Andrew Boon

Since the year 2000 our team is working with social networking software, online communities, online dating, communication apps and everything around.

Personally, I am very passionate about social software and the potential for the positive impact it may bring. I love talking to idea-people and helping to launch meaningful online community projects. I am here at UNA.io all the time, so feel free to start a conversation, or talk to me in the messenger. If you prefer the old-fashioned e-mail route - it's ab@una.io for myself and support@una.io for the team.
Profile Feed

The new updates - RC5 and the RC6 follow-up - have been released last week, brining a number of fixes, general improvements and two new modules - Photos and Term of the Day

Perhaps the biggest system improvement is the support of @mentions. Now, in various text fields across UNA modules you can mention users by typing the "@" sign and choosing the user from the dropdown list. in the output it will link to the user automatically. Like so - Andrew Boon

Mentions can be tricky to get right, as they really depend on the site approach to profiles naming, relationship between users and notification settings. So, we invite you to try @mentions and share your feedback and ideas on how we can improve this new feature.

UNA 9RC5/RC6

New modules

  • Photos - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=114
  • Quote of the Day - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=115
  • System Enhancements

  • Ability to mention person or organization with '@' symbol - 1048 670
  • All DB fields and tables was converted to utf8mb4 - 1054
  • Showcase block in all content modules - 1057
  • Textarea fields was switched to TinyMCE - 1055
  • Push notifications queue - 1053
  • Mail messages queue - 1022
  • Ability to specify different form display for add/edit/view content forms in service call - 1070
  • Allow to set free & unlimited membership by level_id GET param during profile creation - 1066
  • Service blocks with predefined search term - 1036
  • Injections and Template keys reorganization - 1015
  • Forms: ability to use multiple submit buttons - 1033
  • Menus: notification counters now works in toolbar menu - 1061
  • Grids: custom options for 'filter', 'order_field', 'order_dir' in sys_objects_grid table - 1060
  • Studio Market Apps: confirmation when click 'delete' button - 1064
  • Modules enhancements

  • Timeline: preview for images and videos - 1000
  • Market: publish/unpublish feature - 1077
  • Invitations: request invitation form was updated - 1080
  • Events: 'Country' and 'Country, City' items in snippet menu - 1058
  • Payment: allow user to cancel his Stripe subscription - 1052
  • 36+ bugfixes

    NOTES:

  • Requirements were changed, minimal MySQL version is now 5.5.3
  • DOWNLOAD:

    https://una.io/page/download-product?id=86

    ANNOUNCEMENTS and UPDATE PATCHES:

    https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC5

    https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC6

    #update #photos #termoftheday #patches #mentions

    • 8

    Looks like UNA Inc can be @@mentioned now. :)

    • 1
    Facebook reports that people spent 50 million hours less on Facebook! That's 5707 years. Note, that Facebook has super-smart tools that take care of making this metric go up no matter what, and it still went down. I truly hope that this is the beginning of the social web liberation era.
    • 1

    UNA platform and the team had a fantastic year in 2017. We opened UNA for public access; released 5 core updates; reached over 1400 accounts at UNA.IO; hired 3 new team members; released new apps like JOT Messenger, Videos, Google Tag Manager, "Decorous" template, ElasticSearch module, "Dolphin Connect" module, Shopify integration module and Snipcart integration module. 

    Moreover, we have been engaged to help with a number of truly exciting projects that use UNA to build communities, professional networks and educational hubs. Some of these ideas are absolutely mind-blowing and we are really happy to see how UNA gradually becomes a platform of choice for those "clever" startups that are building truly unique experiences, while taking advantage of an easy-to-manage framework. 

    The year 2017 was pretty much about putting UNA on rails, though the interest from webmasters already nearly overfilled our team capacity for support and development services. What a year!

    Looking at you, 2018!

    A few things will definitely happen this year. 

  • UNA 9 final will be released. From then on, there will be two separate update streams - PRO and DEV. Only production updates will be pushed automatically to UNA-powered sites and development updates will need to be used separately. PRO updates will only be released after extensive DEV-level testing. 
  • JOT Messenger will add video calls, talks branching and an embed-based service for quick integration into non-UNA websites (Dolphin, Wordpress, etc). 
  • Videos app will add live video streaming. It's a hot trend, but not a trivial development feat. We are exploring various options, and plan to update the Videos app to allow live streaming with simultaneous comments and post-stream recording.
  • The @tags everywhere. The "mention" tags is a widely anticipated feature, which we intentionally delayed until there is a clear vision and technical solution to make them as a system-wide feature. 
  • Notifications will further improve to offer an effective configuration system for Email, Push and On-site notifications for various actions. There is a lot of control available already, but we aim to make them more streamlined and fine-tuned. 
  • Performance and SEO will be improved dramatically, as we get to see more real-life projects and gain more knowledge in optimising for large-scale usage, as well as for search engines.  
  • Native mobile apps, based on GoNative and Cordova-like wrappers will be brought out as service offerings and as technical descriptions for DIY implementations. We are already doing this for Enterprise-plan clients directly.
  • Crypto-based features for reputation scoring, spam/scam protection, payment processing and purpose-specific tokens will come to light. At this staged we are looking to offer integration of the upcoming Requitix system and later potentially our own distributed ledger framework for custom tokens integrated with UNA. 
  • Documentation and Tutorials will finally get a green light. We had to hold off with them during the pre-release updates, mostly due to the changes that keep happening in the core platform. As it settles we can publish more supporting materials and API docs. 
  • Marketplace will become a whole lot more active, as we are opening it for new submissions. We plan to introduce new purchasing methods and bundling options, as well as more detailed instructions for 3rd party developers. 
  • Those are just the main points of focus. There will be hundreds of new features, updates, fixes and improvements. Our team is now bigger, stronger and ready for the major take-off in 2018!

    • 1
    • 6

    UNA platform and the team had a fantastic year in 2017. We opened UNA for public access; released 5 core updates; reached over 1400 accounts at UNA.IO; hired 3 new team members; released new apps like JOT Messenger, Videos, Google Tag Manager, "Decorous" template, ElasticSearch module, "Dolphin Connect" module, Shopify integration module and Snipcart integration module. 

    Moreover, we have been engaged to help with a number of truly exciting projects that use UNA to build communities, professional networks and educational hubs. Some of these ideas are absolutely mind-blowing and we are really happy to see how UNA gradually becomes a platform of choice for those "clever" startups that are building truly unique experiences, while taking advantage of an easy-to-manage framework. 

    The year 2017 was pretty much about putting UNA on rails, though the interest from webmasters already nearly overfilled our team capacity for support and development services. What a year!

    Looking at you, 2018!

    A few things will definitely happen this year. 

  • UNA 9 final will be released. From then on, there will be two separate update streams - PRO and DEV. Only production updates will be pushed automatically to UNA-powered sites and development updates will need to be used separately. PRO updates will only be released after extensive DEV-level testing. 
  • JOT Messenger will add video calls, talks branching and an embed-based service for quick integration into non-UNA websites (Dolphin, Wordpress, etc). 
  • Videos app will add live video streaming. It's a hot trend, but not a trivial development feat. We are exploring various options, and plan to update the Videos app to allow live streaming with simultaneous comments and post-stream recording.
  • The @tags everywhere. The "mention" tags is a widely anticipated feature, which we intentionally delayed until there is a clear vision and technical solution to make them as a system-wide feature. 
  • Notifications will further improve to offer an effective configuration system for Email, Push and On-site notifications for various actions. There is a lot of control available already, but we aim to make them more streamlined and fine-tuned. 
  • Performance and SEO will be improved dramatically, as we get to see more real-life projects and gain more knowledge in optimising for large-scale usage, as well as for search engines.  
  • Native mobile apps, based on GoNative and Cordova-like wrappers will be brought out as service offerings and as technical descriptions for DIY implementations. We are already doing this for Enterprise-plan clients directly.
  • Crypto-based features for reputation scoring, spam/scam protection, payment processing and purpose-specific tokens will come to light. At this staged we are looking to offer integration of the upcoming Requitix system and later potentially our own distributed ledger framework for custom tokens integrated with UNA. 
  • Documentation and Tutorials will finally get a green light. We had to hold off with them during the pre-release updates, mostly due to the changes that keep happening in the core platform. As it settles we can publish more supporting materials and API docs. 
  • Marketplace will become a whole lot more active, as we are opening it for new submissions. We plan to introduce new purchasing methods and bundling options, as well as more detailed instructions for 3rd party developers. 
  • Those are just the main points of focus. There will be hundreds of new features, updates, fixes and improvements. Our team is now bigger, stronger and ready for the major take-off in 2018!

    • 1
    • 6
    The rc5 is likely to come very soon.
    • 2
    • 2

    This update had to be HUGE. We didn't really want to bring new enhancements until the #9final, but some of the improvements required by clients sites dictated the need for a whole sack of Christmas goodies.

    Full list of changes and download links is here

    Sites with activated automatic updates should be already running this latest version. This version is upgradable and is currently the most stable UNA package available.

    New modules

  • Videos module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=101
  • Google Tag Manager module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=102
  • System Enhancements

  • Push notifications - 1010
  • Option to create profile automatically from account info - 986
  • Ability to restrict posting links for certain membership levels (spam protection) - 953
  • New Alert, Confirm, Prompt popups instead of default javascript popups - 923
  • Templates HEAD section reorganisation - 1001
  • Close popup on pressing esc - 984
  • Comment reply notification now includes link and title of the page with comments - 918
  • Languages enhancements - 983
  • Multiple photos upload code was moved to General base module - 978
  • Video transcoder: video duration parsing method was added- 959
  • Load retina images when window.devicePixelRatio > 1.5 - 957
  • Updated email templates - 939
  • Display last cron execution time in hosting audit - 937
  • Google reCaptcha v.2 - 933
  • New default order for Studio Apps - 931
  • Styles Mixer: background-attachment setting - 926
  • Ability to change loading Indicator via template - 893
  • Allow to place added and changed fields to the view form - 920
  • Studio Apps Market: new browsing pages - 907
  • Clickable copyright sign - 902
  • Custom Search now supports date and location field types - 897 866
  • Ability to add CSS styles via BxDolTemplate class - 894
  • New setting to set redirect page after email confirmation - 891
  • Account profile usability enhancements - 890
  • One option to enable/disable autoupdates - 930
  • Modules enhancements

  • Organisations: allow to switch to Organisation profile for all organisation members - 975
  • Profile/Text based modules: editable snippet menu - 989 967
  • Profile modules: display profile name first letter when no profile image uploaded - 938
  • Profile modules: private profiles usability enhancements - 906
  • Profile modules: comments are now searchable - 863
  • Group/Events: "My Entries Actions" menu on "Entries of Author" page - 1006
  • Notifications: show events from the date when user is subscribed to someone - 996
  • Notifications: updated content and layout - 940
  • Accounts: allow to manage accounts from Studio - 982
  • Payments: custom data support - 977
  • Events: Start and End dates aren't mandatory anymore - 968
  • Events/Groups/Posts: variables for author (thumb, link, name) to use in snippet - 965 966
  • Daily emails with joined members with thumbnail - 938
  • Market: collapsible photo and file ghosts - 932
  • Market: sorting downloads and hide old downloads by default - 895
  • Forum: allow to use an attachment as cover image for the topic - 916 900
  • Timeline: post on separate page now has own title and meta tags - 904
  • Timeline: images for preview in popup are resizing now - 881
  • 70+ bugfixes

    NOTES:

  • Organisation add/edit forms may need manual reordering, since new fields were added.
  • This update includes various UI fixes, so make sure to clear browser cache and reload pages if you see any layout problems. 
  • Please, report and ask about technical issues at UNA Discussions
  • #rc4 #notifications #videos 

    • 8
    • 7

    This update had to be HUGE. We didn't really want to bring new enhancements until the #9final, but some of the improvements required by clients sites dictated the need for a whole sack of Christmas goodies.

    Full list of changes and download links is here

    Sites with activated automatic updates should be already running this latest version. This version is upgradable and is currently the most stable UNA package available.

    New modules

  • Videos module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=101
  • Google Tag Manager module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=102
  • System Enhancements

  • Push notifications - 1010
  • Option to create profile automatically from account info - 986
  • Ability to restrict posting links for certain membership levels (spam protection) - 953
  • New Alert, Confirm, Prompt popups instead of default javascript popups - 923
  • Templates HEAD section reorganisation - 1001
  • Close popup on pressing esc - 984
  • Comment reply notification now includes link and title of the page with comments - 918
  • Languages enhancements - 983
  • Multiple photos upload code was moved to General base module - 978
  • Video transcoder: video duration parsing method was added- 959
  • Load retina images when window.devicePixelRatio > 1.5 - 957
  • Updated email templates - 939
  • Display last cron execution time in hosting audit - 937
  • Google reCaptcha v.2 - 933
  • New default order for Studio Apps - 931
  • Styles Mixer: background-attachment setting - 926
  • Ability to change loading Indicator via template - 893
  • Allow to place added and changed fields to the view form - 920
  • Studio Apps Market: new browsing pages - 907
  • Clickable copyright sign - 902
  • Custom Search now supports date and location field types - 897 866
  • Ability to add CSS styles via BxDolTemplate class - 894
  • New setting to set redirect page after email confirmation - 891
  • Account profile usability enhancements - 890
  • One option to enable/disable autoupdates - 930
  • Modules enhancements

  • Organisations: allow to switch to Organisation profile for all organisation members - 975
  • Profile/Text based modules: editable snippet menu - 989 967
  • Profile modules: display profile name first letter when no profile image uploaded - 938
  • Profile modules: private profiles usability enhancements - 906
  • Profile modules: comments are now searchable - 863
  • Group/Events: "My Entries Actions" menu on "Entries of Author" page - 1006
  • Notifications: show events from the date when user is subscribed to someone - 996
  • Notifications: updated content and layout - 940
  • Accounts: allow to manage accounts from Studio - 982
  • Payments: custom data support - 977
  • Events: Start and End dates aren't mandatory anymore - 968
  • Events/Groups/Posts: variables for author (thumb, link, name) to use in snippet - 965 966
  • Daily emails with joined members with thumbnail - 938
  • Market: collapsible photo and file ghosts - 932
  • Market: sorting downloads and hide old downloads by default - 895
  • Forum: allow to use an attachment as cover image for the topic - 916 900
  • Timeline: post on separate page now has own title and meta tags - 904
  • Timeline: images for preview in popup are resizing now - 881
  • 70+ bugfixes

    NOTES:

  • Organisation add/edit forms may need manual reordering, since new fields were added.
  • This update includes various UI fixes, so make sure to clear browser cache and reload pages if you see any layout problems. 
  • Please, report and ask about technical issues at UNA Discussions
  • #rc4 #notifications #videos 

    • 8
    • 7
    UNA 9rc4 is here. Notifications galore.
    A major update is coming. While it’s another RC (no new features) for the core, we had a number of Apps waiting for this update to come through. Next week is going to be a lot of fun!
    • 1
    • 1
    It's a beautiful day here in Australia!
    • 1

    UNA team is passionate about Open Web, building an open-source platform that enables leaders to create intentional online networks operating independently from the large social networks or SaaS providers.

    WordPress, similarly, is an open-source platform, enabling individual publishers. Even though WordPress is a CMS focused on Content, while UNA is a CMS focused on Communities, we do have plenty of crossover use-cases. It is possible to put together a community site using Wordpress, and it is possible to create a blog using UNA.

    WordPress is incredibly popular, powering roughly about 30% of all websites currently online. Luckily, Matt Mullenweg - the CEO of Automattic (company behind WordPress) - is, by all means, a really good person with all the right values. He does care about the Open Web and the Internet community as a whole. If only we had more CEOs like Matt and fewer CEOs like Mark... Oh well.

    One of the new exciting developments from WordPress is the Gutenberg block editor designed to make adding rich content to WordPress simply. It is not unlike UNA Pages, editor where the site operator can rearrange blocks to build pages, except that Gutenberg is supposed to be used by the end-user - the content publisher, not the site developer. In other words, it is now easier to make fancy WordPress pages with different blocks, but it is still up to users to learn how to do it, and think about what blocks to use and where.

    Matt believes that this would create a significant shift, taking more people out of the supermarket-style networks like Facebook and back into the Open Web. Watch this video, or at least the last 3rd of it...

    It's a significant development, right? Yes, it is, indeed. It won't make much difference in real life, unfortunately. Here is why...

    "Open Web" is much like an open market - product providers and consumers are independent. However, they’re not isolated - they are grouped by way of association, collective interest, location or some other affinity.

    It is wrong to assume that any photographer, farmer, accountant or artist should also be a proficient WordPress-publisher, and that it only takes a better UX to let them structure their online presence. Any of those potential publishers need to be able to focus on their trade and not on building their framework for online representation. Many “my custom start-page” projects failed in the early 2000s for the same reason - in real life users don’t want to be architects of their online experience.

    Instead, they want to be offered options; then relate to their choices - liking them or not. If they like Facebook experience - they use Facebook; if they like Walmart experience - they go to Walmart. Same with publishing - people may have some opinion about how to format online presense, but they are not ready or informed enough to make all those decisions. It’s far too time-consuming, tedious and foreign for most people.

    Now, to empower diversity and development of “open web”, we should enable leaders. And we should work towards having more of them so that they could create more and more spaces, groups, communities, stores, destinations and meetups. Not everyone is a leader, and it would indeed be horrible if we assumed that everyone needs to be a leader in every aspect of their life. In some areas, we may lead, and in others, it is best if we follow, or play along.

    Gothenburg editor in WordPress is not going to make any revolutionary difference, unfortunately, because it is only a more visually simplified way of structuring a message. It comes with the same cognitive challenge for the end user - having to decide how to structure their presentation and align it with expectations of the potential audience. Another reason why people go to facebook or twitter is that on consumption site the experience is unified. It uses some common structure and UX that everyone within the network understands. It doesn’t suit every kind of content, but it suits the material it’s focused on, and that all that people need.

    As an example analogy, let's say I want to buy a suit...

    • I can go to a supermarket that sells all sorts of clothing, including suits. They are pre-made and some of them might suit me. Or buy from Amazon.
    • I can go to a street or mall known to have a few shops that sell suits. I’d have better variety and options. Some pre-made, some with tailoring service. Or order from a vendor website online.
    • I can search for individual tailors, visit some of them, research the subject, get the suit tailor-made by choosing the fabric, design and cut.

    In real life, only a tiny percentage goes to tailors. You’d have to be a sophisticated buyer to do that. Moreover, you’d have to know exactly what you want. In many product categories, it is nearly impossible to expect this level of consumer awareness.

    If we go to a supermarket, on the other hand, the quality and fit are going to suffer substantially, especially if your body doesn't fit standard size and form groups.

    Now, dedicated suit shops, often incorporating small ecosystems like a few tailors, a wide variety of designs, pre-made suits available to try, delivery system, and whatever else may be required to make it possible for you to have a great outfit is by far the best possible choice. It may come at a cost slightly higher than that in a supermarket, but often lower than at a dedicated tailor.

    In the same manner - we should promote the creation of mini-networks, communities and clubs, created by passionate leaders and designed with a specific niche in mind. That would be a real open-web - distributed yet connected, with a minimal cognitive burden on end-users, driven by passionate category leaders that bring diversity of ideas.

    Communities compel creativity.

    Ever noticed how people often post daily updates on Facebook and yet struggle to write a single post on their blog for months, if not years? The only reason is that existing networks offer that instant gratification of being heard, liked (or disliked) and appreciated. 

    We want to create if we know that there are people interested in our creations. Ideally, we want our audience to be easily reachable, curated to fit the interest group and united to actually care about what we have to say. Wholesale social networks are far too broad and generic to suit specific interest groups and always end-up being about the personas and groups rather than interests and content. Individual blogs, on the other hand, lack that pre-established audience and for the most part never take off. 

    Niche communities is ultimately the best chance to preserve diversity and still make it possible for people to reach out to large groups without having to learn how to use WordPress, send newsletters and promote their site. Community operators  should take care of that, and unite people with similar passions and interests. 

    • 2
    • 11
    ... or jump to: 2017, 2016
    Profile Feed

    The new updates - RC5 and the RC6 follow-up - have been released last week, brining a number of fixes, general improvements and two new modules - Photos and Term of the Day

    Perhaps the biggest system improvement is the support of @mentions. Now, in various text fields across UNA modules you can mention users by typing the "@" sign and choosing the user from the dropdown list. in the output it will link to the user automatically. Like so - Andrew Boon

    Mentions can be tricky to get right, as they really depend on the site approach to profiles naming, relationship between users and notification settings. So, we invite you to try @mentions and share your feedback and ideas on how we can improve this new feature.

    UNA 9RC5/RC6

    New modules

  • Photos - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=114
  • Quote of the Day - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=115
  • System Enhancements

  • Ability to mention person or organization with '@' symbol - 1048 670
  • All DB fields and tables was converted to utf8mb4 - 1054
  • Showcase block in all content modules - 1057
  • Textarea fields was switched to TinyMCE - 1055
  • Push notifications queue - 1053
  • Mail messages queue - 1022
  • Ability to specify different form display for add/edit/view content forms in service call - 1070
  • Allow to set free & unlimited membership by level_id GET param during profile creation - 1066
  • Service blocks with predefined search term - 1036
  • Injections and Template keys reorganization - 1015
  • Forms: ability to use multiple submit buttons - 1033
  • Menus: notification counters now works in toolbar menu - 1061
  • Grids: custom options for 'filter', 'order_field', 'order_dir' in sys_objects_grid table - 1060
  • Studio Market Apps: confirmation when click 'delete' button - 1064
  • Modules enhancements

  • Timeline: preview for images and videos - 1000
  • Market: publish/unpublish feature - 1077
  • Invitations: request invitation form was updated - 1080
  • Events: 'Country' and 'Country, City' items in snippet menu - 1058
  • Payment: allow user to cancel his Stripe subscription - 1052
  • 36+ bugfixes

    NOTES:

  • Requirements were changed, minimal MySQL version is now 5.5.3
  • DOWNLOAD:

    https://una.io/page/download-product?id=86

    ANNOUNCEMENTS and UPDATE PATCHES:

    https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC5

    https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC6

    #update #photos #termoftheday #patches #mentions

    • 8

    Looks like UNA Inc can be @@mentioned now. :)

    • 1
    Facebook reports that people spent 50 million hours less on Facebook! That's 5707 years. Note, that Facebook has super-smart tools that take care of making this metric go up no matter what, and it still went down. I truly hope that this is the beginning of the social web liberation era.
    • 1

    UNA platform and the team had a fantastic year in 2017. We opened UNA for public access; released 5 core updates; reached over 1400 accounts at UNA.IO; hired 3 new team members; released new apps like JOT Messenger, Videos, Google Tag Manager, "Decorous" template, ElasticSearch module, "Dolphin Connect" module, Shopify integration module and Snipcart integration module. 

    Moreover, we have been engaged to help with a number of truly exciting projects that use UNA to build communities, professional networks and educational hubs. Some of these ideas are absolutely mind-blowing and we are really happy to see how UNA gradually becomes a platform of choice for those "clever" startups that are building truly unique experiences, while taking advantage of an easy-to-manage framework. 

    The year 2017 was pretty much about putting UNA on rails, though the interest from webmasters already nearly overfilled our team capacity for support and development services. What a year!

    Looking at you, 2018!

    A few things will definitely happen this year. 

  • UNA 9 final will be released. From then on, there will be two separate update streams - PRO and DEV. Only production updates will be pushed automatically to UNA-powered sites and development updates will need to be used separately. PRO updates will only be released after extensive DEV-level testing. 
  • JOT Messenger will add video calls, talks branching and an embed-based service for quick integration into non-UNA websites (Dolphin, Wordpress, etc). 
  • Videos app will add live video streaming. It's a hot trend, but not a trivial development feat. We are exploring various options, and plan to update the Videos app to allow live streaming with simultaneous comments and post-stream recording.
  • The @tags everywhere. The "mention" tags is a widely anticipated feature, which we intentionally delayed until there is a clear vision and technical solution to make them as a system-wide feature. 
  • Notifications will further improve to offer an effective configuration system for Email, Push and On-site notifications for various actions. There is a lot of control available already, but we aim to make them more streamlined and fine-tuned. 
  • Performance and SEO will be improved dramatically, as we get to see more real-life projects and gain more knowledge in optimising for large-scale usage, as well as for search engines.  
  • Native mobile apps, based on GoNative and Cordova-like wrappers will be brought out as service offerings and as technical descriptions for DIY implementations. We are already doing this for Enterprise-plan clients directly.
  • Crypto-based features for reputation scoring, spam/scam protection, payment processing and purpose-specific tokens will come to light. At this staged we are looking to offer integration of the upcoming Requitix system and later potentially our own distributed ledger framework for custom tokens integrated with UNA. 
  • Documentation and Tutorials will finally get a green light. We had to hold off with them during the pre-release updates, mostly due to the changes that keep happening in the core platform. As it settles we can publish more supporting materials and API docs. 
  • Marketplace will become a whole lot more active, as we are opening it for new submissions. We plan to introduce new purchasing methods and bundling options, as well as more detailed instructions for 3rd party developers. 
  • Those are just the main points of focus. There will be hundreds of new features, updates, fixes and improvements. Our team is now bigger, stronger and ready for the major take-off in 2018!

    • 1
    • 6

    UNA platform and the team had a fantastic year in 2017. We opened UNA for public access; released 5 core updates; reached over 1400 accounts at UNA.IO; hired 3 new team members; released new apps like JOT Messenger, Videos, Google Tag Manager, "Decorous" template, ElasticSearch module, "Dolphin Connect" module, Shopify integration module and Snipcart integration module. 

    Moreover, we have been engaged to help with a number of truly exciting projects that use UNA to build communities, professional networks and educational hubs. Some of these ideas are absolutely mind-blowing and we are really happy to see how UNA gradually becomes a platform of choice for those "clever" startups that are building truly unique experiences, while taking advantage of an easy-to-manage framework. 

    The year 2017 was pretty much about putting UNA on rails, though the interest from webmasters already nearly overfilled our team capacity for support and development services. What a year!

    Looking at you, 2018!

    A few things will definitely happen this year. 

  • UNA 9 final will be released. From then on, there will be two separate update streams - PRO and DEV. Only production updates will be pushed automatically to UNA-powered sites and development updates will need to be used separately. PRO updates will only be released after extensive DEV-level testing. 
  • JOT Messenger will add video calls, talks branching and an embed-based service for quick integration into non-UNA websites (Dolphin, Wordpress, etc). 
  • Videos app will add live video streaming. It's a hot trend, but not a trivial development feat. We are exploring various options, and plan to update the Videos app to allow live streaming with simultaneous comments and post-stream recording.
  • The @tags everywhere. The "mention" tags is a widely anticipated feature, which we intentionally delayed until there is a clear vision and technical solution to make them as a system-wide feature. 
  • Notifications will further improve to offer an effective configuration system for Email, Push and On-site notifications for various actions. There is a lot of control available already, but we aim to make them more streamlined and fine-tuned. 
  • Performance and SEO will be improved dramatically, as we get to see more real-life projects and gain more knowledge in optimising for large-scale usage, as well as for search engines.  
  • Native mobile apps, based on GoNative and Cordova-like wrappers will be brought out as service offerings and as technical descriptions for DIY implementations. We are already doing this for Enterprise-plan clients directly.
  • Crypto-based features for reputation scoring, spam/scam protection, payment processing and purpose-specific tokens will come to light. At this staged we are looking to offer integration of the upcoming Requitix system and later potentially our own distributed ledger framework for custom tokens integrated with UNA. 
  • Documentation and Tutorials will finally get a green light. We had to hold off with them during the pre-release updates, mostly due to the changes that keep happening in the core platform. As it settles we can publish more supporting materials and API docs. 
  • Marketplace will become a whole lot more active, as we are opening it for new submissions. We plan to introduce new purchasing methods and bundling options, as well as more detailed instructions for 3rd party developers. 
  • Those are just the main points of focus. There will be hundreds of new features, updates, fixes and improvements. Our team is now bigger, stronger and ready for the major take-off in 2018!

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    The rc5 is likely to come very soon.
    • 2
    • 2

    This update had to be HUGE. We didn't really want to bring new enhancements until the #9final, but some of the improvements required by clients sites dictated the need for a whole sack of Christmas goodies.

    Full list of changes and download links is here

    Sites with activated automatic updates should be already running this latest version. This version is upgradable and is currently the most stable UNA package available.

    New modules

  • Videos module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=101
  • Google Tag Manager module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=102
  • System Enhancements

  • Push notifications - 1010
  • Option to create profile automatically from account info - 986
  • Ability to restrict posting links for certain membership levels (spam protection) - 953
  • New Alert, Confirm, Prompt popups instead of default javascript popups - 923
  • Templates HEAD section reorganisation - 1001
  • Close popup on pressing esc - 984
  • Comment reply notification now includes link and title of the page with comments - 918
  • Languages enhancements - 983
  • Multiple photos upload code was moved to General base module - 978
  • Video transcoder: video duration parsing method was added- 959
  • Load retina images when window.devicePixelRatio > 1.5 - 957
  • Updated email templates - 939
  • Display last cron execution time in hosting audit - 937
  • Google reCaptcha v.2 - 933
  • New default order for Studio Apps - 931
  • Styles Mixer: background-attachment setting - 926
  • Ability to change loading Indicator via template - 893
  • Allow to place added and changed fields to the view form - 920
  • Studio Apps Market: new browsing pages - 907
  • Clickable copyright sign - 902
  • Custom Search now supports date and location field types - 897 866
  • Ability to add CSS styles via BxDolTemplate class - 894
  • New setting to set redirect page after email confirmation - 891
  • Account profile usability enhancements - 890
  • One option to enable/disable autoupdates - 930
  • Modules enhancements

  • Organisations: allow to switch to Organisation profile for all organisation members - 975
  • Profile/Text based modules: editable snippet menu - 989 967
  • Profile modules: display profile name first letter when no profile image uploaded - 938
  • Profile modules: private profiles usability enhancements - 906
  • Profile modules: comments are now searchable - 863
  • Group/Events: "My Entries Actions" menu on "Entries of Author" page - 1006
  • Notifications: show events from the date when user is subscribed to someone - 996
  • Notifications: updated content and layout - 940
  • Accounts: allow to manage accounts from Studio - 982
  • Payments: custom data support - 977
  • Events: Start and End dates aren't mandatory anymore - 968
  • Events/Groups/Posts: variables for author (thumb, link, name) to use in snippet - 965 966
  • Daily emails with joined members with thumbnail - 938
  • Market: collapsible photo and file ghosts - 932
  • Market: sorting downloads and hide old downloads by default - 895
  • Forum: allow to use an attachment as cover image for the topic - 916 900
  • Timeline: post on separate page now has own title and meta tags - 904
  • Timeline: images for preview in popup are resizing now - 881
  • 70+ bugfixes

    NOTES:

  • Organisation add/edit forms may need manual reordering, since new fields were added.
  • This update includes various UI fixes, so make sure to clear browser cache and reload pages if you see any layout problems. 
  • Please, report and ask about technical issues at UNA Discussions
  • #rc4 #notifications #videos 

    • 8
    • 7

    This update had to be HUGE. We didn't really want to bring new enhancements until the #9final, but some of the improvements required by clients sites dictated the need for a whole sack of Christmas goodies.

    Full list of changes and download links is here

    Sites with activated automatic updates should be already running this latest version. This version is upgradable and is currently the most stable UNA package available.

    New modules

  • Videos module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=101
  • Google Tag Manager module - https://una.io/page/view-product?id=102
  • System Enhancements

  • Push notifications - 1010
  • Option to create profile automatically from account info - 986
  • Ability to restrict posting links for certain membership levels (spam protection) - 953
  • New Alert, Confirm, Prompt popups instead of default javascript popups - 923
  • Templates HEAD section reorganisation - 1001
  • Close popup on pressing esc - 984
  • Comment reply notification now includes link and title of the page with comments - 918
  • Languages enhancements - 983
  • Multiple photos upload code was moved to General base module - 978
  • Video transcoder: video duration parsing method was added- 959
  • Load retina images when window.devicePixelRatio > 1.5 - 957
  • Updated email templates - 939
  • Display last cron execution time in hosting audit - 937
  • Google reCaptcha v.2 - 933
  • New default order for Studio Apps - 931
  • Styles Mixer: background-attachment setting - 926
  • Ability to change loading Indicator via template - 893
  • Allow to place added and changed fields to the view form - 920
  • Studio Apps Market: new browsing pages - 907
  • Clickable copyright sign - 902
  • Custom Search now supports date and location field types - 897 866
  • Ability to add CSS styles via BxDolTemplate class - 894
  • New setting to set redirect page after email confirmation - 891
  • Account profile usability enhancements - 890
  • One option to enable/disable autoupdates - 930
  • Modules enhancements

  • Organisations: allow to switch to Organisation profile for all organisation members - 975
  • Profile/Text based modules: editable snippet menu - 989 967
  • Profile modules: display profile name first letter when no profile image uploaded - 938
  • Profile modules: private profiles usability enhancements - 906
  • Profile modules: comments are now searchable - 863
  • Group/Events: "My Entries Actions" menu on "Entries of Author" page - 1006
  • Notifications: show events from the date when user is subscribed to someone - 996
  • Notifications: updated content and layout - 940
  • Accounts: allow to manage accounts from Studio - 982
  • Payments: custom data support - 977
  • Events: Start and End dates aren't mandatory anymore - 968
  • Events/Groups/Posts: variables for author (thumb, link, name) to use in snippet - 965 966
  • Daily emails with joined members with thumbnail - 938
  • Market: collapsible photo and file ghosts - 932
  • Market: sorting downloads and hide old downloads by default - 895
  • Forum: allow to use an attachment as cover image for the topic - 916 900
  • Timeline: post on separate page now has own title and meta tags - 904
  • Timeline: images for preview in popup are resizing now - 881
  • 70+ bugfixes

    NOTES:

  • Organisation add/edit forms may need manual reordering, since new fields were added.
  • This update includes various UI fixes, so make sure to clear browser cache and reload pages if you see any layout problems. 
  • Please, report and ask about technical issues at UNA Discussions
  • #rc4 #notifications #videos 

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    • 7
    UNA 9rc4 is here. Notifications galore.
    A major update is coming. While it’s another RC (no new features) for the core, we had a number of Apps waiting for this update to come through. Next week is going to be a lot of fun!
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    • 1
    It's a beautiful day here in Australia!
    • 1

    UNA team is passionate about Open Web, building an open-source platform that enables leaders to create intentional online networks operating independently from the large social networks or SaaS providers.

    WordPress, similarly, is an open-source platform, enabling individual publishers. Even though WordPress is a CMS focused on Content, while UNA is a CMS focused on Communities, we do have plenty of crossover use-cases. It is possible to put together a community site using Wordpress, and it is possible to create a blog using UNA.

    WordPress is incredibly popular, powering roughly about 30% of all websites currently online. Luckily, Matt Mullenweg - the CEO of Automattic (company behind WordPress) - is, by all means, a really good person with all the right values. He does care about the Open Web and the Internet community as a whole. If only we had more CEOs like Matt and fewer CEOs like Mark... Oh well.

    One of the new exciting developments from WordPress is the Gutenberg block editor designed to make adding rich content to WordPress simply. It is not unlike UNA Pages, editor where the site operator can rearrange blocks to build pages, except that Gutenberg is supposed to be used by the end-user - the content publisher, not the site developer. In other words, it is now easier to make fancy WordPress pages with different blocks, but it is still up to users to learn how to do it, and think about what blocks to use and where.

    Matt believes that this would create a significant shift, taking more people out of the supermarket-style networks like Facebook and back into the Open Web. Watch this video, or at least the last 3rd of it...

    It's a significant development, right? Yes, it is, indeed. It won't make much difference in real life, unfortunately. Here is why...

    "Open Web" is much like an open market - product providers and consumers are independent. However, they’re not isolated - they are grouped by way of association, collective interest, location or some other affinity.

    It is wrong to assume that any photographer, farmer, accountant or artist should also be a proficient WordPress-publisher, and that it only takes a better UX to let them structure their online presence. Any of those potential publishers need to be able to focus on their trade and not on building their framework for online representation. Many “my custom start-page” projects failed in the early 2000s for the same reason - in real life users don’t want to be architects of their online experience.

    Instead, they want to be offered options; then relate to their choices - liking them or not. If they like Facebook experience - they use Facebook; if they like Walmart experience - they go to Walmart. Same with publishing - people may have some opinion about how to format online presense, but they are not ready or informed enough to make all those decisions. It’s far too time-consuming, tedious and foreign for most people.

    Now, to empower diversity and development of “open web”, we should enable leaders. And we should work towards having more of them so that they could create more and more spaces, groups, communities, stores, destinations and meetups. Not everyone is a leader, and it would indeed be horrible if we assumed that everyone needs to be a leader in every aspect of their life. In some areas, we may lead, and in others, it is best if we follow, or play along.

    Gothenburg editor in WordPress is not going to make any revolutionary difference, unfortunately, because it is only a more visually simplified way of structuring a message. It comes with the same cognitive challenge for the end user - having to decide how to structure their presentation and align it with expectations of the potential audience. Another reason why people go to facebook or twitter is that on consumption site the experience is unified. It uses some common structure and UX that everyone within the network understands. It doesn’t suit every kind of content, but it suits the material it’s focused on, and that all that people need.

    As an example analogy, let's say I want to buy a suit...

    • I can go to a supermarket that sells all sorts of clothing, including suits. They are pre-made and some of them might suit me. Or buy from Amazon.
    • I can go to a street or mall known to have a few shops that sell suits. I’d have better variety and options. Some pre-made, some with tailoring service. Or order from a vendor website online.
    • I can search for individual tailors, visit some of them, research the subject, get the suit tailor-made by choosing the fabric, design and cut.

    In real life, only a tiny percentage goes to tailors. You’d have to be a sophisticated buyer to do that. Moreover, you’d have to know exactly what you want. In many product categories, it is nearly impossible to expect this level of consumer awareness.

    If we go to a supermarket, on the other hand, the quality and fit are going to suffer substantially, especially if your body doesn't fit standard size and form groups.

    Now, dedicated suit shops, often incorporating small ecosystems like a few tailors, a wide variety of designs, pre-made suits available to try, delivery system, and whatever else may be required to make it possible for you to have a great outfit is by far the best possible choice. It may come at a cost slightly higher than that in a supermarket, but often lower than at a dedicated tailor.

    In the same manner - we should promote the creation of mini-networks, communities and clubs, created by passionate leaders and designed with a specific niche in mind. That would be a real open-web - distributed yet connected, with a minimal cognitive burden on end-users, driven by passionate category leaders that bring diversity of ideas.

    Communities compel creativity.

    Ever noticed how people often post daily updates on Facebook and yet struggle to write a single post on their blog for months, if not years? The only reason is that existing networks offer that instant gratification of being heard, liked (or disliked) and appreciated. 

    We want to create if we know that there are people interested in our creations. Ideally, we want our audience to be easily reachable, curated to fit the interest group and united to actually care about what we have to say. Wholesale social networks are far too broad and generic to suit specific interest groups and always end-up being about the personas and groups rather than interests and content. Individual blogs, on the other hand, lack that pre-established audience and for the most part never take off. 

    Niche communities is ultimately the best chance to preserve diversity and still make it possible for people to reach out to large groups without having to learn how to use WordPress, send newsletters and promote their site. Community operators  should take care of that, and unite people with similar passions and interests. 

    • 2
    • 11
    ... or jump to: 2017, 2016
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    Full Name:
    Andrew Boon
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    My Albums

    Keep it real!

    Videos discussing common questions and challenges that we face, and how we make decisions based on a simple principle - keeping it real.  What looks good "on-paper" may not be the same as what works best in real-life situations. Through our experience of building social networking software for over 17 years, we've learned a lot about "the big questions". In this series, I talk about these in details, in a causal manner, while driving around and doing daily chores. Keeping it real.  #keepitreal
    Native App vs Responsive Web AppMIT vs GPL, BSD and Custom licensesScale Anxiety. Worrying about scale before launching your community.Hidden costs of custom modifications.

    Quick tests, examples and greetings.

    This album is for short videos or fill-in images used as examples elsewhere. 
    Example for video inserting

    Tutorials

    Various #tutorials, mostly #video, all for UNA. 
    Changing UNA texts in PolyglotEditing data items in Forms (i.e. changing categories)Site deployment and initial setup on UNA Cloud

    Random Musings

    Sharing everything we do, plan and think. In a not-too-formal way. 
    Saying Hi and showing our faces.
    My Polls

    We are adopting the "THEME-BASED PRODUCT ROAD MAPS" method for UNA development. Vote for your #1 choice of THEME to help us define priority. We plan to focus on each theme for a month over the next...

    What kind of text #editor (if any) do you think should be used in a #Messenger?

    No editor, just plain text.
     
    16 votes (44.44%)
    Pure contentEditable standard browser tools.
     
    7 votes (19.44%)
    Pure Markdown or BBcode
     
    3 votes (8.33%)
    Editor based on contentEditable with WYSIWYG-style interface.
     
    6 votes (16.67%)
    WYSIWYG editor.
     
    4 votes (11.11%)

    What is your preferred shape of #profile #pictures?  Please, elaborate on your choice in comments.

    Circle
     
    26 votes (55.32%)
    Square
     
    8 votes (17.02%)
    Rounded Square
     
    13 votes (27.66%)

    What general #direction do you think UNA #development should be focused on in the next 2-3 months?

    User experience improvement
     
    15 votes (44.12%)
    Performance and loading speed
     
    4 votes (11.76%)
    More features and apps
     
    13 votes (38.24%)
    Studio settings improvements
     
    1 votes (2.94%)
    Easier on-boarding & configuration workflow
     
    1 votes (2.94%)
    Other (leave comment)
     
    0 votes (0%)

    Which method of #communication is most popular on your site?

    Discussions (asynchronous; public or group; committed subject).
     
    5 votes (16.67%)
    Conversations (asynchronous; private or group; variable subject).
     
    4 votes (13.33%)
    Messenger (synchronous or delayed; private, group or public; spontaneous or no subject).
     
    17 votes (56.67%)
    Comments (asynchronous; public; committed subject).
     
    4 votes (13.33%)