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Zoints Profiles
Zoints Profiles
Submitted by Darat
31st January 2007
Zoints Profiles

We’ve all been Zointed!

We have installed a new software package called “Zoints Local”. This gives Members of the Forum an expanded “profile”, which you can customize and even includes a simple Blogging system.


Why add this?

One of the greatest successes of the Forum has been the creation of a community of (somewhat at least) likeminded people, and we believe the Zoints Local system can help support the community by helping the community reach out to even more people. It will help you find other Members that share similar interests to you, lets you to share information with other people, even find other people who are members of other forums that share similar interests and even create a simple blog.


“Social Networking”

I’m sure many of you will have heard about “social networking” – probably the best known example is “My Space” - Zoints Local offers a form of social networking for forums.

If you allow “Registered Members ” to see your profile and someone was looking for other Forum Members who are interested in “ballet” they can do a search for that as an interest and find other Members on the Forum with similar interests . If you allow “Guests” to see your interests Zoints Local can take this one step further so that anyone who uses a Zoints enabled forum can search for people with similar interests across all Zoints enabled forums’ profiles.

We’re hoping that this will help the community here reach out to people that not only may not have heard of the JREF Forum but also I and I think this is very important wouldn’t have thought of looking at a “skeptic’s” forum in the first place for whatever reason.
The new profile system also builds on the vBulletin “Buddy Lists” by allowing you to create groups that you can send messages to. Like with the search on interests people you add to your groups do not have to be a member of the JREF Forum - just a member of another forum that also uses Zoints.


Privacy

This may be raising some questions about privacy, so I’ll take a few moments to explain about the new privacy options. First of all the information you add to your profile is still stored on the JREF Forum server and is covered by our usual privacy policy. Only if you choose to allow Guests to view your profile information will that information leave the Forum database, which is what happens now with profiles, for example Google grabs profile pages and they can be searched.

With Zoints Local installed you in fact have more control other who can view you profile information and contact you then you do with the standard vBulletin profile. So you can make public just the information you wish and even block individuals from sending you messages, or only allow messages from certain groups that you have created. (As with the current system the Moderating Team can view and access all your profile information and the new profiles are still subject to the Membership Agreement.)

Here are some screen grabs of what your profile can look like:


As you can see it can include all the information that is displayed in your current profile... and a lot more!

Don’t like the colors? Just alter them:



Want to change the layout? Feel free to do so:



In fact you can pretty much control everything in your profile so if you don’t want to display all the default information, just switch off some of the “blocks”:



The new profile also allows you total control over who can see what - so if you want to show some information to just a group of friends, you can do just that:






Play & feedback

Because this is such a flexible and feature rich piece of software I’ve only touched on the possibilities and mentioned a few of the features. The best way to learn about this is to start playing with it.

We also really need your feedback! I’ve created two threads, one in the help section for reporting problems/bugs and more technical help Zoints Local – Bug Reporting and Help and another in the Forum Management Zoints Local – Feedback for more general feedback. We especially want your feedback on whether we should keep this new feature we want to know your opinion on "can Zoints add something of value to the Forum” and does it improve the Forum for you?"
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