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How to add blog post in group pages?

Ralf Hilgenstock's profile picture
Posts: 160

11 April 2014, 6:49

During a Mahara training program today we discussed this scenario:

Student should work on a page collaborative in a group. In their portfolio they have blogs. They should add blogs realted to the same topic into the page.

Is there an option to do this with Mahara?


anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 14

12 April 2014, 16:50

Hi Ralf,

I use blogs quite extensively myself and with my students. I always recommend first that students or other faculty use external blogs for their work. They can use WordPress, Blogger or in fact any blog that produces an RSS feed, which I imagine is all blogs.

Then, they can embed the blog rss feed into a page using the RSS / external feed block. Just open the feed of the blog site and copy the address. This works very well and the students can update their blogs from their mobile devices or laptops without having to return to Mahara. There are several options including whether you return the blog titles only or full posts, and the number of posts.

PS, I use the email feature in blogger. My students (teachers-in-training) use their blog for reflection. They can take photos of classroom activities and email them to their blogs using their smart phones. This is super convenient.



Ralf Hilgenstock's profile picture
Posts: 160

12 April 2014, 18:16

Hi Paul,

thanks for your post. Yes, this is an option. Generally I try to avoid to push students into public with their learning reflections. If they use Blogger or Wordpress they will very often publish the post.In some cases (K-12) its required to have the posts under control due to privacy and data protection rules here in Germany.

I don't know if it is possible to use RSS feeds for privat/draft posts.

I would like to see the option in Mahara directly.


13 April 2014, 1:01


Mahara manage public and private (password protected) RSS when this function is available on the blog service. Which is the case with Blogger or Wordpress.



Sigi's profile picture
Posts: 102

14 April 2014, 1:46

Hi all, I agree with Ralf,  also would like to see this feature integrated into Mahara, there are uses for it as we already explained Kristina in Leipzig. The idea with the RSS feed gave me another idea: why not use the RSS feed of the specific student blog in Mahara itself , as there is one ... I tested it but we do not get a real RSS feed URL but can only subscribe to the feed. I suppose it would be rather easy to make this feature produce a real RSS feed URL, then all out problems would be solved in a very elegant way...

Have a nice day


Ralf Hilgenstock's profile picture
Posts: 160

14 April 2014, 2:54

Hi Sigi

nice idea and a workaround. The workaround is not an elegant way, because it requires additional settings (activate RSS and search for the feed URL before you can use the element). This may confuse some users. Additionally RSS feeds are not updates in time, so a post made a few minutes ago will not be available immidiately for use in a group page.



Sigi's profile picture
Posts: 102

14 April 2014, 9:19

Yes, basically simple idea, as the RSS feed is being created once you make your page public: 

"If you share the page in which you make an entire journal visible to the public, your journal receives an RSS feed address to which your readers can subscribe in their favorite RSS readers. (manual 6.2.1)."

However this does not solve the problem as the RSS feed can only be subscribed to! What we would need here is a valid URL for the RSS feed..... then students couls indeed put their journals as RSS feed into a group page...


Dirk Meyer's profile picture
Posts: 425

16 April 2014, 12:43

Thank's Sigi for suggesting this.

I created a page, added the 'Journal' block and made the page public.

I 'right-clicked' the rss icon next to the Journal's title and copied the URL

I then made a group page and added that URL using the 'External->External feed block'

A list of my  journal posts appeard. Other students could add their own journal rss blocks to the page. It's a bit cluncky but seems to work.

I played with the blocktype_cron table trying to run refresh_feeds every minute but no luck with that so far.


Sigi's profile picture
Posts: 102

17 April 2014, 8:56

Hi Dirk, 

I did exactly the same thing to get the RSS feed running. But whenever I take the URl from the feed I get an error: As I mentionend in my previous post, the lik does not seem to be a valid RSS URL , here it is in full length:


So I wonder how you managed to get your RSS feed displayed. Any hint much appreciated!


Dirk Meyer's profile picture
Posts: 425

17 April 2014, 10:24

Hi Sigi,

I have a hunch of what could be your problem. The 'external feed' block on a page has a different popup window then in a group page. Note the title of both.


In the group page, I added the external feed block to the group page and this is what it looks.


On a non-group page, the external feed block looks like this

And this is what it looks on a group page of two users' journals. There is a strange '0' underneath the rss icon but they do update automatically. The feed location for one of them is this:

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