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why most Forums look like Mickey Mouse collections...

erich37

Well-known member
#1
O.K., I know I am shocking you guys now, but I think that most Forums all over the internet look like a collection of "Mickey Mouse Communities".


Why?
Because most users are using Avatars which are showing ficticious characters like comics, cats and other funny images.
Go and have a look for yourself at Memberlists of various Forums.


So why are users not using their REAL personal image at Forums, but are using their REAL personal photo at websites like Facebook or Pinterest, etc.?


IMHO, the answer is very simple:
Privacy



Background:
My Forum-posts are currently not getting indexed by Search-Engines as I am hiding the Forum-posts from guests just to respect the "Privacy" (mainly the "Real Personal Photo") of my members.
I am currently also hiding my "Member List" and "Recent Activity", etc. from Guests and Search-Engines due to this reason.

If I open-up my Forum and Forum-posts to be visible to guests as well, then many members will not upload their "Real Personal Photo" as Avatar, but will use "Mickey-Mouse-Avatars" instead of their real photo.

I would like to show the thread-content..... but I do not want to show the "Real Personal User Photo" of my members to guests.

If a Member chooses to hide his "Profile", it should also hide his "Real Personal Photo" at the "Membercard" and also within threads at Forum-posts.


This is my biggest issue with Forums, as I am currently hiding my Forum-content from guests because I need to hide "Real Personal User Photos" from guests.
And hiding Forum-content from guests and search-engines has an adverse effect regarding SEO as all of you very well know.
Just because I want to respect the "Privacy" of my members by not exposing their "Real Personal Photo" when they choose to hide their Profile from guests, I need to hide content from Search-Engines and guests?



Suggestion:
Show "default avatars" to guests or better yet provide an image-path for a special Avatar-image which says "Photo visible to Registered Members only". So not showing the default-Avatar, but a specific Avatar-image for which an image-path could be defined in ACP. Optionally to be defined by the specific webmaster in ACP.



Conclusion:
"Mickey-Mouse Avatars" instead of "Real Personal Photos" might be fine for technology-related Forums, but are counter-productive for e.g.: Business-related Forums or Matchmaking-Forums.
And many users want to protect their Privacy and not show their "Real Personal Photo" to guests or have their "Real Personal Photo" spread all over the internet....

For personal-related Forums and for Forums which want to have a more personal-touch at which members want to see the real photo of other members (especially Private Forums and Closed Communities), such an option would be beneficial.



What is your opinion?
:)




Disclaimer:
The term "Mickey Mouse" is a trademark of "The Walt Disney Company" and used in this thread for fictitious reference and comparison only.


:coffee:
 

Sheldon

Well-known member
#3
I think because in a forum, you can be whoever you want to be. Same with Facebook / Twitter really. The only exception is the majority of the people they know in real life are on their, and they want to be social with them in that way.

If that is the case, don't allow anything except real names, with verification, etc... I don't think the privacy bit has much to do with it.
 

erich37

Well-known member
#5
I think because in a forum, you can be whoever you want to be. Same with Facebook / Twitter really. The only exception is the majority of the people they know in real life are on their, and they want to be social with them in that way.

If that is the case, don't allow anything except real names, with verification, etc... I don't think the privacy bit has much to do with it.
I am not talking about "real names"........

:coffee:
 

Flexin

Active member
#6
I disagree. You are right to a point but some like to hide on the internet. With Facebook its mostly friends or friends of friends so you don't do that. I have been on facebook accounts that have no pictures of that person. Normally that person isn't happy with the way they look.

I have always used my own pictures for my avatars. Its just my choice.

As far as forum privacy goes, its very easy to sign up to most forums. This can be done for free as well so I don't see how that helps anything. Some people just don't want to be themselves on forums or don't want to show themselves to certain people.

If you have it show to members only it will still look "Micky Mouse" to guest.

James
 

erich37

Well-known member
#9
just because this thread has a somewhat "provocative" title..... does not mean it is "Off Topic".

Exactly vice versa, this is very much a "General Discussion" and also a "Suggestion" totally dedicated to the global strategy of Forums and the inner psychology of how Forums work.

Also, "User Privacy" is not an "Off Topic".


:cool:
 

DRE

Well-known member
#10
Most of the actively posting members on my forum have their picture on their avatar so this does not apply to my site.

The main reason why is because most of my members came from a Hot or Not Rating site.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#11
just because this thread has a somewhat "provocative" title..... does not mean it is "Off Topic".

Exactly vice versa, this is very much a "General Discussion" and also a "Suggestion" totally dedicated to the global strategy of Forums and the inner psychology of how Forums work.

Also, "User Privacy" is not an "Off Topic".


:cool:
This is not a XenForo related issue, therefore this is the correct forum for it.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
#12
I don't mind avatars from cartoons or landscape photos or whatever. It's enough to give more of an ID than just the username.
However I do find it a trial when people change their avatar.

Sounds like the OP has a good case for getting an addon made which masks avatars with a generic one to unreg. viewers.
Then certain forums could be made public perhaps while others stay private.
I wouldn't expect widespread interest to make this a core request.
 

DRE

Well-known member
#13
There is nothing in xenforo that encourages members to add an avatar. They need to add a default trophy for it.

To do so you gotta install another addon then create an extension of that addon just to do so.
 

Teapot

Well-known member
#14
There is nothing in xenforo that encourages members to add an avatar. They need to add a default trophy for it.

To do so you gotta install another addon then create an extension of that addon just to do so.
Would it be handy if I quickly knocked up a plugin to add a "Has a trophy" criteria? It'd mostly be just me putting together Chris' tutorial and releasing it, which I hope he wouldn't mind.
 

DRE

Well-known member
#15
Would it be handy if I quickly knocked up a plugin to add a "Has a trophy" criteria? It'd mostly be just me putting together Chris' tutorial and releasing it, which I hope he wouldn't mind.
A trophy for having a trophy? No. A trophy for having an avatar? Hell yeah!
 

Kim

Well-known member
#16
IPB used to have two image offerings per user.

The Avatar, and the Profile Picture.

Not sure if they still do or not tbh, I know it drove Matt crazy having the two, I recall him saying he would like to kill off one of them.
 

Jason

Well-known member
#20
I can recall seeing far more people using their actual photo when I first started posting here, though that was probably because KAM did, and us early adopters followed suit. As more people have joined, so has your usual run-of-the-mill avatars.

I don't think it has much to do with privacy. Facebook & Co. have shown that privacy online isn't a primary concern for most. Rather, as someone else mentioned, it probably has more to do with people wanting to take on an alter ago when posting to forums. That's much easier to do if people don't know who you are.

That, and some people just don't like the way they look, for whatever reason. Then you have those who are just flat out not photogenic and know it. :)