Drupal 6 Social Networking

Build a social or community web site, with friends lists, groups, custom user profiles, and much more

Drupal 6 Social Networking

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Build a social or community web site, with friends lists, groups, custom user profiles, and much more
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847196101
Paperback312 pages

About This Book

  • 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

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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Drupal and Social Networking
Social networking
Why create a social network instead of joining an existing one?
DinoSpace!
Drupal as a social networking platform
Installing Drupal
Configuring Drupal
Summary
Chapter 2: Preparing Drupal for a Social Networking Site
How Drupal works
Administering Drupal: an overview
Planning our site
Starting to build our site
Summary
Chapter 3: User Content: Contributions, Forums, and Blogs
Our site
User roles: an important note
Drupal modules
Comments
Forums
Blogs
Collaborative writing
Polls
Contributions in the form of pages
Uploaded files/attachments
Automatically generated content
Social aggregation
Roles
Summary
Chapter 4: Users and Profiles
What are we going to do and why?
Install the modules
Users, roles, and permissions
Adding special properties to user profiles
Tracking user activity
Settings and rules
Blog themes
Open ID
Summary
Chapter 5: Enabling User Interaction
Dino Space: a review
Installing the modules
Relationships
User activities
Profile comments with the Guestbook module
Contacting users
Groups
Summary
Chapter 6: Communicating with our Users
Getting started
Communicating on an individual basis
Mailing lists
Direct contact
Content blocks
Theme customizations for communication
Summary
Chapter 7: Improving our Network with Custom Modules
Our module
Drupal's modular system
Creating our module
Useful APIs
Summary
Chapter 8: Designing our Site
Drupal themes
Customizing the default theme
Creating a theme: The basics
Summary
Chapter 9: Deploying and Maintaining our Social Networking Site
Installing the modules
Security
Deploying
Maintenance
Backing up
Restoring
Summary
Chapter 10: Promoting our Site
Online advertising
Newsletters
Marketing materials
Social marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Monetizing your site
Summary

What You Will Learn

  • 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.

Authors

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Drupal and Social Networking
Social networking
Why create a social network instead of joining an existing one?
DinoSpace!
Drupal as a social networking platform
Installing Drupal
Configuring Drupal
Summary
Chapter 2: Preparing Drupal for a Social Networking Site
How Drupal works
Administering Drupal: an overview
Planning our site
Starting to build our site
Summary
Chapter 3: User Content: Contributions, Forums, and Blogs
Our site
User roles: an important note
Drupal modules
Comments
Forums
Blogs
Collaborative writing
Polls
Contributions in the form of pages
Uploaded files/attachments
Automatically generated content
Social aggregation
Roles
Summary
Chapter 4: Users and Profiles
What are we going to do and why?
Install the modules
Users, roles, and permissions
Adding special properties to user profiles
Tracking user activity
Settings and rules
Blog themes
Open ID
Summary
Chapter 5: Enabling User Interaction
Dino Space: a review
Installing the modules
Relationships
User activities
Profile comments with the Guestbook module
Contacting users
Groups
Summary
Chapter 6: Communicating with our Users
Getting started
Communicating on an individual basis
Mailing lists
Direct contact
Content blocks
Theme customizations for communication
Summary
Chapter 7: Improving our Network with Custom Modules
Our module
Drupal's modular system
Creating our module
Useful APIs
Summary
Chapter 8: Designing our Site
Drupal themes
Customizing the default theme
Creating a theme: The basics
Summary
Chapter 9: Deploying and Maintaining our Social Networking Site
Installing the modules
Security
Deploying
Maintenance
Backing up
Restoring
Summary
Chapter 10: Promoting our Site
Online advertising
Newsletters
Marketing materials
Social marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Monetizing your site
Summary

Book Details

ISBN 139781847196101
Paperback312 pages
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