Blog Entries
Chat Room, Member Photo and Other Improvements

We have released a major platform publish today that addresses a number of areas including Member Photos, Chat, and Activity Feeds.

Member Photo Improvements and Changes
We have changed how member photos are handled to make the system easier for your members to use and for you to moderate. If you want to offer photo uploading and collections for your members you will need to have the Photos page added to your site.

  • You can now turn on the option to Approve Photos Uploaded by members.
  • Members no longer have to create a photo collection before uploading photos. We have added a default un-assigned collection for photos freshly uploaded.
  • You can separately set who can moderate photos uploaded by members.

Chat Room Improvements and New Features
With the Chat Room you will see as the most dramatic change and was a big focus in this update. We have replaced the service we use for the chat room, added multi-room support and more. The chat room has also been changed to a pay feature and comes with any of our plans. Free users will have a 30 day trial of this feature.

  • Now you and your users can create more then one chat room. Now Spruz is the only social website platform that supports user created chat rooms!
  • The Chat Software is now powered by Skysa rather than Tinychat. Plus Spruz has been given the chance to use Skysa's new integrated video chat (which is currently in beta) before it is publicly released to Skysa users next month.
  • Configurable chat moderation control allows you to set the access level required to moderate rooms created.
  • Set the access for who can create new rooms. Room Creators are automatically moderator over the room they created.
  • Setting to Allow Non Registered site members to join rooms. This will allow people to join a chat room without being a registered member of your site.
  • Friends only setting that will create a room where only friends of the room creator can join it.
  • Options to disable video chat on all chat rooms or by the room.
  • Room Description Field for setting more details about a room, rules, etc.
  • Customize your own bad word filters so make the language used in chat as clean as you want.
  • Sharing Tools that make it easy for users to share a room.

Some of the other features of the new chat room include;

  • User Customization Styling - A user can change their style of text and background of their messages in chat. Their style changes are remembered from across different chat rooms and sessions.
  • Smilies - 25 fun smilies to use in chat.
  • User Message Highlight - Hover over a user in the right column and all their messages in the conversation will be highlighted.
  • Auto Linking - Paste in any URL into your chat message and it will auto link allowing other people to click and visit the location in a new window.
  • Image URL Support - Paste in a URL of an image and the image will show up in your conversation and in the Media tab of the right column.
  • YouTube Video URL Support - Paste in a URL of a YouTube video and the video will show in your conversation fully playable. Videos shared in chat also show in the Media tab of the right column.
  • Out of View Message Notification - If you are scrolled up (perhaps viewing a photo or video) in the chat room and a new message comes in, the message and sender info will show at the bottom of the conversation area allowing you to keep track of what is going on.
  • Audio/Video Chat - Use your webcam to chat with others in the room.
  • Shared White Board - Start a shared whiteboard and allow other users in the chat room to join you for a fun and useful shared drawing experience.
  • Shared Document Editing - Start a shared document editing session and you and other users can collaborate on documents in real time.
  • Welcome Message - Set a friendly welcome message which everyone will see at the top of the conversation when they join the room.
  • Go to Profile - Click on a user in the right column and have the option to go to their profile in a new window.
  • Ignore - Click on a user in the right column and you have the option to ignore them. When a person is ignored all their previous conversation messages are hidden and no new ones are displayed. You can always un-ignore them too.
  • @ User - Send a conversation message flagged for a particular user by clicking the @ button on a previous message of theirs. Your @ message shows up in the conversation with a label showing it is directed at that user.

Other improvements

  • Activity Feeds now record all activity items. Example: If a user posted 3 discussions over a 60 minute period the activity feed used to only display the most recently posted discussion. This was done to prevent very active users from drowning out the activity feeds. However thanks to user feedback the feeds now record all activity as it happens with the exception of a 60 second delay filter.
  • New Manage Features Admin Section. Under the Your Site manage menu we have added a new Manage Features option. This quickly lists the installed features of your site, show how many items are in each and if you have any items to approve if require approval is turned on. You can also quickly edit the options of each feature from this area. The goal of this addition was to add another more easy way to customize and control the features of your site.
  • We have expanded the year selection when a user registers to leave it up to the site owners what to do with users under 14 years of age.

Like any update the introduces new features there is the chance of having bugs, issues or things that might be off. So please do not post issues in comments, open a support request to report a problem.


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