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I have a WordPress blog that is all user based Authors that submit content and such. Currently in the site, you can view other authors profiles but basically just view their content from the author.php template.

Where would I even begin to build a plugin (or find a plugin) that allows authors to "follow" other authors and then on another page query the authors they follow to show certain content from their followed authors like comments they made, posts they made, etc.

I don't want to add BuddyPress or go that route but I have seen similar plugins for BuddyPress but not for just WordPress.

I imagine I need to do something like create an array of users they follow in their user meta then query those users to display the "activity". Is that sound right?. Any insights, tutorials, plugins etc that may help get my foot in the door for this?


share|improve this question
Why not BuddyPress? It is made for that. – toscho Feb 10 '12 at 21:41
Because the site is too far developed to switch everything to BuddyPress. Plus, we are thinking this would be more of enhancement then "essential" so we would rather try to build it on what we already have done. I'm also not too familiar with how BuddyPress works so there is a bit of a time constraint in that aspect, as well. – Zach Reed Feb 10 '12 at 21:47
I also have not seen too many good examples of BuddyPress being used on non forum style sites so I'm not sure how it would be done with the current setup we have. – Zach Reed Feb 10 '12 at 21:48
I'm curious if anybody ever actually found an answer to this question. – AndrettiMilas Dec 26 '12 at 0:20

Just a plugin concept …

  1. Add a form with a button to each user profile, post or wherever you want it named Follow or Unfollow. Show the button only if is_user_logged_in(). You may use a widget for the form.

  2. On form submit update a user meta named follows for the user who clicked the button and another one named followers for … well … the user who just got a new follower. Use the user IDs as a serialized array (yes, ugly, I know).

  3. Create a dashboard widget or a whole page where the access is restricted to users who can follow or be followed. Query for the user meta follows to get a list of all authors the current user has subscribed to and then query for the posts from these users.

  4. Get the user meta followers and print a nice list of her followers.

share|improve this answer
That is what I was thinking. Thanks for the step by step on the concept, Toscho. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! – Zach Reed Feb 10 '12 at 23:12
ZachReed, did you ever developed the plugin? and if so, are you willing to share? ;) and maybe also think about closing this question and give @toscho the answer... – Asaf Chertkoff Feb 17 '12 at 16:50

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