Two New Plugins to Instantly Boost BuddyPress Groups Participation
Ready to add some new features to your BuddyPress groups? These are my newest favorites among plugins that are ready for BuddyPress 1.2. Connecting with others online in social networks is the main activity that has driven the bulk of internet traffic for the past several years, and it’s a trend that’s not stopping anytime soon. People love to connect with each other. If you want your BuddyPress users to make the most of your site, consider enhancing the group functionality to make it easier for them to make meaningful connections with people of similar interests. Here are a couple of brand new plugins that will help you do just that, both of them developed by Deryk Wenaus:
BuddyPress Group Tags
This plugin allows you to assign tags to BuddyPress groups and also display a clickable group tag cloud. After you download the plugin, follow the installation instructions to make sure it’s configured correctly and then add the widget or edit bp-group-tags.php to toggle the cloud display. When you edit details for the group, there will be a field where you can add tags separated by a comma. A user who may be less inclined to scroll through a lengthy groups directory may be caught be a tag in the tag cloud and join a group they otherwise would not have known about. In the future, the developer plans to integrate with the AJAX Group Search, Order By and My Groups functionality, which will make it an even more useful addition to any BuddyPress site.
BuddyPress Announce Group
This plugin allows you to change any BuddyPress group into an announce-only group, where only admins and moderators can post. This is similar to the way Facebook fan pages operate. Download the plugin and then follow the installation instructions to alter the bp-groups-templatetags.php to activate it. This plugin can come in handy if you want to keep a tighter rein on your group functionality. Perhaps you want to make all of your groups announce only. Either way it it’s great to make this kind of group available to your users when they are creating their own groups.
I am convinced that the flexibility and modularity of BuddyPress is going to make it one of the most powerful and influential site-building tools for social networking in 2010 and beyond as the platform continues to improve. Here at WPMU.org we will continue to promote new and innovative ways to extend BuddyPress and keep you informed of the best tools available to you. If you have a plugin you’d like for us to review, please contact us on Twitter: @wpmuorg