WordCamp Philly: Adding a social ‘stache

Doug Stew­art wrapped things up before lunch at Word­Camp Philly talk­ing about bbPress, Bud­dy­Press, and more. He also wins the award for first Word­Camp talk to pass out hand­outs with mus­tache sten­cils on them while simul­ta­ne­ously play­ing some techno on the speak­ers. :)

As Doug put it, “Like a good mus­tache, bbPress and Bud­dy­Press can add that social ele­ment to your site.” Social tools like bbPress and Bud­dy­Press can increase user engage­ment, encour­age con­tri­bu­tion, and lower the bar­rier to entry for cre­at­ing con­tent. Most of all, they add a com­mu­nity around your site and your content.

bbPress is WordPress-native forum soft­ware. With ver­sion 2.0 it’s now a plu­gin that, once acti­vated, adds forums to your site. Best of all, it’s dead-simple to install. bbPress is the soft­ware that pow­ers the WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Drop­box, and Stephen Fry’s forums. There’s lots of ways to extend it and cre­ate sup­port forums, selec­tively use it in lieu of com­ments, send email noti­fi­ca­tions, and more.

Bud­dy­Press gives you social net­work­ing in a box. Through friends, pri­vate mes­sag­ing, activ­ity streams, groups, and forums you can really set up any­thing you need. It’s fan­tas­tic for inter­nal cor­po­rate net­works where you want some of the social fea­tures with­out all of the risk inher­ent in more pub­lic net­works. One thing you want to do with Bud­dy­Press is install the theme com­pat­i­bil­ity check plugin.

With all the power that Bud­dy­Press offers you may want to pro­gres­sively intro­duce fea­tures to the com­mu­nity. You may not want to intro­duce them to all the fea­tures at once, it can be a bit overwhelming.

For those behind-the-firewall sit­u­a­tions Bud­dy­Press allows for things like doc­u­ment col­lab­o­ra­tion, clas­si­fied ads, and course­ware. These can improve greatly upon more tra­di­tional tools for com­pany intranets.

Doug’s going to post all of his slides on Slideshare later so there’s lots of links in those worth check­ing out.