[wp-hackers] forum integration

John Mulholland johnmulholland at fastmail.fm
Sun Jan 29 15:14:51 GMT 2006

> Hi John,

Hello everyone,

I am not too sure of the netiqutte of replying to disparate threads at 
the same time. Apologies if this is improper.

> Consider using MHonArc < http://www.mhonarc.org/ >, which I have happily
> been using for a couple of years.

That looks like a very interesting piece of code. The idea of parsing 
syndicated forum new post announcements would work well with this.

> It initially sounds as though bbPress < http://bbpress.org/ > would be a
> suitable vocation. However, you are clearly referring to third-party 
> forums
> (?). You must adopt some new posting habits and combine them with 
> scripts to
> automate the process. This also depends on the bulletin board S/W in
> question.

Exactly, it is third party forum software I was referring to. Apologies 
if my initial mail seemed confusing. I appreciate that such a post may 
have been better directed to the forum development lists. However, I 
posted it here as I was interested to hear about the feasibility issue, 
and wp integration.

>> 1. when posting to a forum, also post to wp
> Would it be possible to hack a plugin together that would do the 
> following;
> No context? Purely SEO purposes?

And you have hit the nail right on the head there. It would be purely 
for SEO purposes. The wp network is already a vast area of contextual 
information. I am interested in leveraging it, for the personal users 
benefit. It seems that the current model for information retrieval is

1. third party search engine
2. blog / forum post / specialist site

It would be interesting to see how the first point could be removed. It 
looks like wp is already making great developments into site 
association. (I dont fully understand how XFN works though).  If the 
information from point one was already contained with point two, then 
any search which used the wp XFN network would (I am supposing) provide 
search results with a greater relevance and context. I dont know, 
perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree with this one.

>> 2. when a reply to post on forum is made, wp updates comments into 
>> threads accordingly.
>> 3. wp notification of posts of interest
> Sounds like bbPress, which is actually worth considering.

It is bbpress, but on steroids :)

>> This would of course need some hacking of forum software, but in 
>> theory it should be possible.
> What would be the purpose and what about content duplicability 
> (mirroring)?
> What about consent from participants?

nail on head. x2.

Content duplicability is a concern. But then again, mailing lists often 
publish archives and that doesnt seem to be too much of a problem. I 
think the consent issue on the other hand is much more interesting. I am 
not sure if that could be overcome. This is why I tentatively suggested 
a check box for opt in. It doesnt really address the issue of a 
informative reply being put into a contextual framework on a site 
elsewhere that the author may not appreciate. To some extent though, 
that is what bloggers have been doing for some time now.

>> I am thinking of a -also post to blog- checkbox type function, so 
>> people can opt in. Although I am not sure what the situation is with 
>> smf, phpbb, and vbulletin hooks.
>> phpBB has a syndication mod, which I recommend you take advantage of to
>> cater for requirement (3).
I do! I am a big fan of forum syndication. However, it does clog up my 

>>> If blogs really are the simplest way to realise cultural capital 
>>> into filthy money, then it would be great to have a central place 
>>> for forum posts - regardless of which forum they are posted in.
>> I'd take Kaf's opinion on this. I consider blogs to be filthier than 
>> forums,
>> but /hey/! That's just me... 
That is interesting. I guess it comes down to an issue of signal to 
noise. I am interested in exploring the idea that instead of searching a 
noisy area - a forum of disparate posts, you search for the nearest 
relevant signal - an associated blog. It would be an inconvenience 
looking for something that no one you know has an interest in. But it 
would save me a lot of time, if my friend had already looked for that 
information. There seems to be a lot of talk about "whatever 2.0" and it 
appears that whatever is the most disruptive is the most applauded. 
Well, I think this could shake things up a bit. Again though, perhaps I 
am way off on this.

>> Blogs are improperly built to accommodate multi-user forum posts. As an
>> analogy, rarely should you use forum software to build an image gallery.
>> Open Source CMS software is often generalised enough to fit other 
>> functions
>> (I happen to use Wikis to talk to friends and family), yet 
>> 'doability' never
>> implies optimality. Use the right tool for the job at hand. Stick with
>> forums or explore to find SEO-friendly BB packages that understand 
>> feeds.
That is an excellent point, and one I will try to remember in future.

Thanks again to all for the replies.  I have learnt a lot, and find this 
field of computing fascinating. If anyone has anything to add on this, I 
look forward to the reply. If anyone ever fancies chatting about this or 
similar off list, then please do drop me a line.

Lastly, I just wanted to say thanks for the wp and bbpress development 
work. It is a fine example of open source software. I can find it hard 
to articulate my thoughts clearly, so I'd like to quote an author called 
Alice Walker. She was commenting on the times we live in. To me it 
perfectly sums up my feelings toward open source software, and people 
such as yourselves.

"Despite the pain I feel in honestly encountering the reality of life. I 
find it a wonderful time to be alive. This is because at no other time 
known to human beings has it been easier to give and receive energy, 
support and love from people never met, experiences never had."

- John

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list