This is the definitive guide to our new feature Geekzone Friends. If you have questions about usage, or suggestions, please post here or contact us.
What is Geekzone Friends?
Many times we have been asked if there is a way to be informed when someone posts a new discussion or a reply in our forums. People don't want to be notified of all replies to a specific discussion, but would like to know when a friend replies to something.
With Geekzone Friends you will create relationships with other users, and will be informed of their activities on Geekzone.
How is the notification sent?
We initially thought of e-mail notifications - but e-mail overload is already a bad thing. So we decided on RSS feeds. RSS feeds are convenient because you can read them later and pull the information when needed, unlike e-mail.
How can I create friends then?
When you want to be "in the circle" look for the icon in the forums, user list or user profile pages. Click that icon to create a relationship with the other user.
What information will I be able to see?
There are two types of RSS feeds available:
- Your own Private Feed, listing all of your Geekzone Friends' activities. You will see when a friend creates a relationship with another user, or when your friend posts in the forums. You won't see any of your friends' friends' activities, unless they are your friends too. No one else can access this Private Feed.
- Your Personal Feed, listing all of your own activities on Geekzone. This feed does not list anything your friends do. You can make this feed public or private by changing your profile. If public then anyone can see it (including non-Geekzone users), but if marked as Private then only your friends can see it.
Each feed comes in two versions: the full track and one without the "friends introductions". You choose which one to follow.
Why Personal Feeds?
These feeds list the activities for each relationship individually, instead of going through the Private Feed, which will have all relationships in a single stream.
Can I opt out of Geekzone Friends?
Yes, there are two ways of doing it:
- Edit your Profile, and uncheck the "Enable Friends Request" option. This will prevent new relationships, but existing ones will continue.
- Edit your Profile, and check the "Privacy" option. This will make you "invisible". Your Geekzone activities will not be visible, and you will also block any Private Messages.
Can I create relationships if I opt out of Geekzone Friends?
No, you can't. Friendship is a two-way relationship. If you want to see what others are up to, you have to let them see what you are doing. If you turn Privacy on for example, you will not see your friends' activities.
How can I manage my Geekzone Friends list?
When someone clicks on your icon the system will send you an e-mail asking you to login and choose whether or not to create the new relationship.
You can allow friends to be automatically added when they click on the icon if you edit your Profile and check the "Automatically approve Friends request" box. You will then receive an e-mail notification when friends add you to their lists.
At any time you can visit your Friends Management page and terminate a relationship.
What is Friends Status?
Think of this as a "micro blogging" thing. Just below the menu bar on Geekzone you can see a status field - enter anything there and your friends will see this message in their RSS feeds.
You can also share a web address by entering http://... with the full URL in the status field.
Can I integrate my Geekzone Status with Twitter?
Yes, you can. Read more about it here.
Can I "cast" a message to a Friend's Status?
Yes, you can. Any message you post to a Friend's Status will be visible to your friend only, and no one else.
Where can I see all this information?
The easiest way is to use a RSS Feed reader to subscribe to the feeds you want. You you can also visit your own Public Profile page, where you will see a list of your friends' updates, your own updates, and a list of all your friends.
Can I invite my friends to joing Geekzone and create relationships between us?
Of course you can!
I am always on the go, can I my friends' activities on my mobile?
If you are using a Windows Mobile Pocket PC, check the Geekzone Friends for Windows Mobile.
What else can I do?
You can go the extra mile and Subscribe to Geekzone. This way you can create a private forum and invite your friens to your discussions - only the people with an invitation can see you forum. Subscribing to Geekzone also gives you the option to browse Geekzone with no ads at all - ultra fast browsing.
Are more features coming?
Yes. We are working to integrate this with our Geekzone Blogs, so every time a friend posts a blog entry you will know. And other features are under wraps at the moment. This is a work in progress!