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Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Categorizing RSS feeds


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Drupal Gardens Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Categorizing RSS feeds

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.
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  1. 29m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Previewing the finished project
      1m 29s
    3. What's new in the late 2011 update?
      5m 28s
    4. What is Drupal?
      5m 8s
    5. What is Drupal Gardens?
      5m 57s
    6. Getting started with Drupal Gardens
      5m 35s
    7. Getting help
      4m 1s
    8. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 17m 40s
    1. Using the administrative overlay
      2m 54s
    2. Using the dashboard, toolbar, and shortcut bar
      5m 36s
    3. Touring the newly created site
      3m 55s
    4. Configuring the site
      5m 15s
  3. 59m 47s
    1. Creating and managing content
      11m 11s
    2. Creating and managing content types
      10m 35s
    3. Embedding YouTube videos and other media
      4m 5s
    4. Subscribing to RSS feeds
      4m 49s
    5. Categorizing RSS feeds
      5m 1s
    6. Managing tags and taxonomies
      5m 50s
    7. Creating dynamic pages with simple views
      4m 29s
    8. Creating complex information collections with Views
      8m 59s
    9. Creating image galleries
      4m 48s
  4. 37m 50s
    1. Working with blocks
      10m 26s
    2. Setting up rotating banners
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding menus
      7m 27s
    4. Setting up contact forms
      7m 7s
    5. Adding and removing functionality
      5m 5s
  5. 54m 54s
    1. Managing users
      6m 28s
    2. Adjusting user permissions
      6m 35s
    3. Managing comments
      7m 7s
    4. Slowing spam
      5m 20s
    5. Starting discussion forums
      9m 3s
    6. Creating blogs
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up mailing lists
      4m 50s
    8. Allowing users to rate content
      4m 21s
    9. Using best practices for online clubs
      6m 29s
  6. 44m 35s
    1. Getting feedback with webforms
      6m 14s
    2. Publishing RSS feeds
      6m 40s
    3. Taking advantage of social media
      9m 33s
    4. Emphasizing external links
      2m 44s
    5. Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
      7m 30s
    6. Internationalizing sites
      8m 6s
    7. Tracking site usage with Google Analytics
      3m 48s
  7. 34m 40s
    1. Understanding Drupal themes
      5m 44s
    2. Understanding the Theme Builder
      5m 25s
    3. Switching, saving, and copying themes
      7m 13s
    4. Introducing custom CSS
      6m 51s
    5. Refining selections in the Theme Builder
      5m 48s
    6. Exporting themes
      3m 39s
  8. 48m 31s
    1. Changing the site's color palette
      2m 32s
    2. Changing the site's main logo and favicon
      5m 22s
    3. Changing the column number and arrangement
      5m 7s
    4. Adding background colors and images
      6m 29s
    5. Changing element spacing and borders
      6m 11s
    6. Adjusting typography
      4m 24s
    7. Using fonts from outside sources
      5m 7s
    8. Inserting raw CSS code into themes
      6m 57s
    9. Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
      6m 22s
  9. 14m 18s
    1. Finessing theme design
      7m 51s
    2. Eight ideas for modifying themes
      6m 27s
  10. 23m 38s
    1. Monitoring sites
      4m 11s
    2. Duplicating and deleting sites
      4m 23s
    3. Adding custom domains
      3m 48s
    4. Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
      3m 46s
    5. Hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites
      7m 30s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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Drupal Gardens Essential Training
6h 6m Appropriate for all Jan 05, 2011 Updated Nov 10, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating and managing content and content types
  • Embedding videos and other media
  • Publishing and subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Setting up blocks, banners, menus, and forms
  • Allowing users to rate content
  • Managing comments and spam
  • Tracking site usage
  • Collecting feedback with web forms
  • Duplicating and deleting sites
  • Adding custom domains
  • Changing the site's main logo and favicon
  • Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
Drupal Gardens
Author:
Tom Geller

Categorizing RSS feeds

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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