This past weekend we spoke with John James Jacoby on our WordPress Weekly podcast. John is the lead developer for both the bbPress and BuddyPress plugins. We had the pleasure of chatting with him about his new job at 10up as well as everything that’s going on with bbPress and BuddyPress these days.
During our interview we asked John if he knew of any bbPress or BuddyCamp events in the works. He said that he didn’t know of any coming up but would love to see a bbPress camp organized, perhaps in a more central midwest location. The question is: Is there enough interest to warrant a bbPress event or perhaps combine it with a BuddyPress event?
If extensions are any indication, both of these plugins have large, active communities surrounding them. bbPress currently has 132 plugins that extend the basic forum software and BuddyPress lists 483 extensions. It’s safe to say that they go far beyond your average wordpress.org plugin. They each have their own dedicated websites housing support forums and documentation. Both projects have attracted a number of elite developers and talented contributors.
bbPress and BuddyPress are on the rise:
Downloads have steadily increased for both plugins. I checked archive.org to get the download counts for the past few months. From May to September this year bbPress downloads went from 669,199 to 802,236. In the span of just five short months, the total number of bbPress downloads has increased nearly 20%. bbPress extensions have nearly doubled in the past year. In September of 2012 there were only 78 bbPress plugins listed but those numbers have shot up to 132 over the past year.
Similarly, BuddyPress downloads are also on the rise. In the past five months, total downloads have climbed from 1.5 to 1.7 million, demonstrating an 11% increase.
With all the updates that are coming to the BuddyPress codex, we can only expect those numbers to increase, both for extensions and downloads.
Is it time for a bbPress camp?
I attended the first BuddyPress camp that was held in Vancouver. What a fantastic event! One easy way to add an experimental camp like this is to tack it on to an existing WordCamp as an extra day. This setup was quite successful with WordCamp Vancouver / BuddyCamp in 2012. Participants who traveled to the area were able to attend both events and meet up with BuddyPress fans and developers from around the world.
I wanted to put this question to our readers: With the success of past BuddyPress camps, do you think it’s time for a bbPress camp? Or perhaps a multi-plugin camp with more plugin communities included? If you’d be interested to attend, which one would be the most beneficial to you? Please take a moment to vote in our poll:
So what do you think? Does the WordPress community need a bbPress camp? Do we need more BuddyPress camps? If there was a multi-plugin camp, which plugin communities would you like to see included?