We've installed a new feature to show you when you have friends online. We hope this will help encourage people to participate in parts of the forum where their friends are, or at the very least, as an indication of when someone you care about is active so you can leave them a comment or message if you want. When friends come up, you'll see a blue notification with this icon at the top of the site. The icon won't show up if none of your friends are online.
Clicking that will show a pane like this showing your active friends list and what they're looking at.
Clicking on a friends avatar will take you to their feed tab in their profile, where you can leave a comment on their profile.
Clicking their name will take you to their profile.
Click the envelope icon will pop up a little window so you can send them a PM.
CLEAN UP YOUR FRIENDS LIST
The default behavior of the friend system on GDC is that anyone can add anyone as a friend. As a result, many people likely have hundreds of friends and may not even be aware of it. If you have a lot of friends, it will take a long time to load that drop down. Two pieces of advice to make this feature more useful for everyone:
1) Remove old inactive friends, or people you don't really care to follow. Do that in "Manage Friends" (available by clicking your name, or on the top right of the friends online list).
2) Go to your Profile Settings and check the box so you approve friends before adding them. Otherwise anyone can add you as a friend and you'll start seeing them online, regardless if you care to follow them or not. Checking that box will allow you to approve people in the Pending Approval page.