Social Network Integration
This is a topic being discussed in various places here under various specific auspices, but I wanted to start a new topic to discuss my specific issue. Please forgive any redundancy.
I initially selected WPMU for the platform on my current long-term project for two main reasons: 1) My existing familiarity with WP Theme Development is far greater than with any other CMS, and 2) WPMU supports this thing called BuddyPress. I need a social networking component for this project. However, upon looking into things further and thinking about them more and more, the exact functionality I need to make BuddyPress sustainable does not seem to exist, though I feel like some development in this direction is critical to BuddyPress’s long-term relevance.
It is just not sustainable for us to expect folks to accumulate account after account after account … ad infinitum. What I am wanting is a plugin for WPMU that will allow a new user to register via an existing Facebook/Twitter/OpenID (basically an API for Google, Yahoo!, Blogger, WordPress, and more)/etc. account, allow for certain communications between my blog and the given social network (ie – adding blog comments to a user’s news feed and that sort of thing), AND create a user in my WPMU database, filling in certain profile data brought over from the given social network, such as username, e-mail address, first and last name, age, gender, etc.
This last piece is what seems to be missing in most of the plugins/applications that currently exist. I am not a full-on developer, though I can hold my own while digging through and manipulating php code. It seems to me that this type of application could be built, given the access we now have to this sort of profile data thanks to the OpenID PHP libraries, the Facebook API, Twitter API, etc.
I guess my questions are:
1) Am I completely off base that this sort of thing can be done?
2) Is there a product out there currently doing this (or in development) that I am unaware of?
3) Could we start a project or development group for this?
Again, I am not a full-on developer, but this seems doable, and furthermore, it seems critical to the long-term relevance of a package like BuddyPress. Please accept my apologies if this is redundant, but it seems like a conversation that needs to had again and again until the ball gets really rolling.
Thanks for the response, Jeff. That sounds very exciting. Is there ever any timeline on these kinds of things. We’re still in the 1.1 release. I’m going live with my site in January sometime.
I’m wondering what ways a person like myself (an experienced video producer and web designer by trade, a 50% capable/wannabe web developer) might stay ahead of this curve a bit and begin implementing/understanding some of these technologies before they hit BuddyPress, instead of just waiting around for 1.4 to come out.
I’m working on something which in part of sort of related, and have spoken to someone else who was looking at different area. All of this is not easy to do.
I’d not be expecting to see 1.4 until mid/late next year.
Yeah, I figure a project like this is pretty complex, but I also figure it’s worth putting in the time on. I’d like to be able to find my own solution in the short term without completely going the wrong direction or having to backtrack too much when the tried and true, fully-developed solution comes out.
This in my mind is really going to be the future of the blogosphere. I just think it would be so fantastic if pretty much all the places on the net I frequented knew me by just 2-3 logins, and if all those places were able to share some pieces of information with each other.
You know, I work in health care, and this really has much larger implications than just blogging and social networking. It’s a real mess trying to figure out how health care providers will be able to securely share digital information about patients moving forward. Not saying Open Stack development can necessarily accomplish this, but the need is similar.
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