It’s not often that I get excited over a new website product but the official beta release of BuddyPress is exciting to me. What’s exciting about BuddyPress is that I might finally build that social network that I’ve been planning for about two years now. That seems like a whole lot of planning but I’ve actually been testing different (free) social network platforms during that time, and haven’t found anything that could brng my concept a reality. But now I have new hope that my project will actually get officially launched sometime in 2009.
So if you haven’t been paying attention and are wondering what a social network is, it’s your typical FaceBook or MySpace type of Website application allowing users to communicate in various interactive ways like instant messaging, video, photos, blog posts and more. And now BuddyPress allows us to easily build our own social network based on the WordPress multiple user blog platform. Constructing a useful, intuitive, enjoyable social network website is not going to be as easy as building the basic WordPress blog, but surely it will be one of the most user friendly and cost effective (it’s free) social network platforms in the open source market.
If you are still unsure what Buddypress could do for you then Petomundo is a good example of a social network built from the BuddyPress platform. Petomundo is a social network where dog and cat owners can share photos & videos, seek and give expertise, make friends, and even purchase pet products. It’s a place where dog and cat owners might hang out if they discover the useful, interactive, intuitive experience they are seeking. If they are not into the interactive experience then Petomundo may not be for them.
So what kind of opportunities will BuddyPress present us? Hopefully the ability to create social networks that are actually functional, appealing and truly useful. And do we need more social networks? I know there are hundreds, if not thousands of web masters, developers, and marketers out there, just like me, waiting to create their own social network. And most of us have the same end goal of monitizing the social network for profit. The fact is that only a small percentage of these ideas might become reality, and only a small percentage of those will be truely successful. There is always room for another social network if Internet users find it useful, the other ideas will simply fall to the bottom of the pile never to be seen except by their creators. I know this because I have a few of these bottom of the pile projects myself. Most Internet entrepreneurs do have a handful of unsuccessful projects. Unsuccessful because of a lack of interest, time, funding, planning or simply it was a bad idea.
I think we will see some outstanding BuddyPress social network websites appearing in 2009. I’m certain we’ll see some aweful attempts. Hopefully mine will be the former.