One of the best things about BuddyPress is that it gives you the ability to bring together people who share a common goal or interest. Sometimes this requires getting people together at the same time for a meeting or rendezvous. With just the bare basics you could try to mention specific members in the activity stream or send private messages to schedule a meeting, but now there’s a more efficient way to do this with built-in privacy controls.
Rendez Vous is a new plugin that makes it possible for community members to schedule appointments with one another. Developed by @imath, a prolific plugin author and BuddyPress core contributor, Rendez Vous provides a simple table for each user to mark his availability for a proposed rendezvous.
A Quick Tour of the Rendez Vous Plugin
The plugin fits naturally into the user menu and utilizes BuddyPress notifications for updates.
Any member of the site can create a new rendezvous, set possible times for meeting and select members to add to the meeting. The panel for creating a new event launches in a modal window and allows you to set three possible times to choose from:
The “Who” tab lets you search for members, if you have a large network, and click on those you want to invite.
The user profile menu displays all published rendezvous to which a user has been invited:
The person who schedules a rendezvous will receive notifications related to member responses:
As member replies roll in, the table will fill up with availability from those who have responded. Here’s an example of a public rendezvous:
The way the table appears will depend on your theme. The plugin simply adapts to the active theme, so you may find that you need to do a little CSS work to make it look exactly how you want. In the next update @imath plans to include a filter to allow a theme to easily override the plugin’s CSS files with its own.
The Rendez-Vous plugin is a simple, flexible tool that can help to facilitate both online and offline meetings and events. Because the plugin uses fairly generic wording, you can schedule any kind of meeting. It would be suitable for any of the following examples:
- A group Skype chat
- A meeting for site moderators
- A family reunion
- A doggy play date
- A documentation sprint
- A teacher/student conference
- A tutoring session
You might event use it to determine the best time for maintenance on a small community site. The possibilities are endless for bringing people together efficiently. The scheduling panel allows you to select from public or private for more control over who can view and join the rendezvous.
Rendez Vous is available for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can also find and contribute to the project on Github. The plugin is compatible with WordPress 3.9-RC1 and BuddyPress 2.0-beta2. It should also work on installations that are running WordPress 3.8.3 and BuddyPress 1.9.2.
For a live tour of the the plugin in action, check out @imath’s video: