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Requst: Featured Forums

  • gregfielding


    I’ve been closely following the debates of traditional bbpress forums vs. buddypress group forums for a while now because I’m not completely thrilled with some of the usability of buddypress forums on my site.

    I want group forums AND I want “general” forums, like “support” that don’t require joining a group to participate. My initial thoughts were to maybe run an extra bbpress install or, as @boone suggested, try and build an auto-group-join function for new members to a “general group”

    After tinkering around some more, I’ve come to the conclusion that @andy is right: there isn’t a need for separate forums or any type of group-joining because anyone can post to a public forum.

    However, there are still two problems that make group forums clunky for “general” forum purposes:

    1. Users see a message that they will be joining the group upon submitting a forum post. This could cause some users to hesitate before posting, not sure what they are getting into. And, it may deter outside visitors from signing up to post. Forums are intuitive and inviting. But joining a group could be intimidating because would-be members don’t know what kind of strings are attached.

    2. There is no way to feature “general” forums in a way that makes them stand out from the crowd.

    I’d like to see an option for the site admin to create “Featured Forums”, that would display separately, above the group forums on the “forums” page. Then, I’d like to see the “group” mentions disappear from these featured forums. Maybe the user is still technically in the group, but it is completely hidden and they’ll never know it. In fact, I don’t want my “support” group even showing up in the group directory.

    “Featuring” our “general” forums makes them more visible in a traditional, intuitive way. It also gives site owners a way to take a more editorial role in their forums if they choose. And, by simply hiding any mention of a group, users will never know it’s there…thus, removing a potential obstacle to their participation.

    We’ve all got ideas about how to make forums better. This solution would solve my problems.


Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

  • kriskl


    Yes! I totally agree!

    I am struggling with the same problem!

    I have opted for Groups forums.. but every so often I wish there was proper Index, just like normal forums (bbpress for example) because users are used to that!

    My only solution – something what I am planning to do untill proper solution is out,

    I will create manually a table / index with the most important forums, or featured forums

    And I guess will try to place is above ‘all/my topics..’ OR just create a new page

    If anyone comes up with a proper solution (code) or plugin,. please post here

    kind regards




    I’d vote for placing it above.

    For starters, even just having that Featured Form space would be awesome…maybe optionally hiding the group aspect could come later.

    on the /groups/index.php theme file a hook is above the item-list-tabs (subnav)

    <?php do_action( 'bp_before_directory_groups_content' ) ?>

    seems easy enough tag something against the groupmeta and display a group or two on that hook.

    *edit – this is on the Groups component page – not the forums directory.

    if you need a forum index, i’m working in that feature right now

    still giving


    I strongly agree with this. Conceptual “groups” and “forum” are two separate things.

    “Sub-forums are not groups” and vice-versa … it is confusing for users and, yes, the “joining” issue puts people off.

    It is kind of strange that when a user goes to post in Forums (tab) > they are then jumped to Groups (tab).

    I’d rather keep Forum stuff in the forum, and Group stuff in groups.

    I am not a great fan of activity streams … it seems like noise over data to me … I think the priority should be allowing communities of bloggers to be well integrated with a place they can share and discuss relative issues in order to strengthen, develop and order those communities. Something that has not existed before in WordPress.

    WordPress has always been more about empowering individualism and one way broadcast rather than cross discussion.

    This is a big conceptual shift … one better managed by discussion forums right now.

    Perhaps, speaking conceptually … what it really needed was WordPress as a plugin for phpBB … with BP then added on top connecting the parts … rather than building a discussion forum on top of WordPress?

    Having said that, I prefer the cleanliness of WP which is why I had such high hopes and invested my interest …

    Less is more.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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