About This Network

The eResources Law Libraries website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) platform. The interactive or social networking aspect of this site is provided by BuddyPress. BuddyPress is a series of additions that enable registered users to:

  • create and update their profiles
  • send private messages to one another, establish friends, and monitor activity
  • join groups, participate in forum topic discussions

It’s a social networking system, with features similar to Facebook, LinkedIn or Ning.

 

Tutorials

These tutorials are for those who wish to delve deeper into using the eResources Law Library social network which is based on BuddyPress. These video tutorials are intended for developers and administrators, although, some introductory concepts are covered. The speaker is presently a developer for BuddyPress. As we continue, there will be added video tutorials specifically suited for beginner and intermediate users. Technical Note: You may have to refresh this page in some browsers to view multiple videos.

Introduction to BuddyPress

This is a concise general overview and a good place to start. The videos after this one are more technical and suited for administrators, editors, and contributors.

BuddyPress 1.5 (1 of 8)

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BuddyPress 1.5 (8 of 8)

Groups

Groups work like the group features on Ning, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Any member can access public groups. Private or hidden (invitation only) group(s) would require special access logins. Within groups, users can share info on topic areas that interest them.

Besides an activity stream, members can also list and send invites to groups they are in:

1.  Ideal for more in-depth discussions
2.  Excellent for sharing the conversation with the entire network.

Rolls of Group Members

The three roles that are assigned members in groups in decreasing level of responsibility are:

  1. Admin – highest level of group access.  Full access to managing all aspects of the group.
  2. Moderator – has increased responsibility within the group forum.
  3. Member – Able to write/edit/delete own forum posts and replies

Here is a summary of their differences based on User Capability:

User Roles

 

Navigating within a Group

Within a group, the Groups menu has five options:

1. Home – displays the group’s home page where you’ll see all the group’s activity. You can also post a quick update to the group.
2. Forum – displays the group’s forum page where you can post new topics, read and engage in discussion threads.
3. Members – lists all the current group members
4. Send Invites – this link is only visible if you are a member of a group. This is used to send invites to join the group to your friends.
5. Admin – this link is only visible to group administrator and group moderators. It contains all the options for managing the group.

Using the Group Home page

The Group Home page is just like any other activity stream page:

  • Lists all activity from within the group
  • Allows you to post a quick status update directly onto the Groups activity stream
  • Allows you to Reply and/or Favorite activities within the Groups activity stream
  • However, it also includes a RSS feed so you can subscribe to the Group’s activity using a feed reader such as Google Reader.

Working with a Group Forum

Group forums are made up of:

  • Forum Topics – the proposed subject of a discussion
  • Discussion threads – the conversations (replies) that result from the topic
  • You normally create a New Topic if it is a totally new conversation — otherwise you reply to your own or other group members topics.

To publish a New Topic in a Group forum:

1. Click on the forum menu item
2. Give your topic a title
3. Add the information you want to discuss or share in the content field
4. Add tags
5. Click “Post Topic”
6. Note: Sometimes this ability to post ones own topic might be disabled.

Forums

eResource forums are designed to allow groups the ability to share topics of discussion. Presently eResources creates forums and groups based on each individual library’s need.
Members can easily search all public forum topics using the eResources Forums Directory. Forum topics don’t display on the Forum Directory until a group has been created and a forum post has been added to the group.

The eResources Forums Directory

Forums in eResources are attached to groups. Group forums are made up of:

  • Forum Topics – the proposed subject of a discussion
  • Discussion threads – the conversations (replies) that result from the topic
  • The Forum Directory lists all forum topics, by all Groups, created within the community, sorted by the most recently active.

Forum topics can easily be searched or filtered (by Last Active, Most Replies and Un-replied).

An important aspect to understand about the Forum Directory is that when you add a new Topic on the Forum Directory you must select which Group you want the topic posted in.

Writing a New Topic using the Forum Directory is as simple as:

  • Click on New Topic
  • Add your Title
  • Add your content
  • Insert your tags
  • Select which Group Forum you want to post in (only displays Groups that you belong to)
  • Click “Post Topic”

Alternatively you can search Forum Topics or click on Forum Topic tags to locate forum topics and reply to them.

Activity

Activity Streams are a similar concept to Latest Activity or Recent Activity in Facebook.

They are posted to by any eResources component so that blog posts, friend requests, joining groups, topics/replies posted in groups, status updates, profiles changes and any other activities are automatically recorded onto the activity streams.

Members can use activity streams to follow activity site wide, just for their friends, or just for their groups, and to track @username mentions of their username.

They can also reply to any activities as simply as:

  • Click on Comment
  • Write your message
  • Click on Post

Any image used near the top of a blog post will displays as a thumbnail in the activity stream — this is unique to the activity stream and this thumbnail image doesn’t display on any other page.

Members can also grab the RSS feed from the activity streams to use in Feed Readers and RSS Widgets to obtain a network wide activity feed.

Navigating the Activity Pages

There are five different Activity pages:

1. Personal – your most recent activities
2. Friends – most recent activities of your friends
3. Groups – most recent activities in groups you belong to
4. Favorites – most recent activities that you have marked as favorite
5. @username Mentions – most recent activities that include the use of an @ followed by the person’s username

Writing Status Updates using your Personal Activity page

Above the Activity listings on your Personal page is a text box where you can provide a quick status update directly onto your activity stream — works similar to posting an update in Facebook or Twitter.

You can use it to tell others what you are currently doing, ask a question that other community members will see or share helpful tips.

Posting an update is as simple as:

  • Write your update
  • Click Post Update

About the Favorites Activity page

When you discover an something of special interest in an activity stream, you may mark it as a Favorite — this will enable you to retrieve it again later.

How @username Mentions Activity page works

@ in front of a member’s username is a unique identifier for that person that you can type into any message in eResources. That user will be sent a notification and a link to to where it was used.

Works on a similar principles to @replies in Twitter except detects it’s use anywhere across the entire site such as comments on posts, forum posts, replies in activity streams, status updates.

Sorting and filtering listings on the Activity pages

Each Activity page lists the 25 most recent updates per page. On the right hand side of each activity page you can sort and filter the Activities listings on that page.

Filter options are:

  • No filter – this is the default option and shows all posssible activities
  • Updates – displays just members updates
  • Posts – displays list of recent blog posts
  • Comments – displays recent blog comments
  • Friendships – displays newly created friendships between members
  • Topics – displays only new topics created within Group forums
  • Replies – displays only new replies within Group forums
  • New Groups – displays newly created Groups
  • Group Memberships – displays new members to Groups

Friends

Our friend feature is a similar concept to friends in Facebook. The friends list feature enables members of this site to connect to each other and create their own list of friends.

To add a member to your friend list all you need to do is click on the Add Friend button, the other member will receive a friend request and can either accept it or ignore it. Each member has a visible list of their friends on the site.

Members can find new friends by:

1. Searching for them in the Members Directory

2. Searching for them on other members Friends lists