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Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide by…
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Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide

by Dorien Herremans

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Set up a social network by yourself. New step by step guide.

Social networks are popping up like mushrooms. With new open source content management systems, such as Drupal, at our disposal, almost everybody can build a social network. In the past, the Drupal system required an ingenious brain and lots of time to spend on support forums. No longer. With the newest step by step guide, all you need is some common sense and readily available modules to build you own social network.

In the first chapter of the Ultimate Community Site Guide, the author thoroughly explains the goal of the book. The necessary modules for Drupal 6 are finally mature enough to be used for such a big endeavor as setting up a social networking site. The case study website Drupalfun is introduced.

Chapter 2 focuses on installing Drupal. What are the requirements, how does this work,...? In the next chapter, modules are introduced. The author dives into some invaluable basic modules. Things get really interesting in chapter 4, where the focus shifts to user profiles. The profiles form the basis of the site and are central in the author's approach. Every user will have a profile page, where all of his or her information is centralized. The Content Profile module, together with Views and Panels will empower the reader to do all of this.

Chapter 5 expands the basic profiles by adding photo galleries, video galleries and Google location pinpointing. All of these features will be added to the main profile, without any programming knowledge necessary. A few small code snippets, filled in inside the site's interface, are present throughout the book, to glue everything together. The latter part of the chapter will focus on adding user search mechanisms to the site, such as an advanced search page, user tag clouds, featuring members, new members,...
The next chapter will focus on content presentation. The Panels and Views modules are discussed in more detail. This is then put into practice by making searchable content lists, such as a showcase list. The frontpage is also completely altered to feature some of the latest activity, members and posts.

Chapter 7 focuses on bringing out some real community features. The author shows you how to implement a friends feature, community groups, messaging, shoutbox, activity lists, newsletter digests, a user point system, online status reports... Many people will be interested in chapter 8, as it focuses on how to make some return money from the site. Existing modules to make an income from advertisement, affiliate programs and donation are discussed. Finally, the author gives some tips on how to keep your site clean, safe, secure and how to monitor your traffic.

In conclusion, Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide offers the reader a real, practical manual. All aspects of social networking sites are discussed and a practical solution is offered to implement them with either Drupal 5 or 6.

Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide (ISBN 978-2-8399-0490-2), available at http://book.drupalfun.com ( )
  dorienh | May 26, 2009 |
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