DFW WordPress MeetUp: BuddyPress: Social Networking in Box

DFW WordPress MeetUp: BuddyPress: Social Networking in Box

This past weekend I gave a presentation on Buddypress to the Dallas/Ft. Worth WordPress MeetUp. Being spoiled by the size of meetups in the New York area for so long, I was pleasantly surprised to see DFW WordPress as one of the largest in the country. Dallas Rocks!

What is BuddyPress?

BuddyPress is a WordPress plugin that turns your site into a niche social network. That’s a lot of power and before any of you run right out and convert your blog of awesomeness into a social network of pointlessness, take time to think about your objectives first. There are a ton of excellent needs and reasons to use BuddyPress to take your site and turn it into the community it is begging to become. That’s the killer point: there needs to be a community underlying all of this. Maybe your’e focused on gardeners in Texas or stamp collectors in Des Moines or people around the world dealing with Cystic Fibrosis – if you have a community in mind then BuddyPress is an amazing tool because you can shape the community according to you/its needs. Take that Facebook (or Ning)!

The Presentation

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  • sylviahubbard1


    Getting ready to move my Motown Writers Network ning site to buddypress. taking baby steps and waiting on the new WP 3.0 w/the MU install. do you think I should wait for the upgrade or just start installing now. Currently have a wp site for MWN and I haven't installed the MU yet. I have until July before I'm going to be charge.

  • http://mikepratt.tv Michael J. Pratt


    Thanks for checking out the presentation and I'm glad you liked it. I think you'll be happy with the decision to migrate over from Ning and, given the timing, waiting for official 3.0 won't even add delay to your decision.

    I HIGHLY recommend reading up on Boone Gorges excellent Ning Migration tool here -> http://teleogistic.net/code/wordpresswordpress-

    Please remember to back up all your Ning data … and then back it up again! If you already have a separate domain to play with a migration now, I recommend it esp for 1st timers (practice is always a good thing) If you need help, let me know. I can be reached via the contact page.

    Good Luck!

  • http://bootstrapblogger.com Karilee

    Thanks, Michael, that was really helpful. My partner and I have been considering adding forums to our existing WordPress site, and your video really gave me a good idea of what BuddyPress would give us, above and beyond forums. We're really looking at doing some community building, so I'm going to have to experiment some with BuddyPress.

  • http://www.RiderGroups.com Kevin Morris

    Hey Michael,

    I was at the Dallas WordPress Meetup for BuddyPress and I was impressed by what I saw. So much so that I purchased a new domain and took my love for motorcycles to the web. http://www.RiderGroups.com

    I have to tell you that I am REALLY impressed with how BuddyPress performs compared to a standard WordPress install. I have another blog that is hitting 60,000 page views a month, but RiderGroups in the first month (with far fewer unique visitors) is already approaching that number of page views. It really is sticky as people can interact with the site and each other in a whole new way.

    I just wanted to say thanks, and I look forward to seeing how BuddyPress matures over the years. Check out my RiderGroups site and let me know what you think.

  • http://www.articlesandtexticles.co.uk Michael

    Thanks for your clear explanation and exposition of BuddyPress.
    We're about to launch a specialist plant collectors site in the UK, and BP seems to be capable of meeting all our needs in ways we had not imagined possible in one package.
    I'd be really interested to know if someone has written a membership subscription plugin for BP.

  • http://mikepratt.tv Michael J. Pratt


    I'm glad you got something out of it! It's ironic you're contemplating building a plant collector site with BP as I have been recently working with Scott Clark, creator of PODS (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pods/) to integrate PODS' amazing ability to do stuff with custom data/content types fully into the BuddyPress environment. So we used plants as an example data type and it worked incredibly.

    You should be able to to great things with this.

    As for a subs plugin: take a look at http://buddypress.org/community/groups/s2member/ I have not played with it, but it has received rave reviews and looks pretty darn robust.

  • http://mikepratt.tv Michael J. Pratt


    So glad it was helpful. Make sure you seriously consider the differences b/t simply adding a forum and going the BP route. Both have merit but achieve pretty different objectives.

  • http://mikepratt.tv Michael J. Pratt


    Great start to the site. That's a very good use of the Links plugin my Marshall Sorenson. The key to really crushing it with your site is to think long and hard about how you want your members to engage on the site. You have all these tools now but there's flexibility at your disposal in how to deploy them. Every action taken by a RiderGroups member should be obvious & intuitive to them AND in line with what you want/expect them to do as well.

  • http://www.RiderGroups.com Kevin Morris

    Thanks, I have not got my brain wrapped around all the deployment options yet. I wish there was a resource on deployment strategies, but the platform is too new to have any of that yet. If you are ever speaking again somewhere I would like to meet with you and pick your brain on some of this. I am really motivated to see this site take off.


  • http://lizburr.com Liz

    Mike, this was an awesome presentation and slideshow. I've been following BuddyPress for some time, but got really discouraged due to the WPMU requirements a few years ago. But, now that it's been maturing and after seeing your preso/deck, I am inspired to try this out. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • http://mikepratt.tv Michael J. Pratt

    Thank you Liz,

    BuddyPress was definitely not for the faint of heart a few years ago but has grown into a pretty simple set of tools to transform a WP install in to a real community. Good luck in trying it out and let me know if you run into any issues

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  • http://www.keneticimages.com/ Kenneth Henderson

    Very impressed with your presentation. I am also very interested in adapting some of the plugins/tweaks you have used on your buglenotes site for group organization. I have a site I am building and it will have quite a few groups and need a better way to organize them. Thanks!

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  • http://colemanheating.ca/ Coleman Heating

    We might use this for our contractor social network.

  • GS

    Michael thanks for sharing this!
    I’ve been on a few year vacation from web programming and was intimidated to hear about a project I’m jumping into involving WP and BP. Luckily I was able to relate very well with your presentation even though I’ve never used either of the two. Very helpful!

  • http://mikepratt.tv Michael J. Pratt

    Good luck!

  • Vanessa Hill

    We might use this for our contractor social network.

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