A few days ago we introduced Member Verification, a new site feature designed to address a dark aspect of social sites: fake profiles. I would like to thank everyone who already verified themselves and also those who commented on this new feature. Most comments critical of verification boiled down to two camps: those who thought it was superfluous to their many past opponents and recommendations and those who were concerned about posting a public face photo. I would like to address these concerns now.
I would like to thank those who expressed their privacy concerns. I admit I hadn't thought this through in sufficient depth and my initial design didn't accommodate verification without a public face photo. I simply couldn't think up a faceless procedure. I am happy to announce that I gave the matter further thought, and came up with a process that protects your privacy while still allowing our site supporters verify your account reliably.
The faceless verification process works with two versions of a photo: a version where the face is cropped or blurred, to be placed in the public profile, and a private version of the unedited photo. The private version will show your face, but it will only be available to the supporters handling your verification and can be deleted once verification is complete. A full explanation of the process is available on the Member Verification page. The verification page walks you through the process, I tried to make it as easy and intuitive as I could. (The simple face photo validation is also still available.)
It is my hope that this modification of the process alleviates your privacy concerns. I would also like to point out that verification is voluntary. Big thanks to GrappleViking for being the first member to complete this form of validation.
Another point that was raised by some was that, once a person has a high number of past opponents and recommendations, getting verified seems unnecessary. Some even seemed to take umbrage at the thought of verifying their profile, as if this new feature was somehow a challenge to the validity of their profile. I assure you that is not the case and I would like to explain why you should still verify your profile and how this feature is still a blessing to you.
You might feel that the benefit to you is minimal, because your profile already has good reviews. Sometimes you just need to be a bit generous and look beyond your immediate interest. Maybe the benefit of verifying your profile is not to you directly, but to the site at large. (You know, the very site that helped you find all those past opponents and hosts all your great reviews.) You see, ideally, if every real profile gets Verified, the fakes would have no crowd to hide in. This is the key to how this is supposed to work. Verification is like vaccination: it works best if every person is getting their shots.
So, indirectly though, you are benefiting greatly from verification. Complaining about fakes is a popular attraction. It's true, they are a problem on any social site. They can waste people's times (and occasionally money) and erode trust. Verifying your profile is a small task that takes you maybe 5 minutes; by doing so you make the site a little better and less attractive to fakes. So please think before you post something that would discourage others from doing something that would make the site better.
I'm extending an invitation to everyone to participate in the discussion. I would like to ask you to limit your participation to making a point once, though. Please, even if you feel that your point is particularly important and you are feeling very strongly about making it, do not post it repeatedly.
The message search function is complete. I would like to thank munichsubfight for originally submitting the feature request. Due to the database-intensive nature of the operation, for now it is only available to donating members. I will experiment some more and see if it is viable to make this feature available to everybody.
What comes next is up to you, visit the Idea Box and vote for your favorite features!
– Admin out
I wish you all a great 2017 filled with all the fights that your hearts desire!
As you all know, with 13,000 members MeetFighters is the biggest (by our not entirely arbitrary metric) fighting personals site. We are dedicated to continue bringing you the best fighting site this year, and we start off with a new feature called Member Verification.
Member Verification helps you search and find only the best genuine guys and easily weed out fakes. It takes only a few minutes to get verified and the process is designed to be as simple, discreet and hassle-free as we can make it. All you need to get verified is a recent profile photo that shows your face and a photo of you showing a special code that proves that this profile photo is indeed you.
Verification is voluntary.
Established members with lots of recommendations and past opponents have little to prove. They too should get verified, though, to put a bit of peer pressure on the rest of us to get verified. We all stand to benefit from verification. Except the fakes. It's super bad for them.
I've been listening and doing some thinking and I think I have come up with a solution for performing verification without posting a public photo with your face. It is a bit more complex than the simple face validation, but it should still be relatively straightforward. It goes like this:
What happened here?
How do you guys like this version now?
We have great plans for this year for improving our site with new features and enhancing existing features. Next on the menu is a search function for your messages.
What happens next is up to you! Please browse the Idea Box and vote for features that you would like to use yourself. You can also submit your own ideas.
For those who care, the "active membership", that is, members who have logged in in the past 30 days, is 11693. This means that in terms of active membership, MeetFighters is now bigger than the second and third biggest wrestling sites combined! (And this is on a site that actively discourages practices that would artificially inflate our membership numbers, e.g. prohibiting one person from operating multiple profiles.) We are still a site for the community and run by the community, without a corporate owner or commercial interest. We are sustained by the generosity of our members, and continue growing and giving you new stuff.
Some more numbers because I just love them so much:
In other news, we have a brand spanking new SSD, partly because it is faster than the old one, and partly because the old one crashed, causing a few hours of downtime a few Fridays back. Thankfully our backups worked well and we only lost a small amount of data and half a percent of monthly uptime.
Behind the scenes, we have been busy in the past few months bringing many stability and performance improvements to the site code. Perhaps the most visible change of late was the rearranging of the profile pages. Let me offer some background on the underlying thought process.
The mission of this site, as codified in the name itself, is to facilitate meets. Therefore the most important metric with which I measure the site's success is the number of past opponents each member accumulates over time. The quality of meets is also of concern, hence the importance of recommendations. These two key metrics are measured over the time a person has been using the site. So, days, opponents, recommendations. By picking and focusing these three metrics, I am hoping to nudge some members who are reluctant to meet to do it more frequently.
To counteract the "wasted" screen space that these boxes use up, other parts of the profile have been broken into two columns, giving quicker access to the introduction and interests of a member. (Granted, "waste" is not the right term for something that is in ultimately infinite supply.) I ask everyone to give the new design some time to grow on you. I am still making revisions to it and your input is valuable, but please understand that it is not possible to come up with a design that appeals to all 13000+ active members.
As always, your input is valuable.
And for those who ask each time and then ignore the answer: yes it is possible to see join/part notifications in the browser chat. Just click on the gears icon on the top right of the screen.
– Admin out
In the previous news post, I asked you questions about the direction of some MeetFighters features. I thank everyone who replied or voted! The summary of votes are below:
|Do you think a Workout Journal feature would be useful?||Votes||% of votes||Weighted %|
|Yes, I like it and would use it||410||39%||35%|
|No, I wouldn't use it||558||53%||59%|
|No, because I don't exercise||75||7%||5%|
|Do you think the "Meetings" feature can be removed?||Votes||% of votes||Weighted %|
|Remove the Meetings. I don't use them.||318||73%||76%|
|Keep the Meetings, I like them as they are.||108||24%||21%|
|Keep the Meetings, I have ideas of how to make them better (comment below).||8||1%||1%|
|Do you think the "Match Requests" feature can be removed?||Votes||% of votes||Weighted %|
|Remove the Match Requests. I don't use them.||252||53%||45%|
|Keep the Match Requests, I like them as they are.||202||43%||50%|
|Keep the Match Requests, I have ideas of how to make them better (comment below).||15||3%||4%|
I especially want to thank Vanman81 for his blog post and those who commented there. Let me summarize my takeaway from the results.
The Match Requests are here to stay. I have updated the page and gave it a bit of a facelift. Observe the "before" and "after":
The most important changes:
The Meetings feature will be retired in a few months, unless I can come up with some way to make it more compelling. Ideas are welcome.
There were a number of votes both for and against the feature. I think there is synergy between this site's core goals and exercise. Martial arts and wrestling are sports after all. For now, implementation of the feature is postponed until a later date.
– Admin out.
I am thinking about adding a new feature to the site: an online workout journal. What is a workout journal, you might ask? Check out this page for a quick introduction with pictures: http://jamesclear.com/workout-journal
The idea is to let you record and share your workout journal with your friends on MeetFighters, keep track of your progress, etc. I am calling this feature "FitFighters", but that might change the moment I come up with something less corny. Basically the idea would be to let you quickly collect and save a summary of your workout either while you are doing it, or after, in a web and mobile friendly feature.
My question to you is simple:
On a related note, I am thinking about killing two existing site features simply because they are not quite as useful as they should be to warrant having them around. Removing useless features will help keep the site interface clean and less confusing for new members. Please don't forget to press the Vote button for each poll individually!
The "Meetings" feature is not getting much love. Originally it was intended for the organization of meets that involved more than one person, but it turns out that such meetings are either not happening very frequently or are organized with regular messages.
Similar to Meetings, the "Match request" feature is not getting much use. Perhaps it is time to retire it.
Thank you for your participation in the polls!