are showing up now. This is something you could allow your community managers to be doing. So just allow them of course to modify the menus, but again, it’s probably something you’d want to decide at the time of development.

So that’s a different type of content. Again, that’s something you don’t see available within the groups by default. So back to the favorite recipes posts, questions and answers, wikis, polls, all of the content that’s in these groups by default are things that really encourage participation, so that’s the type of the activity that you want to see. If you want to see how you can add other content types or for example a review content type, I’ll definitely come in-in about two weeks’ time and you can see how that works. We can see another group here called food lovers with a little bit more content. There’s a poll, for example, and I can see the results of the poll. Okay. Let’s go back to our presentation. So as I’ve said, there are lots of different types of content. The ones I’ve highlighted in bold here are the ones that are attached to the groups and you can even add different types of contents. So you may have documentation where you want to have a list of parts for some type of machine or something and you can make a content type for parts with a skew, with an image, with dimension, with materials. So if you’ve ever had to do anything where you’re managing a database and creating models of data and Drupal is basically that. That’s where when you’re discussing ideas and plans for your own community, you have so much flexibility underneath Drupal Commons. There’s quite a lot you can do with content. I mean, I’ve really only scratched the surface here.

So the next part, what we’re going to look at is really engaging and growing your community. I’m sort of summarizing this here. We’re going to go and talk about this in more details next week, but I wanted to give you a sense of the ways you can get people involved in the community. So of course, you’re probably trying to focus in your role on quality and not quantity. As we saw as well guidelines of what’s acceptable and what’s correct and finding ways where as a moderator, what’s difficult is that it’s hard to stand by and watch something languish. You want to see responses to it but you have to be patient and really give other’s a chance to reply to each other because if someone like as a moderator or someone like a community manager, if you step in and you make a comment, it looks like you were a final word. It’s done and people will be discouraged to reply. So it can be helpful especially to get people dominating the community to have a counter point or show another point of view and that sometimes bring people out of the woodwork. So when you look a little bit at again some more of the different types of content on the side and ways you can manage conversation. So users can add events in the site which is something we haven’t looked at yet. They can actually allow participants to register right on the site so you’ll actually get a list of attendees or you can use something on another site like event site and not have registration on your own site.

Users can add content as we were mentioning before and they can even revise content and put in revisions to content. Finally, we can moderate content. This is one of the things where you want to see people adding in content and putting in comments but you want it to be of the right tone and of course, it should be appropriate. So of course, we have an option to flag as an inappropriate. After you flag something, you will have to confirm that you’re going to report this as inappropriate. I sort of gave this away. I kind of jumped into this earlier and I shouldn’t have done. The site administrators can actually see this accumulate so the numbers of reports can accumulate. You could have a policy where you may look at something after a number of reports and say, “Well, it’s been reported three times. There’s enough people that are annoyed about it. We’re going to have to talk to the person,” or you may have a zero tolerance policy and simply take it down if it’s reported at all. It’s up to yourselves and your own community guidelines on what’s appropriate. So the defaults are that you can if you’re going to report inappropriate comments or inappropriate content, but within the Drupal Commons, there’s also the ability to flag user views or even specific groups. Someone can report that a group is inappropriate. Maybe there’s a moderation and still not correct or appropriate.

So another thing to show you, I’m going to go back. This is again as you could see me logged in as the administrator, everything looks a little bit different. Looking at my reported content as I kind of gave you preview of it before, I can see this has been reported twice. So this is giving me basically two options, I can un-publish the content which simply means that nobody can see it on the site but it’s still saved there, or I can delete the content and block author’s account. So I mean this is really the delete and block. It would be kind of the most severe thing to do. It means that person won’t be able to log back in so Joe will no longer or cannot log in and that content is completely gone from the system. So I mean literally completely gone. It’s not recorded anywhere at that stage. So probably, it depends on your own policy. Un-publishing content maybe something - an earlier stage where things haven’t gotten so bad, you want to save it and you want to talk to somebody about it.

I’m going to show you. Let me go back as Mary Manager and she’s created this moderator group. So as it happens with most communities, you’ve got your community manager. This is the person who may be hired and employed or have some type of authority over the entire group but then you also have community moderators, people who are more active and kind of bubble up to the surface a bit. So what Mary has done here is created a moderator’s group so she can get people to share feedback with each other. I’ve also added - this is something again, it’s not out of the box with Drupal Commons, you can change it anyway you like, but there’s a content list here for example which makes it possible for Mary to see all the content that’s been created across the site, what’s been published, and where the action is in that sense. Yes. It gives you an idea.

I just realized the time, actually. I’m kind of getting down to the end of my presentation. I just wanted to ask finally if there are any questions. I think we’ve pretty much have covered it all for this week. I’m just curious what types of questions you have. We do have next week to come back as well. So as you’re thinking questions, Molly is going to be gathering your questions if you do have any and I’m just sort of going to recap what we’ve covered today.

Moderator: All right, thanks Heather.

Heather James: So what we’ve talked about today is that Drupal Commons is really focused on activity and making activity relevant and helping people find relevant content and get notifications of things and follow things that are interesting to them. There’s also a lot of ways you can control privacy and security. So we look at also users having trust relationships with each other or even being able to send private messages between each other. Then we also showed some moderation capabilities where you can report content that can be moderated. Underneath all that, I also showed you some of the things I’ve done through developing this demo site just to show you some ways you can tweak and change. There are so many things you can do. There really is. Underneath Drupal Commons is Drupal Core and there’s so much you can do under the hood. So I’m very curious to hear what types of questions of you have.

Moderator: Great. We’ve got a couple trickling in. So the first question is any tips for integrating conference functionality into a Commons site?

Heather James: Actually, not that I know of. That’s a really good question. I have a feeling that you’re probably not the only one to ask that question. If you would let me, I can find out which of our clients have done something similar. When you say conference functionality, I assume you mean something very light, what we’re having now through WebEx where you’ve got phone call and you’ve got desktop sharing, for example. So I can find that out for you next week.

Moderator: Sure. Then another question. How modular is Commons built? Are there some kind of functionality that could be easily reported to other Drupal sites as well?

Heather James: That is a really good question and I guess based on what you’ve just asked, you’re probably someone who’s quite familiar with Drupal and you want to know how are these features packaged up. All the functionality in Drupal Commons is featurized in that sense so you could package it up, but there are a lot of dependencies with some Commons-specific modules, for example, and quite a lot of modifications that are made to some of the contributing modules so you may be better off actually taking Commons and modifying it. You may find that quite a bit easier. It depends on where you’re at though. So if you’ve already got an existing Drupal site, it’s a different thing, isn’t it.

Moderator: Great.

Heather James: That’s actually what’s going to be covered in about two weeks’ time. We’re going to go into a lot of detail about how you’d add modules to Drupal Commons, how you would modify the theme, and how you’d use the features within Drupal Commons.

Moderator: Okay. We have a clarification for the first question that I mentioned. So this attendee asked about the conferencing and so they meant that conference more in terms of Drupal COD, the platform that Drupal con sites are built on, et cetera.

Heather James: Okay. Yes, I suppose one of the interesting things is that COD, Commons Organizing Distribution, is actually built on organic groups which Commons is also built on, but organic groups really wasn’t as - it’s probably a personal thing. It probably wasn’t an ideal solution for COD in a lot of ways because some of the ways, if you ever used that, you’d know the scheduling system and individual tracks become groups and in a way it depends, I suppose, what your goals are for your conference. You do have events which I may have crossed over a little bit, actually. You do have events but what you don’t have within commons is something like a scheduling system. So what you need for conference for example is proposing sessions, some type of moderation of those proposals, and then a listing of tracks and schedules, et cetera. So there isn’t that functionality within commons, no.
Moderator: Okay.

Heather James: It would be useful, for example, for the conference community itself to create, ad hoc groups around specific topics which would be brilliant in a lot of - maybe on conferences for example and let people self-organize. That could actually work really well.

Moderator: All right. I think this will be our final question. How difficult is it to migrate forums on Drupal 6 to Drupal Commons?

Heather James: I think in that sense, there probably won’t be any sort of automated way to do that. There is actually work starting on a migration tool that will go from Drupal 6 Commons to Drupal 7 Commons. So we’re looking at Drupal 7 Commons here, 7.3 actually, and so they’re going to have an automated migrate tool where it will make it take over the bulk of whatever you’ve done except for any modifications or customizations you’ve made. Your question is related to Drupal 6 generic form, so as far as I know, there’s nothing. I’m not aware of anything myself. I will be happy to ask though and just double check, but I’m not aware of anything. In that sense, I would say you’re just going to do a straight migration. If you’ve ever seen the migrate module, that would be your first step. What that allows you to do is map your content types. You have your forum content type and your topics, for example. You’ll have to map those over to something that relates to Commons like groups and maybe posts within the groups, for example.

Moderator: Great. Well, thank you so much Heather and thank you everyone for attending. This was a great presentation and the slides will be posted to SlideShare and the recorded webinar will be posted to acquia.com in the next 48 hours. So be sure to sign up for the webinar next week. That’s how to customize your Commons site. Thank you so much everyone.