Some useful BuddyPress plugins

BuddyPress is a plugin for WordPress that turns your site into a simple social network. It’s a remarkable thing, but I think it is fair to say that while it makes creating a social network easy, creating a good social network is still hard.

At Kind of Digital we’ve built a few BuddyPress sites recently, and we’ve found some other plugins that make life a bit easier, so here’s our list.

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to pop them in the comments!

1. BP Group Management

Enables an administrator to manage groups within BuddyPress by banning, unbanning, promoting and demoting current members of any group, adding members to any group, and deleting groups.

2. BP Profile Search

Adds a configurable search form to your BuddyPress Members directory, so visitors can find site members searching their extended profiles.

3. BuddyPress Extend Widgets

Adds a BuddyPress specific element to all widgets you use on the site. You will be able to select on which users profiles or groups pages you want to display a widget on and so on.

4. BuddyPress Group Email Subscription

A really important one this – it allows users to sign up to email notifications of activity within groups, and also to choose between instant updates, or daily or weekly digests.

5. Buddypress Humanity

A downside of BuddyPress is getting non-existent spam member signing up, who just want to post loads of links to your community and generally ruining it. This plugin adds a Turing type test to new member signups to make it harder for this to happen.

6. Buddypress Sitewide activity widget

Adds a widget you can place in a sidebar or other widgetised area on your site that displays a handy list of the recent activity on your network. If you’re struggling for space on your homepage, this is particularly useful.

7. BuddyPress Topic Mover

Another behind the scenes plugin – this lets administrators move discussions from one group to another. Dead handy if a user has started a conversation in the wrong place.

8. Custom Profile Filters for BuddyPress

Out of the box, BuddyPress automatically turns some words and phrases in the fields of a user’s profile into links that, when clicked, search the user’s community for other profiles containing those phrases. When activated, this plugin allows users and administrators to have more control over these links.

I find these really useful for profile fields that link to social networking profiles.

9. oEmbed for BuddyPress

This enables users to easily share rich media content like YouTube videos on their walls.

10. Welcome Pack

Great for community management activities, this plugins sends new users a welcome message when then join, adds them to groups and sends friend requests – making them feel at home right away!

Bookmarks for August 5th through August 11th

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I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Bookmarks for July 11th through July 16th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

  • How to work with online communities at Helpful Technology – "But there are many other ways to build relationships, and lots more experience to share. To help explore this further, I’m helping to convene Meet The Communities, a free, one-off event probably in Central London during September, bringing together some of the leading online communities with the government clients, PR & digital agencies for an afternoon of storytelling and speednetworking."
  • App Inventor and the culture wars – O’Reilly Radar – "Creativity–whether the creativity of others or your own–is what makes life worthwhile, and enabling creativity is a heroic act. Google has built a culture around enabling others' creativity, and that's worth celebrating. "
  • The Big Society – the evidence base – "Building on David Kane’s blog-post on the numbers behind the Big Society, the NCVO research team is keen to explore in greater depth the evidence behind this important policy agenda which emphasises the need to transform the relationship between citizens and the state."
  • Should Governments Develop iPhone Apps? – "No, governments should not develop iPhone apps, the community should."
  • Why Google Cannot Build Social Applications – "With Google applications we return to the app to do something specific and then go on to something else, whereas great social applications are designed to lure us back and make us never want to leave."
  • WordPress Plugins to Reduce Load-time : Performancing – Doubt my blog will ever run into performance problems due to traffic, but some interesting stuff here nonetheless.
  • BBC – dot.Rory: Martha’s manifesto – "But it's hard to see how the pledge of universal web access for the UK workforce – which may well be backed by the prime minister later today – can be fulfilled without some government money."
  • UK Government Goes Social for Budget Cuts: Do Not Hold Your Breath – "Once again, this is the unavoidable asymmetry of government 2.0 in action: it is easier (and certainly more pressworthy) to call for ideas on channels that government controls, rather than to gather them where they already are."
  • How Local Government can do Facebook « The Dan Slee Blog – Great roundup and hints and tips from Dan.
  • CycleStreets: UK-wide Cycle Journey Planner and Photomap – "CycleStreets is a UK-wide cycle journey planner system, which lets you plan routes from A to B by bike. It is designed by cyclists, for cyclists, and caters for the needs of both confident and less confident cyclists."

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Bookmarks for April 25th through April 30th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Bookmarks for March 13th through March 15th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

DavePress WP Plugin-orama

WordPress is the best, we all know this. As well as the amazing free themes that are available, there are also tonnes of plugins which make your blog do interesting and cool stuff that it can’t do out of the box.

The other great thing about WP plugins is that they are so easy to install – just FTP the files into the right spot on your server, then hit the ‘activate’ link in the plugin screen of the admin panel. Even I rarely get this wrong, it’s so simple!

Here’s a list of the plugins I use here. Anybody got any suggestions for stuff I really ought to be using?

1. Akismet

Akismet is spam blocking par excellence. There isn’t anything to touch it, in my opinion.

2. Google Analytics

Make setting your blog up on Google analytics a breeze with this plugin. All you have to do is supply it with your Analytics code and it places it in the best spot on your blog for you.

3. Democracy

A cool way of putting little polls into your sidebar, and even on individual pages. You can also create an archives page of past polls too!

4. Feedburner Feedsmith

Pipes all your RSS traffic to FeedBurner. This means you can use FB’s feed tracking stats, which isn’t currently available with other WordPress stats systems.

5. All in one SEO pack

Gives your site and everyone of your posts accurate meta-data, from tags and categories. Watch your blog shoot up in the rankings once this plugin starts to work its magic.

6. Subscribe to comments

Mega useful for both you and your readers, this lets folk get email updates when people respond to their comments on your blog. You can also examine the stats, see who is subscribed to what and who is subscribed to the most posts.

7. MyBlogLog

More of a sidebar widget than a proper plugin, this enables you to display who the recent visitors were to your site with an avatar. Nice to see who’s reading your blog.

8. Easytube

WordPress isn’t great at handling embed code, even in HTML view editing. This plugin takes the pain out of posting YouTube videos.

9. Google XML sitemaps

Creates a sitemap for your blog that meets the Google standards, making it more search engine friendly.

10. Sphere

Allows you to present a link next to your posts which readers can click to find content on similar lines elsewhere. I haven’t yet added this to my new template on DavePress, but keep your eyes peeled…

11. Twitter tools

This is a cool plugin that does a number of things: posts to Twitter when you publish a new blog post; add your latest tweets to your sidebar, post tweets from your admin panel; and post a daily log of your tweets. You can turn on different bits of functionality as you please. Great stuff.

12. Slideshare

See EasyTube, this does the same for Slideshare embeds.

13. WordPress.com stats

My favouritest plugin ever. I am addicted to this. It gives the same stats as WordPress.com users get: how many visits you get, which posts are most popular, what people are searching on Google to find you, which links people are using to get away from your blog.

14. ShareThis

Another great one, this provides a handy javascript pop up thing allowing people to bookmark your posts on a number of services, like Digg, Reddit and del.icio.us to name just three. Like Sphere, I haven’t worked this into my template yet, but will be here soon!

10 Great Firefox extensions

I love FireFox, because not only is it faster and more secure than Internet Explorer, it’s also a lot more powerful, especially when you consider the many extensions you can use to add functionality.

Here’s a list of some of the ones I use:

1. Del.icio.us bookmarks

This is a brilliant add-on which works in two ways. Firstly, it adds a button to your FireFox toolbar which allows you to tag a site with a small popup window and without having to visit del.icio.us itself. The second button it adds opens up a sidebar in the browser, showing your latest tagged links and a search box to hunt out stuff bookmarked years before.

2. Download statusbar

This makes downloads appear in FireFox’s status bar, rather than in a pop up window. Makes life much tidier, and offers more information on what’s happening.

3. Copy plain text

As a blogger I find this invaluable. Selecting text and right-clicking allows you the option of copying text, while stripping out any formatting, which makes copying it into a blog paste a breeze, without the fear of weird formatting messing things up.

4. IE Tab

I try not to use Internet Explorer wherever possible, but sometimes you just can’t get out of it – when, for example, the site you need to view doesn’t work so well in FireFox. This cool extension allows you to switch the rendering engine in a tab to IE, so you are running it within FireFox.

5. Colorful tabs

I don’t know about you, but I often end up with tonnes of tabs open, and sometimes it can be a nightmare telling them apart. But with Colorful tabs, they are all presented in a number of delightful pastel shades, making it easy to switch to the one you want.

6. BlogJet this

This is installed along with BlogJet, the desktop blog editor I use. It makes it easy to reference a particular web page in a blog entry, by pulling the URL and the text from the page in question into the editor for you.

7. ScribeFire

This is an honourary mention, because I don’t currently use this. ScribeFire is a blog editor that runs as a Firefox add on. It works really well, but I’m a dedicated Windows Live Writer guy these days…

8. Twitbin

Integrates Twitter into your FF sidebar, so you can keep up to date with your friend’s tweets without having to leave your favourite browser!

9. Evernote Clipper

This plugin makes life much easier when copying snippets of the web to Evernote for future reference.

10. Search extensions

The search box in the FF toolbar can be added to so it becomes even more useful. I’ve added GodDaddy, Wikipedia and Mahalo to mine so far.

Can anyone recommend FireFox extensions that they couldn’t live without?