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Better Gravatar directions INSIDE bbPress


  • grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    Howdy folks…have a suggestion to improve bbPress for everyone (I love the service, don’t want this to be taken as harsh criticism toward the terrific developers, etc)

    I just started 2 sites running bbPress (http://NewsTalkPA.com and http://SportsTalkPA.com) and the # 1 question/complaint I get from people is “how do I get to select my profile picture”.

    (Before we go any farther, yes, I have a sticky on both sites re: how to get a Gravatar pic)

    I love bbPress, but with Automattic behind both Gravatar AND bbPress (AND Gravatar support being built right in) it is in everyone’s best interests if there were better directions internally for new folks that signup on bbPress sites re: how to select a Gravatar.

    Hey, with WordPress, blogs, etc not everyone will comment and when they eventually do they might want to stay anonymous…BUT With bbPress its a little different. The whole point of signing up is to start chiming away and making yourself known by fleshing out your profile. People are pretty unhappy when they find out its difficult to select a picture.

    Think about it: It’s pretty inconvenient for folks to signup on a site, get the email with their password, login, and then, BLAM, find out there is no direction as to how to get a Gravatar on their profile page (they are not going to see a Gravatar directions sticky unless they really look…trust me, they are looking under the profile information for picture stuff)

    How about a little revamping on the profile editing pages with a link to the Gravatar website and a little direction that this is how they can select their profile picture. Any thoughts?

    If bbPress included something like this the number of new Gravatar signups would skyrocket and the service would become even more widespread (There is NO downside to this)

Viewing 17 replies - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

  • chrishajer
    Participant

    @chrishajer

    Can’t you edit the template files to put the Gravatar instructions in there for your installation?


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    I don’t use Gravatars, but the avatar-upload plugin works superbly and is very easy to follow in the profile page. (http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/avatar-upload/#post-219) The image size and maximum upload file size can be pre-set, and it’s just a matter of the user selecting an image to upload and clicking Go. The image is resized if it’s large.

    Saves people having to go and set up a Gravatar too – nobody in our technophobic group would bother, frankly. Come to that, most haven’t even uploaded an image, and seem happy with the auto-generated Identicon.

    Edit: I should have said that I personally don’t use a Gravatar, but the option is switched on in Admin, so Gravatars will be used, or the user can choose to upload an image, or have an Identicon created. It all works very easily and looks great too.


    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    With a name like grassrootspa, I figured this would make more sense. :)

    I for one hope the core of bbPress never includes that kind of thing, as it works perfectly well as it is without needing to turn a thousand features off.

    There are plugins available, and if they don’t suit your needs, newer betters ones will come in the future.

    I think what you want, is BuddyPress + bbPress.

    I bet you could even write a quick ‘If email has gravatar, then show nothing, if NOT, directions…’ PHP query. But I too find most posters are happy with the Identicon :)


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    Gravatars should be done 100% via a plugin and not integrated into WordPress/bbPress in the first place. I never did understand why they were hardcoded in, except perhaps a push by Matt after they bought the service.

    It should be done exactly like akismet and bozos.


    Ryan Hellyer
    Participant

    @ryanhellyer

    I can see why Automattic would want the gravatar service integrated directly into the software, it ensures people actually use the service.

    Can’t you edit the template files to put the Gravatar instructions in there for your installation?

    I think grassrootsspa is suggesting something for the core download, I don’t think this is a request for their own site as that would obviously just be a simple addition to the template files.

    I think this is something which should probably be added to the default theme. Many users don’t find it obvious what a gravatar is and so go hunting for an avatar uploader, if there isn’t one then they’re bound to get confused. Adding some default text in the profile along with a link back to gravatar.com would make a lot of sense to me. It would also ensure that themers remembered to include the text in their own themes.


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    Hey, I’m not for adding unnecessary bloat, but with Gravatar already integrated with bbPress it makes sense for a little information for users under the “Edit Profile” section in the core download. After all, both bbPress and Gravatar are Automattic products.

    Maybe simply something under the “Edit Profile” screen saying:

    “Your profile picture is randomly selected. To pick it yourself visit Gravatar.com”

    …when the “Show avatars” option is selected under “Avatar display” with the Gravatar site hyperlinked. BLAM. DONE. THIS IS ALL I AM SUGGESTING!

    @ryanhellyer: BINGO. You said it (and get my point).

    @chrishajer: That’s an obvious option (editing the template myself) but it got me thinking: how many people have run into the same issue of having tons of site users asking ‘How do I select my picture?’ ‘I can’t seem to find out to change my picture?’ I’ve only been running bbPress sites for a short time but already this has become the #1 question asked. I would be absolutely shocked if others who runs bbPress forum didn’t get asked about profile pictures all the time.

    @Ipstenu: Initially I thought Identicon or Wavatars etc would do the job but still got people asking how to change their picture to something else. Think about it: when someone signs up for ANY message board where they are supplied a little profile picture (and there are “Edit Profile” customization options available), wouldn’t they logically think they would have the freedom to select their own picture? It’s a VERY basic part of editing the profile.

    @REST: I understand the argument that this is what plugins is for, but let’s face it, profile pictures are already hotwired into this product. So is Gravatar support. I’m not talking about adding a new service, but simply directions inside under the profile editing options for folks to better use these already existing services. If you were unfamiliar with bbPress and signed up on a message board where you were given a blank or random profile picture, when you clicked “Edit Profile” wouldn’t you expect to find something to assist you?

    Logically speaking, wouldn’t someone think there would be information under the profile page re: how to change their profile picture? When users click “Edit” there is information on customizing pretty much every basic aspect of your profile (location, interests, display name, etc) but this.


    Jason Giedymin
    Member

    @jason_jm

    Personalization has moved to buddypress. This is what you want. Just disable eveything you don’t.


    Marcomail
    Member

    @marcomail

    is possible have the same avatar in wordpress and bbpress without gravatar ?


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    @Jason_JM: Buddypress? No way, that’s overkill and misses my point. Gravatars are built into the bbPress (its part of the CORE). If Gravatars are turned on and someone tries to edit their profile (think newbie who wants to pick their picture) it makes sense for there to be information re: where they can get one. Hyperlinked note directing them to Gravatar.com. Blam. Done.

    Best of all, no one will ever need to use avatar uploading plugins ever again. It would solve so many problems.

    @Marcomail: if they uploaded the same avatar via a WordPress avatar uploading program and bbPress avatar uploading program, sure why not?


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    @grassrootspa; So are you suggesting that just because Automattic run the Gravatar service, and decided to put it into the core of 1.0, that we should all be forced to use Gravatars?

    If I upgrade to 1.0 I’d still have to use a plugin to allow my users – who don’t know or care about Gravatars and their ‘web presence’ – to have a profile image? Or does 1.0 allow users to select and upload an image like the excellent avatar-upload plugin I use on 0.9?

    Come to that, if bbPress is advertised (and rightly so) as being so flexible and powerful, why can’t I upload a profile image on these forums? I personally, along with my forum users, don’t care if next year you can have your Gravatar beamed into deep space. Like many users, I prefer the quickest and simplest functionality, and functionality I control in any place on the web I visit, not having to be set in some central place and then appearing anywhere I add my email address, etc.

    I don’t like this, “You’ll never have to upload your image again” idea. It takes control away from individuals, who should never be asked or required to identify themselves in a central image bank (even if it is with only an icon). I speak with some experience, as one of the female staff on a forum I built was stalked for some time by a very nasty guy. He didn’t see her Gravatar because she didn’t have one, but her worries would have continued for some time if she did have one. She’d have been desperately trying to remember every single site she’d put her email on to see whether her picture appeared there, in fear that the same thing could happen again with another head case.

    0.9 makes a lot of sense in so many ways, but the more I hear about 1.0 and where it’s heading, the more I see, “Simple, fast, elegant” turning into, “Not so simple, not quite as fast, and elegant is debatable”.

    Actually, it’d almost be nice to be able to tie Gravatar into your board so that when someone goes to change their avatar, it backends the whole deal to Gravatar. Imagine: Changing your gravatar from any enabled site, without having to login. And being able to pick which gravatar for which site…

    Of course there’s a raft of security crap with that, but it’s an amusing thought.


    Sam Bauers
    Participant

    @sambauers

    “her worries would have continued for some time if she did have [a Gravatar]. She’d have been desperately trying to remember every single site she’d put her email on to see whether her picture appeared there”

    Actually, if all the sites where her avatar appeared used Gravatar, she would only have to worry about changing one image on gravatar.com and the new avatar (or lack thereof) would then be used on all those sites. Gravatar helps alleviate the situation you describe, not make it worse.

    In any case I think it would be wrong to pimp Gravatar in the actual default theme. As it exists right now, having Gravatar in the core actually helps people who want to add their own avatar solution by supplying the core replaceable function and the calls to it in the rest of the code. By replacing that one function, a plugin author can remove Gravatar altogether and replace it with something else. Another bonus for me and everyone who volunteers support time is that by using Gravatar we avoid all the issues associated with supporting file uploads in the core.

    I still believe that Gravatar should be supported by default in the core, but I think it would be inappropriate to push what is effectively advertising for the service to the front end (in the default theme) and force people to make modifications to remove it. That’s not the idea of having it there at all.


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    Thanks for taking the time to weigh in Sam.

    Sounds like a plugin with ‘Edit Profile Page’ directions on how to get a Gravtar and would be helpful to the community. I will try and figure out how to make one.


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    “Weigh in”? Geez, putting your own opinion forward doesn’t turn life into a wrestling match.

    I could have explained better. The woman in question doesn’t understand the concept of the Gravatar being in one place and therefore easy to change. As far as she’s aware, sites you give your email to have access to that email, and things virtually attached to it. As an example, I have people who think you can’t use the same name with a different email service provider because once used they think their name is ‘taken’ on the entire Internet. They see ‘Bob Jones’ refused in Hotmail, and are offered ‘Bob Jones482′ and take it, then think ‘Bob Jones482′ can’t be used elsewhere.

    We all have varying opinions on the Gravatar/Core issue and others, but it’s no big deal in the end, is it? After all, if it comes to the point where 0.9 doesn’t do what somebody wants me to do for them, then there are many other options. We’re all very happy with 0.9 right now though, so all’s smiles. :)


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    @Michael3185 meant Sam giving his two sense to the Gravatar selection direction idea. It’s cool to get his take since he is Mr. bbPress.


    Ryan Hellyer
    Participant

    @ryanhellyer

    In any case I think it would be wrong to pimp Gravatar in the actual default theme.

    I wouldn’t call it “pimping Gravatar”, but “helping bbPress forum users”.

    bbPress is pimping Gravatar already by including it in the core software. Adding information about a core service in the theme seems reasonable to me. Themes are there to be edited. If someone doesn’t want to “pimp gravatar” they can easily remove it.

    Actually, it’d almost be nice to be able to tie Gravatar into your board so that when someone goes to change their avatar, it backends the whole deal to Gravatar. Imagine: Changing your gravatar from any enabled site, without having to login. And being able to pick which gravatar for which site…

    There was a discussion about this over at WPTavern.com recently. It would be terrific if someone built that functionality. It doesn’t seem to be a particularly trivial task though unfortunately.

Viewing 17 replies - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

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