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Forums as Comment engine?


  • Lethality
    Member

    @lethality

    I’m looking to actually tie a forum system to a blog (Preferably WordPress)

    Preferably all of the comments associated with each article would be viewable on the page as normal, but the user could also link over to the forum to read/discuss there.

    The ideal situation would be that when a new blog post is posted, a new thread is created at the same time in the forum with the same title as the blog article.

    Is bbPress up to this task, or is anyone aware of something that is more or less “off the shelf” with similar functionality?

    Thanks for any help!

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

  • buddha trance
    Member

    @buddha-trance

    Take a look at this plugin, to synchronize WordPress and bbPress

    http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/wordpress-bbpress-syncronization/

    This is the WordPress end of the plugin

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-bbpress-syncronization/

    Both have to be installed, one in bbPress and the other one in WP, to function


    Lethality
    Member

    @lethality

    Thanks for that info… gonna give it a whirl.

    Well, this actually isn’t what I’m looking for. It does integrate the two for a shared “login” but that’s not what I need.

    I’m hoping to find a forum I can attach as the comment repository.

    For example… When I post a WordPress article, I’d like it to ALSO created a Forum Topic. Then, any time someone comments on the blog article, a post in the forum is created from it.. and vice versa (if someone is commenting in the forums, it will be displayed with the other comments in the blog)

    Anyone doing anything like this?


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    This is certainly possible with some custom code, though the real question remains as to why you want it. Given the WordPress comment systems have a far greater “forum-ness” about them these days (pagination, avatars, html/bbcode, wyswig threading etc etc). What would be the advantage to your users of having the same content in two different places on your website?

    In fact, wouldn’t it be easier to just theme your wordpress to make your comments bigger and loko more forum like (maybe even removing the actual article on page 2 of the comments?)?

    On one of my wordpress installs, the blog-post only appears on the initial page and with no comments, and all the comments are handled under “www.website.com/blog-post/comments” so they have their own pages with more space etc. It works really well for that site in a place where I couldn’t have used bbPress due to it’s complete lack of moderation.

    The main reason for the integration is because I don’t want to have 2 “places” on the site where conversations are going on.

    The forum will have topics that are not attached to blog articles, so I want a way to get the blog comment conversation to the forums as well, since thats where all of the conversation could be viewed, not just some of it.


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    Ah right, well in that case what you want is this:

    1) A “forum/category” that users can add to threads, but not make their own threads. (requires a bbPress plugin)

    2) A plugin in WordPress that “posts” a thread in that same “forum/category” for users to comment on.

    3) When someone clicks on a link on your blog to read comments, that link should go to the right forum (that’ll require a plugin too)

    4) When someone enters a comment on your blog post, it posts it to the forum (another plugin – possibly an extention of the same one but new functionality). It should then link them to their comment (which is actually a forum post).

    You’re basically looking at a WordPress plugin that has 3 main functions which go against how WordPress works. Its possible, totally possible really, but it’s neither simple or straightforward. Given that the work would have to be done at the WordPress end, you’d have more luck posting there than here sadly.

    I’d also strongly suggest against this sort of thing. While in theory you’re moving the “conversation” to one place rather than two, you’re also duplicating the blog post into two places. That always confuses users. Its also worth thinking about whether you have the size of userbase where this will be benefitial. Lastly, people use blog comments and forums for different things. At a technical level they are very similar, and many experienced forum users look on both in a truly similar light; but your “average joe” sees a comment on a blog post as a comment on the blog post, while a forum is an open place to talk – or realistically have others argue against what was said.

    A comment is a “1 to 1″ communication (seen by others ofcourse), while a forum is an “many to many” communication; and users do treat them differently at a base level.

    If you thought this was imperative for your site, i’d suggest ignoring the bbpress aspect of it, and pay someone very knowledgable to theme your comment sections to look/work like a forum. bbPress is going that wasy as a wordpress plugin, so pay for or putitng the large amount of time and effort into coding your solution might have very little RoI.

    Good luck whatever you do, and keep us posted if you do anythign v cool!!

    One one of the online (MMORPG style) gaming sites they regularly post news. There is a blog of news stories but if you want to discuss and give feedback about those news stories they are cross-posted in an “announcements” (read-only) forum, and to a “news discussion” (read-write) forum. The main community surrounding the game live in the forums and I’d say rarely go view the blog. So, I can see the use-case of where a forum would act as a comment/discussion repository.


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    Yeah for sure, I helped out with the original WordOfRaids back in the day and they do that, but they just manually link to a forum post ( i set up a custom field on WordPress, so they make forum and copy/paste into there).

    I’m not against the idea, its just definitely not going to be “off the shelf”; and nor is the original poster’s ideal solution going to be easy to come by (where it all happens automatically, though if you had time and the need it’s v possible).

    I sent slightly off topic (big shock) but this sort of thing depends on the usergroup immensely. people who play mmorpgs as an example are used to forums and doing things in front of others; where as say a Classical Music Magazine website/blog’s users might not be really up for entering a forum flame war. Sorry if i gave the wrong impression, I sometimes feel its better to manage expectations a little with bbPress, especially with all the wordPress “as a CMS that can do anything” stuff flying around :D

    I found that Invision Power has a product called IP.Blog which, when run with their IP.Board (forum) that will add a “Blog This” check box when you make a forum post. This so far is the closest “off the shelf” functionality I can find.

    So would it make more sense to extend the BBPress (forum) side of the solution to “add” a blog article to WP?

    Honestly the only reason I ended up here on the BBPress forums is because I figured that’s what “integration” may have meant, but it doesn’t look like thats the case!


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    Hi Lethality,

    Sadly WordPress/bbPress integration isn’t well defined anywhere outside this website – it basically means shared users and login (though for alot of people thats ideal).

    If you have the cash to spend on something that already works, I’d definately favour that option.

    The idea of extending bbPress into WordPress is a good one, but of course you’d still need to edit WordPress to either post comments to the right forum, or to redirect to the right forum if someone tried to add a comment. I’d be surprised if there was much desire for this on the whole, so going with the existing solution might be your best bet.

    Good luck in whatever you decide, and let us know :)

    Kev

    @Lethality

    Sorry I’m late to this topic but what you are asking sounds very similar to what I was asking here

    http://bbpress.org/forums/topic/feeding-topics-from-external-source

    It seems as if I differ with @kevinjohngallagher‘s interpretation of what users and communities want from their forum/blog/wiki/crm solution ;)

    However what you seem to be looking for is very similar to what we have decided on PmWiki+bbPress

    We voted firmly against wordpress as a product mainly because

    1. It has become dreadfully bloated

    2. It is difficult to customise (partly as a result of 1)

    3. It is a blog (a time driven format) conversation centered around one individual and un-managed comments from visitors. Typically “this is my opinion” followed by “I agree” comments.

    I would also steer fairly clear of IP.Board and IP.Blog it is very much under development and considering it is a commercial product is very expensive for what it does.

    I feel that someone with a basic knowledge of worpress should be able to add a similar button form to wp code to allow a “Forum This” from wordpress.


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    @KentonMr

    I’ve no issue with us disagreeing on things, heck if we all agreed on everything it’d be a boring life; but you’re making a few leaps here mate.

    To state that WordPress is difficult to customise is, frankly, absolutely mental. WordPress’ strength was and is just how amazingly easy it is to customise. Thats not to say it’s the best tool for every job, but “[WordPress] is difficult to customise”?? lunacy.

    To also suggest that WordPress has un-managed comments from visitors show a total lack of knowledge of it. WordPress handles comments and visitors amazingly well. Pagination, threading, custom types, moderation, different theming, searching, functions oh my the list goes on and on. Again, it’s not the best tool for every job, but “un-managed comments from visitors” is so wrong a statement its unreal.

    .

    =============================

    .

    All of that aside, as I said above, creating a post to bbPress button or plugin for WordPress would be easy. In the same way you’ve managed to get yours working.

    But I commented on between what yourself and Lethality wanted to do, is that you’d only mentioned about the initial stages, and not how the users would react or use the site. If you want to define the topic of conversation and have users comment on it – guess what, thats a 1 to 1 conversation. If you want to define a topic and have users comment on it but allow them to comment on each other’s commnet, thats a 1 to many conversation (threading). bbPress and forums on the whole don’t work that way, not because someone hasn’t thought it up before, but because the user doesn’t think that way.

    Paul Hawke made a good example about a site in the MMORPG community. I replied with a similar one, showing how this way of thinking would work, as long as it was followed through for the user. I also quantified this:

    slightly off topic (big shock) but this sort of thing depends on the usergroup immensely. people who play mmorpgs as an example are used to forums and doing things in front of others; where as say a Classical Music Magazine website/blog’s users might not be really up for entering a forum flame war

    Over the years we’ve had loads of requests for weird and wonderful things in bbPress. Some cool, some not, some interesting, some not. How many cool and interesting forums (bbPress or not) that work differently to the norm do you see out there? There is a reason for that. It’s not because I’ve got a different view, or becasue I’m being difficult, it’s becasue Users go with what they know. If you plan to do anything in a slightly different way, you have to also plan for any and all ways random users will attempt to either do things the way they know or a new way.

    A very wise man at Microsoft once said:

    Users on websites are like the frogs at the end of Jurassic Park.

    No matter how much you think something through, how much technology you put in place, how much you hope they’ll do things they way you want them to or how difficult you make something for them… as soon as you change something that they want to do, they’ll start fucking it up and making very obvious and loud dinosaurs.

    I’m seriously all for you folks doing something new and wonderful; and heck if you pull it off my hat will be the first one off. Infact, i offered step by step adive on exactly how to do what Lethality needed, I just suggested that he think about it from a different perspective too. The internet is littered with websites who tried to change how users interacted with it, very very few succeed, and those that do are very very dependant on their userbase’s base HCI mechanics.

    @kevinjohngallagher

    Hey ho!

    Perhaps it is just that the forums I participate in (well most of them) and especially the subject specific ones seem to have very disciplined users.

    I have seen and heard of the rabble that frequent some other forums probably with many 1000′s of visits per day.

    The specific site I’m developing (redeveloping) currently has 100-200 per day and has been pretty constant for years – it is a fairly close and insular community that is not there to take over the web

    It has outgrown the current coding which has proved difficult to maintain, has evolved through several programmers and is unmanageable. Taking PmWiki and bbPress “off the shelf” has enabled the regeneration of the site in the manner intended with, so far, only minor but resolvable hiccups.

    Both products meet the needs of being lightweight and easy to use with minimal implementation effort. Even if the documentation of bbPress leaves much to be desired – unless it is hidden away somewhere I’m yet to find.

    The problem I have with wordpress is much like the problem I have with Microsoft products- They start out simple and easy to use with minimal functionality then bloat into leviathans that are full of functionality that is neither required or in line with the way users are used to doing things.

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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