Buddypress - the next social network platform?

19 replies
Hey all,

Being the wordpress junkie that I am, I've been looking long and hard at the newest, buddypress. Seems a bit new for prime time, but I'd love to hear your opinion.

I'm thinking of lighting up a test social network to see how well it works...

Love to hear what you've seen about it!

Cheers,

Frank
#buddypress #network #platform #social
  • Profile picture of the author Tracey_Meagher
    Is it still running only on Wordpress MU? I love the concept of social networking integrated into Wordpress. Wordpress just keeps getting better and better!
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    • Profile picture of the author hobsdv
      never heard of it until now but like the sound of it
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dolman
      Originally Posted by Tracey_Meagher View Post

      Is it still running only on Wordpress MU?
      I don't imagine it would be possible to run it on anything other than Wordpress MU.

      Well... I guess you could, but you'd basically have to re-create everything Wordpress MU already does so there's really no sense.

      What is your concern with Wordpress MU?



      Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
    Wordpress MU has definitely gotten better over time. I have lit up a test site at yakonthe.net, if you are interested.

    I'm not sure if this software is ready for prime time yet. Nice features, but in comparison to the standard, 'facebook', it's just not there yet.

    Frank
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dolman
      Originally Posted by fthomas137 View Post


      I'm not sure if this software is ready for prime time yet. Nice features, but in comparison to the standard, 'facebook', it's just not there yet.

      Frank
      That's not small feat considered Facebook is custom programmed. If that's the look/feel/functionality you're looking for, you might want to find a Facebook clone script that's written in PHP and hire someone to convert it into a plugin that works with Wordpress MU.

      I'll admit I can't say it would be a cheap option, but it could get you closer to the end result you're looking for without having to wait.

      Who knows... there could be a whole market of people like you who want to run mini-Facebook niche sites using Wordpress you could tap into after the plugin is created.



      Jason
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      • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
        Originally Posted by Jason Dolman View Post

        That's not small feat considered Facebook is custom programmed. If that's the look/feel/functionality you're looking for, you might want to find a Facebook clone script that's written in PHP and hire someone to convert it into a plugin that works with Wordpress MU.

        I'll admit I can't say it would be a cheap option, but it could get you closer to the end result you're looking for without having to wait.

        Who knows... there could be a whole market of people like you who want to run mini-Facebook niche sites using Wordpress you could tap into after the plugin is created.



        Jason
        Thanks Jason, and I have looked at that alternative. I've been looking at socialengine with a facebook skin. Works pretty much the same.

        But I'm not sure if I want to 'clone' facebook simply because I want to offer more. But I really do like the simplicity factor of facebook. I've interviewed several people regarding facebook - likes and dislikes and simplicity and functionality were the primary likes and the increasingly cluttered (read becoming complicated), interface was one of the primary dislikes.

        And crap, it'll cost me close to a grand to get this running! Pretty high for a social experiment.

        Frank
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        • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
          Buddypress has some minor flaws. Although I think it was the programmer who was tidying up my theme broke something so maybe there isnt any flaws.

          I'd certainly work with BuddyPres over any other social engine that I've seen, it's got lots of features and a great community of developers.
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          Owner easiery.com

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          • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
            Thanks for the reply Intrepreneur,

            I think that the developers need to take a hold of the 'simplicity' factor with buddypress. Make it like a fine automobile. Lots of raw power under the hood, but very simple to use.

            In my opinion, the interface is still not intuitive. Also, it will need to match and exceed the features currently available in facebook. Gotta remember that people are now used to a standard that's free. That's where the bar sits.

            But saying all of that, believe or not, the way that wordpress works makes it a perfect back engine for a social network. And the stability of the code behind wp, is a marriage made in heaven.

            This actually reminds me of another open source project took off about three years back. Back then it was sketchy and now, it's considered a major competitor with the big boys.

            Frank
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            • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
              Originally Posted by fthomas137 View Post

              Thanks for the reply Intrepreneur,

              I think that the developers need to take a hold of the 'simplicity' factor with buddypress. Make it like a fine automobile. Lots of raw power under the hood, but very simple to use.



              Frank
              What's been holding me back mostly is trying to find the developer documetation for the theme hierarchy.

              It was displayed on their forum but has disappeared, and has left me leaving that project for a while.

              It's that lack of documentation that has removed the simplicity factor for me.
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              Owner easiery.com

              Started in 2009 now working on the above project.

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  • Profile picture of the author SRLee
    What's a Social Network Platform?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Originally Posted by fthomas137 View Post

    I'm thinking of lighting up a test social network to see how well it works...
    Hey Frank,

    Have you checked out Elgg? It's a 'ready for primetime' killer social network engine... I've been messing around with it for a while now and to me, it looks like the best bet right now to start a social network with. Many universities are using it as well as many other large companies.

    Elgg - Open Source Social Networking & Social Publishing Platform.

    "Elgg: a powerful, professional social engine.

    Elgg empowers individuals, groups and institutions to create their own fully-featured social environment."

    It even has a 'twitter-like' feature built in, called "the wire".

    Very cool software. Take a look for yourself.

    .jrd
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    • Profile picture of the author Armchair General
      We've built a site from the ground up using BuddyPress called Great History (see sig). It has a lot of things going for it and overall I'm happy with how it has turned out for us. However, we spent a LOT of time getting it to look and act exactly like we wanted - for example getting the template to look right on a variety of different types of pages took ages.

      I have the help of a pretty good programmer and at this point of its development I would say you are pretty much out of luck if you want more out of Buddypress than comes right out of the box. When we launched (about 6 months ago) there were no themes whatsoever other than the vanilla theme that came with it.

      The interrelationship between Buddypress and Wordpress MU is another tricky point. Buddypress more or less takes over MU, and it is very difficult to tell when one stops and the other starts. This is most important on the programming side because it is often hard to find the file responsible for your bugs!

      All that said, it does do what it says on the tin, so I can't really complain. I can't recommend it unconditionally though.
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  • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
    Jared, thanks for your lead on Elgg. Looks very nice. I'm going to be digging deeper. Question, have you found a good chat engine for it?

    Armchair, thanks for your candid comments about buddypress. Everything you mentioned was my sneaking suspicions.

    So far, if I can find all the gobbies in Elgg, that'll be my choice, otherwise I'm still siding on the socialengine side.

    Don't quite know yet.

    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    What do you guys think of Ning.com ? I have joined a couple of ning driven social sites, and they don't seem too bad.

    Do folks realize that when you own the social platform and software, the amount of "technology" management you have to do is going to be so huge that it simply may not be worth it unless you're making lots of money from this site?

    - Ravi Jayagopal
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    I went to WordPress WordCamp in Cardiff, UK a few weeks ago and was luckly enough to be part of a Q&A session with co-founder Matt Mullenweg. From Wordpress 3.0 it looks like MU and BuddyPress will become integrated with the normal version of WordPress. He mentioned that there had been a development lag with MU, so this should help things speed up.
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  • Profile picture of the author andrusito
    WP is embracing web 2.0
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