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Liferay’s Microblogs Status Update and Microblogs apps let you post, receive, and share short, 150 character status updates from your personal pages in Liferay. This gives you a quick and simple way to interact with your social connections and other users. Microblogs Status Update is a very simple app that lets you post a status update and displays your most recent post. The Microblogs app, in addition to this functionality, also lets you:

  • View all your posts and those of your social connections.

  • Comment on and share posts.

  • View posts that mention you or contain a specific hashtag.

Before delving into these details, you should first understand where in your Liferay instance you’ll use these apps.

Understanding Where to Use the Apps

Because Microblogs Status Update and Microblogs broadcast your personal status, you must use them from your Liferay personal site’s pages. By default, these pages are called My Profile and My Dashboard. You can access both from the user menu. My Profile is public and serves as your public profile. Users and guests can view any apps you add to this page, although app appearance and functionality are typically limited. My Dashboard is private and by default contains the My Sites app. You can add other apps to this page to help you, and only you, manage your Liferay experience.

You can add the Microblogs Status Update and Microblogs apps to both pages, but the apps behave differently depending on where they are and who sees them. If you put them on a public page like My Profile, only logged in users can see your posts, and posting is disabled. After all, you wouldn’t want others to make posts on your behalf! The internet is crazy enough without granting others that kind of power. Logged in users can, however, comment on posts in the Microblogs app. Guests can see the apps, but not the posts. Things get a great deal more interesting when you add the apps to a private page that only you can access, like My Dashboard. In this case, you unleash the apps’ full power. Next, you’ll learn how to wield this power.

Using Microblogs Status Update and Microblogs

As mentioned, Microblogs Status Update is a very simple app that lets you post your status, and displays only your most recent post. That’s it. You can even configure it not to display this post. To do so, mouse over the app, click the Options button (icon-app-options.png) that appears on top of the app, and click Configuration. In the Setup tab, uncheck Display Most Recent Status and click Save. To post your status, enter it into the Update Your Status field and click the Post button that appears. You can also select who can view your post from the Viewable By menu next to the Post button. You can select Everyone, Connections, or Followers. For more information on connections and followers, see the section Creating a Social Network.

microblogs-status-update.png

Figure 1: The Microblogs Status Update app lets you post your status, and displays your most recent post.

There are two special symbols that you can use in your posts. The hashtag symbol (#) turns the word that follows it into a hashtag. When viewing a post, hashtags appear as links. You can click on any hashtag to view a list of posts that contain the same hashtag. Note that hashtags are distinct from Liferay tags–only Liferay tags are indexed and made available for search. The other special symbol you can use is the mentions symbol (@). When writing a post, typing the @ symbol brings up a list of connections to select. Once you select a connection and publish your post, the connection’s username becomes a link to their public profile page (their My Profile page).

The Microblogs app is effectively the Microblogs Status Update app on steroids. You can post your status the exact same way. The Microblogs app, however, displays all your posts in the Timeline tab. The posts of your connections and those you follow also appear in the Timeline. You can also comment on any post, edit your posts, and repost others’ posts. The Mentions tab displays any posts that mention you. If you click a hashtag in any post, a new tab opens in the Microblogs app that shows all the posts containing that hashtag.

microblogs-app.png

Figure 2: The Microblogs app displays all your status posts, along with those of your social connections. It also lets you view any posts you’re mentioned in.

As you’ve seen, the Microblogs Status Update and Microblogs apps are simple apps that keep you in touch with your fellow Liferay users. Next, you’ll learn how to fully leverage Liferay’s social apps to build a social network in your Liferay instance.

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