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  1. Who remembers the earlier days of the internet? Back when you popped your logo at the top left of your site and you were largely done? Invision Community has continually developed to account for all the new services that have been built during our 16 years. We now have social media sharing images, favicons and more to consider. Invision Community 4.4 also adds mobile application icons, Safari mask icons and data for an application manifest. Handling of these logos and icons was a prime candidate for improvement in 4.4. Moving our current options Step one for improving our handling of these images was to move our current options out of themes and to allow them to be managed suite-wide from a single area. You can still upload a logo image per-theme (which shows in the header area), but the rest of the options have now been relocated to a new area: Customization > Appearance > Icons & Logos. Adding new options After giving favicon and share logo management its own dedicated area, we took a look at enhancing the configuration options made available through the interface without requiring theme template edits. Multiple share logos You can now upload multiple share logos. If you elect to upload more than one share logo, Facebook and similar sites will generally either show a carousel to allow you to choose which logo to use when sharing, or simply use the first image referenced. Application icons You can now upload an image to represent your website which will be used to generate the "home screen" icons for iPhones and Androids automatically. Uploading a single image will result in several different copies of the image (in different dimensions) being generated, and mobile devices will automatically choose the best option from the list as needed. Safari mask icon You can also now upload a Safari Mask icon, which is used to represent your website in certain areas on Apple computers (such as on the "touchbar" of certain keyboards). This image must be an SVG image with a transparent background, and all vectors must be 100% black. Additionally, you can specify the mask color which is used to offset your image when necessary (e.g. to represent it as "selected" or "active"). Application manifest In order for devices to support the application icons that you upload, a file known as a web manifest must be generated and delivered to the browser. This now happens automatically, using details and icons specified in the AdminCP. Certain details, however, can be configured explicitly from the Icons & Logos page: Short name This is a short name to represent your site in areas with limited screen space, such as below your application icon on a mobile phone home screen. Site name This is the name of the site. The "Website name" setting is automatically used if you do not explicitly override it when configuring the manifest. Description A short description of your site Theme color You can choose a (single) color to represent the general theme of the site. This color may be used by devices in areas such as the address bar background. Background color You can also choose a (single) color to use as the background color for your site when the application is launched from a shortcut saved to the user's device home screen. Display mode Finally, you can specify the display mode your site should launch in. For our more astute designers and developers, you may have already realized that generating the manifest file lays the groundwork for future PWA (Progressive Web App) development and support. Additionally, some Android devices will automatically prompt users to add your website to their home screen now that a manifest file is generated by the site. Oh, and for the sake of completeness, we also generate the special browserconfig.xml file that Microsoft products (including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, X-Box, and Microsoft-based mobile devices) look for when pinning sites and generating live tiles. There are no additional configuration options for this file - everything is automatically generated from the aforementioned options. The end result? Your community can now better convey, automatically, certain details to the myriad of devices out there that may be accessing your site, and you now have much better control over those details. You can more easily fine-tune the "little things" that help paint a complete picture of your web presence, and the groundwork has been laid for bigger and better things in the future as standardization and adoption of PWA functionality improves. This blog is part of our series introducing new features for Invision Community 4.4. Просмотр полной статьи
  2. Dealing with spam can be an annoying problem for community moderators. It's bad enough that our inboxes get clogged up with it daily. Invision Community comes with several tools designed to mitigate spam, and make it hard for spammers to get a foothold in your community. This short video takes you through several key areas: The Invision Community spam defense system CAPTCHAs Question and Answer challenges Group Promotion Flagging a member as a spammer Do you have any tips on dealing with spam or spammers? We'd love to hear them. Let us know in the comments. Просмотр полной статьи
  3. scanner

    [ENG] 4.4: Animated GIFs

    Communication has come a long way since those very early humans grunted at each other to determine if they wanted more mammoth for lunch. The course of human history has seen cave paintings, hieroglyphics, the written word, emoji and now GIFs. GIFs have been around since the dawn of the internet. Many websites proudly displayed a 'man at work' animated GIF when they were under construction. Now, GIFs are now mostly used to express complex thoughts and emotions by showing a short animation. Mind Blown Invision Community has allowed GIPHY to be used as an embed for a while now, but we craved something much more straightforward. Behold, the GIF button! Now your members can reply with the majesty of animation. Of course, GIFs won't replace real and meaningful conversation, but they are a fun way to express yourself quickly and encourage more engagement. The GIPHY functionality is enabled via the 'Community Enhancements' page in the Admin CP. GIPHY is enabled from the enhancements page All you need to do is grab a key from GIPHY, and you're all set! Configuration You'll notice a "MPAA style rating" option. This allows you to select a maximum rating for the GIFs as some will have adult themes and language that may not be suitable for your community. For example, you can choose "G" for general audiences, "PG" or "PG-13" to limit what is shown. Yes! Drop your favourite GIF below to show us how you feel about this new feature. This is a blog about our upcoming Invision Community 4.4 release, due later this year. Просмотр полной статьи
  4. It's not often that we get to blow our own trumpets. That's not just because we don't own trumpets, but also because we like to keep our heads down and focused on producing fantastic software [Ironic trumpet blowing - Editor]. Many of our team also run their own Invision Communities. So this month, we asked: What is your favourite Invision Community feature? Here's what we said. Brandon My favorite feature would be Pages 'databases' feature. You can quickly and easily create databases of content, and then you can adjust the templates to make those databases display in a more relevant manner for the type of content you are working with, all without having to modify any code. On my wife's real estate website, I have used Pages to create databases for hosting leads, property listings, closings, and realtor contacts. Being a developer I've further enhanced some of those areas with plugins, but even right out of the box the system is powerful enough to do quite a lot with just a little bit of configuring and templating. Trying to remember the block names when creating Pages templates Jennifer So, I love Invision Community. I've loved it for ages and it's hard to pick just one favorite feature. I'm going to say that Clubs and Pages are probably my top two favorite things in the whole wide world on Invision Community. For clubs, it allows your members to create special interest groups/forums/galleries/etc without having to do all of that yourself. It makes pulling together people of similar interests really easy and it makes it to where you don't have to manage "as much" of the responsibility for having a billion forums or groups. I also find it's a great way to get people excited and talking about things that they love which spreads positivity and happiness, which I love as an administrator. For Pages! There is so much! From Databases that you can super customize to blocks! There is so little I can't do with Pages!! I've made a super custom link directory (https://rpginitiative.com/directory/), a directory of searchable people (https://rpginitiative.com/pb-directory/) and one of my favorites a copy and paste code directory (https://rpginitiative.com/codex/). They all are unique in look and feel and all have different purposes but they fill them so well. I of course have a basic Guides listing (https://rpginitiative.com/guides/) but I don't think it's nearly as cool. Pages gives me a sense of empowerment on my community. It gives me the ability to create content that is special to my site and doesn't have to be cookie cutter in any way. Honestly, the whole suite always makes me happy because I get the community I want out of it and to me that is always the best and most special thing about Invision Community. [This is the best answer - Editor] Mark H Given my forum’s niche, amateur pyrotechnics [Must be nicer to Mark - Editor], my favorite feature would be the Gallery. You can describe a pyrotechnic shell, effect, build process, etc, with as many pages of text as you wish, but photographs or videos are truly worth 1000 words. While our Gallery isn’t the largest one around, it does contains a large number of items that our members have contributed to showcase their work, some of which are quite impressive. Mark's last day at Invision Community Matt I've given this a lot of thought [Makes a change - Editor]. There are several contenders, Pages (because I wrote it), Social Promotion (because I wrote that too), Commerce (I did not write this) and Gallery. All deserve to be picked on their own merits. I decided to go with the profile completion system. It's not a massive feature, and it's not the most exciting feature but it does its one job very well. It helps reduce overwhelm when registering. It's critical to make the transition from guest to member as frictionless as possible, and having a dozen custom profile fields to complete is a good way to put people off. The profile completion system allows you defer data collection after registering, which reduces the barrier. Mark W The auto-upgrader. When I first started at Invision Community one of my responsibilities was doing upgrades - often from 2.x to 3.x at the time - hours and hours of uploading files by FTP (sometimes painfully slowly) and clicking the upgrader, over and over again. I'm glad those days are behind us! I think it was quite a good technical achievement too. The system knows what version you're coming from, what apps you have installed and only downloads the files you need. It knows if it needs to ask you for FTP access or if it can just write the files. Recently we made it so it knows if your themes are going to be compatible with the new version and warns you before you upgrade if they might not be. Perhaps most significantly for me though is the backend behind it. Releasing an update used to be a bit of a nightmare (we had to build zip files ourselves!) - now I just tag the release in our git repo and everything magically figures itself out [Only if following instructions to the letter - Editor]. It still delights me every time I do it. Mark (not) doing upgrades now Marc S For me it has to be the block manager. The block manager makes it was so easy to set up the basic structure of your site. And it's hard to believe we used to disable hooks to remove an item, or even comment them out in some cases. Adding something like a list of new posts was something you would need a 3rd party plugin to achieve, and adding a simple bit of text is something you would have likely done in your theme. This brought a large amount of flexibility for users that wouldn't have previous had the capability to make some of these changes, and generally just made life easier for others. Daniel Pages App because of blocks and databases. I have all kind of custom databases which I use daily to organise my work (Linklists, Knowledge Bases, Documentation) It saves one a lot of time and makes coding own apps quite unnecessary in most cases. Ryan Okay, I think I've finally decided that Reactions is my favorite feature. It's really cool to see how clients implement the feature on their own sites with different reaction types. Also, I wrote the backend and it was probably one of my favorite things I've done in the software. Indeed Stuart I like OAuth and RestAPI, I wanted us to do those since 4.0 and they work really well. [That's it? Can I make up the rest of the answer? - Editor] Those are our favourite features - but what are yours? We'd love to hear, let us know below! Просмотр полной статьи
  5. Once again, we hand over the reigns of our blog to client and friend to Invision Community Joel for another client view of our community suite. Today @Joel R tackles Activity Streams, and how to make them "your awesome". Activity Streams is one of the best new features of Invision Community 4 with more flexibility and options than ever before. It can be an amazing and easy way to dive into interesting and new content, constantly feed new content to your users, and uncover different parts of your community. Your community contains amazing content. Activity Streams empower your users to discover the awesome in your community! While earlier versions of the software contained New Content streams, they were pre-defined and shipped by default. Now, everyone from users to community managers to admins can create their own unique Activity Streams, customized for the needs of the community or your own browsing interests. These new options in Invision Community 4 give incredible power to both you and your users to discover new ways of looking at your content. You can reference Invision’s Guide on Activity Streams. Let’s take a look at all the different ways to strategically use Activity Streams. 1. Home Stream Make the Activity Stream your homepage! It’s a beautiful, automated, chronological stream of recent content that constantly replenishes as new content is posted. Rather than a blocky homepage that is literally stacked with blocks in a chunky mix-and-match, you can offer a blended homepage that unifies all of your content into one continuous stream. It’s easy to browse, and you can still decorate the page with blocks in the sidebar and hot zones. To make the Activity Stream your homepage, go to the ACP > Applications. Set System as the default app by clicking on the ☆ star. Then open up System, and make Content Discovery the default module by clicking on the ☆ star. Bedlington.co.uk uses “All Activity” as its homepage. Look who just moved into town! 2. Default Stream The default Activity Stream is always one the most significant links in your entire Invision community. After the homepage, the default Activity Stream is usually the most popular page to which returning users will consistently use. On some Enterprise boards, the default Activity Stream drives up to 20% of the initial clicks from repeat members. It’s no wonder why. The default Activity Stream is the portal to the rest of the website and easily shows recent content. But how many of us have customized or self-critiqued it? Review your default stream and filter for the primary content you want to display. Make your best stream the default stream. 3. Content Streams By default, Invision Community ships with a handful of global streams. While those are appropriate for a new community, they aggregate all content in the community. This can be problematic if your community emphasizes one content type over another since all content is mixed together and content types with high volume can overwhelm less popular types. For example, a recent upload of IP.Gallery images can flood the Activity Stream with new images, pushing discussion and blog posts too far down. One thing you can do is to create new Activity Streams per content type or exclude certain content types. Make separate streams for Forum Topics, Gallery Albums, Blogs, and more depending upon your community. This will delineate content and makes it easier to navigate exactly what you want. And even within content types, you can filter down to specific boards or categories. You can create special streams specifically for Introduction or New Member boards; Gallery images and albums, so they don’t clutter up your primary stream; or Club discussions open to all members. 4. User Streams One of the most creative ways to use Activity Streams is to show content from specific users. This can be strategically used to create streams for specific users or accounts: staff members, special contributors, or leadership accounts. You can also stealth stalk your most favorite IPS staff members! Create an Activity Stream of all recent activity, then each user can customize the stream to follow the people most important to them. Each user can track the members most important to them and survey a quick overview of those members’ most recent activity. Follow the most interesting users in your community. 5. Mobile Streams There are a couple of options that can help your stream be optimized for mobile. By default, the Activity Stream can be packed with information. You can include every detail of when a member registers, changes their profile photo, reacts to an item, and more. You can also show the Expanded view, which includes up to three lines of text. If your website receives a lot of mobile traffic, you should toggle on Condensed view. This streamlines the Activity Stream and packs more content items onto the viewport. In a typical smartphone, you may only see 2 – 3 items in Expanded View, but see 5 – 6 items in Condensed view. That allows users to see twice as much content, even on a smaller device. Pack more into less with Condensed view 6. RSS Streams For community managers who run an IPS community in support of an enterprise or organization, you can activate an RSS feed per stream. This allows you to push the content to your other digital properties. Turn a feedback and testimonial board into a showcase of product reviews; turn Q&A boards into a live stream of ongoing customer support; turn a New Customer introduction board into profiles of actual customers; and tap into the best parts of your community-generated content to fit into other parts of your support channels, brand marketing, and sales outreach. Leverage your passionate community elsewhere with Activity Streams, and its built-in feature of RSS feeds. Like most advanced features, learning to ‘surf the Activity Stream can be tough. The streams are usually tucked away into the menu or an icon. And many users are unaware that it exists! What your users will say when you introduce Activity Streams. That’s okay, just put on a life vest and hold on for dear life. Activity Streams are such an incredibly powerful and flexible tool, which is why I personally love it. You can slice-and-dice your community in any number of ways, and you gain an instant overview of the parts of the website that are most important, most engaging, and most interesting to yourself. Spend some time sharing a quick tutorial with your community. Show them where to view streams. Show them how to customize it. And let them discover the awesome in your community! Просмотр полной статьи
  6. Do you recall that scene in Harry Potter where young Harry is sitting in his Uncle’s living room when hundreds of letters from Hogwarts burst through the fireplace, filling the room? Sometimes, when you log into the administrator’s control panel, it can feel a bit like that. As the administration control panel has evolved, there has been more of a need to display notifications, alerts and warnings to the administrators. There are several things which may require an administrator's attention which may show a notice on the AdminCP dashboard, a banner on the community, or send an email. For example: When a new version of Invision Community is released. A new member registers and requires administrator validation. A configuration issue is detected, for example if dangerous PHP functions are enabled on the server. There are items Commerce which require manual action, such as transactions pending manual approval or items to be shipped. Up until now, each such area would manage how these notifications show and are sent independently. In 4.4 we have introduced a new section of the AdminCP which shows all things which require administrator attention in one place, easily accessible from any AdminCP page. AdminCP Notification Menu Clicking on any of these notifications will take you to the relevant area of the AdminCP, or there is also a full-screen Notification Center which allows you to quickly take common actions such as approving members. AdminCP Notification Center While the best approach is to take the appropriate action (which will automatically dismiss the notification) so you always have an empty Notification Center, most notification types can be hidden, either temporarily on a per-notification basis by clicking the cross in the top-right, or administrators can hide all notifications of a certain type from their individual settings. Administrators can also choose which type of notifications to receive an email notification about. Notification Settings Each notification has a severity indicated by the coloured bar on the side and certain notifications can also show banners either across the AdminCP, or also on the front-end (to administrators). Notifications group automatically (so for example, if there are 5 members pending approval, you will see 1 notification rather than 5 separate ones) and where appropriate each administrator can choose if they want to receive a single email, or a separate email with each occurrence. Now you won't miss an invitation to Hogwarts, or anything important again. This is a blog about our upcoming Invision Community 4.4 release, due later this year. Просмотр полной статьи
  7. This month, we ask the team the age-old question: If you won a million dollars (or denomination of your choice), how would you spend it? The question was almost guaranteed to bring a raft of hilarious replies that showcase our amazing humour and wit. Once again, we fall short and instead worry about taxation and retirement. You can't give it away these days. Marc S I couldn't decide on whether to answer this with what I would 'like' to do with it, or what I would actually do with it, so figured I would answer both. [So you just upgraded to $2,000,000? geez - Editor] If it was just what I would like to do with it, then I would probably follow the F1 season around the globe for a few years until I got bored. I'm very much into the sport, and with the locations, it would make for some great destinations to visit in between the races. What I would actually do is pay off my mortgage, buy another 3 reasonably priced houses to rent out to others, and live off the investment. Given I would then have a constant income without doing much, I would then try my hand at starting a business. Not entirely sure what that business would be to be honest [How to understand people with strong accents? - Editor], but I'm not the kind of person who would be able to just retire, without it driving me to insanity. I know nothing of F1, so hopefully this is OK Jennifer Pay off all of my debts. Buy a house. Put away some in a nice savings account both for me and my kiddos. Buy a serious amount of shoes, and get a few cosmetic tweaks. Who doesn't love shoes? Brandon If I had a million dollars, I'd pay off debts, stash some money away for savings and to have a healthy cushion [You give your soft furnishings a health check? - Editor], and I'd probably use a good chunk of it for travel. There are a lot of places I'd like to see in the world still and travelling is expensive. I’d like to visit some of the top touristy spots in South America, like Rio, Galapagos islands, Peru, Machu Picchu, etc. I’d like to see Australia, Japan, China, Alaska, the northern lights in the Arctic, and I would like to make it back to Europe at some point, particularly to see more of Italy and visit Greece. It's where we first met. Daniel I’ll go with my sailing boat dream which is still is a thing for my retirement, but if I would get tomorrow $1,000,000 I would do it right now too. [How? You're not getting the money until tomorrow - Editor] Get a Katamaran and sail sail sail... depending on time and budget and people.. mediterran sea, caribbean sea, then around South America, US west costs , Hawaii, Philippines , India. Around Africa .. back to Mediterran Sea. Stuart If I had $1,000,000 tomorrow, I'd probably be fairly sensible [Boring- Editor] by paying off the mortgage and spending some cash on finishing renovating the house. Then I'd buy either a Mustang GT or a Tesla Model 3 Performance (I know, one is an eco-machine and one is a gas guzzler!). The remainder I'd split between savings and stock market investment. Mark H A million dollars….. well, the government takes about 1/3 of that first off, so after taxes you get ~ $650,000. With that I’d pay off the house and credit card, buy a reliable vehicle, then the rest goes in the bank. Would not have enough to retire, even at my age. [It wouldn't last 2 years? - Editor] But it would eventually make retirement easier. The fun answer. Jim I would pay off my mortgage, buy a 2019 Corvette ZR1 (plus pay off following speeding tickets) and probably go to Australia. Then save the rest for a rainy day or you know, retirement. Mark W I live in Sydney, so probably buy a small apartment and carry on as normal. [How small is your current apartment? - Editor] Good day. Matt I'm not a huge fan of travelling, but I'd like to see a little bit more of the USA. I've been to Los Angeles, Nevada, Las Vegas, New York and Virginia but I'd like to see more of the middle bit too. Definitely Miami and New Orleans. [Dude, you need to check a map to see which states are in the middle - Editor] I love my work too much to think about retiring but I'd put some away for when I do. I might give some to my family if they ask nicely and are reading this (hopefully they are not). Yes I can. Andy (Andy did not contribute this month, so this reply is 100% fictional) I'd be too depressed with the massive income drop to think about how to eek out such a pittance. Lindy (Lindy never contributes, despite being threatened with a fabricated answer) I'd probably invest in a gas-tech company, buy more cars I'll only drive 3 days a year and spend the rest in Vegas. Charles (Charles also never contributes, so this is also fabricated) Please do not say funny things about me. Charles also has edit permissions to this blog. So there you have it, that's how we'd choose to spend a cool $1,000,000. We'd love to hear how you'd spend your imaginary windfall. Просмотр полной статьи
  8. Today, we're handing over our blog to long time client and friend to Invision Community, Joel R. @Joel R is often found hanging out in our community offering his insight and wisdom when he's not harassing the team in Slack. Over to Joel. Invision Community releases a variety of blockbuster features in every major update, which usually hits once a year. You may think those updates are not enough (it’s never enough!), but I wanted to spend some time talking about how to survey and incorporate those features into your community systematically. This blog post is not about any specific feature, but more a general and philosophical approach in integrating the newest features. My goal is to help you get the most out of every new IPS update! You may think that many of the features in the updates are easy to assess. You either want them or don’t. But it’s not that easy. I was inspired by some recent personal experiences when I found myself revisiting features from 4.2 and earlier. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I still had so much to experience and learn from those features, all of which I had previously reviewed when they were initially released. Invision Community comes packed with rich features, and no community manager is expected to be a master at everything. But a systematic approach is your best chance at making sure you get the most out of every feature. To give a personal example, I jumped into Social Media Promotion when it first came out in 4.2. The new Social Media Promotion offers several powerful tools for social media cross-posting, and I immediately wanted to learn how I could use it to cross-post content to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s an easy drop-in replacement for services like Hootsuite or Windscribe and allows community managers to drip interesting content to their social media pages for constant advertising and social engagement. Well, it turns out my Facebook and Twitter reach is nil because I have no followers (wish I was more Internet famous!), so I soon lost interest and dropped Social Media Promotion as a tool. A couple of months ago, I was assessing my homepage versus other popular websites when I came across a startling realization: I could make a gorgeously visual homepage on par with Instagram using Our Picks – a feature of Social Media Promotion. I would intentionally ignore the social media component, but use the other component of Our Picks for a beautiful new homepage. The context of using Our Picks for a homepage opened my eyes to a whole new way to evaluate Social Media Promotion, and what was once a feature on the back burner is now – literally - the front page of my Invision community. I love it! To help you incorporate new Invision features, I’ve brainstormed 5 strategies on how to make the most out of Invision feature updates. Each strategy comes with a mini-lesson for an action plan. 1. Learn the knowledge, not the feature. This is my personal motto when Invision Community releases a new feature. I’m more concerned about the knowledge and broader usage of the feature than implementing the feature itself: What’s the potential scope of the feature? In what context could the feature be used? How did Invision Community intend for the future to be used, and what are other ways it can be used? I’ve never worried about the technical configuration of the feature. You enable or disable some settings, and that’s it. But what’s more important is how the functionality can best be integrated and in what context. You never know when you might come back to the feature for the next great idea, and you can only do that if you possess the knowledge and application behind the feature. Lesson: Try every feature at least once, even if you don’t need it. 2. When at first you don’t succeed, take a nap. Some things take a while to think about. Don’t try to cram through all new Invision Community features. There’s too many to digest in one pass. Assess the features you’re most interested in one by one, play with each feature until you’re satisfied, test them, find out how they work, and when you get frustrated, take a nap. Eat some ice cream. Go jogging. And revisit in a month. The bigger the feature, the longer you should think about it. The biggest “aha” moments didn’t come to me right away. When you try to rush through a feature, you can get rushed results. Take your time to bounce ideas around your head and try to think through the context of how to best utilize the feature. Lesson: For features that you like, set a calendar to revisit after a month. Then take a nap. 3. You’re running the marathon, not a sprint. Successful community managers have evolved with the changing needs of our audiences. While our mission remains the same, the backdrop of user expectations and digital trends has dramatically changed. When you implement a feature, you should be evaluating it for both sustainability and longevity. Is this a sustainable mechanism to keep up with? Is this something that I want to continue for the foreseeable future? It’s nice to play with new features; every major update is like a Christmas unwrapping of new features. But you need to prudently pick-and-choose which feature is most appropriate and how it can give you an impact for the long-term. Sometimes it’s better to do a few things very well than many things not well at all. Lesson: Ask yourself if you see yourself using the feature 3 years later? 4. Make it uniquely yours Invision Community ships with default features ready to use out of the box, but those features are just that: default. We like to dress up our theme with custom colors, designs, and logos. You should apply the same flair for customization with your features. Some features are ready to be customized: reactions, ranks, and group promotion. Others, however, might take more thinking. Here are some examples to spark your creativity: • Social Sign-in Streamline – are you using the default message, or did you customize it with a unique and clever introduction? • Fluid Forum – did you activate fluid forum and hope it went well? Or did you use it as an opportunity to re-analyze your entire forum structure for the modern web? • Leaderboard – did you leave it as a Leaderboard, or could it be Genius board for a technology company, or Joyboard for a nonprofit, or Loyaltyboard for a consumer brand? Lesson: Make the feature uniquely yours. 5. Talk through your scenario Every battle-tested community manager knows that the only thing constant is change – whether it’s our forum software, ACP settings, user expectations, and broader digital trends. It’s important to find a trusted circle of friends and users who can help you steer and implement features. It may sound great in your head, but other users may look at it very differently. On my site, I have a trusted group of users called “Champions.” In my pre-planning stage, I float my ideas by them as early in the process as possible. They’ve provided valuable feedback of user expectations with differing perspectives. I’ve nixed certain features based on their veto, and I’ve tweaked continuously based upon their continuous input. Talk through your scenario with your trusted friends, and not just with the voices in your own head! Community management is such a uniquely rewarding and challenging role because every community demands and needs a different set of features. Invision makes it easy with regular releases of exciting features, but you also need to make the most out of those features on your own. Don’t just turn on the next feature: turn on excitement, joy, and community. If you notice, I didn’t include a lesson yet in my last strategy when you’re ready to talk about your scenario. And that’s because it’s the ultimate lesson: Write the next guest post in the Invision Community Blog and share your own success story in how you adopted a new Invision feature. We’d love to hear about it. Thanks Joel! We love this angle on how to best evaluate the myriad of opportunities the Invision Community software allows. What is your biggest take-away from Joel's advice? Просмотр полной статьи
  9. In between complaining about the temperature of the United Kingdom, a hot topic in staff chat was what jobs we've done in the past, and which jobs we'd be terrible at. Mark said that Matt would be terrible at being a software engineer. Once all the laughter and clearing desks and leaving the building immediately had finished, we settled on these answers. Jennifer I'd be a terrible runway model. For most of my life I've had the height and the general look of a decent runway model (even like people staring at me) however I am terrible at it. This was not Photoshopped I get really nervous in front of large crowds of people, wobbly knees and everything. My mum does costume design and has used me as her model a few times and that whole "stand at the end of the runway for a few seconds and pose thing"... Nope. Stood there, turned around and walked back. Marc I think the job I would be terrible at would be 'Handy Man'. Picked this rather than just saying a joiner/carpenter, plumber etc, as it encompasses more areas of complete ineptitude. My DIY skills are legendary, but for all the wrong reasons. Whilst I'm actually attempting to learn how to do things myself more lately, I have had a history of doing things incorrectly. I am that guy who has 8 pieces left after putting together flatpack furniture, creates swimming pools whilst fixing a tap, and don't even ask me to put a hole in a wall as I can do so with dramatic effect. [Should have shared the picture of your workbench - Editor] I think the one which springs to mind, which most would find simple, would be putting up a shelf. I put up a DVD shelf above my head which was a fair weight. This lasted 1 week before falling off the wall on to my head which was underneath it. [That explains a lot - Editor] Not a problem, because with my 'expert' DIY skills I put it back on the wall with 8 inch screws and to ensure it didnt come down again I covered the wall facing side with extremely strong glue. 3 years later when my wife wanted this taking down to decorate, I took it down along with half of the wall behind it. This was the point where the decorator was called to fix my mistakes. Brandon I couldn't be President (or any major political position for that matter). I'm a very middle-of-the-road people pleaser type of person usually, and I could never handle having to make important decisions that affect everyone [like in git? - Editor], especially with half of everyone agreeing with me and half of everyone thinking it was the worst idea ever. As much as people like to criticize those in power and feel like they have all the answers, I know it's just not that easy and I would never want to be in their position. A nightmare vision of the future Jim Morrissey Cold call telephone sales/telemarketing. I often say I couldn't sell water to someone stuck in the desert. OK, maybe not *that* bad but definitely cannot get on the phone and convince someone product XYZ is the one for them. I'm also not that big of a talker in person and don't have that personality to just grab people on the phone and persuade them to purchase something they may not otherwise want. Half my personality, half ethics which would make me horrible Mark H A job at which I would be no good, is a politician. I’d be jailed within a week for strangling other politicians who open their mouth and spew the usual double-speak we’ve come to expect (and loathe) from them. [This is actually a toned down version of the original - Editor] Mark W I was struggling to come up with anything (because obviously I'd be great at anything, right?) but as the token vegan around here I guess I have to say butcher. The last time I ate meat was about 10 years ago and even walking past a butcher's makes me feel ill. Mark is Ultra Spiritual FAQ: Lots of things have protein; I kind of miss chocolate but not much else; Yes, I would eat you if we were on a desert island. [Well, that got dark at the end - Editor] Andy I would be an awful chef. I wouldn’t even be able to heat up pre-prepared meals in a pub [Do you not have a kitchen at home? - Editor]. Apparently I make a good sous-chef in the home but I require strict instruction. In other words I get the job of chopping onions at dinner time. Like Gordon Ramsey, except nice Ryan The job I would most suck at, I actually did. Back in 2008, I was a factory worker for a paving company, where I packaged pavement crack sealant at approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit, in addition to various other types of sealant (for driveways, parking lots, etc.). It was a lot of heavy lifting, and because the material was so hot, I had to wear heavy long sleeve shirts in a factory that hit approximately 120 degrees each day. I lasted about four months. Oozing Confidence Matt Anything on a production line. I have a very short attention span and having to do repetitive tasks would finish me off. Back in the 90s [1890s? - Editor] I used to work in a print and design studio. One of the tasks was producing 15,000 copies of a 8 sheet magazine. It'd run through the collator, through the stitching head, under the folding arm and slide out to a tray. For about two days straight a month we'd be running this machine. Counting copies as they came out, freeing jams and filling up the paper. It was really tedious work. Those are the jobs we'd think we would be terrible at. How about you? What would be your nightmare job? Просмотр полной статьи
  10. It's 2 am, and my bleary red eyes are fighting sleep. My thumbs are still glued to the Playstation controller as I try and persuade my on-screen avatar to complete the level. If I manage it, I've won another trophy. Many of us have been there. Investing a considerable amount of time into a game just to get to the next level, win a trophy or better yet, complete the entire game. I still remember the thrill of finishing Metal Gear Solid. I had become a recluse and lost track of time. Each time I thought about putting the gamepad down, there was just one more tiny thing to achieve. For decades, game designers have been using gamification to keep players plugged in and wanting more. A well-designed game hooks you completely, and you can't help but keep playing. In more recent times, social media has switched onto gamification. Each like and share you receive triggers a little dopamine kick in your brain. It's a pleasurable sensation which keeps you coming back for more. How many times have you opened Twitter back up moments after closing it? What does this mean for communities? Applying game mechanics to your community can have a powerful effect on member retention and engagement on your site. There are three main areas we can use gamification for: onboarding, driving engagement and encouraging positive behavior. Let's look at these areas in more detail. Onboarding When a new member joins your community, you want them to complete as much of their profile as possible. Ideally, this would mean that they upload a photo and complete any custom profile fields you have created. The more information a user provides, the more chance there is that they will come back and that others will start to engage with them. A relatively anonymous member will not be taken seriously by your veteran members. Traditionally, new members are presented with either a massive registration form or they are never prompted to complete their profile after sign up. Presenting a sizeable complex registration form is a sure way to reduce your guest to member conversion rates. A persons attention is a rare resource so do not waste the one opportunity you have for a new sign up! Invision Community has a profile completion feature which displays a progress bar at the top of each page. Members are encouraged to complete their profile This is a great way to add gamification to the onboarding process. You get the best of both worlds. A short compact registration form and a very persuasive reason to upload a photo and complete any profile fields. Very few can resist the temptation to leave their profile 90% complete! Gamification can help you convert a new lurker into a contributing member by leveraging the member groups and promotion feature. Set up your default Member group with specific restrictions that would be attractive to your community. This may be custom signatures, or it could be custom member titles. Perhaps limit the number of images that can be seen per day in Gallery. The key is to limit access in a way that doesn't agitate or annoy your new members but encourages them to level up. Create a new group "Full Members" and remove those restrictions. Create a promotion rule that after five posts, they get to level up. This will encourage lurkers to join in the discussion, so they reach the next level. You will want to be careful with this feature. You don't want to encourage noise and vapid posting just to reach the next level. 5-10 posts are enough to get them engaged. Meet Player One The number one thing you need to have a thriving community is constant user engagement. It is the lifeblood of any discussion focused site. Game mechanics will help drive user engagement using Invision Community's features strategically. But first, we must understand the types of players that will frequent your site. The High-Status Seeker We've all come across this type of forum member. These members tend to wear their content counts with pride. They cite how long they've been members for. They are the elite member's others look up to. The High-Status Seeker will want to be in the top three of your leaderboard every single day. In many ways, the High-Status Seeker is the ideal member. They want to move up the levels as fast as possible and show their experience and dominance to others. They will have an eye on becoming a moderator and getting access to exclusive private forums. The Social Butterfly This type of forum member isn't as interested as status as others. They are content to be active and participate in many different conversations. They typically like open-ended games like MMORPG where the reward is just playing the game. The Social Butterfly can be reluctant to engage with gamification elements in your community, but in many ways, they do not need to as they are likely to become long-standing members anyway. Engagement and Loyalty Now we have met the players, let's look at some of the features Invision Community has built in to create a game-like environment to drive up engagement and retention. Content Count The humble content count has been around since the dawn of the forum age. In simple terms, it displays the number of posts and comments the member has added to the community since they joined. When content is deleted, the post count is typically untouched. High-Status seekers love their content count and protect it with their life! Getting to 10,000 posts is a real achievement and sets them apart from newer or less engaged members. Reputation Allowing others to like your posts is a powerful way to not only get more engagement but also encourages quality content to be posted. Content with actual value, humor or flair tends to receive more likes than average. This gives the author a good morale boost which they will want to replicate. In many ways, this is the critical driver for the Social Butterfly. Acknowledgment for their efforts is what keeps them happy and content. Leaderboard While the Social Butterfly may be content with receiving likes on their content, the High-Status Seeker will want to top the leaderboard for as many days as they can confirming their status. The leaderboard is generated each night and adds up each person's reputation given for that day. The winner is crowned for all to see. The leaderboard The winner also gets a trophy on their profile for 'winning the day.' High-Status Seekers love this feature and do all they can to ensure they are in the top three. Our Picks Invision Community introduced the social promotion feature to 4.2. We use it to promote our blogs and good content we see members posting on our forum. To have your content picked for promotion is a huge thrill, and will undoubtedly put a smile on the face of the author. Both High-Status Seekers and Social Butterflies will love seeing their content promoted on social media and on the site itself. It is also a great way to keep your social media feeds topped up with quality content. Our Picks We are seeing a good number of communities using Our Picks as their home page to give their site more of an Instagram feel. Level up with member groups Who doesn't love being invited into a VIP area to sit in the good seats with the red ropes making it clear that not everyone is invited (yet!) This is a key strategy to engage High-Status Seekers. With member groups, you can create exclusive VIP areas that normal members can see, but cannot view topics or post into. In practice, it is as simple as creating a new member group called "VIP Members." This member group has access to specific forums. Group promotions A member group promotion rule can then be used to level up members who reach specific goals, such as 5,000 posts. This feature can be used to stretch members to achieve a large goal, or you can use it for a series of mini-goals. Either forum access or increased feature access can be leveraged to encourage goal completion. Become part of the team "Welcome to the team!" is a message that most members would love to receive. Being handed access to the private team forums where strategic discussions are held, topics are discussed and where the cool kids hang out is probably the ultimate goal for the High-Status Seeker. Wearing the moderator's badge is a tangible benefit and validation for all their work in the community. Inviting great members to become moderators is not only a massive boost for the member, but it is an excellent way to offload some of the workload for day to day moderation tasks such as flagging spammers, checking reported content and dealing with minor squabbles in topics. Final Thoughts Gamification is definitely a strategy that you should use to build the base of your community, but it should not be the only strategy you deploy. Extrinsic motivation in the form of reputation points, member titles and badges are effective, but at some point, those rewards run dry. I would encourage a mix of short-term rewards such as winning the day and mini-goals to level up through member groups along with longer-term goals such to stretch members. Long-term goals can be access to the "5k" club when the member hits 5,000 pieces of content. However, you will need mini goals to keep them moving forwards, or you risk the ultimate goal being too distant to want to reach. Once your members are hooked on your gamification, social bonds will grow, and members will want to come back just to engage with their friends. When you reach that point, you know you have an excellent robust community that will stand the test of time. Просмотр полной статьи
  11. Work smarter, not harder is a motto we hear a lot of in our modern age. This is of course great advice. Invision Community's Admin CP is packed full of tools and settings to help you configure your community to your needs. In this short video I show you how you can work smarter in the Admin CP. Dashboard Blocks I show you how create a dashboard perfect for your needs. The dashboard is perfect to show a snapshot of what is happening with your community. Search Bar The search bar is the most powerful tool in the Admin CP. From finding members, settings and Commerce tickets, it's something I reach for every day. Re-order the Menu Prioritise the menu to put often used sections of the Admin CP within easy reach. Copy Settings With a few clicks, you can copy a single setting from a forum across multiple. This saves a lot of time moving between the forum list and forum settings. This of course works across the suite including downloads, blogs and more. Copy Nodes Got a forum or blog category set up perfectly and want to add one more like it? Just hit the copy button and save the hassle of filling in the form again. These are our tips for using the Admin CP as effectively as possible. Do you have any tips? Let us know below! Просмотр полной статьи
  12. We often get asked how to create a portal-like home page for a community. A homepage has many benefits including: Showing your best content first By using the "Our Picks" blocks, you can display your best content first. This content sets the tone for the site and will encourage engagement across your site. Display multiple areas of the suite Each application has its own feed blocks that can be used to display content on the home page. If your members use Gallery heavily, then showcase those photos on the homepage. If you use Calendar a lot to schedule events, then show event feeds. By displaying feeds to content is a great way to showcase all areas of your site on a single page. Reduce confusion For those of us that grew up with forums are used to viewing a list of categories and forums. We find it easy to scan the list of forums and dip into the ones that interest us. For those that are not so familiar, a homepage displaying easily accessible content reduces the confusion and invites true content discovery. In this short video, we show you how to create a homepage in under 5 minutes using the Pages app. Pages is available with all Cloud plans and is available to purchase when buying a self-hosting license. This video shows: How to set Pages as the default application How to create a Page Builder page How to configure blocks to fine tune the feeds As you can see, it's a straightforward task, and you do not need to know any programming or design to create a compelling homepage. Do you have a homepage like this? We'd love to see it! Просмотр полной статьи
  13. Benjamin Franklin once wrote "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Fortunately for me, he'll never see this blog entry. The Invision Community team are a smart bunch. When they're not being support heroes, fixing code or writing cool new features, they occasionally like to pick up a book, although I guess download a book is more apt these days. Here's what's on the team's bookshelves now. Marc S I go through a lot of books, usually audiobooks rather than actual books (I read enough online to last anyone a lifetime). I tend to go through a lot of factual books, rather than fiction. In the past week I've listened to: What if? Serious Scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions - Randall Muroe A short history of nearly everything - Bill Bryson At home - Bill Bryson How to land an A330 Airbus - James May I haven't read any fiction for quite a while now, but if I was to pick any set of books as being my favourite, it would be Kelley Armstrongs Women of the otherworld series. Some books Audiobooks tend to be factual, whereas actual books tend to be fiction. I just feel there is more imagination involved when you actually read something that's fiction [Are you talking about support tickets here? - Editor]. Mark W The last book I read probably won't interest many (if you're curious though, it was "Milarepa and the Art of Discipleship" - a commentary on some of the stories about an 11th century Tibetan yogi) [Yep, we are now less interested - Editor] but the last fiction book I read was 1984 which I'd actually never read before and found it really fascinating - still totally relevant today and absolutely something everyone should read, especially geeks like us. I read quite a lot of non-fiction, especially related to meditation and Buddhism - it's hard to pick a favourite but the book I probably refer to most and recommend most widely to anyone who might be interested is "Buddhist Meditation" by Kamalashila [How does it end? - Editor]. iBooks One thing I really enjoy when travelling driving or on a plane is listening to audiobooks of books I enjoyed as a child - I find I want some kind of background noise but nothing I have to pay any effort towards. [Like the last feature you wrote? - Editor] The Harry Potter series and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" work brilliantly. Jim Last actual "for fun" book and not technology or programming related is probably "Car Guys VS Bean Counters." Very interesting book as Bob Lutz is well, Bob [Good to know - Editor] and he goes through the car business getting squeezed for profitability and how that ruined the soul of the car. Lindy will approve Brandon I don't know how you all have time to read (or listen to audio books), but then again I guess not everyone has 6 kids that keep them busy. I'm a Dean Koontz fan and in terms of reading (which I rarely do as I don't have time) I always read Dean Koontz (paperback novels). Currently I have "The Silent Corner" [This is also where we send the naughty developers - Editor].in my nightstand which I haven't read yet. Can't say I've ever met Jane Hawk Jen The real real is that my favorite book ever is, The Giver. I ❤️ the ignorance=discipline dystopia. I think my favorite series is The Wit'ch series by James Clemens. I own tons of books but those are the ones that I can go back and read. Andy I’m reading Italian children’s books mostly as part of my ongoing learning of Italian. On my bookshelf, there’s also a lot of travel books for places I’ve been and yet to see (this summer we’ll be visiting Romania for a couple of weeks). The Twilight audio set, “Princess, Dragons and Helicopter stories” and other gems in the photo are not mine (honest). Not using the Dewey Decimal Classification system I also have a DVD of “The Legend of Effin Eddie: The Amazing True Story of a Hilarious GAA Match Commentary which has Become Famous Worldwide” that I won at a Slovak Gaelic football quiz night [Wow, I have the same DVD! - Editor]. The Snowball by Warren Buffett is probably the book that has had the biggest practical impact on my life and I keep going back to it… I also have many leather bound books that smell of rich mahogany. Daniel Right now, I'm reading three different books [And writing this answer? Amazing skills - Editor]. On my iPad, I have my scriptum to prepare for the Boat Skipper B license which I'm going to make in 2 months. More books I have some old Poker Books, because I love to gamble [Like when you push a branch? - Editor]. I played a lot in the past and miss the funny times, so I wanted to refresh my knowledge about all the stuff. As you see, no fiction books, just educational books. Matt M I love to read. I'm old enough to remember the days when we made books from a material called paper. These books were quite thick and took up a lot of room. [lol slow down grandpa - Editor] These days I stick to the Kindle and Audible stores. I especially like Audible. It enables me to listen to books when I'm working around the house, or out and about dropping my son off at his clubs. My all time favourite book is probably "The Road" by Cormack McCarthy. It's a dsytopian novel, which is a genre I enjoy. I also enjoy Stephen King's work. "The Stand" is of course one of his best. I quite enjoyed the Mercedes Killer series too. I'm a huge fan of the Jack Reacher series of novels. The quality can vary a little, but Jack Reacher is a great creation and I admire Child's writing style. He tends to just sit down once a year and start working on a new novel. He doesn't often plan out plots and structures, he tends to write and see where it takes him [Bit like this blog - Editor]. Even more books I tend to listen to a lot of psychology. and health and fitness books. I'm currently working my way through "12 Rules For Life" by Jordan B Peterson. If I wasn't a software developer, I think I'd happily be an author [Don't quit the day job - Editor]. Mark H I don't have an all-time favorite "book" (singular), I read series of them. I'd say the first 6 Dune books are my favorite series. Dune (1965) Dune Messiah (1969) Children of Dune (1976) God Emperor of Dune (1981) Heretics of Dune (1984) Chapterhouse: Dune (1985) After that it would be series by Robert Jordan, "The Wheel of Time". There are 15 books in total, but I've only read the first 12 written entirely by Jordan, not the prequel or the 2 that had to be finished by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death. The Eye of the World (1990) The Great Hunt (1990) The Dragon Reborn (1991) The Shadow Rising (1992) The Fires of Heaven (1993) Lord of Chaos (1994) A Crown of Swords (1996) The Path of Daggers (1998) Winter's Heart (2000) Crossroads of Twilight (2003) New Spring (2004) Knife of Dreams (2005) The Gathering Storm (2009) Towers of Midnight (2010) ** A Memory of Light (2013) ** **finished by Sanderson After that it would be the original Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. I've not read the 3 related books Asimov added to the series after the original 3. That's on my "to do" list. Foundation Foundation and Empire Second Foundation I'm sure I'll think of more which I've forgotten [Happens to us all eventually - Editor], but I am not reading any book now, nor have I within the last several years. Have no time to do so. That's what is on our bookshelves. We'd love to know what your favourite book is, and what you're reading now. Let us know in the comments below. Просмотр полной статьи
  14. A positive community is a wonderful thing. It's fun to read and almost irresistible to join. You instantly feel welcomed and quickly make new friends. Carefully managed communities tend to be respectful. They may occasionally argue and disagree, but these are short term incidences that do not affect the community. Is this by chance or by design? Your role as a community leader will make all the difference in how your members react to each other. Your community boundaries will have a direct impact in the number troublemakers that infiltrate your community. I'm sure you've come across trolls and troublemakers on your digital travels. You may be unlucky enough to have met some on your own site. Some trolls may be quite benign and productive members of the community. That is, until something or someone triggers them. Some trolls like to annoy others because they are bored. Others because they are angry. Whatever the reason, they can be a handful to manage well. A well managed community offers excellent protection against trolls that may join only to cause trouble. The troll has no fun against a charming community unwilling to engage in hateful behaviour. Therefore, a positive community is essential in protecting your members, as much as it is making a welcoming atmosphere for new members. Community Leaders Your community leaders are there to model good behaviour. How your leaders speak to your members is very important. If they are rude or offensive, then the community will view that as the culture you endorse and act likewise. It's important that your leaders refrain from becoming embattled in aggressive discussions. An ideal leader is cool, calm and impartial. If members see your leaders engaged in heated debate, they may follow suit. A good strategy is to use a leader's forum or Pages database where they can discuss contentious topics in private and agree on a way forward together. Forcing your leaders to remain impartial and discuss the topic elsewhere is a great way to retain professional separation. If your leaders want to engage in debate, then allow them to create a personal account. This allows them to air their personal views inline with your boundaries. It is vital to remember that your leaders carry your brand and message at all times. Create a strong terms of service Invision Community's terms of service feature is ideal to outline your community and what is acceptable. Be positive with your terms and rules. Creating a positive culture from the earliest interaction with your site is important. This sets out boundaries in a friendly way. Invision Community's build in terms editor Avoid using negative words such as "don't" and "can't". People tend to skip over these words. It is better to be positive, for example: "A signature CANNOT have more than one image" Could be better explained as: "Your signature may have a single image". This positive interaction feels better but still enforces your rules. Keep the number of rules to a minimum. Visitors connect better with sites that aren't laden with rules and threats for stepping out of line. Indeed, reading a terms of service that outlines punitive action for every minor misdemeanour makes the site look unruly and embattled. Even good productive members have bad days and may display out of character behaviour. Weeding out the early signs of trouble Not all arguing is bad. We've seen some dynamic and informative topics that have flowered from an initial disagreement. The first step is identifying which behaviours you find unacceptable. Your community and culture will define these boundaries. What is acceptable for a casual community with a very young demographic may not be acceptable for a very formal conservative site. Is this member trolling? A classic troll is someone who seeks to derail rational conversation through abuse, hectoring or needling. A troll isn't someone that disagrees with you, your product or your choices. Civil disagreement is the foundation for any rich discussion. A troll is less tolerant and their end goal is to aggravate others. Is the member new? Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the expectations of your community. New members can often be eager to impress veterans and may come across as over excitable. It is worth noting down topics which have the potential to derail and check in on them often. You can add hidden replies that do not trigger notifications. This is an ideal way to leave notes to other community leaders. The best judge is often experience. It may take a while to develop your sixth sense with your community. Motivation through rewarding good behaviour Invision Community is equipped with a reputation system which is linked to the number of positive reactions a piece of authorered content obtains. The simplest expression is the humble 'like'. To encourage members to like and thank others for useful content empowers individuals and motivates them to post more good content. Thumbs up! You may wish to send a personal message offering thanks for exceptional content to your members. A brief personal note is a welcome gift in today's world of often impersonal automation. We have seen communities that post up weekly topics linking to great content. Likewise, you can leverage featured posts to draw attention to your good content. The Our Picks feature is yet another way you can promote great user submitted content. It must be very rewarding to see your hard work showcased to the rest of the community. Avoid special forums for 'unmoderated discussion' Some communities try and address the balance between the need for rule enforcement through moderation against the desire to offer a venue for raw discourse. This usually presents as a special forum often labeled as "Unmoderated", "The flame zone" or similar. The intention is a good one and the logic makes sense. Provide a venting space for your community in one area to keep the rest of the community friendly. Don't make your members bring boxing gloves to a topic! In our experience, this plan quickly backfires. The unmoderated area becomes hateful, toxic and very unpleasant. Basal desires that are kept in check by your rules and boundaries are left to run amok. It's very likely that these discussions become so heated that members leave your site for good. That isn't a desirable outcome! It's much better to keep your rules consistent throughout all areas of your site. Encouraging contentious discussion is rarely a good thing. Punitive tools are the last resort Invision Community is loaded with excellent moderation tools to handle persistent offenders. We would encourage you to try speaking with a troublesome member first via the personal message system. Give them a chance to explain themselves and remind them of the rules. If you have exhausted all avenues, you have several options to choose from. 1) Warning Invision Community's warning system allows you to pre-set different warning thresholds which trigger specific actions. For example, you may decide that after 10 warns, the member is set to full moderation. This means that their posts are hidden to other community members until you review and approve them. This is an excellent tool and has success in rehabilitating hot headed members that react quickly and often find themselves in hot water with your community leaders. Invision Community 4.3 introduced crowd sourced moderation. This allows the administrator to set up thresholds for actions based on the number of reports a content item receives from other members. The warning system For example, you may decide to hide a post after it receives reports from five or more different members. 2) Full moderation You have the option to enforce review and approval of all members topics and posts. The downside is that it increases the workload of your moderators, so should be used sparingly. It is a very effective tool when used for a short time after a heated debate gets out of control. It allows you to enforce a time out until the situation has calmed down. 3) Short term banning to cool off Invision Community allows you to temporarily ban a member from your site for a specified number of hours. It is especially effective to enforce a break from your site. This allows an otherwise good and productive member time to cool down and reflect on how they wish to contribute. In most cases, the member comes back calmer and ready to post productively. 4) Permanent banning As a true last resort, you can exclude the member from accessing your site completely. A banned member can no longer access forum lists, topics or posts. They can of course log out and view the community as a guest. In most cases, members can be rehabilitated through personal messages, moderation or an enforced cooling off period. A permanent ban can be lifted by an administrator at any time. Conclusion Cultivating a positive community can take a little work from your community leaders but the benefits are numerous. A fun engaging community of respectful members is a real joy. The infectious spirit of the members makes it very easy to join and contribute. There is always a learning curve, so use any issue as a learning experience and give your members the benefit of doubt. You wouldn't want to punish an overzealous and excitable new member and make them feel unwelcome by reaching for a moderation tool too soon. Try and guide conversation by using your community leaders to model good behaviour. Try and keep a sense of fun and take the time to get to know your members. Above all, enjoy the journey! Taking the time to engage in your community is a great experience and offers many opportunities to learn and grow as a leader. Invision empowers you with the tools to manage and reward behaviors, but it's ultimately your stewardship to thoughtfully design a positive community. We'd love to know which of these tips you already practise. Let us know below! Просмотр полной статьи
  15. Pages is one our most flexible applications. We use Pages on this site for our news blog, our release list and our bug tracker. We also use it internally to track customer suggestions, knowledge base articles and more. The most common use for Pages is as a simple articles database. With its built in templates, you can create interesting and engaging pages in just a few minutes. This is how we have it configured for this news blog. In this entry, we'll be looking at something a little out of the ordinary. In just five minutes, you can create a simple curated YouTube video gallery on your website using Pages. All of this functionality is built in. You won't need to learn code, or install any plug-ins. Check out the video below for a walk through which covers: Creating a database and page Using the 'Easy Mode' page editor to drag and drop the database into place Setting up the database's custom fields for YouTube You can take this further by tweaking the built in templates to create something unique for your site. You may wish to use a different listing page and show thumbnails of the videos to entice your visitors into the site. This is ideal for sites which use YouTube heavily but wish to keep the discussion on your site. The built in comments and review sections display just under the video. Pages opens up many different ways of curating and displaying content. We'd love to see how you're using Pages, let us know in the comments! Просмотр полной статьи
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