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profile privacy in IPB 4


wingman23
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There really is no good argument against not having profile privacy because what it really comes down to is freedom of choice for an individual user. It might seem silly to some, but people have to respect we all run different communities, a football fan site for instance might not need it, but a site that deals with vulnerable people and I for some part am one of those sites in places, I know my members would love that choice, it might be a false sense of security to some, but thats not the point, if it makes our members feel better, safer, more secure, or just simply given the choice to feel they have control over their own personal site space, then what does it matter what we as Admins think.
Are we here to stroke our own ego or to do the best we can by our member base.

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There really is no good argument against not having profile privacy because what it really comes down to is freedom of choice for an individual user. It might seem silly to some, but people have to respect we all run different communities, a football fan site for instance might not need it, but a site that deals with vulnerable people and I for some part am one of those sites in places, I know my members would love that choice, it might be a false sense of security to some, but thats not the point, if it makes our members feel better, safer, more secure, or just simply given the choice to feel they have control over their own personal site space, then what does it matter what we as Admins think.
Are we here to stroke our own ego or to do the best we can by our member base.

I enjoy stroking my ego personally. Just pay someone to do it. Makes your site more exclusive.
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I understand both sides:

- for IPB profile means a resume of the PUBLIC activity of the user in the community, so there is no reason to hide this information in the profile when it is visible in the rest of pages of the website.

- but for some users, profile can include sensitive information which IS NOT SHOWN in any other part of the website but the profile. These are the custom fields administrator can add in the control panel (Which one is your religion? And your phone number?, maybe also your job position). In these cases is good to decide if I want everyone in my community see this info or just my friends.

So not everything is white or black. What I suggest is to implement a profile page with a public information which cannot be hide like date of register, number of posts, last posts and topics etc and then allow to add custom fields with this privacy optons (this group of custom fields can be seen by everyone or just my friends).

What I am showing here is my own profile in my own site, I have modified many things as you can see but the interesting one is the red rectangle. I have created a "Social network" group of custom fields and my users can decide if this sensitive information is shown to everyone or just to their friends, and it is an option they love it.

post-518440-0-21196700-1394643458_thumb.

Implement this option is really easy, I also created a custom field "privacy" with two option, allow everyone to see my social network information or just my friends. (sorry for the screenshot in spanish, this is the configuration page of my users):

post-518440-0-69649900-1394643888_thumb.

Then in the profile template system read the custom field "privacy" and it wrotes a condicional, if "privacy" is "just my friends" and the visitor is a friend the template shows the social network info, if not shows nothing (unless privacy is "everyone can see"). Not too much work in deed.

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But what are you restricting exactly?

  • Friends list
  • Gender
  • Birthday
  • Profile Feed
  • About Me information
  • Contact Information (AIM/MSN/SKYPE etc)
  • Interests

Although to be honest I'm of the same opinion as you Charlesm, most can be seen anyways, there are certainly a few which cant. Profile feed and contact details mainly. For me I think the contact information has to be the main one I would personally like to be able to add for people to contact and as I think someone already said, this is the reason I dont have mine available.

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The whole idea about profile privacy is a good one and it's an idea I support but one thing nobody realizes is that not everybody can see someone's profile. If you're not a registered user, you simply cannot view a profile of a registered member. The link simply isn't provided to any particular user unless you log into an account. It's one feature that I like about IPB 3.x.x. But, I do think that IPS needs to institute a feature for IPB 4 that allows each user to select privacy levels for their personal account profile. I'm actually surprised that such a system has never before been added since IPB 3.0.0 was rolled out.

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...not everybody can see someone's profile. If you're not a registered user, you simply cannot view a profile of a registered member.

Really? That isn't an option? I sure hope that isn't true of IPS4. That's a serious issue for me. Not allowing unregistered users to view profiles means search engine spiders also can't view the content. In my case, that means my pro members couldn't leverage the power of my site for business advantage; potential pro members looking for a site that they might find people and industry representatives that they want to network with (unless they post in public forums, which some of my pro members do not do) may pass us by in favor of another forum they can find those users at; consumers looking for product support possibilities and the pros with the knowledge and experience; and search engines will not find one of my sources of relevant content on my website. That's just unacceptable.

I realize not all has been revealed about IPS4, including all of the features and options available for member profiles, but I hope these will be revealed soon. I was unaware of this serious limitation. It would force me to re-evaluate my decision to convert my site to IPS4. IPS3 is the only current major product that I am aware of that hides this important resource. Maybe there's a plugin for that?

I am really taken aback by this revelation.

Jim

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Spiders pretty much have the same permissions as guests, so if your profiles are locked so that guests can't see the, search engines won't see them either.

If you're permissions are set so that guests can see profiles you won't have that issue, or you could probably create a custom group for spiders and give that group permissions to view profiles.

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The point is, that the choice should be in the software. Some sites want it fairly wide open, some sites want it completely private, some sites want to allow the user to chose or allow the users in certain groups chose.

I could see a site where basic users had only a basic level of sharing enabled, but "pro" users could get an upgraded profile for selling services/products and would thus be allowed to share additional profile fields publicly.

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Really? That isn't an option? I sure hope that isn't true of IPS4. That's a serious issue for me. Not allowing unregistered users to view profiles means search engine spiders also can't view the content. In my case, that means my pro members couldn't leverage the power of my site for business advantage; potential pro members looking for a site that they might find people and industry representatives that they want to network with (unless they post in public forums, which some of my pro members do not do) may pass us by in favor of another forum they can find those users at; consumers looking for product support possibilities and the pros with the knowledge and experience; and search engines will not find one of my sources of relevant content on my website. That's just unacceptable.

I realize not all has been revealed about IPS4, including all of the features and options available for member profiles, but I hope these will be revealed soon. I was unaware of this serious limitation. It would force me to re-evaluate my decision to convert my site to IPS4. IPS3 is the only current major product that I am aware of that hides this important resource. Maybe there's a plugin for that?

I am really taken aback by this revelation.

Jim

Odeargod. Guests can view member profiles if you allow them to. Geez. You need to chill out yo.
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Wouldn't that be considered blackhat SEO and highly frowned upon? You shouldn't give spiders access to content real people can't see.

Yes, that is absolutely correct.

Also, what in the world would be the point of that? "Hey guys, we respect your privacy, so we're not going to allow guests to view your profile, but we're still going to let Google crawl and index your private information. Hope that's okay."

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I enjoy stroking my ego personally. Just pay someone to do it. Makes your site more exclusive.

Or purchase VB, XF, Jomsocial, etc. instead of worrying about IPB's limitation.

  • Friends list
  • Gender
  • Birthday
  • Profile Feed
  • About Me information
  • Contact Information (AIM/MSN/SKYPE etc)
  • Interests

I agree with this list.

If you're not a registered user, you simply cannot view a profile of a registered member.

It depends on your settings.

Really? That isn't an option?

It depends on your settings. All or nothing.

Odeargod. Guests can view member profiles if you allow them to. Geez. You need to chill out yo.

If you read above Jim's comment you would have seen what he was replying to.

Telling someone to chill out is not helpful to someone who has not had the pleasure of using IPB admin panel yet. Infact, remarks like this (often found on XF & VB) help drive customers away from the community and away from purchasing products such as IPB & your own addons. There are XF addons that I'd love to have that I refuse to purchase because of the attitudes of the developers who created them. I'd rather do without them or go someone else alltogether!

One of the reasons why it took me so long to come aboard IPB, was because of what I seen as a guest from the community years ago. It wasn't until VB was going to faeces in 4.x that I decided to join this forum and ask some questions. If it weren't for some of the respectful replies I got in the presales, I probably would not be here today.

If people disagree with a suggestion, don't fuel the discussion. I skip over all suggestions that will not benefit my communities.

If everything should be an addon, then what's the point in suggestions here? What's the point in new major releases if everyone believes that we should not enhance current features nor add new features?

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To be perfectly honest - I feel IPS 4.0 is just IPS 3.4 modernized and new 'features' aren't even really looked at (outside of modernization) - First off, I do apologize as I only read the first page and this page, but regardless the only things that set me off is:

Why is it so hard to give your customers the ability to specify what they do and don't share? Who is IPS to decide your own profile privacy? I personally feel more granular options for profile privacy ought to come out of box, it's too limited right now. I'd like to share certain content with people and restrict it from others, and you can't really do this unless you alter it globally that affects every registered user of your site, and to a near 'all or nothing' experience.

An example - Let's say you have a website that sells products - I would want everyone to see the products I offer, but restrict them to see my profile information or contact information unless you're a friend. This cannot be done (atleast not that I know of) and is either all or nothing. By all, I mean affecting your whole community and not the individual.

A friend in IPS is nothing more then someone clicking "FRIEND" it does nothing for you but list in your profile.

I really hope this is revised and actually has some sort of control, this is 2014 after all - Probably 2015 by the time IPS 4.0 releases - There is nothing wrong with adding in more options so your customers can control their profiles privacy...

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Odeargod. Guests can view member profiles if you allow them to. Geez. You need to chill out yo.

If you read above Jim's comment you would have seen what he was replying to.

Telling someone to chill out is not helpful to someone who has not had the pleasure of using IPB admin panel yet. Infact, remarks like this (often found on XF & VB) help drive customers away from the community and away from purchasing products such as IPB & your own addons. There are XF addons that I'd love to have that I refuse to purchase because of the attitudes of the developers who created them. I'd rather do without them or go someone else alltogether!

Thanks CallieJo, you said it with much more aplomb and composure than I was going to say. All I was gonna say was, " Rimi, you need to chill out with the telling people to chill out. I'm not 15 anymore and I hope you aren't either."

I should prob'ly preface all my comments with "I am not an IPS owner yet and have next to zero experience with 3.x, so..." :hmm:

Thank you to all who have to suffer through my questions and concerns.

Jim

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Thanks CallieJo, you said it with much more aplomb and composure than I was going to say. All I was gonna say was, " Rimi, you need to chill out with the telling people to chill out. I'm not 15 anymore and I hope you aren't either."

I should prob'ly preface all my comments with "I am not an IPS owner yet and have next to zero experience with 3.x, so..." :hmm:

Thank you to all who have to suffer through my questions and concerns.

Jim

You're welcome Jim. I've been in your shoes, so maybe I understand better than Rimi does. For us, it's tiresome...

Rimi does offer 2 addons in the marketplace here for privacy options in 3.x. A huge thanks to Rimi for creating it for those who needed privacy options in 3.x.

You should not feel like your questions/concerns are not valid or appreciated. You are a potential customer and your questions/concerns are very similar to that of others. I do hope that IPB 4.x delivers what your community needs because I believe IPB is a good company overall. And I hope that IPB realizes that an all or nothing option is not realistic for every community...and offers a balance in 4.x for everyone.

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You're welcome Jim. I've been in your shoes, so maybe I understand better than Rimi does. For us, it's tiresome...

Rimi does offer 2 addons in the marketplace here for privacy options in 3.x. A huge thanks to Rimi for creating it for those who needed privacy options in 3.x.

You should not feel like your questions/concerns are not valid or appreciated. You are a potential customer and your questions/concerns are very similar to that of others. I do hope that IPB 4.x delivers what your community needs because I believe IPB is a good company overall. And I hope that IPB realizes that an all or nothing option is not realistic for every community...and offers a balance in 4.x for everyone.

Having it built in by default would help with this and not looking to mods IHMO, as it part of the core and would't be subject to issues that hackers may not get to because it being patch.

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