BuddyPress; the best Social Networking application for beginners

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>> Thursday, November 4, 2010

BuddyPress is a WordPress MU plugin with several components that can be enabled individually or altogether. Each component provides social network like functionality to users. These features include private messaging, groups, and activity feeds. By producing a different experience, Automattic implicitly endorses WordPress being used in alternative formats besides blogs. The BuddyPress experience essentially recognizes that social networking is as vitally important to users today as blogging was in 2006. 

BuddyPress brings a whole new experience to WordPress, enabling readers to make friends, share stories, and personalize their experiences. In WordPress (or WordPress MU), the main focus for the user is the blog. BuddyPress reverses this, placing the user’s attention on his or her own profile, friends, groups, and activity. It is entirely possible with some installs of BuddyPress that the blog will never be viewed. Likewise, a site could be very much focused on the blog content, with a few social features layered on.

WordPress has been built as a blogging platform. Despite this, savvy developers have used the extensibility of the software to create new concept software around it. In 2008, one such developer, Andy Peatling, used WordPress to create a social network for a client.

A sample social site made using BuddyPress API
The extensibility of the plugin architecture enabled him to create a concept that combined many of the features enjoyed on services like Facebook into a single WordPress MU (Multi-User WordPress) install. Soon, Automatic would acquire BuddyPress, and Andy would become their primary developer on the project. Since those early days, BuddyPress has seen a couple of releases and is starting to be adopted as a popular social networking platform.

You can learn more about BuddyPress and start using the tool from this URL: http://buddypress.org/about/story/

This article is based on October 2010 edition of Digit Magazine.

Keywords: How to use BuddyPress, How to configure BuddyPress, Buddy Press, Install BuddyPress in Wordpress, What is BuddyPress

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