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Creating a general forum not attached to Groups in BP 1.2

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  • still giving


    bump … thanks.

    still giving


    Perhaps one solution would be a default with which ALL users were automatically subscribed to a single shared sitewide group? … Custom forum groups could be created later.

    I find it hard to conceive of why a social networking site would NOT have a single place of communication, e.g. for tech support, newcomers, general discussion.

    Why does discussion have to locked up into custom made groups.

    This goes against the general level of understanding of most users many of whom will not get technical things and overcome difficulties like joining groups and so on.

    “KISS … keep it simple stupid.”

    I agree– any answers?

    I find it hard to conceive of why a social networking site would NOT have a single place of communication, e.g. for tech support, newcomers, general discussion.

    Create groups for “Tech Support”, “Newcomers”, “General Discussion”. I consistently fail to understand how people don’t get this. I’m in the process of converting to this model, perhaps then people will get it.

    Also — you DO NOT need to join a group to post in a public group forum. If you post, you join automatically.

    This is the sort of thing I’m talking about:

    D Cartwright


    I do agree with the way you are making things work/want things to work but a lot of users (myself included) find it a bit difficult to adjust to. It would be nice if there was a simple way to make certain groups be excluded from most of the display filters and/or make their forum appear to be ‘sticky’ at the top of the forum directory. I was planning on writing a plugin to this effect actually.

    It would be nice to make it so the groups are hidden to everyone but site admins (or users with some kind of global forum moderation cap) so it would also be possible for these admins/mods to ban people from specific forums…

    I’m getting a bit carried away with myself here. I’ll look at making a small/simple plugin first I guess.



    Nice layout on the Dean Robinson site (linked above). I think that’s probably a large part of the answer, it’s about how we present groups / forums to our users. A lot of usability is tied up in the presentation – something I’m having to work on for my own site.

    @D Cartwright do you need to completely hide the groups, or could you just remove them from the menu(s) if you only want users to use the forums? Or turn groups / forums off and install stand-alone forum even?



    D Cartwright


    I don’t particularly want to install bbpress separately. I’d quite like to extend the functionality for ‘standard’ buddypress setup.

    The setup on is good, but with various group extensions you may not want the group itself being visible to general site users. I can imagine that this will become even more of an issue now that the activty stream functionality is starting to outstrip the forum functionality – I’m finding lots of users aren’t bothering with their group forums anymore and are instead using activity stream to hold discussions.



    Andy am I understanding it correctly to think of it in the following way because I think I get it now?:

    Think of each group like a forum category or section on other traditional forums and suddenly Buddypress is like super forum on steriods.

    So in other words you will be turning all the forum categories like “Installing Buddypress” , ” How-to and Troubleshooting”, “Creating and Extending” etc etc in groups with the same name?

    If that is right I think what is throwing people off is the use of the term “group” especially since many people are used to it being used in other ways on other social networks

    zageek: Yes, exactly. It’s just terminology. A group is like a forum, but with a whole lot more power.



    OK that makes a lot more sense when you think of it like that. I can see a lot of potential in this because normally with a forum category all you can do it post, groups add extra features.

    The only thing I would like would be to make groups that are public in the sense that you don’t have to subscribe to them, sort of like a type of group that any registered user is a member of without having to subscribe

    D Cartwright


    The welcome pack plugin can do this. I’m not sure if it’s been updated for 1.2 yet though.


    @symm2112 is the URL for the welcome pack. It does show that it’s been updated for 1.2

    Roger Coathup


    @Andy – I understand the developer logic / enhanced power of the forums-groups concept. Unfortunately, though… it causes a headache for the clients we are building sites for:

    They are used to the plain simple concept of standalone forums. No amount of explanation gets me past the response “but, I still don’t see why I’ve got to create a group, when all I want is a forum”.

    In one case, the client has decided they are going to run SimplePress forums integrated with BuddyPress to get around this ‘problem’.

    Perhaps, it would be less of an issue if it was our own site that we were running and maintaining, but we are developing for clients who will administer the system themselves and struggle with / or don’t see the need for forums-groups setup.

    I guess it’s the old marketing adage: “it’s much easier to sell them something they want, rather than to sell them something they don’t know they want”.

    still giving


    … or sell them them something they know they don’t want.

    Yes, I think you need to do more idiot testing … you are forgetting that as a techie you see and get things newcomers dont.

    • Its about clarity and simplicity.

    We plan to use Buddypress for a national NPO. It has local ‘groups’. Fine, a forum for each local group work well.

    People think of “groups” as ‘Groups’.

      We make a group for “tech support” … everyone wanting tech support has to join it where it would make more sense for only the ‘tech support group’ to be members giving advice to others (like groups or ranks in most forums).

      A non-tech person just wants to post to a general forum … you start forcing them to have to decide one forum or another and then they don’t know where to post when they have something that does not fit.

      We make a group for “newcomers” … people make their first post and then get stuck with the label for the rest of their membership.

    Each time any activity happens, it all pops up in the ‘activity’.

      Why does the limitation need to exist?

    Yes, partly it is nomenclature. But, partly, it is an unnecessary rigidity or encumbrance. Being forced to do it this way.

    Yes, it may not be a problem for developers to get but, yes, it is a problem for non-techie users. I know that. I have tested it. They don’t get it. it puts them off.

    As with the removal of the admin interface and plugin ability, effort has gone in to *downgrade* BBpress not enhance it and that goes against the grain.

    “Groups” are groups … not sub-forums.



    Why not call a ‘group’ a ‘section’?

    I would still see the need for multiple fora/ subfora.

    Section is commonly used in daily life, and people might understand this concept easier.

    So for example a ‘section’ could be named ‘faculties’. Then you could give each forum in the section ‘faculties’ a faculty name. If you post in a faculty you automatically become a member of that faculty, as well as the section ‘faculties’.

    So how would one differentiate between for example faculty staff and students? Is there a possibility for categorizing members into ‘member groups’?

    So to recap

    Member groups

    Now any section and fora can have a blog. So a Campus BBQ post to which all the faculties are invited would then go in the section blog. Whereas a open day for the biology faculty post would go under a forum blog, in this case the ‘biology faculty’. Automatically all people that are members would get a notice. On the other hand if you had a Campus BBQ for all the staff of all the faculties and you posted this, you would need some kind of selection in the blog screen if you wanted to notify only the faculty staff. You could chose to design it so that everybody can still be able to read the post in the section ‘faculties’ blog, or have only faculty see this.

    There might be a better word for ‘fora’ though (in some cases)(?).

    I fully agree. This is the kind of “developer, not user-focused” development that makes Joomla and other competitive products suck. Don’t reinvent the wheel. What you guys seem to be doing is calling a “tire” a “wheel”, and forcing us to flip the car over sideways just to get it on.

    Tortured analogy notwithstanding, if the developers are the only people who think this is a good idea, you’ve already failed.

    But then, what the heck do I know? I only run two of the larger forums on the Internet.



    I think there’s someone working on this but not sure whether it’s for WPMU2.92./BP1.2.3 or for WP3.0/BP1.2.4orBP1.3

    If you want regular forums then install bbPress.

    I did, through BuddyPress. Which then took them and shoe-horned them into groups instead of simply integrating them with the rest of the site.

    In my 10+ years of social media experience I’ve never seen group-based forums that were successful at building community as effectively as ones that were configured in a more open manner. MySpace’s group forums, for example, are garbage. This is not the example anyone should seek to replicate in a social media platform.

Viewing 23 replies - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
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