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Expanding mentions in to other uses


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The new mention functionality is excellent. How about extending this functionality to other apps - gallery or pages records? For example I have a travel based community, I can populate a pages database with recommended hotels and by using a special symbol, ~ for example, I can embed a hotel record in a post as a type. There are many more uses - calendar events, gallery albums, basically I want to use the functionality to embed all kinds of stuff in the editor, not just members. 

@Lindy (see how easy I did that!) has mentioned that the new focus of IPS is content discovery, I believe expanding the mentions feature could be a perfect enhancement in that direction. 


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14 minutes ago, Andy Millne said:

You can embed any content items within the editor by simply pasting the link to the page. How would you propose expanding the mentions system would work here? 

True, but how do I get the link? Lets say I have an album in Gallery called "My pictures from New York". There is a discussion about New York in the forum and I believe the discussion can benefit from my pictures.

So currently I need to go to my profile in a new tab, find the album, copy the link, return to the current tab, paste the link, close the additional tab - time consuming, annoying and not very user friendly. Or, if Gallery albums are somehow connected via the special symbol ~, I can just type ~My pic... and immediately drop down will appear offering me to directly share the album in the post, similar to the way mentions work for members. No need for going outside of editor, no need for 5-6 clicks, no need to copy/paste URLs. In fact, this can be used for all public albums, not just mine. 

And albums are just an example, it can be database records, it can be featured topics. How often you need to link some newbie to the Forum Rules? Wouldn't it be great if instead of finding the topic with the rules yourself, copying and pasting it, you just type a special symbol in the editor and all featured topics are at your disposal, ready to be embedded. 

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11 hours ago, Andy Millne said:

Thanks for clarifying. I was not disagreeing, we just needed more info on how you would expect this to work from a user interface point of view.

I think the OP was really referring to the ease with which he could bring up a person's name or a person's content.

However, I believe he has hit upon something that can potentially be far greater.  There are quite a few things that IPS can do with mentions, which would be quite amazing due to the breadth of the suite:

  • @buy - triggers a buy button to directly checkout a Commerce product from a modal popup without leaving the post
  • @rsvp - triggers a RSVP to a Calendar event without leaving the post
  • @view - triggers a Gallery album in a slideshow in modal popup without leaving the post
  • @download - triggers a Download file from a modal popup without leaving the post
  • @privacy - triggers an informational modal popup with the Privacy Policy, Community Rules, or Contact Us
  • @record - triggers an informational modal popup to a Database record with follow, like, or comment 
Specifically, I think it's important that mentions contain two characteristics to mimic the existing user mentions:
  1. They trigger a small hovercard or small modal popup where the user doesn't leave the page
  2. They bring up more information or a call-to-action  
I can also foresee custom mention and custom mention templates to create your own mentions:
  • @staff - a hovercard with staff names
  • @ips - reference information on the IPS company
  • @newyork - reference information to New York City
The IPS embeds, while nice, are nothing more than glorified links to full content, and they visually and functionally disrupt the page.  The embeds take up the entire width of the post, and clicking on them redirects you to the target location.   Don't get me wrong, I think the embeds have a purpose when you want to emphasize an internal link, but they're not quick references of information or calls-to-action, which is where I think mentions can be more powerful.  
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