That is the question.
My mate Jon Breitenbucher has been beavering away and produced a sh*t hot system for the College of Wooster that he calls ‘Voices’. Let’s take a quick look at the home page:
Let’s have a look at How is Voices doing. Evidently Jon has got a Google Analytics plugin operational and he reports:
Would you have believed that Voices has had 15,836 visitors, from 74 countries and territories, and generating 52,957 page views since the semester started on August 24? The only state that has not visited Voices is South Dakota and we’ve had over 200 visitors from the United Kingdom.
This is impressive n’est ce pas? He concludes:
Clearly all of you are writing about things that people want to read. We just want to thank you and say keep expressing yourselves!
Earlham admissions would kill for this sort of coverage! So, nice one, Jon.
To BuddyPress or not to BuddyPress?
This site has of course raised the bar for social networking here at Earlham. Should I start with BuddyPress + WP-MU or keep things a bit simpler by doing everything through WP-MU and migrate later? I wonder how much you have to undo when moving to Buddy Press (BP)? I’d like to get a pilot up soon and so I don’t want to waste my time exploring WP-MU options if I’d be better off doing the same thing through BP. Seems like a Skype call to Jon B is on the horizon.
Questions for Jon
- Groups. Can any user create a Group? Or can group creation be restricted? Ideally, I’d like to institute a system whereby the group creator has to accumulate a quorum of other willing users before the group gets created. So, the way it might work is that someone proposes a new group, lists members who might like to join, and then a certain minimum number need to respond ‘yes’ before the group gets created and they are enrolled. I wonder whether this is possible? This would ameliorate the situation whereby it’s often the case in social networking systems that 90% (or thereabouts) of groups are duds which are never active.
- Can you have a group blog automatically created when a group is created?
- Privacy options. Can you have Public — Logged in users — Private options for privacy?
- I’m wondering what the point of ‘The Wire’ and ‘Forums’ are within Voices? I think I’d like a college wide open discussion forum where students and faculty could sound off about their concerns. This would a ‘logged in users’ only forum. But it seems to me that in general the Forum and Group Blog functionality overlaps. Ditto ‘Wire’ and blog. There’s a cool blog theme that allows twitter style comments.
- Twitter feeds — what’s the dope on importing Titter feeds?
- ‘Friending’ options. I didn’t see any friending but that’s a feature, right?
Just getting started, and this is looking good.