The goal of this adventure was to leverage the SharePoint blog site template and SharePoint Social Rating capabilities to construct an ideation type of site.

But alas, this was one of those things that took me an ungodly amount of time to try and figure out a solution for… hopefully this post will be able to help others solve the same problem. Yes, there are lots of blog posts out there that show how we can add the rating capabilities to individual blog post entries, but I couldn’t find one that described the process for adding the rating stars to the homepage of the blog site template’s summary view web part for each of the posts. With some help with the MSDN SharePoint Forums and a fellow by the name of Raghavendra Shanbhag, we figured it out with the steps outlined below.

1. Assuming that your blog site has been created, turn on ratings for your Posts Document Library as described here.

2. Download this custom blog.xsl file and upload it to a Style Library or any other Document Library of your choice. Note at around line 121 is where we added the AverageRating field to the output which is the only customization that was performed on the original XSL.

3. Open the blog site homepage and edit it in SharePoint Designer. Here, you’ll want to click on the Posts web part and add the Rating (0-5) column for the field to be displayed in the view.

4. While you’re in SharePoint Designer, you can also include a link to the custom XSL that you had uploaded in Step 2.

5. Now go ahead and save all the changes that you’ve made in SharePoint Designer and then head over to your blog site in the browser. You should now see the rating stars below the title of each of your posts but you’ll find that they are not clickable/interactive. What you’ll want to do here is to edit the homepage of that blog site and then add another instance of the Posts list to one of the web part zones. After you add it, change the view on that web part to the “All Posts” view which should contain the rating stars. By adding this web part, it registers the necessary javascripts and CSS for the rating stars to properly function. But we don’t want to have a duplicate set of posts on our homepage right? What we can do here is mark the 2nd Posts web part as hidden!

And with that, we have now transformed a SharePoint blog site into an ideation site 🙂