Monthly Archives: April 2010

Google Summer of Code, WordPress, and BuddyPress

I’m extremely pleased to announce (after weeks of keeping mum until the official word was released!) that I’ll be co-mentoring several projects for Google Summer of Code and WordPress. For those of you who don’t know, GSoC is an initiative by Google to support summer coding projects by undergraduate and graduate students working on various established open-source projects. WordPress has 15 projects this year, several of which are related to BuddyPress. As a mentor on two of the projects, I’ll be helping to hone the project scopes, do code reviews, and in general lend a hand where I can to my two mentees. Here they are:

I am very excited to get started working with these great students!

More Import from Ning goodness – ( Ning to BuddyPress / WordPress )

As promised in my last post, I’ve reworked the Import from Ning WordPress plugin so that it is BuddyPress-aware. That means that, if you run the plugin on a blog where BuddyPress is activated, additional steps will be added to the import process, allowing you to automatically import whichever profile fields and data you’d like from the Ning export.

I also got rid of the pesky copy-and-paste requirement in favor of a direct .csv file upload.

Check out the plugin at its new homepage.

Importing Ning users into WP

Today Ning announced that it would be ending its free social networking service. I tweeted something to the effect that this event is a wake-up call: When you use closed-source, third-party hosted solutions for something as valuable as community connections, you are leaving yourself open to the whims and sways of corporate boards. It’s not that Ning is evil or anything – it goes without saying that they need to make a profit – but their priorities are importantly different from those of their users. In the same way that Ning moves from a freemium model to a paid model, Facebook could start selling your crap, Twitter could crash, Tumblr could go out of business, etc.

All this is a good argument to be using software solutions that are more under your control. Like – drumroll – WordPress and BuddyPress.

Enough moralizing. I whipped together a plugin this afternoon called Import From Ning that will allow you to get a CSV export of your Ning community’s member list (the only content that Ning has a handy export feature for, alas) and use it to import members into a WordPress installation.

As of right now, it does not have any BuddyPress-specific functionality. But the data that it does import – display name, username, email address – are enough to populate at least the beginnings of a BuddyPress profile. The next thing to add is the auto-import of certain profile fields. I might try to do this tomorrow. The plugin is based on DDImportUsers – thanks!


  • Download the zip file and unzip into your WP plugins directory
  • Look for the Import from Ning menu under Dashboard > Users (unless you’re running a recent trunk version of BuddyPress, in which case it will be under the BuddyPress menu)
  • Follow the instructions on that page

Download the plugin here.

Big new version of Invite Anyone for BuddyPress

My BuddyPress function Invite Anyone has always been misleadingly named. It expanded on BuddyPress’s default setup, which only allows members to send group invitations to people who they’re friends with, by allowing individuals to send invitations to anyone in the entire installation. This only qualifies as inviting anyone on a, er, very austere ontology of personhood. The new version of Invite Anyone, version 0.4, adds a new tab to BuddyPress profile tabs that allows invitation both to groups and to the site in general via email. It’s a big update, both in terms of features and in terms of sheer code (pretty sure the number of lines of code is close to triple what it was before).

And now you know what I did on my spring break.

If you know what’s good for you, you will Check It Out.