BuddyPress as a university’s social network: case study


BuddyPress: Friends activity, originally uploaded by umwdtlt.

It’s exciting to see Jim Groom’s pioneering work integrating WordPress Multi-User with BuddyPress and bbPress not only being recognised, but being pushed forward in the higher ed community.

I highly recommend reading an overview written by Joss Winn at the Learning Lab at the University of Lincoln on their own efforts in this regard. As the a-listers like to say, read the whole thing, but here are a few teasers:

The final set up is really quite sweet. A member of the university goes to https://blogs.lincoln.ac.uk for the first time and logs in with their usual credentials. The first time they login, they are signed up. That’s it. No sign up page needed. It’s as if they were already a member of the social network, which, being members of the university, they are of course. From there, they see the BuddyPress home pages, can join groups, change their profiles and, when they’re ready, create or join a blog.

…I’ve finally finished setting it up for general use today. The few people that know about it and have already joined, instantly see the benefits of having the social networking layer on top of the blogs. I’m excited to see how this works out over time.

…The potential for supporting personalised and group online learning is now better than it’s ever been and the social networking element only helps bring peers together for collaboration and discussion.

Many thanks to Jim Groom and D’Arcy Norman who have been working on WordPressMU at their universities in ways which I hope we can emulate and contribute to here at the University of Lincoln.

It’s tantalizing to imagine maybe someday writing a blog post like this about our own experiences at UBC.

4 thoughts on “BuddyPress as a university’s social network: case study

  1. I’m completely on board with the vision. UBC is crying out for a flexible application platform, connected to our campus identity management systems, that can deliver blogs, wikis, and other applications with an integrated social layer. I’m hopeful that our renewed Identity Management program combined with our Virtual Server Service can be the initial building blocks, but we’ll need to keep pushing on the application layer.

    On an unrelated note, let me know if you ever want to get up close and personal with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, to round out your observations of course.

  2. Yeah, I think there is a ton of potentila here. I actually have this running on two smaller projects before I bring it to UMW Blogs to work out the kinks.

    The first is Looking for Whitman (http://lookingforwhitman.org) and the other is David Harvey’s Reading Capital (http://readingcapital.org). The integration has worked seamlessly on both, and I am pretty excited about the opportunities. Just need to learn how to hack the BuddyPress profile theme a bit better.

    Also, I talked to one of th WordPress developers at SXSW (Jane) and they are working hard on making the integration of bbPress, BuddyPress, and WPMu easier, which is reassuring. Because despite my tutorial, it is a bear at points.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *