Sunday, October 14, 2012

Using SharePoint to Create a Blog

A blog is a Web site that enables you or your organization to quickly share ideas and information. Blogs contain posts that are dated and listed in reverse chronological order. People can comment on your posts, as well as provide links to interesting sites, photos, and related blogs.

Blogs posts can be created quickly, and they often have an informal tone or provide a unique perspective. Although blogs are frequently used for commentary on the Internet, they can be used in several ways in a corporate environment. For example, one of my clients used SharePoint blog for facility maintenance notes.

SharePoint Services provides a blog template that makes creating a blog easy. A blog is a site that contains lists and libraries, such as a list of blog posts, a list of other blogs, and a library for photos. Once you create a blog, you can set up categories, and then customize the blog settings.

When you create a blog, you need to decide whether you want the blog to inherit permissions from the parent site or set up unique permissions manually. In most cases, you should set up unique permissions for the blog to ensure that you can manage its site settings, lists, and libraries independently of its parent site. For example, you might want to grant less restrictive permissions on your blog than on the parent site, such as enabling all authenticated users on your intranet to read and comment on the blog.

Before you start adding content to your blog, you will want to make sure that your site, lists, and libraries are set up the way that you want. For example, you may want to edit the description of a list to help your readers understand its purpose, change permissions for the blog or the Other Blogs list, or track versions of your blog posts so that you can restore a previous version of a post if necessary.

Once you've customized the settings for your blog, then you can set up categories to help you organize your posts. Categories are especially helpful if you create blog posts about different subjects or for different purposes, such as current events, brainstorming for a special project, or a technology or hobby. When posts are organized by categories, people can more easily find the posts that fit their interests by clicking the appropriate category in the Categories list.

To create a blog, you must have permission to create sites. Click "View All Site Content", and then click "Create" on the "All Site Content" page. You can use the "Site Actions" menu to complete this step.

Next set up categories. You can add more categories or edit the category names later. If you don't want to use categories, you can choose "None" for the category when you create a post.

Under "Admin Links", click "All content". Under "Lists", click "Categories". The Categories list appears. If you have not set up categories on the blog before, the list contains category placeholders, such as Category 1 and Category 2. In the "Categories" list, click the "Edit" button to the right of the category placeholder that you want to change. Select the placeholder text, type the new text that you want, and then click OK. Repeat steps 3 through 5 to replace the existing placeholder categories with your own categories. To add additional categories, click "New on the list toolbar, and then type a name for the category in the "Title" box. To delete a category, point to its name, click the arrow that appears, and then click "Delete Item".

Once created, you may want to customize settings for your blog, or for its lists and libraries. In your blog, under "Admin Links", do one of the following:
  • to customize the Posts list, click Manage posts;
  • to customize the Comments list, click Manage comments;
  • to customize the Other Blogs list, click All content. Under Lists, click Other Blogs;
  • to customize any other lists or libraries in the blog — such as the Links list or Photos picture library — click All content, and then click the list that you want to change.
On the Settings menu, click "List Settings" or click the settings for the type of library that you are opening, such as "Picture Library Settings". Click the type of setting that you want to change, such as "Versioning" settings or "Permissions" for this list, and then make the appropriate changes. Repeat this procedure for any other settings, lists, or libraries that you want to change.

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