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Author Tom Geller demonstrates how to create and publish a complete web site with the powerful tools in Acquia's hosted service, Drupal Gardens. The course shows how to leverage the pre-built page layouts and add custom styling using the ThemeBuilder tool; integrate rich site features, such as surveys, user ratings, and media galleries; and push content to Twitter and Facebook. The course also covers transitioning from a Drupal Gardens site to a self-hosted Drupal site. Exercise files are included with the course.
In the previous video, I showed you how to subscribe to RSS feeds on other sites. In this one, I'll show you how to categorize those feed items that you receive, to give visitors easier ways to get the information that they want. As you scroll down through this page, you'll notice that these news feed items, they are all about California, but they have different focuses. Some might be about nature, some might be about celebrities, some might be about travel, and so forth. So what we're going to do is we're going to create some categories that will let us categorize these individual feed items and then look at pages to only see celebrity news or travel news or nature news.
To do that, we go up to Configuration, and once again, down to Feed aggregator under Web Services, and now, we can start adding categories. I'm going to add four categories: it will be Nature, Shopping, Travel, and Celebrities. You can add descriptions as well, which will give additional information, but I'll just do that simply for right now, and save.
Now let's go back to our front page, go back down to that block that we have, and click More. Once again, that takes us to our page of feed items. Now when we click Categorize, we're able to add these items into any of those categories. So Kelly Slater, that sounds like a celebrity piece of news. Let's see, Watershed cleanup, that sounds like nature, Natural Beauty also sounds like nature, and so forth. We could go then down to the bottom and save our categories. Now when we look at that page, by clicking the View tab, we see those tags that we added.
See, we have categories Nature under here, Celebrity under here. You might remember that we added two items to nature, so when we click on the Nature tag, we see those two items only, a very good way to take in this information from other sites and make it more useful on your own site. You're actually adding value to somebody else's information. But there is an easier way to categorize feed items if you expect to add the same tag to every item that comes through the feed. To demonstrate that, I'm going to add one more feed. I'm going to search Google one more time for "California RSS." This time I'm going to go to the first link, which is the State of California information, and go down to the department of parks. There it is: California State Parks.
Click on the RSS icon and copy that URL. Once again, we go back to our site, go to Configuration > Feed aggregator, and Add feed. The title will be California Department of Parks, and there is our URL. Now this time because it's the Department of Parks, I expect them all to be in the Nature category. So I'll just add Nature and save. Now I'll go back to my list and quickly update those items. Good! 12 items. Let's take a look at them.
Here they are, and you see each one has that Nature category. If we click it, we go back to that earlier page that mixes in nature items from both of the feeds we created. I'm sure you can see right now how much power there is in this. There is one other nice thing that Drupal Gardens gives when we start categorizing news feed items. The same way that we were able to enable a block showing only those items from a certain feed, if we go to Structure, and Blocks, we also get blocks showing us just the category, the Nature category.
So again, we can move that into any of the areas that are available on our page and just have a Nature section on our page. Finally, we can see all of our news items by going up to the URL and choosing Aggregator, and that's everything that's come in from both of those feeds. So you can see that you get a lot of content onto your site really quickly with RSS feeds. In fact, some sites are built entirely around RSS feeds with very little original content, or you can mix it up a bit if you like.
That's actually what I did with one of my first sites, savemyhomebook.com. I created this. It was actually my first Drupal site when I wanted to promote a book I wrote in 2008. I wrote a few blog posts down here, but then, really, the book became out of date, and I wanted to keep the site alive for people who really wanted to get information about foreclosure. So I have these areas here on the side that are simply pulling in information about foreclosure from various different sites. So the site remains useful to people, even though the original purpose of the site is not as important as it used to be.
Finally, I would like to point out the opportunity that RSS publishing provides in the other direction. Just as you're subscribing to feeds, other web master might want to subscribe to your content. To learn more about that, see the video later in this course about publishing RSS feeds.
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