Feedback on Drupal for campus blogging


weblogs.ucalgary.ca has been running for almost 2 weeks now, and I've been receiving many requests from users for features and/or refinements. Some of these may require modifications to Drupal, some may just involve configuring the existing software.

Here's the laundry list of desired features:

  • Ability for users to make their blog look like their own. This includes the page for each blog post as well. The sections.module will let an admin set up a theme to use for any section of the Drupal site (including a blog), but it gets downright funky (or impossible) to have all blog posts made by a user use that same theme. Also, an ordinary user can't select the theme to use for their own blog - only admin users can do it. Ideally, on a "My Blogs" section, there would be a widget to let them pick (bonus points for edit as well) a theme to be used for their blog as well as all of their individual blog posts.
  • Multiple blogs per user? Instead of all blog posts going into a single blog for a user, there may be a need to set up multiple blogs (perhaps each with their own theme, as well)
  • Multiple authors per blog. I can use something like Organic Groups to approximate this, but it's less explicit. Also, the ability for a user to specify the theme that will be used to display the group blog.
  • When viewing a user's blog, the "Recent Comments" and "Recent Blog Posts" blocks should only show the comments and posts from that blog - it's confusing to users to see a global list of comments and posts on a user's indivudual blog.
  • How to export content in a usable format? Users are concerned that if they spend a bunch of time and effort contributing content to the Drupal site, that they are then locked in. They can't export to an interchange format and then bring the content in, say, to MovableType or WordPress, or whatever. Lock-in is bad.

If these things are already possible, and I've just overlooked a module or setting, then that's even better. If they aren't possible now, I'd like to start figuring out what it would take to implement them. The "My Blogs" and related theme selection stuff is quite important for adoption on campus.

UPDATE: The blog_theme.module by Tatonca seems to do the trick for selecting a theme for a blog and all posts by a user. Check out the default theme, used for the whole site, and the theme I use for my blog (it may look familiar).


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Last updated: November 28, 2022