Abandoning the Social Network and Q&A Idea
A few weeks ago, I added some social network functionality (Buddypress) to my site as well as a Question and Answer module. You can read about the features here. Unfortunately, the social network plugin added about 5 seconds of load time to my site, and despite my attempts to speed it up, Buddypress is just slow. Caching plugins seem to pose problems with Buddypress, too.
The Q&A plugin required user registration to work well (registration was needed to assign points to users and to attribute posts to users). Unfortunately, opening up user registration made my site vulnerable to sploggers (spam registrants), and although plugins cut down on this, the Q&A plugin proved to be quirky anyway.
I decided to lighten the load and return to the basics. My loading speed is more normal, though my host (Bluehost) likes to throttle the speed occasionally, and I'm not convinced the budget hosting provides good server performance.
Anyway, thanks for participating in the social network and Q&A experiment. You don't have to log into the site any more to comment.