Naked vs. Dressed Buddypress
In recent months the number of premium Buddypress themes has greatly expanded (e.g., see http://premium.wpmudev.org, http://www.woothemes.com, and http://buddydress.com). This turns naked Buddypress into a much more polished, integrated, and good looking platform–but only if you’re willing to spend extra money.
In the feature wars, however, Drupal Commons still appears to have the edge (see Sarah Gooding’s review, “Open Source Social Networking Matchup: BuddyPress vs. Drupal Commons” at http://wpmu.org/open-source-social-networking-matchup-buddypress-vs-drupal-commons). It seems to me that, in general, the WordPress platform is both evolving at a faster rate than the Drupal platform and gaining market share. But in the social platform space, the tables are reversed. Perhaps the premium Buddypress theme developers with a high level of plugin integration, notably wpmudev.org, are best positioned to stem the tide. But if Buddypress doesn’t pick up its rate of innovation, that may not be enough.
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