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Related: Allow "Save And Copy Profile To All Stack Exchange Accounts" to exclude selected sites

My StackExchange profile currently syncs with my "oldest profile", which is Physics.SE. Unfortunately, this means that the physics-specific blurb out there is shown to everyone.

Also, whenever I create a new account, the physics-y profile is copied over.

I had filled in all my details and the one-line bio on Physics and used "copy to all SE accounts". Then I later filled in the Physics-specific bio. It seems that the site the profile was all-site copied from is kept in memory, and new sites just copy from the current version of that site.

I'd like a more intuitive and easy way to manage these profiles. I know profiles aren't a big deal, but currently I have a bunch of Physics-y stuff all over the place. And it's annoying. Also, one important part of a bio is the expertise level, and that's obviously different for each site.

Could we have a better way to manage these profile bios? One idea I could toss out is this:

Have a centralized place to manage these bios. Maybe, just have a single text box with something like this:

SE.com bio here

<!-- Site:stackoverflow-->
<!-- summary: SO summary here -->
SO bio here

<!-- Site:physics-->
<!-- summary: Phy summary here -->
Phy bio here
<!-- Site: alltherest -->
<!-- summary: General summary for all the sites not listed above -->
Bio for all the sites not listed above

Whenever you save this, the relevant bios are sliced out and copied to each site.

I feel that this will be way better than the "copy to all sites".

Update: now that profile images can be uploaded independent of gravatar, we should be able to selectively sync these across sites as well.

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Interesting idea. At the very least it would be nice to be able to decide which site has the "master" copy of the profile information. –  ChrisF May 11 '12 at 9:03
@ChrisF: Exactly. Currently it's all confusing. I tried investigating and then gave up. :/ –  Manishearth May 11 '12 at 9:11
Regarding your edit, clicking the "Save And Copy Profile..." in the edit page should also copy the custom picture to all sites.. unless you tried that and it didn't work? –  Shadow Wizard Jan 16 '13 at 14:08
@ShaWizDowArd: "selectively". Suppose I don't want to sync my profile text, just the avatar? (without using Gravatar). A lot of people have separate about texts for each site (I used to have it on most, but I think they got wiped out on a sync sometime back). The new image functionality is useless for them –  Manishearth Jan 16 '13 at 14:11
Sorry, now I understand. Well, I suggested something similar here, see the last part. –  Shadow Wizard Jan 16 '13 at 14:19
I don't think I'd want to centrally manage all my profiles like that (when editing I want to see the site-specific preview to check formatting), but it'd be great to be able to designate which is the "master" or that none is (make the network profile independently editable). –  Monica Cellio Apr 20 '14 at 22:39
Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/231419/162102 –  Monica Cellio Jun 8 '14 at 4:10

1 Answer 1

One possibility, which might be less work than designing and implementing a new official interface or syntax for controlling multiple profiles, would be to add API support for modifying profiles.

Version 2.2 of the API already added write support for most other features on the site. At least from the outside, profiles seem like a fairly simple and safe extension to that.

I'm sure that nice third-party tools and extensions for controlling multiple profiles would quickly pop up to fit whatever needs users have.

Ideally, it would also be possible to set the network profile using this new API. If not by specifically defining its content, than perhaps with an optional flag that lets you promote a site's profile to the network profile when modifying it. (It might not be worth cluttering up the site's UI with a rarely-used option like that, but there's less cost to include it in the API.)

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