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Member pages and social networking

edited October 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
My own vision of where I would like to see vanilla go from my own very skewed standpoint is this. I would like member pages to become much more than your standard biog. There is an opportunity to pool the information collected from the plethora of web services, and turn the member pages into a collection of meta data about the specific user. A few Examples. 1. I already mentioned this, flickr. I want to see the three latest images from my members flickr feed, right there on the member page. 2. - Every time a user tags a bookmark with a certain phrase in their account, it is displayed on their user page, again, limited to a sensible number, a sort of "Hey look, I found this, you guys might be interested too'. 3. Audioscrobbler/ - Again, a simple, 'recent tracks' thing, possibly with the option to add affiliate linking to the CD. 3. Gravatar - Smaller fish, but still this would be welcomed, and I'm sure has been mentioned before. 4. The latest post from their blog. This would be awesome, just offering a synopsis of the last post from the user blog, with a permalink for the entry. 5. RSS feeds for member pages. Imagine the possibilities. You would now have a combined feed for a given users flickr,,, and their blog. This seems like a lot of work, and as a designer, I can't imagine the steps you would need to go to to achieve this, but thinking simplistically - The facilities to do these things already exist. People can display flickr badges, links, info and content from RSS feeds on their sites, offering this all in one place would, IMHO create the most incredible profile system ever.


  • lechlech Chicagoland
    stuart, not to shoot it all down out of the sky and shit on some of these wonderful ideas, but you do realize that some of them would require some heavy indexing and pooling of data, right? meaning if you have say, 200 members, and half of them are online, and half of that half are viewing each others profiles, that server will likely lag until all that data gets polled from it's respective location. if this was 90% client side retrievals, I wouldn't care, because then the load would be shifted onto me more or less. however, even that could slow down if one of those hosts is down for maintinance or just having network issues. In short, I guess it would be best to weigh the good vs possible bad that come with each extension and how much network you have to offer for some of these services up for your users. This is a major key especially if you're running an open forum. Beause your system WILL get taxed under the stress of a network over-load with certain extensions attempting to run when hosts are dead.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    edited August 2005
    </the voice of reason> Don't get me wrong, I do like the ideas behind some of these extension, I'm simply trying to weigh out the benefit vs possible consequences of some of these on a really busy site. Spidering things like this is no easy task for a webserver when being hit 100 times a sec.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    I have no experience doing this sort of thing, but I think they don't sound like very difficult extensions to write (without creating a local index of the data), and would be a pretty cool feature. You could always write the extensions and then just see how it goes. If it is slow, work on an optimization. If not, let it ride. However, at the end of the day Vanilla is meant to be about the discussions - not the profiles. Which is why none of these things were implemented for the base version. I do think they're cool, though.
  • I like the flikr and gravatar ideas. They would be really basic extensions and could be implemented without oo much hassle. is another usefull idea. But, as for the others, I aggree with lech, that these have the poential to make a site run like a slug. It would be a rare siutation, if MANY users were all looking t other users profiles, but it is most definitely possible. If all of these were to be implemted (as extensions) then a throttle extension could be introducted to turn off high load extensions during peak times. Developers would then assign throttle values to their extensions (they need to be monitored so that they are realistic), so this extension could handle all other extensions. For example, the throttle scale could be from 0-10. 0 being SMALL server load, 10 being VERY HIGH server load. The flikr extension COULD be given a throttle value of 6, and if it reached that high, it is temporarily disabled. Just some food for thought.
  • BenBen
    edited August 2005
    Out of all of those, the only one I think would apply to me is Flickr; and I don't use that much. But I can see how it would be fantastic for all these people who do use Flickr a lot. I think the blog idea could be a future gem, having a small blog/journal on their profile.
  • adding an extension for every internet fad, while making vanilla more popular, would also take away from its speed and uniqueness. the web already has too many vanity pages, why add even more to one's board?
  • I'm content with manually inserting links to my other "social" related accounts. Isn't that what the "Custom Information" is basically for under account settings? Sure it's not the same as having the most recent bookmarks or images linked but it gives viewer the option to view if they're interested.

  • How about adding an option on the search page to search those custom fields on the profiles?
  • rather than an option, if you are searching for a user, it should include those details. I think that would be the smater way to go. Less clutter.
  • edited October 2005
    adding an extension for every internet fad, while making vanilla more popular, would also take away from its speed and uniqueness.

    Well, that's the beauty of extensions, though. You don't have to use any of the ones you want, and everyone is given options.

    I would love to see the last post of someone's blog included, along with latest flickr and gravatars (though the gravatar thing is kind of pointless, since they're up and down all the time).

    The blog thing lets you add that functionality without just throwing another blog at the user. Users might appreciate that, as it would send some traffic back to their own sites.

    The flickr thing could be added as simply as giving the user a profile field that allows them to enter the link for their flickr badge. I like seeing other people's photography.

    As far as and go, I wouldn't be that interested personally, but I wonder if my users would be. The problem with is that people are just taking their bookmarks from other people's lists, so it's a lot of carbon copy lists. I don't know of anyone that really uses I tried it out and didn't find it all that compelling.

    Overall, I do like the idea of extending the profile page a bit. It seems like a great way to get people to interact further and come to a vanilla site more.
This discussion has been closed.