Why Choose WordPress?

When it comes to choosing a content management system for your website, WordPress is a cut above the rest; many people have waxed lyrical about its design capabilities and ease of use. Here’s a collection of snippets from our favorite love letters to WordPress, in case you’re trying to get someone to convert and need a little extra evidence (you’ll probably also want to mention how easy it is to use WordPress to create your own, private social network).

I-love-WordPress

A WordPress business website can be as big as you want it to be, from a simple blog page to large website with a number of complex features including ecommerce. The website can grow and adapt as your business evolves. – Cool Candy Media

Aggregator support is built-in with a number of standard RSS configurations already done for you, as well as Atom. Following standards makes your WordPress site easier to manage, increases its longevity for future Internet technology adoption, and helps give your site the widest audience possible. – WordPress Codex

WordPress is written using standard compliance high quality code and produces semantic mark up which makes your site very attractive to search engines. By design WordPress is very SEO friendly, and you can make it even more SEO friendly by using WordPress SEO plugin.WP Beginner

The main feature that drew me to WordPress – and keeps me using it – is the ease of use for end users. Most of my clients are non-technical and need an easy way to manage their sites. With WordPress, I can create very complex, feature rich websites that are easy to manage.Bill Erickson.

I chose WordPress a decade ago, for its license, its flexibility, and its community. Ten years later, I am happy to say that these reasons are still in place, and still behind my fondness for the software. You can use WordPress to do just about anything, which speaks to its capabilities and its license. And it is developed, translated, documented, supported, and hosted by one of the kindest, most amazing software communities I have ever encountered.Mark Jaquith

WordPress is over ten years old. During the past decade WordPress has been refined, tested, and enhanced. In the process it has evolved into a world-class web publishing system. – WP Apprentice

We believe that WordPress is a long term solution because of the freedom it offers organizations. Since you don’t have to know programming to create and update your website, it frees you from dependency on employees, volunteers or board members that you may have had to rely on before to update your website. The ease of use also frees up a lot of your time that would otherwise be spent in training. Most importantly, being an open ecosystem,with all the plugins, themes, and developers available, WordPress  frees you from being locked into an antiquated or unsuitable website.MemberFindMe

There’s a million reasons to love WordPress, from its responsive design to its ease of use; and as PeepSo grows and develops, we keep finding reasons to love it even more.

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking

The first job of a community manager

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking

I’m going to keep this simple.

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking.

Sure, you’ll have to deal with complaints. You’ll have to answer questions. You’ll need to filter out the false profiles and the posts that breach the guidelines.

But that’s not your job.

Your main job is to make sure that your members post content and other members respond to that content.

And if your members aren’t posting content, your second job will be to find new members who will.

That’s all for now! In the next post, I’ll talk about what makes a community thrive.

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

Your First Community Members – Where to find your VIP seeds

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

Communities that thrive over the long term don’t start with a flash. They begin as a small gathering and grow into a fun party. The right way to start isn’t with a mass email and a broad appeal. It’s with exclusive invitations to a select few who you know will talk and communicate—and eventually attract a bunch of friends.

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

The first place to look for them is among people you know. It’s likely that you’re already part of a community so tell your friends and the people you’ve met at conferences what you’re doing and invite them to participate.

It’s possible that those contacts alone will be enough to seed your community.

If you need to look further, hit bloggers. Avoid the top bloggers in your field. They already have a community. Try to bring in the mid-rankers, people who have a way to climb and will want to work with you to reach more people.

You can also contact commenters on those blogs. You know they have opinions so invite them to share those opinions in your community where they’ll be seen and discussed instead of hiding them away in a comment section.

Amazon book reviewers can share their knowledge with your members, and if you still need more people, contact the biggest contributors to targeted Facebook pages.

It shouldn’t take you long to sign up your first twenty members and because they’ll be knowledgeable and opinionated, they’ll be real contributors who build conversations and attract more people.

That’s all for now! In the next post, I’ll be talking about a community manager’s first job.

 

The five different types of online community

The five different types of online communityI’m really looking forward to helping your community to grow and thrive.

Let’s talk about the five different kinds of communities that come together online.

Action communities campaign for social change. Their unity comes from a shared value. The challenge for the community leader is to maintain interest even when that change is slow to come. Small victories help, coupled with advice to help community members spread awareness in their own lives.

Local communities focus on a small area. They provide a way for neighbors to exchange news and information. While these communities often have local leaders, they also have plenty of grassroots support and no shortage of interaction. Keep an eye out for marketing that can spoil the experience and control it by restricting ads to one day a week or by sloughing commercial messages into a separate part of the community.

Professional communities let people doing similar work share advice and experience. Make sure that your content and the information available in the community is welcoming to new members but also advanced enough to interest experienced professionals.

Communities based on circumstance gather together people who share a particular situation, such as motherhood or drug addiction. Members of these communities are often looking for information. Be prepared to do plenty of curation, motivate experienced members to contribute and publish lots of your own content.

And interest communities are focused on a particular passion, hobby or brand. These can be the most fun so you’ll need to make the sure the content is entertaining and invites engagement. Videos are particularly effective. Publish your own and encourage others to upload theirs.

Know which kind of community you’re building. Understand what members of that community are looking for. Be the example that other members will follow. That’s all for now! In the next message, I’ll be talking about those first VIP seeds.

 

PeepSo 1.2.0 Has Native WordPress oEmbed Support

I know what you’re thinking: “Wow! Fantastic! Superb! Awesome! Fabulous… Huh?”

You were right the first time. oEmbed in PeepSo 1.2.0 is a way of presenting a link on a website. Instead of showing blue text and an underline, you get to show the actual content you want to share. So if you wanted to show your visitors a YouTube video, instead of telling them where to go, you embed the video itself.

YouTube embeded link.

YouTube embedded link.

You’ve seen this before. All the big names online— Spotify, InstagramTwitter—they all do it. It’s a fantastic way of presenting content.

Instagram embeded image.

Instagram embedded image.

oEmbed isn’t just pretty. It also helps with usability and it keeps people on your site. Instead of sending your users to YouTube, you can show them the video inline and keep them with you.

Twitter embedded link.

Twitter embedded link.

PeepSo now supports all of the embeds that WordPress natively supports. You can see the whole list here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Embeds

And if you really want to learn oEmbed’s technical details you can take a look here: http://oembed.com/

 

PeepSo 1.2.0

PeepSo 1.2.0 Is Out!

We’re proud to announce the release of PeepSo 1.2.0. This release focuses on Core PeepSo and MsgSo. We added a bunch of new features and improved others.

Core PeepSo Improvements

Members Page

PeepSo 1.1.0 introduced a Members Page that listed community members and included a search field. This version adds sorting and filters.

You can sort users by:

  • Alphabetical order
  • Recently online
  • Latest members

You can also select members by gender and only view users who have uploaded avatars. Combining filters means you could search for “female users with avatars who were recently online.” Cool, right? You could even filter further by adding a name and looking for “female users with avatars who were recently online and called ‘Jane.’”

We used Ajax to power the search which means there are no reloads and everything is superfast. Want to see how fast? Check this out.

Members page user filtering

Members page user filtering

Twitter link fetched on PeepSo Stream

Twitter link fetched on PeepSo Stream

Native WordPress oEmbeds in PeepSo

Paste a video link or Instagram link into a Web page and you immediately get a preview of the destination. It’s very cool… so we now do the same thing in Peepso. Paste a link and those oEmbeds (that’s what they’re called) will give your audience a preview. This is how it looks.

Cool, right?

MsgSo improvements

Ajax worked so well in Search that we decided to use it to improve Messages as well. Now there’s no need to reload a page when sending a message and when someone contacts you, you’ll receive both a notification and the message itself. It works exactly like a chat.

You can even see when someone is in the process of typing to you, so no more crossed messages or wondering whether you’re being ignored.

Messages indicate when someone’s typing.

Messages indicate when someone’s typing.

We’ve added many more small improvements and fixes. You can read about all the major features of this release here. The full changelog will tell you everything we did. To see what we are planning next, check out our Roadmap here.

Don’t wait. Upgrade to the latest version today. You can find upgrade instructions here.

 

BuddyPress To PeepSo Migration Tool

PeepSo to Buddy Press Migration Tool

PeepSo to Buddy Press Migration Tool

One of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received since releasing PeepSo is whether we have an easy way to migrate BuddyPress to PeepSo.

Why, yes. Yes, we do!

PeepSo Migrate is a migrator plugin that will move your data from BuddyPress to PeepSo. It’s super-easy to use.

Just install the plugin, click the button, and watch the magic happen.

Note that the Migrator only moves the data within the same WordPress installation. So you can’t use it to migrate BuddyPress from http://sampledomain1.com to http://sampledomain2.com. But you weren’t
planning to do that anyway, were you?

If you’ve wanted to give PeepSo a try but were afraid you’d lose your BuddyPress content, you’ve got nothing to worry about. We’ve got you covered.

Here’s a video that shows how the migrator works:

Steps:

  1. Make sure that BuddyPress is installed and working.
  2. Install PeepSo and any supporting plugins you want.
  3. Install the Migrator.
  4. Open the Migrator.
  5. Click the ‘Start Migration’ button.
  6. Confirm that you want to migrate data.
  7. Stroke the cat while the data flies into PeepSo.
  8. Done!

Which Data Is Migrated?

  • Users
  • Uploaded user avatars
  • User friends
  • Notifications
  • Messages
  • Posts
  • Comments

What Data Is Not Migrated?

Data for features that PeepSo does not currently support, such as groups, cannot be migrated. Once we add those features, we will add them to the migrator as well. For the Migrator to move data such as User Friends and Messages, the FriendSo and MsgSo plugins must be installed with PeepSo.

How Long Does The Migration Take?

That depends on how much content you have on BuddyPress. We tested it with a community of over 2,500 users and more than 15,000 activities. It took us about four minutes. A larger community with about 1000 users and 60,000 activities can be migrated in about 11 minutes. That should be just enough time to make your cat purr. If you don’t have a cat, it’s enough time to make a cup of coffee.

What If I Already Have Some Content In Peepso?

The Migrator will delete all your existing PeepSo content, so don’t use it if you have anything you’ll miss.

The BuddyPress Migrator is totally free and available from the backend of WordPress. Go to Plugins > Add new and search for ‘PeepSo’.

BuddyPress To PeepSo Migration Tool listing in WP plugins directory.

BuddyPress To PeepSo Migration Tool listing in WP plugins directory.

Give it a try today and create an amazing community with PeepSo!

See the listing of the plugin on the official directory of WordPress plugins, just click here.

 

Introducing: PeepSo’s “Women of WordPress” Series

Women and WordPress is a topic that’s been covered from many angles, across multiple platforms. There’s Twitter lists, blog posts and news articles about it; some argue that we desperately need more women in tech, others feel that “where are the women” or “hire more women” incentives are actually counterproductive when it comes to equality.

It’s that complexity which has inspired us to write this series of blog posts; to bring all of these ideas and viewpoints together in one place, weigh them up, and put together a comprehensive picture of where things stand when it comes to women and WordPress.

women web design

We’ll be looking at what it actually means to be influential on WordPress, and finding women who fit that definition. Influence isn’t just about the results you produce for your clients and the reach of your online presence (though that is part of it); it’s about being visible as a female (think the “I look like an engineer” project on Twitter), creating opportunities for other women to step up, and creating something that really changes the way we think about WordPress functionality and design.

We’ll be interviewing some well-known, established designers and engineers (including our own CEO, Merav Knafo), to get a first-hand look at what it’s like to be a woman who specialises in WordPress; the opportunities and restrictions that women encounter as they try to break into what is, by most reports, a male-dominated market.

To end, we’ll be bringing all of this together with a list of women you should be following across multiple platforms, based on our investigation and research, as well as some recommendations for events and summits that are well worth attending if you’re a female engineer/designer/developer.

If you’d like to take part in this project or have any thoughts, we’d love to hear from you; you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or right here as part of the PeepSo social network.

Anxiety Social Net

Interview: Salomon Ptasevich of AnxietySocialNet

Salomon Ptasevich runs his own private social network using JomSocial, the Joomla-based predecessor of PeepSo. We interviewed him to find out more about his site, and his experience running a private social network using a website plugin.

Tell us a little bit about your private social network.

Anxiety Social Net is a social network for people struggling with mental health issues. The site has been live for over 4 years, since the very beginning of JomSocial. AnxietySocialNet has many features and customizations that don’t come with the default version of JomSocial; we have a Q&A system, personal diaries for each user and live chat among other things.  The community has been featured in many publications including ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) and PSFK . Today we have over 10.000 users and new members are signing up every day.  People on the site are very supportive of each other and many users have reported that simply being in a “safe place” where they can share their experiences with others who can relate has helped them understand they are not alone in their struggles and in turn reduced their anxiety.

Anxiety Social NetWhy did you decide to start a private social network, rather than setting up a Facebook group or a forum?

From the start it was clear to me that I wanted to create an independent resource where people could come and share their innermost feelings. I think Facebook is a great tool for sharing in the good times but people refrain from showing weakness in front of their close family and friends due to a fear of being judged. The other problem is that groups and pages on Facebook are subject to (Facebook’s) own guidelines and I didn’t want to be limited by that. The last thing that really bothered me was that I wanted to create a specific type of environment and that is not possible with the current functionality of Facebook groups and pages.

What have been the biggest challenges so far?

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to create a social network. The problem was that the technology was not quite there yet (didn’t match up to the vision). Back then, when another team was in charge of JomSocial, I ended up spending thousands of dollars in customization just to make it user friendly and function the way I wanted.  At the end of that process I ended up with an hybrid monster of sorts that was really hard to maintain and impossible to upgrade. I pretty much gave up on JomSocial until Merav and the iJoomla Team (the people who created PeepSo) took over and made JomSocial what it is today. Around six months ago when I saw what the new version of JomSocial had to offer, I finally accepted that I would have to let go of my little monster to take advantage of the new, advanced direction the technology was taking. I then started a fundraising campaign to pay for the upgrade of the community to JomSocial 4. Our members ended up funding 70% of the costs, I chipped in with the rest and made it happen. I can say that today I am very happy with the results and the site is finally upgradable and pretty much in my hands without the constant need for developers I used to have.  Also, since the upgrade we are getting more users and engagement has grown considerably. It’s been a bumpy ride but I am very happy I invested time and resources in this project as it has a positive influence in people’s lives.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own private social network?

I would say, If you really want to create a community just go for it, It has never been easier than today (especially with plugins like JomSocial and PeepSo). I would recommend that you start a community on a topic you are really passionate about, as it can be hard to kick start it and you need to put a lot of time and energy to make it really happen. Lastly, you have to be perseverant as they may be a lot of bumps along the road but if you keep at it you will find things get better and it’s really worth it.  

Turning Brands into Communities

In his book How Brands Become Iconsmarketing theorist Douglas B. Holt puts forward that you need three types of consumers to sustain your brand; followers, insiders and feeders. Followers are people who connect with the brand’s story, and incorporate it into their own sense of identity (think people who’ve grown up drinking Coke and feel a loyalty to the brand, people who choose to drink Heineken because their father did). Insiders are people who influence other people to buy (the cool kids at school, people who are “famous” on mainstream social media). Feeders use the brand to say something about themselves (people who choose Android to seem less “mainstream” than Apple users), and are the most fickle as they tend to abandon the brand as soon as it’s no longer socially relevant to them. 

logos-brandingIf we take Holt’s suggestion to be true (which, given his experience and credentials, we probably should), incorporating a private, self-hosted social network into your marketing strategy can be an important step toward long-term success.

Private social networks are ideal for followers. By creating your own social network, you’re encouraging and fostering the idea that your brand is something they’re a part of. For people who feel (or are inclined to feel) that a brand is part of their identity, something they’ve fully embraced, social networking is a great way to connect with others who feel the same way and want to share about their experiences.

Insiders are the Pied Pipers of marketing; people follow them because they want to be wherever they are, regardless of the destination. If an insider recommends your site or product, you might see a short-term spike in visitors and sales. If an insider joins your social network, their followers will likely join as well and once they start participating in the conversation, you have a much better chance of converting them to loyal, long-standing customers.

Feeders use brands to make statements; and if they’re part of your social network, that’s a much more powerful statement than just using your product. You’re creating a space in which they can fully explore the reasons they’re choosing to use your product or service, and the part of their identity it affirms.

On top of catering to all three groups, having your own social network is the ideal way to identify which of these categories your (prospective) buyers fall into, and which you’ll need more of to sustain your brand over time. You’ll get much clearer information and insights than you would from a page on one of the mainstream social networks; people won’t be swayed by how they want to be perceived by family and friends they’ve added on Facebook, and there’s no algorithms that will prevent people from interacting simply because your post didn’t show up in their newsfeed.

In short: having your own social network is one of the best things you can do to cultivate the audience you need for your brand’s long-term success.