Warning: If this post sounds much more sinical than usual, it’s because the lack of attention this particular area of software has received from the OS community is unacceptable and half-arsed attempts make it all the more frustrating.
While I’m intrigued with the possibilities a social network script built on WordPress MU could potentially offer, I find the overall goal and ambition of the BuddyPress project completely underwhelming. A FOSS social network sounds great – since a decent open source solution for social networks simply doesn’t exist yet (note: the one that had the most chance was phpizabi, but the project died over a year ago. Probably because it’s complete crap) – but I’m failing to see the point of BuddyPress. If I’m going to start a social network with even a mediocre feature set, BuddyPress isn’t going go get me there.
I’m going to hold off final judgment until 1.0 ships, but at this point I’m less enthused than I was when I first found I’d be able to make a social network with BuddyPress.
Criticism is no good unless it’s constructive, but there isn’t enough of the project finished for me to go there. I know all to well how much can change between a day before release and release do, so when you’re as far out as they are from a final product there’s conjecture. My advice at this point would simply be “focus on making the site more interactive”.
I’ll check in when they launch along with every other blogger in the world and set up a test site. I’m mostly looking forward to releasing a free buddypress theme (it’ll exist when the theme exists) based on a social network design I’ve had finished for a while now though. I may begin work on it before completion actually, so stay tuned.