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Need help with Messaging

  • Avatar of rickaltman
    rickaltman
    Participant

    @rickaltman

    I am going to try one final time here before I give up and conclude that BuddyPress is not capable of addressing our needs. We host an annual conference, which is represented by an add-on domain at our main URL of http://www.betterpresenting.com. We want to use BuddyPress to create a community website for our conference patrons, and we have installed it, assigned to it the domain of http://www.summitcommunity.org, and have begun learning how to use it.

    But our main site has an active blog and I don’t know how to separate posts that are intended to be read by the entire world and shown across the entire site from messages that are intended to go just to the Summit community.

    – I posted a query about this here last month and it got no response.

    – I bought an hour of a consultant’s time, who told me about a “mass messaging” plugin that would create a “BP feed,” but he flaked out when it came time for followthrough.

    – I got a quote from a “BuddyPress expert” who resides in a different country, who told me that it would require extensive development work, on the level of 20 to 30 hours.

    How can this be so hard? It is injuring my sensibilities. Before I abandon BuddyPress altogether, and with it our vision of using it for a community website, I figured I would return here once more and hope that this community will be a bit more responsive, now that I have a more fleshed-out story to tell.

    Is what I am trying to do really that difficult? Is it unreasonable to want to use BuddyPress with an add-on domain? Is this honestly that far-fetched of a notion?

    I would be grateful for hearing from anyone who could provide perspective, and better still, assistance with our plight. Many thanks.

    Rick A.
    Pleasanton CA

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Avatar of Asynaptic
    Asynaptic
    Participant

    @synaptic

    Hi Rick, I think you need to clarify exactly what you’re trying to do. What you write is very confusing and may have lead to your and others’ frustration in attempting to help you:

    “But our main site has an active blog and I don’t know how to separate posts that are intended to be read by the entire world and shown across the entire site from messages that are intended to go just to the Summit community.”

    Are we talking about messaging? as in private and internal messaging between members and between admin and members? or are we talking about blog posts that are read by all or some parts of the community?

    If you want to restrict blog posts to just members, this is extremely easy and there are many plugins that handle this.

    http://wordpress.org/plugins/private-community-for-bp-lite/

    as well as s2member and other ‘membership’ plugins which work with buddypress to create tiers to separate content (pages, posts) so that you have control over who sees or reads what.

    So please clarify EXACTLY what you are trying to accomplish and hopefully the community here can help you.

    Avatar of rickaltman
    rickaltman
    Participant

    @rickaltman

    Thank you, Asynaptic — I’m sure you are right that my lack of knowledge and experience prevent me from speaking intelligibly about this. That is why I have been willing to buy an hour of time from a BP expert; I just couldn’t find one!

    I want those who join the community to be able to send messages to one another, and I want to be able to send messages out to the entire community. I want this to go on without disrupting our normal posting of articles using standard WP posting procedures.

    That is as clear as I am able to state it, given that I have yet to log even the first hour of time with BP. I’m still trying to get off the dime!

    Avatar of Asynaptic
    Asynaptic
    Participant

    @synaptic

    ok, let me see if I understand you — if not, correct me :-)

    1) you have a website at: http://www.betterpresenting.com/
    2) you have created another separate website at http://www.summitcommunity.org/ where you want to install buddypress and create a community website for a conference

    ok I think before we even get to the ‘messaging’ or ‘post’ issue, we have to clarify something.

    As of now, http://www.summitcommunity.org/ forwards to http://www.betterpresenting.com/community/

    Buddypress automagically works seamlessly with your existing theme so it looks good… this wasn’t always the case so thank the developers who added this feature just a few months ago! moving on from minor digression…

    So it looks like you don’t have two separate sites but your domain at summitcommunity.org is 301 redirecting to http://www.betterpresenting.com/community/ and this is where you have installed buddypress.

    Is that correct?

    If this is correct, then we can move on to the other question you posed.

    I went back and read you original post that you referenced above:

    http://buddypress.org/support/topic/installing-bp-into-a-portion-of-a-site/

    In that message you write:

    “If I understand correctly (a reach at best), posts become messages. But I post at betterpresenting.com about a great many things, not just ones that would be for the conference community.”

    Posts do not become messages. Posts and messages are separate things. ok?

    A post is well, a blog post. I’m sure you know what that is.

    A message is an internal message sent from one member to another (if you have enabled this feature of buddypress – you don’t necessarily have to! or from admin to members)

    http://codex.buddypress.org/buddypress-components-and-features/messages/

    http://codex.buddypress.org/component/private-messages/

    Also, admin can send a ‘broadcast’ message to all members with this plugin:

    http://buddydev.com/plugins/buddypress-live-notification/

    Hope that clarifies words and definitions so we have a standard vocabulary with which to communicate!

    Now, if I understand the rest of your original message accurately, what you’re saying is that you run a website and have an annual conference and would like to know how buddypress can help you with both. And you want to make sure there is a way to keep the conference ‘stuff’ separate from the other regular website ‘stuff’.

    To solve this, you don’t need subdomains or extra installs of wordpress or any of that. Here’s what I would do:

    I would install buddypress as a plugin in your existing wordpress blog (the ‘main’ site). Then I would use the buddypress features to run your annual conference by also enabling a membership plugin.

    Using the membership plugin you can post ‘conference’ related material and pages which ONLY THE MEMBERS SEE and interact with. To someone who just comes to your site, all they see is your regular blog/site… until or if they ‘login’ and have paid or are accepted as ‘conference’ participants.

    People who are members of the conference (aka buddypress + membership powered) site can see and interact with both the conference portion of your site as well as the regular part of the site.

    If I have hit the nail on the head and accurately understood your needs, here are some reference material:

    http://chrislema.com/comparing-wordpress-membership-plugins/

    http://www.stumiller.me/how-to-choose-a-wordpress-membership-plugin/

    If not, let me know!

    Avatar of Asynaptic
    Asynaptic
    Participant

    @synaptic

    I’ll add this to clarify further, a person can join your website but with a membership plugin you can have several tiers which would act as a filter to designate what they can and can’t do or see on the site.

    So for example, a regular member can read the blog. A ‘premium’ or ‘conference’ member can read the blog, write comments, read the conference specific blog posts, private message other conference members, etc.

    Some membership plugins are quite powerful and granular… if you need that sort of thing.

    Avatar of Asynaptic
    Asynaptic
    Participant

    @synaptic

    oops, looks like I linked to the wrong url for the broadcast message plugin (from admin to all members)

    :/

    this is the right plugin:

    http://wordpress.org/plugins/mass-messaging-in-buddypress/

    Avatar of rickaltman
    rickaltman
    Participant

    @rickaltman

    Many, many thanks, Asynaptic. It helped tremendously to clear up my misconception that BP messaging used the standard blog posting engine. Knowing that those two are separate makes it much easier to get my head around all of this.

    I do not need any sort of membership for the main part of our site so I do not need tiers of membership. Furthermore, we don’t mind if casual visitors to the site want to join the community; that just becomes good advertising for the conference. So we do not need to limit or segment membership; anyone can join.

    I think that should make life easier for me, no? Does it also argue for one particular plug-in over another?

    Avatar of Asynaptic
    Asynaptic
    Participant

    @synaptic

    Rick, glad that we’re clearing up some confusion. To confirm, yes, messaging is totally different than posts. Please read the codex links provided. Also, if you really want to take buddypress for a test drive, set up a development site either on a live site or right on your own computer using http://www.instantwp.com/ and then add some “fake” users and messages, and data using this plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/bp-default-data/

    And then jump in there and click around like crazy, edit, message, post, and see what happens! this is the best way to really check things out without doing any damage to your own site. Nothing compares to getting your hands dirty and mucking about (in a safe test environment).

    This way you can really understand what messaging is, what private messaging is, broadcasting from admin to all members, etc. You can also add/remove plugins and check out their functionality, all in the comfort of your own computer’s hard drive or a test environment set up at a test domain/host that you control/own.

    Also, keep in mind that buddypress has many features but you do not have to enable them! for example, there is a feature for groups. But you don’t have to enable it! you can add a forum (using bbPress) but you don’t have to! you can have private messaging so members can send private messages to each other… but, you guessed it, you don’t have to enable this feature. Also, another powerful feature is that you can give members of your site the ability to start their own blogs! this is called “multisite” but you can choose to enable this or not. Same goes for “friend connections” feature… etc.

    My suggestion is to start with a very simple starting point and then as your community grows, add features that they require or need. It is a far too common mistake for new buddypress users to just turn everything on at the start.

    If you don’t want to restrict your membership in any way or to collect money online from them then you don’t need anything else other than buddypress and wordpress. But look through the membership plugin links I provided to familiarize yourself with them and their features just in case. A few are completely free and still have tonnes of features.

    Finally, keep in mind that spam registrations do happen. There are many guides and tools to mitigate spam membership registrations. Here’s a good start:

    http://codex.buddypress.org/getting-started/guides/preventing-spammer-registration/

    Google is your friend for more info on spam fighting.

    Avatar of rickaltman
    rickaltman
    Participant

    @rickaltman

    I will follow all of your terrific suggestions and advice. One follow-up that might take this conversation on a different course: The ultimate goal is to service our patrons *at* the conference, so this community site will really function as a mobile app (integrated with a WP plugin that will create schedules and speaker bios). Are there specific solutions for mobile-enabling BP communities, apart from the myriad of mobile themes that WP offers?

    Avatar of Asynaptic
    Asynaptic
    Participant

    @synaptic

    Glad you found my suggestions helpful. re mobile, any good theme would give you that functionality so make sure to test them at different resolution sizes and check total kb size (how bulky the theme is) also.

    also, check out: http://wordpress.org/plugins/buddymobile/

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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