WordCamp New York City 2009

November 14–15, 2009
...was awesome!

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Growing Community with BuddyPress – an Introduction and Overview

Photo of Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Lisa Sabin-Wilson

This weekend we’ll all be at CUNY in NYC for a weekend of learning, sharing, networking, eating, drinking and soaking in all the amazing WP goodness that comes out of every WordCamp across the world.  I’m excited, aren’t you??  The tireless organizers of WCNYC have worked hard to put together a really fantastic line up of sessions….simply something for everyone.  I know how challenging it is to organize and event such as this – hats off to them for what is sure to be a pretty phenomenal weekend in NYC!

bpSpeaking of sharing and socializing – – my session at WordCamp NYC is aimed towards introducing bloggers to the BuddyPress – a  suite of plugins available for the WordPress MU platform that is rich with features that allow you to take your WordPress MU site to the next level by engaging a community on your own web site  through dynamic features such as:

  • Extended Profiles
  • Friends
  • Private Messaging
  • Activity Wires
  • Blog Tracking
  • Status Updates
  • …and more!

bp-commMy session introduces you to the features available, aimed toward helping you make the decision if BuddyPress is right for your site, and has features that you would like to add to enhance and grow a social community on your own domain.  Many people, wrongly, state that BuddyPress is “Facebook in a box…” – – I think even I have wrongly made that statement in the past.  It’s not Facebook, at all.  Running a Buddypress community on your own site makes it a good deal more targeted to your specific niche community, allowing you to build a full and interactive social network around the specific niche topic and interests that you have full control over on your own site.  Where Facebook covers everything from Farmville to Mafia Wars – – your (BuddyPress powered) community can hone in, and concentrate, on specific topics and interests that you determine and guide.

My session explores the types of communities that are using BuddyPress, and how they are taking advantage of the available features to build, grow and sustain their own social community on their sites.  I will gives you some suggestions on useful plugins that will help you extend the available features on your BuddyPress powered site for your community members to take advantage of as they socialize, network, engage and interact within your community.  Finally, I will provide an explanation on the BuddyPress theme framework and a few tips I’ve come across in my work with BuddyPress that will help you dig in and customize your BuddyPress templates to give your own community a unique look that is specific to you and your community.

I have been working with BuddyPress since its early, infant days in the summer of 2008 when I discovered how truly amazing and powerful it is for building communities.  The development of BuddyPress has grown in leaps and bounds over the last year and continues to keep getting better every single day, thanks in no small part to Andy Peatling and the group of devs over at BuddyPress.Org.  I have been so eyebrows deep in BuddyPress over the past several months that I sometimes forget that there is a great big community out there that doesn’t yet know its power and potential! I hope to bring some of that BuddyPress joy to WordCamp NYC this weekend and share with you the wonders that I’ve discovered.

I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone!  I love the opportunity to meet WordPress (and BuddyPress!) users whenever I get the chance – – ping me on Twitter @LisaSabinWilson so I can add you and we can stay in touch in NYC and beyond!

What can you do with WordPress MU?

Photo of Andrea Rennick

Andrea Rennick

Hi! I’m andrea_r everywhere online and on Saturday morning I’ll be speaking in two sessions.

In the first session, we’ll be showcasing some sites built with WPMU that are not simply blog farms. When many people first discover MU, they think of developing a site where members sign up for blogs. It does a great job at that, but it can do a lot more. I’ll be highlighting some popular sites as well as some hidden gems that are using this software in different ways. This should help get your creative juices flowing as you discover the possibilities you may not have known about.

In the second session, I’ll cover two techniques from two installations showcased in the first session. One runs multiple domains, as well as a second WPMU “site”. I’ll explain the differences between Sites and domains in MU, and cover the best plugins to use to accomplish this. I’ll also quickly go over the best server setup.

In the second half, I’ll highlight how we used WPMU to build a member directory. From the viewer’s side, the site shows a user profile and their recent blog posts. From the member side, I’ll show you what they have access to. I’ll also go over the plugin we used, how we put them together, and general tips on how you could build a similar site. This should be a great session for a how-to, if you ever wondered how we did it.

For both sessions, I’m also allowing time for questions.

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