Feature #1132


Consider adding a forum plugin for blogs

Added by Matt Gold almost 13 years ago. Updated over 12 years ago.

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WordPress (misc)
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One of our members (who is on the CAT) has asked that we consider adding a forum plugin like SimplePress that can be integrated into blogs. He wants a blog, rather than a group, to be the home for his project's activity, in part because he finds the blog/group split confusing (obviously, he's not alone in that).

This makes sense to me, and it seems like it would be an interesting experiment. I'm assigning this to Boone for technical decisions (I'm guessing that this kind of plugin has the potential to tax our database if used widely), but adding Chris as a watcher for UI issues and Michael/the community team as watchers for community implications.

He's not particular about which forum plugin we add, but here is the simplepress plugin page: .

Related issues

Related to CUNY Academic Commons - Feature #653: Redesign Integration of Groups and BlogsAssignedSamantha Raddatz2011-03-26

Actions #1

Updated by Boone Gorges almost 13 years ago

I'd prefer to use bbPress, which works better across WP themes.

Actions #2

Updated by Matt Gold almost 13 years ago

bbPress would be absolutely fine -- as I noted, the member (Carl Grindley) is not particular about which plugin we use. Do you foresee any database load issues? It strikes me that this is a use of the Commons that we might want to promote, as it enables members to create a community purely through a blog, bypassing groups.

Actions #3

Updated by Boone Gorges almost 13 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.2.5 to 1.3

this is a use of the Commons that we might want to promote

The more I think about it, the more I disagree with this statement, and the uneasier I get about this feature request. For one thing, supporting separate but overlapping functionality is a nightmare from a user- and dev-support point of view. More important, perhaps, is the fact that "bypassing groups", in terms of the site as a whole, boils down to fracturing conversations. Such activity will not be tracked on activity feeds, will not have the advantages of our normal email notification system, and generally has the potential to cause user confusion.

Once we put a tool like bbPress on the site, and people start using it, the potential damage is already done - those conversations will forever be cloven from the rest of the site. So I'd like to consider it carefully before acting on it.

The alternative is to do something about the alleged confusing nature of the blog/group relationship. I know that people have found the connection confusing, but perhaps we could start to formulate some concrete suggestions about how we could improve it, either through better documentation and education, or through the development of tools that effect a more intuitive integration (insofar as such a thing is possible). See #653.

Actions #4

Updated by Matt Gold almost 13 years ago

Honestly, I'd be happy to have us address the underlying issue of blog/group connectivity. In my experience of working with and talking to a range of users (both longtime users and new users), I've found this to be the single most significant obstacle people have with the site. While education and documentation might help, much more than that is needed. We really should be working towards integration.

Actions #5

Updated by Michael Smith almost 13 years ago

I would have to agree with Matt that there is a large amount of confusion out there about how groups should/could integrate the uses of the blog functionality vs. group features. Integration could happen by plugging in bbPress to a blog, or possibly finding a way that a group's blog activity can be cleanly integrated into group features, such as new posts or comments are aggregated into the forum or announcements. I know that sounds messy at first, but it I think we should try and figure out some methods for connections.

Actions #6

Updated by Boone Gorges over 12 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Reporter Feedback

Can I raise this issue again? There is general agreement that the blog-group relationship can use improvement; see #653. If this ticket boils down to that one, then let's close it.

If there is also a general agreement that we need forum software over and above what we already have, please say so, as I'll have to map out a game plan with respect to the potential problems down the road (BP integration; merging back into the BP group forum infrastructure; data migration; theme compatibility; etc)

Actions #7

Updated by Matt Gold over 12 years ago

  • Status changed from Reporter Feedback to Rejected

A few thoughts as I close this ticket:

-- I have not seen widespread calls for forum capabilities on blogs. Therefore, I'll close the ticket.

-- I do think that we need forum improvements in groups, but those are coming (at least partly) with upcoming projects

-- I do think we should continue to think about blog/group interfaces and relationships.


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