Posted May 4, 2009 7:56 am by with 4 comments

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buddy-pressLate last week the parent company of WordPress, Automattic, unveiled BuddyPress which is designed to build social networks around WordPress sites reports

While the idea of being able to build a social network is certainly not new (Ning has found some considerable success here) the ability to do it around existing WordPress sites certainly deserves notice. With millions of blogs and sites using WordPress the impact could be significant.
Matt Mullenweg of Automattic lays it out in his blog saying

“There’s been a dearth of Open Source tools that enable the social web. I don’t think BuddyPress will be something you use instead of your existing social networks… but if you wanted to start something new maybe with more control, friendlier terms of service, or just something customized and tweaked to fit into your existing site, then BuddyPress is a great framework.”

Pretty smart approach considering that while there are a lot of social networks there are more to come as users get more sophisticated and want more opportunity. With the existing user base for WordPress the opportunity exists to make a substantial impact in the marketplace in short order.

This latest addition follows other purchases by Automattic which includes PollDaddy. That, coupled with $30 million in investment, makes Automattic a real force. Mullenweg continues in his blog saying

In WordPress we have a robust and extensible base that can scale to many millions of users, and BuddyPress is essentially a set of plugins on top of WordPress that add private messaging, profiles, friends, groups, activity streams, and everything else you’ve come to expect from your favorite social network, like a Facebook-in-a-box.

While building a social network is not quite as easy as “if you build it they will come” having a tool like this could move the idea along in many peoples’ minds more quickly than they might have imagined.

  • Nate @ Debt-free Scholar

    I am considering adding buddy press to my blog. Maybe when I start getting more visitors…


    Nate @ Debt-free Scholar’s last blog post..Did You Bring Home the Swine Flu?

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  • Alan Bleiweiss

    Frank, Thanks for the article.

    As much as I try, I can’t keep up on every single new thing that comes along in our online industry. Not only was I not aware of BuddyPress yet, but I hadn’t heard of the PollDaddy acquisition til now either!

    At the same time, did we really need yet one more social networking solution? LOL Truth is though, if it’s got seamless integration with WordPress, and becomes robust enough through plug-ins then I’m betting it will take a bite out of Ning. I’ve seen people try to use Ning with no clue how to use the environment and end up butchering it.

    Alan Bleiweiss’s last blog post..Deceptive SEO Tactics – The Case of the $798 SEO Guru

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