Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Premium User Aerys's Avatar
    Weasyl
    Aerys
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    6

    Weasyl's Social Networking Features

    It is clear that the largest hurdle Weasyl faces today is the network effect arising from the size of its competitors' user bases. The best way for Weasyl to to overcome this is to foster its community. I have come to understand from Weasyl administration that the social networking features of this site are considered secondary to features used for managing and presenting art galleries. Weasyl is now the best in class as a gallery website; it is big, beautiful, feature-packed and growing its capabilities, but in my opinion the design has been slanted too far. In my opinion, the design detracts from the social experience as compared to the competitor sites.

    I have a few suggestions that I believe could bring Weasyl well down this path.

    1) A "Like" button for comments to enable positive feedback without effort. Sometimes it's too much work to sit and think of something to say when you just want to give someone a thumbs up. (=

    2) A "send note" option next to the username essentially wherever it occurs. When viewing any comment or post, when hovering over their icon, when their name is linked inline, we should see the note option everywhere. Even better would be inline notes, where a text field pops up where the user can immediately send a private message. Inline comment boxes would also be great to implement for regular comment threads; they are more natural than scrolling to the bottom of the page.

    3) In your submission inbox on competing websites the title of each piece and the name of the user who submitted it are displayed prominently. On Weasyl, the title and artist only appear on mouse over. While it does look sexy, this is a design choice designed for visual aesthetics entirely to the detriment of the social aspect. I don't view works simply because I like the thumbnail, I open them because they're done by my friends and favorite artists. On Weasyl I either have to guess who drew something or else hover my mouse over. A recent thread has brought this up already, but I think it also serves here as an important example.

    4) On competing websites, user-to-user communication is displayed very prominently on each page, usually visible without scrolling the page. On Weasyl's profile pages, the banner, boilerplate, row of submissions, page navigation row preface a very very large most recent submission, and it's a full three or four pages of scrolling before I get to the shouts page. It would be nice to for example give an option to shrink the size of the most recent submission or even create a whole new template to tighten up the userpage and give more prominence to shouts and journals.

    5) And of course I believe groups should be considered among the highest priorities for the site. One concern I have is that when group registration opens it will be a mad land-grab to try to register the group first. (Paws? Gay? Vore? These will have thousands of users.) Not sure what there is to do about this one, perhaps run votes for initial admin positions?

    I think these particular features would be awesome, but to me they're more examples of what I'm really trying to get at, which is a significant shift in perspective for the entire vision for the design of Weasyl. What else would improve Weasyl as a social network and help its community grow?

    Keep up the great work guys.

  2. #2
    Here are my 2 cents on this,

    Weasyl already has a big advantage over other sites because it has a listening and active staf and dedicated developers that work on the site,

    1. im so so on the like button, there is already the favorite button, a like button on comments and journals would be interesting but you might get the problem of people trying to get as much likes as possible and you wil get journal spamming, and do we really want to promote something as lazy as a like button, to me the like button is like saying "meh".

    2.this is as simple as just putting a little line of code next to the username <a href="$poster blah blah blah">blah blah</a> and the comment section could be put on the top of the list instead of the bottem yes.

    3. there is already an overhaul on the submission thumbs, i realy hope ill get the option of full preview and not cropped thumbnails.

    4. fina as it is to me i guess, the sharing of media is still the main purpose and should be on top.

    5. groups, we had them now they are being overhauled, so either all the groups still exist and the people that made them still own said groups when they come back, or when it has to be newly done, people will go and grap yes, but thats their right, first come first serve. its a matter of cooling down and see what groups actualy remain active.
    If a group hasnt been touched for 6 months it should be investigated and possibly released, but please no voting or something, person makes group, their responsible for the name and upkeep.

    i dont wana call it a social network, because the main focus is on media submission, followed by a community.

    see it as a town that slowly grows and everyone works or has a say in it, where as social media is a club that gets more popular and has douchebags trying to be king popular
    Last edited by Dakkafex; 01-21-2014 at 01:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Frigid Feline Ransom's Avatar
    Weasyl
    Ransom
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by Aerys View Post
    1) A "Like" button for comments to enable positive feedback without effort. Sometimes it's too much work to sit and think of something to say when you just want to give someone a thumbs up. (=
    I pretty much never use Facebook, and would much prefer that someone actually replies to me than give a cookie-cutter thumbs-up. ( w)b I do worry that it would discourage communication. However, I can see why this would be appealing to some users, so if it were implemented, I wouldn't mind too much as long as it didn't become annoying to deal with.

    I already get a great number of comments, follows, and faves in my inbox, and it can be very time-consuming to check them all out for, like, ten years, I've made it a habit of checking out the page of every single person who does any one of those things to my work, but it's gotten to the point where I'm having trouble keeping up. I try to show my appreciation for people who like what I do, but I can't spend all day doing that; I've got work to do, haha. So on top of the normal stuff, I'm concerned about having to deal with dozens of "likes" on a plethora of different commentary continually piling up in my inbox. So if this is implemented, please think carefully beforehand on how to streamline it as much as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerys View Post
    2) A "send note" option next to the username essentially wherever it occurs. When viewing any comment or post, when hovering over their icon, when their name is linked inline, we should see the note option everywhere. Even better would be inline notes, where a text field pops up where the user can immediately send a private message. Inline comment boxes would also be great to implement for regular comment threads; they are more natural than scrolling to the bottom of the page.
    Tumblr does something similar. On the dashboard, hovering over another user's icon will quickly allow you to send them a message and follow them.

    The in-line commenting is a must. As it stands, the replying to a comment scrolls the user to the bottom of the screen. I've been replying to people who have been sending me lengthy messages, and I have to continually scroll back up the page and find the message again so I can double-check it, before scrolling down and typing more. Having the comment box pop up directly below whatever it is you're commenting on would be very convenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerys View Post
    3) In your submission inbox on competing websites the title of each piece and the name of the user who submitted it are displayed prominently. On Weasyl, the title and artist only appear on mouse over. While it does look sexy, this is a design choice designed for visual aesthetics entirely to the detriment of the social aspect. I don't view works simply because I like the thumbnail, I open them because they're done by my friends and favorite artists. On Weasyl I either have to guess who drew something or else hover my mouse over. A recent thread has brought this up already, but I think it also serves here as an important example.
    This has been a common complaint. I've voiced my concerns with the thumbnails too, but it's apparently being fixed. I can't wait to see the thumbnails changed; I've looked at the pages of hundreds of people who have followed me since the weekend, and I'm afraid that I may have overlooked some really good art because it was poorly presented by a bad thumbnail design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerys View Post
    4) On competing websites, user-to-user communication is displayed very prominently on each page, usually visible without scrolling the page. On Weasyl's profile pages, the banner, boilerplate, row of submissions, page navigation row preface a very very large most recent submission, and it's a full three or four pages of scrolling before I get to the shouts page. It would be nice to for example give an option to shrink the size of the most recent submission or even create a whole new template to tighten up the userpage and give more prominence to shouts and journals.
    I suppose it depends on the resolution of your monitor and window, and whether or not the page has a banner. On my own page (no banner, no folders), on my own PC (1440 x 900), with a full-screened window, I see the first few shouts if I hit page down only once. Half-screened, it takes three page-downs.

    I don't think allowing the user to manually make their featured submission smaller is a good idea. As it stands right now, its width fits within the grid laid out by the developers. Allowing people to change that will break the grid and create inconsistencies between pages, resulting in an uglier site overall.

    There can only be so many things given prominence on a page it's why you can have have all of your text bold and expect anything to stand out. We have to decide the importance of the information. From the top of the screen to the bottom, we have:

    1. Banner
    2. Username
    3. Name, gender, and location
    4. Catchphrase
    5. Recent submissions
    6. Page navigation
    7. Most recent submission
    8. Profile
    9. Contact
    10. Latest journal
    11. Commissions
    12. Folders
    13. Statistics
    14. Connections
    15. Shouts


    That's a lot of stuff, and that seems to be, more or less, their current order of importance. I'd argue that the folders could be removed from the user's main page entirely, since it seems like a redundant but more specified way to browse the submissions. Folders are easily found when clicking on the submissions button anyway, where they're off to the side and unobtrusive. That would slightly condense things (or greatly, depending on how many folders someone has).

    If we're gonna remove the folders, then I think it may be worthwhile to move the thumbnails of the most recent submissions in their place, below the most recent submission. That would bring the featured submission and all the other communicative stuff closer to the top of the page, working towards Aerys' goal of putting some more emphasis on the socialization here. And in that case, I'd also like to see the "most recent" changed to a "featured" submission of the user's choice, so they can put their best foot forward at a glance. As it stands, my second-most-recent submission kicks the crap out of my most-recent, haha. I'm sure you can agree that's more important to see than what was submitted in chronological order.

    So yeah, eliminating folders from the user page and moving the recent submissions in their place would bump everything else further up. From there, it's a matter of deciding what information is more important: is the profile blurb and contact information more important, or should the most-recent journal be prioritized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerys View Post
    5) And of course I believe groups should be considered among the highest priorities for the site. One concern I have is that when group registration opens it will be a mad land-grab to try to register the group first. (Paws? Gay? Vore? These will have thousands of users.) Not sure what there is to do about this one, perhaps run votes for initial admin positions?
    That's a tricky one, haha. I guess I should ask what the specific point of the groups will be. What role do you envision them fulfilling, and what features would you like to see them have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerys View Post
    I think these particular features would be awesome, but to me they're more examples of what I'm really trying to get at, which is a significant shift in perspective for the entire vision for the design of Weasyl. What else would improve Weasyl as a social network and help its community grow?
    I also have two additional socialization-related suggestions:

    I think the shouts could benefit from a link below them like "View Shouts." I know you can get there manually by typing in the correct URL, but as it stands, you can only see a handful of the most recent. People may want to review their older ones, and if you get a lot, some could be pushed right off the page before anyone sees.

    And can we please hide/delete our own comments and comments on our stuff? I've made a few mistakes replying to people, and I can't correct them. A friend of mine also got a crappy one that he wants gone.

    Oh, and I'd like to see options for sorting new messages. I think it'd be useful to have them sorted by where they occur, rather than the order they've been received. That way, I could check all of the new comments on submission X, before moving on to submission Y, then journal Z. Instead, I gotta open like fifty tabs and I'm leaping all over the place on this site.

    Kinda lengthy (but I guess I'm developing a reputation for being thorough, haha) but I hope someone finds these thoughts useful!

  4. #4
    So long as we're talking social features, I feel like as long as we have Friends separate from Followed users, we could do a lot more with that distinction. I might be overlooking something, but the only Friends-focused feature I see is allowing friends-only journals and submissions. Separating friends' activity from the rest somehow would make it easier to keep up with the people we care most about. Maybe just put them in a higher tier on the notifications pages, or something like that.

    I'm of two minds about a Like button for comments. It seems a little vapid and Facebook-y at first blush, but "positive feedback without much effort" is pretty much what I use Favourites for on submissions, after all, and it could condense similar feedback. As long as it appears as an expandable "X people liked your comment on ___" in the notifications pane, it's probably good (Favourites should probably do this, too, incidentally). I don't have much else to add to the above, but I agree that building the social networking features on Weasyl would be a good move. I'm looking forward to seeing where the site goes from here, in any case.

  5. #5
    Perhaps reviving an old thread here, but this is actually something I've thought about! Plus I see two of my favorite batty buds in here, so it's hard for me to resist. XD

    One thing I have been saying for a while now is that Weasyl could actually stand to borrow a few ideas from an older, more neglected social media platform: Livejournal. ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN!

    Roleplayers love Livejournal, as do private, locked communities. There are several reasons why, but it primarily boils down to two things: icons and customizable levels of access.

    When I first joined LJ, by default you had three icon slots. If you got a paid account you could bump that up to fifteen, and then premium and "permanent" accounts could get up into the hundreds. Every time you leave a comment on LJ, you can choose which of your many icons will accompany it, to show your mood, or to toss in a joke that's relevant to the thread, etc. I think people would go positively NUTS over that if it that feature were brought to Weasyl. Three default slots, then as a subscriber feature (since I know the admins are discussing creating paid account bonuses), give more slots. Given how people love to collect art of their characters, and the relative inexpense of icons, I think this could help out artists, commissioners, AND the site itself.

    As for custom levels of access, LJ has a lot of good features for this. Aside from being able to create "friends-only" content, you can also create custom groups within your friends list so that only people within that group can see the content. For instance, the ever-popular "TMI Filter," where people would post details of a more personal nature to only those friends they wanted to see it. And of course, there are also groups on LJ that are locked only to their members for various reasons.

    I, personally, know a lot of people who miss Livejournal and still prefer it to other social media like Facebook and Twitter, but who don't post there very much because it simply doesn't get any attention. And whereas I do think that it's important that we be taking lessons from modern social media like Tumblr and whatnot, I think it might also be a good idea to not forget the things that worked in the past.

    (Also, let's PLEASE avoid infinite scrolling. That is the worst thing that social media has ever done in the history of anything.)
    --
    "His madness keeps him sane."--Delirium of the Endless, "The Sandman," Neil Gaiman.

  6. #6
    I think you might actually have something there.

    That'd be pretty neat thing to have. Perhaps the picture you choose could link to that piece of art on your profile to boost artist exposure?

  7. #7
    Oh god I would love it if I could set the site to randomly cycle between a few different icons.

    As far as social media stuff, I think we should start small and expand just to try and get something up and running; namely, user groups. It'd be awesome if we could somehow integrate it with the forums so we could use the forum's groups features for things like discussions and whatnot.

  8. #8
    Senior Willow's Avatar
    Weasyl
    willy
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by stokerbramwell View Post
    Roleplayers love Livejournal, as do private, locked communities.
    Most roleplayers have abandoned LJ in favor of others sites like Dreamwidth largely due in part to the new site layout and functionality issues though.

    But I don't really see why a site like this would necessarily need that (referring to the icons thing). SoFurry has a similar thing and tbh, it's really annoying.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Willow View Post
    But I don't really see why a site like this would necessarily need that (referring to the icons thing). SoFurry has a similar thing and tbh, it's really annoying.
    Could always be an optional premium feature? It's not necessary, but it might be a nice thing to have

  10. #10
    Regular xarg's Avatar
    Weasyl
    xarg
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightpaws View Post
    Could always be an optional premium feature? It's not necessary, but it might be a nice thing to have
    Being a premium feature wouldn't make it any less annoying in the eyes of those who deem it as such, I would think.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •