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Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Creating blogs


From:

Drupal Gardens Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Creating blogs

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.
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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

Creating blogs

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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