Opened 11 years ago

Closed 11 years ago

#609 closed Feature/Enhancement Request (fixed)

Adding "blog" feature to our web site and access stats

Reported by: Linda Swanson Owned by: Jamie McClelland
Priority: Medium Component: Tech
Keywords: drupal modules stats Cc:
Sensitive: no

Description

Good Morning, I see that there are "modules" available in Drupal for a blog. What I'm wondering is whether a section of sundaysupperclub.org might be space where people can "converse" with each other. Presently all they can do is write comments after reading posted articles. Can we have on our home page an interactive section for people to express themselves and others to respond? Thanks! Linda

Attachments (2)

ssc.jpg (151.1 KB) - added by Jamie McClelland 11 years ago.
Jamie's screen grab of the stats login
Picture 1.png (534.4 KB) - added by Linda Swanson 11 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (33)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Yes - that is certainly possible with Drupal - in fact there are a number of ways to do it.

Blogging is typically used to provide a known and trusted group of people to post their thoughts and have the general public post comments and reactions to it.

If you would like the general public to be able to initiate conversations, you may be more interested in the forum features of Drupal.

One thing to consider is how you want to moderate the comments. You will get spam and you may get comments that you do not want to appear on your web site, so it is not advisable to allow anyone to simply post something that will appear on the site.

I would suggest that you limit posting to people who have registered for an account on your sites (i.e. they have gotten a username and password).

I would also suggest that moderate everything that is posted. That means when someone posts a comment or a topic you have to approve it before it appears on the site. The disadvantage to this approach is that you may slow down the momentum on a conversation. The advantage is that you will not have spam or offensive material posted to your site.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts and we can guide you on how to implement them.

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie,

Yes - I think a forum is more what I had in mind as opposed to blogging. But based on the unsolicited junk "comments" that show up on our page already, I certainly would want this to be moderated. I think I'll need to do that myself initially.

I also agree that only users should be able to post comments - though many of the "users" on our site now are suspect. I doubt some of them are even people, since I think robots can do that - right? For example, when I look at our users, among the top ten are these:

Username Status Member for Last access Operations asyqazyrum active 1 hour 57 min never edit oqohmrfn active 4 days 18 hours never edit bnefbgyp active 4 days 18 hours never edit qfn36008 active 1 week 6 days 5 days 8 hours ago edit kmirzuoc active 2 weeks 5 days never edit

They have very strange user names and apparently have never visited our site. I have no idea what it means that their operations were "edit." I think they are bogus and am inclined to delete them. Do you agree?

In any case, I agree with all your suggestions about placing a forum on our web page. Just a couple more questions:

Would this be a block located somewhere on our present home page?

Will the comments people want to post be submitted to me by email so I can respond promptly? The reason I ask is that I have found some proposed "comments" to posted articles (which comments were either junk or pornographic or in Italian) all waiting in a queue for long periods of time because I didn't know I had to look for them. Fortunately none were legitimate.

Will it be relatively easy to set up and maintain?

Thanks, Jamie! Linda

comment:3 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Sorry, Jamie - I see that the information I cut and pasted from our user list in the above comment which was in nice columns before I posted it, no longer makes sense since the columns disappeared with the posting. Perhaps you can figure it out? Not essential, in any case.

comment:4 in reply to:  2 Changed 11 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Keywords: drupal modules added

I think you meant:

Username	Status	Member for	Last access	Operations
asyqazyrum	active	1 hour 57 min	never	edit
oqohmrfn	active	4 days 18 hours	never	edit
bnefbgyp	active	4 days 18 hours	never	edit
qfn36008	active	1 week 6 days	5 days 8 hours ago	edit
kmirzuoc	active	2 weeks 5 days	never	edit

If you wrap "formatted" text in triple curly braces, it will show up exactly as you entered it.

So:

{{{
a b c d
e f g h
}}}

shows up as:

a b c d
e f g h

instead of:

a b c d e f g h

hope this is helpful!

comment:5 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Yes - thanks a lot. I'll try to remember that!

Do the entries I quoted look like real people to you - or do you not care to venture an opinion on that :-) ?

I'd appreciate any further thoughts in response to my questions about setting up a forum on our web page when somebody gets a chance, too. No rush!

Thanks! Linda

comment:6 Changed 11 years ago by alfredo

If they're "real people", they have a creative way of doing usernames. Looks like somebody's testing the response from the site (e.g. testing whether they can become a member without your approval...hmmm???) or passing idle time.

Forums are set up by activating the forums module, which is included in Drupal core -- administer - modules and follow the instructions.

At that point, you can create forums and I'd recommend playing with that feature a bit.

Here's one helpful something. If you don't have it activated, activate the "help" module in Drupal core. Then go to the administer page and, at the bottom of the admin sidebar navigation block you'll see "help". Click on that and there are help screens for all kinds of stuff to do on the site, including forums. They're not all that intuitive as some of the other stuff in Drupal but read through that, take a crack at setting a couple of forums up and then post some questions here.

Let's leave this ticket open so you can come back with questions.

Alfredo

comment:7 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Alfredo, I'll get onto some of the forum suggestions you gave me tomorrow. Thanks a lot for those ideas!

But how is it that these folks can become users without my permission? Is that the way it should be? Can that be altered? I know I want postings to have to go through a moderator (presently me), but I haven't thought through whether signing up as a user should be moderated or not. Maybe it doesn't matter if they can't actually post anything. It does clutter up the users list with a lot of junk "names."

What do you think?

Thanks! Linda

comment:8 Changed 11 years ago by alfredo

Hi Linda,

The place to do the "moderate or not" on users is

administer

user settings

and you'll see the "Public Registrations" options right there at the top -- three radio buttons. They're self-explanatory. One thing to make sure is that you have checked the checkbox next to "require email verification when user creates an account". This way nobody can masquerade as someone else -- you at least know the person has an email on record with your site.

What to do? Up to you. I personally like the "let them join without my approval" one because that's a wide open site and it also avoids you having an extra task. If you start getting lots of wise guys doing this false member thing, then maybe you should moderate membership but right now, with just a few, it might not be worth it.

In any case, I'd go ahead and delete users who haven't visited and have funny names. It could be what I said or, as you point out, could be some automated visit like bots and things like that. In any case, it's not acceptable and abusive and wasteful so delete them if you want, by all means.

David has often had to deal with this kind of nonsense in great numbers! That's one thing we don't want to "run in the family", huh?

Big hugs,

Alfredo

comment:9 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Alfredo,

When I go to "administer" I do not have an option of "user settings" as you said I should. I have a "user" option and a "settings" option. Under the "settings" option there is nothing about users. And under the "users" option there are no radio buttons about public registrations.

Am I doing something wrong, or what?

Thanks, Linda

comment:10 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Linda - try clicking Admin -> Settings. Then, look in the menu under the settings header and you should see a link called "users." Note: it doesn't display as an option on the page that you see when you click settings - instead it's under the menu.

comment:11 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie,

One of the things I was trying to say in my last post and didn't make clear is that there is nothing about "users" under the settings menu on that page. These are the only options given at admin > settings:

General settings Error handling Cache settings File system settings RSS feed settings Date settings Site maintenance String handling Cron jobs

comment:12 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

OOPS - I forgot about keeping the formatting - so I'll try again:

General settings
Error handling
Cache settings
File system settings
RSS feed settings
Date settings
Site maintenance
String handling
Cron jobs

comment:13 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Linda - nice work on the formatting :).

Since we're logging in as different users, we may be seeing different things. However, just to be certain...

When I log in and click the administer link in the menu, I see, in the main center column, the same listing that you just posted above.

However, if I look in the left column, just under the "administer" link that I clicked on, I see the following:

* content types
* event
* front_page
* menus
* posts
* search
* users

It's pretty confusing to have two different lists (and Drupal has fixed this in newer versions).

Let me know if you see that second list in the left column or not. Thanks!

comment:14 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Thanks for being so patient with me on this. Here's what I see:

I click on Administer in the left menu of the home page, and the page that comes up says "Administer" in the top of the center column - and the heading under that is "Filter by Message Type"

The left column on that same page has the following choices that have popped down under the "administer heading:"

[[[ access control blocks categories comments content input formats logs menus modules settings themes url aliases users views help }}}

If I then click on the "users" item in that list, I am taken to a page that simply gives me a list of the registered users with a chance to add a user or search.

Does that help?

Linda

comment:15 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Looks like I used the wrong symbol at the start of the list - sorry:

access control
blocks
categories
comments
content
input formats
logs
menus
modules
settings
themes
url aliases
users
views
help

comment:16 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Ok, we're getting closer!

Please try:

  • Click on Administer
  • Then click Settings
  • Then click Users

If you do it in that order, you should see at the top of the page:

User registration settings

comment:17 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Yes! I did see that - and I see that as presently set users can sign up with no approval. I changed that to the setting that says each new user must be approved. It's been so long that I'm not sure, but I think that was what we were trying to do, right?

Now - suppose someone signs up as a user. How will I be notified that they have signed up? Currently people can submit comments and they just sit in a line somewhere on the web site until something makes me think about the fact that they might be there and I happen to go check (as you showed me how to do a while back). Can't I be notified of both new users and new comments?

Now - does this get us closer to the forum? Where were we on that?

Thanks! Linda

comment:18 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Guys,

Just checking back to be sure you know this is still an open "ticket." It's not a rush so take your time, but it isn't resolved yet as far as how to set up the forum.

One more question - why is it that putting "stats" at the end of our home page URL (http://www.sundaysupperclub.org/stats) no longer takes me to the page statistics as it did for so long?

Thanks! Linda

comment:19 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Linda, Thanks for the reminder about this issue.

It looks like you have successfully set your user configuration so that all user registrations have to be approved by you.

The next step is to enable the forums modules on your site. You can do that via the modules page by clicking the check box next to the Forums module and then click save configuration.

Next, you will want to go to the permissions page to indicate who has permission to create a new forum topic and post comments to forum topics, etc. Across the top of the page you will see columns for "administrator, anonymous user, authenticated user, and site editor." You can place checks in the boxes corresponding to each role along the row of the permission you want to grant. Don't forget to save the changes.

I would recommend that you take this step first and see how it goes. During this period, you can check for new user registrations by bookmarking your user page and checking it daily.

If you want to receive notification of new users, it appears as though the advanced user module can do that. As for receiving notifications of new comments, I've used the notify module for that purpose.

As for the stats URL - when I click on that URL it prompts me for your stats username/password and then shows me your stats. If you are getting a different behavior - can you please open a new ticket and we can resolve that issue separately. Thanks!

Jamie

comment:20 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie,

Thanks for walking me through this forum stuff. I found some other places to go that were necessary for actually making the forum option show up, but the best I could do was to get "forum" listed in the menu at the top of the left column. Is that the best that can be done? It looks like the actual forum can't show up right on our home page - is that correct?

RE: the STATS page - When I go to http://www.sundaysupperclub.org/stats nothing happens. The page just keeps trying to load but it never loads. Thanks for checking on that.

Linda

comment:21 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie,

Just following up on this last comment since there hasn't been a response in quite a while. I still have the issue with the STATS page as described above.

Regarding the forum, I stuck something in the left column of our page that links to a forum page. Is that the best thing that can be done?

Thanks! Linda

comment:22 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Linda,

When you try to access the stats page, are you prompted to enter a username and password? The page is restricted - so if you don't type the correct username and password, it should not display your stats.

As for the forum - if you want the forum to appear instead of what now appears on your home page, you can change that by clicking Administer -> Settings. Then, in the main, center area, click "General Settings." Then, scroll down to the field that says: Default front page. Change it from front_page to forum. That should cause your web site to display the forum page as the front page. If you change your mind, you can always change it back.

comment:23 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie,

When I go to our home page - http://www.sundaysupperclub.org - I have always been able to just add "stats" to that URL and go immediately to the stats page. So the URL is http://www.sundaysupperclub.org/stats.

For quite some time now whenever I try to go to that page absolutely nothing happens. The little thunderbird round icon just spins and spins and my computer stays right where it was on the home page. Since that is the way it is working, I never get to a page that requests a username or password.

Linda

Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Attachment: ssc.jpg added

Jamie's screen grab of the stats login

comment:24 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Keywords: stats added
Summary: Adding "blog" feature to our web siteAdding "blog" feature to our web site and access stats

Hi Linda - I just added a screen grab of what the login looks like on my computer.

Would you mind uploading a screen grab of what your computer does when you try to go to the stats page?

I found a useful article the explains how to grab a screen image on a Macintosh that might help you.

Once you have an image file with your screen grab - click the Attach file button at the top of the ticket to add your screen grab to this ticket.

Thanks!

Jamie

Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Attachment: Picture 1.png added

comment:25 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie,

Thanks for the instruction about grabbing a screen image. That went easily - but it took a long time to find out how to attach it to this page. But I finally attached it and hope it tells you what you need to know.

Thanks, Linda

comment:26 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Linda - thanks for providing the screen grab. It does help. It looks like you are using safari to check the stats page. Can you try using Firefox instead? From our logs, it reports that your login is failing over and over again. I suspect that safari is having a difficult time properly asking you for the right username and password to then present to our server. If we could limit the problem to safari it would help us trouble shoot.

comment:27 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Hi, Jamie -

So Safari was the problem? I switched to Firefox and the stats page opened immediately! Problem is I switched from Firefox a couple of months ago because I had too many problems with it. Can you make this work in Safari or will I need to go to Firefox every time I want to see the stats?

Also, could you please clarify something for me? When the stats say that we had some number of "unique visitors" in a particular month, does that mean the page was accessed from different computers? Or does it mean that perhaps I and one other person visited the page a whole lot of times and that's what's reflected in the total number of unique visitors?

Thanks for helping! Linda

comment:28 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

I wish I could make it work on Safari - the problem is that what we're doing on the server is a fairly standard operation.

What problems are you having with Firefox? I think we would be in a better position to help you use Firefox more effectively than getting safari to problem display the login box.

Unique visitors means the number of distinct IP addresses that visited your site. An IP address is the numerical address of the computer or computer router a person is using when using the Internet.

Usually you will see one IP address per visitor, however, there are many examples when this is not true. For example, Alfredo and I work out of the same office with the same IP address (because we share the same router). If both of us visit your site, our IP address will only get counted as one.

On the other hand, if I go home and visit your site from home, I will show up with a second IP address.

comment:29 Changed 11 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

You might also be interested in the definition of Unique Visitor in the awstats glossary. Jamie's explanation above seems better to me, but you can learn more about the stats terminology and techniques by reading the documentation.

comment:30 Changed 11 years ago by Linda Swanson

Thanks for all this additional help! Firefox was a problem because it kept freezing up, causing me to have to shut down completely to solve the problem. It happened so many times that I got a bit disgusted and decided to return to Safari. I'm thinking that I'll just crank up Firefox when I need to see the stats since I really don't want to return to that problem.

I appreciate all the additional information about unique visitors. That's a big help. I think I understand it well now.

I think you can close out this ticket - unless you see any loose threads!

Thanks again! Linda

comment:31 Changed 11 years ago by alfredo

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

Thank *you*!

:-)

closing ticket

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