Elegant solutions provide the best options for most of us. I decided to have fun with this site by starting to create a real-estate mash-up with open source apps. I wanted to have one element in place before moving onto the next. I looked into different bulletin boards, and I landed upon phpbb, which seemed good to me. My problem was that I could not make it function well, which I believe to be a problem on my end. I had heard of bbpress, but I had not really checked it out. Yesterday I did, and for that I am grateful.
It was quick to install, with little in the way of issues. In fact, I quickly set up forum categories and a first post. I liked the fact that I could place tags there for the posts. Alright, so what was my issue? Simple, I did not have a database set up when I was going through the install process. I went to my cpanel to create a database, which took less than a minute, then I went back to the install wizard to type in my database name for step one. Step two was integrating this forum into WordPress, but I had seen at ThemeLab that bbpress may have an issue with WordPress 2.6. Since I had not really planned to have the two platforms integrated in the first place, I was fine with skipping this step. Third step completed everything, and I was happily poking around the dashboard of my new forum. This all went very quickly. (One small issue arose later. I went looking to see if I could find a theme for the forum, and I discovered some links which led to 404 errors, but a note said that was being corrected.)
Obviously I prefer the blog to the forum, but I want to experiment with that format. I do not honestly think that my mash-up would compete with a site like Zillow or Trulia, but I am curious to see if I can create a space for people to discuss real estate or different aspects of living around Houston. I love going to gallery openings or checking out bands where I know someone, so I think the forum may be a good way to spread the word about those events, and then find out about others. Well, we will see how it develops. Now on to creating a survey with Limesurvey.