Re: The BuddyPress UI Design and conceptual approach to Social Networking
I think the ease of use and elegance of WordPress has somehow been lost in the most recent iteration of BuddyPress. Yes, we can make it whatever we wish it to be, but to do that we must be prepared to get under the hood and play with code while relying largely on untested or BP-approved plugins to extend its functionality. In one word, I would describe a BP install right now as ‘noisy’.
Seems to me the activity stream and the current group-forum relationship draws the ire of most people commenting in these forums. Right now, the activity stream is, frankly, a dog’s breakfast. The group-forum thing I can get my head around, but it would be very helpful if for example some of the functionality evident in bp.org was made readily available (the plugin group format for example) versus the current practice of teasing users with snippets of code all over the forums. Andy and the moderators here are great, but once again I think BP needs to figure out if it is targeting WordPress users or PHP developers as its primary target market. They are not one and the same, even those of us who are quite capable of handling a hosted version of WordPress.
I think BuddyPress should have focused its primary activity stream around the use of a microblog that comes standard with the install. A variation of P2 as the community blog right out of the box could provide an easy to follow timeline of user posts, shared links, etc. as per Twitter while a lot of the commenting and related noise created by the activity streams, etc. could be eliminated.
Looking forward to continued progress however on what is still the best option for developing a social networking application.