BuddyPress in 2015 – my review

At the beginning of the year, there was a trend to write “in review” posts. Rather than blog, I emailed a group of close friends with my thoughts on how we (BuddyPress) did. Now that a bit of time has passed, I’m posting it here verbatim:

Hello friends,

I hope you’re all having a good holiday season and I wish you and your families all the very best for 2016! I hope to try to see as many of you as possible in 2016.

I write to share my thoughts about how BuddyPress did last year and highlight our successes because, let’s face it, we’re not always great at celebrating the effort we all put into each BuddyPress. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for a moment of reflection.

People sometimes try to understand why I contribute to this one project and sincerely ask, “what is it about BuddyPress that keeps you interested?” Consider the question. It’s pretty hard for me to reply with a snappy soundbite because I appreciate most the intangible benefits.

You are the best group of people I’ve ever worked with. I’ve had the privilege of working with some great companies and other great people, but I value our relationships more because our connections have grown freely and organically, rather than because of the circumstance of being paid to work together. You are my friends before you are my team mates or colleagues, and no other foundation is stronger.

I’m delighted with all of the contributions you make, and what that does to BuddyPress. Each contribution, no matter how — apparently — trivial, is a course correction for the project towards its dream of becoming more than the sum of its parts.

In 2015, we achieved 3 major and 12 minor releases, introducing fantastic new features such as member types with directory support, easy post type integration with the Activity Stream, vast amounts of improvements to caching and performance, drag-and-drop profile picture uploads, companion stylesheets for 4 WordPress core themes, private message inbox starring, cover images, member type-specific profile fields, TinyMCE for profile fields, vast accessibility improvements, and countless other features to make BuddyPress better for site administrators and developers.

In 2015, we were lucky enough to have BuddyPress represented with presentations at 8 WordCamps (Buenos Aires, Cantabria, East Troy, London, Lyon, Paris, Pune, USA) and had 2 full-day conferences of our own (BuddyCamps Brighton and Miami). Contributor Days are becoming more popular at established WordCamps, and BuddyPress is increasingly welcome at these. I couldn’t find out at how many Contributor Days someone contributed to BuddyPress, but I personally remember great results from those at WordCamps Europe and London.

In 2015, our community forums had 3773 topics posted (10.3/day) and 10,701 replies (29.3/day). Our codex received 31 new articles (0.6/week), and 49 were updated (0.94/week). These numbers are incredibly impressive, given the problems we had with spammers on the codex earlier in the year, and are because of the priceless contributors we have.

I’m delighted that 2015 saw a resurgence in commercial BuddyPress plugins and themes. In the early years of the project, there was a lot of activity in this space, but in recent years — with a handful of valuable exceptions, like BuddyDEV.com and ThemeForest.net — it’s been comparatively quiet. Themekraft.com and buddyboss.com have made new and innovative plugins and themes available, and I’ve been extremely impressed by the quality and execution of their ideas.

People sometimes tell me that they’ve used BuddyPress to build a successful site for a client, or to build a presence for their own “real life” community. In these moments, I’m always very proud of what we’ve empowered people to achieve.

I write to say a heartfelt “thank you” for making my 2015 a great year, and look very much forward to working with you, having fun with you, and getting to know you better, this 2016.

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