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Two issues to me - how to display content and how to value individual piece of content. At most sites I've seen/run, the emphasis is on context. Saying "pieces of content" like it does now and I keep hearing explained to me doesn't really mean anything concrete to me. If I have very distinctive motorcycles, cars and ATVs sections on my site which caters to each type of enthusiast, seeing "13 vehicles" listed for a user in all sections may not mean much if each type represents a certain mentality and distinct user group. If I'm in the motorcycles section and I see "9 motorcycles" and in the ATV section "3 ATVs" then that is meaningful. It gives me an apples to apples understanding of a user's interests and efforts. If I'm in a forum, seeing 584 posts means "active forum poster." But if that now may include 100 photos, 30 calendar items and 200 useless blog posts, it changes the entire meaning of what I'm seeing and I have no way of understanding it. TMI and TLI. You may think that IPB 3 got it wrong. Maybe it did but it got it all "less wrong" to me and focused on the most important module and activity at most sites than it feels to me right now.

With regard to reward, I have never valued all content equally and it doesn't make sense to me to do so. Creating an article usually takes the most effort but posting a photo does not. Forum activity will typically yield the most valuable content because it is inherently designed to engage others to contribute. If I ran a site that is about creating ringtones and cell phone wallpapers and also has a forum, then perhaps I want to emphasis the content which gives people bragging rights about what is important to that community and display it well. If I'm going to create a "stuff" metric that will be used everywhere, then as an admin I need to create my own formula as to how that is supposed to work.

Reputation - what does that even mean? I honestly have no idea. Is it "number of likes?" Does it include gallery items? Trustworthiness of users posts? I do understand just "Likes" or "Forum Reputation." I just tried it out. @Joel R can thank me for boosting his reputation for all of his awesome New Zealand photos. I really miss the place. Perhaps he's really not too bright but he takes great photos. (He actually is quite swift, but hopefully you're getting my point. :D  )  So while I can appreciate the general goals of "rewarding users" and "cultivating content creation" etc. I'm really having a difficult time understanding what it's supposed to mean in IPS 4 now that you've tossed in all the modules into the same soup. This is just IMVHO. I won't say any more and belabor the issue.  

 

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Just to make sure, status updates don't count, right? At least on the forum that I use, members are encouraged to use status updates to post about stuff that isn't significant enough to justify a forum thread (eg. saying that they just got a new part for their computer or just randomly complaining about things), and if they increment post count, the people who already spam statuses which don't really contribute to the community (just allowing a conversation between their friends) will end up having even more inflated post counts.

As for the main conversation, I think the change is a good idea. However, you already allow specific subforums to not increment post count, so surely it is logical to extend that to a specific app? If posts in Off Topic don't count towards the post count, why should we be forced to make random images that are uploaded to the gallery count? I think it's great that they can count, but I don't think they should have to count.

 

Regarding your observation that reputation should be very significant, that is fine most of the time. However, aside from admin posts, the most liked post on the forum that I use, which has 355 likes, says

People thinking they can download RAM....

That member has 24 posts. Surely they are less involved in the community than a member with 1000 posts and 200 likes?

One of the other most liked posts is responding to an admin who reserved a couple of posts. It says

Please stop spamming. This is against CoC

That post, which is a joke post, has 222 likes. The posts below it, which are copying it, also have a significant number of likes.
None of those posts contribute to the discussion in any way.

I'm not to saying that likes aren't useful in gauging how much a member contributes to the forum, but they need to be combined with a relevant post count to give context. Unfortunately, your current system doesn't allow admins to chose what is relevant to post count and what is not, making it less useful.

This system isn't a deal breaker, but it is certainly not ideal.

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There are several ways to accomplish this. Existing mods are usually consistent in allowing admins to set "points" for which users generate when adding content, e.g. 5 points for an article that is accepted, 3 for a post, etc. This is done to match the needs of each community as set by the admin. Regarding post count, I don't see why posts in a module isn't the default displayed, posts in a forum means "forum posts" and posts in the gallery would be "# of images."  My original suggestion was to include the information of a user's total activity in the card or profile by detail, e.g. forum posts, gallery, etc. This reflects "points" or "activity" as opposed to "total post count everywhere" and seems to better reflect what it represents. Reputation -- unless it really reflects a "trust level" as was popular in "iTrader" mods which shows the trustworthiness of buyers and sellers, "Likes" are probably best understood with a similar, consistent expression, +1, Thumbs Up, etc. At least users can gauge what a Like/+1/Thumbs Up/Agree/Thank You may mean as @stormdrive illustrates above. Whatever you decide, I hope it will be on the side of being able to be quickly understood and not requiring education of a user base.

@Lindy - There are many great contributions here. Thank you for keeping an open mind, allowing us to speak honestly and taking this discussion into consideration. I think it sends a positive message to site owners about sharing constructive comments and how they are being received.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

You're right -- many are centered around the forums, but many don't want that to be the case anymore. I don't want to speak for @CheersnGears - but his site seems to largely revolve around IP.Content (now Pages) and I'd bet it's been a struggle to work around the confines of IP.Board wanting to have its way as the true core. In IPS4, you don't even need the forums app and even if you want it, it doesn't have to be the centerpiece that all content revolves around. 

There's many that do "just forums." We decided to break away from that in the sense that while there's still a strong market for forums, it's not a sustainable market for IPS if that's all we were to do and focus on. Most come to IPS for the suite these days and that's what we're going to focus on a complete and true community solution. 

It will, however, take some time for longtime users to adapt but if we stop seeing "forums" and see "community" (even if the forums app is the only app you have) - I feel it will make better sense. 

​That said, remember, IP.Board isn't dead. If your site is more suited for IPB 3.4 then there's really no reason to upgrade right away - though we're only going to do critical updates for IP.Board.

 

​YES.

I've been trying, with some success I think, to convert to something more like a magazine site that just has a forum attached.   I think I've gotten about as far as I can get on that path with the current software. 

I have 2 other sites in the concept stage right now.  The URLs are purchased, but the sites exist on paper only.  If I go with IPS for these two sites, there is a very good chance they will not include the forum module at all.   My big hang up is the lack of the friends system which may force me into another software platform.  I don't really want to do that because I'm comfortable in the IPS system. 

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Lindy, I'm not misunderstanding the the objective of IPS4, the clue is in the name "Invision Power Services" supplying a community suite of products.

It's not just me that is unhappy with the thought process of IPS on this, it's just that I'm the one that's being vocal about it.

You ask why I would want to encourage members to ignore parts of the suite in favour of another. Seriously? It's because I want to encourage them by rewarding them for using them, that's why it's important to differentiate. By not differentiating, you are rewarding for overall content count, whether that is all downloads, images, posts in the forum purely based on content count.

By that logic, IPS are basically saying it doesn't matter what part of the site you use, you can use one part of the application have the same content count as someone that uses the whole suite but get rewarded the same (that's just going to cause frustration and anger amongst members). I just think IPS are misunderstanding this entire point.

​Re-reading this... might I make a suggestion?

You have all the ingredients for a kickass Karma system if you commission a third party hook. "Brains" / Post Count = Karma

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That's the thing, we already have the IPS reputation system used as brains and we introduced ajax like system from the marketplace (sadly it lacks the ability to see what has been liked, but does what it was intended to do).

Our "Brains" system

Our "Like" system

We already have this in place now and we are going to lose this on V4 (simply because reputation is served suite wide) - it is very narrow minded to think everyone is going to have their suite run the suite wide and not application specific - settings to enable/disable reputation per application should be standard.

 

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I understand (some of) why this was all combined, but it made it that much more useless. No one ever said it was a measure of quality, we all know it is a measure of quantity, but with combining all this content it's just all muddy. What is the point of the number? Before we had post counts, blog counts, image counts, etc. Now we have one ridiculously large muddy number. It's a meaningless number, before, at least it made sense as we could see how active a user was in that area. Upload 1600 images with the bulk uploader and have 54 forum posts, and it looks like a very active member on the forum.

Really, this is not a good idea. Good intentions, but not thought through, imo. I hope this can be addressed.

Do these counts also affect the promotions, as in, a member needs "100" posts to see "this" forum?

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I get you want to call everything content, that's why you renamed IP.Content. But this one large muddy number is now meaningless.

I could see keeping Content Count if it was broken down into areas under it on the member page. That would be awesome. My suggestion is have overall and by app/section. The member pane reflects the section they posted in.

Thanks

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The content count will remain as a global count, but we will be adding per-app counts to the profile. 

​That's superb news, glad to hear that a compromise "of sorts" has been reached. I would still personally like to see content count switched on or off per application but maybe in time.

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​That's superb news, glad to hear that a compromise "of sorts" has been reached. I would still personally like to see content count switched on or off per application but maybe in time.

​That should be relatively easy to have an app built for now though now that the counts are separate. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The content count will remain as a global count, but we will be adding per-app counts to the profile. 

​in that matter- is it possible to show the user topics and posts separately like in 3.4, or that option is gone now? because if you have a count of topics in your statistics, than the system knows how to do that..

 

thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The content count will remain as a global count, but we will be adding per-app counts to the profile. 

​well my first reaction when my users encountered the changed post count was to file an issue:tongue:

I can only mention the post count works quite well in my forum to indicate the contribution level of a user. Those forums that are just for fun don't count towards that count. So I'm able to turn it of for a forum but not gallery uploads? That's just weird to me.

The reputation system does not work in my forum - moderators usually get blamed by new users, so currently only up-votes are allowed. And mainly new members that come in groups spend their time voting for each other. Existing members don't really care about that. So the important users have a low reputation and the new users a high one :whistle:

So: after reading through this thread I'm glad the count will be split. ^_^
while doing that: remember the user ranks in the forum relate to the current count - maybe that should point to the new forum-posts counter :angel:

 

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The content count will remain as a global count, but we will be adding per-app counts to the profile. 

​Great :)

Any chance the "post count" in forum topics can be specific to the forums app? It already uses a different terminology (posts instead of content).

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I've made my feelings clear on the subject, IPS are focused (with blinkers on in my view) on a core product suite and not listening to the genuine concerns of forum centric sites (built on IPB). That still want to give users that platform but introduce other avenues of allowing comments etc on other parts of the site by using the different applications - without increasing forum post count.

A simple on / off option for post counts for those applications is all that I have been asking for and I knew when more sites upgraded, that this issue would rear it's ugly head again.

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To me this is totally backwards and makes no sense. If you're in the forum, then you want to know who is the popular forum/discussion contributor. If you're in the gallery, you want to know who uploads the most/best images. Same goes for files. Why should anyone care to see who uploads the most crap everywhere? My suggestion was to do it the other way. If you want to know more about what the user does on the rest of the forum, put that in the user card, e.g. forum posts, images and files contributed, etc. After all, that's what the card is for, right?

IMHO, a suite of applications is similar to men's underwear in that designing in one size will clearly not fit all. Has to be done right and fit is extremely important. One site may be a photograph site with a forum as supplementary. Another will be a discussion forum with user gallery as a secondary offering. "Activity level" cannot be reasonably ascertained by "raw content count" numbers because the value of each depends upon the site - and it's mixing in all types of different content that requires different efforts. Example - on a QA site, a user uploading 50 images  to their user gallery of silly cats, gathered from 4chan, which now ranks as active as someone who wrote 50 awesome posts that required some actual thought and effort.

If you're going to have some metric that is meaningful, then the site owner must be able to provide some value level (or points) in order for the metric to be meaningful, e.g. 1 point for images, 5 points for posts, 10 points for files, 2 points for blog posts, etc.. Perhaps that is what most I know use "user level" for -- the more active the user the higher the level he/she reaches. It has been that way on most sites I know. I love the desire to innovate in IPS4 but I think it's rowing hard against a strong tide.

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To me this is totally backwards and makes no sense. If you're in the forum, then you want to know who is the popular forum/discussion contributor. If you're in the gallery, you want to know who uploads the most/best images. Same goes for files. Why should anyone care to see who uploads the most crap everywhere? My suggestion was to do it the other way. If you want to know more about what the user does on the rest of the forum, put that in the user card, e.g. forum posts, images and files contributed, etc. After all, that's what the card is for, right?

IMHO, a suite of applications is similar to men's underwear in that designing in one size will clearly not fit all. Has to be done right and fit is extremely important. One site may be a photograph site with a forum as supplementary. Another will be a discussion forum with user gallery as a secondary offering. "Activity level" cannot be reasonably ascertained by "raw content count" numbers because the value of each depends upon the site - and it's mixing in all types of different content that requires different efforts. Example - on a QA site, a user uploading 50 images  to their user gallery of silly cats, gathered from 4chan, which now ranks as active as someone who wrote 50 awesome posts that required some actual thought and effort.

If you're going to have some metric that is meaningful, then the site owner must be able to provide some value level (or points) in order for the metric to be meaningful, e.g. 1 point for images, 5 points for posts, 10 points for files, 2 points for blog posts, etc.. Perhaps that is what most I know use "user level" for -- the more active the user the higher the level he/she reaches. It has been that way on most sites I know. I love the desire to innovate in IPS4 but I think it's rowing hard against a strong tide.

​It seems to me that what they've done is a base for people to modify from and the Marketplace will be the solution to those difference in application. 

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I've made my feelings clear on the subject, IPS are focused (with blinkers on in my view) on a core product suite and not listening to the genuine concerns of forum centric sites (built on IPB). That still want to give users that platform but introduce other avenues of allowing comments etc on other parts of the site by using the different applications - without increasing forum post count.

A simple on / off option for post counts for those applications is all that I have been asking for and I knew when more sites upgraded, that this issue would rear it's ugly head again.

​You are correct to an extent - while every app is important, we are definitely largely focused on the suite as a whole - I'm sorry to hear that you consider that a negative thing. We do recognize that those who are strictly "all about forums" in a traditional sense may not agree this approach and a select few may unfortunately opt for alternate solutions, but we can't cater to a narrowed yet broad focus simultaneously and there are plenty of others out there doing the forum-only thing. 

What we are doing in this particular situation, is laying the framework that allows you or marketplace authors to take individual application content counts and do as you wish with them. We are not, at this time, putting in toggles to turn counts on and off for different apps - you can easily enough extract what's important to you and make use of the information as you see fit and as relevant to your goals for your community. That's one of the beauties of IPS4 that you will find if you're able to step outside the box of forums and see the big picture. 

With that, I want to be clear that we've heard the feedback, we've listened and we've added what I previously described to our roadmap for a near-future map. After this occurs, there's no reason for further discussion, so I'm going to begin closing these types of topics so we can move forward in a less distracting fashion. Hopefully you understand that we're not shunning feedback -- to the contrary, you've all spoken, we've listened and done what we can to accommodate. We don't always agree on all points and sometimes that's for broader reasons than what can be covered here, but we do value all feedback. At some point, we have to end discussion as we can easily go in circles endlessly. 

Feel free to open a new topic at a later date if there's further feedback to offer that hasn't been covered here. Thanks for your understanding. :)

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