Blogs will be blogs? Convert your Wordpress blogs into a social network with BuddyPress

Posted by maggie.hunsucker May 29, 2009

picture-11It seems like everyone has a blog – or two or three – these days.  Some companies have gone so far as to create a blog network, extending blogging privileges to departments and individual employees.    

Now there’s BuddyPress, a suite of WordPress plugins that transform the same blog network into a full-fledge social network.  BuddyPress is currently only compatible with the Wordpress MU platform, which is designed for the management of multiple users/blogs on a single WordPress account (The Wall Street JournalMashable, and our very own Atlanta Journal Constitution are among the faithful).  With BuddyPress, the actual WordPress backend is converted into a social networking hub, including:

  • Extended profiles
  • Friending
  • Private messaging
  • Groups
  • Wire Posts
  • Forums
  • Activity streams
  • Blog tracking

You can install the complete package or pick and choose your functionality a-la-carte style.   Either way, the idea here is to let the members of you blog network interact without having to go outside the network or adopt other platforms.

If you’re already on the WordPress MU or thinking of creating a blog network within your company, take advantage of the BuddyPress social functionality.  Both are free and come with built-in community support.

Like WordPress itself, BuddyPress maintains a robust, open source community that drives improvements and feature updates on the platform. Check out the developers forum to see what's in the works.

Increasingly, we are seeing the lines between blogs, social networks, and other digital tools blur. Blogs are a default feature on most social networking platforms, and users now have the ability to take their profile information (e.g. Facebook Connect) with them as they hop from site to site.

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