Skip to:

Re: Friends and Groups for BuddyPress 1.3

Mike Pratt


I am personally not a fan of taking it this direction (with a few caveats depending on where it goes)

@Peter – Yes, Facebook burned “friending” into the lexicon and made a mess of things as far as that definition goes. But it’s here and it’s what we have to work with. Not sure it would be wise to try and break the momentum 300mm users already understand. Now, expanding on the idea is another thing altogether.

We should start with what a “friend” means/should mean in the BP environment. There is overlap of the concept with Groups, but a major distinction, too that keeps me from supporting this shift you describe. If we expand the friend concept in its current manifestation, I think we’ll be better off.

Yes, @jjj friends are just groups of users. But that doesn’t make them Groups. Groups are organizations around a topic/idea. I think if you try to include an aggregation of users into that model, you will blur the lines as to confuse everyone. Since I don’t want being a friend of me being the same as being a member of the “Mike Pratt” group, you will force developers to have to change everything to make it look like the old process, or do it yourself. Is there really that much gained by you in the process? I mean, so much of the group functionality may not be necessary in a personal group.

Re the “it’s like Twitter following” it’s not either/or there. “friending” requires acceptance on the befriended’s part. Following does not. Admittedly, it would be great for BP to allow for a following kind of capability so I can keep tabs on those whose activity I care about but aren’t really “friends” with.

What is the filtering issue you speak of? On 1.2 I can look at activity of My friends or My groups and it works great. What BP needs, I think, is expanded friend functionality. Ie friend grouping a la facebook style so I can filter my ever growing list of friends into like groupings e.g. Family, etc. I’d even do it on and list @jjj @andy @jeffsayre etc into a group to follow what the sage’s all have to say. In this new concept, I will have to create a group for them? but they will already be in my “friends” group?

One thing to consider – the new Update functionality, in effect, already gives each user his own forum. A threaded conversation can already happen there and it’s centered on that user. If you are truing to make it a private one, then revamp the message system to allow me to send a private internal BP message to a group of friends (need that part too) and have it be a private threaded conversation/message. It’s dangerous to allow me to make it like you suggested

“Not only is it a group of people that I know, the people I’ve added to that group now can talk back and forth to one another because I’ve added them as a “friend.”

It gives the ability for someone to interact more personally with someone to whom they never initiated contact. Perhaps just adding a friend “type” ie “follow” would be very useful. It is the type that doesn’t require acceptance on the followee and the followee’s activities are visible according to their own set terms.

In summary, I think we keep Groups as topically focused “clubs” or “associations” that have members, content and activities and then each person has relationships with other users on the site. Some are “friends”, some they just “follow” with added functionality like grouping (pardon the use of the word), mass messaging (based on permissioning), etc

Skip to toolbar