Using drupal as a first class multi-user blogging platform

Drupal is one of the most powerful content management systems out there, but it’s built-in blogging support needs a bit sprucing up if you want it to more closely match the features of blogger or wordpress. Here are some modules that can help, see also these earlier notes on getting drupal installed and setup. I am not using all of these myself, just listing the ones I ran across for others’ information.

  • I wrote in the earlier notes how to use the pathauto module to give blog posts nicer URLs.
  • comment_info – if you are going to let anonymous folks comment (see more info below), install this so they don’t have to re-enter their contact info everytime. This is not required in drupal 6.
  • The userlink module by funnymonkey.com can give users their own blogroll or del.icio.us style shared links to display on their blog (like you see on this one).
  • comment_notify – let users be notified when someone responds to their comment
  • tagadelic – in combination with the built-in taxonomy/categories module, show a visual tag cloud for your blogs
  • relatedlinks – show related blog posts
  • month – construct monthly archives lists and blocks, but you can also do this with CCK and views.
  • blogtheme – lets users have a different visual theme for their blog than the rest of the drupal site.

Use a WYSIWYG editor such as FCKEditor and IMCE to let authors more easily create styled blog entries with embedded images.

If you want to allow anonymous folks to comment on your blogs, but are worried about spam or abuse, there are some tools that can help:

  • mollom, created by the creator of drupal itself, passes on anonymous comments or forgotten password requests and so forth to their servers to scan for spam. If the servers are not sure, they pass back a visual captcha form for folks to fill out.
  • abuse – lets people flag offensive or abusive content
  • usercomment – let users moderate comments on their own blog
  • wordfilter – If for example you want a profanity filter or something similar.
  • filter_default – lets you change the default text input filter anonymous folks use

See the drupal multiuser-blogging group for more info and work being done to make drupal a more powerful blogging platform.

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