Mark Purser

COO at UNA Inc. Passionate about digital connections since the beginning.Talk to me about your projects and inspiration. 

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Autonomous Vehicles are the Future, UNA is the Future - it's only natural that at some point these 2 should connect... 

Greetings from UNA Inc Central East Asia Office, Lakey Peak, Sumbawa, Indonesia

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Reposted Andrew Boon's post.

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! 

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This is interesting....🤔

“Facebook reportedly planning virtual currency that could be used to pay users to share posts...”

Reposted Mark Purser's post.

Earlier this week, Andrew and I sat down to recap on our discussions thus far in the planning on Online.Me

It was an interesting conversation and we covered a lot of ground - a lot of the content discussed will be relevant to anyone who is planning to build a Social Community website. There is 14 minutes of pow wow in total so I've broken it into 2 parts.

In the first video we discuss the scope of Online.Me - what we want it to be, what it won't be and some idea of the planned functionality.

In the next video we get into an interesting tangent about intuitive design for social media, and how we are seeking to emulate natural socialisation patterns in an Online Social Community environment. We also recap on the planned functionality for Online.Me - ie. using Individual Profiles and Groups functions with a limited range of post types, but based around standard posts and including events.

In re-watching this I realised that it is a little ambiguous, we state that Online.Me will not be a dedicated photo or video sharing site, but Online.Me WILL include the capacity to publish and share videos and photos, it just won't be built around these single use formats.

Earlier this week, Andrew and I sat down to recap on our discussions thus far in the planning on Online.Me

It was an interesting conversation and we covered a lot of ground - a lot of the content discussed will be relevant to anyone who is planning to build a Social Community website. There is 14 minutes of pow wow in total so I've broken it into 2 parts.

In the first video we discuss the scope of Online.Me - what we want it to be, what it won't be and some idea of the planned functionality.

In the next video we get into an interesting tangent about intuitive design for social media, and how we are seeking to emulate natural socialisation patterns in an Online Social Community environment. We also recap on the planned functionality for Online.Me - ie. using Individual Profiles and Groups functions with a limited range of post types, but based around standard posts and including events.

In re-watching this I realised that it is a little ambiguous, we state that Online.Me will not be a dedicated photo or video sharing site, but Online.Me WILL include the capacity to publish and share videos and photos, it just won't be built around these single use formats.

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This is great - a brilliant spin on the niche social community. Environments that involve community networking, skill development and creativity expression are definitely the shining lights in the future of social web. 

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We have reached a critical point with the development of UNA, where we have our V9 GM1 update poised to go and then we are going to be able to dramatically increase the functionality of the UNA platform. 

The UNA.io website has been struggling a little to fulfil a number of roles, working as a shopfront/marketplace for UNA, being the hub for the support community, as well trying to showcase the potential of many of the UNA features. Many of you have probably experienced (and expressed!)  some frustration with the UNA.io site - as it can be somewhat confusing, with too much functionality packed into the one platform, it can be hard to understand what it is supposed to be doing, and as such it is not the best demonstration of the potential of UNA Platform. With UNA.io in its current configuration it seems that we can't see the forest for the trees.

As we often tell people who are building with UNA - focus on doing one thing, and do that really well. UNA has the potential to build the next Instagram, Ebay, Tinder, Moodle, Twitter or Facebook - UNA is a platform that can be configured to build any or all of these styles of solutions, but we need to have clean examples of each instance, rather than one platform trying to be all of these things.

Online.Me has always been part of the strategy to create an social community based on the UNA Platform. As such it will be fully functioned as a Facebook look-a-like, (although we won't be selling your data :) Online.Me will be a site demonstrating one potential configuration for UNA, you will be able to simply and easily purchase the Solution Package similar to Online.Me, as a base configuration that you can then evolve into your own designs. In time there will be multiple pre-configured UNA solutions available, probably a for a Customer Community site, a Dating Site package and a Learning Management System.

But first things first, here comes Online.Me

As part of our mandate to demonstrate just how simple the journey of building with UNA can be, we are going to Blog and make some instructional videos throughout the build, creating a series of videos documenting the journey and instructing others how they can do the same.

We are starting now, so watch this space, more to come really soon!

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Opinion: There Shouldn't Be a 'Next Facebook'

As consumers, we’re already clamoring for a simpler solution. Sooner rather than later, I hope, we’ll move away from centralized social networks that exploit our attention span for advertisers.

Ideally, we’d share social media over a non-profit decentralized platform maintained through open source code. I have no idea what this magical decentralized way of engaging with each other and sharing media will look like. But I’m confident a generation that’s grown up on social media networks and modern technology will figure it out.

I have to believe there’s a better way of bringing people together than giving our privacy away to companies that literally research and develop ways to be more addicting to us. We deserve all the good that Facebook and other centralized social networks do — but not at the price we’re paying....

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