Monday, November 19, 2007

Web 2.0 without Notes 8 - Getting Started with BlogSphere on Domino

These instructions use Notes 7.

Getting hold of the Template
Go to OpenNTF.org and login. If you don't have a login, you should register for one. It's free, but you can't download without being logged in.

Download the BlogSphere Template. At the time of writing, the current version was 3.0

Documentation
Documentation for BlogSphere is at the BlogSphere Wiki. It's obviously going to be a better source of information than this blog. I'm only writing this because I want to keep my notes somewhere and I want to show how easy the product is.

[Note: Sadly, I've just had a look at the documentation and, at present, I'm not sure if it is actually better than this blog entry. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong - I hope so].

Save the Template on your Domino Server and Sign it with an appropriate ID.

Creating a New Blog
From the Notes Client select File, Database New.
Specify the Correct Server, Path and Filename to the Database (whatever you like really).

Choose the BlogSphere Template and click OK.


Initial Configuration
As part of the Blog Creation process a Start Wizard appears. This is pretty cool and I don't think I've seen this feature used in a Notes database before.

Click the Start Wizard Button.
fill in a Blog Name, Description, Home URL and Base URL. You can just hit next on the next two screens about comments and spam since you can change these settings later.

You might want to allow Email blogs in the Inbound Email Processing Section. Choose Specific Address and type an email address like myblog@mycompany.com


Access Controls
In order to be able to configure the blog template, you will need to put appropriate access controls in place. Don't forget to deal with -Default- and Anonymous if required.

First Blog Entry
To Have a look at your blog, Click the Goto button and then click Blog Homepage. It should open in a browser window.

At first, your blog will look a bit blank. That's because there are no entries there. I have to admit though, it already looks better in V3 than V2.5 of BlogSphere.

To create a new blog entry, click the button (in the Notes client) marked New Blog Entry.

You should put something into the Blog Title and the Blog Text fields. Once you've done that, click publish story.

Go back to the web version of your blog and refresh. It should look better.

Still nowhere near as user friendly as Blogger but for a commercial entity... not bad.

In my next post, I'll look at tidying up the settings and adding menus and functionality to the blog (assuming I can work it out by then).

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