New Installation of The Commons including Buddy Press Part 1


The Commons has been running as a pilot since February 2011.  It has just received its mandate to be a service.  One that CELT at DMU is excited about.  The hope of The Commons is to bring communities at DMU together.  Initially, we have kept it simple.  Anyone who is able to log in to services as a user at DMU has been able to create an account on The Commons and in doing so automatically have a blog created for them.  Every public blog entry a user writes automatically get aggregated on the panoramic pages of The Commons.  Visitors can see instantly what the community (using the blogs) are up to by looking at the tag cloud.  That, so far, has been the extent of the effort.  Rob Watson in CTS in the Faculty of Technology has taken it a bit further.  He has encouraged students to  categorise their blog entries and has aggregated them as a radio production blog.  POD are using the blogs for training.  The Executive Board are also using the blogs.

The Conversation

Now, we are going take things a little further by introducing, this term, the functionality from Buddy Press.  Buddy Press promises the opportunity to use forums, instant (including private) messaging, self-organising and hundreds of plugins.  Lincoln has been running with Buddy Press on top of WordPress Multisite for a while and I spoke to Joss Winn about their install.  These are my (poor) notes:

  • Lincoln have 3,000 users and 1,200 blogs in 6GB
  • Use Buddy Press
  • Caching…use caching capibilties of Apache/PHP -> APC rather than a WordPress plugin
  • Connect LDAP to WordPress (done)
  • oEmbed automatic since WordPress 2.9 but can be expanded to include more oEmbed websites
  • Unfiltered MU prevents WordPress MU/WordPress 3.0 multisite from stripping <iframe>, <embed>, etc. for Administrators’ and editors’ posts
  • Joss recommended a subscription to WPMU dev
  • Search Engine Optimisation (done)
  • Joss recommended an Akismet subscription to prevent spam.  We use GrowMap Antispam       and SI Captcha Antispam
  • Subscribe to comments enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries
  • Must Use plugins.  Plugins that will be turned on for every user (e.g. antispam)
  • New Blog Defaults default settings for new blogs
  • Recipe: WordPress, WordPress MU, Buddypress, Buddypress plugins
  • Buddy Press social network lives under root blog. We discussed the web SSL certificate.  Ours doesn’t support the root domain and so we need a new one.
  • a Create Blog on every page (needs investigation)
  • Allow staff the ability to grant external users authority
  • BP More Privacy Options Activity filter plugin
  • BP Group email plugin
  • BP Mobile plugin for a better experience on mobile devices
  • BP External Group Blogs plugin linking RSS activity to email
  • Custom headers and footers plugin on every blog
  • MU plugins folder for footers (??? I can’t remember what this was ???)
  • WP LaTeX (done)
  • Hotfix plugin for patches with will be rolled in to an official update (??? #CAB)
  • Last two are sketchy: Site tags limit blogs, Statistics about use of blogs and themes


About c3iq

Free(dom) software, GNU/Linux, Fish, Family
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