Personas

In your social interactions, you typically project different facets of your personality to different groups of people (describing last night's wild party at the latest club to your mother is probably not a good idea). Personas help you do that with Floopstreet.

What are personas?

There are two main components to your interactions with others: inbound ones define how others view you; outbound ones control what activity information you want to disseminate, and to which users. Personas are data associated with a user's profile that control these inbound and outbound components. For the inbound ones, a persona stores a user's description and image, and a current status; additionally, it defines rules that control which users will have access to that information. For outbound components, a persona stores the default visibility settings for activity items you create.

A user can define multiple personas, and is created with a public persona visible to anyone (this persona cannot be deleted, and its selection settings should not be changed). At any one time, only one persona is active.

What profile components are stored with a persona?

A persona stores the following profile components:

  • The user description. An HTML fragment that is displayed on the user's home screen.
  • The user icon. An image displayed on the user's home screen, and in various other parts of the UI where a user is referenced (for example, in the content header for an asset).
  • The user status. A block of text managed by the user to broadcast status updates.

Different users viewing your profile may see different values for them, based on the access settings of your various personas. Note also that, when you change your user status, you edit the one associated with the current persona.

How do they work?

A persona contains three types of information:

  • Variable profile components: the profile picture, the profile statement, and the current status text.
  • Persona access settings: rules that describe who will be granted visibility to this persona, and therefore which profile component values will be displayed.
  • Default visibility settings: the initial visibility settings for item creation.

The first two types control access to your profile by other users: when a user attempts to access your profile, Floopstreet scans all your personas, from the one with the most most restrictive access settings to the one with the least restrictive ones, and returns the profile info associated with the first match.

The third type controls activity information: when you create a new activity item, the default visibility settings are copied from the current persona (you can then change them as desired).

See the example FAQ item for a description of how the selection process works.

How do I switch personas?

The quickest way is to tap/click the persona bar and select a new persona from the list. On the browser, the persona bar is displayed in the top right area of the page and looks like this: . On the iPhone or iPad, it is in the navigation bar of some screens, and looks like this: .

You can also switch from a persona's detail page or detail screen.

Finally, note that the mobile applications may switch personas automatically, based on the current location, if you have defined persona triggers.

Can I switch automatically, based on my location?

Yes, you can set up your profile to switch persona based on your current location. This is accomplished with persona triggers. Note, however, that currently location-based switching is supported on mobile devices only; on the browser-based application, you have to switch persona manually.

Does it make sense to define private personas?

Yes, they are used to define visibility defaults. Typically associated with a trigger. More details here.

Can I see an example?

Let's say you are a member of two groups: your family, and the Settlers of Catan professional players group. Chances are you mother is not interested in your latest Catan news, and your Catan cohorts are not looking forward to yet another post about cousin Keith's behavior at cousin Myra's wedding. Additionally, you may want the Catan crowd to see a different user description than the rest of the world (including a picture of you in Catan costume).

So here's what you can do. First, edit the public persona to set the default visibility to group, and deselect the Catan group: when "public" is the current persona, new items by default are created with group visibility, but will not be accessible to the Catan group. Then, create a new persona, say "Catan," with group visibility settings, the Catan group selected, and the family one deselected. You can create a Catan-centric user description, and similarly upload a Catan-related profile picture. Also, make this persona visible to members of your groups, and select the Catan group as the only group that will see it.

If you switch to the Catan persona and create a post, by default the post will be visible to the Catan group only. When a user views your profile info, Floopstreet looks at the Catan persona first, since it is more restrictive than the public one. If the requesting user is a member of the Catan group, it matches the access settings for the Catan persona, and the associated profile is returned; otherwise, the one from the public persona is returned.

Can I personalize all profile elements?

No. Elements that should not be persona-specific, like your name, birthdate, and address, are common to all personas.