TheMadScientist - 7:34 pm on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
This post is my opinion only, so Do Your Own Due Diligence before use or saying I told you how to do this to make sure it's not something you could have any issues using, and no, you cannot patent one of the possible work-arounds I've posted because I'm providing the instruction on how to do it, so I would have to be the one filing the patent application and I don't have time today... LOL.
Claim 1 Emphasis Mine.
A method for displaying a news feed in a social network environment, the method comprising:
monitoring a plurality of activities in a social network environment;
monitoring the plurality of activities in a database;
generating a plurality of news items regarding one or more of the activities, wherein one or more of the news items is for presentation to one or more viewing users and relates to an activity that was performed by another user;
attaching a link associated with at least one of the activities of another user to at least one of the plurality of news items where the link enables a viewing user to participate in the same activity as the another user;
limiting access to the plurality of news items to a set of viewing users;
and displaying a news feed comprising two or more of the plurality of news items to at least one viewing user of the predetermined set of viewing users.
You just can't do it exactly like they do, so here are some possible work-arounds to Claim 1:
1.) Do not attach the link to the News Item, but rather dynamically create the link and allow the user to attach it through the use of a check-box or other method of user entry, which may or may not include the use of a specific button or simply allowing the user to copy and paste the link into the text.
Options could include, but are not limited to: A check-box, a radio button, two submit buttons where one is marked 'link' and the other is marked 'don't link' or some other method providing a similar effect allowing user control.
(Possibly set to a default by the user in their control panel.)
2.) Attach a link which is not directly to the activity the News Item is about, but rather to a 'user-activity' overview page, area on a page, or similar, where the activities may or may not be sorted based on most recently used, most popular or some other sensible, usable order, or even displayed randomly or in an unsorted order.
The link attached does not directly allow participation in the activity, but rather allows the user to see the activities another user participates, or participated, in either regularly or irregularly and the link on the activities page or section of a page allows participation.
Any indirect method of linking should be considered as an alternative to directly linking to the activity.
3.) Do not dynamically generate news items, but rather allow users to designate an item as news at the time of publication, through the use of a check-box or other method of user entry, which may or may not include the use of a specific button, where one could be titled 'news' and another 'not news' or something providing a similar effect allowing user control.
Options could include, but are not limited to: A check-box, a radio button, two submit buttons where one is marked 'news' and the other is marked 'not news' or something to a similar effect.
* Do people seriously think the Internet is dead because sites may have to use two buttons and let their users determine what news should be published or linked to an activity rather than a site deciding for them? Users might even like the added control...