We have been really busy for the past several months as we have been working concurrently on both of our projects EasyBlog 5 and EasySocial 1.3. We are pretty near to our first beta release of EasySocial 1.3. As most of you are already aware, we just pushed out the teaser for EasyBlog 5 earlier, and now I would like to take this opportunity to write about some of the features that is coming up with EasySocial 1.3
Bear in mind that these are all still a work-in-progress and are taken from a developer's environment so the GUI that you see might differs from the final product.
With EasySocial 1.3, we will be introducing Events. Users on your site would be able to create events on the site and invite their friends to participate in the events. Participant will not only have the option to set whether they are 'attending' or 'not attending' (duh!), they will also have the option to export the event to iCal. Check out the main screenshot of 'Event'.
You can also create an event directly from your sharebox. This is one of the reason why we use 'Easy' in EasySocial. :)
Apart from that, as you can see, Events with have it's own Categories, avatars, cover photo and many more. These can be set either from the front end or from the back end; which means the administrator can easily create an event from the back end. :)
As a site administrator, often you want to broadcast news to your users. With our new intuitive broadcast notifier, your users will be notified whenever you announce a new message on the stream.
This is how it will look like when your users logged in :
Broadcasted messages will be reached to all of your users regardless of whether they are in your list or not. Trust me, this is a blessing to site administrators!
2 Factor Authentication
Users on your site can now benefit from the 2-factor authentication that Joomla provides. This will provides you with a much more safer (but more strict) login method. For those who are still in the dark, the Joomla developer have developed a 2 factor notification on Joomla 3.2. It provides an additional layer of security, which creates a temporary (time-based) password which is unique to a specific username. The key gets discarded (and becomes invalid after literally a few seconds). If you don't have access to this temporary password or secret key, you won't be able to login.
Profile Completeness Module
As requested by most users that wanted to see a profile completeness module, we have also added a module that allows you to display the user's profile completeness progress. Users will now be able to know how many percentage of fields are left for them to finishing up their profile's information.
Looks like Mr James here just completed 50% of his profiles information!
Enhancements on Custom Fields
We have added several new custom fields in EasySocial 1.3. These fields includes acymailing field, skype field. Apart from these new additions, we have also optimized and enhanced existing custom fields that are included with EasySocial. We're still working on making this looks beautiful, but here's what we can share; with the Skype's custom field, you can fill in your Skype ID and thus allows people to interact with you via Skype.
You can now export your users and their custom fields into a CSV file.
This will be VERY handy for those who have tonnes of users on their site and wishes to keep a safe copy of contact database on their local. As stated, the process will export all of the basic and custom fields. You can also choose which profile types that you wishes to export. Pretty neat, huh? :)
Search & Proximity Searching
We have also enhanced the built-in user searches and as a site administrator, you may now define user filters that appears on the user listings. Apart from these awesome search enhancements, we have also added proximity searching as well as a dating search module. These new search options and settings will help users to search and interact with each other by searching for what they are interested in.
Now it's easier for the site administrator to create global custom filters and make use of it to the best of the site's interest.
User Profile Type Filtering
Imagine if you have hundreds of users and have like, for instance, 4 profile types. There are times where you wishes to view those who's under a certain profile type. With this new features, users can now filter other users by specific profile types on the site.
You can now archive your stream items to reduce the load on the site. Apart from these optimizations, we have also added a bookmark functionality that allows your users to bookmark stream items that can be viewed later. Also, you can archive your previous stream items. Archiving will move the items and activities to the archive database table and thus will makes EasySocial loads the stream table faster.
Who would want to have a slow stream, anyway?
Users on your site can now invite other users to join the site by entering their friend's email addresses. What better way of exposing your site other than your own users's testimony and invitations? I remember back when Gmail itself uses this method.
Build an awesome social networking site and let your users themselves promote the site for you.
So that's all that I can think of sharing with you guys. There might be some other stuff that escapes my mind but one thing that I can tell you guys is that EasySocial 1.3 will surprise you all even after reading this blog post. Any comments, suggestions and ideas are welcome!