User profiles: Details like location, age, 'about me' etc.

edited June 22 in Feature Requests
When I sign up to forums, I'm often invited to fill in all kinds of profile details like age, location, job, "About me" etc. Frankly, I normally find these a bit pointless.

But on this site, I think those details would be really helpful. I'm relatively new here and don't really know who's whom. We've got admin, developers, industry professionals… and then there's just the general riff-raff like myself. Some members here are like childhood heroes to others of us!

I mean, Clive Sinclair himself could sign up as 'SpeccyLover1940' and who would know!

So it would be nice to click on profiles and see a few basic details about the folks here (if they wish to share). I'm always interested to know people's age and location. A general 'about me' box would be useful. Maybe you could have a field asking them to list some of their favourite Speccy games?

Taking things further, users could have country flags displayed next to their names, or icons denoting site admin, game developers, etc. I admire the humility of the admin here, but it's nice to know when you're speaking to one of them.

Just some ideas! :-)
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Post edited by Lee Bee on
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Comments

  • A lot of the fields are usually generic ones already built in some software and the site admin never changes them. I can see it being helpful perhaps to add a few here, but not too many. Generally speaking its not difficult to add / amend / edit custom profile fields if required.

    Location maybe (even if its just "Country", that may be better and not seen as intrusive)

    Age etc and job I don't (personally at least) see a need for that here

    Will be interesting to read what the site admins say though. :)
  • spider wrote: »
    Age etc
    Everyone will soon realise we're a bunch of old gits...

    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • Everyone will soon realise we're a bunch of old gits...

    FDhOuwE.gif

    :D
  • LOL

    By "location" I simply meant country. There are obviously big Speccy scenes in Russia, Spain, and others. Maybe it's all Brits here, I dunno?

    The "age" thing might be a bad idea - I'm not sure I want to give my exact age anyway. I guess I'd basically just like to know if members were children of the 80s playing the games (that would be me), or a little older, and making the games back then. If developers were able to just put a little résumé on their profile, that would suffice.
  • edited June 22
    Yes I meant country too :) , I don't think there's any need to say (in effect on a profile) "I'm from **** " etc

    Quite sure there are members here from nearly every country, probably not a huge number from places where the Speccy was never sold at all but I'd expect to find someone from nearly everywhere! :D

    But country is helpful as it may be useful for things like sales/buying as well as say helping with hardware stuff as you can maybe see what the requester is in need of etc and work out if its going to be a problem to get that in their location, that kind of thing anyway.

    The country idea has merit. A populated dropdown list may be a thought here rather than an input text box...

    / nudges admin about this thought

    ... with popular countries listed at the top rather than an A-Z but that may be a bit too much faff.

    One thing I don't like about Custom Profile Fields however is where on some sites the admin has elected to make some or all of them compulsory either at registration or by updates at a later time. Thankfully this erm "practise" seems to have died out over the last 5 or so years in forum designs/admin choices.
    Post edited by spider on
  • edited June 24
    If I remember correctly, there used to be country information stored, and displayed in every forum post, in a much older version of this forum.

    Perhaps that information is lost now.

    It's still a good idea to show the country information for this site though, because half of the discussions here is about people not understanding other people's foreign english, or that I don't have to explain again and again that I'm not from the UK.
    Post edited by Timmy on
    Thanked by 1Lee Bee
  • Timmy wrote: »
    If I remember correctly, there used to be country information stored, and displayed in every forum post, in a much older version of this forum.

    Perhaps that information is lost now.

    It's still a good idea to show the country information for this site though, because half of the discussions here is about people not understanding other people's foreign english, or that I don't have to explain again and again that I'm not from the UK.
    We know you're not from the UK cos you keep telling us again and again!!!!!

    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • edited June 24
    Timmy wrote: »
    If I remember correctly, there used to be country information stored, and displayed in every forum post, in a much older version of this forum.

    Perhaps that information is lost now.

    It's still a good idea to show the country information for this site though, because half of the discussions here is about people not understanding other people's foreign english, or that I don't have to explain again and again that I'm not from the UK.
    We know you're not from the UK cos you keep telling us again and again!!!!!

    Yeah, who am I complaining. Some other people had to explain their gender again and again :o3
    Post edited by Timmy on
  • Timmy wrote: »
    Timmy wrote: »
    If I remember correctly, there used to be country information stored, and displayed in every forum post, in a much older version of this forum.

    Perhaps that information is lost now.

    It's still a good idea to show the country information for this site though, because half of the discussions here is about people not understanding other people's foreign english, or that I don't have to explain again and again that I'm not from the UK.
    We know you're not from the UK cos you keep telling us again and again!!!!!

    Yeah, who am I complaining. Some other people had to explain their gender again and again :o3
    LOL
    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • Does gender matter on here ? :D

    Not quite sure how its relevant...
  • My gender matters to me...
    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • My gender matters to me...

    It would help as everyone keeps thinking your a bloke rather than a big girls blouse. :)
    Might be worth a visit to luny.co.uk.
  • lol I meant "to others" :) , as I can't see anyone's gender effecting speccy chat on here much.

    Location (country only) would be quite useful I suspect though.
  • Luny wrote: »
    My gender matters to me...

    It would help as everyone keeps thinking your a bloke rather than a big girls blouse. :)
    Good cos I am a bloke.

    (You might want to read your post out loud to yourself cos I think you meant it to be the other way round...)
    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • Luny wrote: »
    My gender matters to me...

    It would help as everyone keeps thinking your a bloke rather than a big girls blouse. :)
    Good cos I am a bloke.

    (You might want to read your post out loud to yourself cos I think you meant it to be the other way round...)
    That maybe true, but you're still a big girl's blouse... he he. I'll get me coat.
    Might be worth a visit to luny.co.uk.
  • edited June 27
    spider wrote: »
    I can't see anyone's gender effecting speccy chat on here much.
    Well I do always like to know whether I'm talking to a man or a woman, but forums like this are almost entirely male, and you can generally tell from username. So I don't think a gender field is important here.
    Post edited by Lee Bee on
  • edited June 29
    spider wrote: »
    Does gender matter on here ? :D

    Not quite sure how its relevant...

    Lucky there is a Aussie football team of that name really..

    Gender seems to be very important these days. Especially since there are about 150 now..not including Non-Albino.

    If you take those 150 genders and divide by 365.25 ..you get a climate change theory.

    Countries though. I have the same problem there..confusion and anger. For example..if there is no Scotland option, but only an UK option I'll leave it blank. If there is no Monaco option..blank. If there is no Principality of Hutt River option..but an Australia option..blank again. I've mention I am 10% nerd before, so its very important to me. Also...I find the union flag of UK DEEPLY offensive, worse than ten confederate flags stuck together on a car roof in fact.

    This is no easy task. It will require 1.4K posts to sort out.
    Post edited by Ælita on
    On those afternoons in utopia..
  • I was going to say for the UK it would maybe be worth considering splitting that up into four options but generally that (with country selections) does not happen too often.
  • spider wrote: »
    I was going to say for the UK it would maybe be worth considering splitting that up into four options but generally that (with country selections) does not happen too often.

    That is because we are one big happy kingdom, no-one would dream of splitting us up and becoming, oh I don't know, something like independent. ;)
    Might be worth a visit to luny.co.uk.
  • Timmy wrote: »
    If I remember correctly, there used to be country information stored, and displayed in every forum post, in a much older version of this forum.

    Perhaps that information is lost now.

    It's still a good idea to show the country information for this site though, because half of the discussions here is about people not understanding other people's foreign english, or that I don't have to explain again and again that I'm not from the UK.
    So are you in the U.K.? :))

    I don’t see the need for age. Having the option to have location I agree with. I would be happy with a free form text box though rather than a menu or list for country. As some people may not want to use their own country. Or the country status could be in dispute. Oh, I see that’s covered by the posts just above this one.

    It’s bad enough when the government abolishes the county that most people hate, but then when you ask a government department / agency to remove said county name from the postal address that they use to send you letters, you get told, sorry, that name has to stay as it’s part of the official address we use for that area X(

    I honestly can’t be bothered to fill in most of the profile information, as it’s not really relevant to most people.

    Mark
  • spider wrote: »
    I was going to say for the UK it would maybe be worth considering splitting that up into four options but generally that (with country selections) does not happen too often.

    I demand a recount! Where’s the Cornish state? :))

    Mark

  • Lee Bee wrote: »
    spider wrote: »
    I can't see anyone's gender effecting speccy chat on here much.
    Well I do always like to know whether I'm talking to a man or a woman, but forums like this are almost entirely male, and you can generally tell from username. So I don't think a gender field is important here.
    There is already a gender field in your profile...

    Mark
  • I'll look into additional profile fields after the big weekend. However, I do also have to consider GDPR. It's not very clear when it comes to hobby forums, etc... It doesn't help much when you speak to 3 different law firms and get 3 different answers ranging from don't worry about it, to close the forum and save a headache.
    My test signature
  • I don't really think many if any truly fully understand GDPR , it seems slightly open to different interpretations but this erm 'specific subject' is probably best elsewhere maybe.

    I realise its not as simple as " lol i can haz deletez ? " :) , I've written that in that erm manner to attempt to inject a fraction of humour into what is a potentially serious thing. My own view is just zap all their data if they request it, job done. There was something about long term IP logging but again that's something else for elsewhere.
  • spider wrote: »
    I don't really think many if any truly fully understand GDPR , it seems slightly open to different interpretations but this erm 'specific subject' is probably best elsewhere maybe.

    I realise its not as simple as " lol i can haz deletez ? " :) , I've written that in that erm manner to attempt to inject a fraction of humour into what is a potentially serious thing. My own view is just zap all their data if they request it, job done. There was something about long term IP logging but again that's something else for elsewhere.

    Fortunately, all 3 law firms did agree that "zapping the data" doesn't mean deleting posts. What we can do is change the users details so that posts aren't linked to them. This makes life a whole lot easier.

    The tricky part.... every forum logs IP addresses. Nobody uses it for tracing people, and on their own it's harmless. However (and this is the stupid part), and ISP knows who had an IP address at any time. The EU decided that if an ISP got hold of my forum data, they can work out that Joe Blogs posted xyz on a forum. So, it's not a problem with forums having this facility - which still greatly helps with spam - its a problem that putting that data with someone else can identify someone. Totally stupid thinking.

    I'll be putting a privacy policy and updated ToS on the site shortly, but it does make things like additional profile information tricky.
    My test signature
  • General rule of thumb with GDPR is don't store personal data you really don't need to. I'd suspect that this tends to fall in to the category of more likely to be a headache in the future than a particular benefit myself.
  • AndyC wrote: »
    General rule of thumb with GDPR is don't store personal data you really don't need to. I'd suspect that this tends to fall in to the category of more likely to be a headache in the future than a particular benefit myself.

    Indeed, but it also doesn't account for stupidity and puts the onus on me. If someone joins the forum, they have to use an email address, add other details like age, location, etc... that is their choice to join and provide details. To then start crying about GDPR because they gave those details is a bit beyond stupid, but it happens.

    Nobody I spoke to were aware of any cases where non-commercial forums or websites have gone to court, so aside from "maybe/maybe not" there aren't any test cases. (Cue someone finding a load on google now!)
    My test signature
  • On GDPR, one of the recommended things to do, is to ensure that the user / member has been provided with a suitable notice telling them about their rights and asking them if they are happy to provide their personal information.

    As already hinted at, you now have a right to be forgotten by having all your personal details removed at your request.

    Of course, how this applies to forum posts and similar places where comments are posted up in a public place has been a matter for debate. But if you are putting information in a public place, it’s no longer private.

    Organisations should also only keep the personal details and personal information that they need in order to provide the service. And if the person leaves, then the personal details and personal information should be deleted within a reasonable time frame. This is the really difficult part of GDPR.

    When do forums delete user / member data if they have not logged in for some time?

    And how will administrators manage this?

    Mark
  • To answer (maybe) a few questions:

    Some newer forum software has started to include an option now to remove IP's associated with posts etc. It would not be difficult to write a small quick task to do this for other software. I need to look into this myself at some point as previously I'd mass removed them via a query instead.

    In regard to the above, don't forget that servers are also storing this info too, in the raw access logs at least. With your own dedi box or vps this is not a big concern as you're in control but those using say shared hosting it may be a bit different as you'd have access to the raw logs for your account but not say the apache main log, I'm not 100% sure how say Cpanel does this when setup for shared accounts on a server, as in if there's some huge global apache type log available to root. This is probably off topic too.

    I suppose dis-association is correct rather than outright deletion.

    Regarding deletion if not logged in , there are for some software third party addons typically along the lines of "Inactive members" or words along those lines. These vary wildly in what they offer from outright deletion of the account that's not been logged in for x days/months to perhaps moving it down a group (to force them to revalidate their account etc) as well as stuff like "just turn their posts into guest content rather than delete it" , as I say varies wildly by platform and software variant.

    Probably maybe can guess I was quite involved in forum software dev at one point in time but I'm probably about 5 years "out of date" with recent developments...
  • The appeal of talking on the Internet is that nobody knows who you are.
    (we wish)
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