Those of you who visited the site tonight between 7pm and 9pm might have noticed that the Commons was down for routine maintenance. Well, “routine” is a bit of a misnomer, since we were engaged in far more than tinkering on the site; in fact, we were in the middle of a major platform upgrade.
This upgrade moved us to the latest version of BuddyPress, the set of plugins that adds many social networking features to our site. The upgrade will enable us to roll out a suite of exciting new features. Among them are the following:
Editable Forum posts
Currently the top request in our feedback system! You will now have the opportunity to edit your forum posts for 30 minutes after you post them.
Invite anyone to join your group (and the Commons!) via email
This robust plugin will enable you to invite others not yet on the Commons to join the site. When members join after receiving such an invitation, they will be added to your group and enter the site with a friend request from the member who invited them.
@Mention system — and the end of the Wire
This one is going to take some explaining, but the short version is that the latest version of BuddyPress removes the Wire and replaces it with a more general “activity stream” for both groups and individuals. The new system has several advantages over the old, because it allows us to filter activity streams in multiple ways. But the biggest change from our member’s perspectives will no doubt be that the new system involves a “mention” system that is somewhat reminiscent of twitter. When someone mentions your site username in an update, you will receive an email notification of that.
We will be rolling out a few posts this week that describe this new system in more detail, so please stay tuned.
Although the site upgrade is complete, we’re aware that there are a few design-related odds and ends to take care of. We should have those cleaned up by tomorrow morning, and we apologize for that some portions of the site might display improperly tonight.
Thanks for your patience. If you have questions about the upgrade, please feel free to leave a comment. And please know that our community facilitators will be working this week to describe some of these new features in more detail.