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.
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:
- 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.
- On the Community Bloggers Page - Each 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!
- 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!):
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.
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
calloutto make images have rounded corners and shadows, etc. Go look at old blogs and use your favorite web page inspector to discover items.
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!