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.
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RC9 announcement is getting a bit delayed. Just polishing things up before calling in more people. 🐝

Promoted

We are rearranging Notifications and will allow users to unsubscribe from some notifications individually. There will be 3 categories - Push, Email and Onsite with the following options:

When someone I don’t follow:

————————

Comments on my posts

Likes my posts

Replies to my comment

Mentions me

Joins my group

Posts in my group

Wants to be my friend

Follows me


When someone I follow:

—————————

Comments on someone’s posts

Comments on my posts

Mentions me

Adds a post

Joins someone’s group

Becomes friends with someone

Follows someone

RC9 is out. Detailed announcement coming on Monday. 

Promoted

As the new version update is imminent, the concepts of Context and Content pages in UNA become more and more important. 

A few really important updates are coming very soon. 

📝 A new post form for Timeline with tabs allowing posting of different content items to different contexts from single location. 

🆓 FontAwesome 5 system support, including style prefix. 

🆒 FontAwesome Pro module for all paid plans. Add more icons and a new "light" style. 

💬 And finally, after a lot of feedback, testing and discussions we are updating Notifications module, which will allow users to opt out of some notifications and will also reorganise settings in Studio for all Push, Email and Onsite notifications, merging all main types from all modules into a more streamlined and simple list. 

Promoted

We are at the final stages on ONLINE.ME configuration - it will be a reference configuration for most new UNA installations, so if you'd like to participate in the initial config process first hand, please go to https://online.me and request invite. 

We are putting together the final release configuration now. In last couple of weeks we've been focusing on fixing, cleaning, streamlining and making existing features work well. Still some work to do, but the package is shaping up now. You'll be hearing from us a lot more often now.

The RC7 and the RC8 followup updates bring a wide range of improvements, new modules and core enhancements. We expect this to be the last "combo" update, as we switch to more frequent iterations. 

While most of the changes are self explanatory, there are some goodies that need clarification. Please, review the list of changes carefully and read the commentary. This update is by far the most important and significant UNA release we ever had.

Below is the list of all changes. I'll comment on some of them...

 

New modules

Yes, it's happening! We now have an UNA module that assists with migrating your Dolphin data to UNA. It took a while as we needed to have a full set of matching content modules in UNA to "accept" Dolphin data, but here we are - you can migrate your Dolphin site to UNA now. Note, that this app covers default Dolphin modules only. 3rd party extensions and modified modules will not work with this script. Should you require assistance with migrating your site, or if you have customised modules that don't match the accepted data structure, please contact us at support@una.io - we offer an assisted migration service. 

Spaces is the kind of module that may become the most used and most powerful "context-type" module in UNA. Apps like Groups, Events, Profiles work as "containers" for content-type items like Posts, Discussions, Files, etc. - we call such container apps "contexts". Correct arrangement and taxonomy of context-type modules is the most important architecture goal any community operator should be working towards, and the Spaces app is the first one to support "sub-spaces", or in other words, contexts that reference other contexts as parents. So, you can operate a platform for "Communities" that can be split into "Sub-communities", and if you think about potential applications, the power of Spaces can not be overestimated. We will talk more about this in a separate post, with some examples and a video. 

A simple Glossary module allows you to add a library of "terms", which can be browsed by alphabetical order. A Glossary terms can be a mix of text and media. 

Froala editor (instead of TinyMCE) is known for excellent mobile-friendly UI, seamless copy-paste images, in-line image editing, and built-in media uploader supporting remote storage. Also we obtained an OEM license for Froala editor, so you don't need to pay extra to Froala.

 

System Enhancements

2factor authentication using Twilio is now supported in UNA. You can also use phone confirmation to activate profiles, so if before user became active after email confirmation, now you can choose to activate account when phone, or email, or both are confirmed.

Perhaps the biggest overhaul in this version is due to this Uber-important feature. It is now possible to post various content items (like Posts, Discussions, etc) to Groups/Events/Spaces/Profiles. The list of available options is formed from the Groups/Events/Spaces/Profiles that the user has joined or is following. Context can be chosen in Privacy field, since posted content inherits context privacy.

  • Score functionality - 1211

It is now possible to not just 'like' something, but also upvote and downvote. Reddit-style up and down arrows. 

  • Compatibility with PHP 7.2 - 1259
  • JS/CSS/Translations pre-loader - 1249
  • Make search form section selection more compact - 1244
  • Report comment functionality - 1237
  • Push notifications support for UNA GoNative app - 1236
  • Studio Polyglot: search in current language
  • Make forms to be able to load on demand if needed - 1230
  • Ability to clear cache after module installation - 1207
  • Delete confirmation for styles mix deletion in Studio - 1198
  • Images were added into RSS feeds where possible - 1192
  • Separate CSS classes for mentions and tags in content - 1177
  • Delete backup files from cache_public folder - 1166
  • System Emoji library - 1154
  • Don't call service calls for disabled modules - 1153
  • Page builder in Studio: full editor mode for HTML blocks - 1152
  • Page builder in Studio: more consistent behaviour for page block layout - 1133
  • Different approach for Embedly integration - 1135
  • Template meta tag for theme color - 1122
  • Ability to change editor style for particular comment object in comments - 1119
  • Ability to override TinyMCE configurations - 1115
  • Menus: add "hidden on: desktop, tablet, mobile" setting for menu items - 1114
  • Border was removed from membership badge - 1110
  • Code insert plugin for TinyMCE - 1107
  • Universal function to process HTML after adding to the DOM - 1105
  • At.js integration - 1101
  • Timing profiling function - 1099
  • Display some message when javascript is disabled in browser - 1090
  • Save referrer and IP upon user join - 1083
  • Add option to assume external links in TinyMCE - 1088

Modules enhancements

  • Timeline: "Hot" sorting algorithm - 1226

The Timeline needs 2 main views - one working as a personalised feed and the other one working a smart discovery feed. So, we start with the new HOT algorithm - initially based on likes/votings. As we see it working in production mode more we plan to add more variables, like activity (latest replies), author reputation, likes, reposts, scores, etc. 

  • Timeline: edit post - 1127
  • Timeline: promoted posts - 1118

Another important improvement. Admins can now mark posts as "promoted", which will push these posts to everyones's Feeds regardless of whether the users are following the post author. 

  • Timeline: view item improvements - 1194 1113
  • Timeline: videos autoplay - 1188
  • Timeline: report button was moved into "More" menu - 1188
  • Timeline: notification about new update in timeline on the current page - 1184
  • Timeline: in timeline post make photo to be a link - 1174
  • Timeline: delayed posting for updates - 1164

Delayed posting is handy for admins or for users in blog-like communities, allowing for scheduling the publishing date.  Same feature is available for Posts as well. 

  • Timeline: new settings, no privacy field on another user profile - 1155
  • Timeline: automatically detect link and attach it to the post - 1137

Known as "auto-unfurl" this feature will detect the link on post-to-timeline form as you type and will automatically attach the embed card to the post. 

  • General modules: parameter was added to disable error messages in different forms - 1239
  • Profile bases modules: static link to own profile - 1275
  • Profile bases modules: filter by different profiles types in following block - 1256
  • Profile bases modules: service method to get profile cover - 1253
  • Profile bases modules: minor config classes reorganisation - 1245
  • Profile bases modules: filter profiles by membership levels on manage profiles page - 1218
  • Profile bases modules: ability to search for online users and users with photos - 1190
  • Profile bases modules: display avatar change image in a Timeline - 1172
  • Profile/group based modules: recommended entries block - 1109 1220
  • Text based modules: make first uploaded image to be selected as cover - 1224
  • Intercom: additional settings - 1228 1167
  • Intercom: don't display intercom on messenger page - 1169
  • Intercom: Russian translation - 1168
  • Invitations: module improvements - 1093
  • Accounts: ability to filter operators - 1219
  • Notifications: distinguish read and unread notifications - 1131
  • Notifications: popup for notifications - 1128
  • Videos: ability to upload custom poster for video - 1176
  • Photos: multiple photos upload - 1108
  • Posts: delayed posting - 1164
  • Discussions: full editor mode for comments - 1152
  • Polls: use full editor in poll creation form - 1151

 

Release Notes and Downloads

The latest UNA platform version is available at https://una.io/page/view-product?id=86

Update patches, source code and updates for RC7 and RC8 are available at our GitHub repo:

https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC7

https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC8

If your UNA settings have automatic updates enabled your site will update automatically to v9.0.0rc8. 

 

What's Next

We were waiting for this update to make some planned changes. Over the next couple of weeks UNA.io will lose all the modules we don't need here and will be reconfigured to work as a support site for UNA - not as a demo site anymore. At the same time we will have ONLINE.me configured as a sample site using most of the UNA modules and working as a live community. Another change will happen in our pricing schedule. You can preview the new plans here - https://una.io/page/dstart. The next version update will be mostly about performance and general UX/design polishing, so feel free to share any ideas or suggestions.

Thank you! 

Reposted Mark Purser's post.

I’m a massive fan of blog sites. I have been since forever. Having written and developed a bunch of them and actively engaged with many hundreds more, I’d like to think that I know a thing or two about what makes a blog tick.

So what makes a Blog tick?

COMMUNITY makes a blog tick.

Always has, always will.

What’s a writer without an audience? A common group with shared interests and ideals? As a writer, or group of writers looking to cultivate connection, community is everything

If you examine most popular Blog sites these day, the best part is the comments, the feedback from the community and the interactions between those community members. It is often a vibrant, unchecked space, where elves and trolls wrangle attitude and ideas with gusto and hilarity.

Unfortunately in most blog sites, the potential for these interactions is limited, mainly due to the constraints of the platform (usually Wordpress).

Once someone has gone to the trouble of signing up to your blog to make a comment, why not engage with them fully? Give them a real identity and find ways for them to interact with your content and each other that continues to develop engagement and value. All the power of social media,on your blog.

Where the opportunity lies is for Blogging platforms to evolve into social communities. Harnessing the power of the Blog to engage and educate an audience around a shared passion or values and the magic of a social community to explore the full potential of an engaged aspirational, learning community.

We are planning a new UNA app, called Music. General setup is to be similar to what Soundcloud does, but we'd love to hear more ideas and feedback on what would you like to see in the UNA app?

We're about to release an update with a few new modules, optimisations, UX improvements and a UI components. Can't wait. 

... 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

Which one do you think is better - comments with cards...Or comments without cards, but with a highlight on-hover...Please comment with reasons for your choice. Thank you!

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.
 
19 votes (47.5%)
Pure contentEditable standard browser tools.
 
7 votes (17.5%)
Pure Markdown or BBcode
 
3 votes (7.5%)
Editor based on contentEditable with WYSIWYG-style interface.
 
7 votes (17.5%)
WYSIWYG editor.
 
4 votes (10%)

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

Circle
 
33 votes (58.93%)
Square
 
9 votes (16.07%)
Rounded Square
 
14 votes (25%)

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

User experience improvement
 
16 votes (45.71%)
Performance and loading speed
 
4 votes (11.43%)
More features and apps
 
13 votes (37.14%)
Studio settings improvements
 
1 votes (2.86%)
Easier on-boarding & configuration workflow
 
1 votes (2.86%)
Other (leave comment)
 
0 votes (0%)

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

Discussions (asynchronous; public or group; committed subject).
 
6 votes (16.22%)
Conversations (asynchronous; private or group; variable subject).
 
5 votes (13.51%)
Messenger (synchronous or delayed; private, group or public; spontaneous or no subject).
 
22 votes (59.46%)
Comments (asynchronous; public; committed subject).
 
4 votes (10.81%)