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I'm having a little trouble finding information to help me figure out what I'm trying to do. Please forgive me, as I am new to drupal's api. I have 3 particular scenarios where I would like a little helpful nudge in the right direction.

1 - I really enjoy having the most recent articles being shown on the front page by default. I would like to know how to have recent forum topics, separate from the recent articles, on the sidebar. Just text would be sufficient. Please tell me this is possible. I've searched for hours looking for some kind of information or maybe a module that accomplishes this.

2 - On the Forum, I would like the exact opposite. I would like the recent articles to be on the sidebar. Just the titles would be sufficient here as well.

3 - On the Article Pages, I would like both recent forum topics and articles on the sidebar.

I'm using the core Forum module, as well as Advanced Forum module. -Edit

Are there global variables I can use to achieve this? This, I'm sure, would help others as well with average time on site, and bounce rate.

--Edit--

As Dooshta mentioned, this can be accomplished with Views. It's so very easy to use!

Also, I noticed that there were disabled blocks already there for what I was looking for. I've enabled Recent Content for Article Topics, Active Forum Topics, and New Forum Topics. Once I'm done styling them on my local Drupal Installation, I'll post a link to my live site to show an example for this Question!

--Edit--

I attempted using the provided blocks, however, I had a problem with a Configure Block link showing up on both provided forum blocks for all roles except admin. After a little research, I seen that it has been a problem for a long time and there's no simple fix. So I decided to use Views instead.

As I mentioned before, Views is absolutely simple to use. I created an Active Forum Topic Block, New Forum Topic Block, and a New Article Block for use on the sidebar. I couldn't configure the Active Forum Topic Block to display the topics in order with last topic commented on first until after creating it, but it wasn't difficult to figure out at all. the page is informative and organized.

If you would like to see how I used Views on my site, go to Strong Local Business. The New Articles don't display on the front page as intended, however you can see them on the sidebar when viewing an article, as designed.

Thanks again, Dooshta!

I hope this question helps others who may want to achieve the same results.

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Sounds like something that would be easiest to accomplish with the Views module (seeing as you're using the Advanced Forum module you should already have it installed). It allows you to create blocks with the necessary content and then you can just adjust the block settings to get them displayed where you want.

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