Well it is that time of year when you have a little time to reflect. And I have decided that I am no longer happy using Facebook. I hate the experience and they are undermining democracy. And I waste too much time on Twitter. I love the experience but I can’t seem to take it in moderation.

So I have decided to have a go at creating my own social network dedicated specifically to the topic of history books. My concept is that for an interesting book there should be a place where people can come to either find out what it is about or share their experiences, or compare it with other peoples.

So that’s the idea. Can it be done? I don’t know is the answer. And I think the only way to find out is to try. So I have identified the BuddyPress plugin for WordPress and I am currently giving it a spin.

It has been fairly easy to set up – it basically bolts into my existing blog and adds the ability to sign up members. So that is the first and most daunting stage out of the way. I have the framework in place. The trouble is that straight out of the box it doesn’t seem to be at all an interesting place to be. It isn’t obvious when you log in what exactly you are supposed to do or were you go to find the content. It is also a rather austere environment that doesn’t have any obvious ways of tarting it up to look a bit more colourful. In fact you can’t even add pictures, which is a bit of a downer in this days that are dominated by the visual.

I think I need to delve into the details a bit more and probably install more plugins to add to the functionality. If this doesn’t work I will maybe need to investigate other platforms.

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