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Suggestions On Your Profile

[UPDATE: See part 2 of this story here: http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Want-To-Improve-The-Experience-Project/727955]

Hey all,

I  want to give you a heads up about a new feature we're trying out that we hope will help you discover things on EP  that we think will interest you.

Since we're still playing around with this (to see if it works or not), this is only going to be shown to a small group on EP that we randomly selected. If it turns out that this helps to improve your EP experience, we'll launch this feature for everyone.

Just to give you a sense of what this looks like - we're adding two new boxes to the top right of your profile page (right below where the notifications currently are). The top box is going to be a "Suggestions" box which will show you groups, people, and other things on EP that we think might interest you. These are suggested based on your current interests on EP, so for example if you are in the "I Like Coffee" group we may suggest to you the "I Drink Espresso" group or even the "I Like to Read" group, since we've seen that historically people that like the Coffee group also tend to like these other groups (and many others).

We'll do something similar for friend suggestions, where we'll suggest you someone's profile if the two of you have a lot of friends in common, or are in many of the same groups, or even if you like to read the same stories.

Generally speaking we're doing our best to find suggestions for you that we think you'll like. However, all of these are automatically generated by systems, so you may at times get a suggestions that doesn't make any sense or is a bit unusual. We're hoping that we are coming up with more good suggestions than bad ones, so hopefully this is generally a positive thing for your EP experience!

Also, we are going to have a  "Sponsored Suggestions" box that will be shown underneath. Currently, an ad is being shown in that spot, so this will show up instead of the ad. What we're doing here is trying to show you ads that are more relevant based on your experiences. So, to take the example above, if you're in the "I Love Coffee" group, you may see a "sponsored suggestion" giving you a coupon for Starbucks, or perhaps showing you a coffee machine that you can buy online. We're hoping that by showing you offers and deals that are geared towards your interests, it will make your experience on EP more interesting.

It's important to note that none of the Suggestions (both regular and sponsored) are done on an individual basis (we want to avoid that "creepy" factor!). They are generally done based on groups you've joined.

If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM, or add it to the comments below. Hopefully we can work through this together to test and improve this feature, so please bear with us as we iron out a few kinks here and there. Thanks all.

EPJulio EPJulio 26-30, M 48 Responses Jun 29, 2009

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I do not mind the ads. However, please stop suggesting people, groups, etc. unless I can opt-out of them. It is fine by me to display ads chosen by algorithms, but put these other suggestions in a box I can dismiss entirely. Algorithms are not for me.

I await it with pleasure!

Every member suggested for me is male. I only want females suggested

First since I a pretty new here think it was kind of nice that I was one of the people selected. After I read what was posted on my page after clicking (?)...I went to see what it was showing me...(didn't hit "next") clicked on a arrow...they all disappeared. I don't see how to get them back. It just says now that is doesn't have any suggestions for me. Oh man...is there a way to fix that or are they still there and I just can't see them?

Your explanation about the suggestions box says that when you click "next" you will not see that suggestion again...well, I've been shown many of them more than once, actually, more than a few times. Just letting you know.

new here but i have to sday there's a lot of advert activity downloading and uploading and beasting my processor.<br />
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i'm not keen on algorithmic 'suggestions' me

Thank You, for giving me the opportunity, to try this exciting new site out! I think it is very useful and does help to find common interest people on EP! Keep up the great work, and I really Love EP. I tell all my friends about your site...Thanks!!!

I just became a member and now my gestures have disappeared. Only to me obviously. Everyone else can still see them on my profile page but I can't see them at all. New ones or old ones. Please help.

after checking suggestions box how can u return to beggining of sugestions...? <br />
there is a message :'sorry, there are no other suggestions available' then its not possible to return to 1st suggestion... why?

I would like to meet people on my own and do not agree with this since total strangers are trying to sum up "me" but --whatever.

since i became a supporter there have been ZERO suggestions for me

How do I get rid of it???? It's sooo annoying!!! I don't want that box on my profile anymore!!!!

I'm tired of the one about inappropriate behavior with a sister. I'd never want to see that again.

I love this. I think it is very usefull.

I love how they always have a way of changing the tone to a story or confession.. and the questions, wow, never a dry eye in the house

they contribute so much.

the blue people are awesome....

you know, when i came here years ago, i stayed. lots of us did. more people than ever are leaving now. hm.<br />
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we get a lot of one liner blue people now though. that's also great.

I don't see it anymore, I get adverts which are easier to ignore.<br />
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Ah well, I wonder if that small group of people are even on here anymore

sure seems so. and personally, i've read lots of stories in this group that were unhappy with that suggestions box.<br />
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irony here is i like the suggestions box. but not enough to inflict my will on a majority.

Im with IT on this. If you read the stories in here over the last few months, since changes happened, you'll notice that the 'small group' are the minority in their decision for the changes

"Since we're still playing around with this (to see if it works or not), this is only going to be shown to a small group on EP that we randomly selected. If it turns out that this helps to improve your EP experience, we'll launch this feature for everyone."<br />
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so this mysterious "small group" will decide for us all? great!

I really dislike the "suggestions". Just because I'm apart of a "I want to lose weight" group the ad thing suggested I go on the Alli Diet. There was a picture of the Alli pills and so just because I want to lose weight I should take this ridiculous pill that makes you **** out oil? no thanks. the next suggestion was Atkins. uhh how about just eating healthy and exercising? These suggestions are ridiculous in my opinion.

I would like to participate in the beta version of this update. Bill

Hey all,<br />
thanks for the input. <br />
Check out the comments here for the latest info: <a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Want-To-Improve-The-Experience-Project/727955" target="ep_blank">http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/...</a> <br />
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we're working on not having suggestions repeat, on letting you close out the suggestions box if you don't like it, and on opting out of being shown as a friend suggestion.

Julio, I wanted to point out another annoyance. If you have a person that is coming up as a suggested add and their screen name is particularly long the box can't accommodate this and it causes the links two be off center. If you are quickly trying to bypass this person and click in the same place you always have then you end up going to the share pop up and that is annoying me today. <br />
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I will say some of the suggestions for friend adds seemed like they were off the wall because their groups didn't match mine HOWEVER as long as they weren't adult I added a few as I was testing the feature for you. After talking to them I discovered that although they had not added certain groups that they are into many of the same things I am so I guess the browsing history is a better determination of some people and their true connections. It just is a little Big Brotherish to think that this data is collected. I would rather not know although I do know in the back of my mind lol.

you say i wont get the same suggestions again, but I'm pressing next and getting the same members suggested to me. <br />
Other than that I think it's a great idea :)

I understand that EP needs to advertise to keep enough money coming in so they can stay in business. Fair enough.<br />
<br />
However, when I see a line that says "EP Supporters don't see ads here." and THEN see a whole bunch of people complaining about the suggestions box with stars by their names (indicating that they are, in fact, supporters)...well, let's just say I'm not going to become a supporter any time soon. You can get one revenue stream or the other--don't be greedy and try to get both.<br />
<br />
Also, I'd REALLY prefer that you guys fix problems like the echoing PMs and experience posts. I'm tired of seeing messages/posts three or four times...

Hey all, here's the latest discussion thread on this: <a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Want-To-Improve-The-Experience-Project/727955" target="ep_blank">http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/...</a> would be great if we could try to have the discussion in one place so we don't miss any of your feedback. A few notes on recent comments:<br />
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1. I think the check for blocked members may have been working incorrectly. We're fixing it now and you should not receive any more friend suggestions for people you blocked or are blocked by.<br />
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2. We're slowly rolling this out to all users. In the meantime we're collecting all your feedback on how to improve it. We'll take all of this input and use it to improve that feature for version 2. Things like closing it out and opting out are certainly things we're hearing and considering.<br />
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3. We're working hard to avoid any inappropriate suggestions, but sometimes people/groups may sneak through all our filters. We definitely want to avoid it, so we'll probably add some kind of flag where you can mark someone as a more mature user and we can make sure to treat them as such for suggestions.<br />
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thanks again for all the input, we're certainly listening. Please just bear with us a bit as we test this out and improve it

I don't like it.<br />
The suggestions tend to range from inaccurate to annoying to offensive. <br />
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Is there a way to turn it off?

I just noticed the suggestion box and I just want to tell you that whatever parameter you are using to make them it is as wrong as you could possibly imagine and absolutely insulting. No I'm not interested in man that want to wear a diaper or have virtual sex or are looking to experience perversion!!! . Where and how did you all get the idea and how did you come up with such a flawed system of selection.Read my comments use the brain no algorithms and tell me if it makes any sense at all.Why would I be interested as 55 in becoming friends with a 18 years old who has to even a posting yet? Pleeeese count me out.

This Suggestions For You box has only appeared on my profile today (I guess it's still being rolled out). <br />
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It's already offered me one user who has had me blocked since Day One (no idea why, I've never interacted with that user in any way, I guess they just didn't like something I wrote). Is it possible to tweak the system so that both blockers (and blockees) don't get suggested to one another? I don't have this user blocked myself, but they're clearly not interested in being my friend. :)<br />
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Other than that, I've also had the weird, slightly perverted, blank profiles offered up. One suggestion to me to a profile which only seemed to include a group about sniffing little girl's panties. I appreciate that there will be some algorithm that causes the computer to link me with this profile ("similar browsing history" according to the suggestion), but perhaps this algorithm could also do with a tweak. :) I know that I have my adult setting switched off (so that I can talk to some of my friends), and I do answer some questions in Mature Topics, but I'd hardly rank myself as the sort of EPer who browses EP looking for ****, and I'm sure my browsing history would bear that out. Perhaps the percentage of time spent on adult-related EP groups should be taken into consideration. There have been a few times when I've parachuted into adult groups for no other reason than to flag the group logo! :D<br />
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Other than that, I'm actually very happy with this new feature. I may not make much use of it, but I can see how it would be very helpful to new members and others who may not know how to navigate the site yet. Like the Duchess, I'm not upset by ads either (although I'll admit that's because I set up my browser to block the pop-ups right form the start, hehehe). Keep up the good work guys. :)

Hello. Hi fungirlmmm. I didn't know that it was possible for somebody you have blocked... to try and add you as a friend!<br />
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br />
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This is a bit shocking. I mean, given the kinds of possibilities which people were discussing in my story on "Changing User Names" (ie mis-use of "discarded" user names), this is absolutely insane.<br />
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:(<br />
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fungirlmmm, imagine if somebody we have blocked *changed* their user name and came to knocking thanks to this "wonderful" new feature...

hey guys, I noticed that some of the persons I have blocked are coming up asking me to add them as friends. Never in a million years would I add them. As a suggestion, once this goes into production can you write in code to scrape that data prior to making friend suggestions? It would make it friendlier for me.

I actually am trying to embrace this new "feature".<br />
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If it suggests someone should be my friend, I will consider them as friend material.<br />
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If there is a group that I actually could belong to, well then I hit the join button.<br />
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But this thing is definitely in trial with me.<br />
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(EPArsineh suggested I post this comment here.)

Check out Part 2 of this story here:<br />
<a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Want-To-Improve-The-Experience-Project/727955" target="ep_blank">http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/...</a><br />
<br />
Keep the feedback coming, its helping us make this better for everyone!

Thanks EPJulio!

Hey all, thanks for the feedback. We're still tweaking this feature. Two things I'm hearing here are:<br />
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1. A desire to "hide" the box if you don't see a use for it<br />
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2. A desire to remove oneself from being suggested as a friend to others that might have common interests<br />
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Please give us a bit of time as we play around with this and "get it right" for everyone :-)

I don't like the suggestions box for the same reasons the others have spoken about. I have been here almost a year and I find my own friends. They are people I check out myself and who I have something in common with. <br />
On another issue, I communicated with EP support many months ago about finding a way to list in the experiences group of my profile how many stories of mine are in each group. Sometimes we write more than one and they are connected, but EP'ers miss some of them.

I dont see the suggestions box......

Here's some more feedback: I am VERY uncomfortable with the idea of my profile being recommended to complete strangers. I clicked on a few which were suggested for *me* -- just out of curiosity -- and they were creepy. Empty profiles.<br />
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And it seems pointless (to me) to recommend people who already have a lot of friends in common with me. I already pick up the activity of my friends' friends in my "Recent Circle Activity". That seems like a more natural way to "meet" new people.<br />
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:(<br />
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Thank you.<br />
<br />
Andrew

cool

Hello. I find the new "Suggestions for You" box to be visually distracting, could EP techs please give us the option of *hiding* that? Thanks! AP

I thought that feature was already here as well. Anyway....how about the fetish groups? Some groups would be better tolerated if members only could see them.

I have this feature on my profile, I find it trivial, I would prefer get some of the problems on this site fixed first. How to wipe gesture board clean, how to stop the frown downs, how to make this site safe for 13-15 age group by getting rid of the stalkers !<br />
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i HAVE BEEN HERE FOR A MONTH AND ALREADY KNOW HOW TO FIND EXPERIENCE GROUPS i'M INTERESTED IN.

jp5040, thanks for pointing that ad out. We should not have any ads that automatically expand out of their box. We do have some that if you click on different things happen (some have a video inside, some are games, etc.) but that should only happen if you click on the ad.<br />
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I'm going to look into that L'Oreal ad to figure out where it came from. If you see it again please let me know (better yet, if you're able to grab a screenshot of it or hover over it to see what the link says - both of those will help us track down the source). <br />
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thanks again for the input, we're totally on board with your comment that we don't want any ads that harms your ability to use the site.

jp5040, I totally hear you on the advertising. The new "Sponsored Suggestions" will actually be smaller than the typical ads you see and will all be static ads (no moving pieces, etc.). Also, we're hoping that by showing you ads that might be interesting to you this should improve the overall experience with ads. Finally, we are encouraging ads for this section that highlight a particular deal, discount, or coupon -- again, all with the hope that the ads we show you actually provide you with some value in the end.<br />
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And as always, EP Supporters see less ads on the site and won't be seeing any ads on their profile.

I think it sounds great, especially to those new to EP who don't know yet just how vast EP is. I know this feature would've hastened my addiction to EP :)