Wire Posts in bp 1.2
Is it still possible to write on someone’s activity feed directly now that wire and activity are merged in bp 1.2?
If so, how?
We were going to use the wire as a person’s “wall” ala facebook, but now with just the activity feed, it appears you can only reply or comment on someone’s activity but not start a post on the activity page/list.
Is it still possible to have a wire in 1.2?
1. I get the use of the Twitter @ metaphor and adding “mentions” to the filters. Cool. BUT, it introduces a potential UI snag for users. Throughout 1.2 you make nice use of Display Name which users will become accustomed to and identify with. Now, you are identifying users by their user name as well (mixing metaphors, so to speak) as in ->
Given people’s tendencies to use whacky usernames, thee is a big risk of confusion when both start popping up around the site. Not sure what the solution is but I think it’s not a trivial point, imho.
2. Now that the wire has disappeared and along comes the concept of “Send Public Message” (I get it) let’s look at what vehicle we’re making use of and what it may mean to users. As it currently stands in 1.2, to “Send Public Message” you click that button on someone’s profile and you are taken to your own Status Update field with an @username filled in.
a. the cursor is highlighted just before the @username not after (don’t forget to include a space) – this will only cause people to write the pubic message and push the @username to the end of the message. clunky
b. You’ll probably need to include a @mentions on each person’s profile page otherwise, you’ll never be able to easily see the public message to @username you just wrote. The key point being, you want this to show up on THEIR profile.
c. Probably worth considering including a notification to @username of said public message via email (make optional)
d. Q: Will these @’s be co-mingled in your own status updates and, thus create confusion. Maybe that doesn’t matter and i am overthinking it.On the activity stream, it says John Doe posted an update, when he really sent @username a public message. In Twitter when @ leads a message as 1st character, it has different context than everywhere else in the Tweet. Perhaps -> John Doe sent @username a public message ? or something.
I know I am getting fine grained here but theses (excellent) feature adds need to be over the top intuitive when introduced or they will breed unintended usages.
The @ thing is a Twitter hack which was came about out of necessity due to Twitter’s limitations. BuddyPress has no such limitations. Let’s not copy Twitter’s @ and # hacks. BuddyPress can do the same thing in a much more user-friendly and intuitive way… by clicking an action link for instance. Relying on raw text strings? Bad idea. I think.
interesting point, but this still doesn’t answer my question. the “Send Message” found on a different user’s page, still sends a message instead of posting on the wire/wall/activity.
Is it just a matter of changing the permissions for “post update” found on your own page when logged in?
Essentially showing it on every users’ home page, thus allowing anyone to post to your wall/activity instead of only allowing the loggedin user to post to their own activity list?
I realize I might be answering my own question
@balbert if you look at 1.2 (on testbp.org) you will notice there are 2 types of Send Message. Public and private. the private is as you say. The public is merely a status update.
okay… Mike, i see what you are saying. I was looking at the default theme for 1.2 on my local dev box and for some reason it only shows me “add friend” and “send message”. No “send public message”.
Upgrade to the latest trunk version of BP 1.2.
“Send Public Message” and “Send Private Message” was added in about a week ago.
The usage of @ may have been a twitter hack, but it came from using it as a way to acknowledge or direct a comment at a user when a threaded option wasn’t available. We use it even here in these very forums quite often, because we can’t directly reply to one another.
Deprecated code, the wire, and the status update components are totally removed from the BuddyPress 1.2 core and will be available in a separate BuddyPress Backwards Compatibility plugin. If you desire to use those components, or are using a custom theme that uses old function names or loops, you will be required to install and activate this additional plugin to continue to use your old code.
This was done for three reasons:
1. Reduce the amount of legacy code in the core that is just hanging around not being used
2. Not give new comers 2 (or more) ways to do the same one thing
3. Influence plugin and theme developers to upgrade their code to be compatible with BuddyPress 1.2 sooner rather than later
More detailed instructions and details will come as the 1.2 launch comes closer, but this is the best way to make sure everyone is happy.
@jjj good points all. I would love your thoughts on my points re some of the finer implementation points of 1.2 updates
I think you bring up some good points about how @’ing someone, where it appears, and how you’re told someone @’ed you can start to be a run around. It’s possible that it could start to be a lot of back and forth, and if you’re not familiar with the concept of what it means or how it works, then there could be more of a learning curve than just typing in a box and hitting send.
Personally, I think sending a public message to someone and having it also updating your current status could be confusing, especially since writing a new blog post, or commenting on an activity stream item don’t update your current status. And if your new status contains an @reply, the link under your username in your profile gets stripped. Twitter has also partly trained me now that clicking on someones @name doesn’t bring me to their profile, it just sets up a reply to that person right away. I also think @replies should work in activity stream comments, instead of just the status update.
The username thing is hard to get around. The problem comes from peoples display names being editable and dynamic. You could, if you were really concerned about the display of things, filter the output of the activity stream item and use a little PHP creativity to replace the username with the display name. I’ve done this already to get rid of the Â· on a client site, because their activity stream links are setup differently and the Â·s don’t make sense where they are.
John – I think your final solution there is what I will probably do. I will wait to see what sort of message generation you settle on, @ or otherwise. I just want to maintain a consistent user experience throughout and that means one display of a user’s moniker, whatever it is, not several versions
This is quite a confusing implementation, and I think the usability could (and should, before it’s released), be hugely improved.
After looking at the current way posting a public message on a users profile works, here’s some suggestions of how I think it could be improved:
* User clicks ‘Send Public Message’, and a textarea with ‘@username‘ pre added is inserted into the top of the current profiles’ activity stream – signifying to the user, this is where the message will end up
* The comment is typed, and when completed it is posted via Ajax, we could simply post it and refresh their activity stream
* The users status is NOT updated, instead an activity item in their stream shows the message they sent (or a short quote), with the ability to comment on it.
We simply need to focus on what the user is trying to achieve, and make that as simple and intuitive as possible. Facebook does this very well.
I think @Alex‘s idea is sound and would add one thing: pull the addressing of the target out of the message box. I get the Twitter analogy (I am a massive twitter user myself) but, as I have said before it starts to mix metaphors, and I don’t want users reconciling pretty user names in some places with “username”‘s in public messages
I guarantee you the @ thing will confuse 80-90% of my users.
I can understand the confusion with usernames and display names. This will be addressed, but not at the expense of not having this for 1.2.
I think there is still a lot of confusion around this, and where exactly messages end up when they are posted. I’ll try and clear it up.
Your activity stream displays your activity, everything you have done on the site. When I post a message, this is my activity, regardless of who it is aimed at. This is why @messages that you send display on your activity stream. You posted it, it’s your activity. The stream is not a wall, or status update history.
When you post an @message, the user you have mentioned will get an email notification of your activity with a link to take a look at it. They will come to your profile and read the message.
The user can reply to the message right there and then on your profile. You can have a complete discussion without having to @message each other or keep switching back and forth between profiles. Each time a reply is posted, this is activity for that particular user, which means any replies posted will appear on that user’s activity stream with a link back to the original thread.
It’s quite simple really, but you have to stop thinking about it in terms of how Facebook and Twitter work. It’s an activity stream with direct comments, not a wall or status update stream. Why would someone else’s activity display on your activity stream?
Also, try it on testbp.org – it has been working really well and I receive @messages all the time, each with an active reply stream.
This is never going to work like a message posting wall, it’s simply not how an activity stream works. If that’s what you want/need then stick with the old wire. Please give this new functionality a chance though, it works quite well if you take time to use it in an active environment.
One last post! Perhaps the terminology is confusing people.
When I @message someone in an update, I’m not really sending them a message. What I’m doing is saying “Hey! Come and read this and reply!”.
When you send a private message you see their name in a button beside the textarea. When you send a public message you get a textarea pre-populated with @username. I think if you instead got a textarea with their name in a button beside the textarea… just like a private message… that would be more consistent. It would also be less prone to user error. For instance, I can envision someone wanting to public message “Jim Smith” clicking the button and seeing “@unibomber” in the textarea and thinking… what the?! And then deleting the offending weird text. It sounds ridiculous… but sit down with some non-computer savvy users and you will be amazed )
That said… it sounds like you’re aware of that and will be putting some thought into it in future releases. So that’s great.
I guess the question is… if we your don’t rely on the @ shorthand… how would someone make mention of someone else without using the “Public Message” button? Could there be some kind of auto-complete text box for targeting your comments? Or would the @ shorthand simply remain as-is and be considered a “power user” feature.
Just thinking out loud )
I agree with David about how a user will see the @username and might delete the text.
Why would someone else’s activity display on your activity stream?
True, but I think adding an @mentions page on the displayed-user’s profile would help remedy users who like the wire.
You could make this page viewable if you’re logged in only.
One thing I don’t like about Twitter is I have to go to search.twitter.com to view @mentions of another user.
@andy Ok. I understand the model now and it’s good to see the username issue resolution on the horizon somewhere. A couple of thoughts:
1. Given that many activities on the stream get their own verbs “posted an update” “posted a comment” “uploaded a picture” (ok, dreaming!) it might help to tweak the verbiage here to “posted a public message to @username” since I’m not really updating anything. Posting an update smacks of status updates
2. @r-a-y‘s point is key, a person needs to go see where all the public messages to them live so they can reply.
Funny you say that, because I’ve had two totally unrelated client sites that said the exact opposite. They were confused about the private message setup, and when they saw the persons name prepoulated as a link, they clicked that link to that person every time, went to their profile again, assumed private messages didn’t work, and complained. Strange how the world works eh?
Because Twitter has owned the @reply idea, if ours doesn’t work similar, it probably won’t work at all. Same with hashtags. All a hashtag is, is a tag to search through streams by. It’s like tagging activity, which can be done via a plugin now that there’s activity meta.
Right now the only place and the only time the @name works, is when you’re updating your status to directly mention specific users. That kind of makes it a technology that won’t get used too often. There is also only 1 place to automatically populate that users @name in the update box, and that’s when you’re viewing their profile already. Twitter makes the activity stream the central source for all things activity, including @ing people back and forth. Maybe if user names in the activity_content were all given a specific class we could use some jQuery to turn that class into a link that auto-populates the update box instead of making it a link to their profile? That would help fully endorse the @name idea in multiple places, rather than just 1.
Confession: I really dislike Twitter a great deal. Can you tell?
I think Andy is right and to me that is a main point: it’s not facebook and it’s not twitter. I like that ! I like the @thing and how it works. To me totally makes sense! And I could imagine, that non twitteres will pick up the idea pretty fast, because it’s just logical.
The greatest pushback is the problem with the usernames, but the “public message button” is a first little step. I still would like that something like autosuggestion would pop up, when you type @.
@Michael I hear ya, but let’s be honest (and you know I am a BP fanboy) BP is basically a set of tools to let us create our own niche Facebooks. I won’t beat this dead horse anymore, but along with @David, I will have major user confusion when I start forcing them to pay attention to real names as well as usernames.
I’m with ya though
You mentioned addressing the confusion between usernames and display names, how will you be going about that in a later release?
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