Using BuddyPress for Social Networks
I've been setting up and managing BuddyPress social networks for a few years. I moved from Ning and other platforms and have come to BuddyPress looking to make sites with similar features to them.
Compared to a platform such as Ning, the BuddyPress Group home page I feel is one area that lets BuddyPress down. By default it actually just displays the activity feed for the group. A Ning group home has extended information about the group, it has a summary of the forum posts and it has a comments section. In this article I intend to show you how by using BuddyPress Group Extras you can have a home page for your groups with all of these features.
I'll look into that once I've completed my current list of future articlesCommented on Planning your BuddyPress Social Network.
BuddyPress Extended Friendship Request is a simple plugin that adds a short message to accompany any friendship requests sent between site members.
LH Private BuddyPress is a simple, single mission plugin with no settings to change, you install and activate it and it immediately turns your BuddyPress site into a private network in so much as once it is active then any attempt by a non logged in user to access any of the BuddyPress pages will be redirected to the login page.
BP Group Documents is a BuddyPress Groups plugin that creates within each group a document storage area which includes a list view of all documents and descriptions together with a category search feature. The plugin also includes Widgets that allow for the display of various aspects of your BP Group Documents install.
BuddyPress First Letter Avatar is a simple plugin that gives a colour coded avatar based on a letter from the username of the user, for users that have not set an avatar image. It’s an alternative to assigning a Gravatar or similar. It also performs the same task for Groups.
IflyChat is a chat plugin for BuddyPress social networking sites, it creates a close approximation to the chat used on the Ning Social platform which features “Chat on any page” as a feature, which allows users to browse around the site without having to leave the chat conversation.
One of the issues with BuddyPress is that notifications are not “Live”, in other words, in order to see if you have any notifications, you need to refresh your web page, this detracts from the dynamism of the site. Eonet Live Notifications fixes this by introducing a live notification in the form of a pop-up that shows up in the bottom right corner of the page, informing you that you have a new notification and providing a click link to view that item.
BuddyPress Group Email Subscription does what it says. It gives your group members the option to be sent emails based on group activity. It allows group admin to set a default subscription level, which is applied to all new members and it also allows group members to set their own choice. This plugin provides a full range of options both to members and managers alike.