We Need Help: Web Developer To Fix/Enhance Social Networking

Hi! We’re looking for a web developer who has experience with BuddyPress and CometChat (or a different WordPress-compatible social networking situation that you think we should use instead) who could make ours work in the way we want it to. This will involve advanced customization.

Ideally you will be a PHP coder who knows HTML, CSS, and has hard-core experience with WordPress.

Afterwards if you could explain it to us, that would be fantastic!

Please email laneia at autostraddle dot com and cc tess at autostraddle dot com and riese at autostraddle dot com. Let us know where you live, your availability and experience.

Please only respond if you truly have a background in this stuff.








Photography © jmberman1 2009







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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3202 articles for us.


  1. Have you ever wondered what you could accomplish if you spent less time captioning pictures of cats?

    I hope not….

  2. Blargh, this is the moment where I wish I’d done trendy web stuff or something else instead of selling my soul to corporate IT. Pretty much like every other moment of the day.

    There must be something else the computationally-inclined can do to aid the cause. Perhaps a kitten meme generator or a “Who’s at the Door?” flash game?

  3. anyone have feedback about what they’d like our social networking aspect to be like/contain/work?

    • I think it’d be good to have a web page that was like, this is the social network home page! Where you’d see recent updates to forums/groups sort of the way you can see recent comments and maybe have links to newest groups and forums/rules and stuff? (I guess this would be sometime in the future though)

      So instead of just being underneath community maybe if you clicked community you’d get a welcome page? The social network of Autostraddle seems kind of aloof to me still, even though it’s been around for a while. I feel like there should be something that’s like heeey here’s all the new stuff where you all can interact freely come be a part of it and the awesomeness.

      I guess things could work a bit better too, but I don’t know much about that, I figure you all have all of that under control, I have faith!

    • I think a way for user-generated content would be cool. Maybe that’s forums, but only if they work good. (I like AE and all, but their website blows and is annoying to use so I mostly just avoid.) Honestly, lots of times I see interesting articles that my actual friends wouldn’t care about (or maybe they already know about it and we’re all sharing it on Facebook!) but I know AS would be interested in. I’d love to share stuff! Also maybe profiles more personal and social might give people a bigger reason to stick around and be active. I look at how a website like Ultimate Guitar has expanded its social networking from being a website of articles, forums and guitar tabs and it’s pretty amazing. I probably wouldn’t chat with anyone on AS, but I am 90% sure if you include a chat feature, some girl is meeting her new long-term girlfriend on AS. It’s inevitable! Woohoo!

        • Well I’m definitely not asking that. I think all I said was it would be neat if upgrades could foster more of a community where people can interact more directly and provide better means of sharing user-generated content. It’s a thing, to understand what someone is saying. #readingcomprehension

      • User-generated content would be rad. I don’t know if they do this still, but Feministing had a way for users to share their own articles and sometimes they’d crosspost to the main site. It was a good way to get tips and leads.

    • – Events
      – API mashup-ing with FB, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, etc – Metafilter’s got a good version of this in their profiles

  4. Riese I realize this is unhelpful but WHERE DID THE LIKE BUTTONS ON THE COMMENTS GO?!?!?! I am having a panic attack I hate change AHHHHHHH! (No but seriously I just want to like so many words and I can’t and I am sad about it.)

    • nevermind they are back now i look silly and panicky

      (i realize i looked silly and panicky even while they were gone)

      everyone breath it’s all okay

      (but seriously sorry for bothering you riese please don’t hate me!)

  5. Sometimes I see a little popup on the bottom of my screen that says “riese undefined” and it reminds me of that one article you wrote about your label.

    I think forums would be good because the groups don’t seem to be that active.

      • I know about the groups, I meant like real forums where there could be topics and threads and things. Plus in a lot of my groups the only activity that I ever see is pages of notifications about people joining groups.

        • Those are the forums. It’s different because you can’t make threads independent of a group, but they’re still threads.

          If you use the filter and select “show updates” you won’t see any of those joining notifications.

          • I think a free-flowing, straight-up forums would be cool. But I guess groups can keep the riff-raff out!

  6. oh I love kitty captions, whiskey kitten is my most favorite one ever

    the white plug in kitty looks like it has rabbit legs, it’s like a kitunny or a bunten (obviously I’m not a genius at creating portmanteaus)

  7. I know nothing of which you spoke of so I took the cometchat ‘tour’ which says “CometChat comes loaded with dozens of ready integrations. You can install CometChat on these platforms without any programming knowledge.” I would like to see a kitten respond to that. I reread your post and felt relief when I saw you wanted advanced customization..because what I saw was really lame looking in every sense and I know AS would not do that. The kittens would not allow it.

    Anyway..so MLM brought up the traditional forum/thread boards, there are some great ones to be found on subjects I read for work and also personal interests. I like them but probably because the ones I visit are very good with no spam or idiots. AE, like she said, has them, technically they are sound but I just won’t go there; in terms of content I will say the right thing which is umm they have a different uhh audience for their site which aims to reach that uhh audience.

    I realize you are asking for submissions and we are talking about kittens and forum threads so I will stop as I don’t know if you want feedback on what we like or want on this post; I can’t sleep so maybe I’ll go write a fake story and go find a forum to post it about my friend’s married cousin who is a teacher who looked at me, I can’t tell her how i feel but we are going to the same work conference and she’s bringing her fiance (she said we would drive alone together) so I am so confused but I will update for 8 months then stop abruptly after 8,000 people wish me luck and tell me to update them cuz they bookmarked my last post.

  8. Hope you include international politics threads/topics/forums(by region maybe). You have international visitors/members who’d like to discuss politics and share points of view, because this is all interrelated with the way we think, act, and want to change the world.

    So we’d get to know the AS community better and vice versa.

    • I third this. More international content would be really, really fantastic (south africans, holla?).

    • you know what’s interesting is we got this a lot in the survey we sent out — but there was a week where we experimented by putting out shit-tons of international content and the international posts didn’t even get enough hits to register on our top 10 posts of the day. it was kinda depressing actually since some of them were really important, we thought. anyhow!

      besides things like this (and thank you for your feedback!), traffic and commenting is really where we have the most opportunity to find out what you like and what you want to see more of. So comment on international posts and facebook them to your friends!

      Also fyi, if you wanna check up on the latest:


      • I checked the international-news section and I totally understand why these won’t get enough traffic. I agree some are interesting, but imo we need posts that can hold more discussion/debates in regards of our daily news check that might not be directly gay related issues.

        The post ‘Keeping It Real: Authentic Diversification in Occupy Wall Street’ is very interesting for example and it is not an exclusively gay related topic. So how bout you bring us more posts like these also internationally.

        Now regardless of all this, thank you making this place an interesting one to visit regularly!

  9. I agree with what someone said above about how parts of AS still seem “aloof.” I don’t really venture into anything outside of the front page of article listings because I just don’t really know how to navigate it.

    But I’ve noticed that once the published date of an article has passed by about a day or two, most people seem to move on… but not everyone does! I read and comment on all kinds of stuff, not just the brand new stuff. I wish there was an easier way to track if new comments or new replies are being made/left without scrolling through the archives and scrolling through every comment. I feel like the commenting would be expanded if people could tell that things were still being actively discussed… I don’t know if this suggestion meets the requirements of what kind of input you want, though…. :/

    • I wish there was an easier way to track if new comments or new replies are being made/left without scrolling through the archives and scrolling through every comment.

      If you click on Community and then set the filter to “show blog comments” it shows all the comments in descending chronological order.

      The “last 10 comments” widget in the right column also includes comments left on old articles.

    • actually i think most articles that get a lot of comments get most of them on the second day — it depends on when it was published, but usually the conversations go on for 4-5 days. I really like the thing in the right-hand column that says “10 last comments” cuz then i can see where people are still talking. and every now and then someone drops by to tell me i suck and taylor swift is AWESOME

  10. thank you all for the feedback! there are so many really great suggestions here. i’ve written everything down in an actual notebook! which is forever! which means i love you.

    keep ’em coming, etc!

  11. I posted on this yesterday, but somehow my comment disappeared. Que triste! Anyway, I think it would be SO SO SO SO AMAZING if AS had a phpBB style forum, I’m certain it would be much more active than the groups feature, since currently you have to dig through a massive list of groups, decide which you want to join, request membership, and then find them again in your own list of groups to post. It’s just too many steps, in my opinion, even though I totally appreciate it existing.

    • that looks really awesome but laneia got panicky looking at it, worried that if we installed that, that nobody would comment on the actual website anymore

      • I’ve run phpBB and vBulletin forums, and I think you’re right that there would be fewer comments on the articles. Forums have a life of their own. I prefer Autostraddle as it is now.

  12. Suggestion: please make it so that more of the posts show up in Google reader. At least the first page please?

  13. And make it more pleasing to the eye then facebook with better options for gender, biological born sex, sexuality and all the like. A place geared more for the LGBT community. I am totally on board to do this. I have photoshop/kinda basic html skills/dreamweaver/am learning CSS skills. I am also a computer repair technician. lets make this happen.

    • If you join the site as a member you’ll see that the gender identity/sexuality options are numerous.

  14. I would loooove a mobile version of this website. It’s getting to the point that the only time I’m in front of my computer now is on the weekends, so I’m often social networking on the go from my Blackberry. I get emails regarding updates because I subscribe to your website via IFTTT Action but your website is nearly impossible to read on the mobile web, so I’m left to read your updates on the weekend, and then I can’t join in and comment and stuff because the article is already ~old news and I feel left out :( /runonsentence /firstworldproblems.

    Also: if we could get email notifications or something when someone has responded to a comment we’ve made that would be terrific too :)

    • There used to be a mobile version or maybe there still is? I remember having some problems where the mobile version would load automatically even though I was on a computer.

      There is an option for email notifications. Below the comment text box there’s a box you can check and it says Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

      • But then it sends me ALLLLLL the comments and I just want the comments that are replies to me.

  15. I would really love if Autostraddle had a working chat feature. There’s one on the bottom of the page now but all it says is “undefined” and doesn’t appear to actually do anything. I’m really trying to meet new people with this site but it’s a lot harder than it should be! Anything that could make it more of a social networking/meeting site would be awesome.

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