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Help Wanted
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by CelineVPE on 06 Mar 11, 15:25

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Author malw  Date 25 Oct 08, 11:41  Views 2914
Description How to use the extended portal system to create a website for your Club/Area/Division etc
Category Club Management  Type Information
Article scope
easy-Speak information

The IM Portal

For the sake of simplicity I shall say 'Club' throughout this article but the same features are available for Areas and Divisions and for events such as Conferences.

A single page containing information about each club is available to all clubs, but you may request that you be given the IM portal system which will allow you to create several pages of information and present it in the way that you choose.

Explanation of the single 'Welcome' page is given in this article: http://d71.org/kb.php?mode=article&k=94

This article explains how to set up and use the IM portal.

If you use the IM portal system you may create as many pages as you want.
For each page you select the layout that will display on the screen (two equal columns, three columns...) and the information that you wish to place in 'blocks' on each page.
You may move the blocks around to get a pleasing layout.

Each of your blocks may use one of the pre-prepared programs that present information or you may just type your content.
For example, you may use a block that will select automatically the newest picture in your photo album or you may use a block to pull content from a special type of posting in your club forum.
It's best to get the content from your forum because, once you have set up the IM portal, future changes to content may then be managed easily by changing the postings in your forum and without returning to the club control panel and the IM portal configuration.

To ease the work of creating your pages the leftmost column (referred to as the page header) may be set to be common across several of your pages.
So, you create it once and use it many times!
Or, you may use the 'global' header defined by the webmaster on some of your pages if you choose. (But cannot change the content of it.)
Remember that you may also request that the webmaster set an alternate Cascading Style Sheet that will be used for all pages that are presented (including the Knowledgebase, Calendar and discussion forum etc. etc) whenever a user has selected your club. The CSS controls text size and colour, background colours and borders around the tables etc. and there may be a range of several to choose from in your installation.

Access to the portal configuration is provided by two screens within the Club Control Panel.
(If you are a Club officer with system permission to access the Control Panel a link is displayed at the very bottom of the screen)

Page Management - You may use this screen to create additional pages or to change the layout of existing pages.

Note that you may change the page selected as default page (which will be shown first to a user that is not logged in)
Club portals are assigned automatically to a page_set matching the club_id and you have access to all pages in your set.

For each page in your set:

    The 'Template file' defines how the page will be laid out. For example:
      Portal_body - Narrow left header, wide centre and narrow right. The header should be defined as 'forum wide' or 'portal wide', in which case it is displayed on all pages with forum wide or page_set headers .
      Portal_321 - As portal_body but with header, left AND center columns (60%, 40%). Use with global and page_set headers.
      Portal_WideR - As portal_body but 250px wide right column
      1+2_column - Independant left side header and two equal columns. Set 'Forum wide blocks' to no for this layout.
      2_column - Two equal columns. Use with global and page_set headers.
      3_column - As Portal body but with an independant left side header. Set 'Forum wide blocks' to no for this layout.
      3_columnWideR - As 3_column but with the right column 250px wide instead of 150px. Set 'Forum wide blocks' to no for this layout.
      Layout1 - One wide column. Use with global and page_set headers.
      Quad_layout - A wide 'toprow', two equal columns and a wide 'bottomrow'. Use with global and page_set headers.
    Forum wide blocks. If you set this to yes the page will include all the blocks defined by the webmaster for forum wide use (normally the left side navigation and news)
    A second choice is to define the header blocks as common across your pageset.
    Page Set - You cannot change this.
    Menu Item - Enter a number here to create an item on the menu when your pageset is shown.
    Menu Line - Enter a number here to create a menu sub-item (in the pull-down)
    Menu Name - Enter here the words that you want displayed for this page on the menu
    Meta Description - Enter the description that you would like to see when the Google robot indexes your page
    Meta Keywords - Enter the keywords to be used by robots indexing your page

Blocks Management - This screen defines the individual blocks that will be shown on each page.
You may add, delete or change blocks and change where they will be placed on the page layout that you selected.
Note that when you change the header blocks in a page with page_set headers this will change all pages in your set.

For each block you have the following options:

    Block title - A description of the block. This will be shown on the page if you say yes to 'Show Titlebar'
    Block Position - Use the pull-down to select one of the positions that are available in the layout for this page.
    Active - You may set this to 'No' to disable the block but retain it for future use.
    Content - Content may be created in on of two ways. You may either enter it here (using BB code) or you may select a 'blockfile' - a small program which will collect the content automatically. Some blockfiles require that you make a configuration setting or enter information on this screen. If you select a blockfile any text that you enter here is ignored. A list of blockfiles is included in the next section of this article.
    Show Border - Show a border around the block
    Show Titlebar - Show a title bar and display the block title that you entered. If you select 'Bare text' the text from postings will be displayed without ANY titles, borders or background.
    Show BG - Set this to yes in most cases

    The following block files are available:

      Babel Fish - Offer to translate the page (no settings)

      Club News - Fetch a hiererarchy of news begining with the organisational unit that the user is logged in to and working up to District news and finally site-wide news.
      Data are collected by looking in the selected forum for postings that are marked 'NEWS'.
      Block parm: Enter an 'S' to cause the news to scroll in a marquee box.
      Block parm: Enter an 'O' to select club news news Only.

      Club Welcome - Fetch a hiererarchy of information begining with the organisational unit that the user is logged in to and working up to District and finally site-wide.
      Data are collected by looking in selected forum for postings that are marked 'Welcome'.
      (See also 'Page_welcome')
      Block parm: You may enter an 'O' or an 'E' to select Odd or Even topics only for this post (create another block in the next column to fetch the others)
      If you enter a number in the block parm it will be used to select ONLY the messages posted with that 'portal content' posting type in the forum.
      Block Value: If you enter a forum number here it will over-ride the hierarchy and ONLY display the 'Welcome' messages from this one forum.
      (Use this to create a page with dynamic content - for example 'All about Our Club' or a page of information about the next Conference.)

      This blockfile lists the club committee details (similar presentation to the club data page)
      Block parm: Enter any value here to include TM awards next to members names (eg CC, CL)
      Block Value: You may select the committe members that will be listed by entering a list of codes here separated by commas or leave it blank to select them all:
      1 = 'President'
      2 = 'Vice President Education'
      3 = 'Vice President Membership'
      4 = 'Vice President Public Relations'
      5 = 'Secretary'
      6 = 'Treasurer'
      7 = 'Sergeant at Arms'
      20 = 'Club Webmaster'
      21 = 'Newsletter Editor'
      30 = 'Special Event Chairman'
      31 = 'Membership Campaign Chairman'
      32 = 'PR Campaign Chairman'

      Conference - This blockfile presents Conference News with a link to see the full conference information or post to the Conference Q&A discussion
      Data are collected by looking in the selected forum for postings that are marked 'News'.
      Block parm: Enter an 'S' if you want the conference news to scroll
      Block Value: Enter a forum number here for the Conference news and discussion. If you wish to select conference news from more than one forum - separate the forum numbers with commas.

      District - This blockfile is best enabled for the site as a whole and will present all the training or contest events that are planned in the calendar on a single summary page.
      Block parm: Enter the District number here. You may leave it blank if your installation has a default District entered in the Admin Control Panel. Otherwise events for the District of the currently logged in club is reported.
      Block Value: Enter a 'T' for training events, a 'C' for contests or 'E' for exec meetings.
      A full list of Divisions and Areas will shown with any matching events in the last 30 days or next 150 days.
      The webmaster may build pages for Training and Contests and enter the page numbers in "Portal Page for Contest Events" and "Portal Page for District Training Events" in the ACP to cause these items to list in the menu bar "Information" for the whole site.

      E_WOTD - This blockfile presents a javascript Word of The Day with special print options - prepared by Toastmasters at easy-Speak.org.

      Forum - This blockfile presents recent postings from a forum nominated by the webmaster.

      FreeRice - This blockfile links to FreeRice.org which offers a vocabulary game and contributes rice to the UN world food program.

      Help Wanted - This blockfile presents the title and author of recent postings from a forum nominated by the webmaster.
      At least one posting, up to the portal defined maximum as long as they are more recent than old_postings.
      Block parm: Enter an 'S' if you want the block to scroll

      KB Article - This blockfile will import the text for a Knowledgebase article.
      Block Value: Enter the KB article number that you wish to display. You may select more than one article and separate them by commas.

      Maps2 - This blockfile calculates the positions and presents a Google Earth map showing all the clubs.
      Block Value: Enter your club_id if you want the map to be centered on your location.

      Maps - This blockfile calculates the positions and presents a clickable map showing all the clubs in a Division.
      (Not currently in use)

      Nav_kb - This blockfile displays a list of the top level Knowledgebase categories.

      Nav_tm - This blockfile displays the TM navigation box.
      It will show the District, Divisions and Area for your club.
      If a club is selected it will show the link to neighbouring clubs.
      The 'home' link will show the portal default page.
      Find a club - using the Google maps
      Top level categories from the Knowledgebase
      Block parm: Any data entered will extend the menu options displayed

      Newest_pic - This blockfile looks for the most recent picture. If it doesn't find anything specific in the last four months it looks site-wide.
      Block_value: If you enter a picture category it will always look there - otherwise it looks first at the category for the club.
      Block parm: If you enter a 'P' in the Block Parm and the picture number (pic_id) in the Block Value the program will look for that specific picture ignoring how old it is.
      (You may see the pic_id by hovering over the thumbnail while browsing the picture category in the Photo album)

      Next_meeting - This blockfile is only meaningful for clubs using easy-Speak data management - it displays details of the next meeting using the javascript demonstrated on the club data page.

      Next_meetings - This blockfile looks for the next club meetings in the calendar and displays them
      Block value: If you enter a 'L' here the program will include meetings for all local clubs (defined by the distance setting in your Club Control Panel) plus events for your Area, Division and District.
      Alternatively, list the club_id for neighbouring clubs in the block_value and the program will include their meetings. (Separate the club_ids with commas)
      If you enter a 'T' here the program will list Training events ONLY (for the whole District) - good to display officer training.
      Block value: Enter a value here to limit the number of future meetings displayed.
      If you enter an 'N' here the block will not display the meeting title.

      Page_welcome - This is a copy of Club Welcome but has a larger font for the titles

      Online_users - This blockfile displays a list of users that are on-line

      On This Day - This blockfile presents a link to reference.com for events that happened on the current day.

      OneLook - This blockfile will search for the entered word in the dictionaries at onelook.com.

      Pageset - This blockfile displays a navigation box including links to all the pages in a set.
      Block parm: Any data entered will extend the menu options displayed
      Block Value: Enter a pageset number here to include those pages in the navigation

      Poll - (Not currently configured)

      QOTD - This blockfile presents a javascript Quote of The Day from Said-what?.

      Quote_search - This blockfile presents a searchbox to find quotes on quotationspage.com.

      Quote - This blockfile presents a quote selected at random from the site quotes file.

      Recent KB - This blockfile presents the category, title and author of recent updates to the Knowledgebase.

      Recent Topics - This blockfile presents the forum, title and author of recent postings in the forums.
      Postings are only listed if the user has system permission to read them.
      At least one posting, up to the portal defined maximum as long as they are more recent than old_postings.
      Forums may be specifically included by listing in the block value.
      Block parm: Enter an 'S' if you want the block to scroll
      Block value: Enter a comma delimited list of forums that will ALWAYS be included.

      Search - This blockfile presents a simple forum-search option.

      Statistics - This blockfile presents a list of site stats. User counts, newest user etc.

      User - This blockfile presents information for the logged on user.
      Block value: Enter a comma delimited list to select the data that will be included for a logged on user:
      1 - Avatar Image (or photo if that exists and the avatar doesn't)
      2 - Profile photo (or avatar if that exists and the profile photo doesn't)
      3 - Time and date of last visit
      4 - List the user's posts etc
      5 - List clubs associated with the user

      Web Ring - This blockfile presents the Webring navigation box.

      Word Search - This blockfile will search for the entered word on dictionary.com, thesaurus.com and reference.com.

      WOTD - This blockfile presents a javascript Word of The Day from dictionary.com.

      Yahoo - This blockfile present an HTML page with links to a Yahoo! discussion group.

Getting Started
Contact the webmaster and ask that your club be set up for the extended portal system.
If you have a banner to run across the top of the page you will need to provide it at this stage (1680 x 90 pixels but remember that the right side will not show on low resolution screens and the TI logo will always display on the right)

The first step will allow you to create your pages but not make them public.
(Hint - open two screens - one of them looking at your page and the other for making the changes)
To ease the work in creating your portal you will be given a copy of another club's portal to begin with but will need to edit it to make it use data for your club and present the information in the way that you want.

When you are ready to go live contact the webmaster again.

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