Bebop was a JISC-funded project which undertook research and development into the use of BuddyPress as an institutional academic profile management tool. Bebop aggregates teaching and learning resources as well as research outputs held on third-party websites into the individual’s BuddyPress profile.
BuddyPress is a social networking plugin for WordPress, the popular Web Content Management System. The University of Lincoln was the first UK university to make BuddyPress available to all staff and students and has followed the development of BuddyPress carefully since its early alpha/beta stages. At the time of writing, over 2600 staff and students have used or are using BuddyPress at the University of Lincoln and we are currently working to make BuddyPress the staff profile management tool for all academic and non-academic staff.
This project investigated and developed BuddyPress so as to integrate (‘consume’) third-party feeds and APIs into BuddyPress profiles and, furthermore, investigated the possibility of BuddyPress being used as a ‘producer application’ of data for re-publishing on other institutional websites and to third-party web services.
The main outcome of this work was a plugin that can be used with BuddyPress to extend an individual’s profile to re-present resources that are held on disparate websites such as YouTube, Slideshare, Jorum, etc. The plugin is open source and made available via the official WordPress.org plugin repository.
Furthermore, through an agreed relationship with the CUNY Commons In A Box project, we extended our user testing to that related project and took advice from their staff, who are core contributors to BuddyPress. It is our intention that the work of this project, complements the overall CUNY project.