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I run a Wordpress site that has more than 300 authors. Is it possible to create some type of community in the backend (dashboard)? Ideally, a space where the authors can discuss with each other in a thread type of system, with admin news and so on. The closest thing I could find was the Admin Microblog but by reading the description, it appears very limited.

I am quite surprised that there is not much backend community type of plugins, I would have imagined that the demand for such would be rather high. Anyone knows?

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

What I do for almost every site with multiple authors:

  1. Create a separate blog for meta discussions, for example meta.example.com.
  2. Use P2 as theme.
  3. Install Authenticator to allow access for members only.
  4. Install something like Inform about Content, so the members get an email whenever something new was posted. I probably wouldn’t do that for 300 members …

You could write a dashboard widget with the newsfeed for the meta blog like the Incoming Links and make it a MU Plugin to set it active on every new blog.

This works rather good; it requires almost no configuration, and even people with low technical skills understand it fast.

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Thank you for the input and interesting approach you have there. Although it was not what I was looking for. Ideally, I want all interactions happen in the backend of my main site. The reason of this is that my site is a large news oriented platform where these authors login and then post the latest news. So upon login in, I want them to be directly presented with a community type of feature where they can discuss what to post next and where the authors can give tips to each other. I hope that I explained this properly. Nonetheless, thank you kindly for the answer. –  Amanda Bynes Jul 24 '12 at 15:12
    
The problem is: The backend isn’t made for that. It is way to convoluted for a focused discussion, and some things like a global $post object work with subtle differences, which makes it hard to use a regular loop or comments. You can create a custom post type with wp-admin as slug. I have done that, of course. :) But then you do not get all the admin functions, and communication between sites or members is still not easy. –  toscho Jul 24 '12 at 15:21
    
I have an alternative solution, see what you think of this. What if I setup a discussion board system (phpbb or even OSQA but removing the question appearance) and make the authors get redirected to that page instantly upon login... and I designed it visually to match the current wordpress dashboard design with a New Post link directing the user to the real dashboard. What do you think? ;) –  Amanda Bynes Jul 24 '12 at 15:42
1  
You could use bbPress too. That would be easier because it uses the same user table. And it would be almost no functional difference to the setup I recommended – you can style P2 as you wish and let it look like WP admin (which is not very nice IMHO). –  toscho Jul 24 '12 at 15:47
    
Oh you are right, I didn't consider user tables, that might be an issue if I use external scripts unless there is a bridge available. Alright then, cheers, I will consider my options. I have opened a new question regarding the login redirect: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/59506/… –  Amanda Bynes Jul 24 '12 at 15:56
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Not sure of the implications, but I use a custom menu and an iframe to have an external web app in the dashboard.

function brsfl_menu() {
    add_menu_page(
        'Fotos', 
        '<span style="color:#e57300;">Photo Gallery</span>', 
        'edit_pages', 
        'photogallery', 
        'brsfl_menu_options', 
        get_bloginfo('template_url') . '/images/fotos-icon.png'
    );
}

function brsfl_menu_options() {
  echo '<div class="wraper">';
  echo '<iframe src ="'. get_option('home') .'/slideshow/index.php" width="100%" height="700">';
  echo '</div>';
}

add_action('admin_menu', 'brsfl_menu');

wp ssp snapshot

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Yes that crossed my mind, but using a iframe that displays a forum or some type of community would be quite clumsy for the user especially because of how the up/down scrollers will behave. What type of app do you have in your iframe? Any recommendations that would suit in this scenario? –  Amanda Bynes Jul 25 '12 at 16:13
    
@AmandaB : I run GoogleDocs, photo management in the snapshot's case, some user support interfaces (docs, videos). In your Q's case, maybe trying to hybridize some PHP app that relied heavily in Ajax with a self made plugin, but am not aware of such app to suggest one... Nice place to ask/search: webapps.stackexchange.com ;) –  brasofilo Jul 26 '12 at 16:09
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