The New Forums
After months of trying to decide what to do about the support forums here at LDSR, I have succeeded in writing software to interface with the WordPress bulletin board system, bbPress. At last, the Daily Journal and Spouse Support forums are back being available.A problem arose with the old bulletin board system in that when the blog was added, two different log-ins were required to fully participate in the site. I tried various schemes to ensure that people only had to log in once to use both tools. It just wasn’t working out.
Also, the use of the Daily Journal was dwindling because of a lack of interest. The old bulletin board software, which I wrote myself, was said by some to be too hard to use. It was a little frustrating for me, because I didn’t get a lot of feedback on just why it was so hard to use. Some liked it. I tried to make it rich in features, but in the end, people weren’t using it.
I tried jump-starting it a couple of times, but it got very little use. I’m a die-hard optimist, so I’ve set my mind in the last month to capitalize on the WordPress software that I have been using for the blog for the last three years and incorporate the forums into the WordPress system.
I was fortunate to discover bbPress, a bulletin board system build by the same people who built WordPress. It runs as a WordPress plugin. People won’t have to learn how to use two different systems in order to participate in the site. Both the blog and the support forums run in the same system.
Still, there were problems, the main one being that bbPress forums are either public or private without much of any way to make them so a moderator can control membership. In forums as potentially sensitive as ours, it won’t do to either have them opened up for everyone to read or private without a method for selecting members individually.
So, I put my programming skills into place and created a new WordPress plugin, Forum Restrict. It allows me an easy interface for controlling who is in which forum. The best thing is that it requires minimal effort on the part of users. They still only need to learn how to register and log in to WordPress as well as writing a small paragraph requesting to join specific forums.
Another thing I had to do was import the user table for the old bulletin boards into the WordPress users table. I have accomplished this and it is ready to go.
So, it is ready for you to use. Instructions follow:
Members of the Old Forums Who Remember Their Username/Password
You are already registered in WordPress. If you remember your username and password, it will be easy. Just find the Meta section and the Log In link. Enter the username and password.
Members of the Old Forums Who Don’t Remember Their Username/Password
Find the Meta section and click on the Log In link. You can click on the “Lost Your Password?” link and then complete the process to reset your password.
Find the Meta section and click on the Register link. Complete the process to register.
Some registrations I have been able to link to the Daily Journal. You will know you are in if you look in the Forums section (upper-right corner of page) and see the Daily Journal listed.
Everyone else will see an Apply link. Click on it and fill out the brief form. I will approve these as quickly as possible.