Re: The BuddyPress UI Design and conceptual approach to Social Networking
@3sixty (“The irony of “BuddyPress shouldn’t be about forums”, and “if you want a forum, don’t use BP” and “bbPress is a parasite in BP…” is that the FORUM is the center point of activity here on buddypress.org”)
There’s nothing ironic about that. Traditional forums are very useful, but if you want a traditional forum you can install PunBB or bbPress. The point is that bolting a forum onto a social network derails the social networking structure. Mixing forum and social networking is the cause of a lot of the confusion and interface problems that this thread is about.
Social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) imho evolved from traditional forums; they are a next generation paradigm in how to structure a web community, with more emphasis on individual members, less on forum topics. That’s also why I keep complaining about anonymous usernames and the underdeveloped member management in BP.
It has been depressing to see in recent months that people who primarily want a traditional forum are taking over Buddypress, pushing it back into the older forms. Mixing these different approaches to structuring a community does not make it a more versatile product. It’s the kitchen sink. It’s becomes an unwieldy mess.
As explained earlier in this thread, you can get forum-like functionality following existing Buddypress/Wordpress structures. You can display blog posts and comments in a forum structure. You could probably do it in a template. There is absolutely no need to bolt on an external forum, adding new database tables and functionality that partly overlaps/clashes with existing functionality.
Automattic needs to go back to the basic building blocks – users, posts, comments – and make sure they are solid, remove redundancies etc. And then develop different ways to connect those elements and display the data in different user interfaces; blog, social network, forum, microblogging, social bookmarking, etc.