Features Request – PROFILES AND Network Structure
â€¢ Multi-part profiles
The user profile page is perhaps the most important part of your social network. Along with the userâ€™s profile data, all of the userâ€™s photos, blog entries, comments, groups, friends, statistics, and other items can be displayed here. This page is often used as a point of contact between users, so various options are available to viewers (such as â€œSend Messageâ€, â€œAdd Friendâ€, â€œBlock Userâ€, and so forth). As the admin, you decide what goes on your usersâ€™ profiles.
â€¢ Customizable profile fields
The information that your users will provide about themselves will define your social network. Thusly, you should create profile fields that make users provide information that is relavant to your social networkâ€™s unique theme. For example, if you are building a social network for businesspeople, you might create fields like â€œCurrent Employerâ€, â€œPositionâ€, â€œReferencesâ€, etc. Similarly, if you are creating a dating network, you might create fields like â€œHeightâ€, â€œWeightâ€, â€œEye Colorâ€, and so forth. Profile fields can be one of several types: Text fields, pull-down boxes, multi-line text areas, radio buttons, dates, etc.
â€¢ Dependent profile fields
If you create a pull-down box or radio button profile field, you can give it one or more dependent profile fields. For example, if your pull-down box profile field is named â€œMarital Statusâ€, it might have possible values such as â€œSingleâ€ and â€œMarriedâ€. By creating a dependent field named â€œToâ€ for the â€œMarriedâ€ value, users that select â€œMarriedâ€ can specify who they are married to.
â€¢ Regex field validation
Each profile field that you create can be given its own regular expression. If the data provided by the user does not match this expression, you can choose to display an error message of your choice. This ensures that users are inputting their profile data in the exact format you want.
â€¢ Keyword links
If enabled, some profile fields will be â€œlinked, separated by commas.â€ This means that whatever data the user provides in these fields will be separated by commas and linked to browse pages. For example, if you create a field called â€œMy Favorite Musicâ€ and a user enters â€œclassical, jazz, soulâ€, each of those words will be linked on the userâ€™s profile page. Then, when a viewer clicks â€œjazzâ€, they are taken to a page that lists all other users that have listed â€œjazzâ€ in their â€œMy Favorite Musicâ€ field.
â€¢ Birthday fields
Date fields on your usersâ€™ profiles can be set to â€œbirthday modeâ€, which allows you to calculate the userâ€™s age. With some minor modifications, you could use this to notify users of upcoming birthdays.
â€¢ Personal photos (avatars)
If allowed, users can easily upload a photo of themselves, which is automatically sized down and used as their personal photo (also known as an avatar). This is displayed on their profile, in search results, when they send a message, and on many other areas of your social network.
â€¢ Profile privacy
If allowed, users can select from several privacy levels when managing their profile. This limits who can view and write comments on their profile. You, the admin, can decide what privacy options are available to your users.
If allowed, users can post comments on each otherâ€™s profiles. This is an excellent way to encourage user interaction. If an inappropriate or unwanted content is posted, the receiving user can delete it from his or her profile. Users also have the ability to choose who can post comments on their profile (if allowed by you, the admin).
â€¢ Custom CSS styles
If allowed, users can insert their own custom CSS styles to give their profiles a more personalized appearance.
Network Structure & Customizability
Your social network has the ability to organize users into â€œsubnetworksâ€ based on profile information they have in common with each other. You can use this to limit access and privacy between subnetworks, display subnetwork-specific content in your templates, or to simply organize your users. For example, you might want your social network to be comprised of two subnetworks: â€œMalesâ€ and â€œFemalesâ€. Or, perhaps you might want to split these up into â€œMales In Californiaâ€, â€œMales Outside Californiaâ€, â€œFemales In Californiaâ€, â€œFemales Outside Californiaâ€. This is particularly useful because you can show different content (or advertisements) to users based on what subnetwork they are in. This allows you to serve them information or ads that are specifically relevant to their interests or personal characteristics.
â€¢ Several friendship structures
You can select from four distinct friendship structures: 1) Nobody can invite anyone to become friends, 2) Anybody can invite anyone to become friends, 3) Only people within the same subnetwork can become friends, and 4) Users can only invite their friendsâ€™ friends (second-level friends) to become their friends. With some minor customization, other structures can be implemented quite easily.
â€¢ One-way or two-way friendships
As the admin, you can decide if users have one-way or two-way friendships. Example: User A adds User B to his friend list. With a one-way friendship framework, User B is User Aâ€™s friend, but User A is not User Bâ€™s friend. With a two-way friendship framework, User B is User Aâ€™s friend and User A is User Bâ€™s friend.
â€¢ Verified or unverified friendships
As the admin, you can choose whether or not users will have to confirm friendship requests. Example: User A requests to become friends with User B. With a verified friendships framework, the two users will not become friends until User B confirms the friendship. With an unverified friendship framework, the two users will become friends immediately.
â€¢ Friendship types (titles)
As the admin, you can create a list of friendship types for users to pick when describing their relationships with their friends. Example: Your friendship type list may be something like â€œCo-workerâ€, â€œSignificant Otherâ€, â€œAcquaintanceâ€, â€œClose Friendâ€, â€œFamilyâ€, and so forth. Users can pick from these when they add new friends or edit the details of their relationships with their friends. If you wish, you can also allow users to enter in their own friendship type instead of picking from your list.
â€¢ Friendship explanations
As the admin, you can allow users to type in a detailed explaination of their relationships with each of their friends.
â€¢ Public/private sections
As the admin, you can easily make portions of the social network available to the public or registered users only.
â€¢ Custom privacy levels
As the admin, you can decide what privacy levels your users can choose from when they decide who can view (or post comments on) their profiles, blogs, groups, albums, and so forth.
â€¢ Signup by admin invitation
As the admin, you can choose to allow users to signup only if you have invited them. This is an effective way to build a small, exclusive social network.
â€¢ Signup by user invitation
As the admin, you can choose to allow users to signup only if they have been invited by an existing user or an admin. You can even give each user a limited number of invitations to send out. By limiting signups in this way, invitations can become â€œvaluable,â€ which is a known method of achieving viral growth.
â€¢ Customizable signup process
As the admin, you can decide what will take place during the new user signup process. You decide what fields they must fill out (and which are required), whether they are asked to upload a photo, whether they are prompted to invite other people, and so forth.
â€¢ Email messages
Your social network sends emails to your users when they do different things, like signup, receive friend requests, request their lost password, etc. These email messages are all customizable – you can easily replace the default messages with your own.
Frontend, Look & Feel
â€¢ Global CSS styles
A single CSS stylesheet is used to set the colors, fonts, and other styles of your entire social network. This makes global changes to the look and feel of your social network easy!
â€¢ Multi-language support
All of the text on your social network is stored in a single language file, which makes translation simple.
â€¢ Search engine friendly URLs
As the admin, you can switch between standard (dynamic) or search engine friendly (static) URLs. This applies to the URLs of your usersâ€™ profile pages, albums, blogs, groups, etc.
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