Thanks for your reply. I privately manage a forum of approximately 5,000 users, were I to turn of signatures and ask users to instead proceed to another users profile page for more information about the user, they'd be annoyed.
Signatures are very useful and convenient on a forum, you will find very few forums that don't have a 'signature' feature.
In addition, Profile Pages are hidden away and users rarely feel the need to update them - Signatures however are always there, staring you and other users in the face and so the necessity to update them is greater.
I hope that this feedback is useful.
p.s. please give me a signature feature
Some of the reasons why I don't like forum applications, is because of the mess reading thru replies inside comments, comments with original message attached, and on top of that getting signatures with smilyes in the middle. I easily get lost and start reading the signatures instead of foccusing on the message.
Having said how I feel about forum applications in general, if we look at the most successful social networks of the last decade, one of the most important things to have is a good profile page, that tells: who are we; what we do; have been up to; etc.
When it comes to posting, one the most important things is the timeline of a discussion, and getting replies and comments in the right place - no further actions or hidden secret messages inside default signatures not always in context.
On what authoring is concern, most of the times a good picture is more then enough to identify who we are. Hence signature.
If we take for example communities I find it very easy to check a user profile by clicking on his picture or using the search functionality.
I agree in part, but 'social network' sites are very different to forums - it sounds a bit unsociable but I'm not here to make life-long friends or keep up to date with your photos and what you did at the weekend etc, I'm here for information, help, support and business contact building, your profile page and photo is essentially irrelevant to me and I haven't the time to click on everyone's profile page.
Forums and Social Networks are very different, you can't compare Facebook to BMC Communities Forum, each has a platform is built specifically for different reasons.
I agree with you that signatures can be messy, but so long as the forum administrators control content, and that the platform only allows specific content within a signature (no images, text limit, text size limit etc), they work very well.
Agree with the different goals of friends networks vs business or tech oriented networks, communities, etc. but strictly speaking the purpose if a signature is to identify the author of a message.
For example, I take pride on having a good old style email signature, because I think it is important not only that people know who sent a message, but also the company I represent, and the position I hold.
On a forum, I don't think this is relevant information when looking for help or support. And if you want to know more about me, please visit my profile.
p.s. if this is useful, please click the Correct Answer or Helpful Answer text.