Blogs are a simple and easy-to-use platform to connect with employees and share relevant information in a timely way. The advantage of blogs is that posts and comments are easy to access and follow as everything is in one place.
In This Article
The Blogs App can be your direct communication channel with employees. Bloggers can write posts of general updates or comments, share project information, or provide a journal of events. Users can comment on the posts, and posts can be advertised on the Home Page in the What's New feed. Learn more about the 'What's New' feed.
Though there are many settings listed below, creating a blog can be as simple as giving it a name and owner, and starting to post. It all depends on your organization's needs and particular situation.
Build Your Blogs App
The Blogs App functions a bit differently from most Apps: when you create a Blog, you first create the Blogs App, then create a specific Blog which is under the 'umbrella' of that App.
So before creating a new Blog, determine whether you already have a Blogs App on your intranet (i.e. Are there other blogs? When you click Admin > Assets tab and click 'Apps' for each Site, do you see a Blogs App?) and whether your new Blog would make sense grouped with the existing Blog(s) or should stand alone in a new Blogs App.
If You'll Be Creating a New Blogs App
Start by following the process to add an App to a site. Once you have the App in place, on the App Card change the title and/or description if you want to customize it for your intranet. Click Create if you'll return to it later, or Build if you want to start customizing or adding content right away. If you click Build, you'll be at the next step, where you need to click Create a Blog to get started.
If You'll Be Creating a Blog Within an Existing Blogs App
Go to a Blog within the App and click the Blogs Home tab. If you have permission to create a Blog, you'll have a link near the top right for Create a Blog - click this.
Create Your Blog
After clicking Create a Blog, you'll see a screen with fields for blog title and description. The title is required in order to move to the next step (it can be edited later); the description is optional.
Add a title for the blog and click Save. You'll now be on the Manage Blog screen as described in the next section. Remember that when you create an App it isn't automatically added to the navigation; you need to edit the navigation and add new menu item.
On the Manage Blog tab as shown below, you can click Edit (1) to change the blog name or description, or click a link to change the Blog Owner (2).
There are numerous Blog Settings (3) on the right, described below, which can be adjusted by clicking Edit Settings:
- Assign a topic for your blog - Topics are an optional method of organization for the Blogs App home page; under Edit Settings you can assign a topic to your blog, and on the Blogs Home tab (4) you can Add / Edit Topic. If you choose to not assign a topic, your blog will be listed under a generic 'no topic' label.
- Set the blog as private or public - Private blogs are accessible only by you, site admins and assigned members; this is the default setting when you first create the blog, so you can change settings and design the blog. Public blogs can be read by everyone.
- Post Format - You have the option of selecting if you want a long or short blog post format; with a long post, the full post content will display; with a short post, you can choose to show a specified characters (i.e. a preview of the content) with a link to view the full post
- Post Approvals - As blog owner, you have the option of enabling post approvals if you have other users assigned as members who can contribute and add postings to your blog; this allows the blog owner to review and approve posts before they're published to the blog
- Post Advertising - Enable or disable post advertising to the site Home Page
- Number of Active Posts - Set a number of active posts to display on the blog before users have to go to the archive to view them
Archive Format - Display the blog archive as either a flat list or a drop down; the flat list would display as:
January 2009 (5)
February 2009 (23)
March 2009 (17)
- Post Cleanup - Post cleanup will permanently delete all postings within the time frame chosen; if you don't want to perform a cleanup of data, ensure this option is unchecked
Comments - each post can have comments enabled, which is an easy and effective way for users to engage with blog content and provide feedback; several options are available for comments, as follows:
- set comments to open, or public (i.e. public depending on who can read the blog)
- enable comment review if you want the blog owner to review and approve comments before they're published
- determine if you want to allow comments by everyone and anonymous users, or everyone except anonymous users, or restrict comment entries to only blog members
- order comments by created date in either ascending or descending order
New blogs are by default created with the intranet site theme and colors. After creating a blog, you have the option of keeping the blog colors in the site theme, or customizing the blog colors and styles.
After clicking Blog Design, the Design interface will load where you can remain to keep the site colors or switch to custom colors. If you want to customize the look of your blog in any way, start by clicking the button for Custom Colors, then clicking Save.
Now you'll see options grouped by Background, Blog, Post, and Comment. You can adjust the colors, fonts, spacing, and font style for each of these - we suggest making adjustments one by one, clicking Save and checking how it looks on the blog, while your blog is set to Private so it doesn't impact users.
Many users choose to accept the default colors and just change the blog header, as follows:
- Click the button for Custom Colors and click Save.
- Scroll down to Blog Title (box background color) and click the link for use graphic.
- Click Choose File. Browse to choose a prepared file on your system, typically a jpg file which includes the blog name and a graphic of some type (we suggest approximate dimensions of 500px x 175px, depending on your site design).
- Click Save.
You'll now see your graphic as the blog header. To either upload a new graphic (note that all sizing adjustments must be done in your graphic editing tool) or change back to a non-graphic header, scroll down again to Blog Title and click use color then Save. This will reset the blog to the original style and allow you to start over at #1, above.
Various boxes of blog-related information display in the column to the right of a blog, including Blog Owner, Members, Search, Post Archives, Blogroll (i.e. favorite blogs), etc. These can all be adjusted individually by changing the label, hiding or showing, etc., with an individual Save for each box.
Assigning blog members is an optional step which allows you to secure your blog.
Members can be assigned to your blog at any time. Membership provides elevated access to your blog for either users or groups as follows:
- Admin - has full rights for content, can approve postings and comments, but can't access Blog admin settings
- Read - can read posts if blog is private; but can't add, edit, or comment on posts
- Contribute - can add and edit their own posts
- Edit Postings - can edit all posts but can't add new posts
- Comment - can comment on posts
Adding members is simple.
- Click the Settings tab (1 in below image).
- Click the Blog Members tab.
- If there are no members for the blog, there will be two links showing, to Add Members (users) or Add Members (groups. Choose the applicable link.
- Select one or more users/groups and check the boxes for applicable permissions.
- Click Save to retain changes and finish.
Once members have been assigned, they'll display on the left of your screen under Members Profile (2).
- To change a member's blog access privileges, click the edit pencil to the right of their name and select/deselect boxes as needed; click Save to finalize.
- To remove a member and their associate privileges, click the red delete icon to the right of their name.
To add additional users or groups as Blog members, click the links on the lower right (3).
After creating your blog you can change how your Public Profile will be seen as the Blog Owner.
- [change name] - change your name as seen on the Public Profile
- [change photo] - change your photo
- [add desc] - add a short description which appears on your Public Profile
Note that by default, the name and photo are pulled from the Employee Directory, so any changes made there will be reflected in the blog; however, changing your name on the Public Profile won't change it in the Employee Directory.
Delete Blog Profile
When removing a blog profile the blogger will still be listed as having contributed to posts and comments, on their own blogs and any others they had access to, but all memberships will be deleted and the profile box on their blogs will be hidden; it doesn't affect the overall intranet user profile or access.
Only Super Admins have the rights to delete a users’ blog profile. To delete a profile, click the Blogs Home tab and select View All Profiles. Select the user/blog profile and click the delete icon.
Add a Post
Adding a post, or entry, to the blog is a straightforward process. Anyone with permission to add content will see a New Post link, top right in the blog. There are two parts to creating a new entry on the blog: adding a post, and publishing a post. The steps are:
- Click New Post, top right.
- Add a Title for the blog entry (required) - usually something descriptive and engaging.
- Add content for your entry, following the same process as adding content on the intranet.
- Adjust any settings, such as adding a file attachment or tags, allowing comments or sending alerts.
- Click Preview to review your blog entry. At this point you can either click Save Draft to return to the post later and choose a publish action then, Schedule to set a specific publish date and time, or Publish to immediately publish your post. Note that if you've clicked Save Draft, your post will appear as shown below with (DRAFT) and an additional green checkmark icon; click this icon to publish the draft post.
- Once your blog entry is ready to be published, you'll be presented with an advertise option. If you want your blog to be advertised in the Home Page 'What's New' feed, click the box for Advertise and doublecheck that the date and time for advertising are what you want.
- Click Publish to make the entry live to its viewing audience.
If Post approvals are on, an extra step of an Admin approving the post content will be needed.
Edit a Post
To edit a post, if the edit pencil is available based on your permissions, click the pencil as shown below (1), then click Edit Post. At this point you can edit the title, date/time, content, etc. and add Edit Notes as required. Click Save to retain changes. (note that to delete the post, you can click the red icon beside the edit pencil)
The Last Edited data, time, and author now show below the post title (2).
Deleting a blog is simple. However, be aware that once you've selected this option, all postings, comments and tag references will be permanently removed from the site.
To delete a blog:
- Under the Blogs App, click the Settings tab.
- Click the Manage Blog tab.
- Above the blog title on the right is a link for Delete. Click this link to delete the blog. You'll receive a prompt as shown below, requiring you to click OK if you want to permanently delete the blog.
Note that deleting a blog will not affect or remove user blog profiles.