Re: Advice for a total newbie?
Try installing it locally on your computer, or give testbp.org a spin.
1) That’s up to you. If you don’t need members to write blog posts, then the default WP role of “Subscriber” should be fine.
2) A full-featured privacy component is on its way (by Jeff Sayre). Until then, there isn’t really another plugin that does this right now.