Oct 26, 2006 at 12:41 pm #1219996
Some of you have noticed and taken advantage of a new feature in the forums: Forum Profiles.
Forum profiles include information that you define about yourself that you would like to share with other forum readers.
You may change your forum profile by clicking “Change My Forum Profile” from your MY ACCOUNT page after logging in.
On a forum thread, you can be identified by a photo that you specify (“avatar” in forumspeak) and a “locale”, which can be used to describe your general location, favorite hiking spot, etc.
To view any user’s profile, click on their avatar, username, or name from any forum thread. This will take you to a summary page that allows you to view that user’s profile. From this page, you can also view your own profile, or change your profile.
In your profile, you can specify a “PM” (personal message) email address. This address is embedded in the website database and is not accessible by any forum user, or by any web bot or spider, so there is no risk of receiving spam as a result of a site crawler if you enter this address.
Then, from any user’s profile page, you can send a PM to that user, but only if BOTH you AND that user have set up PM email addresses. Once a PM is sent, it goes directly to the user’s PM email address specified in their forum profile.
We’ll continue to develop forum functionality to improve your experience here. We have rather enjoyed building forums from the ‘ground up’ here, adding functions that the forum readers here ask for, rather than embedding third party software with more complexity than what is needed. Such is the true spirit of the ultralighter!
Anyway, thanks everyone for your feedback, keep it coming!
PublisherOct 27, 2006 at 6:54 pm #1365639
Ryan, what is the BPL Rank feature all about? Thanks for the profile feature, nice personal touch.
Best, JhauraOct 27, 2006 at 7:37 pm #1365645
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
It’s not a post count like I first thought. Hmm…Oct 27, 2006 at 8:38 pm #1365650
The BPLRank is a … work in progress … still trying to figure out why I don’t have the highest number ;)
It’s one of those secret features like Google PageRank. But it’s nowhere near tweaked, we just have base code in it for now.
At any rate, it’s not quite ready to … announce…
:)Oct 27, 2006 at 8:56 pm #1365652
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
>> … still trying to figure out why I don’t have the highest number ;)
Tee hee hee. ;-)
Hmm. Must be a measure of how much time is spent on BPL instead of working…
I’m not sure that making this data visible to the world (or my wife) is such a hot idea.Oct 27, 2006 at 8:56 pm #1365653
A measure of one’s worthlessness? : POct 27, 2006 at 10:09 pm #1365660
@don-1-2-2Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
OK, I’m vain enough to admit I’m just posting to see what my new avatar looks like.
DWOct 28, 2006 at 1:58 pm #1365704
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
> A measure of one’s worthlessness? : P
As with rankings in any electronic community I will have to agree this will basically give value to our worthlessness.
I have secretly enjoyed that there was NO ranking system on these forums as there are with the myriad other forums out there. It levels the playing field a bit and tends to keep postings to “quality not quantity”. I highly doubt however that the quality of information will go out the window. I hope not anyway.Oct 28, 2006 at 2:19 pm #1365707
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
Perhaps it’s like golf. In that case I am doing swimmingly :)Oct 28, 2006 at 2:29 pm #1365708
The BPLRank considers forum participation as only a minor component of the rank.
I don’t have plans to disclose the formulas or where this is going (yet), but the overall goal is to identify those who offer well-rounded contributions to BPL. Forums participation is only a part of that.
The goal is not to identify quantity of posts, like other forums. Quite contrary, actually. I’m appalled at the lack of “legitimacy” of some of the posters on other boards that have very high “forum rankings”. We’re trying to avoid that and prevent your ability to “pad” your ranking.
Ignore the ranks now, they are pretty much meaningless and contrived. The new formula set hasn’t been installed yet. Also, they are not updated live at this time.
There will be more about this in due time.Oct 28, 2006 at 2:53 pm #1365711
Ryan, might have made more sense to not have it show on each posting until it’s ready for prime time and can be explained to membership.Oct 28, 2006 at 3:06 pm #1365712
>> Ryan, might have made more sense to not have it show on each posting until it’s ready for prime time and can be explained to membership.
That’s no fun ;)
Consider it a … Microsoft model:
“We don’t quite yet know what we’re doing, or exactly how to get there, but the screenshots should generate some excitement anyways!”Oct 28, 2006 at 5:44 pm #1365722
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Hey…I was just about to check my BPL rank, but you guys took it out. Now I’ll always wonder!Oct 28, 2006 at 11:52 pm #1365731
Good reply, esp. the MS model.Oct 29, 2006 at 5:46 pm #1365771
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Dunno Bill, I actually like it.Oct 29, 2006 at 7:50 pm #1365778
Bill, good point. Short posts, like my prev. “one-liner” take up too much vertical space if the Avatar is being displayed. As such, one key to a good GUI is flexibility, i.e. allowing the user to easily customize it to their liking. i’ll second your suggestion about an “Avatar toggle” on each page of the Forum Posts. Given all of the recent improvements, it might have been coming anyways, but, IMHO, it’s good that you brought it up – good thinking.Oct 30, 2006 at 6:41 am #1365786
It’s interesting to see pictures of those posting to threads, but there is another downside beyond the extra vertical real estate I mentioned in another thread and has been noted by others in this one. I’m still confined to dial-up internet service since DSL hasn’t reached me and there is a considerable increase in page loading time because of all the (frequently repetitive) pictures.
A blanket way to turn them off would be very useful; since I open multiple threads from the “New Posts Since Last Visit” page, an individual post page toggle wouldn’t solve the problem. We can always click on the posters name to go to their profile and see an avatar, hopefully larger than the one next to each forum post.Oct 30, 2006 at 10:28 am #1365791
pj, your beard is getting a little out of control dontcha think?Oct 30, 2006 at 11:44 am #1365793
Good point on the dial-up aspect. You’re absolutely right, a Forum-wide Avatar toggle ought to be part of one’s Account Set-up, IMHO. Good call.
Re: the beard being out of control,…
so is my Gimli-like irascible attitude!! oh, and perhaps also the length of some of my posts. I’ll try to trim the beard and the post-length back a tad. As far as the ‘tude – i’m prob. a hopeless case.Oct 31, 2006 at 8:16 pm #1365904
Has anyone else noticed that their Forum Profile indicates no Reader Reviews when in fact one or more actually exists? My reviews are no longer indicated as part of my profile.
Does BPL Admin know of this “glitch”?
Perhaps its just a temporary “hiccup” while all of the bugs are wrung out of the nice new Forum Profile features?
Again, great job, BPL, on the new features.
[Note: for the benefit of the dial-up users, i’ve shrunk my Avatar pic & re-uploaded it to the BPL site. Hope this helps a bit with page loading.]Nov 1, 2006 at 9:57 am #1365949
pj – thanks! dial-up IS slow and every little bit helps. Still hoping for toggle to turn on/off.Nov 1, 2006 at 3:53 pm #1365992
@foodLocale: Colorado Rockies
What will be the benefits of a good ranking?
At what number should we get a posse?
Will there be additional discounts?
What about groupies?Nov 1, 2006 at 10:09 pm #1366019
>> What will be the benefits of a good ranking?
Stock options would be nice.
Oh, I’m kidding, you know that. The e-boom and bust are long gone, and we’re out of stock in Cocoons anyways.
We’re tossing around a number of ideas, including various incentive programs. First we have to dial in the algorithm so that the BPLRank can’t be “padded” … like … I’m doing now.
Ahem…Nov 2, 2006 at 6:24 am #1366034
@foodLocale: Colorado Rockies
I am a very competitive person, but as I get older I prefer competition with a purpose.
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