Hi, Everyone,


As you know, I've been working on making a new home for IPS.  This is one of them, obviously, and I'm beginning to get attached to it now that I've done a little redecorating.


I've also been talking with MichaelD of Heartmind about creating a new forum, based on BuddyPress and WordPress, from the ground up.  That is still an option, but it will take more time to realize.


Seth, a member of the Gaia IPS, recently joined SocialGo to create his own "Realizing Health" forum.  He has recommended the site to me, and just last night informed me that he had just created a mirror of the IPS group over there, which you can view here.  He says he believes he can pass ownership of it over to me, if I join SocialGo.  So, this is another option.  I have had concerns about space / storage limitations with the free option of SocialGo's platform, which is why I haven't moved there yet.  But it appears the storage issues would mostly come from frequent use of pictures and videos.


I recommend checking out Seth's mirror site, and then I'd like to hear from members here what you think.  Do you have any preferences for where to settle?  I'm missing our conversations and want to get this resolved soon, so we can get back to interacting!


Until I was contacted by Seth, I had been feeling like settling here on Ning might be the best option for now, and then I could (slowly) work on building up another site with BuddyPress, in case we wanted to move later.  Now that Seth has essentially created another space, however, I decided I should check with all of you to see what you think.


Best wishes,



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I just did a test drive on the BuddyPress home site and then scoped-out the SocialGo mirror site. Of the three, including Ning, I would choose BuddyPress. First: It is an off-shoot of WordPress, the site that hosts my two blogs and they do impressive work. Second: It seems to be the cleanest, least cluttered, kind of place. Third: If MichaelD is backing it, I will have to assume that it is the best...BEST...he knows, he is. So why settle for less?

The Ning forum still has continuity problems. It is hard to track once a thread runs into multiple pages...it is not there for intelligent discussions it is there for kids to show off. SocialGo is less that way, but seems a little cramped.

So there you have the input from the aesthete.

Thanks, Steven. I have also explored BuddyPress and do like it. I think the BuddyPress/WordPress combo would be a great one (with some caveats; see below). A big issue is the time it will take me to build it, since it is more work-intensive (with steeper learning curves) than Ning. The amount of initial set-up that Michael can do for me is understandably limited, given his busy work schedule, so I will need to fiddle around with BuddyPress awhile in order to get it built. One of the drawbacks with BuddyPress is that it appears difficult to set up a discussion forum with different categories or "rooms." I looked in the FAQs and Troubleshooting threads they have on the BuddyPress forum, and several members were having a hard time creating a forum with separate rooms (as we have here). So, that's a significant drawback, given how IPS has been organized. I believe it will be possible to create a forum on BuddyPress with categories, but from what I've read, the primary template is not set up for that so it will take some time-intensive working around.

I hear you on the difficulty tracking long discussions with Ning software. I've been following some long discussions on the anewgaia site and it isn't very easy, once they get beyond a page.

Here are my thoughts right now:

1. Continue new forum discussions here on Ning for the time being.
2. Archive old discussions but hold off on posting them here for now, until we decide where the permanent home for IPS is going to be.
2a. Whatever new discussions we have here can be moved wherever we need them; if we hold them on Gaia, we'd have to archive them anyway, and there's a chance they will be lost when Gaia shuts down.
3. If Matthew is able to create a new site, and import all Gaia content to it, then we can move over there at that time if we like.
4. If we don't like it, then we will make a decision where to be for the long-term.
5. In the meantime, I will be working with BuddyPress to see what I can build there, with Michael's help. Experiment with it to see how it well it would serve our needs.

I am open also to relocating to SocialGo, but I'm not certain that it would be an improvement over what we have here, and the feedback I've gotten so far (you're the 4th person) has placed that option lower on the list of preferences.

Best wishes,

Bruce, I like this plan very much. You've done a great job here.

The rooms thing for me on DD is a big issue. I have made a private group on my Ning DD site for admins, and I hate it as it's not possible to have categories, and I am thinking of creating yet another stand-alone ning site for admins. Another issue for me here with Ning is not being able to edit other people's posts. I'm wondering if I should have gone with a forum style group like phpBB, but I don't know the drawbacks of this. I have one installed on my website server and will fiddle over the next while. If you like I can get you 'into' it to see how it works.

I'm about to abandon my efforts on BuddyPress. I got locked out of the site when Michael did something there this past weekend and he has been too busy to get me back in there, or really to help very much, and I'm sort of over my head technically (and beyond my time resources) when it comes to trying to set it up outside of the "box."

I've been looking at other options, one of which is Wetpaint. The site has free and paid versions, with the free ones using ads to make revenue. So, you have to put up with (usually irrelevant) ads, often quite prominently placed; but otherwise the site is pretty decent. The paid versions are ad-free and preferable (if I decide to spring for it. It costs $19.95 a month).

Here's a Wetpaint site without ads:


Here's a Wetpaint site with ads:

Ah the joys of open source software like Firefox for a browser. Firefox has an "ad block" add-on...I haven't seen an ad in months even on all the ad covered sites to which I get linked. I just clicked on the Wetpaint site with ads and didn't see a single one. And I should repeat myself for the umpteenth time...Firefox also has a blog editor called "scribefire" on which one can draft their posts, copy and paste to the forum of choice and then archive in one's personal files. They should be paying me but Firefox is a not for profit operation.
Well, dang, Stephen, you might have just sold me. If you can block ads with Firefox while using the free version of Wetpaint...well, beeyuutiful!
Some sites rely on ads to survive. Is it really ethical to block them all? That might force some sites to either shut down or switch to a subscriber-only option, which you have to pay for. Just offering that as food for thought.

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