November 10, 2009

Contributors, Comments, and Member Profiles:’s New Features

Those of you who have been part of the CHIFOO community for some time now may have noticed that we have been updating and—we hope—improving the Web site over the past year or so. We’ve moved Membership renewals and payments online, and reconfigured the site to allow for more timely information about our events as well as other important goings-on in the Portland tech scene and in the field of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) in general. But now we’re getting to some of the really fun stuff: featured Contributors, the ability to add reader comments to online articles, and expanded access to Member Profile information.

All of these measures have one goal in mind: Fostering better communication between members of CHIFOO and the broader community.

To begin with, we’d like to officially welcome Evan Dickinson as our first featured Contributor. As Evan notes in his first article, he is “a Portlander and CHIFOO member who recently moved to Vancouver BC to study interaction design at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT). Before I left Portland, [Member at Large] David Stubbs asked if I’d be willing to write about my time at SFU.” Evan graciously took up the challenge, and we encourage you all to follow his thoughts on his academic journey in our Resources section, under Commentary.

We hope that Evan is not our first and only Contributor. We invite any CHIFOO members who wish to contribute their own original content to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and tell us more.

Second, we have enabled reader comments on our articles. This means that any member of CHIFOO can tell the rest of us what they think: about an event or speaker that we hosted; about a book or product that a member reviewed; or about a Contributor’s latest column. Just follow the permalink to an article or event listing’s detail page—for example, Evan Dickinson’s first article, in which he specifically says, “I welcome questions – the point of these articles is to share what’s interesting, and your questions will guide what I write about,”—and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you’ll see existing comments and (if you have logged in) a form for adding your own.

Now, I did say “any member of CHIFOO.” Why are we limiting comments only to logged-in members? Simply because we are a volunteer organization, and our Executive Council members don’t have enough time to both run the organization and act as full-time Moderators of an online forum. We expect that you, as paid-in-full members of CHIFOO, are responsible enough to keep the discourse civil and follow the rules laid out in the CHIFOO Online Community Member Guidelines. We obviously can’t vouch for the entire rest of the Internet.

We owe special thanks to new member and recent immigrant to Portland, Sam Pierce Lolla, who helped design the Comments UI.

Member Profiles
Finally, we are going to be drawing information out of Member Profiles to bring useful content to the public face of the site: In particular, a Member Directory and ways of spotlighting individual members on a rotating basis (members who wish to be in the spotlight, that is). Although these new Member features won’t be introduced for several months, it would behoove CHIFOO members to update their Member Profiles now—especially the bio and photo. (Note that your photo will also appear alongside any comments you make on the site.) This way, you’ll actually have a face to show to the world when the time comes.

Another place in the Member Profiles where we need your help is with the “Field of Expertise.” We thought it might be useful for job seekers/recruiters to have this sort of designation: Human Factors, Interaction Design, Usability Engineering, and so on. We’ve populated the list of choices with a number of fields, but if you find that we’ve overlooked your area of expertise, then please .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we’ll see about adding it.

Enjoy the new contributors, enjoy the new comments features, and stay tuned for more updates!



Executive Council Member

leofrish's profile photo

November 10, 2009
5:19 pm

Thanks Matt - this was a great overview of the new features coming online. And thank you Sam for getting involved and lending a hand.



November 29, 2009
8:40 pm

Exciting stuff.  Happy to help!

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