- 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
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 â€“ 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.