A Community Site Based on WordPress

Eight years ago I wrote the IAM community software that BME still uses, which, as dated as it is now, was pretty cutting edge at the time and contained many features long before they hit mainstream community sites. Back in 2000 when it was put together, I wanted a tool to allow myself to maintain a blog, but being a DIY sort of person, I chose to write my own tool instead of going with blogger or livejournal. I patched on multi-user functionality as an off-hand idea, never thinking it would take off. Take off it did, so over the next few months I quickly added new functions like instant messaging and the other bits needed to transform it from a blogging tool, to a multi-user blogging tool, to a true community site.

I’m now looking at creating a new community site (which has nothing to do with body modification), and I was thinking about WordPress, which also went from a blogging system to a multi-user blogging system (ie. WordPress MU which powers WordPress.org). I’m very excited about “BuddyPress“, a mod of WordPress MU that’s got a number of added components to transform it into a community site (which could also have a community generated content magazine integrated, community generated photo galleries, and so on — if this had been around eight years ago, my life would have been much easier). It’s still in pre-release, but I don’t anticipate launching until 2009 anyway… The site I’m working on is a low-fi site optimized for extremely high latency and low bandwidth connections, so I think the WP/BP engine could be ideal as it can be so thoroughly themed and modified. Anyway, if my help is useful, I might get involved with them on a developer level to give myself a head start…


I played the Devo song Girl U Want at true 100% on Expert in Rock Band… Surprisingly this places me at about #102 in the world rankings. That’s not bad of course, but I like that even when you can play a song perfectly the game is still on — it’s not as if I’m first. At “perfect” it becomes about really hitting the timing perfectly, and having a strategy about using your bonus power (which doubles your score for a moment, so you need to time it at the highest scoring parts of the song). The top player in the world is still about 3,000 points above me I think.


  1. Elizabeth wrote:

    I’d be more excited were I not in fear of losing my home. It’d be very hard to be a member of any community, online or off if I am homeless. Hubs is the primary breadwinner in a commission based pay job in service, has made $3.00 this week as NO ONE is taking their cars to be serviced. Eeeeeek. But other than that terrifying me, I’m super excited about a new community made by Shannon!

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  2. ANdy wrote:

    Great that you are considering BuddyPress! You can poke around on the demo site at: https://testbp.org or check out the latest trunk from SVN.

    Awesome if you’d like to help out, you can check out the roadmap and tickets at: https://trac.buddypress.org

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  3. Shannon wrote:

    Build a raft and put a trailer on it and you can be part of the boat site :P

    17 extreme houseboats and houseboat designs luxury marine habitats to humble floating homes/

    15 more extreme houseboats and houseboat designs

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  4. You’ve piqued my interest. I wonder what’s involved, or if it’s even possible, to convert from a standard WordPress install to WordPress MU.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  5. Shannon wrote:

    I’m 99% sure you can import a wordpress blog into wordpress mu… I think for what you guys are doing it could be an IDEAL platform!

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  6. Shannon wrote:

    (All the themes and plugins work as well as far as I know)

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  7. rmx256 wrote:

    Would https://myprivatepla.net/ have anything to do with this?

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  8. Shannon wrote:

    No, that’s actually the homepage for a firefox plugin that adds an encryption layer to any site that I’ve been fiddling with… Totally different project.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  9. Danielle wrote:

    I’m interested in watching this project grow. One thing I would love to see is a solid mobile application for PDA use.

    I can help test you with the concepts when you’re ready to go, if you would like help.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  10. Siobhan wrote:

    I would love to have another community to be part of. I miss iam, but don’t want to be a part of it.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  11. Lucas wrote:

    Do you own any other ps3 games than Guitar hero/rockband?

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  12. Danielle wrote:

    The Pixeljunk games from the ps store are hella fun.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 9:16 pm | Permalink
  13. Its me wrote:

    I think many still love the iam format

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 3:21 am | Permalink
  14. JonnyButts wrote:

    I too am stoked on the idea of another community. I miss IAM and facebook just doesn’t cut it for me. Keep us posted

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 6:13 am | Permalink
  15. boredbody wrote:

    I’m not a programmer… definetly a user and to me being “cutting edge” isn’t so important, it’s more about character and usablity and uniqueness which IAM had IMO. Best wishes on the new project though!

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 8:45 am | Permalink
  16. Elizabeth wrote:

    iam definately was the very best layout and myspace and facebook SUUUUCK in comparison.

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink
  17. shimble wrote:

    just wanted to say its nice to see people see they miss iam but dont want to be part of it. i could rant but i wont ….have fun x

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 11:52 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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