Drupal 6 Social Networking

Drupal 6 Social Networking
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Step-by-step instructions for putting together a social networking site with Drupal 6
  • Customize your Drupal installation with modules and themes to match the needs of almost any social networking site
  • Allow users to collaborate and interact with each other on your site
  • Requires no prior knowledge of Drupal or PHP; but even experienced Drupal users will find this useful to modify an existing installation into a social web site

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 312 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : February 2009
ISBN : 1847196101
ISBN 13 : 9781847196101
Author(s) : Michael Peacock
Topics and Technologies : All Books, CMS and eCommerce, Content Management (CMS), Drupal, Open Source


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Drupal and Social Networking
Chapter 2: Preparing Drupal for a Social Networking Site
Chapter 3: User Content: Contributions, Forums, and Blogs
Chapter 4: Users and Profiles
Chapter 5: Enabling User Interaction
Chapter 6: Communicating with our Users
Chapter 7: Improving our Network with Custom Modules
Chapter 8: Designing our Site
Chapter 9: Deploying and Maintaining our Social Networking Site
Chapter 10: Promoting our Site
Appendix: Installing WAMP
  • Chapter 1: Drupal and Social Networking
    • Social networking
    • Why create a social network instead of joining an existing one?
      • Improve business
      • Enable communication
      • Provide a service
      • So why create a social network?
    • DinoSpace!
      • What is a CMS?
      • What is Drupal?
    • Drupal as a social networking platform
    • Installing Drupal
      • Requirements
      • Download
      • Installation
    • Configuring Drupal
      • Actions
      • Administration theme
      • Clean URLs
      • Date and time
      • Error reporting
      • File system
      • Image toolkit
      • Input formats
      • Logging and alerts
      • Performance
      • Site information
      • Site maintenance
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Preparing Drupal for a Social Networking Site
    • How Drupal works
      • An abstract framework
      • Nodes
      • Content flags
      • Collaboration
      • Terminology
    • Administering Drupal: an overview
      • Logging in
      • User management
        • Access rules
        • Permissions
        • Roles
        • User settings
        • Users
      • Content management
        • Comments
        • Content
        • Content Types
        • Post settings
        • RSS publishing
        • Taxonomy
      • Site building
        • Blocks
        • Menus
        • Modules
        • Themes
      • Site configuration
      • Reports
        • Recent log entries
        • Top 'access denied' errors
        • Top 'page not found' errors
        • Available updates
        • Status report final
    • Planning our site
      • Static content
      • Grouping content
    • Starting to build our site
      • Taxonomy!
        • Creating the vocabulary
        • Creating terms and tags for our vocabulary
        • Creating another vocabulary—free tags
      • Creating content
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: User Content: Contributions, Forums, and Blogs
    • Our site
    • User roles: an important note
    • Drupal modules
    • Comments
      • Comments within Dino Space
    • Forums
      • Planning
      • Creating and managing forums
      • Creating a forum topic
      • Taxonomies
      • Planning: How will roles fit in?
    • Blogs
      • Blog menu
      • Viewing blogs
      • Using the blog
      • Blog API
        • Posting a blog entry from Microsoft Word
    • Collaborative writing
      • Creating a book
      • Creating pages in the book
      • Permissions and roles
        • Why not grant all permissions?
    • Polls
      • Roles
    • Contributions in the form of pages
      • Permissions and roles
    • Uploaded files/attachments
    • Automatically generated content
      • Feed aggregator menu
      • Viewing the feed in action
      • Cron
    • Social aggregation
      • Download the module
      • Install and enable the module
      • Configure the module
      • Using the module
    • Roles
      • Anonymous role permissions
      • Authenticated users
      • Creating the additional roles
      • Contributors
      • Moderators
      • Power contributors
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Users and Profiles
    • What are we going to do and why?
    • Install the modules
    • Users, roles, and permissions
      • Users
        • Viewing/searching/sorting/filtering
        • Creating a user
        • Editing
      • Roles
      • Permissions
    • Adding special properties to user profiles
      • Module overview
      • Extending our users' profiles
        • Single-line text fields
        • Multi-line text fields
        • Date field
        • List selection field
        • Free form list field
        • Web address field
      • Editing our profile
        • About you
        • About your dinosaur
    • Tracking user activity
    • Settings and rules
      • Access rules
        • Blocking email domains
        • Preventing swear words in our user's usernames
        • Checking rules
      • User settings
        • User registration settings
        • User email settings
        • Picture settings
    • Blog themes
      • Enabling themes
      • Using the blog themes module
      • Expanding on this feature
    • Open ID
      • User already exists
      • User does not exist
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Enabling User Interaction
    • Dino Space: a review
    • Installing the modules
    • Relationships
      • Planning
      • Creating our relationships
      • Settings
        • General settings
        • Email notifications
        • Elaborations
        • Messages
      • Permissions
      • Relationships in action
        • Default relationship
        • Creating a relationship with another user
        • My relationships
    • User activities
      • Permissions
      • Activities in action
        • Public list
        • Friends list
        • Settings
    • Profile comments with the Guestbook module
      • Settings
        • Permissions
      • Site-wide guestbook
      • User guestbooks
      • Viewing guestbooks
    • Contacting users
      • User contact forms
      • Site-wide contact form
        • Creating the contact form categories
        • Adding information to the top of the form
        • Enabling the contact form in the menu
        • Taking the content form for a spin
    • Groups
      • Groups for Dino Space
      • Organic Groups module
        • Create group content type
        • Configure page content type
        • Enabling the block
        • Creating a group
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Communicating with our Users
    • Getting started
      • The modules
      • A look back
        • Modules
    • Communicating on an individual basis
      • Inactive users
      • Communicating with individuals publicly
    • Mailing lists
      • How to send an email to all our users?
      • HTML emails
      • Legalities
      • Throttling
      • Third-Party Services
        • PHPList
        • Constant contact
        • Google Groups
    • Direct contact
      • The address module
        • Users perspective
        • Administrators perspective
    • Content blocks
      • Creating a content block for anonymous users
    • Theme customizations for communication
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Improving our Network with Custom Modules
    • Our module
    • Drupal's modular system
      • A module
      • Useful resources
    • Creating our module
      • Content types
        • New content types
      • Google Maps
        • API key and the JavaScript files
      • Template files
        • node-map.tpl.php
        • node-venue.php
      • Module files
        • Directories and locations
        • .info files
        • .module files
        • .install files
      • Putting everything together
        • Installing the modules
        • Creating a map
        • Adding a venue
      • Seeing the module in action
    • Useful APIs
      • GMap
      • Facebook
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Designing our Site
    • Drupal themes
      • Themes and our users
      • Pre-installed themes
        • Bluemarine
        • Chameleon
        • Garland
        • Marvin
        • Minnelli
        • Pushbutton
      • Contributed themes
        • Installing contributed themes
    • Customizing the default theme
      • Color scheme
        • Custom color sets
        • Color set preview
      • Toggle display
      • Logo image design
      • Shortcut icon settings
      • Global settings
    • Creating a theme: The basics
      • Theme structure
        • Info file
        • Template files
        • Template.php
        • Logo and screenshot
        • Other files for themes
      • Getting started
        • Info file
        • Template files
        • Template.php
        • Logo and screenshot
        • In action
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Deploying and Maintaining our Social Networking Site
    • Installing the modules
    • Security
      • Security announcements
      • Securing our site
        • CAPTCHA
        • Mollom
        • Legal
        • Passwords
    • Deploying
      • Hosting and domain names
      • Getting the site online
        • Setting up the database
        • Uploading the site
        • Changing the database settings
    • Maintenance
      • Cron
      • Performing maintenance
        • Upgrading Drupal
      • Reports
        • How can these help?
    • Backing up
      • Backing up with cPanel
    • Restoring
      • Restoring within cPanel
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Promoting our Site
    • Online advertising
      • Buying advertisement space
      • Pay Per Click Advertisements
        • Advertisement networks provided by search engines
      • Newsletter advertising
      • Caution: Search Engine Penalization
    • Newsletters
    • Marketing materials
    • Social marketing
      • Viral marketing
      • Twitter
      • Social bookmarking
    • Search Engine Optimization
      • On-site SEO
        • Meta
        • Sitemap and webmaster tools
        • Links
        • Up-to-date content
      • Off-site SEO
    • Monetizing your site
    • Summary
  • Appendix: Installing WAMP
    • Installing WampServer
      • Downloading WampServer
      • Installing WampServer
    • WampServer overview
    • Configuring WampServer
      • GD2
      • Rewrite Module
    • Summary

Michael Peacock

Michael Peacock is a web developer from Newcastle, UK and has a degree in Software Engineering from the University of Durham. After meeting his business partner at Durham, he co-founded Peacock Carter, a Newcastle based creative consultancy specializing in web design, web development and corporate identity.

Michael loves working on web related projects. When he is not working on client projects, he is often tinkering with a web app of his own.

He has been involved with a number of books, having written two books himself (and working on his third): Selling online with Drupal e-Commerce Packt, and Building websites with TYPO3 Packt. He has also done technical reviews of two other books: Mobile Web Development Packt, and Drupal Education & E-Learning Packt.

You can follow Michael on Twitter.

Contact Michael Peacock

Code Downloads

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Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 2 submitted: last submission 05 Mar 2014

Errata type: Others | Page number: 100

"The second group of settings are in Administer | Site building | Content types | Feed." should read as "Administer | Content Management | Content types | Feed."


Errata type: Others | Page number: 100

"The second group of settings are in Administer | Site building | Content types | Feed." should read as "Administer | Content Management | Content types | Feed."


Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Get started with Drupal and explore the features of this powerful Content Management System.
  • Build a social networking site from the ground up using Drupal 6
  • Use a combination of features, modules and some simple custom development to allow user interaction and user contributions
  • Enable your users to interact and communicate with one another, building friendship
  • Let your users contribute to the site, from those who wish to add a little content to those who wish to help run the site on a daily basis
  • Import content into your site from elsewhere on the Internet using the Aggregator module
  • Create user profiles, set up roles and permissions, and handle security settings
  • Explore Drupal's modular system, and use it to create modules to add additional functionality relevant and useful to your social network.
  • Customize the look and feel of your site by enabling and installing new themes, ensuring that your site is distinctive
  • Deploy and maintain your social networking site on the Internet using the maintenance mode, reports, and cron to keep everything running smoothly
  • Recover from virus attacks and hacking attempts to your Social Network by making and maintaining regular backups, in case the worst should happen
  • Promote and market your Social Network using advertisements, advertising networks, other social networks, and search engine optimization

Chapter 1: Drupal and social networking – In this chapter we look at exactly what Drupal is, what social networking is all about, and why Drupal is suitable to create a social networking site, before we install the software itself.

Chapter 2: Preparing Drupal for a social networking site – You will be introduced to the concepts of Drupal with a tour of the administration tools, as well as planning your new social networking site.

Chapter 3: User content: Contributions, forums and blogs – This chapter focuses on the contributions of your users, via forums, blogs, comments, and files as well as taking a brief look at user management.

Chapter 4: Managing users and profiles – Following from Chapter 3, we look at how to manage users and their roles, as well as looking at our site from their perspective with Blog themes, Customizing user profiles, and Open ID.
Chapter 5: Enabling user interaction – This chapter looks at enabling user interaction on the site with Organic Groups as well as building connections between users with the Friends module.

Chapter 6: Communicating with users – This chapter goes through how to communicate with users directly, through mailing lists, Twitter feeds, and in-page messages.

Chapter 7: Improving our networking with custom modules – This chapter illustrates how Drupal can be extended to match the needs of almost any social networking site, by creating a custom module for the site. This serves as a primer to creating Drupal modules.

Chapter 8: Designing our site – The design of a site is very important to a successful site; this chapter covers customizing the default theme to make it more unique, as well as a basic primer on creating custom themes.

Chapter 9: Deploying and maintaining our site – This chapter covers deploying our Drupal installation, securing it, and maintaining it, along with combating spam and looking at the reports Drupal generates.

Chapter 10: Promoting our site – This chapter looks at how to promote the site with SEO, marketing, and social/viral marketing and also has a quick look at ways to monetize the site

In Detail

Drupal is ideally equipped to be used as a base system for creating a custom social networking site like Facebook and MySpace. While these large social networks have their place, niche social networking web sites can help promote businesses, products, projects, and hobbies of any nature.

This book provides careful instructions and clear explanations to take you through the setup and management of your social network site, covering topics from users to marketing to maintenance. It will help you create your own social networking site, suitable for whatever audience you decide!

This book will take you from the very basics of both Drupal and Social Networking right through to more complicated aspects, like creating your own custom design and features for the site. With no experience of Drupal required, the book will introduce you to this award-winning CMS and carefully take you through the steps to create a social networking site from it. As the book progresses, you will learn how to add to and expand your social networking site, adding more features and adding value for your users, and how to make your users feel part of the community. Social networking web sites rely on their users contributing to the site, and this book helps you structure a site in a way users can easily and enjoyable contribute to the site – creating a powerful social network.

The book begins with the fundamental concepts of a Social Networking site, and how we can use Drupal to create such a site. It then goes through installing Drupal before looking at expanding the out-of-the-box feature set with third-party modules designed for Social Networking. Once the web site is running, it looks at securing the Social Network, deploying it on the Internet, and keeping it running and well maintained. It doesn't stop there however; as Social Networks rely on their user base to run and become successful, the book also covers marketing the Social Network using Search Engine Optimization, Online Marketing, and a range of new Social Media.

A complete walkthrough for creating, developing, growing and maintaining a Social Networking web site using Drupal 6


This book is packed with clear instructions and careful explanations for creating a powerful Social Networking web site using Drupal 6. With each chapter, you add new features and content until the Social Network is ready to be released to the Internet where it can grow.

By the end of this book, you will have a powerful Social Network either like that of the case-study, or of your own design based on the setup and features the book walks through.

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at anyone looking to create their own social networking web site, including:

  • Businesses – building a Social Network around a product or service can improve your company profile and increase customer loyalty. Alternatively, an internal social network gives you employees a place to keep resources, discuss ideas, raise concerns, and keep up to date on company policies.
  • Hobbyists – create a community around your hobbies and interests; create a local or distributed user group.
  • Organisations & Charities – Raise your profile, promote your events / services / fundraisers and get help from the community in organizing them.
  • Families – For large families based across the country or across the globe, keep up to date with everyone, and let everyone know what you are up to.

You don't need any experience of Drupal or PHP to use this book. If you are a Drupal user you will find this book a great way to rapidly tailor an existing installation into a social-orientated web site.

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