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Integrated comments between Forums and other IPS apps


Pseudonym

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Are there any plans to extend the Pages "Use forum for comments" function to other IPS apps as well? (This is the feature in Pages where it automatically creates a topic for each database record, and that topic then acts as the comments section for the record.)

I'd really like to use the same feature for Calendar events, for example. Is that on the plans?

 

I'd also like to suggest a few tweaks around how this whole function works...

More apps = more content discovery = good
The benefit of this function is that it allows you to have a Pages article also listed in the relevant forum. This makes browsing by subject easier which is a very good thing. This feature should be extended to all the IPS apps - Pages, Calendar, Blog, etc. So then a forum becomes less a collection purely of forum topics, and more a category to hold content of any sort which may be forum topics, but may also include Pages articles, Calendar events, etc, etc. Everything that's related to the subject of that forum.

No duplicated content
Unfortunately,the way it is done currently (by having a Page article create a matching topic) creates duplicate content. Rather than creating two different versions of the same content (ie, a Page record and a Forum topic with identical content and comments under each) it would be better to have one item that is simply linked from both places. When this link is clicked, it takes you to the same Page article, regardless of whether you found it via the Forum or the Page database listing.

Consistent comments template
Right now, apps like Pages, Blogs, Calendar, etc, use a cut-down template to display comments. They don't have all the nice bells and whistles that the Forum comments do. Personally, I want my comments to look the same across the site. A conversation under Pages should look just as awesome as a conversation under Forum does! ^_^

(Similarly, the Forum topic that's automatically created from a Pages record looks pretty lo-fi compared to the actual Pages record which can have a nice custom template specific to the particular Pages database. Solving the duplicate content issue above would solve this problem as well.)

Fully-fledged moderator functions
Currently the other apps have fewer mod functions available than the Forums app does. I'd like to see fully-integrated mod functions across every app. So for example, if a member posts a comment in a Calendar event that should really be split into its own topic in the Forums, or merged into an existing Forums topic, I should be able to do that.

 

Phew! That's all. Hopefully it makes sense!

I think this integration would make the IPS suite far more cohesive and powerful. What do you say, IPS? Is it do-able? :thumbsup:

 

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5 hours ago, Pseudonym said:

No duplicated content
Unfortunately,the way it is done currently (by having a Page article create a matching topic) creates duplicate content. Rather than creating two different versions of the same content (ie, a Page record and a Forum topic with identical content and comments under each) it would be better to have one item that is simply linked from both places. When this link is clicked, it takes you to the same Page article, regardless of whether you found it via the Forum or the Page database listing.

Consistent comments template
Right now, apps like Pages, Blogs, Calendar, etc, use a cut-down template to display comments. They don't have all the nice bells and whistles that the Forum comments do. Personally, I want my comments to look the same across the site. A conversation under Pages should look just as awesome as a conversation under Forum does! ^_^

(Similarly, the Forum topic that's automatically created from a Pages record looks pretty lo-fi compared to the actual Pages record which can have a nice custom template specific to the particular Pages database. Solving the duplicate content issue above would solve this problem as well.)

 

1. I find with the streams being a catch-all the "post as topic" function is not even needed anymore, imo. An article, now, gets the same exposure as a topic in the streams, whereas before, it was hidden behind a tab.

2. Agreed! The forum is still "king" in may ways, but 4.0 was supposed to lessen that mentality. I'd also like consistent user panes. The way it is setup now tells me "This is the main section of the site (forums)," and, "This area is not the main site, you have already seen this information in the forum so we don't need to show it here (other apps)."

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14 hours ago, chilihead said:

I find with the streams being a catch-all the "post as topic" function is not even needed anymore, imo. An article, now, gets the same exposure as a topic in the streams, whereas before, it was hidden behind a tab.

This is true for regular users who have learned all the cool tricks in IPS4, and take advantage of the activity stream feature to see the latest content. But for new or occasional users, they're unlikely to dig into an activity stream and filter it down... They are still much more likely to browse by forum of the subjects they're interested in.

20 hours ago, Pseudonym said:

So then a forum becomes less a collection purely of forum topics, and more a category to hold content of any sort which may be forum topics, but may also include Pages articles, Calendar events, etc, etc. Everything that's related to the subject of that forum.

I guess what I'm suggesting here would effectively turn the Forum's topic listing page into a stream of content on that forum's subject.

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20 hours ago, Pseudonym said:

Are there any plans to extend the Pages "Use forum for comments" function to other IPS apps as well?

I doubt it. It doesn’t even make sense in Pages anymore, let alone in the other apps. What should the first post of those created forum discussions contain? Should it recreate the full view that all the other apps have on their respective pages? That won’t work well. Or should it just be a click-through entry with limited or no real content? That also sounds like a bad idea. 

I just switched over to 4.1 and I deactivated all forum posting for Pages. I wish there was a converter to move the forum comments back to Pages, but as I understand it, the ability to post to the forums is just a legacy feature, not one that is still very useful or worth extending to other apps. 

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2 hours ago, opentype said:

as I understand it, the ability to post to the forums is just a legacy feature, not one that is still very useful or worth extending to other apps.

OK, that makes sense. But I probably shouldn't have asked that question, because I think it distracts from the main thrust of this topic.

What I'm trying to achieve is a system that organises content by subject, not necessarily by app.

(It's taken me several days to summarise my thoughts clearly, but I think that finally explains it well!)

 

Here's my real-world example... I run a gym/fitness website. We have a forum for Diet & Nutrition topics. We also have an Articles section (built through the Pages app), and some of those articles will be about nutrition. It doesn't make sense that nutrition forum topics and nutrition articles are found in two different parts of the website. From my users' point of view, they should simply be able to go into the Nutrition forum/section, and see a list of everything that's nutrition-related - topics, articles, calendar events... the works.

If they click the link for a nutrition article, they'd get taken to the full article in the Pages app. Any comments on that would show as fully-styled comments, just as per a forum topic. And recent comments bump the article to the top of the forum, just as forum topics do.

Now, maybe we could also retain a dedicated Articles section too, because that has its own advantages - it can be formatted with thumbnails, etc. But the main point here is to get related content to sit in the forums alongside topics.

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Yeah, I get that problem. I wouldn’t really know how to resolve these things easily. After all, those are different apps meant to work individually. Merging sections of those apps together around a certain topic is not an easy thing to do. Blocks help a lot, but at the end, they still take you to the original apps. 

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5 hours ago, Pseudonym said:

What I'm trying to achieve is a system that organises content by subject, not necessarily by app.

(It's taken me several days to summarise my thoughts clearly, but I think that finally explains it well!)

Closed tags system.

Let's say these are your tags:

Diet
Nutrition
Fitness
Gym

You would use these globally or where applicable. When you visit the forum and see a topic tagged "Diet" and click it, you get results that include articles tagged "Diet", images, blogs, whatever. ^_^ (Even though I have suggested per-area sorting.)

You can even create streams based on tags so you could have a Diet stream with all that content. ;)

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19 hours ago, chilihead said:

You can even create streams based on tags so you could have a Diet stream with all that content.

Yep, that's the effect I'm after.

The Diet stream would actually replace the Diet forum, I think. So on the front page, we'd have a list of streams rather than forums. And instead of a topic listing in the Diet forum, you'd see the contents of the Diet stream instead.

I'm just trying to get my head around how this would work... Do we leave the forum structure as it is now, even though if we're using closed tags and streams, the forums are now largely redundant? Or do we merge all the forums into one enormous one, and rely totally on the tags?

I suspect it's the kind of thing where it's all or nothing. You either use forums, or you use tags/streams. But the prospect of such a huge change to the system terrifies me!

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