New Blurbs in Profiles January 27, 2001 3:47 AM   Subscribe

I added a simple addition to user profiles, for a blurb about ourselves, and I hope everyone uses it. I threw together a question about usernames and getting started on the internet.

I find usernames (especially unusual ones) often have an odd story behind them, and people's first experiences with the internet are sometimes funny, sometimes interesting.

I spilled my guts, now you go spill yours.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 3:47 AM (44 comments total)

by the way, post links to your profile here if you take advantage of this, I'd love to know more about the people behind the weird usernames.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:17 AM on January 27, 2001


I tried, but I can't save the changes. Here's the error that occured twice:

Error Diagnostic Information
An error occurred while evaluating the expression:
#form.underlines#
Error near line 34, column 15.
Error resolving parameter FORM.UNDERLINES
The specified form field cannot be found. This problem is very likely due to the fact that you have misspelled the form field name.
The error occurred while processing an element with a general identifier of (#form.underlines#), occupying document position (34:14) to (34:30).
Date/Time: 01/27/01 06:25:03

posted by holloway at 6:26 AM on January 27, 2001


OK, it works when you select a radio option (Opera, by default, doesn't).

Opera? hate it.
posted by holloway at 6:32 AM on January 27, 2001


Boom. Cool feature, Matt.
posted by hijinx at 7:58 AM on January 27, 2001


Cool feature. Here's mine.

Matt, I discovered that you can't quote attribute strings of any html you use in the blurb field, because it converts all " to & quot ; which of course doesn't work. I just removed the quotes and it works fine, BUT NOW THERE IS INVALID HTML ON MY PROFILE PAGE. What will people think when they view source?
posted by ericost at 8:57 AM on January 27, 2001


on it.
posted by Sean Meade at 11:03 AM on January 27, 2001


Damn eric. I wanted to know what the heck "glish" meant. Why isn't your username glish?!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:28 AM on January 27, 2001


The story of "glish" is a stupid tale. More than anything I was seduced by a 5 letter .com still available in '99 that could actually pose for a real word. But I end up hating all the username/identity words I choose for myself...
posted by ericost at 11:36 AM on January 27, 2001


fixed that quotation thing. it's good now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:41 AM on January 27, 2001


My guts
posted by tomorama at 12:24 PM on January 27, 2001


Done.
Matt, you just keep making things better and better.
You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.
posted by Markb at 12:51 PM on January 27, 2001


Can I play, too?

You know, the wonders never cease. How do you manage it while still holding down a day job, Matt?
posted by mkhall at 2:41 PM on January 27, 2001


Yay, fun. Boring though my version always seems to me, I dearly love to read this kind of stuff about everyone else.
posted by redfoxtail at 4:08 PM on January 27, 2001


Here we go... I guess that covers a lot :)
posted by TNLNYC at 5:58 PM on January 27, 2001


Matt, as much as I'm one for asking personal questions, it seems to me that the ability to add a little text to a user page is a welcome addition. But why make the user write about just one topic? I'd rather just say hi and do the typical "bio" thing. And when I read someone's comment and want to know more about them, I'd rather hear what they have to say about themselves, not their nickname.

Granted, I love the idea of asking people about their nickname, but I'd rather see that happen as a thread here in metatalk.

Just my two cents. Either way, it's a welcome addition!
posted by fraying at 6:03 PM on January 27, 2001


Oh tristan, you don't have use P tags, you can just hit return and let the db do the spacing work for you.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:04 PM on January 27, 2001


Yeah Derek, I was thinking of instead asking several questions (nickname? your start? your bio?) and then filling in the questions for each thing they answered, but it was late, and I was lazy, so I just made one big field in the user database to handle a free form thing. I could topicize it and add bio info, depending on what users want to add.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:07 PM on January 27, 2001


Here's mine...
posted by riffola at 6:53 PM on January 27, 2001


Actually Derek, I thought about it, and prefer the questions I asked for a few reasons.

Getting people to write about themselves and share in an anonymous setting is hard. Asking them to fill out a bio wouldn't be easy to do. And although I'd find it somewhat interesting to hear that foo845 is a 38 year old steelworker in Toronto, and bar123 is a web designer in Los Angeles, most people cringe when you ask them to self-evaluate and tell the story of themselves. We're taught not to brag and boast, to refrain from tooting our own horns from birth, and getting past that isn't as easy as asking the right question.

But everyone carries around nostalga about their first online experiences. If they didn't, they wouldn't be on this site, they'd be hanging out on yahoo or ebay or amazon. I also noticed that at least half the people here have an interesting username I've always wanted to hear about. I've never seen a site ask users to tell that story, so I decided to. These two things are simple, specific questions that let a user reveal as much or as little about themselves as they want. I would hope that everyone takes advantage of this, not to one-up each other with the first year they used the net, but to put a story and a face behind a username.

If this is somewhat successful, I'll add more options to user's own pages, perhaps images, bios, bookmarks, location, etc. But this was a first stab at getting everyone to open up, and I hope it goes well.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:16 PM on January 27, 2001


Done and done...
posted by Avogadro at 8:21 PM on January 27, 2001


Same here. I really liked the trip down memory lane, actually... better than a "tell me a little about yourself" box where I'd feel more compelled to be witty and amusing.
posted by evixir at 8:31 PM on January 27, 2001


"palegirl" -- thanks matt, nobody ever asks me that. i guess because i'm a pale girl...
posted by palegirl at 8:38 PM on January 27, 2001


Howdy folks - would love to spill my guts to all of you, but I keep getting error messages.

I don't know if it matters, but I'm on a Mac running IE 5.

Here's the error:

Error Diagnostic Information


An error occurred while evaluating the expression:


#form.base_ref#


Error near line 35, column 14.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Error resolving parameter FORM.BASE_REF


The specified form field cannot be found. This problem is very likely due to the fact that you have misspelled the form field name.


The error occurred while processing an element with a general identifier of (#form.base_ref#), occupying document position (35:13) to (35:27).


Date/Time: 01/27/01 20:47:37
Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Mac_PowerPC)
Remote Address: 207.208.254.148
HTTP Referer: http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/customize.cfm
posted by aladfar at 8:52 PM on January 27, 2001


Ahh, the memories.. I'd post a link to it, but you can just click the little zempf right underneath this post & get there if you really care.

Are you going to be adding new questions or changing the question or anything like that? Also, I know you have that query that prints out all the users with webpages; do you think you could write one that does the same for those with updated profiles, so that one could go through the list & read everyone's story of how he got his nickname?
posted by zempf at 9:11 PM on January 27, 2001


aladfar, you ran into the same problem described by holloway above. Pick a way for links to appear before submitting the form, and I'll look into it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:40 PM on January 27, 2001


13.
I'll do it better later.
posted by thirteen at 10:00 PM on January 27, 2001


I put up mine; oddly enough, this week there was a discussion of usernames at another board I frequent. (like anyone would possibly be interested in me...)
posted by Electric Elf at 11:43 PM on January 27, 2001


Moi.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:03 AM on January 28, 2001


prol.
posted by prolific at 2:38 AM on January 28, 2001


Two day old account.
posted by gi_wrighty at 8:33 AM on January 28, 2001


Prolific: Do you still hang out with Gavin Friday? I love the Virgin Prunes.
posted by thirteen at 8:42 AM on January 28, 2001


Posted my blurb. I'm probably the least interesting person here, though.
posted by kindall at 10:33 AM on January 28, 2001


me too! me too!
posted by Tara at 10:41 AM on January 28, 2001


Matt,

OK, fixed the P tag stuff you mentionned. Great idea to have the carriage returns handled by the DB. Keep up the good work.
posted by TNLNYC at 11:36 AM on January 28, 2001


Ok, here's mine.


posted by norm at 12:47 PM on January 28, 2001


Dyma fi.
posted by ceiriog at 1:30 PM on January 28, 2001


I just automated it, here's everyone!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:50 PM on January 28, 2001


i changed mine.
posted by Sean Meade at 7:08 PM on January 28, 2001


who is sandor?
posted by sandor at 8:42 AM on January 29, 2001


Clcik the name below to see how mathowie himself changed my internet experience.
posted by Jeremy at 9:03 AM on January 31, 2001


I'm a few days late to the party, but here's me.
posted by werty at 7:25 AM on February 1, 2001


Werty, I can't believe you didn't stick with Qwerty. What were you thinking?
posted by rodii at 1:00 PM on February 1, 2001


Mine.

Excellent feature, Matt.

Chiming in late on the matter, but I agree with Matt's reasoning on this to Derek. The standard "tell us something about yourself" is just too damn open, and the urge to label myself with a quick "23, programmer, Canadian, thinks he's funny" is just too strong. Answering a specific question, I learned far more about the people who've posted in this thread than I would've otherwise.

I also said far more about my own history and a couple of little bits and pieces about myself as a result. Like Matt I love hearing about peoples' nicks, but there's never really been a place to do that unless it comes up in conversation. 'tis a truly nifty idea.
posted by cCranium at 7:31 AM on February 4, 2001


aflakete
posted by aflakete at 1:23 AM on February 8, 2001


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