Expand BuddyPress RSS Feeds to Increase Collaboration and Participation within Your Community

A new BuddyPress plugin is available that greatly expands the platform’s RSS feeds for nearly every activity that happens within a BuddyPress community.

BP Lotsa Feeds comes to you courtesy of Boone Gorges and it adds 13 new RSS feeds to your BuddyPress site.

I’m not going to list all of them, but here are few of my favorites that I think will be especially useful:

  • Networkwide blog posts by an individual member
    (/members/username/activity/blogposts/feed)
  • Forum topics started by an individual member
    (/members/username/activity/forumtopics/feed)
  • All forum activity by a member (a combination of the previous two feeds)
    (/members/username/activity/forums/feed)
  • A group’s activity updates
    (/groups/groupname/updates/feed)
  • A group’s new members
    (/groups/groupname/membership/feed)

After you install the plugin, the feeds are automatically available. There’s nothing to configure, unless you want to make some of the feeds inaccessible. You can do this by adding this to your wp-config.php file:

{code type=php}define( ‘BPLF_DISABLE_GROUP_UPDATES_FEED’, true );{/code}

This plugin is really useful if you’re using BuddyPress to manage an educational community or learning environment. It enables students to subscribe to their own forum topics or forum activities within a given group.

Additional RSS feeds also come in handy if your BuddyPress site is a directory for businesses, professionals, websites, or any community where users may want to actively monitor specific activity, such as a member’s friendship connections or a group’s new members.

The Benefits of More Specific RSS Feeds:

Having more RSS feed available helps to increase collaboration and participation. Users don’t have to log in and sift through everyone’s updates and posts to find something of interest. Instead, members can target their subscriptions to keep themselves in the loop by subscribing to the feeds that they find to be the most useful, even if that is for a short period of time.

Because of the massive amounts of information posted on social networking and community sites, people are desperately looking for ways to filter their social streams. A more narrowed RSS feed gives the user this opportunity and frees him up to be a more active participant in discussions. Offering more feeds will help your users keep from getting overloaded by too many activity and content updates. You can find out more on the plugin’s homepage at Boone’s site.