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What is PeoplePods?

PeoplePods is a framework that makes it easier to create community or "social" applications. It provides a flexible infrastructure within which members of a site can create, comment upon, and consume content of arbitrary types. Popular social functionality such as friend lists, personalized content views, bookmarking, and voting are automatically available within any PeoplePods application. PeoplePods can be used to build stand-alone sites, or can be layered onto existing sites such as those run using Wordpress or other PHP applications.

There are three main pieces of PeoplePods. The first is a software development kit that was built from the ground up to numb the pain of building a fun website that does cool stuff. The PHP-based, object-oriented libraries provides the underpinnings for all the basic services present on modern websites: log-in, personalization, content creation and management, and all of the above mentioned social actions. Thanks to the magic of object inheritance, all of the objects within the PeoplePods environment - people, documents, comments and groups - share common access methods and template conventions.

The second component is a package of plugin modules - we call them "pods" - that demonstrate the functionality of PeoplePods. The core pods are intended as examples to be customized by developers. However, using the modules and their accompanying templates, even non-programmers can create and customize PeoplePods sites that feature member profile pages, member created groups, private messaging, and member content creation. Those with a bit of programming experience will find the code within the pods easy to modify so that new functionality can be created or remixed from existing functionality.

Finally, PeoplePods has a full set of administrative tools that will allow the site's operator to keep an eye on activity and configure a number of optional features. These tools support normal member management tasks such as editing account details and resetting passwords as well as content moderation and editorial control tasks such as approving and featuring member content.

Getting Started

Read about how to install PeoplePods. It is a pretty straight forward process comparable to other web software you might have installed before.

Once you've got everything up and running, you'll probably want to start customizing your new PeoplePods site. This will probably start with some changes to the theme templates where you can change how the site looks with some basic CSS and HTML. A lot of what PeoplePods does is defined in the templates, so you'll get your feet wet quickly.

If you want to alter the functionality of the core pods or build your own functionality, the first thing you'll want to do is bookmark the quick start guide and SDK Documentation. Every single function you'll run across is documented there, as well as some coding conventions and examples.

We recommend that you use one of the core pods as the starting point for any new functionality. Read the guide to creating new pods, or more specific instructions on creating a new content type

Integrating PeoplePods into Existing Sites

You can boot up a $POD wherever you can run PHP. This allows you to add a social layer to existing content, or to create community features that integrate with existing functionality. PeoplePods is a great way to add or extend an existing website with features like member profiles, discussion areas, and member-created groups.

PeoplePods also includes a basic Wordpress plugin that grants developers easy access to PeoplePods functionality in any Wordpress template.

Read more about how to use PeoplePods on an existing site in the SDK documentation.

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