PeepSo Stable Release Is Out!

The PeepSo 1.0.0 stable release is out now! It’s taken us more than a year and a half, a ton of effort and more coffee than you’d think a team of developers could absorb but it worked. The result is fantastic!

We’ve already received some great feedback and some very warm press. It’s been great to see how excited the WordPress community is about PeepSo.

PeepSo, Try It FREE!

PeepSo’s core is absolutely free and it gives you a ton of features. You can download it here.

Premium Plugins Available

To enhance the functionality of PeepSo we created some powerful plugins that you’re going to love. PicSo will let your members share photos, FriendSo lets them add friends and VidSo gives their videos an audience. And that’s not all. You can see a full list here.

What To Expect When You Install PeepSo For The First Time

Install PeepSo, and you’ll find a few pages already built for you. Inside those pages are shortcodes. To show the PeepSo main page on your site, you’ll just need to create a menu item to link to the Activity page.

I recommend you replace the default “Welcome Image” with a picture that suits your community: a shot of a golfer for a golfing community, for example. Start making your PeepSo yours.

PeepSo Works With Your WordPress Theme

PeepSo should work fine with almost every theme; we tested it with fifteen of the most popular themes and it looks great. Its design is also generic enough to work with almost any theme. If you want to make any changes to the look-and-feel, you can just tweak the CSS.

Join Our Community

Want to give some feedback? Bursting with ideas for PeepSo? Or just want to tell us how much you love our work and want to buy us all a big, cold beer? We have a great community where you can share with us and with others. We love meeting our users. It’s what makes PeepSo so awesome!
community

Create PeepSo Plugins

We have already received interest from developers for creating PeepSo plugins. If you’re interested too, you can learn more about our developer program here.

What about the changelog?

The changelog for PeepSo core and its supporting plugins is available on this page.

What’s Next For PeepSo?

Our road map shows exactly what we are planning for the future. It’s a lot of work but we aim to have a new release every two to four weeks. You can expect some new features soon!

Thank you for being an early adopter!

I know it’s hard to trust a new product. But we’re not a new team. We’ve been creating great products for ten years, including JomSocial which does for Joomla what PeepSo does on WordPress. We know exactly what it takes to create awesome social networking plugins. I hope you’ll give PeepSo a try, be an early adopter — and then become a raving evangelist!

Here are two videos on how to upgrade PeepSo

PeepSo upgrade via WP backend

PeepSo upgrade from a zip file

Getting On the Same Page…Literally

The saying goes, “are we on the same page?” Meaning: do we understand each other, is everything clear, has everyone learned what they need to know so progress can be made.

It’s an ideal metaphor for good communication, particularly when applied to web pages; if all your colleagues and customers are scattered across different platforms and channels, it’s going to be much more difficult to ensure people are getting the information you need them to get, when you need them to get it.

PeepSo's admin interface.

PeepSo’s admin interface.

Creating your own social network saves you from having to post the same message, over and over. You can have a real conversation in a quiet, dedicated space, rather than participating in the online equivalent of shouting in a crowded room. It works better from the customer’s end, too: rather than being unsure whether they should inbox you, text you, tweet you, send you a carrier pigeon, etc to get in touch with you, they’ll have a central communication hub where they know they’ll be able to get the support and advice they need. Further, it’s all on your website; the same place they’d go to purchase your product(s). 

PeepSo is the ideal plugin if you’re looking to start your own social network; it’s clean, streamlined, and easy to use (no coding knowledge necessary). The admin interface will be of particular interest to business owners, as it allows you a huge amount of control and insight (similar information to Facebook’s Insights tool, but easier to read and interpret); you can track post engagements, check reported content (you decide what’s acceptable, not Facebook), check your member demographics, and much more.

All of your information and communication in one place. Simple, smart, and effective.

Case Study: Gamurs and Niche Social Networking

Last week, we talked about Christian niche social networking site Facegloria, and how it stands as proof that people are looking for a smaller, more streamlined social networking experience. Gamurs, a social networking site for gamers, is yet another success story; since launching around three weeks ago, they’ve attracted over 6,000 members (by comparison, Facebook gained 150,000 members in its first four months).

Gamurs: another niche social network success story.

Gamurs: another niche social network success story.

It’s intended to be a one-stop-shop for everything gaming; a place where members can find news, share with like-minded people, and talk about different games and platforms all in one place (filling a major market gap; existing offerings tend to focus on one platform or game). Most of their revenue so far has been raised through seed funding, but further down the line they’ll be looking at partnerships with developers and offering premium subscriptions.

Again, this is a great example of why we shouldn’t think of sites like Facebook and Twitter as the be-all and end-all of social networking; there’s a clear demand for a new kind of social networking experience, and sites like Facegloria and Gamurs are capitalising on it.

PeepSo can turn any site into a social network, opening up this experience and opportunity to everyone with a WordPress site; the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Market Networks: The New Way to Do Business Online

In an article he wrote for TechCrunch last month, James Currier looked at the rise of market networking software; software that provides an intersection between online marketplaces (sites like Etsy, eBay and AirBnB which allow multiple buyers to connect with multiple sellers), and social networking sites (sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, which emulate our offline social networks and are based around identity); he provides HoneyBook as an example, a market network for the events industry which allows professionals to connect around projects and keep all of that project’s transactions and paperwork in one place.

Image by NFX LLC.

Image by NFX LLC.

Currier suggests that these market networks have an edge over simple online marketplaces – and I would add, websites with selling capabilities – as they encourage a connection more meaningful and long-term than a simple transaction. They emulate how business happens in real life: the networks of professionals and clients which pop up on these sites often begin with people who have been communicating for years inviting each other to the site, and creating an online version of a network that already exists via fax, phone, invoices, etc.

Installing PeepSo on your website is the first step to creating your own market network. It allows you to bring all your professional connections together in one place and introduce them to each other. You can tell people about a new product and send them to the checkout page, with them staying on your site the entire time. You can build meaningful online connections within the parameters you want to set for them, eliminating the blurring between personal and professional that Facebook doesn’t just enable, but enforces (you have to have a personal account, for example, to use their Business Manager tool).

Marketing networks are the next step in successful online business, and PeepSo has everything you need to get started.

 

The Shelf Life of a Social Network Post

Posts on social networking sites can be like feathers in the wind; you never know just how far they’ll spread. A simple share or like by an influential person or page can take a post that’s months old, and turn it viral; but for most posts, according to a study done by Bitly, they have about three hours to get their message across before they disappear (interestingly, YouTube is anomalous here; links shared from YouTube tend to last around seven hours before fading away).

A graph showing the shelf life of a Bitly post.

A graph showing the shelf life of a Bitly post.

If you’re sending out an important message about your business, that leaves you with two options (or three, if you consider posting your message as a YouTube video an option): pay to boost your post, or keep reposting your message again and again to try and reach as many people as possible. As a small business, it can be near impossible to make your voice heard over discriminatory algorithms and the noise of an endlessly refreshing newsfeed.

Having your own social network increases the shelf life of your posts drastically – there’s just not as much to compete with. It helps you to ensure that your messages are getting to the people who care about your business, and what you’re doing – without having to pay extra.

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Looking For An Alternative To BuddyPress?

BuddyPress is a popular social network plugin for WordPress. It’s made by Automattic, the same company that is behind WordPress. It’s free and it’s featured on the backend of WordPress, and it’s been around since 2009. It’s not surprising that BuddyPress has 200.000+ installs.

Third party developers have created hundreds of plugins for BuddyPress and designed plenty of themes to make it look prettier.

So what’s wrong with it?

Let’s clarify something from the get go. Our intent here is NOT to bad mouth BuddyPress. We understand that it has been created by developers in their spare time, out of pure passion, in order to service the WordPress community. And that’s cool. However, as we operate in the same sector, we have received numerous complaints throughout time on aspects and issues that WordPress users encounter such as: an outdated look and feel, numerous compatibility issues with other plugins and slow development are some of the main issues, in addition to an old code and a limited set of built-in features, not to mention a lack of speedy technical support, leaving customers feeling alone, stranded and impotent to fix issues.

Take a look at PeepSo! Ta-da…things are quite different here.

PeepSo is an established, lightweight social networking plugin for WordPress. The code is new, shiny and optimized. The design is modern and slick. It comes with some great features, including epic integration and monetization plugins such as LearnDash, Advanced Ads, WPAdverts, WooCommerce and many more. PeepSo is 100% GDPR compliant. Aaaaaaand it offers fanatical support. Plus, because we believe in the power of community, we’ve made it so you can try it for free!

Elegantly coded, excellent support, unbelievable community. If you are looking to step up your community game then you have come to the right place. -@perihelionweb

Sure, PeepSo doesn’t have hundreds of third party plugins yet, but it looks great and has everything you need to get started right away. It is user-friendly and we guide you every step of the way to ensure you are good and settled to focus on your prime baby – Your Community.Your Way!

PeepSo Screen Capture

PeepSo Screen Capture

PeepSo was created with scalability in mind and with very strict code standards. It will look great inside your current theme.

Most importantly, we’re looking at a bright future ahead! We have invested time and resources into PeepSo because we believe that social networking on WordPress sites are in growing demand. A strong online community is essential for brand awareness and business development. Read more on how to create and grow your own online community here.

PeepSo Foundation is totally free. You can download it and take it for a test drive with no commitment at all. Further paid plugins add functionality but you can install (and pay for) only the functions you need. These are all our list of add-on plugins you can choose from.

How it started

When Brad Bihun contacted Merav Knafo, PeepSo’s original Founder, he mentioned that WordPress’s community really needed a community plugin that was stable, effective and run by an efficient team. At the time, Merav had just acquired the popular JomSocial and her hands were full.

A year and a half later, JomSocial was running smoothly and Merav was finally ready to consider taking on a new project. PeepSo, the promising project that it was, as presented by Brad, was next on the line.

Brad found some of the best WordPress developers in the world, and put them behind PeepSo’s grand architecture. Within seventeen months (this was back in 2015), the first version of PeepSo was born.

He was right. Fast forward 3 years, into the present, we can safely say that the WordPress community has loved us and continues to support us! They’ve expressed an increasing interest, plenty of excitement and much heart-warming praise. Check out what people say about us! 

WordPress Review for PeepSo Social Networking Plugin

We love you too!

What’s Next For PeepSo?

PeepSo continues to scale, steady and firm. We currently power over 3,000 communities (and counting) from all around the world. We have launched PeepSo translations in English, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Japanese and Dutch and are working hard on including many others! We offer 24 paid plugins plus our PeepSo Free Foundation one. We’ve simplified it for those who just want the complete experience and you can now enjoy a single license key installation for all our plugins through our PeepSo Ultimate Bundle (an absolute favorite by most).

We have big plans for PeepSo. You can check them out on our PeepSo Future page. We welcome developers interested in collaborating on the creation of third party plugins for PeepSo. If you’re a code-lover like us, visit PeepSo’s Developer Group on our community for ideas about and to get involved!

Download PeepSo Today!

See for yourself. PeepSo Foundation is free. Give it a try! Just click the download button at the top of this page and get started. And if you’re well on your way to setting up a mega-powerful community with all the bells and whistles, you might want to check out our super Ultimate Bundle Deal, which gives you access to everything we have on store and what’s to come, at an insanely discounted price. We live for community. ❤︎

Have you found this article helpful? Share the love! Leave you comments below. What has your experience been with community building?

Outsourcing Censorship: Who Cleans Up Your Social Network’s Feed?

To keep offensive content out of our newsfeeds, social networking sites can employ one of two strategies: they can “active moderate”(screening every single post uploaded), or they can rely on their users to report anything suspicious or unsavory, and pass those reports over to content moderators. Larger sites like Twitter and Facebook tend to use the latter strategy and, given the sheer number of reported posts daily, it’s understandable that they’d decide to outsource moderation of reported content.

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Image via Tony Adams on Flickr.

Many of the people who spend their days looking through reported content are horrendously underpaid international contractors, making as little as one dollar per hour plus commissions (estimated to bring their average rate of pay up to four dollars an hour). They’re often highly educated and must pass a stringent English test in order to gain the role. Most content moderators end up leaving the role due to the psychological damage caused by hours of looking through incredibly disturbing content, from beheadings to animal torture. On-shore workers are better paid and can have very good physical working conditions, but still end up suffering greatly from what they have to look through each day: in an interview with Wired, a US based former content moderator describes developing depression and problems with alcohol as a result of the videos he was moderating for YouTube.

While Facebook’s public documentation keeps its content guidelines relatively vague, they’re laid out in explicit detail for its content moderators. A Moroccan contractor recently released his copy to Gawker, and its seventeen pages are divided into sections like “sex and nudity”, “hate content” and “graphic content.” Cartoon urine is okay, real urine is not. Deep flesh wounds and blood are okay, mothers breastfeeding is not. Some posts are judged on their context, rather than their content (eg, videos of animal abuse are okay as long as the person who posted it clearly thinks animal abuse is wrong). Strangely, all photoshopped content (whether positive, negative or neutral) is approved for deletion.

When you think about it, it’s concerning how little most social media users know about the rules they are expected to follow, or about the people and processes involved in enforcing those rules. One of the major benefits of starting your own social network is that you’re playing by your own rules – and you know exactly what those rules are. You decide what is acceptable, and what is not; both in terms of common decency, and keeping your community on-message.

Facebook Groups: The Social Network Within a Social Network

In 2010, Facebook completely revamped their Groups product; the idea was to create smaller communities within Facebook where people could discuss a shared interest, talk with their family members, buy and sell goods within their local community, connect with any of the smaller microcosms within the macrocosm of Facebook. Groups can be open (anyone can take part in the conversation), closed (anyone can request to join and see the group’s members and description, but won’t see content until they’re approved) or secret (you have to be invited by an existing member to even know the group exists). You can opt-in to get a notification every time someone posts in the group, see all posts to the group in your newsfeed, or only see content when you visit the group’s page.

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Facebook Groups: proof that people want smaller-scale social networks

Given how much Facebook filters newsfeed content from Pages, it’s no wonder businesses are turning to Groups to interact with their customers. Groups also allow you much more control over who can see and interact with your content, meaning businesses have less trolls and spammers to deal with. Posts are ordered by last interaction (a new comment will send a post to the top of the group’s feed), rather than by popularity; and you can guarantee that, unless they opt out, your members will see everything you post – without you having to pay exorbitant advertising/boosting fees. You can control content by creating your own list of group rules, and remove any members who don’t abide by them.

When people ask what’s the point of creating your own social network, they only need to look to Facebook Groups – the popularity of this service shows that there’s a demand for smaller online communities. These groups *are* their own social networks, we just don’t identify them as such because they come under the Facebook umbrella.

Facebook Groups are still subject to Facebook’s rules and regulations; you might be able to ensure everyone you’re connected with will see your posts, but Facebook still has the right to collect data about you and your group members, and they can remove your group without notice. If you create your own social network, on your own website, you get all the benefits of a Facebook Group without any of the drawbacks. You’re also able to connect with people who might not want to join the macrocosm of Facebook for personal reasons, or who might not want business activities connected with a personal account.

PeepSo 1.0.0 RC4 Is Out

PeepSo 1.0.0 RC4 is mostly a bugfix release before we announce a stable version. We’ve improved the licensing and squished bugs with MsgSo, TagSo, PicSo and other plugins. We’ve also added a new panel to PeepSo Dashboard where you can see which supporting addon plugins you have installed and which are not yet a part of your setup.

And the performance has improved too. PeepSo is now much better and much faster than we thought possible.

We’ve received some great feedback so far on PeepSo. It’s great to know that the plugins we’re working so hard on each day are finding users who really enjoy them. Communities are growing big and strong, and we’re developing bigger, happier smiles.

It’s fabulous news.

You can see the full changelog here.

As an RC version, don’t install PeepSo on a production site just yet. Soon though, real soon.

Survival of the Social Media Fittest

The internet food chain: survival of the biggest?

The internet food chain: survival of the biggest?

We’ve all seen the rise and fall of major social networks – MySpace was a place for friends, until all your friends moved over to Bebo, before they moved over to Facebook, and then some of them decided to head over to Ello.

The history of social networking (as distinct from social media) tells us that co-existing isn’t an option; that you want to be where all of your friends are, that new social networks succeed through mass migration – that it’s survival of the fittest, and the biggest.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Creating a social network doesn’t have to be about trying to win the game these internet giants have created – it can simply be a choice to play your own game, with your own rules.

Having your own social network on your own website doesn’t mean foregoing Facebook, just like inviting someone to your own private dinner party doesn’t mean they can’t go to a rave with thousands of people later that week. You can take advantage of the breadth you get advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, while using your own corner of the web to have in-depth conversations about what really matters to you and your business.