The Official Poly.fm Feedback/Development Thread

polyFM

New member
Hi all -

After a bit of private messaging and in-person networking, I've come to the conclusion that polyamory needs something akin to what www.fetlife.com offers for kinksters. An online community - not primarily a dating site - that allows individuals, couples, triads, and so on to meet and engage with other poly or poly-curious folks online.

I suspect that a niche social network has been needed for some time, but websites like okCupid, fetlife, and polymatchmaker have satisfied the community in the same way that a cookie might satisfy someone who's hungry for cake. I think it's time we baked ourselves a cake :).

So, core construction has officially started. Here are some of the features that you can expect to see:

  • Free for all
  • User Profiles - About Me, Looking For, Activity Feed / Wall, Friends, Photos
  • Privacy Settings - I understand how important privacy is. Users will have control over who sees what, with "what" being pretty much everything.
  • Groups - User-created groups with moderation and the option to be geo-specific ("Nashville Poly Group" for example). User-created discussions within groups.
  • Events - User-created events with moderation and the option to be geo-specific.

My goal here is to create something simple, easy to use, and - more importantly - something that the community has directed. I see myself as an animator; I have a core set of features and some practical limitations but for the most part, I want you to determine how the various components culminate into a final product.

I've created this thread so you can voice your concerns, thoughts, opinions... anything related to this project.

I'll be updating this periodically to reflect progress that has been made:


MILESTONES

M0: Domain purchased [DONE]
M1: Logo Designed [DONE]
M2: Splash Page [DONE]
M3: User Registration
M4: Basic Profile Creation
M5: Private Messaging, User Search, Friendship
M6: Privacy Settings Revisited, Advanced Settings
M7: Profile Walls
M8: Activity Feed
MX: Groups
MY: Events
 
Last edited:

opalescent

Active member
I think it's a good idea for a poly focused site similiar to fetlife. Such a site would fill a different niche than the forum here or PMM or OKC. I like it here too just fine too but from the description the new site is not designed to replace polyamory.com or any other site. I am most interested in seeing what develops!
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
I'm with nyc. We're already here, we already know about it, and it already has a great domain. For those who want it, this site already has profiles and messaging and a calendar.

Also, fetlife itself has a number of poly groups, you can list poly as one of your kinks, and chat with other poly folk. I've met a few people on there who aren't otherwise kinky, but joined for the poly groups.

Poly folk already have challenges managing time between work, family, and relationships. This site takes up a fair bit of my time, which I enjoy. I personally don't have time to devote to yet another site.

An online community - not primarily a dating site - that allows individuals, couples, triads, and so on to meet and engage with other poly or poly-curious folks online.

Isn't that what we have here???
 

nycindie

Active member
Also, fetlife itself has a number of poly groups, you can list poly as one of your kinks, and chat with other poly folk. I've met a few people on there who aren't otherwise kinky, but joined for the poly groups.
I joined Fetlife for that purpose, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to navigate that site. Their search function sucks.
 

polyFM

New member
Thanks for the input! I should clarify - my goal isn't to replace polyamory.com. If anything, I'm trying to complement it. Poly.fm is just another option that I'm building and I want you to know that your input is valuable, that's all.

I joined Fetlife for that purpose, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to navigate that site. Their search function sucks.

I agree - the UX on that site needs some work. The strengths and shortcomings of fetlife have inspired poly.fm in many ways - search and navigation will (hopefully) be a bit easier to use.


SC - fetlife and other options can be used for those purposes, certainly. I just feel like they aren't as elegant, welcoming, or straightforward as a go-to poly networking hub could be. Fetlife wasn't made FOR polyamory, you know what I mean? My partner and I are pretty damn vanilla compared to the stuff on there - it's not a very welcoming vibe for us. I felt like I was wading through thorns on that site, and I suspect that I'm not alone.

polyamory.com is a forum (and a fantastic one at that) with a purpose. poly.fm is a social network, with a different purpose. They're just different forms of networking! One is not meant to compete with or replace the other, in my view.

I definitely understand that there's a shortage of time too - believe me. If you do get the time to take a peek as things develop, I'd love to hear what you think.
 

ThatGirlInGray

New member
It'll definitely be interesting to see how it develops! I'll absolutely give it a try once it's going. One thing that might be different compared to this forum is an emphasis on talking to people who ARE poly about NON-poly stuff. This forum has a lot of great stuff on it, but especially for newbies it takes a LOT of reading to feel "caught up", and while bumping old threads can be good and useful, it can take a helluva long time to sift through everything in a search to find what's relevant. And even then, you might be more interested in what people have to say currently on a topic. Thoughts, opinions, and views can change in 2 years!

I think this forum is terrific, particularly for people who have issues they are struggling with, but sometimes I just want to "hang out" with people who happen to "get it"- I think the idea of having a social network where I don't constantly have to explain why I have funny stories about my husband AND my partner sounds nice. The Fireplace area does that a little bit here, but the focus seems to be mainly on discussions ABOUT poly, which can get kind of heavy. I'd like a place to just BE poly instead of TALKING about being poly, if that makes any sense! :p
 

nycindie

Active member
Fetlife wasn't made FOR polyamory, you know what I mean? My partner and I are pretty damn vanilla compared to the stuff on there - it's not a very welcoming vibe for us. I felt like I was wading through thorns on that site, and I suspect that I'm not alone.
No, you are not alone. I hated the idea of poly being categorized there as a "fetish" but I joined because I'd heard one could meet other polyfolk there. However, I quickly realized that it's definitely a site focused on kink, and any poly people there are simply into BDSM. While I am mostly vanilla and happy with a little kinky stuff once in a while, Fetife seems so hardcore! AND the site navigation is terrible - I couldn't just search for people in my area, I had to look for groups and scroll thru, or something like that, and that way of searching is just too tedious.

polyamory.com is a forum (and a fantastic one at that) with a purpose. poly.fm is a social network, with a different purpose. They're just different forms of networking! One is not meant to compete with or replace the other, in my view.

I definitely understand that there's a shortage of time too - believe me. If you do get the time to take a peek as things develop, I'd love to hear what you think.

I think your ideas are good, and interesting. There have been others who came here to say they started poly dating sites, but not what it sounds like you want to do - poly networking.

There were a few threads about developing poly dating sites:
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8991
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14656

I am sure researching other networking sites and seeing what works and what doesn't could be helpful. Are you familiar with polymatchmaker.com? They are pretty dead as far as a dating site, but I do get a bite every now & then and apparently a part of the community there is pretty close-knit. I check out their forums occasionally (must be a member to view), and they have regular chats for paid members.

But seriously, I am here almost every day and don't know how a networking site would augment this forum, for myself. I can have photo albums here and share them, make them private or not, there are local groups, and a calendar. Maybe these things are underutilized, but they are available. I can't even remember the last time I logged into Facebook. But I will keep an eye out for poly.fm!
 

BrigidsDaughter

New member
I think a social network for poly people is a great idea. NY has it's own poly forums and a thread for poly get togethers, but things are always so hard to plan. We can't be out on fb because of my job and our families, so it would be nice to have somewhere similar where I can be out or at least more out.
 

polyFM

New member
TGIG - I think that's a great way to put it! Forums generally center the conversation; social networks feel a bit more fluid in nature. Thanks for the input :).

nycindie - thanks for those links. I just took a run through them and got a good idea of what people are looking for (or NOT looking for).

I am sure researching other networking sites and seeing what works and what doesn't could be helpful. Are you familiar with polymatchmaker.com?

Yeah, I spent a good amount of time on PMM before moving forward with poly.fm. I had a couple major problems with it:

  • They're trying to monetize polyamory. I don't like that. I think this should be free for all. There is a cost to incur, but I believe that should be covered by either the owners of the site, donations, or non-intrusive ads (a la facebook).
  • The UX makes me cringe. The layout, registration process, forced field entry... *shudder*.

The team does seem active (their last update was a few days ago), but I don't see that site changing as much as I feel like it needs to any time soon.

BrigidsDaughter - I appreciate the feedback :)
 

ray

New member
I like this idea a lot. A forum and a social networking site are two very different things. Both good. Just different. I like the logo that you have so far. A lot of the sites that cater to alternative lifestyles suffer from crappy design and all that. If you can make a site that is sleek, that will go a very long way!
 

SourGirl

Member
This site is as much poly-saturation as I can handle, but I don`t see any harm in trying a networking site. It`ll rise or flop, on it`s own merits.
 

polyFM

New member
I like this idea a lot. A forum and a social networking site are two very different things. Both good. Just different. I like the logo that you have so far. A lot of the sites that cater to alternative lifestyles suffer from crappy design and all that. If you can make a site that is sleek, that will go a very long way!

:) You should see user registration up towards the middle of this week. We can hone in on a "good enough" design in these beginning stages and then throw some serious design work at the end result. Updates to come!
 

polyFM

New member
I think the archetype for its use is last.fm - a music streaming service. Other non-music sites have used it too - check this out: tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.fm

I chose that domain because it's short, simple, relevant, and memorable. "polymatchmaker" or "polysocialnetwork" etc just feel clumsy to me, you know?

Thanks for the logo props :)
 

polyFM

New member
Registration: Done

Hey guys -

User registration is up and ready for your feedback. The way we're rolling this out is in two stages - http://beta.poly.fm for beta testing as everything is developed in stages, and then www.poly.fm for the final product.

If you go to www.poly.fm now, you'll see only the logo.

If you go to beta.poly.fm, you'll see a log in page. In order to register, use the code rpoly.

This will give you access to registration and your basic user settings page.

Next up - user profile creation.

As always - feedback is welcome and desired :).
 

drtalon

New member
Interesting. What's the backend platform? Are you looking for more help than feedback?

As much as I dislike certain parts of Fetlife's functionality, their visual design is much easier to read and use than the phpBB template used here. I also think strong mobile support would be a good thing.
 

polyFM

New member
We started with CodeIgniter but decided to just go with raw PHP on a LAMP stack, in the name of speed. Hosted on a VPS over at Rimuhosting for now. We might upgrade to Cassandra and dedicated servers if this ends up gaining traction but that's far down the road.

Mobile support is absolutely in scope. I think we'll start with just a m.poly variant and, given enough demand, offer free apps for various platforms.

Right now we're a two-man team but we're sailing smoothly - let me send you a PM with some more details :).
 

AutumnalTone

New member
Hey guys -

User registration is up and ready for your feedback.

If you go to beta.poly.fm, you'll see a log in page. In order to register, use the code rpoly.

That was quick and painless. Large, easy-to-read buttons and so forth. Cool.
 
Top