Tuesday, May 04, 2010

DIY Social Networking :: WordPress' BuddyPress



This Mashable video of an interview with Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg caught my eye, as I've been thinking about DIY social networking, as well as my own issues fussing with a company intranet that uses Drupal. Matt discusses BuddyPress, which can be used to create social networks and while it may be more difficult than Ning, it it still fairly user-friendly. I'm a fan of WordPress blogs and I'm a member of a group blog on Contexts.org, ThickCulture. I have thoughts on ThickCulture 2.0 being more about creating a community, where users share information and knowledge on the intersections of politics, technology, culture, and spaces. My vision is that the site encourages sharing of content and user engagement, but I'm still thinking {with others} on how this would play out and what technologies/features would be used.

Mullenwag also discusses design themes and how this relates to identity, which I think of as important for several reasons. Identity fosters expression of self, but I also feel identity helps community formation and mediates online behaviours. He also talks about the "frictionless" interface of Tumblr, which allows users to publish content with a push of a button, and how he hops to make WordPress/BuddyPress more like this. Here's a screenshot of the Tumblr interface::


image:: Tumblr dashboard interface, Prof_K

The buttons at the top make posting content a snap, which is what Matt means by "frictionless." I'm all for adding features that make posting and generating content easier. The WordPress {I have yet to play with BuddyPress} interface is pretty goof and is more frictionless than the Blogger interface I use for this blog::


I'm curious to see how DIY social networking evolves and whether users break free of the constraints imposed by sites like Facebook or if these DIY sites take on different functions in people's communications. I can see a huge potential for organizations and groups to use these technologies to create custom platforms that can be linked to or isolated from other sites on the Internet, set their own privacy settings, and decide whether to have an open or closed social graph.

I'll be looking at BuddyPress and re-evaluating Plone and will blog about my thoughts on these technologies in the future.

Song:: The Farm-'All Together Now'

Twitterversion:: Mashable intervw w/WordPress founder on BuddyPress & frictionless content mgmt intrfaces.Thoughts: DIY social networking.  @Prof_K

1 comment:

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