Open Question to Social Network Admins
Greetings fellow admins of social networks, and those starting up their own network.
Currently I’m the webmaster of a very active social network for online gamers, and video game enthusiasts. We have been online for over 3 years, with over 12k registered memebers, gaining a new members every day. We have been using a very out of date social network platform which I prefer not to name at this time. We are transitioning over to Buddypress, and have had amazing feedback on the beta site we have been running for almost 3 months now.
My questions, and thoughts lie not in the technical abilities of buddypress, as they have all met and exceeded my expectations, but in the user experience. As I have been active on this forum testing and answering questions when possible, I have a very solid understanding of the ways in which components interact, and what each part does. My concern lies in the user experience. What I think buddypress greatly lacks is instructional wording.
What my concern is that buddypress lacks the ability for an administrator to integrate words of advice and help along the way for new members. We have had members publish very personal things to the wire posts, thinking that only they could see it, like a private message, and have quickly come to us to have us remove them. There is no place for me to correctly enter in some words of caution, about wire posts showing up on the homepage.
There are many sections of buddypress, where just 1 or 2 lines of text would go along way to get members interacting and being social. For a new member, who is new to the whole idea of social networks, and has never friended someone before, it would be nice to explain to them the benifits to having friends, such as the ability to post on their wire.
What I’m asking for is support to have more actions added, for example: wire_post_form_instructions, or even better would be a admin panel, where all of the sections could have text areas to enter descriptions and advice. Some social networks might want to use this to link to help pages, or how to videos, others may want to put in reminders of user agreements, and some may want to be just quick and simple, such as “any post here is public, to send a private message, use the message feature”.
I know buddypress is still in the early stages and I’m really enjoying watching it grow an mature, but now is the time we need to make some decisions about what we want the user experience to be, and how we are going to lead our members to be the best members they can be.
If anyone has some suggestions or thoughts about this, please reply to this post, as I think it is important that this issue doesn’t get overlooked as everyone starts to roll out social networks using buddypress.
Thanks for you thoughts,
I agree completely that we need some help text that guides the users. I like the idea of hooks that allow template authors and site admins to modify the text that is presented to a user. Or that add a ‘help’/’see here for details’ hook.
Andy is usually pretty good about adding filters and actions. He’s a filter and action happy kinda guy. If you gather up all the spots that need a help action or don’t have a filter already, I’m sure he’d be happy to add them.
Post your requirements in trac. Things like this in the forums just get lost in the general mayhem of it all.
This is a GREAT idea!
I was just trying to explain to a friend how to navigate and get around the new demo site.
Just having the ability to link help file popups, or video help files would go a long way to solving headaches.
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