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A blog that's a forum that's a listserv

  • Hi, I’m trying to set up a communication system for an organization that currently uses a yahoo group to communicate. I set them up with a wordpress blog, but they would also like to migrate off their listserv.

    It occurred to me that WordPress’ blogging platform is already, basically, a web forum as well. A blog has a main article and a comment section. A message board doesn’t differentiate between the article and the comments — they’re all treated as posts. Therefore, some minor theme tweaking would make WordPress look and function like a message board. Right?

    One other thing, though: A lot of people on the current system only follow discussions because they show up in their mailbox. Therefore, I would need WordPress to email all the members of the ‘forum’ when something posted or responded to, and I would like them to respond via email as well, which would post a response to the thread on the site, and would show up in everyone’s email.

    I would also like people to be able to post to the public blog via email, if possible. So basically, like the title says, it would be an integrated blog/forum/listserv platform. Have any of you done anything like this, and how would you recommend going about it?

    Thanks for your time

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
  • esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    Right?

    Nope. Well, not in my opinion anyway. A blog and a forum are two completely different things. You would be far better adding a forum to your existing WP site (either a forum plugin or a standalone forum) and then using Feedburner in conjunction with the forum’s RSS feed to email out the resent discussion. An option to post by email would depend upon what forum software you eventually choose.

    Are they really different, though? You can lock a thread. You can also close comments. You can give different user roles the ability to start threads. In WordPress, you can just let all subscribers be authors, and now everyone can ‘start a thread’.

    With a forum, you can have different rooms, or boards. In wordpress, you can have different categories. The more I work in WordPress, the more I begin to think that the differences are illusory, that if you changed the labels and formatting, the functionality is all there. What does a forum have that WordPress doesn’t?

    More difficult, though, I would think, is integrating a listserv into WordPress. I know there’s Mailpress, though I’ve never used it, and I believe it’s more for newsletters, which, like a blog, is more about a publisher distributing information in one direction.

    esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    Are they really different, though?

    Having used both extensively for more than 8 years, I’d say “yes”.

    OK, let’s put that debate aside for a moment. The main issue I’m facing is how to make WordPress a de facto listserv. I know there are plugins that will handle some of these functions, and maybe it’s a matter of combining them to create discussion group functionality.

    First, users would need to be able to post via email. I read that this isn’t possible with multisite installations, which I’m running, and I have not found a workaround for this yet.

    I also saw that WordPress.com allows you to comment on posts via email, but I don’t see an equivalent .org plugin. I have seen some plugins to receive email notifications when there’s a new post, or a comment on that post.

    So if I was able to put together email post notifications, + comment notifications, + post via email, + comment via email, I think this would meet my needs for this project. Has anyone tried to do something like this?

    I am trying to do the exact same thing. I would appreciate any more comments on this.

    I have tried using Postie because it handles the post via email, and the comments via email. However since it doesn’t post the comments as normal WP comments comment notify plugins don’t fire on Postie-created comments.

    If Postie would fix this, using it with a post notification system would be perfect.

    First, users would need to be able to post via email. I read that this isn’t possible with multisite installations, which I’m running, and I have not found a workaround for this yet.

    It is possible, actually.

    Make a plugin in mu-plugins with this in it:

    add_filter( 'enable_post_by_email_configuration', '__return_true', 100 );

    See http://wordpress.org/support/topic/post-by-email-vanished-from-settings?replies=13 for more.

    Thanks for the responses. Postie is working for me, partially. I can send an email and it will start a new post. If I respond to my own email, it posts a comment. Very nice. I think I’m halfway there.

    I need WordPress to email back out, though. The base functionality I would need is for my site to send an update to its users when there’s a new post, and when there are comments on that post.

    It would be even better if I could set certain users to receive messages posted in certain categories. This could even be by user role.

    It would also be nice if users could opt out of a discussion. If they know they don’t care about a topic, they could unsubscribe from it.

    +1 on what Publicradio just said. That is the exact functionality I need.

    I found two plugins, WP Post Notifier For All and WP Comment Notifier For All, but neither of them are actually working for me.

    Subscribe2 works like a charm, only it doesn’t notify you of comments.

    Jetpack has a subscriptions setting that emails you when there are new comments and posts.

    Thanks, I checked out Jetpack and it looks like kind of a plugin suite, that requires a wordpress.com account to work. Is this correct? I don’t think I’m ready to integrate my site into WordPress and Quantcast. Thanks for the tip, though.

    Fair enough 🙂

    WP Post Notifier For All and WP Comment Notifier For All are actually working, but they don’t seem to work with Postie.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
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