My Apartment Map Geo Target Forum Finished!
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)
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.
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