Forums Integrate Social Networking Infrastructure
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AWForums updated to support user groups, mutual friendships, photo albums and retooled user profiles.

SW City -- Complimenting the release of Active Worlds 4.2, Martin rounded out this week by updating the AWForum's vBulletin software to version 3.7. Such forum updates are usually worth a passing mention and rarely add new features, however this update may have forever changed the way we use the forums.

[rimg]/media/imglib_forums/forums.jpg[/rimg]To elaborate, Friday's update to 3.7 allowed Martin to integrate several major social networking features into the forum. These features allow groups of users with common interests to create social groups to discuss them independent from the main forums, the ability to upload and organize photos to a photo album, a completely redesigned and retooled user profile, and the ability for mutual friendships.

Though introduced without great fanfare, this new social networking infrastructure has the potential to be extremely useful to the Active Worlds citizen base. What these new tools are essentially doing is giving citizens a common ground to share not only their interests, but their communities and also to display their in-world content by filling photo albums with screenshots of Active Worlds.

Using another example, citizens that don't have the knowledge or the resources to create their own website may use the group feature to host their organization, and with integration into the forums they already have a potential audience.

Furthermore, these new features -- if used as intended -- may help to relieve some stress on the main forums. With the addition of public messaging on user profiles, some of the stress caused by two users chatting in a thread may be alleviated.

Much of this is only conjecture, but these are possibilities of what this new infrastructure can provide. Their integration into the forums means that citizens can already readily access it without any hassle!

Perhaps I should leave the rest to the reader, though. If you are interested in these new features, simply access the forums and visit your User Control Panel. Have fun!

This article was provided to AWPortals by the Active Worlds Press Corps. Authored by Hyper Anthony.

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