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A Look at SocialEngine Profile Questions

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Hello and welcome! Today, we’ll introduce you to Profile Questions in SocialEngine PHP. We’ll cover what they are, how they work, and how they can be useful to your community.

What are Profile Questions?

Profile Questions are custom fields or questions that members answer for their profiles. The Profile Questions can correspond to Profile Types in order to have customized questions for different member types. For example, you could have a Profile Type called “Actor” with profile questions that correspond to to the profile type. Examples would be movies, awards, Actor’s Guild Member, etc. You could also have a Profile Type of Director and have pertinent questions for Directors that don’t show on the Actor’s profile and vice verse.

How do Profile Questions Work?

Profile Questions work by connecting specific questions to a Profile Type. As members join your community, they select the Profile Type that they belong in. This then enables Profile Questions that have been set to that Profile Type to show on the member’s profile for them to fill in.

Here’s an example of some basic profile questions filled in on the member profile:

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How are Profile Questions Useful?

Profile Questions are a great way to customize member profiles, help connect like-minded members, and sort members. These can be useful for dating, business, sports, music and many other types of communities.

You can choose whether the Profile Question shows on the member browse page, the signup page and the profile. Having these options allows you to control which Profile Questions show in public areas and which ones don’t.

Here’s how it looks on the member browse search section:

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As you can see above, Profile Questions can be very useful for your community. With Profile Questions, your members can provide a better view of who they are, their business details, or perhaps even their band info. This versatile feature can be used however you envision – from personal, business, pets, religious or any other type of profile that you’ve set up.

Thank you for spending time with us! If you have any questions, please feel free to post at our community.

Posted in Tips and Tutorials | 7 Comments

SocialEngine PHP 4.9.4 Release

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Hello!

We’re back with a new release –  SocialEngine PHP 4.9.4! This minor release addresses some issues that were reported by clients in our community along with a few issues our staff found during further testing. We’ve also included some improvements for the upcoming certified marketplace.

A big improvement we’ve made is to add LESS parser support for themes!. This combined with the improvements we made in 4.9.3 are sure to drastically improve SocialEngine templates!  **Note: if using Admin Panel to edit the LESS variables, you’ll need a minimum of PHP 5.3.2 on the server.

Fixed Issues or Improvements Made:

  • Feature – Adding LESS parser support for themes.
  • Fixed – default language only worked if set to English.
  • Fixed – issue with installing plugins on Ubuntu 16.
  • Fixed – issue with session_write_close() for some servers.
  • Fixed – added password field for Redis cache, optional setting.
  • Fixed – using quotes in About Me caused ASCII characters to show.
  • Fixed – issue with saving CSV to PHP setting if setting did not exist in DB.
  • Fixed – changed notification to DESC to allow new notifications to show for those with lots of activity.
  • Fixed – error with Archive_Tar has a deprecated constructor.
  • Fixed – issue with widgets loading for disabled plugins.
  • Fixed – critical error with “Already Liked.”

You can also browse the complete changelog for more details about the changes and fixes implemented in this version.

We had mentioned in our 4.10 sneak peek that we would remove older themes (all themes except Insignia) from the core download. We’ve removed them for this release but they can now be found in the marketplace for free and can be downloaded once logged in to your account. You’ll see them listed as SocialEngine PHP Legacy Themes in one bundle. Support and updates for these themes will not be provided as they are legacy products and we cannot continue to support them. We suggest you contact third party experts for assistance with any theme issues. Experts that may want to update and release versions of these themes for sale or free need to contact SocialEngine first.

In preparation of our certified marketplace launch, we’ve added some improvements to this version. In your Admin Panel, once our certified marketplace opens you’ll notice certified plugins that you can purchases. At this time, these install in the normal method (via the Package Manager after you purchase and download them).

We’ve also added headers in your Admin Panel package manager to separate each expert’s listings that you’ve installed. Here’s a screenshot with two different expert’s products installed:

admin package headers

Please ensure that you have set your domain for your license in your client dashboard at SocialEngine. This is very important as the site validation tool, https://www.socialengine.com/php-site/verify , checks by domain name. We have had sites reported as invalid by people checking them, and they actually are valid sites. This will also be important for future marketplace product validation.

As always we highly encourage all users to do a complete backup of both files and database before performing this upgrade. Please have the backup performed by your host or a developer if you’re not comfortable with performing it yourself. Always check with third party experts for compatibility with any products you use before upgrading.

Important: If you are on a version below 4.9.2, you will need to follow the steps in this blog before upgrading and apply the patch mentioned.

Your copy of version 4.9.4 can be downloaded in your client account. The Zend download is no longer required as it’s part of the core product. The link still shows but does not work to download and will be removed on our next website update.To upgrade, please view our upgrade documentation or, if you’d rather we take care of the hard stuff, you can order an upgrade and we’ll do it for you. Fresh installs should follow this installation tutorial or you can order an installation and our team will get it installed in no time!

Thank you all for your help in posting any bugs you may have found! If you find any more issues, please let us know by filing a bug report in our Bug Tracker or by contacting us here. Lastly we’d like to encourage you to stay connected with the community.

With Appreciation,
The SocialEngine Team

Posted in Release Notes | 6 Comments

4.10 Roadmap

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Hello!

It’s time for a roadmap! We know how much you look forward to new releases and in getting information for upcoming ones. We wanted to let you know what’s on tap for version 4.10 and a basic idea of when to expect it.

New Features

Tagging Members

Ability to tag a member in a post or comment. Username tagging is popular in social networking and it’s coming to SocialEngine PHP 4.10!

Smileys/Emoticons

Smileys/Emoticons are a staple of social networking. We’re including smiley/emoticon support for all text areas!

Profile and Group Banners

We will be adding support for banner images for both individual and group profiles. This adds a customization feature that members tend to love.

Hashtags

We’re adding hashtags! Similar to how Twitter #hashtags work, this will also include a tag cloud to show all of the hashtags added. This is great for SEO and user engagement.

Enhancements

Remove Flash

Remove flash components and replace with HTML5. This is something that clients have requested and we find it necessary due to browser changes. It’s not something we could release in a 4.9 minor release as it’s a big change so we will include it in 4.10.

Networks Update

We’ll be updating Networks so that it’s a more robust feature. Members will be able to choose which of their networks they want to post to (via standard privacy settings).

Profile Types Update

Profile Types is getting some attention. We’ll add the ability to hide on registration and/or member browse, allow admin to assign profile types and edit a member’s profile type.

Remove Old Themes

We will remove the old themes from the core download. These will be added to the marketplace as free, unsupported downloads. Experts are free to update them as they choose and can contact us for details.

PHP Requirements

PHP has come a long way since PHP 5.2 and we find it necessary to update the requirements for SocialEngine PHP version 4.10. It will require at least PHP 5.6 but we strongly recommend using PHP 7.

All of the above are in addition to bug fixes that we’ll incorporate into this version. We anticipate this release during 4th quarter 2017. Got questions? Please feel free to ask at our community!

Posted in Company Updates | Tagged , | 30 Comments

Spencer’s SocialEngine Marketplace Adventure

Spencers adventures in SocialEngine

I’m back! Did you miss me?

These got pokey under my pillow so I’m going to put them here for you and then take a nap. Here’s the last of what I dug up in my first trip to the marketplace. I’m sure I’ll go back there to play as it’s full of so much fun stuff!

SportsPlus Responsive Theme – SportsPlus is a multi-color, user friendly theme with an attractive landing page. By Stars Developer “I love sports! Tennis balls are awesome!!”

Questions and Answers – A plugin that gives your users functionality to post questions and get answers. By WebHive. “Here’s a fun way to pass the time. Members could even make fun question games.”

French Language pack – Fully translated language pack. By Social-Zone. “Did you know that “woof” in French is still “woof?”

SMS Plugin – Send SMS to your contacts directly from the SocialEngine interface. By iPragmatech Solutions . “Oh this is fun. I borrowed James’ cell phone to send messages with this!”

Desktop Notifications – This module will add awesome Desktop notifications (PUSH) feature for your website. Your users will be prompted to allow your site to show them notifications (just like on Facebook). By SocialEngine Mobi . “This is great! I could friend everyone and they would get notified and then come play ball with me!”

That’s some great stuff! I hope you enjoyed them all. I sure did. :) This is your buddy Spencer signing off until next time.

Posted in Developer Spotlight | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Spencer’s SocialEngine Marketplace Adventure

Spencers adventures in SocialEngine

Psst! I’m back :)

Last time, I showed you some of the great things I found in the marketplace. Those were pretty cool, right? Well, I didn’t show you everything. I brought some back to play with. I’m done playing with these right now so check them out. They might have a few little chew marks on them but they’re still in top notch condition. Boy, they sure were tasty!

  • Advanced Error Pages – Show your creativity and turn error pages into informative pages. By SocialEngineSolutions. “Makes me want to go to the error pages just to see them!”
  • Credits/Reward Points – Credits, Reward Points and Virtual Currency – User Engagement Plugin enables users to earn credits / reward points by performing various activities. By SocialEngineAddOns. “I would reward members with milk bones. Nothing better than those!”
  • Random Polls – Show random polls to get more interest for your polls. By ScriptTechs. “A poll to see what is better, dogs or cats, would be interesting.”
  • Social Adsense – This plugin will help your members create their own ad campaigns. By Hire-Experts. “Ads are great to make money! More money = more dog toys!”

This isn’t the last of it. I’ll be back to show you some more finds I buried in the back of the office, in a few weeks. For now, I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Your buddy Spencer. 😉

Posted in Developer Spotlight | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Spencer’s Adventures: Atlas Sneak Peek

image19Hey! Over here!! Guess what I found? Oh boy you’ll never guess. :DI was sniffing around Ray’s office, it smells of bacon. I love bacon! I found a hidden stash of bacon in his desk so of course after munching on that, I had to look for more. Well, I found…

Atlas

This new theme bundle is full of great features! Ready? Check this out!

Customizable Splash Page

You can edit the text that shows on this page to make it a fully customized experience. The background image is totally up to you! Best of all – it rotates between however many images you decide to load for it! WOW! Great stuff!!

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Auto-complete Search

Yes, that’s right! Atlas includes an auto-complete feature for searching! Now how awesome is that?

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User Drop down Menu

Now this is pretty cool. A drop down menu for the member’s profile, account and logout links.

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Posting to the Feed

New look for posting a feed status. This sleek look will surely entice your members to post!

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Writing a Comment to a Feed Post

Sleek design invites members to comment and keep the discussions moving along!

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Blogs that Pop

That’s right! Your blogs will practically pop off the screen with this new design. Blog views are designed for optimal viewing pleasure. (Requires Blog plugin)

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Profile Header Improved

A nice, sleek profile header to delight your members! Who could resist this?

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Photo Section Thrills

Designed to emphasize and create a dramatic effect for your site’s photos. (Requires Album plugin)

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Exciting Music Player

Impress your music lovers with this eye-popping music player! (Requires Music Plugin)

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Re-Designed Activity Feed

This newly designed activity feed brings a focus to the activity on your site. Your members will appreciate this easy to read format.

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Member Browse in the Spotlight

Put a spotlight on what counts – your members. This design focuses attention on each member and encourages member interactions with an easy to find “Add Friend” link.

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Full Width Videos in Feed

That’s right! You can now have full width videos in your activity feed. Your members are going to love this and want to add more and more videos! (Some features require Video Plugin)

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Full Width/Height Chat

Want more space for your chat? No problem! Atlas provides a full width/height chat room. (Requires Chat Plugin)

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Forum Topics

Designed for optimum readability and navigation. Your members will love spending time in your forum. (Requires Forum plugin)

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Editing a Form

Designed for ease of use, this design shows the edit form in a clean format. (Blog edit shown below requires Blog plugin)

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Browsing Entries in Sections

Designed to focus on content, your members will find items displayed in an attractive format.

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It’s Responsive!

That’s right! This is a responsive theme that doesn’t require the mobile plugin. This screenshot shows the responsive profile.

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Dress it up with Profile Banners

Atlas includes support for members to add profile banners!

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Phew! That was a lot to dig out. The good news is, this theme will be for sale in the marketplace soon. I have to go now. Ray’s keyboard smelled like bacon so I cleaned it up some, with my tongue, and accidentally ate his S. Maybe he won’t notice. 😀 Your pal Spencer.

Posted in Company Updates | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SocialEngine PHP 4.9.3 Release

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Hello!

Hot off the presses, SocialEngine PHP 4.9.3! This minor release addresses some issues that were reported by clients in our Github along with a few issues our staff found during further testing. We’ve also included some minor improvements to current features.

Designers will be thrilled as we’ve added support so the main layout can be edited allowing much greater flexibility in themes. This will check if default.tpl exists and if it does, it will load the layout from there. Additionally, if a ‘head.tpl’ exists they can add additional data to the sites <head></head>.

Fixed Issues or Improvements Made:

  • Fixed – all remaining privacy issues for each SocialEngine official plugin.  
  • Fixed –  Zend_Form_Exception: Form elements auth_view and auth_comment have the same order. 
  • Fixed – banned IP not deleted from database when deleted in admin. 
  • Fixed – mail Templates: Post on Profile does not use updated [footer] template. 
  • Fixed – if no subscription plans exist, Admin can still allow users to select on registration.
  • Fixed – ad campaigns not working when no network is chosen.
  • Fixed – undefined variable and undefined index for photo albums.
  • Fixed – private profile shows photo and name.
  • Fixed – page title not changing for multi-language translations. 
  • Fixed – error for core plugins (albums, blog, polls, etc) when no privacy is selected for member levels.
  • Fixed – undefined property error stdClass::$user.
  • Fixed – remove “publish to Twitter” from private messages. 
  • Fixed – API error with 2Checkout if account not approved at 2Checkout and admin tries to disable it from payment gateway settings.
  • Fixed – added phrases for Blog Photos, Forum Photos, Classified Photos and Wall photos for translation; privacy and notification settings; IM Chat – toggle notifications. 
  • Fixed – UI issues for music manage page options and music upload icon; “next” icon; user profile icon in mini menu;  .
  • Fixed – ad rotation issue where ads with less views would show and not show others. Set to show ads in a random pattern.
  • Fixed – deleted user’s notifications remained in engine4_activity_notificationsettings database. 
  • Fixed – phrase truncation issue with language array file.
  • Fixed – in poll and music plugin, “Friends only” privacy issue if user has no friends.
  • Fixed – Top Referring Sites page shows all referring URLs, changed to show up to 100.
  • Fixed – Video plugin error when member is in a network and there are no videos on the site.
  • Fixed – issues setting memcache settings and connection refused error.
  • Fixed – photo attached in mail compose is cropped. 
  • Fixed – changed the Twitter api link in Admin Panel settings to update it with correct URL.
  • Fixed – Google font URL in theme was causing a 404 error, updated URL.
  • Fixed – subscription on signup not progressing for popup form.
  • Fixed – Admin Panel RSS feed for News & Updates changed to ajax load to ensure there is no load delay.
  • Fixed – announcement undefined variable tabIndex.
  • Fixed – memcache details could not be saved in admin and memcache refusal error.
  • Fixed – PHP notice: “fgetcsv(): escape must be a single character” for translation.
  • Improved – thousand and decimal separator improvement to allow for varied locales. 
  • Improved – privacy improvements for member browse page to hide profile pics from showing for private profiles and hide blocked members from showing to members that blocked them.
  • Improved – include page title in title tag in Admin Panel.
  • Improved – optimized album widget privacy performance. 
  • Improved – added setting to choose between icon or label for Insignia theme mini widget menu. This improves accessibility for clients with screen readers.
  • Improved – added emoticon (smiley) and code snippet buttons to TinyMce editor.

NOTE: Please make sure that you do a complete backup of both files and database before performing this upgrade. Please have the backup performed by your host or a developer if you’re not comfortable with performing it yourself. Always check with third party experts for compatibility with any products you use before upgrading.

Important: If you are on a version below 4.9.2, you will need to follow the steps in this blog before upgrading and apply the patch mentioned.

You can also browse the complete changelog for more details about the changes and fixes implemented in this version.

You can download your copy of version 4.9.3 from your client account. To upgrade, please view our upgrade documentation or, if you’d rather we take care of the hard stuff, you can order an upgrade and we’ll do it for you. Fresh installs should follow this installation tutorial or you can order an installation ticket and our team will get it installed in no time!

Thank you all for your help in posting any bugs you may have found! If you find any more issues, please let us know by filing a bug report in our Bug Tracker or by contacting us here. Lastly we’d like to encourage you to stay connected with the community.

With Great Respect,

The SocialEngine Team

Posted in Release Notes | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Explosive Growth Potential with SocialEngine Niche Communities

Growth with SocialEngine niches

Hi there! Today, we’re exploring the explosive growth potential with SocialEngine niche communities. Grab a beverage, hop in a comfy chair and let’s spend time exploring this topic together.

What is a “niche” community?

A simple explanation of a “niche” community is a community that focuses on a particular topic for a specific audience. Facebook started by initially focusing on Harvard students.  Later they expanded it to higher education institutions in the Boston region, the Ivy League schools, and Stanford University. Facebook gradually added support for students at various other universities, and eventually to high school students. Today, Facebook has roughly 2 billion monthly users.  

Why is a Niche Important?

Having a focus for your community can make it easier to acquire members via search engines. As you add relevant keywords, titles, descriptions and content, your site should show up in search engines as people search for those same terms. This makes it much easier to achieve better search engine ranking.

For example, maybe you enjoy crafts. If you search Google now for “craft community,” you’ll find a large amount of websites focusing on that general topic. Let’s narrow this down a bit.  Perhaps your favorite craft is pottery. If you focus your community on pottery, you could gain the benefits of the “craft” and “pottery” keywords and have an easier time targeting your ad campaigns to people interested in that subject.

Why does a niche community grow faster than a general community?

A niche community has content specifically targeted towards people with that same interest. This content attracts like-minded individuals who join and share their own tips, advice, great finds, etc.

By providing good content for your niche, it’ll be easier to attract members looking for information, friendship, help, tips, etc. People will be far more likely to join a community that specializes in something they’re interested in than a general site with no specific focus. As these members join, they’ll share the site with their friends and family. Hence, your community becomes stronger and much more likely to succeed.

How can you cater to a niche community?

When starting a niche community, you’ll want to add lots of content – blogs, photos, events, classified listings, polls, forum posts and anything else that goes with the focus of your community. As you attract members, they’ll add their own content, comments, likes and other interactions to contribute to the activity of the site. You can additionally use the various import tools in SocialEngine Cloud to grab RSS feeds from other sites to help populate the content for your community. SocialEngine PHP has an RSS plugin that allows you to grab content from sites with an RSS URL.

It’s a good idea to have a theme that complements the type of community you’re making. For example, a light theme with bigger fonts does well with a community that focuses on written material – news, literature, blogging, etc. Whereas, a photo community may be better with a darker theme that accentuates the images in the photo section and feeds.

Changing phrases can help further focus on your niche and make a great impression on members. For example, “Blog” phrases can be changed to “Articles” or “Stories;” “Videos” could change to “Films”; “Forum” can be “Arena.” You get the idea. Likes, friends, activity feed and all the other phrases are versatile in SocialEngine PHP and allow you to decide how you want your site to feel for your members. With SocialEngine Cloud, you can change menus and categories to match your niche.

Niche communities can achieve exponential growth. It takes time, dedication and creativity to achieve these sorts of results. If you focus on a topic you enjoy or are an expert at, you’ll have a much easier time setting up and growing your community.

Now that we’ve explored what niche communities are and how they can be built with SocialEngine, we’d like to highlight a few extra resources we think you’ll find to be helpful.

Useful Tutorials:

SocialEngine Cloud

SocialEngine PHP

Useful Third Party Products:

This is not a full list. It’s just a sample of third party products for SocialEngine PHP that might help with niche communities:

In addition to the above for SocialEngine PHP, there are themes for SocialEngine Cloud that might help with your niche.

If you have questions or feedback, please join us at our community and let us know your thoughts!

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~Harriet Tubman

 

Posted in Tips and Tutorials | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Nominate SocialEngine PHP for the 2017 CMS Critic Awards!

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Hello Everyone!

Summer is off to an awesome start! That also means it’s time to nominate SocialEngine PHP for the 2017 Best Social Network Software award. Thanks to all of your support, we’ve had the honor of winning this award for the past two years in a row! Our team is humbled by the outpouring of support we receive from all of you each year.

Our commitment to provide the best social network building software is as strong as ever as we continue to make improvements based on your feedback. Please show your love for SocialEngine PHP by nominating us again this year.

Head on over to https://www.cmscritic.com/awards/2017-web-nominations/ and nominate us for the following:

Best Social Network Software

They only allow one selection this year and any with more than one option chosen will be disqualified.

Deadline for submitting the nominations is August 27, 2017.

Thank you all for being so amazing and being the driving force behind everything we do.

With Great Appreciation,

The SocialEngine Team

Posted in Company Updates | 7 Comments

Spencer Explores the SocialEngine Marketplace

spencer explores socialengine marketplace

Howdy!

It’s been a fun week! I’ve been learning to swim! So far, I can do the dog paddle almost like an expert. Great, right?

I love to visit the SocialEngine team after a swim! They just get so excited to see me. I thought they all wanted a hug so I obliged each one. Oh they just loved it! They loved it so much, they put me in the Spencer room. That’s a room just for me. It has toys, chewed shoes, and some things I found and hid under my blankie. After a nap, I decided to go dig around the marketplace and found some great stuff. Good ole Spencer loves to share so have a gander at these:

Courses/Learning Section – Create courses and allow your members see lectures and try to complete tests! By SocialEnginePro . “I suggest a course on dog grooming…”

Social Publisher – Transform your website into a social hub around your member’s social identity. By SocialEngineMods . “Gee, this would make it really easy to post all about good ole Spencer to all social media outlets at once! You know you want to ;)”

Reactions/Emoji – An effective way to increase engagement and measure your members’ sentiment. By Radcodes . “I wonder if they have dog emojis…”

Scroll Top – Add a scroll to top button. By Web80 Team. “No one likes to be lost at the bottom of a page. This helps them pop to the top!”

Whoops! The team made me stop digging around. Now they have to patch the hole I made. Sure was fun though! Have a look at all of those great things I found and see if some of them would fit in with your site. You might find them as awesome as I did!

Thanks for spending time with me! Keep your tails wagging and your fur dry! Until next time, this is Spencer signing off. 😉

Posted in SocialEngine Marketplace, Spencer's Digs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment