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Blogs

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2015 05:39PM EDT

Higher Logic Blogs allow for Community-specific and User-specific displays of blogs. Blog functionality is not a separate product and is available to all Higher Logic websites. Those not wishing to use or display blogs can simply hide the pages on which blogs are created and displayed. Blog displays are generally included on Microsite home pages and Community Landing pages. Community Landing pages also routinely have a tab dedicated to the blogs for the Community. It is also possible include a user-specific blogs page as a Profile Tab.

Blog User Controls

Most blog functionality is based on a handful of User Controls:

 

The most widely used and commonly configured User Control for Blogs is ws:RecentBlogs. As the Landing Page Content Item for blogs this Content Item allows a multitude of display options for showcasing blogs. The User Control supports toggle headers - allowing users to view blogs by ratings or a chronological list. Numerous Parameters allow this User Control to achieve user-specific, Community-specific and dynamic displays of blogs. See the Parameters list below for configuration options for this User Control.

 

Creating and editing blogs is done in Content Items using ds:EditBlog.  These blog editor pages display the HTML Editor and allow HTML-rich blogs to be created.  Multimedia such as YouTube videos can be emedded through the HTML tab of the HTML Editor, similar to as is done with HTML Content Items.

 

Blog reading is generally done on pages using ds:ViewBlog. These Content Items display all the text and other content for each blog and allow the blogs to be rated and commented upon.

 

The general all-blogs dashboard is based on ds:Blogs. A common configuration is to have a main page based on ds:Blogs displaying all blogs. Similar pages using ds:BlogsDisplay are presented as tabs to allow the blog list to be sorted by "Top Rated" and "Most Read".

 

Restricting Access to Blogs

Blog functionality on Higher Logic websites is geared toward the open display of blog content. Page and Content Item access settings can be used to limit access to all Blogs. Individual blog view privileges and comment rights are established by blog authors at publishing or by HLAdmins any time after publishing. Attribution of an individual blog post to a Community will restrict access for that blog to the users with view privileges for the Community.

All Blogs

View privileges for all blogs can be restricted by limiting access to the webpages and Content Items on which blogs are displayed. The Edit Navigation page of every page allows that page to be made accessible only by users within specific Security Groups. Similarly, the Enter/Edit Content Page of every Content Item lets that Content Item to be only seen by Admins, Members, Authenticated or Public. The goal of allowing only members to post a blog or read a blog is achieved by making the View Blogs and Edit Blogs pages visible only to IsMember and any Content Items displaying blogs set to show only to Members.

Individual Blogs

Blog authors can limit who can read or comment on their blogs. The input areas for both of these aspects is directly above the publish and action buttons at the bottom of the blog editor page. Choices that can be selected include Members of the organization and Contacts of the author.

 

Also in this area of the blog editor page is the option to associate the blog with a specific Community. It is important to note that the attribution to a Community does not limit view privileges of the blog to members of the Community only. This simply allows the display of the blog in Community-only blog displays.

Blog Displays

Users often first see a blog in a Content Item based on the ws:RecentBlogs User Control. By default the ws:RecentBlogs User Control displays all blogs posted but it is routinely configured to display specific kinds of blogs. The User Control allows the display of Community-specific blogs when used on the home page of a Community Microsite or a Community Landing Page. A common business need is to display the blogs of all users dynamically in association with user Profiles.  A similar but separate need is to display the blogs of a specific user to all visitors of a webpage. All of these are achieved with different configurations of the ws:RecentBlogs User Control.

Blogs and Profiles

Profiles are the central hub for each user. The blogs of every user are dynamically displayed via the Profile>Contributions>Content List.  See Profiles documentation for more information.  

More Options: Blog Display Parameters

The ws:RecentBlogs User Control supports many Parameters to achieve multiple business needs. Some of the most commonly used Parameters and their impacts are described below. Also see the toggle headers page for parameters to configure or disable dynamic header functionality.

 

Parameter Name Type of Input Required Use
to be inserted in the User Control Parameter Field of the Enter/Edit Content Page where the User Control is ws:RecentBlogs The type of input required after the equals sign of the Parameter. What the Parameter allows the configuration to achieve
BloggerKey Text String - GUID Allows the display to show the blogs only of a specific user (see above for configuration instructions).
CommunityKey Text String - GUID Allows the display to show the blogs attributed to a specific Community.
CommunityTypeKey Text String - GUID Allows the display to show the blogs attributed to a specific Community Type.
DaysBack Number Instructs the Content Item to ignore blogs older than a certain number of days.
HideIfNoData True or False Hides the entire Content Item if there are no blogs to be displayed.
IgnoreHLAdmin True or False Does not include the blogs of HLAdmins (Super Admins) in the display.
IgnoreStaff True or False Does not include the blogs of users who are in the "Staff" Security Group in the display.
ImageMaxHeight Number If the picture of the blog author is displayed this will determine the height of the picture (in pixels)
ImageMaxWidth Number If the picture of the blog author is displayed this will determine the width of the picture (in pixels)
MemberKeyIfNotLoggedIn Text String - GUID Displays the blogs that would be visible to a certain member to all users who are not logged in.  This prevents the display of no content which may disrupt the layout of a page.
NoDataText Text String Establishes the text to be displayed to all users who do not see any blogs listed.
NotLoggedInNoDataText Number Establishes the text to be displayed to all unauthenticated users.
NumberToShow Number Establishes the number of individual blogs to display.
ShowAddBlogLink True or False Shows or does not show the link to post a blog.
ShowAuthor True or False Shows or does not show the name of the author
ShowBlogMoreLink True or False Shows or does not show the link to read the entire blog.
ShowItemRating True or False Shows or does not show the rating of the blog (stars or recommend)
ShowMoreLink True or False Shows or does not show the link to the main blogs page where all blogs are displayed.
ShowPicture True or False Shows or does not show the picture of the blog author.
ShowPublishedOn True or False Shows or does not show the publication date of the blog.
ShowSummary True or False Shows or does not show the first N characters of the blog text - a "tease".
SummaryLength Number If the summary is displayed this determines the number of characters to display - the length of the "tease".

 

Other Parameters may be found on the Parameters list on the Enter/Edit Content Item page where ws:RecentBlogs is established as the User Control.

 

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