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My Apartment Map Geo Target Forum Finished!


  • My Apartment Map
    Member

    @my-apartment-map

    I’ve been working on this for a few weeks and its finally complete. There are still a few small bugs left and I’m sure I’ll find more, but I have launched the forum in its present state.

    I’m using a few of _ck_’s pluggins. “Instant Password” and “Human Test”

    I made quite a few modifications to the core to support what you might call “Virtual Forums” for lack of a better term.

    My site lists apartments, I have pages for around 26,000 cities in the U.S. I wanted to have forum content on each page but didn’t want to create 26,000 forums for a few obvious reasons. The main being that probably 99% of the forums would never get any content.

    My solution. I created 2 generic forums and 51 state forums. On each one of my apartment city pages I integrated the forum content from the state forum in which the city resides. For example, the Boston, MA apartment page would show content from the Massachusetts forum.

    The trick is that if someone creates a topic from the Boston, MA apartment page, the topic is inserted into the bbPress DB with a new column that contains the latitude and longitude of Boston,MA.

    If someone creates a topic from the Newton, MA (10 miles from Boston, MA) apartment page. The topic is inserted in the bbPress DB with the latitude and longitude of Newton, MA.

    What this allows me to do is show forum content from any City in the U.S. with the forum topics sorted by distance (and secondarily by date) from the City the user is currently viewing.

    To show you an example. (Scroll down under the map to view the forum content on the right hand side)

    Boston Apartment page

    Newton Apartment page

    Each forum topic has the City and State that the user posted from prefixed to the actual forum topic.

    As you can see the forum posts change order based on what city you view. This is not that useful without many forum posts, but once the forum starts to fill up it will appear that each city page contains a “Virtual” forum based on that city and the cities that are nearest to it.

    Hopefully this will not only allow me to engage a much larger audience as most of the forum topics will be relevant to the page they are viewing.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comment. This is very much still a work and progress and can definitely be improved. The #1 thing I’m not happy with is the location of the city forums. I’m working on a redesign that would move the forums, or at least a link to the forums, up near the top of the page.

    You can also view the regular apartment forum which has a modified very of the default template.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

  • _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    Very impressive.

    Why not modify the CSS to match the blue links/text from your main site theme?

    You can look at kakumei blue to see how easy it is to change from regular kakumei green theme to blue.

    ps. I just updated Human Test to work with the BB-Anonymous-Posting plugin if that helps you too. Though sometimes it’s better to encourage people to at least register instantly rather than less manageable anonymous posting.


    My Apartment Map
    Member

    @my-apartment-map

    Thank you _ck_, I think I might take a look at that. While its good to get people to register, I think my site and its forum are geared more towards single time users who might ask a question rather than people who return multiple times. So the Anon plugin might be a good idea.

    As far as the green text. I thought about changing, but I actually thought it looks kind of nice in green. Do you think it would look better in the blue?


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    For some reason I’ve never liked the default kakumei green and like kakumei blue much better instead. But other people can make it worth well enough on their sites. I only mentioned the blue option because the rest of your main site’s links and text are in blue and the green in the forum makes it look “foreign” to the rest of the site.


    My Apartment Map
    Member

    @my-apartment-map

    So I’ve done some more integration of bb-press as the user backend of my site. I’m just posting if anyone in the future is interested in this type of integration and to see how I’ve done it.

    I’ve added a Sign in or Register link to the header on every page on my site. I used the Thickbox library with jquery to produce those non obtrusive popups that don’t get blocked because they don’t create a new browser window. (http://www.myapartmentmap.com, Click on the “Sign in” link to see it)

    I recreated the sign in form and post to the same URL as you would if you were signing into bbpress. I created a new hidden field called “loginSmall” that tells me if the user is logging in from the small box or the regular forum login. If I detect that the login is from the small box I redirect the user to a new page after the login. This new page closes the Thickbox popup and refreshes the current users page.

    So in effect, the user can login from any page on my site without leaving the page. I still have a few small bugs to work out but overall it works pretty well. The biggest downside is that my registration page still looks a little like its the forum registration. I tried to dress it up to make it look like the site registration.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

    That’s awesome! great work. How did you geotag your posts/info? I’ve been looking for a bbPress geotag plugin.


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Have to add my tuppence too; superb!

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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