Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

BuddyPress Follow allows members of a BuddyPress social network to follow each other, it places follow buttons on each members profile and in the members page and adds extra tab’s in each members profile page, one showing who is following you and the other showing who you are following.

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Buddy Registration Widget is an unusual plugin in that it is very mission specific, it will add a widget that displays the BuddyPress registration page, it disables the BuddyPress member profile cover image site wide and it won’t allow new members to access the site until they have set uploaded a profile avatar image. There are no settings to change, once uploaded these options are set and that’s it. So if your site has these specific requirements then this plugin is for you, but if you want registration in a sidebar widget but also want profile cover images then this plugin is not an option!

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One feature missing from the default BuddyPress installation is media galleries and the ability to allow BuddyPress users to upload their own images to be shared with others. Typical hosted social platforms allow the addition of media in three ways – media can be uploaded to a members personal profile page, for sharing with others and display on their profile page, Media can be uploaded to groups and held in a group gallery and media can be uploaded “to the site” – typically placed in a single collective gallery for all to see and often these images are displayed in a front page slider showcasing the uploads of those members. Sometimes media uploads can be marked as “Featured” and will be displayed in a featured content area in the main gallery.

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There is a way of getting a basic level of association between specific blog categories and Groups by using the Blog Categories for Groups plugin, and you can make it that comments to those blogs appear as topic replies in that particular groups forum.

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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.

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So far we have installed our basic BuddyPress install for our Ning style social network, we have done a lot. But still the site we have created lacks features, for example there is no Chat or sharing of photo’s and video’s, it would be nice to have events, the groups are pretty basic as are the member profiles. This article attempts to show you how you can move further towards your dream social site by introducing quite a large number of plugins and giving you basic information about how to install and use them.

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BuddyPress Simple Terms and Conditions is a simple plugin that allows you to add a tick box to the registration page that forces any would be new member to agree to your sites Terms of Service.

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BuddyPress Desktop Notification is a simple plugin that provides a desktop alert for any BuddyPress notifications that would normally be pretty much unnoticeable when only displayed in the site tool bar.

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Within BuddyPress, the Xprofile is the Extended Profile, information from which is what you can see when you view the Members>>Username>>Profile page. It is Xprofile fields that are completed when a member signs up for example. The registration page gathers data for the Xprofile “Base” Field Group. Other Field Groups can be added by Admin which are not set up on registration but will also be displayed on the members profile.

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BuddyPress Instant Chat provides a one to one chat page for members of a BuddyPress social site. You use it by visiting the chat page, searching for the member you want to chat with, and then entering your chat message.

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