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Re: The BuddyPress UI Design and conceptual approach to Social Networking



bbPress is a parasite that is killing Buddypress from within. Buddypress should have been a next-generation social network, instead it is becoming a messy backward forum/social network hybrid.

That’s the single most ridiculous thing I’ve read on this forum yet.

Yes, it’s a forum. It’s a pretty crappy feature-light forum, one with buzzword-compliant toys and gewgaws arrayed around it, for sure, but it’s a forum, and putting your fingers in your ears and going lalalalala trying to deny that it’s the single most important part of this Buddypress install right here doesn’t change the fact that it is. And that centrality of the forum experience will be the case for other sites as well. Not all of them, certainly, but enough that it is an extremely important piece of the puzzle.

People get so attached to their meaningless buzzwords they forget that the whole idea is to serve the needs of actual users. They forget that people don’t like to waste too much of their time on ephemeral interaction, don’t bother with effort when there’s no permanency. If users don’t like the way your site works or are confused or are missing functionality, you’re doing it wrong.

I don’t know. I’ve spent months working with BP, but I’m beginning to be very disenchanted and to have serious doubts about the future of it, because (in part inspired by the user-hostile new design of — if you drive away your developer community, this kind of project will inevitably fail) I have begun to suspect that the over-riding goal isn’t to serve end-users’ needs as much as it seems to be ticking checboxes. Don’t I feel stupid for wasting all that time? Yep. I’m not sure if I should just chuck all the work I’ve done turning BP into a user-friendly tool for my userbase and start over with a different platform or what. Certainly the enthusiasm’s bleeding out of me at a rapid rate, though.

@andrea_r I in particular, am having to deal with a LOT of new users to BuddyPress who were told it was a forum

And that’s a problem with BP how, exactly? The only problem with the forums functionality of BP is that it’s too damned weak, not that it exists in the first place. I am very very strongly of the precisely opposite opinion to yours (although I suspect Andy, for one, is more in your camp on these matters, which is inclining me to abandon BP entirely) — fully-featured forum-like functionality is an indispensable key to a many successful sites, based on the userbase and functionality required, and the expectations and needs of the site owner’s intended audience. That mode of user interaction is one that users want, for goodness sakes, and trying to deny it to them because we think we know better is a fool’s game.

A Buddypress without robust forum capabilities is a poor man’s Facebook, and nobody in their right mind (except Facebook-haters like me) is going to abandon sites like that without a good reason. A good reason like a solid core of historical interactions preserved in a forum-like structure, filling the gap between the ‘formality’ of blog posts and the ephemerality of soon-disappearing activity stream interactions.

Abandoning a tried, tested, and true form of internet community interaction because of some quixotic quest to be modern and social-networky is going to kill this platform dead faster than anything else might.

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