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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.
Lots of times someone will have a great idea and build a web site and then get discouraged because no one knows it's there. These days the best way to get the word out is through social networks such as www.twitter.com and www.linkedin.com. This video shows you three ways to let your Drupal Gardens site interact with those networks. First, you'll see how to encourage people to promote your site by posting links about it to social networks. Second, you will see how to promote the fact that you have a presence on those networks, and third, you'll see how to let users create Follow me links so that they can promote their individual presences on those networks.
For some of this, you'll need to set up accounts on those target networks, such as Twitter. For this video, we will assume you've already done that. If you haven't, several lynda.com courses show you how to get started. Among them are "Twitter Essential Training," "Facebook Essential Training," and "Social Media Marketing with Facebook and Twitter." But let's just take a look at the Drupal Gardens side of things. First, we will help our members promote our site on Twitter and the like. Actually, we don't even have to do anything. Drupal Gardens has already set that up for us, and I'll show you how.
Let's go to this node here, which is a news item. Click through so we see the full node, and underneath each one of these news items, we see this little Share button. If you bring your cursor over it, you could then click and say, okay, I want to share this on Twitter or Facebook or any of over 300 other networks--really quite an amazing thing. That's great as it is, but you can actually change the behavior of that button. I will just close out this window here and then go up to Configuration and AddThis. This button works by connecting your site with another site called www.addthis.com.
You can use the button whether or not you already have an account on AddThis. It still works just the same. There are some features that only work if you've gotten an account on AddThis, but we won't go into those. If you do have an account, you would enter your username here, and that would help you do some analytic tracking and see exactly where links are coming from. Below that we have two links here for Button Image settings and Widget settings. I'm also not going to go into these because they're quite complicated. They let you change what those buttons look like. And as you see, there are lots and lots of settings where you can change the color and all sorts of things like that.
The most important things from our point of view is whether those links appear on node pages or just in the teasers or on both. I am going to make it so that they appear on the teasers as well as a node pages. This is not my preferred way of doing things, and I'll show you why in a moment. I will scroll down to the bottom of the screen by collapsing these and scrolling down, and then I'll go back to the front page. Now, on the front page we have this button that wasn't there before. You might remember we had to click on the node's title in order to see the full node before we had the Share button.
The reason I don't like this is when you have it on the front page, you then start mousing around and people end up doing this all over the place, and it kind of gets in the way. So I am going to go back to Configuration and AddThis and remove it from the teasers. There is one other thing to know about AddThis. Again, we go back to our front page. We clicked through on this news item, and we saw the button. If we click through on this node, which is a basic page, we don't see the button at all. You can control, on a content-type- by-content-type basis, which nodes show that AddThis button.
To do that you would go up to Structure and Content types, and I'm going to go to Basic page and edit it. Scroll down and you see this little vertical tab, Addthis settings. If I wanted to show the button on all of those basic page nodes, I would just check this. But I think I will leave it as it is for now. So that's the first way that you can connect your Drupal Gardens site to social networks. The second way is by advertising that you have accounts on those social networks. Now we've already done this in an earlier video about configuring your site.
To show that I'll go back to our front page and scroll down, and we have this Stay connected block, which has links to our Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as one to the RSS feed for the front page. I just want to show you, once again, how to do that. The way that you do it is you go up to Configuration, scroll down until you get to Site follow links, and click there. Now earlier when we did this, we added lynda.com's Facebook and Twitter. I am going to get rid of the Facebook, and I am going to add my own Twitter account, which is ExpCal, Explore California.
After you've added URL, you can change the Customized Name, so it will show something other than Twitter, show any word you like. You can also add any of these other social networks, so they will show up in that block at the bottom. Click Submit, go back to our front page and scroll down, where you see that the Facebook link has disappeared and the Twitter link now goes to our page. I'll just go back to our site though. Finally, we come to the third way to connect your site to social networks, and that's by letting users promote their own accounts on those networks in their profiles on your site.
By default, Drupal Gardens only gives permission to do this to users with certain roles. That's a good idea because spammers love to post links to their sites wherever they can, and this would be an easy privilege to abuse. But in our case I am going to be gracious and let all authenticated users do it. To change that permission, you would go up to People and Permissions, then scroll down to the Follow group, and add permissions to Edit own follow links. Again, I will give that to authenticated users.
Scroll to the bottom and Save permissions. Now, I'll show you how it works. It's a several-step process, but bear with me; we will get this working. First, I'll switch to another browser where I am logged on as anybody. I am going to log on as an ordinary authenticated user on our site. That's califanjoe, who you might remember we created in another video. Username is califanjoe and the password.
The first thing I'll do is I'll show my own profile by clicking My account. You'll notice one of the things I can edit is My follow links. I am going to add a Facebook link here. It will be http://www.facebook.com/lynda.com. Of course, that's the lynda Facebook, but we will use it for demonstration purposes. I will also add a Twitter link. Again, http://twitter.com/lynda.com and then scroll down to the bottom and click Submit.
Now you might think that we would see that when we click on View, but no; those links aren't actually there. That takes us to the second part of this process. The reason we don't see those links is because they show up in a block which you then have to place somewhere on the page. So to do that, we will go back to our Admin page, which is in our another browser, click Structure and Blocks, and scroll down to the bottom where our disabled blocks are. The one we want is Follow User, and I'm going to move that into sidebar B. Scroll to the bottom and Save, and let's take a look and see where it is on there.
I think I am going just move it up above that feed and scroll to the bottom again and Save. Now, let's go back. Take a look at that again. Go up to People, look at califanjoe's profile, and there are his follow links. If we look at it from his account, we see the same thing: his Follow links. That's terrific! There's still one problem, and this is the last stage in the process. It's the kind of thing that's easy to miss, unless you regularly check out your site while you're viewing it as an anonymous visitor.
Here I will show you. First, we will log out here, and then we will try going to that page. Here it is, Users califanjoes. Copy it, bring it over, and paste it. We don't see his profile, but we do see the ways that we can follow him. In order to change that, we will go back to our administrative interface, go up to People and Permissions, and allow everybody to view User profiles. That's way down at the bottom in the User group, View user profiles.
I am going to allow everybody, including anonymous users, to do that, and then save permissions. Now the other thing you could do is you could hide that block so that anonymous users don't see it. That way it would always be paired up. So, you would see the Profile together with the follow links. But you have to be careful to just make sure that you balance those. Just to make sure it works, I will now go back. Again, I'm in as an anonymous user. Revisit that page. Now, I see the user and the follow links. Very good. I know there was a lot of stuff to digest, but that's just because the Follow and AddThis modules give you a lot of options.
But really, once you've got them all configured and put the blocks in the correct places and set up permissions as you want them, they are fairly simple to operate. And when you get people actually promoting your content and following you on social networks, the effect is worth the small amount of work required.
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