Adding a blog to your site
A weblog (more usually referred to as a blog) is an online diary where you can record thoughts, ideas and news. Your most recent additions are shown on the front page of the weblog. Older items are automatically archived and visitors can view these using the links on the right of the blog.
Your visitors can respond to your blog entries and add comments if they wish. This makes a blog a great way of providing ongoing news about you and your organisation and getting reaction from your visitors.
The weblog and noticeboard applications are identical to one another. Because they are the same, this gives you some flexibility in how you use them.
- You could use one as a blog and the other as a noticeboard. Or you could use both as blogs or both as noticeboards.
- You could configure your blog to allow all your members to share news and information, and configure your noticeboard so that only the administrators can add messages.
- You could use the weblog to discuss one topic (perhaps your organisation's day-to-day activities) and your noticeboard to discuss another (perhaps a special project that your organisation is undertaking). You could configure either or both to allow members to contribute to them.
- You could use either the weblog or the noticeboard application on your site as a sophisticated updates page to keep people up-to-date with your group and its activities.
This page covers the use of the blog but the same instructions apply to using the noticeboard.
Adding the weblog to your website
To enable the application:
- go to your site admin page
- click the content management tab of the administration pages then the applications section and click the enable button next to weblog.
Managing the weblog
Once enabled, you can get to the administration pages for the weblog in several ways:
- Click manage weblog on the public pages of the weblog on your website (you must be logged in as the administrator to see the button).
- From your site admin page, go to the content management tab, and click on weblog in the site map.
- From your site admin page, go to the content management tab and then applications. Click the manage this application button next to weblog.
Adding an entry
- Click Add Weblog Entry.
- Enter a title for your entry.
- If your entry is related to a web page, then you can add the address of that page to the Title URL. Make sure that you include the http:// part otherwise it won't work
- Add the content of your weblog entry.
- Set the date for the weblog entry (make sure that you use the correct format). Clicking Set to now resets the given date to today's date and time.
- Decide whether you want to publish the entry or save it as a draft. Publishing the entry will add it to your website and it will be visible to the public. Saving it as draft will store it so you can edit it further and publish it in future.
- Click OK.
Editing and deleting entries
You can edit or delete any entries by finding the entry on the weblog page and using the Edit and Delete buttons.
As the administrator, you will also be able to see any unpublished items in the list (though normal visitors will not). You can click on publish to make the entry visible to everyone. Clicking unpublish will hide a post from visitors.
Anyone with edit permission on the application can add new entries, and they can also edit, publish, and delete their own entries. They cannot edit, delete, or publish anyone else's entries.
Members of your site can respond to blog entries by adding comments to them. There is an add comments button displayed on each blog entry (you can see it either by clicking the title of the entry or, if comments have already been added, by clicking on the link displaying the number of comments under the entry).
As the administrator, you are responsible for monitoring the content of any comments added.
You can edit or delete comments if necessary. To do this, click on the title of the blog entry to display the comments. Use the edit and delete buttons next to the comment that you want to change.
The most recent entries are shown on the front page of the weblog. Older entries disappear off the bottom but can always be found again by using the calendar on the right of the screen. Simply select the month or day that you wish to view, and the relevant entries will be displayed.
Members of your site can sign up to receive email notifications from your site. Whenever you publish a new blog entry they will be notified.
All published entries are also available as an RSS feed by clicking the icon on the application's front page. This allows users with RSS readers to subscribe to your weblog and be updated as soon as you publish a new entry.
The administration page for weblog contains the following options which are useful for more advanced administration:
- Add weblog entry - This adds a new entry, and works as described above.
- Bookmarklet - You can add the bookmarklet link to your bookmarks menu, or drag it to your browser's bookmarks bar if you have one.
Then whenever you are browsing any page on the web, you can select some text from the page and click the bookmark to automatically add an entry about it.
- Related links - Use this to add links to the front page of your weblog. They will appear in the Related Links section of the page.
- View draft entries - Shows a table listing all unpublished entries. From here you can choose to publish or delete the entries.
- Show email subscriptions - Lists all users who have signed up for email notifications (see notifications above).
- Manage your ping URLs - Allows you to configure URLs which will automatically be informed ("pinged") when you add a new entry. Some sites use this information to maintain an index of recently updated weblogs.
Controlling who can see and use your weblog (permissions)
You should be familiar with how permissions work before making any changes. To configure the permissions:
- Go to your site admin page
- Select the Content Management tab and then the Applications section.
- Click the Permissions button next to the application in the list.
You can now assign permissions that will control what people can see and do:
- Users with Admin permission can manage all entries, and access the Advanced Administration features.
- Users with Contribute permission can add entries and can edit and delete the entries that they have added. They cannot edit entries that other people have added.
- Members of your site can comment on entries.
- Users with Read permission can read the blog entries and comments.