How to post to the activity stream

Most social networking websites have a way for you to quickly post a brief update about what you are doing or what is on your mind. The USPX website provides similar functionality. We call it “posting to the activity stream”.

The activity stream is a page listing what members have been doing recently on the site. It is the page you usually see upon logging onto the site. You can access the activity stream by selecting:

Community > Activity

Blog posts, comments on blog posts, new friendship connections and the formation of groups are all activities that are listed on the activity stream. It is worth scrolling through the activity stream occassionally to see all that is happening.

There are actually multiple activity streams on the website. Every member has her own activity stream, as does every group. The main activity stream is an aggregation of all member activity streams and the activity streams of public groups. It does not include activity streams of private or hidden groups.

Posting to the activity stream inserts a comment directly into the activity stream. Unlike other items in the activity stream, which reference some recent action on the site, when you post to the activity stream, that is the action. Your update appears only in the activity stream.

To post to the activity stream, go to the activity stream page. Near the top, you will see a “What’s new …” window where you can type an update. Immediately below the window is a drop-down menu for you to select what activity stream you want to post to. It will list your profile as well as any groups you are a member of as options. If you select your profile or any public group, your update will also appear in the main activity stream. Click the “Post Update” button, and your update will appear immediately in the activity stream you selected. It can be viewed by other members, who may reply to your update. The next time you visit the activity stream page, check to see if you have any replies.

Note that members can reply, right in the activity stream, to any item appearing in the activity stream. However, you generally want to avoid doing so because your reply will not appear anywhere except in the activity stream. For example, if a post to a member blog appears in the activity stream, you can reply to it in the activity stream, but your reply wil not appear on the member blog. It will appear only in the activity stream. To have it appear in both locations, go to the member blog and post your reply there.

Viewing the main activity stream can be overwhelming if there is a lot of activity. You can narrow your view by clicking on tabs that appear near the top of the activity stream page:

  • The “Friends” tab shows activity just for members who are part of your friends network.
  • The “Groups” tab shows activity just for groups (including private and hidden groups) you are a member of.
  • The “My Mentions” tab lists activity that explicitly mentions you.

If you want to see activity for a specific member, visit her her profile. Select:

Community > Members

Find the person in the list, and click on her name. Alternatively, if you see any activiity by that member anywhere on the website (like a blog post or a comment), you can click on her name to see her activity steam.