Book Image

Elgg 1.8 Social Networking

By : Cash Costello
Book Image

Elgg 1.8 Social Networking

By: Cash Costello

Overview of this book

As an updated version of the first ever Elgg book, this is an excellent resource for those interested in Elgg development due to its attention to detail, clearly written style and knowledgeable author. - Dave Tosh, Elgg co-founder. In his book, Cash Costello makes full use of his skills in development and communication to tackle the complex subject of Elgg social networking. This easy-to-read guide gives end users, new developers, and old pros alike a solid base to start their venture into social media with Elgg. I highly recommend it as a useful and enjoyable read. - Brett Profitt, Elgg Lead Developer The web is becoming increasingly social as millions of people use it to blog, share, post, 'friend', 'unfriend' (which was made the Oxford word of the year in 2009), comment, and chat. Elgg ñ your award-winning open source social networking engine ñ is tailor-made to create any social networking or social media website you can imagine. If you want to create a social networking website from scratch using Elgg, then this book is exactly what you need.Elgg 1.8 Social Networking covers everything you need to know about building a social networking site with Elgg. It begins with instructions for installing Elgg, continues with a guided tour of its capabilities, and finishes with practical advice on deploying Elgg on a production server. And in between, it is packed with information on configuring and customizing Elgg through plugins and themes.This book is a learn-by-doing guide to creating your own social networking site. It includes three sample case studies on how Elgg could be used as an e-learning tool, an intranet application for organizations, and a niche social networking site. Step by step it takes you through the installation, configuration, and customization of Elgg. Valuable advice is sprinkled throughout the book to enable you to build your site like an expert. For developers, this book provides a multitude of options. First, there is a tutorial-based section that systematically teaches you how to build plugins. Soon you will have ten plugins for use on your site in addition to all the knowledge you have gained. Second, if you prefer a quick overview, this book has an appendix that describes Elgg using the terminology and design patterns common in web development. Third, if you are interested in creating a theme, it also includes a design tutorial and a catalog of Elgg's view templates. The book then goes on to describe what is involved in running a production website. It has sections on selecting a hosting provider, configuring and tuning the server, backing up the site, and dealing with spammers.
Table of Contents (21 chapters)
Elgg 1.8 Social Networking
About the Author
About the Author of 1st edition
About the Reviewers

Chapter 1. Social Networking and Elgg

The Web has become social. Is today your birthday? Your family and friends are posting best wishes right now on Facebook. Are you planning to go out for dinner? You are likely checking user reviews of restaurants on a website such as Yelp. Did you read that news article about the latest political scandal? If you did, you may have discussed it with other readers in the comment section of the online news site. The Web has always been a great place to find information, but increasingly people are also using it for social interaction.

With this shift has come a new class of web applications focused on social interactions like those described above. People are sharing and commenting on photos and videos using sites such as Flickr and YouTube. They are updating their "followers" on Twitter about their latest activities. They are using social networking applications such as Facebook to reconnect with old friends, share information about their lives with friends and family, or find people with common interests.

The rich interactions available on these social sites have raised the expectations of users for web-based applications. It is not enough to search for and view interesting content. People want to interact with it, comment on it, and discuss it with others. Incorporating social features into a website leads to users spending more time on the site.

The growth in usage of social functionality and social networking in particular, is not limited to consumer websites. Many companies are using social networking software on their corporate networks for internal collaboration. Employees can use these tools to find expertise that exists within the organization and form groups that promote sharing information across organizational boundaries. In education, social networking applications are used to help students actively collaborate on projects. Students can work together, share ideas, and discuss each other's work throughout the learning process.