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Elgg Social Networking

Mayank Sharma

Create and manage your own social network site using this free open-source tool
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847192806
Paperback196 pages

About This Book

  • Create your own customized community site
  • Manage users, invite friends, start groups and blogs
  • Host content: photos, videos, MP3s, podcasts
  • Manage your Elgg site, protect it from spam
  • Written on Elgg version 0.9

Who This Book Is For

This book is aimed at people interested in social networking and e-learning teachers. 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Social Networks and Elgg
Types of Social Networks
How Can a Social Network Help You?
Tools of the Trade
What's so Special About Elgg?
So, What can Elgg Do?
Chapter 2: A Tour around Elgg
Playing With Elgg-Powered Networks
Sign Up
Account Settings
Your Profile
Customize Your Account
Define Access Privileges
Your Blog
Manage Your Files
Find People
Make Friends
Your Community
Your Messages
Your Resources
Your Presentation
Recent Activity
Chapter 3: Users, Profiles, and Connections
Connecting to Friends and Users
Build a Profile
Making Friends with Internal Members
Attracting Visitors
Administration Options
Playing Boss
Limiting Users on the Site
Sharing Admin Rights
The Scope of an Elgg Administrator
Chapter 4: Blogging and Resources
Handling Files
Start Blogging
Saving Drafts
Handling Improper Content
Preventing Spam
Downloading Blogs
Managing Resources
Podcasting with Elgg
Chapter 5: Communities and Files
Creating Communities
Grooming the Community
Joining the Community
Using the Community
Other Community Administration
Community Forum
Handling Files
Send Messages
Sharing Bookmarks
Using Files
Chapter 6: Customizing Elgg
Why Customize?
What Makes Up a Theme?
Controlling Themes
The Default Template
What are <div> and <span>?
The pageshell
The frontpage Files
Content Keywords
Hints for Designing a Custom Template
Adding Public Templates
Changing Templates
Creating Themes Based on Templates
Replacing the Default Template
Contributing Themes
Chapter 7: Elgg Plug-Ins
General Structures of Plug-Ins
Things to Remember While Installing Plug-Ins
The Plug-Ins
How to Remove Plug-Ins
Upgrading Plug-Ins

What You Will Learn

  • Get started with your Social networking site
  • Customize your site's appearance to give it a unique style
  • Invite friends, create groups, and start blogs
  • Automate your user registration
  • Host photos, videos, and MP3s—enable users to comment and discuss them
  • Use Elgg as a group podcasting platform
  • Create, improve, and maintain a community
  • Protect your network from spam

In Detail

Elgg is an open-source social web application licensed under GPL version 2, and runs on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) or WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) platform. It offers a networking platform combining elements of blogging, e-portfolios, news feed aggregation, file sharing, and social networking. Elgg has its own plug-in architecture, and can use plug-ins to provide a calendar and a wiki. It supports a number of open standards including RSS, LDAP for authentication, FOAF, and XML-RPC for integration with most third-party blogging clients. It can be integrated with MediaWiki, Moodle, Drupal, and WebCT.

Elgg provides each user with a personal weblog, file repository (with podcasting capabilities), an online profile, and an RSS reader. Additionally, all of a user's content can be tagged with keywords—so they can connect with other users with similar interests and create their own personal learning network. However, where Elgg differs from a regular weblog or a commercial social network (such as MySpace) is the degree of control each user is given over who can access their content. Each profile item, blog post, or uploaded file can be assigned its own access restrictions—from fully public to readable only by a particular group or individual.

Using Elgg is the easiest way to create your own fully customized, hosted social network for your business, organization, or group of friends. Elgg communities can include blogs, discussion groups, media galleries, friends' lists, and much more. Because it's open source, and has many plug-ins, Elgg can be extended in unlimited ways. Elgg lets you host your own Facebook-style social network and retain complete control over how it works. This book shows you all you need to know to create safe, fun social networks.
While anybody can use Elgg to create their social network, it is especially useful in education as it has many features making it suitable for e-learning, including groups, communities, and blogs that can be used for online classes where students can communicate in a new way with each other and with students around the world—in a managed, protected environment, creating what its authors term a "personal learning landscape". This book also covers using Elgg in teaching/learning.


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