Find Them Before They Find You

Genuine, red-blooded American User Search is finally done and available from the menu at top. It's labelled "User Search." It searches almost everything on a user's profile page--city/state, interest tags, text, even user notes. The only thing it doesn't search is which stores a user is a fan of. I could probably lump that in, too--any interest in that?

Also new to your user page is the option to add your real name. Not everybody will want to do this for privacy reasons, so this is entirely optional. But several of you have expressed interest in this, primarily so you can find others (and they can find you) through your real names.

I've also added a "Website" field to the User Profile page. I've noticed that many of you are authors, bloggers, community activists--or all three--and have your own websites to share. That's great, and I'd like to use this field to make it as easy as possible. This data will also be searchable.

For those of you who asked, City/State are now sortable as well as Username. If there are any Drupal folks out there, the reason this took some time is because City and State are both Node Reference fields, and out of the box Node Reference fields are not user-sortable. This is because the Node Reference CCK field only contains the nid of the node referenced, not the node's title, so you could only sort numerically by nid, which is pretty useless. There is a patch for this in 5.x, which I applied, but once I got it working the links for city/state fields were wrong--pointing to the user's profile node rather than the city/state nodes. I was able to sidestep this by making my own views handler for node reference fields. Any Drupal users having problems with this, drop me a line and I'll explain.

The User Search works based on an index which is updated on a periodic basis, so changes you make to your user profile--and new users--may not appear in search results right away. Again, for Drupal folks, I'm doing this using Drupal's core Search.module, Views Fast Search, and a slightly-modified version of Index CCK Node Reference.

If you're looking for the older, rudimentary user-search page that listed all users, here it is. Don't bookmark it, though, because I will probably remove that page sooner than later--as our list of community members grows, that page will become increasingly huge and unwieldy...ah, progress!