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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.
Blogs are good for your site in two ways. First, blog-centered sites are very popular, as the success of WordPress attests. The best way to create one of those sites in Drupal Gardens is to start with a blog template that you learned about in video about getting started with Drupal Gardens. Second, blogs give your sites' members a chance to express themselves. In exchange, they feel more loyalty toward your site, and they give you valuable free content. Regardless of what template you start of with, blogs are very easy to create, and Drupal Gardens adds a nice little tweak to the way Core Drupal traditionally handles them. Let's take a look.
First of all, you will have to turn on the Blog module if it's not already on. Chances are it is, but let's take a look and make sure. Go up to the Modules button here, and there it is, Blog. It's already turned on. There is another part that's added by Drupal Gardens that's not in core Drupal, called Flexible blogs. As we scroll down, we se it here in the Other category. I will talk a little bit more about what Flexible blogs gives you in just a minute. To create a blog post, it's very easy. Just click Add content up here and then Blog entry.
I will just create something simple. "This is my first blog post." And for the body, "Hoo-hah!" Now I will scroll down to the bottom and save it, and there it is. It's very simple. It looks like any other node that you create, with one exception. It has this little Explore California blog down here And if you click on that, it will go to all of the blog posts, whether it's by user or by site. And again, I will get to that in just a minute. I am very quickly going to create another blog post.
Again, just Add content and Blog entry, and I will call this one This is my second blog post from califanjoe. Hoo-hah again! The one change I am going to make down here is in Authoring information, instead of it being by me, explorecalifornia, I will make it by califanjoe. As I type in, it brings up the username that's in the site already. Click on it and then click Save. Great! So we now have two blog posts: one by Explore California and the other by the user califanjoe.
To see all of them, you can just go to the /blog link up here in the URL, blog, and that shows all blogs by everybody on this site. You can also get there by clicking this link in the main menu, Blog. If I click on any one of these-- this is the one by califanjoe-- we see at the bottom, also, this link, Explore California blog. This also leads you to all of the blog posts on the site. Now, I am going to talk about what that flexible Blogs module gives you.
To get to it, go to Configuration and Blog settings, which is under the Content Authoring category. This allows you to change the link that appears underneath each of the blog posts. So, instead of going to site-wide blog, it cloud go to only the author's blog. I will change it there and save configuration. Again, this is something that's in Drupal Gardens, but it's not in core Drupal. So, it's a nice little added thing. Now, let's go back to our front page and click on Blog again. You see, instead of just saying read the explorecalifornia's blog, it now says either califanjoe's blog or explorecalifornia blog.
In my opinion, this is the best setting to have, especially if you have a site which has many individual contributors, because typically people want to read only from contributor rather than everybody on the site. If you have many, many bloggers, it can become quite overwhelming if you have it linking to everybody on the site. I have been online since 1986, and I have never really felt that thing that people were saying all along that the Internet made everybody a publisher. Only the blogging eco-system, when it started to emerge in 2001 or so, only that really made me feel that everybody could be a publisher.
Because it's not really the format that makes blogs valuable, but rather how they connect to each other, and the Blog module in Drupal Gardens helps you do that. You learn more about ways that people connect to each other with their own content and the videos about publishing RSS feeds, subscribing to RSS feeds, and taking advantage of social media. One last thing I want to mention about blogs: as with all user-created content, there's the always-present danger of abuse. So, be sure to monitor what your users are posting. You learn some tips about that and videos about creating and managing content, about managing comments, and about slowing spam.
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