BuddyPress screencasts – what do you want to see?
I am going to be creating some screencasts – a video which explains or demonstrates something – in an effort to improve documentation and spread the word about BuddyPress. I was hoping to get some ideas for content.
To the newer users on these forums, what did you find hard or confusing or not clear, or didn’t you understand about BuddyPress when you started using it?
installation/use are pretty straightforward, I can’t see how videos can be useful except just as demo to show the buddypress capabilities.
Navigation was initially quite overwhelming so just a general introduction to the software from a user perspective and what you can do with it would be nice.
Something showing how activity streams work would be great too. It’s a concept that is hard to explain to new people but once they do get it they love it.
I would gear my videos to the WP masses that will now start using BP
What Buddypress is and is not?
Theming and Theme Frameworks
Integration with WP, bbPress
Extensive examples of creating child theme and components
Small weekly 1 minute tricks and tips videos, not just on core bp things but also on using firebug to help change the css etc..
Upgrading from one bp version to the next and what to do when it goes wrong – I always dread it when I have to upgrade.
Themes and Bp-sn-parent folder – Things to remember such as you may change the css within one theme, but how does the bp-sn-parent fit in.
A snazzy promo video saying this is why you should be using BP rather than ning etc….
You almost have to do 2 different videos on each topic as your audience is either code masters or just hackers with a tiny bit of knowledge
Initially I would not focus on us (site admins) but on buddypress its core functions. Explain potential new users what bp can do for them, and their target group and how users can use their bp site. For us all these things are wellknown but there are a lot of people who don’t! As an added bonus these videos can also be embedded on bp powered site (if the admin wants this) to help its new users a long.
After these introduction videos you can get in depth and create more advanced tutorials and solutions for site owners. I think it would not make much sense to skip the basic BP fundamentals!
Great public service DJPaul. What they all said. May I also suggest categorizing the videos as basic, intermediate and advanced and/or themes, codes, plugins, upgrading, etc.
Also a clear explanation to the users between their buddypress profile and blog dashboard would be nice! Btw I’m really glad you’re picking this up, i think its a very smart move to make!
Yep, but of course we/you should make a sharp distinction between video for users and video for developers.
as developer, I want MANY videos.
I did write “new users” on the first post, not “new developers”
Given that the entire “look and feel” of Buddypress can be modified via themes, how can “we” offer screencasts on how to use a Buddypress site? I’ve seen many examples of “Buddypress” sites that look and operate nothing like a bp-default themed Buddypress site.
At the same time, if the current interface is not intuitive enough then no matter how many screencasts are created users will still be confused. Facebook and Twitter didn’t have screen casts on how to use the sites. Users just figured most of it out.
I’m not trying to knock Buddypress at all – I’ve been impressed enough that I’ve gone and started submitting bug reports and even fixes when my time permits! I’m just hoping that active members like DJ Paul aren’t going to get stuck spending a lot of time creating screencasts that benefit a very small number of developers/users.
There are probably really great Buddypress specific topics that could be covered in a screen cast but I can’t come up with any. Maybe I’m just too old and come from the generation where everything wasn’t screencasted to us and we had to do something called research or trial and error.
I see your point jivany, but so far I’ve seen that about 90% of the active BP Communities use the default theme with some slight modifications. With some clever editing/focus on certain things which almost every BP site has, it could be very useful.
Think of something like http://www.wordpress.tv:
I would also rather see very specific and in-depth tutorial from BP Pro’s sooner then later, but if you look at the questions asked on these forums, you can not skip the basics here and simply presume that the “easier” stuff will be figured out as they go.
Imagine you stumbling upon BuddyPress.org and being able to get a few nice basic video instructions. You get a sense of professionalism and a clear view of what’s possible with the software, the advanced stuff we all like to see can be covered at a later point imo
And about Facebook and Twitter;
A screencast of twitter would have saved me quite some time, and don’t even start about Facebook lol.. I’ve tried 2 hours to find a feed of my status updates and after trying everything known to man I still haven’t found it. Facebook is awesome but it makes no sense whatsoever on certain aspects
The more I think about it, nig3d has the right idea. A screencast (or a couple) that showcases what BP is capable of would be a really great idea. But then you’re focusing on the developers as opposed to the potential users of a BP site.
One of my favorite examples of BP is thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/ and if you didn’t explicitly know it was running BP, you’d be hard pressed to discover it was. That user community has very easily figured out how to use BP (but again, it’s customized). Profiling some of these sites as “what you can do with BP” in a screencast would probably help “sell” BP to a larger audience.
@Bowe, as for the Facebook/Twitter stuff, both apps are almost better for not having screencasts. People have found numerous ways of using Twitter that are not the original intent. As for Facebook, they just don’t really care about anything outside their firewalls.
From a user point of view, I found BP prior to the 1.2 activity stream concept to be very confusing. Anyone who has used Facebook or Twitter will easily understand what the textbox is for.
I could go on and on but then I’d be really thread jacking.
… if the current interface is not intuitive enough then no matter how many screencasts are created users will still be confused.
Absolutely agree. You should not have to educate users how to use your site. Please, if you have time to spare, use it to help improve the user interface instead of making videos.
Also a clear explanation to the users between their buddypress profile and blog dashboard would be nice!
How about closing the blog dashboard to members and bringing the functionality into the Buddypress profile, under Settings or Account, under the site’s theme?
I’ll have to figure that one out when I have the time…
I think the most popular screencasts are going to be:
1. What BuddyPress is, and what it can do.
2. How to set up BuddyPress from scratch.
You need a test case!
Here’s a thought…
I am creating a social networking site for entrepreneurs.
You can use my website as an example, and interview me as I go through the process of learning buddypress and setting up my site.
I’ve been working with WordPress for 5 years, but am not a PHP programmer. I’m guessing this probably defines most of the (non-developer, business oriented users) who will be using Buddypress.
I am open to ideas.
You can contact me at:
Reiterating what Bowe posted – “a clear explanation to the users between their buddypress profile and blog dashboard would be nice” [very very very nice]
Encapsulates what could be one to two Pages of explanation of text and graphics to users into one full-width page of your screencast with full credit and link to your site
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