Web site is invitation only
We needed to make a site which would appeal to high level business people and politicians so that informed discussion could take place instead of the typical "noise" that is found on most forums. Separate sections were needed which would have their own moderation and membership. Because of the volume of comments in many sections, it was clear that tools would be needed to help the site members track what was going on throughout the site.
The hardest issue to solve was how to implement the topic-based sections because the user role and permission system in Drupal is sitewide, but we needed a more detailed level of permissions.
Drupal was a solid choice for a system like this. Its base system of users and content served as a foundation, and we leveraged Organic groups to create the "magazine" sections. We considered having each section as a separate Drupal site, with certain tables shared, such as users, but this would add unneeded complexity to the tracking tools and dashboards that the site would need. Using Organic Groups to provide the "magazines" saved us a considerable amount of time, but since Organic groups uses a flat site-wide system of roles, we had to creating a custom system to manage per section roles and per section access rights.
Well organized dashboards were created for each user role, letting site members easily track new articles, discussions and posts to previous discussions, along with tracking friends plus bookmarking and making notes on the content found throughout the site, and gave editors and moderators an overview of the entire site workflow.
The system also supports subscription based memberships with subscription tracking dashboards and notifications, so that the client can move to a paid membership format when the wish.
In the first months of the initial private release of the project its clear that the system has fully met the client's requirements. Already it can be seen that discussions have formed texts which have been included into actual legal proposals. The invitation only membership and moderated format has proven to be an environment which fosters high level discussion, without the unwanted noise that most websites have to deal with. Drupal with Organic groups has proven to be a flexible and robust solution for group-oriented projects like CSR Gate.