The main BuddyPress features are the activity stream (also known as the wire), groups, forums, friends, and private messages.
The activity stream, shown in Figure 13-19, is the first page users see when they log in to a BuddyPress network. The stream shows members' profile updates, blog posts and comments, forum posts, new friendship connections, and new site members.
Groups (Figure 13-20) are an incredibly powerful feature for organizations. While the administrator can create starter groups, the real beauty of the feature is that members can create their own groups, effectively organizing themselves into grassroots taxonomies based on their own interests or needs. Each group has its own wire, forum, and member directory, allowing the members to direct the course of the group's conversations.
The forum in BuddyPress is based on bbPress, and provides the basic features you'd expect to find in any forum software. The list of all forum topics is shown under the Forum tab (Figure 13-21), but users can navigate through the groups to find group-specific forum topics.
Friends and Private Messages
The friends feature allows you to connect with other network users. Once you have created friendships with other users, you can filter features like the activity stream to show only friends' updates. The friendship connections also enable another important feature: private messages. If you have been confirmed as another user's friend, you may send messages directly to that user rather than posting something publicly on the wire or the forum.
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