Create a public blog site in Office 365 Sharepoint 2010

Applies to: Sharepoint 2010! It’s easy enough to add a blog sub site to your Office 365 public site. First, open your Team Site and go to site actions / site settings / site collection admin / go to top level site settings / site admin / sites and workspaces.
Or you can append _layouts/mngsubwebs.aspx to your domain which will take you to the same place.

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Next, click create and give your blog site a name and an address. Under “Template selection” choose the “blog” template from the “collaboration” tab and click “create” at the bottom.

 

This will add a blog subsite to your public site. Now when you’re logged in, you’ll see a “blog tools” navigation area on the right which is how you manage your blog. Easy, huh? But the problem is even though the blog is a sub site of the public site, and should inherit it’s anonymous access setting, there’s no way to grant anon access to the associated comments/categories lists. They will trigger a log in because of the way 365 is configured, so it’s not of much use.
Fortunately, a 365 user named Martin Hatch has come up with a very user friendly solution to allow anonymous access to ALL areas of your blog. This has been tested to work in P and E type accounts. (Just like OLSB, it’s the user community that’s going to make O365 a more useful product!)
Click here for Mr Hatch’s article which outlines what you need to do. But since OLSB refugees may not be familiar with the steps involved I’ll give a bit more detail.

First download the .wsp file from the article.
Then open your Team Site and go to site actions / site settings / site collection admin / go to top level site settings / galleries / solutions and click the “solutions” tab. (You can also append _catalogs/solutions/Forms/AllItems.aspx to your public site domain to get there faster).
In the ribbon, click “upload solution” and select the wsp file you downloaded.

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Check the box next to “HatchSolutions.Office365.BlogPermissions” and click “Activate” in the ribbon.
Now go back to “website” (append /Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspx to your website domain if it’s easier)
Open the blog sub site you created. Click “site actions” and “Edit page”.
Under the “Page tools” tab, click “insert”.

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Click “More web parts” and you’ll see all the web parts available to this site. You should see “Hatch solutions” in the left nav-click it and select the “Set anon blog permissions” icon.

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Click “Add” on the right and you’re done! The code that runs in the solution has done its job and changed the permission settings for your blog site, so you can now delete the web part if you like. Take a look at Martin’s article for more information.
And THIS blog is what your blog will look like. It ain’t the best looking blog in the world, but it works.
If you want to embed the blog on your public site, you can do so with the provided rss feed url which will look like this: 365 blog on a public site.
We cover that in another article:An Office 365 Blog served up using an rss feed.