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Community Blogging - Now Available

General Blogs April 16, 2013 By James Falkner Staff

I am very excited to announce that as of today, all Liferay community members can now create and maintain their own blogs on liferay.com! Wooo!! This was announced near the end of the A Day of Liferay, and has been on the TODO list for a while. The problem has always been how to maintain the quality of content on liferay.com, as blogs are generally considered to be a more reliable source of information about Liferay, and are generally expected to be of higher quality than your typical stream-of-conciousness found in other publishing areas like the community forums.

Blog Streams

Every community member's blog is maintained in their Profile (more on this later). What follows is a description of how all of our blog posts are aggregated and visualized on the community site:

The first important point is that we will start with two separate (visually) blog streams - the Staff Blog and the Community Blog. As you guessed, the Community Blog is for topics by and for the community. Anyone can post here, including Liferay staffers, and will do so more often than not. The Staff Blog is for posts by Liferay staffers that may have a more general target audience than just our community. As an example, Ray Auge would post his most recent work on OSGi to the Community Blog. Caris Chan would likely post her blog about Liferay's new offices in France to the Staff Blog.

There are three areas where these streams are evident:

  1. On the Community Dashboard"Recent Bloggers" remains on the dashboard, but each post is further decorated with a gray Staff tag for Liferay staffers, and each post is categorized according to which stream it appears in.
  2. On the Community Bloggers PageEach stream is separately shown. In addition, a list of individual bloggers appears on the right, for bloggers both on and off of liferay.com, sorted by total number of posts, with Liferay staffers receiving the Staff tag. If you maintain an external blog centered around Liferay and wish to have it listed, fill out the form!
  3. On an individual blog post - The stream in which the post appears is tagged, along with a tag for Liferay staffers.

Creating your Blog

At Liferay, we drink our own champagne, so you'll be using the Liferay Blogs Portlet to enter your blogs.

To start off, we are going to ask that if you wish to blog that you manually request it. We will never refuse to enable blogging for anyone (unless you don't appear to be a human), but do not want a flood of spammy posts clogging up the system. To get things started, we have enabled blogging for the vast majority of you already (over 500 community members), that have done even a very small amount of activity in the last 12 months, so chances are it's already turned on for you. So go check your profile to see if you have a Blog link, before requesting it, by checking if you have the "Blog" link on your liferay.com profile.

To create a new blog, navigate to Places -> User Profile:

you will land on your personal (private) "Home" page.  Next, click Profile:

and then click Blog (if you do not see a Blog link, request to get upgraded!):

To add a new blog entry, click on (yep, you guessed it):  You will be presented with a WYSIWYG editor in which to enter content. Each post is sanitized to remove potentially dangerous content that clever folks might try to enter via the "source" mode, such as javascript, IFrames to other sites (however, embedded gists are allowed!), and other questionable CSS tricks.

You can save your blog as a Draft, and come back later to work on it, or just click Publish to publish!  Once you publish, your post should immediately appear in the Community Stream as described above. You can always come back and edit your entries, or delete them if you wish.

External Blogs

I know that many of you actively maintain your own blog off of liferay.com. If you wish to have your blog listed on the Community Blogs page, you can also request this via the external blog listing request page. That list is constructed by looking at the top 50 liferay.com bloggers (ranked by # of posts), and then external blogs are randomly inserted.

Tips and Tricks

  • You can include uploaded images in your blogs by clicking the Image button, and uploading to your personal space on liferay.com.
  • You can use certain CSS classes like callout to make images have rounded corners and shadows, etc. Go look at old blogs and use your favorite web page inspector to discover items.
  • You can include gists (code snippets) using the 'Embed' option, and cutting/pasting the necessary javascript. This is the only kind of js allowed in your blog.

Blogger Policies

Blogging has been around forever, as have the written and unwritten rules, so this should not be new to any of you. Here are some of the written rules:

  • Be courtous and respectful. Don't use foul language, don't be mean, don't disrespect, don't hate, don't pre-judge, etc.
  • Don't post advertisements for your business or post job offers.
  • Check your syntax and spelling. No one will take u srsly if u write like a txt msg to your bf.
  • Don't use your blog to post questions about Liferay that belong in the forums, unless you already have an answer and wish to educate. Blogs are for well-formed thoughts about a particular subject, not for getting help connecting Liferay to your corporate LDAP server.
  • Cite your sources, don't use copyrighted content without permission, give credit where credit is due.
  • Be sure to read and respond to follow-up comments.
  • If you have not yet added a profile picture, please do so before blogging. Seeing a list of anonymous faces in the blog stream is just sad :)
  • No tricks! (Such as continuously updating your entry's Display Date so that your blog is always at the top of the list)

There are more, and I'm sure I left a few out. I really hope this can be a great, free, open resource for all of us, so please play nice :) All blogs and posts are subject to deletion and with no warning if you violate these rules, but you'll probably get a warning first.

Have fun, I know it's been a long time coming, and I can't wait to see what kinds of interesting posts our community has in store!

Acknowledgements

Giving credit where credit is due! Amos Fong led the implementation team, and David Miyabe did the design. I acted as Chief Pestering Officer on behalf of our community.

Threaded Replies Author Date
Kudos to James, Amos & David for making it... Jay Patel April 16, 2013 1:37 PM
Proud to be announced at my A Day of Liferay... Corné Aussems April 16, 2013 1:49 PM
Thanks Jay & Corne! Yeah, Corne thanks for... James Falkner April 16, 2013 4:47 PM
I would have thought that I was on the first... David H Nebinger April 16, 2013 6:20 PM
[...] Many of you have requested this over the... Anonymous April 16, 2013 11:45 PM
A very big thanks to James and team for making... Jignesh Vachhani April 17, 2013 7:29 AM
A good addition! I have some suggestions you... Mikko Torri April 18, 2013 1:15 AM
Oh and 4) why isn't the latest blog linked? Kan... Mikko Torri April 18, 2013 1:18 AM
Hey Mikko - all great ideas! 1) Will do,... James Falkner April 18, 2013 8:59 AM
Thanks for a quick reply! 1-3 Great! 4) Don't... Mikko Torri April 18, 2013 10:24 PM
Ah I see, you're looking at his profile... James Falkner April 19, 2013 6:22 AM
(You can have earlier display date than the... Mikko Torri April 21, 2013 11:16 PM
Mikko, you are in luck my friend. There are... James Falkner April 22, 2013 7:07 AM
Hi Mikko and James, I was just about to write... Kan Zhang April 24, 2013 11:47 AM
Yep, it's currently possible - and we have seen... James Falkner April 24, 2013 12:08 PM
2) This is still on the list of bloggers ... Mikko Torri May 27, 2013 5:59 AM
It's still in the queue to get fixed (in the... James Falkner May 27, 2013 7:24 AM
Hi James, One suggestion you might consider: ... Kan Zhang April 29, 2013 11:57 AM

Kudos to James, Amos & David for making it happen..emoticon
Posted on 4/16/13 1:37 PM.
Proud to be announced at my A Day of Liferay session.
I need to reschedule my life around all the great community blogs i am impelled to read.
Must be ton's of stories out there.
Another great achievement of James!
Posted on 4/16/13 1:49 PM.
Thanks Jay & Corne! Yeah, Corne thanks for reminding me at Day of Liferay - by that time I was pretty well cooked emoticon
Posted on 4/16/13 4:47 PM in reply to Corné Aussems.
I would have thought that I was on the first 500 list... emoticon

I did register, though, so no harm no foul...
Posted on 4/16/13 6:20 PM.
[...] Many of you have requested this over the last year or so... For those that don't follow community blogs, our web team has enabled blogging for all of you - if you want to maintain a blog on... [...] Read More
Posted on 4/16/13 11:45 PM.
A very big thanks to James and team for making this useful !!!!
That will really helpful to the Liferay community members to put their knowledge at best platform....
Cheers !!!
Posted on 4/17/13 7:29 AM.
A good addition!

I have some suggestions you might consider:
1) Separate Staff and Community blogs on liferay.com/community page, so you can see latest staff blogs instantly
2) On the list of bloggers, I see Liferay Support Portal Admin, but I can't see the post it links to: http://www.liferay.com/group/customer/announcements/-/blogs/liferay-portal-patch­ing-tool-v9-now-available gives me
Not Found
The requested resource was not found.

http://www.liferay.com/group/customer/announcements/-/blogs/liferay-portal­-patching-tool-v9-now-available

So don't show stuff I can't see

3) Upon opening a blog, have the users other blog entries listed somewhere on the page so you can see if there's more blogs from the user that may interrest you. Currently you have to click the user to see a list of blogs.

Mikko
Posted on 4/18/13 1:15 AM.
Oh and 4) why isn't the latest blog linked? Kan Zhang has two blog entries, the link doesn't open the latest one. http://www.liferay.com/c/blogs/find_entry?entryId=23787269&showAllEntries=0
Posted on 4/18/13 1:18 AM.
Hey Mikko - all great ideas!

1) Will do, that's pretty easy.
2) Yeah, that's a special account that customers can subscribe to for updates. I'll get it removed for those who are not customers.
3) I'll add this to the queue of features to add to liferay.com (it's a little involved than 1) )
4) That link does seem to open Kan's latest blog (on SASS, dated April 17). His other post was from April 13.
Posted on 4/18/13 8:59 AM in reply to Mikko Torri.
Thanks for a quick reply!

1-3 Great!
4) Don't want to argue with you, but this is what I see when I click his profile:

Activities
Yesterday

Kan Zhang wrote a new blog entry, Using legacy DAOs with Liferay.
1:21 AM
April 17

Kan Zhang wrote a new blog entry, Resolve the "Sass::SyntaxError: Invalid CSS" error in Liferay 6.1.
8:50 PM

The layout is a bit off, but to me it says that he yesterday wrote the "Using legacy DAOs with Liferay" and on 17th about SASS.

So it's a bit confusing if the first is from April 13.

Thanks,
Mikko
Posted on 4/18/13 10:24 PM in reply to James Falkner.
Ah I see, you're looking at his profile (/web/kzhang/profile) which has an Activity Stream. The stream shows the date on which he created the blog post about DAOs (Apr 17), but the display date of the DAO blog entry is April 13, so it shows up in the "right" order on the Blogs portlet, but the "wrong" order on the Activities stream. Do you think the Activities stream should show the date that the blog was created, or show it based on the Display Date of each entry?
Posted on 4/19/13 6:22 AM in reply to Mikko Torri.
(You can have earlier display date than the creation date??? - that's the main issue)
I think that when ever displaying a list of items and there's a date involved in sorting them, the date the sorting is based on should be displayed.
For the activity stream, as it says that he created the blog on 18th, then I guess it's in the right order. But I still can't belive you allow display date to be in the past.
Posted on 4/21/13 11:16 PM in reply to James Falkner.
Mikko, you are in luck my friend. There are others (including me) that feel the same, and so http://issues.liferay.com/browse/LPS-34373 was filed and is currently 'In Review'.
Posted on 4/22/13 7:07 AM in reply to Mikko Torri.
Hi Mikko and James, I was just about to write about the "display date" issue in blog...
Looks like someone can "promote" his blog entry (make his blog entry be the first) by updating the "display date" everyday. lol.
Posted on 4/24/13 11:47 AM in reply to James Falkner.
Yep, it's currently possible - and we have seen that in the past - so please don't do it (big brother is watching emoticon ).
Posted on 4/24/13 12:08 PM in reply to Kan Zhang.
Hi James,

One suggestion you might consider:

The "Feeds" portlet takes 25% spaces of the total width, which makes the blog titles hard to read (usually I can only see 4 to 5 words from blog title).

Do you think we can move the feeds section to the bottom left ( maybe make it expandable if it is too long..)
Or do similar things like what they did in "Compact Tags Portlet" in Marketplace:
https://www.liferay.com/marketplace/-/mp/application/21391213
Posted on 4/29/13 11:57 AM.
2) This is still on the list of bloggers

Liferay Support Portal Admin
Staff
57 Posts
Posted on 5/27/13 5:59 AM in reply to James Falkner.
It's still in the queue to get fixed (in the form of an open ticket to the web team). Unfortunately it's in a portlet so I can't work around it easily.
Posted on 5/27/13 7:24 AM in reply to Mikko Torri.