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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The following three "tricks" took me 17 years to discover, but it will only take you 5 minutes to learn. Your understanding of what makes a community tick will be better forever.
These fundamental principles apply to building a thriving community, regardless of what technology or medium you choose.... see more I know because we failed in every one of them many times over. And from failure, you learn. 
Focus on Just One Thing
A community is a group of people united by a common trait, need, interest or preference. Importantly, it includes notions of belonging and exclusivity. A strong community requires unity. Unity is formed when the common purpose is distinct, undiluted and constantly reinforced.  
At the same time, everyone is unique in their own special way. People's personalities, their beliefs, ideas, physical characters can all never be the same. Humans are incredibly diverse, each representing unique combination of likes and dislikes.
As a community leader, you have to make the hard choice and stick to it.
Say, you are operating a restaurant, and these are the locals:
Bob, Sue and Tam make up a great Pizzarians community. You start as a Pizza Parlour. Remember this:
Tim doesn't belong to Pizarrians, and it's OK. Let Tim be. Don't add prawns to your menu to please Tim. He won't be happy anyway because he doesn't like pizza. If you do, then Bob, Sue and Tam wouldn't feel special about your place anymore, and Sue would feel downright upset.
Don't overdo any particular music style. Or don't add any music at all. Some will like it, some won't. It's like adding prawns.
It may be very tempting to add a football watching experience to complement your offer, but providing a variety reduces affinity. Suddenly they may not feel like your place is special and "best" in doing what it does.
The best bet is to focus on Just One Thing - pizza.
Welcoming Attitude
Affinity starts from that feeling that part of us is invested in the community, that we have a right to belong and feel welcome.
There are so many ways to say "Hi!". You can send a quick message or a video, or just leave a comment on their timeline. Even something as simple as "add to friends" on your site or connecting via an external social network works wonders. In time, many become friends and form the foundation for the future greatness.
Engaging everyone will become increasingly difficult as your membership base grows, but there is a trick. Whenever you can, go and say "Hi" to the ACTIVE members. For example, if you're operating a UNA-based site, there's a tab for Active profiles. Check those often and make sure to greet people you haven't greeted yet. 
The practice of being welcoming and accommodating will catch on with the rest of the community and eventually you'll see your core group greeting newcomers. Pure magic.
Shared Influence
Everyone longs for recognition. That sense that we have some say and that our perspectives are appreciated and respected. When our input influences decisions and shows in the resulting product (or state of the community), we feel strong connection. 
Imagine for a moment that you are shopping for a new car. You like some fancy new Volvo except the wheels design feels wrong. In passing you tell the dealer - "Hey, I wish those rims had five Y-shape spokes with black sides". And the dealer goes - "Wow, interesting idea! I'll pass it on to our design team."
What would be the result of such experience?
You feel heard and appreciated.
A problem you pointed out becomes a discussion topic instead of a show-stopper. 
If you ever see those rims in production - Volvo would have won a customer for life.
The world is full of incredibly creative and intelligent people, and most of them love sharing what they know or think. You don't have to follow every advice. Just listen and let them know that you listen. Use the best ideas to advance your core offering and make sure to give credit for them. 
Voila! Three tenets to remember.
  • 2
  • 7
In the current version of Jot Messenger, the Categories menu is accessible from the top-left menu icon.
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
Decorous on Android
Jot 2 UI sneak-a-peek
  • 2
  • 3
Interesting. Video streaming is far too complicated and resource-intensive for server-side software to handle. Common standards, browser support and adoption by hardware vendors would make a great difference.
  • 1
  • 3
Finally, we have the v9 package with all the planned improvements in place. From this point and up to the final release we will not be adding any new features, concentrating on making everything 100% production-ready, fixing any problematic issues and improving performance. In other words, the final... see more v9 release is coming very soon!
UNA 9.0.0 RC-1
If you're running a Beta5 and have automatic updates turned on, the RC-1 will be applied to your site automagically. 
Geeks among you may jump right to the UNA release page at Github for the downloadable packages and referenced list of changes.
The v9rc adds a long list of improvements, including some very exciting and substantial new features, apps, core updates, and fixes. I've made a short video to highlight just a few that are easy to show, but please make sure to examine the whole list of changes below to get the whole picture. 
New apps
 "Jot Messenger" module
"Decorous" template 
"ElasticSearch" module 
"Dolphin Connect" module 
"Shopify" integration module 
"Snipcart" integration module 
System enhancements
Extended search feature to allow to make custom search forms integrated into Forms Builder 
Statistics charts 
Member menu redesign and reorganization 
Notifications cards in real-time 
Automatic real-time updates for notification counters 
Allow multiple login sessions for one profile 
Page load optimization 
"Subscribe" was renamed to "Follow" 
Iframely integration 
Content Info engine 
When users became friends, they are following each other now 
PHP 7.1 compatibility 
"Powered by" link in footer menu 
Different Dashboard page layout 
Compact view for social login buttons 
"Add to mobile homepage" widget 
Localized modules names 
"Receive Newsletters" field was added on join form by default 
Unique HTML IDs for pages 
Twitter cards support 
Links detection in regular text fields 
Allow passing UNA key&secret during install from command line 
Option to specify default profile module to redirect to after join 
Operator can not delete their own profile anymore 
Auto-generated documentation restructurisation 
Forms: allow to specify up to 63 values in multiple select fields 
Forms: functionality to mark field as unique in Forms Builder 
Forms: flag for predefined lists to disable adding new items 
Forms: make date fields to work properly with dates before 1970 
Forms: make editable 'visibility' and 'location' fields in different modules 
Grids: search optimization and fixes 
Studio: apps market improvements 
Studio: search in Storefront 
Modules enhancements
Persons/Orgs/Events/Groups: comments block (disabled by default) 
Persons/Organizations: "location" field 
Persons/Organizations: action to delete account with content from profile 
Persons/Organizations: different redirect options after profile creation 
Persons/Organizations: show who follows you and who you are following 
Events/Groups: option to specify searchable fields 
Events/Groups: separate block with admins 
Events/Groups: TinyMCE area for "description" fields 
Timeline: improvements to make work similar to other social networks 
Notifications: module restructurization 
Contact: option  to send messages from sender's email on "Contact Us" form 
Discussions: show main post time 
Discussions: search in comments 
Discussions: new design for attachments 
Market: associated products 
Payments: Subscriptions management for site admin 
Antispam: checking for disposable email domains 
Connect modules: option to set default privacy for created profiles 
OAuth2: "password" grant type for  API requests 
OAuth2: don't suggest to select profile when there is one profile only 
Developer: allow to edit/delete menu items 
Paid Levels: allow to add zero price level, so members can switch for free to some particular level 
Most important fixes
Fixes in Payments routine 
Fixing privacy checking in comments 
Timeline outline block in groups/event wasn't displayed 
Popup wasn't positioned properly sometimes 
Problem with dollar($) sign escaping was fixed 
When script was installed from command line system files weren't hashed 
Free products weren't downloadable 
Unconfirmed member level wasn't always correctly detected 
Files module couldn't be downloaded via Studio Storefront 
What's Next
Getting to this RC stage is a critical point for the entire UNA project. We had to hold off with documentation updates, tutorials and some of the provisioning changes until we have the feature final package. Now we can let things happen a lot faster, a lot more often and you'll be reading, watching, listening to something from us very frequently now. 
Stay tuned!
  • 22
  • 11
No editor, just plain text.
 
13 votes (54.17%)
Pure contentEditable standard browser tools.
 
2 votes (8.33%)
Pure Markdown or BBcode
 
3 votes (12.5%)
Editor based on contentEditable with WYSIWYG-style interface.
 
4 votes (16.67%)
WYSIWYG editor.
 
2 votes (8.33%)
... or jump to: 2016
My Discussions
Empty
Profile Feed
The following three "tricks" took me 17 years to discover, but it will only take you 5 minutes to learn. Your understanding of what makes a community tick will be better forever.
These fundamental principles apply to building a thriving community, regardless of what technology or medium you choose.... see more I know because we failed in every one of them many times over. And from failure, you learn. 
Focus on Just One Thing
A community is a group of people united by a common trait, need, interest or preference. Importantly, it includes notions of belonging and exclusivity. A strong community requires unity. Unity is formed when the common purpose is distinct, undiluted and constantly reinforced.  
At the same time, everyone is unique in their own special way. People's personalities, their beliefs, ideas, physical characters can all never be the same. Humans are incredibly diverse, each representing unique combination of likes and dislikes.
As a community leader, you have to make the hard choice and stick to it.
Say, you are operating a restaurant, and these are the locals:
Bob, Sue and Tam make up a great Pizzarians community. You start as a Pizza Parlour. Remember this:
Tim doesn't belong to Pizarrians, and it's OK. Let Tim be. Don't add prawns to your menu to please Tim. He won't be happy anyway because he doesn't like pizza. If you do, then Bob, Sue and Tam wouldn't feel special about your place anymore, and Sue would feel downright upset.
Don't overdo any particular music style. Or don't add any music at all. Some will like it, some won't. It's like adding prawns.
It may be very tempting to add a football watching experience to complement your offer, but providing a variety reduces affinity. Suddenly they may not feel like your place is special and "best" in doing what it does.
The best bet is to focus on Just One Thing - pizza.
Welcoming Attitude
Affinity starts from that feeling that part of us is invested in the community, that we have a right to belong and feel welcome.
There are so many ways to say "Hi!". You can send a quick message or a video, or just leave a comment on their timeline. Even something as simple as "add to friends" on your site or connecting via an external social network works wonders. In time, many become friends and form the foundation for the future greatness.
Engaging everyone will become increasingly difficult as your membership base grows, but there is a trick. Whenever you can, go and say "Hi" to the ACTIVE members. For example, if you're operating a UNA-based site, there's a tab for Active profiles. Check those often and make sure to greet people you haven't greeted yet. 
The practice of being welcoming and accommodating will catch on with the rest of the community and eventually you'll see your core group greeting newcomers. Pure magic.
Shared Influence
Everyone longs for recognition. That sense that we have some say and that our perspectives are appreciated and respected. When our input influences decisions and shows in the resulting product (or state of the community), we feel strong connection. 
Imagine for a moment that you are shopping for a new car. You like some fancy new Volvo except the wheels design feels wrong. In passing you tell the dealer - "Hey, I wish those rims had five Y-shape spokes with black sides". And the dealer goes - "Wow, interesting idea! I'll pass it on to our design team."
What would be the result of such experience?
You feel heard and appreciated.
A problem you pointed out becomes a discussion topic instead of a show-stopper. 
If you ever see those rims in production - Volvo would have won a customer for life.
The world is full of incredibly creative and intelligent people, and most of them love sharing what they know or think. You don't have to follow every advice. Just listen and let them know that you listen. Use the best ideas to advance your core offering and make sure to give credit for them. 
Voila! Three tenets to remember.
  • 2
  • 7
In the current version of Jot Messenger, the Categories menu is accessible from the top-left menu icon.
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
Decorous on Android
Jot 2 UI sneak-a-peek
  • 2
  • 3
Interesting. Video streaming is far too complicated and resource-intensive for server-side software to handle. Common standards, browser support and adoption by hardware vendors would make a great difference.
  • 1
  • 3
Finally, we have the v9 package with all the planned improvements in place. From this point and up to the final release we will not be adding any new features, concentrating on making everything 100% production-ready, fixing any problematic issues and improving performance. In other words, the final... see more v9 release is coming very soon!
UNA 9.0.0 RC-1
If you're running a Beta5 and have automatic updates turned on, the RC-1 will be applied to your site automagically. 
Geeks among you may jump right to the UNA release page at Github for the downloadable packages and referenced list of changes.
The v9rc adds a long list of improvements, including some very exciting and substantial new features, apps, core updates, and fixes. I've made a short video to highlight just a few that are easy to show, but please make sure to examine the whole list of changes below to get the whole picture. 
New apps
 "Jot Messenger" module
"Decorous" template 
"ElasticSearch" module 
"Dolphin Connect" module 
"Shopify" integration module 
"Snipcart" integration module 
System enhancements
Extended search feature to allow to make custom search forms integrated into Forms Builder 
Statistics charts 
Member menu redesign and reorganization 
Notifications cards in real-time 
Automatic real-time updates for notification counters 
Allow multiple login sessions for one profile 
Page load optimization 
"Subscribe" was renamed to "Follow" 
Iframely integration 
Content Info engine 
When users became friends, they are following each other now 
PHP 7.1 compatibility 
"Powered by" link in footer menu 
Different Dashboard page layout 
Compact view for social login buttons 
"Add to mobile homepage" widget 
Localized modules names 
"Receive Newsletters" field was added on join form by default 
Unique HTML IDs for pages 
Twitter cards support 
Links detection in regular text fields 
Allow passing UNA key&secret during install from command line 
Option to specify default profile module to redirect to after join 
Operator can not delete their own profile anymore 
Auto-generated documentation restructurisation 
Forms: allow to specify up to 63 values in multiple select fields 
Forms: functionality to mark field as unique in Forms Builder 
Forms: flag for predefined lists to disable adding new items 
Forms: make date fields to work properly with dates before 1970 
Forms: make editable 'visibility' and 'location' fields in different modules 
Grids: search optimization and fixes 
Studio: apps market improvements 
Studio: search in Storefront 
Modules enhancements
Persons/Orgs/Events/Groups: comments block (disabled by default) 
Persons/Organizations: "location" field 
Persons/Organizations: action to delete account with content from profile 
Persons/Organizations: different redirect options after profile creation 
Persons/Organizations: show who follows you and who you are following 
Events/Groups: option to specify searchable fields 
Events/Groups: separate block with admins 
Events/Groups: TinyMCE area for "description" fields 
Timeline: improvements to make work similar to other social networks 
Notifications: module restructurization 
Contact: option  to send messages from sender's email on "Contact Us" form 
Discussions: show main post time 
Discussions: search in comments 
Discussions: new design for attachments 
Market: associated products 
Payments: Subscriptions management for site admin 
Antispam: checking for disposable email domains 
Connect modules: option to set default privacy for created profiles 
OAuth2: "password" grant type for  API requests 
OAuth2: don't suggest to select profile when there is one profile only 
Developer: allow to edit/delete menu items 
Paid Levels: allow to add zero price level, so members can switch for free to some particular level 
Most important fixes
Fixes in Payments routine 
Fixing privacy checking in comments 
Timeline outline block in groups/event wasn't displayed 
Popup wasn't positioned properly sometimes 
Problem with dollar($) sign escaping was fixed 
When script was installed from command line system files weren't hashed 
Free products weren't downloadable 
Unconfirmed member level wasn't always correctly detected 
Files module couldn't be downloaded via Studio Storefront 
What's Next
Getting to this RC stage is a critical point for the entire UNA project. We had to hold off with documentation updates, tutorials and some of the provisioning changes until we have the feature final package. Now we can let things happen a lot faster, a lot more often and you'll be reading, watching, listening to something from us very frequently now. 
Stay tuned!
  • 22
  • 11
No editor, just plain text.
 
13 votes (54.17%)
Pure contentEditable standard browser tools.
 
2 votes (8.33%)
Pure Markdown or BBcode
 
3 votes (12.5%)
Editor based on contentEditable with WYSIWYG-style interface.
 
4 votes (16.67%)
WYSIWYG editor.
 
2 votes (8.33%)
... or jump to: 2016
Info
Full Name:
Andrew Boon
Membership

Premium

My Posts
My Albums

Quick tests, examples and greetings.

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

Tutorials

· Andrew Boon
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

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

· 5 comments · Andrew Boon · View Results

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

· 4 comments · Andrew Boon · View Poll
No editor, just plain text.
 
13 votes (54.17%)
Pure contentEditable standard browser tools.
 
2 votes (8.33%)
Pure Markdown or BBcode
 
3 votes (12.5%)
Editor based on contentEditable with WYSIWYG-style interface.
 
4 votes (16.67%)
WYSIWYG editor.
 
2 votes (8.33%)

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

· 0 comments · Andrew Boon · View Poll
Circle
 
8 votes (38.1%)
Square
 
5 votes (23.81%)
Rounded Square
 
8 votes (38.1%)

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

· 2 comments · Andrew Boon · View Poll
User experience improvement
 
14 votes (48.28%)
Performance and loading speed
 
2 votes (6.9%)
More features and apps
 
11 votes (37.93%)
Studio settings improvements
 
1 votes (3.45%)
Easier on-boarding & configuration workflow
 
1 votes (3.45%)
Other (leave comment)
 
0 votes (0%)

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

· 3 comments · Andrew Boon · View Poll
Discussions (asynchronous; public or group; committed subject).
 
4 votes (18.18%)
Conversations (asynchronous; private or group; variable subject).
 
2 votes (9.09%)
Messenger (synchronous or delayed; private, group or public; spontaneous or no subject).
 
14 votes (63.64%)
Comments (asynchronous; public; committed subject).
 
2 votes (9.09%)