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Create a profile, add information and share any fraction of it with other users
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Short description

Imagine a simple website, where you could login, and then create your profile by creating custom fields (questions and answers). The answers could be anything from plain text to uploadable documents (photo, audio/video file, other kind of documents). In other words, you could simply ADD new fields of any type to your profile... Then, you could let prefered people and groups see the fields you prefer, you could also request fields from other people just by writing a question or using a question from another profile.

<End of Short description>

This way, many questions about a person could be answered quickly just by allowing other person see the answers, and these answers wouldn't need to be logged or saved or rememberd - everything would already be saved.

It would be good because you didn't need to chat and talk a lot in order to share personal information.

If you see that an answer is not complete enough, you may add comments, and the user is always able to further edit the answer so that it was more profound, and able to delete the comments.

As for a way of communicating this way, here are the examples:

* You want to get to know someone from ..say Tokyo, Japan, 20-40 years old, etc.
(This kind of information might be expected to be set as public by most of people.) As you find a person you want to get to know with, you may ask a question by requesting an answer. If the person is online, he or she can give the answer if s/he has it already written in other words, or write it, and then give it.
* You want to know a group of people
In this case you simply request an answer from a specific group of people. If people have their answers, they would quickly give them to you, otherwise they may write them, and edit them later many times to make them profound
* You want to see how much money you have together with someone
In this case you can disclose "How much money do you have?" answer for each other privately, or for a group.
* You want to know people from some forum or internet community better
In this case you register the forum or group in the Profemaile, and each member can show the fields he or she prefer for the group. For instant, if a community is interested in keeping lizards, they can share "How did I get interested in lizards?", or if they want to know what pets do they keep, they can share the answer "What pets do you keep?", etc.
* You want to know about a person who wants to work for you
In this case you ask to show the asnwer to the question "Can you do [a specific task name]?" or "What is your CV?" or any question related to the job.
* You want to apply for a job
In this case you can search for companies (groups) using a variety of questions.
* You want to share your photos you took with some of your friends
In this case you could make question for yourself "What photos did I take last weekend?" attach them all as an answer. (but in this case, I think it would be good if all the uploaded files in the system could be commented, and have a always editable individual description)
* You want to know what movies does your friends have on their computers
In this case, various people could have answered differently to this question - maybe some of them simply copy-pasted the list generated in a text file, maybe some have it xls files, or maybe some have print-screened it. But the idea is that they can show you the answer quickly and privately.
* How did you got interested in Cosmology?
In this case there could be an answer in text, a HTML page or anything uploadable.
* What is your favorite song?
* Any question.

How I thought of this?

Well, I have a mailing list, and we don't know each other very well. So, before we meet, I thought it would be great to share some information about each other - something like, how do we look like, etc. So, someone suggested creating a page of our profiles. However, there were people in the list who were not wanting to publish their photo and other personal information. A simple solution could be a page of our profiles under the password or with a simple login. However, it might be a case that a person would like to say something, or share some information only with the members he or she trusts or knows personally. Also, some suggested that it would be cool to have an FTP for our g roup to share movies related to the subject of our group and other things, however some said it would require a lot of webspace and bandwith and therefore it would be better to just compile a list of the movies that we have at home or in our hard disks. These problems brought me to think about more universal system that could allow to quickly get acquainted and quickly share personal information about each other, and compile that information in case one needs to estimate something.

I tried to find that kind of system on the internet, but didn't find it yet. In Orkut.com it is possible to make fields private, for friends or for friends of your friends, but it is impossible to disclose some information for particular groups or persons. It is also impossible to craete custom fields. So..

Profemaile instead of personal articles and FAQs.

Email, chatting, and other "streaming communication" eats up a lot of time, then we forget the information we received, rereading the chatlogs seems to be as much time-consuming. This is why people are writing articles - they simply don't want to explain something 1000 times again and again. This is also a reason why people create FAQs. In Profemaile it would be an automatic process. As you answer questions, so you accumulate the FAQs base, as you answer complex questions, so you write an article on something.

Information sorted by people

And, also, I think it is good that all the facts would already be sorted by PERSON/GROUP. And this kind of sorting is good, simply because the most frequent "terminals of information flow" are people/companies: they are who we talk with, and while talking, usually we try to remember what we know about them, what when we got to know about them..

Additional possible features

* Synonim questions could be linked, so information about people could be compared, and answers could be found faster.
* Answers could have time and date, so would know when you got to know some person or group, and when you got to know some fact about a or group.
* A possibility to email answers you prefer.
* Mostly used answers first, newest questions - first - automatic sorting
* A possibility to search the information you have about people and groups
* Probably some companies and people wouldn't want to store their information on someone else's server, or think of it as a way to collect information about people.
I think, maybe this system could be developed as, and work similar to email - you could install a server on any computer. So one would have similar addresses: [user]@[domain name].
* Possibility to exchange large files.
* Possibility to give only a fraction or several fractions of some "answer(s)" as an answer to someone's question.
* Possibility to sort questions and answers by date, and so create a conversation-like communication.
* Possibility to create NOTES: additional fields on other users' profiles, which would be seen only to you (by default). So you could also create descriptions of people. These notes fields probably should have other colour or put somehow separately from the original information of another user's profile.
* "Auto-answer" mode: Possibility to create standard answers and use them for automatic response.
As people give you various new questions, and as you give fragments of your profile as answers to these questions, your profile is "learning". You could allow some of the answers be automatic ("standard"). So, if the same question is repeated by some other person, the standard answer could be given automatically. Though, I don't think this would be very useful, cause this is almost the same as making these standard answers public.
* Possibility to translate the fields to other languages with the help of other people or by your own.

Say you have a Japanese friend. And you gave some line as an answer to some question he or she gave. The Japanese friend then could translate the question and answer to Japanese (pressing `translate` would give another field below, and the choice of language he or she is translating to). After entering the translation, the friend could make this line viewable to you, so you would see an indication next to the questions that have any translation(s), and you could use the translations to create/edit your question/answer in another language. And later you could use it again when communicating with Japanese.

By opening your question's/answer's another language version is a blank page, and your original answer below it, and translations below your original text.

Your original answer would be shown in grey color, and the text that has translations would be in black. The intervals that have translations could be marked with brackets and superscript indices, like that:

"Some text that has several translations. For example, some person has some article about him or her, [<sup>3</sup>[1one fraction of the text was disclosed to a person A]1, and the [2second fraction of the text was disclosed to a person B]2]3, and both fractions of the text were disclosed to a person C. Different fraction that encompass both fractions was disclosed to a person D. Person A translated first fraction, and a person B translated second fraction, person C translated both fractions, and person D translated the larger fraction."

Below this text, the parts of the text would be cited, and after every citation there could be possible to view the translation by selecting the translator's name:

[1] one fraction of the text was disclosed to a person A [translator choice]
[2] second fraction of the text was disclosed to a person B [translator]
[3] one fraction of the text was disclosed to a person, and the second fraction of the text was disclosed to a person [translator]

There could be a function to copy the translation to the blank page. After editing the text in another language you could save it, reedit it later, and use it the same way as the original text.
* Extra security
As in this system one would have a lot of personal information searchable, etc., I think it is necessary to prevent direct access to other people's profiles. Everytime you want to open a someone else's profile, or do a profiles' search, it should be necessary to reenter your password. Also, an extra button for instantly locking the screen of the browser should be implemented.
* Sharing information that you have about other people and groups
In my opinion, before telling personal information about other people, you must ask the permission of the real owners of the information. Only with the approval of the owner would there be possible to tell something about other people, except probably your own notes about them.

Other uses

* This might be useful for people with disabilities like cerebral paralysis who can type very slowly, so they could communicate quicker.
* As a homepage. Well, there are times when I communicate with people, and then a person would show me his or her website. Sometimes it is so that I find there a lot about the person in his or her website, so it seems that I don't need to ask anything more, - it takes away a reason for this "excuse", and so, it inhibits communication and the pleasure of getting to know about each other bit by bit. So, in case you find a person you would like to know better, here you wouldn't get to know EVERYTHING about him or her (like it is in a website), but you would get to know . Shortly, YOU WOULDN'T GET TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT A PERSON AT ONCE.

- - -
This description of the idea is not completely finished, but I hope you understand what I mean.

Inyuki, Jan 15 2005


       //In Profemaile it would be an automatic process. As you answer questions, so you accumulate the FAQs base, as you answer complex questions, so you write an article on something.//   

       It would be great if this could be made automatic, but I think the user needs to at least be involved in selecting and classifying the bits of information that are pulled from the chatlog to the profile.   

       Maintaining the profile would be time consuming (classifying every answer; setting the security for each answer) but it could be worth the time.
robinism, Jan 15 2005

       I see two problems with this. The first has to do with what people communicate, the second with why.   

       The meaning of questions and answers is difficult to pin down. It doesn't lend itself well to classification, grouping, abstraction, not even if you pull in a semantic network. Often, the person least aware of what they're communicating is the speaker.   

       You may be talking about your pet lizard (oddly enough, I just spent half an hour in a reptile store, first time in years - must be lizard day), but you're telling me other things along the way - how old you are, how educated you are, what kind of values are important to you, how you think about the world in general, what kind of relationship we're in. And if I have any sense, those things are far, far more important to me than your actual narrow answer.   

       Secondly, most of what people do when they interact isn't factual information exchange, it's a social exchange. You give me attention, I give you some attention, we both know we're socially connected and worthwhile human beings, and that makes us feel good. The factual exchange is just an excuse. If you automate the excuse, you've removed the reason for people to interact, and they'll try to find a new medium for the social confirmation they need.   

       Still, cheers for more experiments with highly structured, changing dialogues; this is worth thinking about and playing with. I also really like that you're anticipating reedits to make answers more profound.
jutta, Jan 16 2005

       * The problem that has to do with what people communicate   

       [jutta], do you mean, questions like "how educated you are" can be very short and can be extensive?   

       So, of course, the meaning of a question may differ. If 1 question may have N answers (short, long, specific, etc.), so probably it is better to write extensive article-like answer reediting them as necessary, and make it possible to quickly _reveal only a desirable fraction of them_, - a paragraph, a name, a sentence.   

       * The problem that has to do with why people communicate   

       Yes, you can't show attention to each other the same way you can do it in a chat or voice conversation (e.g., phone). As you said, people will try to find a new medium for the social confirmation.   

       I think it is okay. System wouldn't be universal medium for communication. But one could use it as an additional mean to communicate. We could use it after chatting or conversations, mailing lists, communities. For example, I have got acquainted with some person via Skype, and got to know some facts about the person, some stories, etc. After the interaction (conversation), we could then exchange our facts we prefer. Or maybe, some facts we could exchange while conversation (photos, multimedia, stories, other documents) as we normally do it in a chat, and so we wouldn't need to write down or save these facts anywhere after that.
Inyuki, Jan 16 2005

       Wow, looks like Vernon has competition.
Pericles, Jan 17 2005

       He sure does [pericles] - that was some post.   

       My first reaction was that of [jutta]'s - it doesn't account for social exchange. There was no real need for me to agree with [pericles], but it's as important to say hi to people you like as it is to consider and comment on ideas.   

       Secondy, answers depends very much on who's asking. If a prospective client asks me what I do, I'll tell him that I provide technical management and support services for conferences and events. If someone here asks me, I'll tell them that I sit behind a sound desk all day and read the Halfbakery. Many people think of me as a sound engineer because that is how I see myself and it's a quick answer. All answers are true.   

       Having been a little sceptical at first, I think there's definitely a place for this somewhere. I certainly don't know of anything like it.
wagster, Jan 17 2005

       My brain is already doing what this idea is trying to do, and is doing OK at it.   

       Of course, sometimes I get dumber, and someday I may want to use this, but then how would I know how to quickly navigate my own FAQ?
sophocles, Jan 17 2005

       //This description of the idea is not completely finished, but I hope you understand what I mean //   

skinflaps, Jan 17 2005

       [skinflaps], :-).. yea, not completely finished, for example, I didn't know the best way to sort information on that kind of profile. Maybe someone here will have some good ideas on that.   

       Usually profiles on the web have some logical structure depending on the purpose. So I think it might be good to have various arrangements possible to set up and switch: e.g., "Meeting new people arrangement", "Official information arrangement", etc., but maybe I'm completely wrong with this, and maybe making arrangements would be too much time consuming.   

       The best for this I think would be writing long article-like answers, and making less of your own questions. In your own article you naturally know where something is. So it is easier to find information. Also, your own profile search function migh be of use.   

       [Pericles] I don't think I could compare to Vernon.
Inyuki, Jan 18 2005

       I never mentioned quality. Vernon stands out for his lengthy ideas.
Pericles, Jan 18 2005


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