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Aggregate or duplicate content from blogs and forums into news

10 posts, 1 answered
  1. Jason Hedges
    Jason Hedges avatar
    22 posts
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    16 Jul 2009
    04 May 2012
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    I need to create a control for a home page that aggregates the most recent posts from blogs, forums and possibly news into one stream of content to surface on the home page of my client's site. My current idea is to somehow get blogs and posts duplicated into news and then I can use standard news controls to surface the content. I'm using Sitefinity 5.0.

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this feature. I've considered trying to hook into some type of save event on blogs and forums so when new content is saved I just duplicate it into the news module and then use standard news controls to surface the content on the site. Is there a way to "hook into these types of events on blogs and forums? 

    I've also considered the Publishing System and Pipes and maybe creating a custom publishing pipe to get content from blogs and forums and pull it into news. Would that be a better solution?

    Basically just looking for guidance on the options and the best way to build out this feature. It is ok if content gets duplicated (and actually preferred) so once the new content is pulled in for the home page it can be managed separately from the original blog post or forum post (i.e. so we can delete it from the home page without affecting the blog, etc.).

    Thanks!
  2. Steve
    Steve avatar
    3037 posts
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    03 Dec 2008
    04 May 2012
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    Hmmm, what if you just have a tag or category that someone could tag a content item with.  Then you make a custom control which just gets all content items with that tag, then just bind them to a RadListView repeater in a custom control?

    You could even get fancy and have a delete button showup in the control for admins which automatically removes that tag.
  3. Jason Hedges
    Jason Hedges avatar
    22 posts
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    16 Jul 2009
    07 May 2012
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    Steve, Thanks for your reply. Yes, I think that could work. The original requirements for my project had stated these posts needed to all be aggregated into one place in an administration module for moderation, etc. Do you know if there is a way to hook into a save event or something similar so that you can run custom code when a blog post is saved?
  4. Steve
    Steve avatar
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    07 May 2012
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    Which edition are you running? Professional? Standard?
  5. Jason Hedges
    Jason Hedges avatar
    22 posts
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    16 Jul 2009
    07 May 2012
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    I'm running the trial version right now but the project will be run on the Standard license.
  6. Steve
    Steve avatar
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    08 May 2012
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    Darn :)  Pro and Ent allow easy modification to the WF4 workflow xamlx for just that reason...hmm


  7. Steve
    Steve avatar
    3037 posts
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    03 Dec 2008
    08 May 2012
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    Is the reason you want to hook into the publish event that you want to aggregate things somewhere?...or another reason?
  8. Jason Hedges
    Jason Hedges avatar
    22 posts
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    16 Jul 2009
    08 May 2012
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    Here's what my client is looking for...they have bloggers, forum moderators and content editors. They want the most recent content from those 3 types to surface into 1 place on the home page and then they want the content editors to be able to manage the content once it's merged/aggregated separate from the blogs/forums. So when blogger makes a post, they want it on the home page too and then the content editor can remove it from the home page if they want without affecting the blog itself. Does that make sense?

    My thought then was to use the News module for the content editors and surface News content on the home page using OOTB News controls. I was hoping I could then hook into add/update events for blog posts so when they get saved I would just make a new News item that would flow into the News module and could be managed from there. Same idea with forums. I've seen some "Executing" and "Executed" events that you can use as hooks. Are those applicable? Or is it possible to extend the backend services like the BlogService.svc?

    Another idea from research was to build a custom publishing stream but I've never had to do that before so not really sure that fits what I need.

    Your tagging idea was a possible solution except it looks like you can't tag or categorize forum threads. :(

    Thanks!
  9. Steve
    Steve avatar
    3037 posts
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    03 Dec 2008
    08 May 2012
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    Ok yeah, we're on the same page then :)  Yeah so I would HIGHLY recommend using classifications for this...means you don't have content duplication at all, and a couple quick "helper" controls should let you manage the items.  You could even set up a feed (Sitefinity/Administration/Feeds) for the basic content items which only grabs the content with those tags, then just consume and publicly expose the RSS.

    Now I haven't played with forums much at all, but a quick test shows yeah, you're right...there's no UI to setup a classification custom field (Telerik, get on that! :)  ...I'm a little stumped on how to surface the forum threads.

    You know you can create a custom backend page in the UI that'll showup on the menu and drop your widget on there.  I've done this a bunch of times, and the only hard part is styling it to look native (but just use firebug to figure it out)

    I've also not played much with the publishing, as it's a bit over my head and the docs are terrible at explaining.  However 5.1 is giving them a major overhaul I hear...I think Martin tweeted that a couple days ago.
    Answered
  10. Jason Hedges
    Jason Hedges avatar
    22 posts
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    16 Jul 2009
    08 May 2012
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    Steve, thanks for all your help! We are planning now to build a custom control that will use RSS feeds from blogs and forums, use the API to add those to the News module if they don't exist and then pull published items from the news module for the front-end display. This will keep new posts added to the News module and administrators can use the OOTB News features to un-publish items they don't want to surface on the home page.
10 posts, 1 answered