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US20080104495A1 - Profile display in virtual social networks - Google Patents

Profile display in virtual social networks Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080104495A1
US20080104495A1 US11977542 US97754207A US2008104495A1 US 20080104495 A1 US20080104495 A1 US 20080104495A1 US 11977542 US11977542 US 11977542 US 97754207 A US97754207 A US 97754207A US 2008104495 A1 US2008104495 A1 US 2008104495A1
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user
profile
information
virtual
social
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Abandoned
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US11977542
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Terrance Michael Craig
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Xystar Tech Inc
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Xystar Tech Inc
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/306User profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/38Protocols for telewriting; Protocols for networked simulations, virtual reality or games
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for a specific business sector, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/01Social networking

Abstract

Systems and methods for profile display in virtual social networks are provided. Users of a virtual social network can share information with other users of the virtual social network through user profiles. Some users may have multiple user profiles, including user profiles from sources external to the virtual social network. For example, a user may have separate profiles in multiple communities in the virtual social network and in multiple virtual social networks. Systems and methods of the present invention allow the user easy access to all profiles associated with the user, including profiles from sources external to the virtual social network. The information in a profile display may filtered based on various criteria associated with the profile, including community rules.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/855,011 filed Oct. 27, 2006 and entitled “Systems and Methods for Managing Privacy and Tracking of Community Members,” U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/854,990 filed Oct. 27, 2006 and entitled “Cross-Population of Vertical Communities and Graphical User Interface for Navigating Between Vertical Communities,” and U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/855,133 filed Oct. 27, 2006 and entitled “Systems and Method for Providing Content to Vertical Communities,” the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to the field of virtual social networks. More specifically, the present invention relates to profile display in virtual social networks.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0005]
    Various virtual social networks allow a user to interact with various other individuals. Each user of a virtual social network may choose to interact with certain other users of the virtual social network and form various types of connections with those users. Forming a connection with an individual may consist simply of designating the individual as a friend, a contact, a colleague, or some other designation. In some virtual social networks, the designation can be reciprocated. For example, two users may designate each other as a friend. The virtual social network allows for each user to form, organize, and manage such connections.
  • [0006]
    One way for users to meet and otherwise interact is through a community in the virtual social network. Created by an administrator, an individual user, or the like, a community represents an aggregation of users within the virtual social network who typically share something in common. A community is, therefore, generally directed toward a particular subject matter. Users with an interest in the subject matter may join the community and interact with other users with a similar interest. The subject matter may be, for example, social, hobby-related, fan-related, or business-related. A user may choose to create or join various communities corresponding with any of that user's interests.
  • [0007]
    A user may choose to share information about himself or herself to other users and communities of users in the virtual social network. One way to provide such information is through a user profile. Presently available virtual social network systems allow for a user to create a user profile containing information such as name, age, gender, location, occupations, interests, etc. Such information may indicate similarities, common interests, etc. with other users of the virtual social network. Further, user profiles allow for users with common interests to identify each other easily. For example, a user interested in racing cars may browse the user profiles of other users to determine who has a similar interest in racing cars. Further, a user who is interested in a specific type of racing car may search user profiles for indications of interest in the specific racing car. Similarly, a user interested in a particular sports team may search user profiles for indications of interests in that sports team. Interests may be described very broadly (e.g., movies) or very narrowly (e.g., Princess Leia's hairstyles in Star Wars). The user may create and customize a user profile to include a personalized set of information. The identification of other users of virtual social network with similar interests paves the way for a user to participate in discussions, exchange news, take a poll, or some other type of interaction with those other users concerning the interests in common.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    Exemplary systems and methods of the present invention allow for profile display in a virtual social network. Users of a virtual social network can share information with other users of the virtual social network through a personal profile. Some users may have multiple personal profiles, including personal profiles from sources external to the virtual social network. For example, a user may have different profiles in multiple communities in the virtual social network and in multiple virtual social networks. Systems and methods of the present invention allow for the user to navigate between displays of the multiple profiles associated with the user.
  • [0009]
    Various embodiments of the present invention include methods for profile display in a virtual social network. The method may include steps for receiving profile information from a user concerning one or more profiles associated with the user, displaying hyperlinks associated with a profile, receiving user selection of a hyperlink, and providing a display of profile information associated with the user-selected hyperlink. The display includes profile information that has been filtered and/or organized based on various criteria associated with the hyperlink. Further, choosing a profile hyperlink from a particular community may result in a profile display that has also been filtered based on rules of the community. In some embodiments of the present invention, the hyperlink may transport the user to a second community. Further, information from the first community-specific user profile may be available from the second community and may be used in a user profile specific to the second community.
  • [0010]
    Other embodiments of the present invention also include systems for profile display in virtual social networks. Some embodiments of the present invention may include an input module, an authentication module, a profile database, a display generation module and processing logic. The identity of a user may be authenticated using the authentication module. Input module may receive authentication information, profile information concerning one or more profiles associated with a user, and selection information concerning a hyperlink associated with a user profile. Profile information, including information concerning associations with hyperlinks, may be stored in the profile database. The display generation module generates a display associated with the selected hyperlink. The display includes profile information that has been filtered and/or organized based on criteria associated with the hyperlink. If the profile hyperlink is accessed from a community, the display may be further filtered based on community rules.
  • [0011]
    Some embodiments of the present invention include computer storage media and instructions for profile display in a virtual social network. Some embodiments of the present invention may further include instructions for importing profile information from sources external to the virtual social network.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a web-based environment within which the present invention operates.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is an illustration of a set of user profiles associated with a user in a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is an illustration of a profile display system for a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a method for profile display in a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5A is an illustration of a user profile display for a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5B is an illustration of another user profile display for a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0018]
    The present invention includes systems and methods for profile display in a virtual social network. A user may enter or designate information concerning one or more user profiles from various sources. These sources may include various communities in the virtual social network, various virtual social networks (i.e., MySpace®, Facebook®, Friendster®) and the like. The user may, therefore, have multiple user profiles, each associated with a different community, different virtual social network, etc. Each user profile is associated with at least one hyperlink, and when the user selects a hyperlink, a display of the associated profile information is generated. The display includes profile information that has been filtered and/or organized based on various criteria associated with the hyperlink. Such filtered profile information may include information concerning certain communities, members, blogs, photos, videos, etc. Systems and methods of the present invention allow for the user to access information from each of the various user profiles associated with the user from a single display of multiple hyperlinks. The user profiles may be associated with multiple communities in the virtual social network. Further, some of the hyperlinks may allow for the user to move from one community to another community.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a web-based environment within which the present invention operates. Virtual social network 110 may be a server capable of generating a graphical user interface accessible exemplary users 130A, 130B, and 130C through a network 120, such as the Internet or an intranet. Users 130A-C may access virtual social network 110 using their respective computing devices. Each user may maintain one or more user profiles in virtual social network 110, as well as in various external sources, such as external sources 140A and 140B. User profiles may also be community-specific, so a user may have multiple user profiles associated with multiple communities in the virtual social network 110. The user may also be a member of multiple other virtual social networks (i.e., external sources 140A and 140B) with a different user profile in each.
  • [0020]
    Virtual social network 110 is configured to allow a user to create, manage, and maintain that user's collection of relationships with other individuals in a virtual environment. Further, some embodiments of virtual social network 110 allow the user to share personal information with other users of virtual social network 110. A user profile may reflect a particular set of information concerning the user. Different user profiles may be shared with different groups, communities, and other virtual social networks.
  • [0021]
    A user, such as user 130A, may have multiple profiles, including a general virtual social network profile, as well as various community-specific profiles. User 130A may be a member of various communities in the virtual social network 110 and may have a separate profile for each of those communities. For example, user 130A may have a car enthusiast profile with car-related information, a sports fan profile with sports-related information, etc. User 130A may also have a profile from sources external to virtual social network 110. For example, a user may have a profile on external source 140A (e.g., a user profile on MySpace®) and a profile on external source 140B (e.g., a user profile on Facebook®). Profile information from external sources 140A and 140B may be displayed to the user 130A along with the user profiles from the virtual social network 110. Thus, subject to various access settings and rules, virtual social network 110 may be used to generate displays of each of the user profiles associated with the user from various sources of profile information. The user is, therefore, able to access each and every profile easily and without having to separately consult each source of user profile information, log into each source, and/or search each profile manually for certain information.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 2 is an illustration of a set of user profiles 200 associated with a user in a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment. The information from all the user profiles associated with the user may be stored and managed through user profiles set 200. In the example of FIG. 2, user profiles 200 may include a plurality of user profiles, such as user profile 210A, user profile 210B, user profile 210C, and user profile 210D. User profiles 210A-D may be profiles generated and/or used within the virtual social network 110, profiles generated and/or used within communities within virtual social network 110, or profiles generated and/or used elsewhere, such as external sources 140A and 140B.
  • [0023]
    Interaction with other individuals in virtual social network 110 can occur when other users of virtual social network 110 learn and respond to the profile information provided by the user. The user may wish to interact with different groups of users, such as family members, professional contacts, fellow car enthusiasts, fellow sports fans, fellow community members, etc. The user may choose, therefore, to create separate profiles including information specific to each group. For example, the user's sports-related profile (e.g., user profile 210A) may include information concerning favorite sports, favorite teams, favorite athletes, etc. Similarly, the user's car-related profile (e.g., user profile 210B) may include information concerning favorite cars, cars owned, cars driven, etc.
  • [0024]
    Some users may be members of various networks external to virtual social network 110. These users may wish to share user profiles from these other networks with other users of virtual social network 110 that may also be members of the same external networks. Therefore, user profile 210C and 210D may be user profiles that have been generated and used outside of virtual social network 110. Being able to easily access multiple user profiles allows user 130A to efficiently organize and update his/her profile information. Further, being able to view multiple user profiles allows other users of virtual social network 110 to interact with user 130A concerning various common interests, each of which may be detailed by the user in separate user profiles.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 3 is an illustration of a profile display system for a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment. Profile display system 300 may include input module 310, authentication module 320, profile database 330, display generation module 340, access control module 350, and processing logic 360. A module (or application), as referenced herein, should be generally understood to be a collection of routines that perform various system-level functions and may be dynamically loaded and unloaded by hardware and device drivers as required. The modular software components described herein may also be incorporated as part of a larger software platform or integrated as part of an application specific component.
  • [0026]
    Input/output module 310 is configured to allow for communication between profile display module 300, various users, other components of virtual social network 110, and various external sources (e.g., external sources 140A and 140B of FIG. 1). Input/output module 310 may be configured to receive information via a communication network 120, such as the Internet or an intranet. In some embodiments of the present invention, input/output module 310 may be located elsewhere in virtual social network 110 and/or may be external to profile display module 300.
  • [0027]
    Authentication module 320 is configured to verify an individual's identity in virtual social network 110. Identifying an individual as a particular user of virtual social network 110 (e.g., user 130A) allows that individual to perform certain operations available to user 130A, such as entering user profile information, accessing certain profiles, accessing certain content in user profiles, etc. Authentication may occur, for example, through verification of a user name and password supplied by the individual. The user name and password may be compared to user names and passwords stored in an authentication database, which may be independent of or incorporated into authentication module 320. Authentication module 320 may further be configured to authenticate a user as a member of one or more communities in the virtual social network. A single user log-in, for example, may provide the authentication information required to authenticate an individual as a certain user in the virtual social network and as a member of various communities in the virtual social network. In some embodiments of the present invention, authentication module 320 may be located elsewhere in virtual social network 110 and/or may be external to profile display module 300.
  • [0028]
    Profile database 330 is configured to store user profile information associated with each of the users of virtual social network 110. Each user may have one or more personal profiles, including profiles that have been tailored in order to convey different information to different individuals or groups. Each user may create a public user profile, a user profile for family members, a user profile for work colleagues, and various other user profiles, all stored in profile database 330. Community-specific user profiles may also be tailored for each community of which the user is a member. A user who has joined a car enthusiast community, for example, may wish to create one or more personal profiles specifically for use in that community, designating information concerning the user's cars, trucks, and various other car-related interests. Because user profiles associated with a particular community are subject to the rules of that community, information in a profile display may be further filtered according to the rules of that community. Determined and set by a community moderator or the like, community rules controls access to community-specific profile information by the general public, by members of the virtual social network only, by members of communities in the virtual social network only, by members of a particular community only, etc.
  • [0029]
    The user may also wish to view user profiles that have been generated and used outside of the context of the virtual social network 110, such as profiles on external sources 140A and 140B (from FIG. 1). Using input module 310, the user may enter or otherwise designate that such external sources may host profile information associated with the user. The information from a profile on external source 140A, for example, may be copied and saved in profile database 330 as a user profile (e.g., user profile 210A of user profiles set 200 in FIG. 2). In some embodiments of the present invention, profile information from external sources may be updated periodically, automatically, or upon request. Further, each user profile is associated with a hyperlink. The hyperlink information associated with each user profile is also saved in profile database 330.
  • [0030]
    Display generation module 340 provides for displays of the various user profiles associated with a user. Operating in conjunction with profile database 330, display generation module 340 presents the user with a menu display of the hyperlinks associated with one of the user's profiles through a graphical user interface. The menu display may be generated automatically upon log-in, upon opening a particular web page, upon entering a community, upon user request, or the like. A community-specific profile, such as a user profile in a car community, may be associated with a menu of hyperlinks such as “Cars,” “Trucks,” “Car Shows,” and other community-specific hyperlinks. A user may also have a general, or primary, profile with basic information such as name, age, location, etc. Some embodiments of the present invention allow for general profile information and/or community-specific profile information to be imported into various community-specific profiles, making it easier for the user to share such information with various communities.
  • [0031]
    Once the user selects a hyperlink from the menu of hyperlinks provided, display generation module 340 further generates a display of profile information associated with the selected hyperlink. Display generation module 340 may be further configured to generate displays of information that have been filtered based on community information. A community-specific profile display, for example, may list community-specific information, including categories and hyperlinks to more detailed information. Selection of the “Cars” hyperlink from the above example prompts the display generation module 340 to generate a display of car-related information posted in the car community, including car-related blogs, photos, videos, etc. Likewise, selecting the “Trucks” hyperlink results in a display of truck-related information posted in the car community. In some embodiments, the display of the user profile information may appear in the same window, in a new window, such as pop-up window or expanded window, or the like.
  • [0032]
    Being posted in a community, community-specific profile displays may also be filtered based on the rules of the community. Access control module 350 manages and enforces various rules concerning access to a user's profiles. Such rules may include user preferences, community rules, and the like. An individual who is not the user may wish to access a user profile and may submit a request for access to that user profile. The request is received by access control module 350, which determines whether or not to grant access to the requesting individual. If the user preference allows for public access, the requesting individual is automatically granted access to the user profile. If the user preference is set to private (e.g., accessible only to the user), the requesting individual is automatically denied access. In some embodiments, denial of access may include notification of blocked access, hiding the content from the requesting individual without notification of the content, or the like. If the user preference restricts access to specific individuals or groups, access control module 350 determines whether the requesting individual is one of the individuals authorized to access the user profile. In various embodiments of the present invention, the requesting individual must be authenticated by authentication module 320 as a user of virtual social network 110, a member of a community, or other type of individual authorized by the user to access the user profile. Some embodiments of the present invention include an access control module 350 that may be located elsewhere in virtual social network 110 and/or may be external to profile display module 300.
  • [0033]
    Access control module 350 may also enforce community rules. Determined and set by a community moderator or the like, community rules may allow content (including profiles) posted in the community to be accessed by the general public, by members of the virtual social network only, by members of communities in the virtual social network only, by members of a particular community only, etc. For example, a user profile (e.g., user profile 210A illustrated in FIG. 2) posted in a particular community (e.g., community A) may only be accessed by members of that particular community and may not be accessed by anyone outside the community. That user profile is exclusive to that particular community. Therefore, an individual browsing a community B may be able to view user profile 210B (FIG. 2) associated with community B, but may not be able to view user profile 210A.
  • [0034]
    Alternatively, community rules may allow for a user profile posted in the particular community to be accessible by members of related communities. For instance, the community rules of community B may allow for user profiles in community B to be accessed by members of community A. Such access by related communities may or may not be reciprocated by the related communities. Using the above example, access to user profiles of community A members may still be denied to members of community B who are not also members of community A. Profile access between two communities, therefore, may be reciprocal (two-way access), nonreciprocal (one-way access), or exclusive (no access).
  • [0035]
    Processing logic 360 is configured to execute a variety of operations required by the various components of profile display module 300. In various embodiments, processing logic 360 may be implemented through use of microprocessors, memory, firmware, and/or software.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a method for profile display in a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment. In various embodiments, the method allows for the display of various user profiles that are associated with a user, including user profiles from sources external to the virtual social network 110. The method is not necessarily limited to the discrete steps or the order of the steps as described herein with respect to FIG. 4.
  • [0037]
    In step 410, profile information is received from a user, for example, through input module 310. The profile information may be designated by the user into a previously existing user profile on virtual social network 110, into a new user profile created in virtual social network 110, or the user may indicate a user profile from a source external to virtual social network 110, or any combination of the foregoing. The user profile information from external sources may be copied, downloaded, or otherwise stored to profile database 330 (FIG. 3). Some embodiments may require that the user enter authentication information associated with each external source; such authentication information may also be saved to profile database 330. Some embodiments may allow for profile database 330 to receive updates for the user profiles from the external sources, either automatically, periodically, or upon request.
  • [0038]
    In step 420, a menu of hyperlinks is displayed. The displayed hyperlink menu is associated with a profile from the user profiles set 200. In some embodiments of the present invention, the hyperlink may use text, images, or a combination of the foregoing to indicate to the user the associated user profile. For example, a hyperlink to a user's MySpace® profile may appear as “MySpace®,” the MySpace® logo, or other text or images associated with MySpace®. Some embodiments of the present invention allow for a particular user (e.g., user 130A of FIG. 1) to view the user profiles of another user (e.g., user 130B of FIG. 1). For example, user 130A may be presented a display of hyperlinks associated with user profiles for user 130B. The display may be constrained by various access rules, including user preferences and community rules.
  • [0039]
    In step 430, a user selection concerning a hyperlink from the display of hyperlinks is received by input module 310. The user may select the hyperlink by clicking on the hyperlink with a mouse, checking a box by the hyperlink, or some other indication of the user selection.
  • [0040]
    In step 440, a display is generated including filtered and/or organized profile information associated with the user. The displayed information may appear in an expanded window or in a new window, for example. The display may be filtered and organized based on various criteria associated with the hyperlink. For example, choosing a hyperlink relating to a user (e.g., “diet”) may result in a display of information concerning dieting, such as diet-related communities, other users sharing that interest, diet-related articles, diet-related blogs, diet-related news, etc. The user may further be interested in gardening. If a hyperlink for the user interest “gardening” is selected from within a diet community, the generated display may include information concerning gardening communities and various other gardening-related information, etc. In some embodiments, the hyperlink may transport the user to a gardening community. Such information may include further hyperlinks to more specific information and/or be organized similarly to the diet-related display.
  • [0041]
    Where one user 130A attempts to view a user profile of another user 130B, access to the display of the user 130B profiles may be further controlled by access control module 350 (FIG. 3) enforcing user preferences, community rules; and the like. For example, user 130A may be presented with limited information from a profile associated with user 130B based on a user preference for privacy concerning certain information.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 5A is an illustration of a user profile display in a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment. Displayed in the Racer Active community, the user profile display illustrated in FIG. 5A includes general profile information and hyperlinks to some community-specific user profiles: a Racer Active Enthusiast profile, a Car and Driver profile, and a Friendster® profile. Of the three profiles, the Racer Active general profile is currently displayed. Among the information displayed in the Racer Active general profile are the user's community memberships, nickname, gender, location, relationship status, occupation, purpose, interests, etc. The community-specific profile display may include hyperlinks to more detailed information concerning the user and the community. For example, there may be hyperlinks to the community's main page, hyperlinks to specific community-specific interests, groups in the community to which the user belongs, hyperlinks to debates in the community that the user viewed or participated in, etc. The hyperlink to the interest titled “car shows” would connect the user to more detailed information concerning car shows, such as other members interested in car shows, posted notices concerning car shows, photos from car shows, etc. posted in the community. Further, the hyperlinks to communities are listed in the “community” line in the profile shown. Clicking on one of those hyperlinks (e.g., “Car and Driver”) in the user's profile may transport the user or another user to another community (e.g., the Car and Driver community).
  • [0043]
    FIG. 5B is an illustration of another user profile display in a virtual social network, according to an exemplary embodiment. The user with the user profile illustrated in FIG. 5A has another user profile. The particular user profile currently displayed is a Car and Driver profile, specifically a Car and Driver Enthusiast profile. The information displayed in the Car and Driver Enthusiast profile includes kind of driver, vehicle year/make, vehicle model, automotive interests, own/lease status, and work experience in the automotive industry. Similar to the Racer Active profile (FIG. 5A), the Car and Driver profile includes hyperlinks to more specific information.
  • [0044]
    While the present invention has been described in the context of a series of exemplary embodiments, these descriptions are not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular forms set forth herein. To the contrary, the present descriptions are intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims and otherwise appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art.

Claims (25)

  1. 1. A method for displaying user profiles in a virtual social network, the method comprising:
    associating a plurality of profiles with a user of the virtual social network;
    generating a display of a plurality of hyperlinks, each of the plurality of hyperlinks being associated with criteria designated by the user;
    receiving a selection of a hyperlink from the plurality of hyperlinks; and
    generating a display of profile information associated with the user, the profile information being filtered based on criteria associated with the selected hyperlink.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the display of the plurality of hyperlinks is associated with a profile from the plurality of profiles associated with the user.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1, further comprising importing profile information from an external source.
  4. 4. The method of claim 1, wherein the profile is associated with a community.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4, wherein the community is in the virtual social network.
  6. 6. The method of claim 4, wherein the community is external to the virtual social network.
  7. 7. The method of claim 4, wherein the display includes one or more information fields specific to the community.
  8. 8. The method of claim 1, wherein generating the display of the plurality of hyperlinks occurs at a first location in the virtual social network and wherein generating the display of profile information occurs at a second location in the virtual social network.
  9. 9. The method of claim 1, wherein the display of profile information includes general profile information designated by the user.
  10. 10. The method of claim 1, wherein the display of profile information includes community-specific profile information.
  11. 11. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
    receiving a selection of a hyperlink from the plurality of hyperlinks from a second user;
    authenticating the second user; and
    determining whether the second user is authorized to access the requested profile.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein determining whether the second user is authorized to access the requested profile is based on at least authentication information.
  13. 13. The method of claim 11, wherein determining whether the second user is authorized to access the requested profile is based on whether the second user is a member of a community.
  14. 14. The method of claim 1, further comprising updating the profile from the plurality of profiles.
  15. 15. A system for displaying user profiles in a virtual social network, the system comprising:
    a profile database configured to store a plurality of profiles associated with a user of the virtual social network;
    an input module configured to receive a selection of a hyperlink associated with criteria designated by the user; and
    a display generation module configured to generate a display of profile information associated with the user, the profile information being filtered based on criteria associated with the selected hyperlink.
  16. 16. The system of claim 15, wherein the input module is further configured to receive updated profile information and to update the profile database based on the updated profile information.
  17. 17. The system of claim 15, wherein the input module is further configured to receive profile information from a source designated by the user.
  18. 18. The system of claim 15, wherein the input module is further configured to receive profile information from a source in the virtual social network.
  19. 19. The system of claim 15, wherein the input module is further configured to receive profile information from a source external to the virtual social network.
  20. 20. The system of claim 15, wherein the display generation module is further configured to generate a display of a plurality of hyperlinks, the display of the plurality of hyperlinks being associated with a profile from the plurality of profiles associated with the user.
  21. 21. The system of claim 15, wherein the display generation module is further configured to generate the display of the plurality of hyperlinks at a first location in the virtual social network and to generate the display of profile information at a second location in the virtual social network.
  22. 22. The system of claim 15, wherein the display of profile information includes general profile information designated by the user.
  23. 23. A computer-readable storage medium having stored thereupon executable computing instructions for performing a method comprising:
    associating a plurality of profiles with a user of the virtual social network;
    generating a display of a plurality of hyperlinks, each of the plurality of hyperlinks being associated with criteria designated by a user;
    receiving a selection of a hyperlink from the plurality of hyperlinks; and
    generating a display of profile information associated with the user, the profile information being filtered based on criteria associated with the selected hyperlink.
  24. 24. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 23, wherein the executable instructions further provide for importing profile information into the profile from an external source designated by the user.
  25. 25. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 23, wherein the display of the plurality of hyperlinks is associated with a profile from the plurality of profiles associated with the user.
US11977542 2006-10-27 2007-10-24 Profile display in virtual social networks Abandoned US20080104495A1 (en)

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US20080104679A1 (en) 2008-05-01 application
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