BuddyPress Links – New Must-Have Component Allows Rich Media Embedding

linksWe’re very excited about this new BuddyPress component written by Marshall Sorenson. It was released yesterday to the BuddyPress community for download.

What does BuddyPress links do?

This component adds a tab to the main menu for link sharing and allows members to:

  • create and manage links from their profile.
  • assign links to a category
  • control the visibility of their links (public, friends only, and hidden)
  • enable a comment wire for a link
  • upload an image “avatar” to show with a link
  • embed a PicApp.com image and use as the avatar
  • embed a Fotoglif.com image and use as the avatar
  • vote on other member’s links
  • comment on other member’s links (if wire is enabled)

Administrators have full permission to edit, delete and manage link categories, as well as customize the links widgets. This pretty amazing new component also includes a “Digg style” popularity algorithm, rich profile and directory sorting and filtering, most recent links news feed, and hundreds of action and filter hooks.

BuddyPress Links version 0.2 (RC1) is still unstable, as few people have tested it. It’s not currently recommended for production environments, but if it does something you need and you know a little bit of PHP, you should be able to configure it nicely for your site. By extending the class API you will be able to scale this component’s rich media embedding capabilities. It currently supports YouTube, Flickr (Photo & Video), and metacafe, but the developer plans to write up some basic documentation for how to write custom services. Start testing and bug reporting on this plugin to help it reach its full potential!

Check out a demo here: http://primehockey.com/
(Please do not create test accounts)

Support and further discussion for BuddyPress Links can be found on the BP forums.

Download the component here.

Comments (7)

  1. I read on the BP forum that the plugin author admits that it might be best to wait for a stable version before running on a live site. May want to get his full and un-abridged blessing before uploading and running with it? This looks like a sharp plug-in and I can’t wait to use it!

    Comments?

  2. I am still recommending that people hold off on using this plugin for a big production site.

    If you have a small hobby site, then go ahead and use it now, but if you make a living from your site, its probably best to hold off for a while.

    I think that the plugin is stable from a “works reliably” standpoint, but it is still under heavy development, and there are going to be many new features added over the next few weeks. These will most likely require changes to the templates, so if you make a lot of modifications, you might be spending more time than you would like updating them.

    Right now, all of the releases are 0.x. When I am comfortable enough to make a 1.x, then I will be offering support services and eventually a pro version with some really advanced features.

  3. Marshall, I do believe you’re on to something here with the feature. I’ve looked at the various BP profile pages and group pages and believe they could use a bit of “layout shrink-age” (is that a word?). There is a fair amount of wasted screen real estate (blank screen space). I’m watching and waiting for your next version. What’s the best way to keep an eye out? Will you charge for the support? Etc.

  4. @energyrater

    Many of the BP components have multi-page forms because they need to allow for other components or plugins to add their own custom steps. Personally, I think its better to handle it all on one page using fieldsets as “panels.”

    The problem I ran into with the multi-page steps is that it makes form validation a huge pain, as you have to pass all of the values to the next page with cookies. Sessions would be ideal, but one of the WP philosophies is to keep the application 100% stateless, which btw is not very good terminology for what they really mean, which is actually to be 100% shard friendly and server independent in a load balanced environment.

    One side effect of this, and I think that it is still the case, that if you make an error while creating a group, you have to re-type everything!

    For now, I am posting all major announcements and updates about the plugin here:
    http://buddypress.org/groups/buddypress-links

    There will be paid support available, most likely via http://wpplugins.com/ once I get a chance to play around with their back-end and make sure I am happy with it.

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