commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
Our user profile pages are okay. But they're nothing special. You wouldn't share it like you would your LinkedIn, Twitter or personal website. Which means you certainly won't print it out, stick it up on your office wall and grin every time you look at it. Which means it's not fun, or rewarding...
It should be.
We're letting you down here.
You guys make this community. You're reading and sharing interesting stuff. Most of you are writing on twitter and personal blogs. You have awesome jobs. You go to industry events and have a great time - how can we encapsulate all you are into incredible profile pages that really show you off as individuals, and showcase the community as a whole?
I like Zerply. I love Vizify. What do you think would really work for us as marketers?
I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions.
My first thought is that I view my profile page from an SEO point of view. The good news is we get a couple of followed links on our profile page. Submit good content, make awesome comments, and your page could earn a fair amount of link authority - in theory. In practice, the page is less than optimized.
Caveat: These are mostly SEO recommendations, and don't take into account things like design and general kick-ass features that I hope others can suggest.
1. Title Tag - Could be more descriptive by adding, for example, our job title/company/location or mix. My current title tag is "Cyrus Shepard | Inbound.org" whereas a more descriptive title tag might be "Cyrus Shepard - Chief of Mischief at Cyrus Shepard Inc. | Inbound.org" or some variation using my submitted content.
2. Add alt image on profile photo.
3. Rich Snippets - Some folks might want you to add rel="author" snippets to our profile, but I think this might send confusing signals to Google as to the authorship of some of the content we submit. Instead, I would love to see the "people" rich snippets schema implemented on our profile pages. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=146646
4. Duplicate Profile Pages - We all seem to have 3 near duplicate profile pages thanks to the tabbed "Comments" and "Upvotes". For example, you can find me under:
All are near-duplicate with the same title tag and general basic bio information. It would be ideal if these 3 pages were combined into a single URL that looked the same, but degraded gracefully without java-script or ajax. Barring that, I might canonical these pages to a master version, as I don't see the value of search engines indexing all three. (at a very minimum, you can vary the title tag.)
5. HTML Layout - Google likes unique content placed on the page in an area where a "reasonable surfer" will notice it. The biographical information on our profile pages - the truly unique content on these pages - is shoved to the right sidebar, and is places in the HTML beneath the list of non-unique links that we've shared or commented on. It would be great to place this unique biographical information, such as "Where I write" and "project and skill" in a more prominent location, both on the page on in the HTML.
Deviating from SEO and tiptoeing into design, I would love to see karma scores displayed more prominently, and perhaps introduce badges (although I think these are overplayed in the industry.) Also might be nice to find a way to display multiple info threads at once, such as a users top articles, comments and discussions all on one page.
Regardless, I LOVE Inbound.org. You guys are doing a kick-ass job, and this website represents so much about what to right in an online community. Keep up the good work!