I have seen many family sites, and many sites using WSS and several that use this mix. My plan is to make ours blog-driven, but that may prove over-ambitious. At least we'll be able to put up photos. I like Matthew McDermott's series of posts for Building a blog host, but that uses the MOSS publishing template for its top-level site. Since I'm using WSS, I went with a Team template, and created a Mom and Dad blog.
Once the blog subsites were created, I installed the Community Kit for SharePoint Enhanced Blog Edition (aka CKS:EBE). The install.bat that comes with it is sufficient, and includes the tag cloud.
Unfortunately, the master pages have some issues
- most or all of the themes refer to cks:ebe, and a couple have some commercial links in them
- no top-navigation menu
- no breadcrumbs
- no current side menu - this we can live without.
- no link to launch blog program to post (i.e., fire up MS Word 2007 when you click the link).
Using SharePoint designer, I cleaned up the first two problems in the default theme. Dropping the TopNavigationMenu and TopNavigationDataSource controls from default.master into logodescription <div> of theme.master gives me the functionality that I want. Unfortunately, it breaks the elegant use of <div> / <ul> / <li>, which is probably why the top nav was omitted in the first place.
One pet peeve of mine is fixed-width pages. At times, I want to have two (or more) windows open, like having several related pieces of paper on my desktop as I work. Some fixed-width screens are a bit greedy with their horizontal pixel count demands, taking over half the screen even at high (by today's standards) resolution. I also find that certain column widths make it much text within those columns. Fixed-width precludes this.
The "RoundedGreen" theme included in EBE is the only theme that is not fixed width, but this theme does not appear to include the tag cloud feature which trumps the variable width. I'm no graphic designer, but I may try converting RoundedGreen to get what I want.
The team template comes with announcements, calendar, team discussion and links. We'll keep the calendar, but the announcements will be blog entries, and I'll probably limit people's ability to contribute to blog comments.
This was originally published 7/8/2008.