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SJ77

IPB4 Opportunity to improve Member discovery experience

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IPB4 seems to be really excellent at this point with connecting users with topics. Topic discovery is working well.

However, it seems the "community" aspect is still in need of improvement. The member discovery process is very difficult.

Here is a recent comment from one of my members.

Quote

Site seems to get better by the day lately :D Finding and chatting with other members has proven slightly cumbersome though.

Suggestions:

  • Upgrade "location" field to collect useful information. (google Geolocation API)
  • bring back member list (only make it useful)
    • member list has green dot icon for online now.
    • member list can be filtered on distance from me /location
    • member list can be filtered on male/female
    • member list can be filtered on "has avatar"
    • member list can be filtered on age
    • member list can be filtered by online now
    • member list continues to include all current filters

Then we could truly start connecting with other members. I think it will feel like a "community"

Thank you.

 

 

Edited by superj707

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57 minutes ago, superj707 said:

Suggestions:

  • Upgrade "location" field to collect useful information. (google Geolocation API)
  • bring back member list (only make it useful)
    • member list has green dot icon for online now.
    • member list can be filtered on distance from me /location
    • member list can be filtered on male/female
    • member list can be filtered on "has avatar"
    • member list can be filtered on age
    • member list can be filtered by online now
    • member list continues to include all current filters

I want to add to this other very nice IPB3 member list filter options:

  • Post count is less than/more than
  • Join date is before/after
  • Last post is before/after
  • Last visit is before/after

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I brought ideas to the table because it's not really helpful to simply say something isn't working without at least an idea. However, it would be interesting to hear more ideas from other people. If we get a brain storm going, a lot of good can come of it. (maybe)

I think member discovery is an imperative aspect of having a "community". It's been a huge miss so far with IPB (IMO). I am hoping this gains traction. Here is a member list screen shot to inspire others. This is what "community" is about. I still can't believe there is no member list. A site with no member list is a cold faceless place. I love, IPB... please don't misunderstand. I really just wish we could do more for discovering members.

members.JPG

Edited by superj707

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That looks like it should be possible with IP.Content/Pages. I don't know off the top of my head how this can be achieved, otherwise I kinda like this idea, but something as specific as the above? Would it not be better off as a modification, in the IPS Marketplace. I reckon anyone who will take this on will clearly have a market for it. I have to admit I'm a little intrigued to know more.

Like could it be sorted by last active too? By this point would you want the order to be user controlled, if there all kinds of options?

Edited by Tripp_UK

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I think any member discovery features would be best suited for the search system -- the member search works well, it just needs some added robustness. There's a lot coming in 2016 in terms of social engagement - I agree there's a lot of room for improvement and I think you'll be as excited as we are about things like social circles/groups across the suite. 

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@LindyFor me, I would prefer to have a member list over member search. I want to put members front and center. Although if it were going to improve I would take member search over no improvement at all.

I have to say though, am not sure how that would work. How can I use search to find anything other than a username? What if I am searching for "all female members within 50 miles"? Searching for "usernames" is a function. Which I am glad for ... but its  not what I had in mind for member discovery.

As is, member search options are buried in an "advanced" menu. On mobile even the "member search" itself is buried in the advanced menu. Then if someone actually finds the options they really can only sort by join date. There are some other options, like searching by ICQ name or website. Not sure how any of this is useful. I know you said it will become more "robust" so hopefully we can search for meaningful things like "location" or "male/female" soon.

I think many people will be excited about social circles/groups but I do not think I will need those things. Although, I will keep an open mind, and check it out when it comes. However, seems like it will add an extra layer of complexity and my users are already confused. 

(that's my worry) I would be much happier with a functional member list that can be filtered on meaningful things like "location" or "male/female" These are things that everyone can understand and it would certainly be a traffic driver ..on my site anyway. People like searching for other members.

maybe member list should be a mod/plugin.. not sure actually why nobody has made that yet. Surprising.

Looking forward to whats coming.  At this point the site desperately needs member discovery improvement of any kind.

Thank you Lindy.

 

Edited by superj707

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On 1/22/2016 at 3:42 AM, Michael R said:

Many of the members on my site meet locally, regionally, and even internationally. My members are always looking to connect with others. It's a big part of the appeal of my site. My members would appreciate features that make it easier to connect with others.

Could not agree more.  A major part of our site revolves around our members being able to search for and connect with other members who are local to them or have similar interests etc.  Often all they way want is to be able to search by Gender and location which is next to impossible to do with how it is at the present time. It used to fairly good in version 3 but is next to useless in version 4 and we are continually getting complaints about it from our members.  The Member search available to Admin via the Admin CP is good and much as it was in version 3.  We really are left wondering why the Member search has been so severely limited for the general membership while having it available to Admin.

As has been mentioned by another, Community is all about people connecting, not just about posts in a forum.  If people can not connect then there is no community and the site just slowly dies.   We have been using IPB since 2006 having seen many versions come and go.  The idea and look of version 4 is good with activity feeds etc in many ways similar to facebook which people are used to using, but what is the point of that if no one can connect with anyone else via the member list.  It some ways there have been vast improvements to IPB but in other ways they have taken giant steps backward.  

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On 1/23/2016 at 4:07 AM, Lindy said:

I agree there's a lot of room for improvement and I think you'll be as excited as we are about things like social circles/groups across the suite. 

I am really excited to hear about that. Again, my members are all about groups. We have at least 50 individual groups and organizations on my site. Currently I am using individual forums and albums for this. Anything that I can do to make this aspect of my site more appealing to members (existing and new) would be greatly appreciated.

I am sure you hate to hear this, but I am constantly struggling with loosing members to Facebook. Many of my members have gone off and formed Facebook groups based on the specific forums on my site. In some cases they even used the same name. The majority of my members are older and they find Facebook easier to use overall. It's a constant struggle for me. As I am sure it is for many others here too.

Thanks for listening. :)

Edited by Michael R

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Something we have found,   we can enter the full display name of a member who we know into the SEARCH TERM box of the Member Search on the public side of the site and it returns a NO FIND (search01.jpg)   If we then go to the Admin CP and enter the same Display name into the Member Search exactly as it was entered into the member search on the public side of the site we get a result (search02.jpg).   We then tried copying and pasting the Display Name from the Admin CP Member search into the SEARCH TERM box of the Member Search on the public side yet it still returned a NO RESULT.

If we as the site admin are getting fed up with the member search when trying to do such a simple search on a member display name and find it necessary to go the Admin CP we can only imagine how the general membership feel about it and sympathise with them when they complain to us and can appreciate their frustration when they end up leaving the site to go elsewhere and more often than not a site using free Forums software such as phpBB or one of the others. At the end of the day regardless of where they go we are still losing members which is likely to continue unless things change.

search02.jpg

 

search01.jpg

Edited by Hawkesburycouple
typing errors

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On 1/23/2016 at 11:17 AM, superj707 said:

I am going to put my money where my mouth is and see if we can finally make this happen for the community.

 

 

So far none of the dev's have taken the bait. Seems most of them are already at full capacity with other projects.

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