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Drupal 7 Social Networking

Michael Peacock

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

ISBN 139781849516006
Paperback328 pages

About This Book

  • Step-by-step instructions for putting together a social networking site with Drupal 7
  • 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 book useful to modify an existing installation into a social website

Who This Book Is For

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

  • Businesses – building a social network around a product or service can improve your company profile and increase customer loyalty, while 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.
  • Organizations and charities – raise your profile, promote your events, services, and 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 socially orientated website.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Drupal and Social Networking
Social Networking: An introduction
Why not join or use an existing social network?
Drupal as a social networking platform
Alternatives to Drupal
Installing Drupal
Chapter 2: Preparing Drupal for a Social Networking Site
How Drupal works
Administering Drupal—An overview
Content types and taxonomy: A detailed look
Planning our site
Starting to build our site
Chapter 3: User Content: Contributions, Forums, and Blogs
Our site
User roles: An important note
Drupal modules
Managing comments
Setting up and using blogs
Collaborative writing
Contributions in the form of pages
Uploaded files
Chapter 4: Users and Profiles
What are we going to do and why?
Getting set up
Users, roles, and permissions
Creating customizable user profiles
Globally recognized avatars: Enabling Gravatars
Tracking user activity
User centric home page
Account settings
Chapter 5: Enabling User Interaction
DinoSpace!: A review
Preparation: Installing the modules
Related user activity stream
Contacting users
Commenting on user profiles
Chapter 6: Social Seasoning
Let's prepare our modules
Encouraging discussion with Disqus
Sharing content with AddThis
Leverage other features
Chapter 7: Module Development: Rapidly Improve your Social Network
Dinosaur-friendly venues
Useful resources
Building our module
Module in action
Chapter 8: How We Can Design Our Site
Drupal themes
The basics of creating a theme
Chapter 9: Communicating with Our Users
Getting started
A look back
Mailing lists
Using content blocks to get our message across
Using theme customisations to indirectly communicate with our users
Inactive users: Please come back
Chapter 10: Deploying and Maintaining Your Social Network
Installing the modules
Chapter 11: Easing Growing Pains
Basic performance tips
NoSQL options
Can't someone else do it?
Using content delivery networks
Code improvements and custom modules
Server performance and configuration
Scaling our resources
Adding redundancy to our setup
Keep an eye out…
Chapter 12: Promotion, SEO, User Retention, and Monetization Strategies
Promotion and marketing
Search Engine Optimization
User retention
Monetization options
Final tips: Web stats
Modules to consider

What You Will Learn

  • Build a social networking site from the ground up using Drupal 7
  • Use a combination of features, modules, and simple customization to allow user interaction, contributions, and communication
  • Import content from the Internet to your site using the Aggregator module
  • Create user profiles, set up roles and permissions, and handle security settings
  • Use Drupal's modular system to create modules to add functionality
  • 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 on 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
  • 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

In Detail

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

Drupal 7 Social Networking 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 choose!

Starting from the very basics of both Drupal and Social Networking, right through to more complicated aspects, you will progressively learn how to add to and expand your social networking site and add more features. You will learn how to secure your social network, deploy it on the Internet, and keep it running and well maintained. As social networking sites rely on the participation of their users, this book helps you to structure your site in such a way so that users can easily and enjoyably contribute, thus creating a powerful social network.


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