I haven't seen a question or discussion around this topic yet, and I'm curious about some examples or case studies.
How important are user profiles in your social community?
How customizable are they (not at all, or do they allow for MySpace insanity?)
How transparent (buddy lists are in/visible, activity/posts listed, group memberships)?
How about privacy regarding activity? Are pics required? Reputation scores published?
Are they taggable/topical?
Most social community questions seem to be around activity generation, but I wonder how much a person's profile or opportunities for personal expression may help and/or hinder adoption. I have issues with subjective privacy (ala Facebook's insistence of publishing my buddy list or shopping habits) but being able to see that people are actually doing things is important for generating a sense of objective community.
Any success stories or nightmares?