First, what’s the difference between the Ideas forum and the Requests & Feedback forum here? I’m picking this one to share my thoughts but they seem similar.
I have used BuddyPress off and on for many years. Currently, I use it in a sort of odd way. I only use the activity feed. Most everything else I disable or redirect.
I’ve wondered for a while now if BuddyPress was fading away or if it would get another round of major updates and I’m excited to see the news here that major changes are coming.
I hesitate to share my thoughts in places like this because:
1. I usually don’t participate here and so why would anyone want to hear my thoughts
2. Related to #1, usually when it comes to WordPress or BuddyPress it feels like it would be very rare for a casual user like me to have an idea that actually gets adopted.
Still, I’ve decided to log in, say hello, and offer a couple of thoughts. This is why I have installed, but then uninstalled BuddyPress over the years:
1. Lack of features
It seems like in the latest news posts both of these will be addressed.
To be a little more specific, especially these days, the activity feed needs more than attachments, likes, and other things I’ve seen mentioned. It also needs link previews. Most easy-to-install, self-hosted software like BuddyPress and WordPress, don’t come with auto link previews by default. Even newer software like Flarum which I used for a while doesn’t have it by default. It’s a default expected behavior these days (IMHO).
Every major social site has this feature now.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the new vibes theme will look like. BuddyPress definitely needs to look great to boost interest again. Speed, security, and features are all important. But, especially for non-developers, it’s the looks that make people want to install something like BuddyPress. Because it’s the looks that attract visitors.
As an example of modern looks, (I’m not saying BuddyPress should look exactly like this because BuddyPress isn’t a forum), I would like to suggest that the devs look at https://waterhole.dev/.
It’s not easy or always fun working on open-source software like this. I know that an insane amount of time and heart goes into it. I always like to just say, thank you. To the developers.
Thank you and here’s to BuddyPress sticking around for many more years! (Again, please think about the auto-open graph with some kind of backup, link preview system.)