A million suggestions
OK, I’m no programmer, but I’m an idea guy.
If some programmers are feeling bored, or just needing some inspiration, here’s some ideas, pulled from various places around the web which could really allow the BuddyPress platform to take over the web. It goes without saying (but can never be said too much… thanks to all the programmers who’ve worked so hard on everything we have so far!) These are in no specific order.
1. BOOMj.com has a fantastic interface for their members section. Basically, you answer some questions, and it will import the data into a specialized template. It’s probably no different than creating a member theme for BuddyPress, but I love the interface. I’ve been playing around with the member theme a bit, and after I get some things figured out, I’ll upload some ideas into this site myself, but until then, if someone gets some inspiration from that site and can create something similar… please do!
2. BOOMj.com Rewards Center. WordPress already has a plugin called CubePoints which would be a great starting point for a system to gain points. BOOMj offers points for uploading a picture, etc whereas the CubePoints system only allows for points for leaving comments and things like that. As far as redemption options for points, we’d probably need some discussion as a community over what things we can offer if people get tons of points. I’d love to see this point concept expanded into something end user configurable, as different people have different needs and goals with their sites, but some starting points include:
* 1 point for viewing a post
* 5 points for leaving a comment
* 100 points for uploading a picture
* 100 points for filling out (perhaps) each section of a profile
* 50 points for joining a group
* 500 points for referring a friend who actually signs up
* 25 points each day a “game” is played (see idea 3 below)
* or other things.
The entire point of this plugin would be to encourage our users to get in and interact with the site.
3. Games. As anyone who’s played a Facebook game knows, They are incredibly addictive. http://apps.facebook.com/zoobuilder/ is one example that keeps me glued to my computer screen at least a half hour per day. It’s a brilliant concept in that the only real way to “succeed” with the game is to interact with other people on the site. I throw out that Facebook game as one idea, but I’m sure there could be others.
4. Suggested Friends plugin. All the big social networking sites seem to operate around a geographical area (a city or town), a school (college or high school), or other common interests. Perhaps a plugin could be developed which would incorporate all this data, and help members find other members with similar backgrounds and interests, and the plugin would automatically “suggest” them to members.
There may be a little trickiness in the worldwide end of setting up a database which has all the schools in each city (if we wanted to get that tricky) but ClassMates.com seems to have the same dataset that BOOMj and Facebook have, so it’s out there somewhere. If that database could somehow be pulled into this plugin, and when the plugin was activated, it would automatically add the “what school did you attend?” question to the profile signup page, it would be awesome.
5. Pokes and Flirts, and other such things. I still don’t know what to do on Facebook when someone pokes me, but enough people do that it’s a very popular feature. Once again, it leads to end user interaction. If there were some level of flirting (not exactly sure what to call it, but you could flirt or FLIRT with someone (the later would express more interest than the former) that would be an even better feature.
6. On the subject of Facebook, tagging has become really big. Someway to incorporate something similar would be great.
7. Dodo integration. There’s a wordpress plugin called Dodo, which hasn’t been updated for a year, but it’s a wonderful start to an idea. Basically, it tracks what a user is looking at, and suggests related content specifically for that user. My only real issue with the plugin is that you can’t seem to use it if you have a home.php file. If someone could wigitize it (as a start) those of us with content and BuddyPress on our sites would be able to use it to provide a more user friendly atmosphere.
8. On that user specific end comes two ideas. On my BuddyPress installations, I offer users blogs, primarily because the standard profile doesn’t allow the users (in my opinion) enough options to express themselves. Using idea one above, perhaps we could offer user “themes” which would be quickly changed by the user. It’s sort of somewhere in between a blog and a profile. The site would store the users preference, and display that user theme whenever that user’s profile was viewed. (A simple start would be to develop one user theme, and offer various color options… Over time, there could be pretty pink themes with flowers, and big black themes with chains, or white picket fences,etc.)
Secondary to that (or perhaps primary) Google (at http://www.google.com/ig) and Yahoo (at http://my.yahoo.com/) have ways for a user to customize what appears on their “dashboard”. Could something similar be integrated?
9. Similar to Idea 7 above, we could offer the same options for groups.
10. Live chat. This is a big one, and probably way outside the capabilities of what BuddyPress can handle at the moment, but a live chat feature would be great. I know there are plugins which as supposed to be able to handle this, and I honestly haven’t played around with too many of them.
11. “Other Site” integration. There’s Facebook, BOOMj, MySpace, Gay.com, and a million other social networking sites. I can’t think of the others, and I’m not even really sure what I mean by this, but someway for users to easily switch from the big guys to a BuddyPress enabled site would be a HUGE thing. Each of those sites has their own idiosyncrasies, so that would be problematic, but someone will get what I’m trying to say and hopefully explain it in this forum.
12. Last idea (for now) would be a sort of “BuddyPress Member Pool” Various sites using BuddyPress would be able to opt into some sort of main site which would know that Member 123 is a user of site ABC, but would really be interested in the content of site XYZ. Through some sort of shared protocol, his or her user data could be shared with site XYZ, and XYZ’s content would be shown within the interface of site ABC. Members and groups could operate in this same fashion, wish shared friends and group lists, etc.
I know on my own sites, I have trouble getting people to sign up because it’s a very small community. (I only have 7 members on the biggest site… 10,000 visitors per day to the content section, but only 7 people have signed up to be members). Through this “sharing” system, it would appear as if I had a lot more members, and more people would sign up (would you have signed up for MySpace if there were only 6 other people there?) People in this system would not only have more active communities, they’d have shared content, and eventually get more visitors, as people from ABC would be traveling over to XYZ and back again.
Well… that’s enough for people to think about today. I’ll be back with more ideas later. Please comment in this forum and let me know what you think, perhaps help figure out what the priorities should be, or expand on these ideas.
Thanks in advance,
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