This week, I kicked off a series of posts that describe the anatomy of an Employee Blogging platform we recently completed for a client. To keep things rolling I thought it might be useful to show you a few screenshots, because for me, visualising something early is always the best way to get a handle on a solution.
The “Blogs Home” is where it all begins, it’s where you go to get an overview of just what’s being blogged company wide. It needs to make it easy for you to find blogs you are interested in, and help you keep your finger on the pulse by highlighting the things people are reading and discussing right now.
The Home Page
First, please excuse the “Employee Blogs” graphic, this should be a beautiful image that communicates just what blogging is all about. I know my limitations, and my limitations are MS Paint. The important bit is below that. Here you see a rolling list of blog posts, ordered by the time (displayed relatively) they were posted, and constantly refreshed.
In the right hand column there are, from the top, a “Most Viewed” and a “Most Discussed” list, these do as they suggest, providing a quick look at the most active posts across the entire blogging platform. They are kept fresh by displaying only posts made within the last 3 months. Below these two web parts we have the classic Tag Cloud, it’s attached to both Categories (structured) and Tags (unstructured) on each post, and provide a graphical view of their popularity. The Tag List is just another way of showing this information, giving you a tally of the number of times a tag has been used.
All the components combined provide people with a page that keeps fresh, and helps them keep on top of what is going on across the corporate blogosphere.
The directory page is pretty self explanatory too. It presents a long list of all the blogs that have been registered on the platform, and provides a number of mechanisms for filtering them down to find only those you are interested in. Something important to point out is that statistics such as the number of posts, comments and views for each blog are included, as these are important blog metrics. In addition to this, the description and title are updated based on the current value in the blog itself, making it easy for people to change the blog title or description.
At the top of the page you will see our world famous Choice Filter Web Part it makes filtering by a choice field, in this case the Organisation Unit, that little bit quicker.
Most Discussed and Most Viewed
These pages are available for those who would like to take a closer look at what’s hot across the blogosphere. The view is the same one used on the home page, but it emphasizes the number of comments, or, the number of views.
This page provides just another, more focused view on the Tag Cloud and Tag List features. Clicking on a entry in either will automatically filter the blog posts (it does on the home page too). The picture on the right shows the result of clicking on “Solutions”.
Of course you also need to be able to search across all these wonderful blogs, looking for specific terms in relevant posts. We just made the search a little more “Blog Friendly”.
Love your feedback, let me know what you think. Next up, the individual blog, stay tuned…..