This is the fifth post in my series about a sample Marketing Intranet site. In this post we are going to be covering an example for having a set of discussions on the marketing intranet site. In this post we are simply going to be utilizing the standard out of the box discussions list. From the screenshot below you see that the discussions list has been added to the home page, as well as a link on the Quick Launch. This will allow us to highlight the most recent discussions as well as allow a link to see all of the past discussions.
To create the list, we just need to select the More Options link in Site Actions and then select the Discussion Board list template.
By creating this list we are creating a location where users will be able to add their comments to the site. The purpose of this list is to share ideas from the entire organization about things that can be done in the marketing aspect. Since this is an Intranet site, we want to be careful what is published, so we will implement a way to approve discussions before they are started. This will allow us to moderate the conversations and take certain requests offline that are more appropriate for a different communication medium.
Users will be able to see either a threaded view or a flat view of the various discussions. An example screenshot is displayed below for each.
In our example we are using the default views and such for this list, but we are adding the configuration that requires approval of content. We configure this in the List Settings option in the List Ribbon.
Once in the List Settings area we will be modifying the Versioning Settings for the list:
In the versioning settings page, select the option that requires content approval.
Now, whenever a user adds a new item, they will see the following message:
Users will be able to see any items they have created (approved or not) and all other approved items. Users will approval rights will see all items, and can select the item in the Flat view to approve or reject it.
As a further customization (not detailed in this blog post) you could also configure an approval workflow that would email the approvers and automate the process through an email.
*A Note on Permissions* – This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a note on the permissions for this list. Since this is an Intranet example, it would be expected that only people with Marketing have contributor access to the site and the rest of the organization would have read permissions. Since we are wanting the entire organization to participate in these discussions we will use custom permissions on this list to allow the site readers to contribute to this this. If you need more assistance on setting the list permissions, here is a link that should help you get started.
That concludes this post in the series! I hope you have found these samples helpful as you are looking for ways to use the OOTB tools in SharePoint to help you build some business solutions.