Making Buddypress a Social Network for non-bloggers?
I’ve been searching around everywhere for plugins, etc. to make Buddypress more manageable for my project – a niche website with social interaction added. I don’t think I’m alone in not wanting 1000s of blogs/groups, but still wanting some of that functionality in a more controlled way (i.e., can’t just turn off the BP module).
In search for solutions, I came across a discussion that nails it.
Nutshell.Buddypress is primarily for social networking among bloggers. Yet, IMHO, many of the best BP implementations hacked BP to death to get a social network among casual visitors/subscribers, not bloggers. (e.g. h-mag.com, tastykitchen.com, http://tdi.vw.com/)
What extensions do we need to facilitate this? Here’s my partial list which is not necessarily a feature request, but maybe a plugin wish list or a hack solution wishlist:
- Ability of users/groups (by role) to post to their profile page with some formatting/media embedding – like a post, but without them having a whole blog/site and without having to go to wp-admin (preferably)
- Limit who can create a blog/group based on role
- Rethinking the theme framework concept to consider that many sites will be adding a BP layer to a new/existing site based on a WP theme framework (a la Buddymatic) where using BP as the parent isn’t desirable.
Obviously, these issues get at what BP is being designed for. As my post above suggests, the merge will impact that roadmap (or IMHO it should). Currently there seems little discussion of #1 and I have a hackish idea below. #2 has been worked on and bpcontents plugin and others have sought to address this. #3 is something that I hope is addressed as part of the merge. Already other developers have used Thematic and Thesis as parents with BP partially integrated. I like that idea, but have concerns about upgradeability. Thoughts??
Solving #1 – Hackish idea through plugin.
- Create TinyMCE post submission form (using Gravity Forms of course) that is only visible on user’s profile page and only by logged-in user
- User submits “post” through form that is added to a unique subcategory of a “profiles” category – e.g. “profiles/userid”
- Profile page shows only posts where post category matches the userid.
I think this works, but it might require some hooks and de-polluting the backend so that these posts are organized for the admin to deal with. Thoughts??
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