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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Forum Profile on 10/26/2006 13:41:42 MDT Print View

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!

Best Regards,
Ryan Jordan
Publisher

J W
(jhaura) - M

Locale: www.Trailability.com
Re: BPL Rank on 10/27/2006 19:54:08 MDT Print View

Ryan, what is the BPL Rank feature all about? Thanks for the profile feature, nice personal touch.

Best, Jhaura

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/27/2006 20:37:23 MDT Print View

It's not a post count like I first thought. Hmm...

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: BPL Rank on 10/27/2006 21:38:25 MDT Print View

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...

:)

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/27/2006 21:56:03 MDT Print View

>> ... 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.

Edited by MikeMartin on 10/27/2006 22:00:44 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/27/2006 21:56:29 MDT Print View

A measure of one's worthlessness? : P

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Checking out my avatar on 10/27/2006 23:09:56 MDT Print View

OK, I'm vain enough to admit I'm just posting to see what my new avatar looks like.

DW

Edited by don on 10/27/2006 23:20:41 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: BPL Rank on 10/28/2006 14:58:50 MDT Print View

> 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.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/28/2006 15:19:47 MDT Print View

Perhaps it's like golf. In that case I am doing swimmingly :)

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: BPL Rank on 10/28/2006 15:29:21 MDT Print View

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.

Siegmund Beimfohr
(SigBeimfohr) - M
Re: BPL Rank on 10/28/2006 15:53:08 MDT Print View

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.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/28/2006 16:06:48 MDT Print View

>> 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!"

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/28/2006 18:44:48 MDT Print View

Hey...I was just about to check my BPL rank, but you guys took it out. Now I'll always wonder!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: BPL Rank on 10/29/2006 00:52:55 MDT Print View

Good reply, esp. the MS model.

Bill Cooper
(bwcooper) - MLife
Re: Forum Profile on 10/29/2006 18:46:47 MST Print View

Not to be a spoilsport, but can a flag be added to toggle the forum avatars on and off? (Avatar img calls could be wrapped in a javascript function.) The member profiles are interesting, but seeing the avatars constantly can be distracting while reading the posts.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Forum Profile on 10/29/2006 19:16:47 MST Print View

Dunno Bill, I actually like it.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Forum Profile on 10/29/2006 20:50:54 MST Print View

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.

Siegmund Beimfohr
(SigBeimfohr) - M
Re: Re: Forum Profile on 10/30/2006 07:41:56 MST Print View

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.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Forum Profile on 10/30/2006 11:28:41 MST Print View

pj, your beard is getting a little out of control dontcha think?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Forum Profile on 10/30/2006 12:44:07 MST Print View

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.