Integrating, not replacing, BuddyPress with WordPress symposium


As I'm sure many of you know, a new plug-in called Word Press symposium is in the works. I was wondering if any current BuddyPress users have looked into this feature. So far, all the conversation has revolved around WPS as a Buddy Press "alternative" and "replacement." But why not use the two plug-ins side-by-side to create an even more powerful social network?

I don't see Word Press symposium as dynamic enough to completely replace my Buddy Press network, but I do believe that certain features of WPS (like the Forums) can benefit various blogs in my WPMU Buddy Press network, especially those blogs operated by people who don't want to use the buddy press groups feature. In essence, I'm looking to create social networks within a social network, where each blog is a social network within the larger buddy press site.

So, as for my specific question (and yes, I realize that people on these forums are knowledgeable about Buddy Press and not Wordpress symposium), but based on your knowledge of things like user meta tables, would it be possible for Buddy Press users (i.e. they have Buddy Press profiles) to be able to post on Wordpress symposium forums?

I'd certainly appreciate your thoughts and feedback on such an idea. Thanks in advance.

  • Philip John
    • DEV MAN’s Apprentice

    Hey Pallasia!

    That's certainly an interesting idea :wink:

    I'm not honestly sure why you'd want to integrate them or how that would even work. I've not tried WPS out yet so I can't be sure about this but I suspect they will clash where themes are concerned.

    It appears BuddyPress would still need a BP theme so you'd have to integrate WPS into a BP theme - not sure how smoothly that'd go.

    Wouldn't you end up with multiple forums seemingly on the same level? I don't know...

    I'm guessing they may be able to work in tandem but that integrating would be messy.... those more familiar with the 'guts' of BP and WPS will be able to say with more confidence, I'm sure...


  • pallaisa
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Thanks for embarking on this thought-experiment with me. Well, my Buddy Press network is part of WPMU. What I was envisioning was having a central Buddy Press site (with a mandatory BP theme of course) with groups, BP forums, and the usual BP features. At the same time, some of the other blogs in my WPMU network -- the spokes of the wheel -- also want to have their own social networking features independent of the larger BP network, like forums. So, think of it as smaller social networks contained within this one large social network.

    The reason this model appeals to me is because my international organization operates hundreds of different programs. Each program has its own social networking needs (blogs, forums) and the Buddy Press tools just aren't dynamic enough. That's where word press symposium comes in. Each program wants their own WordPress symposium, but they also want to be connected to the overall Buddy Press network.

    Has anybody out there envisioned this model? I can't decide if this idea is genius, or just stupid.

  • Sarah Gooding
    • Flash Drive

    I will check with Simon Goodchild, the developer of WP Symposium, to see if it's possible to run with a Multisite operation. I wouldn't recommend using them together because of theme conflicts (sounds like a javascript nightmare if you ask me :wink:

    If you like most of BuddyPress but are annoyed with the group forums, then you might want to just wait it out. The bbPress plugin should be approaching a stable release soon. I can't imagine that they wouldn't make that multisite-friendly. They'll be dropping bbPress from the BuddyPress download when it's ready and recommending that you use the plugin for forums if you want them.

  • Sarah Gooding
    • Flash Drive

    Ok so I checked with Simon and he said that WP Symposium doesn't support Multisite (as in running multiple communities on the subsites) at the moment but he hopes to sort this out in the future. Will be posting updates on as I hear about them.

  • pallaisa
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for the reply. I actually asked Simon the same question about WPMU compatibility, and it sounds like it's something he plans to work on at some indeterminate point in the future. Looking forward to seeing the project develop. In the meantime, can you or someone direct me to the bbpress plug-in? I'm not quite clear if it's completed or in what stage of development it's in. And do you know if this plug-in uses the Buddy Press users meta table, so that all our users can register through buddy press but continue to use the bbPress forums plug-in on our WPMU blogs?

    Thank you,


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