Meta February 19, 2020

Has something happened to profiles?

Mick @Primer

My "bio" is crazy looking this morning @csallen

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    @csallen this was my profile:

    I've been through the startup and side project mill several times now, with companies that have secured investment upwards of £25million, as well as bootstrapped startups.

    Currently I'm co-founder of a company that has secured well into 6 figures in investment (GetFed) and solo founder of SongBox, which is bootstrapped and just about profitable.

    No matter what level of investment you have - it is always (very) hard.

    I'm a product specialist 1st and developer second. I built SongBox and GetFed from scratch using the Laravel framework and my host of choice is Heroku.

    If any advice I've offered on here has helped you out Buy Me a Coffee


    Here are some tools I use to help me bootstrap projects:

    An app that automatically chases up failed payments in Stripe. Free to use up to a good level.

    Amazing color gradients that are ready to cut and paste.

    The best payments processor ever.

    Build powerful, stable and secure web apps lightning fast.

    Deployment to the cloud as easy as pushing a branch

    Programmable SMS messages via a magnificent API.

    Live chat that's as good as Intercom, and free.

    Effective and free web builder; used for very quick landing pages.

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    He made some changes. Define crazy?

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      All the formatting is gone. I now just have one big block of text. No paragraph breaks, the markup syntax is visible, all links now just plain text.

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        Some explanations:

        • I stripped Markdown from bios because it was largely just abused by spammers, and few IHers actually navigate to profiles and click links.
        • I made bios shorter to encourage concision. IMHO you can still express quite a lot, but ofc not every thing you've ever done, every tool, etc.
        • Both of the above changes should allow me to show bios elsewhere on the site, in context, where more people will see them.
        • That said, it's possible I'll bring back longer, richer bios at some point, especially if the new changes don't discourage spam at all. What's more likely is that I'll just add the ability for you to put more info into the sidebar on the right. For example, maybe you could post links there, tools you use, etc. I'm open to suggestions. Right now it just shows products (useful) and people you follow (kind of useless).
        • Your history tab is still available. It's also the default view people who click your profile will see, assuming you don't have any featured posts.

        The main point of profiles going forward is showcasing featured posts. I want profiles to contribute to making IH better as a whole, and what makes IH better is people making high-quality posts that they're proud of. But there's been little incentive or directive to do so.

        In fact, I'd say the previous profiles disincentivized people to do that. Having a reverse chronological history/feed of every single thing you've written, including comments and questions, isn't exactly something people want to show off and link to from other sties, since it's not curated enough.

        You'd be better off writing your best posts elsewhere (Medium, your own blog, etc.) since investing in writing on IH was somewhat pointless. The new profiles should change that.

        Anyway, sorry about getting rid of links and long bios for the time being. I know it's somewhat of a jarring change for those of us who had long profiles. Open to ideas about features for the sidebar!

        EDIT: Another thing that's somewhat confusing is that when you go to your notifications or settings, you don't see a link for your profile, and vice versa: when viewing your profile, you don't see a link for your notifications or settings. That's because I'm planning on splitting out notifications and settings into entirely different pages. They're only temporarily residing within the container of your profile page.

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          Cheers for the detailed response. Looks like have a strong vision which is awesome. Looking forward to see where it goes.

          Defo miss the long profile though :-(

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            Just added link support back for anyone with >= 50 point. We'll see about long profiles… perhaps I could have two fields, one for a short profile and one for a long one. Quora kind of does something similar, where you can have a short tagline for yourself. But we'll see. I want to give it at least a week or two to see how the short profiles play out, especially among new signups who won't have the same "what happened to my profile" loss aversion. 😝

            Do you still have the text from your old profile? If so, would you mind sharing it here? I'm curious to know what you're sharing on your profile that you feel strongly about! Ideally I can make profiles as good as possible in every way with minimal sacrifices…

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              Haha great - and yeah I do actually. I copied and pasted it into a text document but it's on my work computer. I can email you it or put it here tomorrow. Which would suit you best?

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        This is pretty much what has been changed, if you go into edit it there is some info about how to use the profile section.

        What are your thoughts on it?

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          Ugh ok so I just went back to make the changes and there is also an undeclared character limit. I only got into like 3 sentences and was forced to stop typing.

          My bio has gone from a fairly rich piece with links to tools I use and the products I've been a part of, to being now "I like to build things" because there isn't scope to write anything more meaningful than that.

          Also where has the "history" tab gone?

          Definitely a step backwards in my opinion, but as I said, not my site so it is what it is.

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          Ah ok I see.

          Yeah, so not a fan, but it's not my site so that's life I suppose.

          I thought the profile was becoming really good and could have evolved into "the" place for makers to state their online presence. it seems to have been minimised now.