Using the Blogs Feature
Blogs allow you to engage in conversations with people no matter what department they are in, where they are located, or what they work on. It is a great way to get people to discuss topics that matter to them and engage the community for feedback. You can author a blog independently or with other people and customize your blog using themes. Blog entries and comments can be rated to surface the most recommended content (see Figure 6.26).
Figure 6.26 The Blogs overview page
The Browse Blogs home page (shown in Figure 6.26) allows you to view the most recent blog entries posted and sort them based on date, title, number of recommendations, number of comments, or number of visits. For each entry listed, you will see the author, the date the entry was posted, the number of comments and visit, and the number of recommendations.
On the left-hand side, you will see filters that show the latest blog entries, all entries in alphabetical order, and blog entries you have recommended. You will also be able to subscribe to entries and comments from here, in your favorite feed reader or by adding them directly into a community feed. You can also navigate the blogs based on tags used to describe the content, filtering the list based on the tag you select.
On the right-hand side, you can view featured blog entries, which are selected based on how much activity they have through visits, comments, and recommendations. You will also see the lists of most recommended, most commented, and most visited entries. All of these help you identify which blog entries you might want to read based on what other people are finding interesting.
Managing a Blog
From the blog home page, you will see buttons that allow you to create a new blog or a new entry. To create a blog, click the Start a Blog button. You will be asked to provide a title and description for your blog.
You also can manage other settings for your blog. You can add authors to your blog, change the theme by selecting from a list of available themes, moderate comments, or add your own customizations to your blog.
In addition to managing blog settings, you can also manage blog entries. At any time, you can edit previously posted blog entries, change tags or text, edit or delete comments, and manage files you have uploaded for use in the blog.
Creating and Rating Entries and Comments
From the blog home page, you can create a new entry by clicking the New Entry button. You can create new entries using the rich text editor in blogs, which allows you to add images, add links, and format text. You can also upload files from your blog such as images or documents to make those available to readers. To create a comment, simply select an entry and add a comment (see Figure 6.27). You can also add rich text to your comments.
Figure 6.27 A blog entry
You can rate blog entries simply by clicking the green plus sign next to the star on the entry in the entry view. You can also rate comments in the same manner. If you are not logged in or have already rated an item, the green plus sign will disappear. Hovering over the star will show a list of who has rated the item.
Under More Actions, you can notify the administrator if the content being shared in the blog entry is inappropriate. This will allow the administrator to take the proper actions if indeed the content should be removed.