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Ethics, Two-Facedness, BuddyPress Forums + the Theme…

  • dainismichel


    Folks, I am NOT one to flame or rage about free stuff, or even paid stuff sometimes not functioning optimally. That’s not what this is.

    I did, however, put the word “two-facedness” into the title of this post…which might ruffle some feathers…however, I do hope the ruffling will be happy and that we’ll all come out happier on the other side.

    I’ll start with the issue of BuddyPress Forums, and the theme at would also be a viable point of discussion.

    1) When you download BuddyPress, the forums do not work the way they do at It seems (to me) to make sense that BuddyPress present itself as what it is, and that when folks download BuddyPress, it would work the way works.

    Am I wrong about that? Is that an appropriate expectation on my part? Am I just foolhardy in thinking that BuddyPress the software will work the way does? Is that just not the way the development cycle works?

    Also, if that’s the case, setting expectations upon download (with some nice words from the development team) would help a lot.

    2) When I install BuddyPress, the themes don’t work the way they do at If they did, I would not have agonized with the Member Blog Themes issue since April 09 or so.

    Now, I understand that there is a price to pay when one joins a community. One essentially has to learn the ropes before one is treated as an insider. But is that what’s going on? Are there BuddyPress insiders who basically know how to do stuff and use the software BuddyPress as a lead generation tool for clients?

    So, then, the software BuddyPress does not work “as advertised” that is, the way does, and then people need to pay to get their sites to work the way they would like.

    If that is the case, that’s fine, it would just make sense for me then, that the consulting prices would be listed and available, because I’d like to be able to move forward more easily.

    So, does that make BuddyPress two-faced?

    …and then, to close: Is that ethical?

    I ask, not because I want to complain (even though, just maybe, sometimes I do want to complain, and I feel like I’m a positive enough Joe to have any and all of my complaints turn into…well…joy really).

    Anyway, I ask because I want to know how to resolve the issue of not knowing how to create forums in BuddyPress:

    Now, I’ve basically come out and asked for the code that makes BuddyPress, the software, work the way works. Actually, more specifically, I’ve just how I can get the forums in my install to display the way they do at

    If it is a “pay to play” kind of situation, then that’s really OK.

    But then I find myself in the odd situation of “someone who knows how to do what I’m looking to do could likely tell me how to do it in 5 minutes.” So, does that mean that even at $120 per hour, the $10 someone would make by spending 5 minutes on skype with me is too little? So that’s why I wind up with dead-end posts?

    I’ve also offered to record the skype videos (and I’ve been in a few private email discussions with some folks here), and I’m happy to pay for the time, and would even publish the videos. However, someone has to actually step up and say “I can help you make those forums appear,” and I guess, I feel I need to understand a bit better how this support community works.

    Many of you are super busy, and some of you could likely have shown me, in a skype call, how to do what I’m looking to do faster than it took you to read what I’m writing.

    That’s kind of goofy…

    So, please, can you let me know how to resolve this?

    Do I pay someone?

    Do I wait?

    Do I post even more of the same posts?

    Do I just consider myself ignored and go away?

    Sincerely, a slight bit frustrated, but wholly open to your guidance, feedback and commentary.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

  • Mike Pratt


    Dude – You’ve been watching too many conspiracy theory movies lately. Let me try and put some of your questions to rest:

    1. There is no group of insiders. Just folks who have been around since Andy started putting code in the repository. There is no conspiracy for those “in the know” to get guys like you to pay for stuff. We’re all here on our own dime. Some make money in WP/BP related endeavors but they are still here on these forums because it validates their skill set and they’re also good people.

    2. You need to hang out at for awhile. It is what you get “out of the box” in BP. I don’t want to be to snarky here, but that fact is written all over the place. Not sure how you don’t know that. The theme at is (aside from being pretty outdated as far as BP goes) Andy’s own creation. He has not once said it is what you get with BP nor has he intimated that it would be available. Way back when, we asked him to make it available with no luck. O well, no big deal. You seem to think it’s his fault for not giving it to you? FYI, is not a typical BP install. Groups are barely used. Why do you have it in your head that it is?

    3. No matter how much nice language you use, calling this community “two-faced” is not only a sure-fire way to make enemies but it’s a total falsehood. In fact, it’s an insult to all the volunteers who put in countless hours answering questions of people to lazy to read all the good info at their finger tips who’d rather just rehash the same basic stuff over and over. It’s a miracle we still get their awesome help.

    SO here’s a few suggestions: Quit masking your contempt for this community in polite prose. Fill out your profile with links and such so you are more than just a username throwing barbs. Read the codex and all the great documentation and to what DJPaul, jjj and all the other selfless BP-asisters tell you.. Perhaps a thread like “I’m trying to replicate the forum functionality the way Andy does it here on, does anyone know how that’s done” might be way to start.

    Good luck to you. We’re always here to help :-)




    not sure I understand your post, but it sounds like somebody hitch-hiked you into Skype-calls of “how to work with Social-Networks & BuddyPress” ?

    Get yourself a good programmer (search for a coder in the job-forum at this website) and I am sure you will find a reliable person who will set-up your very own Social-Networking-website using BuddyPress-plugin-software. For a standard-setup-install (including Group-Forums), this should not take any longer than 1 hour (cost of 1 man-hour).

    BuddyPress and WordPress is the most ethical software you can get.

    What you will get is not a website the same as, but even better a website very similar to what you can see at and then you can customize it to your needs if you want.

    I had to “burn” 2 programmers (they were only asking for money but basically not doing anything or doing things wrong and not giving any feedback) until I found the right person who is reliable and understands his job. Its all about test & fail to find a good and reliable coder, same as finding correct and reliable people in real life.

    John James Jacoby

    @johnjamesjacoby is the insider community. If you’re registered and paying attention, then you’re one of the cool kids.

    There’s a few reasons why works and looks different than a usual BuddyPress installation does out of the box. I’ll do my best to explain them for you (and everyone else) but I can assure you, there’s nothing stopping anyone from mimicking this or infinite other kinds of hybrid installations.

    1. This site uses the old and very yucky deep integration method with bbPress. Before BuddyPress 1.1 that was the only way to do it. With 1.1 Andy wrote an abstraction layer for bbPress to seamlessly bring its functionality into a WordPress installation.

    2. The decision was made that forums made the most sense when linked directly to a group of users. Rogue forum categories without a group of users to attach them to, have taken a back seat for the time being. This has been the topic of debate for a while, but it won’t change for 1.2 and probably won’t change until bbPress as a whole gets a little more attention.

    2. Because links directly with WordPress user and usermeta tables (which is why your 1 login works at all WP related sites), upgrading and shifting around over a million registered users isn’t a task to be taken lightly.

    3. Since Buddypress 1.1 was released, hasn’t changed a single bit. Little to no attention has been paid to the inner workings of this site, and all efforts have been poured into the project itself in a very successful attempt to deliver a much more stable and solid project. Even group avatars on this site are still broken from the conversion.

    4. The purpose of the support forums is to have a central community devoted to the questions and answers that a wide array of users have while installing, theme-ing, and in general just using BuddyPress. If you have needs that don’t fall within the core code then you’re stepping outside of core support and looking for custom development.

    5. Many people on the forums (including myself) have stepped up and taken on side projects (pro bono or as paid clients.) A slew of plugins are available specifically to enhance parts of BuddyPress, but just like with WordPress if nothing currently exists that does what you need, you either need do it yourself or find someone to do it for you in a way that fits your budget.

    6. BuddyPress 1.0 launched in April of 2009. It’s less than a year old and 2 major updates have already come through with even more to come in 2010. It’s still a baby compared to WordPress and bbPress, and I think Andy and myself will be the first people to say that it’s still capable of a lot more. Patches are always welcome, and in the past year the number of code committers has doubled (from 1 to 2 ;) ) and the number of significantly contributing code patchers, bug reports, and trac tickets has just about doubled also.

    So, if you’re unhappy, I can understand why. In a way sets an unrealistic expectation of a turn-key installation. If you feel you’ve been mislead in one way or another, that makes sense to me. Your opinion is valid, and when the site is updated to 1.2, I think you’ll be pleased.

    In the meantime, if you choose not to use it that’s okay. If you choose to study the code and start submitting ideas and patches, that’s cool too. Whatever anyone decides to do, I don’t think anyone will be mad. We’re all buddies here, remember? :)



    @michel: There’s also an easy solution to the member blog themes matching your regular theme. you can read a tutorial Andrea_r wrote about it on I’ll release the BP 1.2 member blog theme as soon as 1.2 launches. The forum thing is more complicated and if you want to do that right you need to invest in a programmer/designer :)

    My experience with BP so far has been the complete opposite.. If you spend some time getting to know people and helping others out, before you know you’re part of the people you call “the insiders”. ;-)



    uhh I’m confused because on the demo page it links to what you get OOTB and a few links to what you can do with BP. So the statement it doesn’t do what is advertised is WAY false.

    This site is an example of what you can do with BP and the demo links to what you get OOTB.



    Another example of the lack/poor use of search.

    This should be a reminder to all to take a look around, do some searches or at least ask a question before complaining.

    However, it is also a reminder that people are impatient, want perfection, and want you to give it to them for nothing with little/no effort on their part. That is also a truth on the web these days.



    Can you point me to where sets the expectations that BuddyPress will not function the way does?

    Thanks John James Jacoby, since you’ve known me at least since April of ’09, which is how long I’ve basically been trying to get a functional replica of going.

    The short version of my post, which I would have edited the thread-starting post down to would have been: “is it ethical for to function differently than an easily available BuddyPress install method?”

    So, I’m saying, OK, it might not go “POOF” and work, but there would at least be a procedure to follow available.

    I will address the “Dainis wants something for nothing” slant that some posters have taken: I find it very unfortunate that I have appeared to you that way. Nothing is further from the truth. I know from first hand experience running that there are a lot of life-sucking trolls out there who just demand more and more and more…it’s amazing. In my case, sometimes such people are suicidal, they send me emails and demand or plead for my input into their lives. Fortunately, the way I’ve recently restructured has reduced the number of suicidal pleas…though I do want to make sure that my site is there to help people who are in trouble and that reminds me that I should put a crisis line link on my home page…

    Anyway, Erich73, you are right, I need one or two blitz-schnell hot programmers on my team. The thing is that with my level of hacking cracking and code cutting and pasting skills (been writing tech docs off and on since 1991, I’ve been an IT manager, web coordinator, webmaster, etc.). I actually do want to work with someone via skype.

    I don’t like “hands off” work, cuz it just goes so much faster together (especially for something like the forums issue I’ve raised). I mean, if I’m on skype with you, I know if you are checking through this and that and you actually don’t know and I’m paying you to find out, or if you can tell me this is here that’s there, put this line of code there and here you go.

    That’s what I’m looking for.

    I’ve had ace programmers in my corner before, and I can tell you, I loved it. I loved every second of it. It’s a blast working with excellent coders…and when I’ve had the chance, I’ve written, in my opinion, very functional, easy to follow, structured end-user documentation to suit.

    It’s a self-aggrandizing aside, but I recently started pitching the following:

    “The Documentation Drives Sales, Internal Efficiency, and User Satisfaction Mega-Advantages Report That will Turn Your Documentation into a Super-fun, Time Saving, Just-in-time Knowledge Delivery Cash-Magnet”

    So, I’m tootin’ my own horn, but I guess I really just want to say that I am not accusing here, that I’m not a parasitic expect everything for nothing troll, and that I am actually not against paying for certain services, especially if they are explained to me.

    I mean I’d have even purchased “Make your BuddyPress install work just like” for I dunno, $50, but now, I’m pretty interested in learning how to make it work…

    I offered many times to exchange my skill set in technical writing for these solutions. Many times. For those who may claim that my not seeking the solution well enough is where the issue lies, I’d challenge you to find the solution to creating Main Themes in Forums easily, and I request of you to show me where the divergence between installing BuddyPress and using is clearly stated.

    Also, I am willing to help with its wording. I am good at that. Setting expectations is a big part of documentation consulting, and as much music as I’ve written in my life, I’ve sure written a lot of tech docs…and I’ve come to enjoy it too. :-)

    Many of my posts end with “I’d be glad to make a video tutorial and write up this procedure, if shown how to do it,” and I hope you find that fair, because I do.

    Essentially with the main community I’m setting up, it’s really about saving lives, and I want to get to it. That’s partially behind the tone of my long post.

    Mike, regarding just thowing barbs: Dude, I am the only dainis michel on this not so green anymore earth of ours. I am a very public Internet personality, I run the Cure Tinnitus Show, I’ve interviewed lots of folks in sustainable and green living, and I’m even out there talking about urine therapy, which frankly, takes a lot of balls, even if I say so myself. I’ve been made fun of, flamed, targeted, spammed, subject to $300-800 of CC fraud attempts per day, I mean, I’ve been around this Internet block of ours, and in no way am I attempting to post anonymously. I’m really easy to find and getting in touch with me is as easy as googling my name. Just about wherever I post, I use my real name, and it’s totally awesome that you are doing the same here. Huh, I also made two posts almost identical to what you suggested. I really am doing my best.

    designodyssey: if my search was flawed, please tell me where my answer is. If you find me impatient, that sucks.

    The word “two-faced” in the title of this post is not an accusation, it is a point for discussion, which I feel John James Jacoby clearly understood. It is just human nature that, in a sense, that word wound up catalyzing what will likely bring me to my solution, and what will likely improve this community as a whole. The copywriting lesson is “negative titles work.”


    * I’m happy to write documentation and create videos in exchange for programming support.

    * I’m also happy to reword download pages and such so that expectations are set beautifully and kindly (to minimize these kinds of misunderstandings). Again, in exchange for programming support.

    * It’s funny, cuz I’ve already reached out to a few programmers here and offered money, but I haven’t found anyone yet…at any rate…I’d love to have a paid professional in my corner who can present blazing fast solutions while on skype with me.

    That’s about it. It’s funny, cuz I really wanted to edit my big long post up there, but there was a tech glitch. I even tried 3 different browsers, restarted my computer, etc. So, in a sense, this discussion was necessary and helpful. I do hope it provides benefit to BuddyPress, and frankly, if I did not have confidence in this community, software, platform, etc., I would have never posted so openly.

    The irony here: I really actually only need a code snippet (at least that’s what I’m guessing).

    Cheers all, if we’ve ruffled our feathers, cool…that can be fun too…now how do I make them forums, and is anyone open to helping me in one of the ways I described above?



    Andrea Rennick


    “The irony here: I really actually only need a code snippet (at least that’s what I’m guessing). “

    And there’s the rub. Some thing you’ve asked for are code snippets, fair enough. But then they are followed by more.

    The sum total so far has been hours and hours of development time. Explaining it over the phone or Skype for someone else to do takes longer. :) I know this because I’ve done it. runs an old version of BuddyPress and bbPress because it hasn’t been upgraded. It will be upgraded to 1.2 very soon. The theme wasn’t released because you’d get copycat sites trying to confuse end users. It is also broken for new versions of BuddyPress.

    I’m closing this because it’s not constructive.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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