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liquidfractal

The problems with "private forums"

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I want to vent my frustrations at the problems I see in the Invision platform with creating operational private forums.

I currently have a forums category where each client has a "private" forum where they and I can interact in detail on projects.  At first, these forums were password-protected so that only the client and myself could access the forum.  The big problem with password-protected forums, however, is that new reply notification, while enabled, is non-functional - even if you set new reply notification on a thread in a private forum, notifications will not be sent.

After some time attempting to troubleshoot this, I submitted a support ticket asking whether this was intentional or an oversight, and was told that it was indeed intentional.  I asked why, and the answer Support gave me was something along the lines of: if the password were changed, then people would get notifications for a forum they couldn't access (I'd include the quote I got from Support anonymously, but the new Support system seems to have toasted my past ticket submissions 🤔).  This makes no sense to me - a responsible admin would, well, you know, tell the new password to those who needed to know it!

The only way out of all this seems to be to create each client as a separate Member group, then order forum permissions around that, which is time-consuming and cumbersome.  Soooo, I currently have a forums category with permissions set for the client group only - this is not a perfect solution, as clients can freely browse other client forums, which I really do not want just on principle.

Unless I'm missing something, I think this is a serious design flaw which IMHO was justified using rather dubious logic.  Thoughts?  Just thinking out loud, but would it be possible to create an app which would allow for fully-enabled and completely private forums without creating each client as a member group?

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You can also setup it with Pages by making users able to view only their own records. Thats what I use for 1 on 1 communication with my members. 

Depends on the specifics though, do you need multiple threads per client or only one is enough for you. 

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Is it a one way communication or are you also creating topics? If only your clients are creating the topics, you could use only one forum for al the communication with your clients where you'll disable the "Users can see topics posted by other users?" setting.

 

But as @opentype said, you could also use clubs and create a club for each client.

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1 hour ago, Daniel F said:

Is it a one way communication or are you also creating topics? If only your clients are creating the topics, you could use only one forum for al the communication with your clients where you'll disable the "Users can see topics posted by other users?" setting.

Thanks for your response Daniel.  Yeah, I am involved in active dialogue with all of my clients; I had originally tried your suggestion but it didn't suit my needs, and @jair101 that's an interesting idea, but yes, I'll be making multiple threads.  In fact, Clubs may also offer my clients some added functions they may use to their advantage.

So yes, I'll be creating Clubs for each of my clients.  Is this the time to inquire about getting a categories option for clubs in a future version so different kinds of Clubs (i.e. group/client) can be organised separately? 😉

Edited by liquidfractal

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On 11/9/2019 at 3:26 PM, Lindy said:

It sounds like you're using it as a helpdesk of sorts -- is there a reason you wouldn't use the Commerce support system? 

I hadn't thought of that.  My dialogues with my clients can get pretty detailed (which is where the mouse-swipe-and-quote feature of the forums really shines), and my clients often attach files, so I assumed that the Support ticket system wasn't design for that sort of robustness.

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2 hours ago, liquidfractal said:

I hadn't thought of that.  My dialogues with my clients can get pretty detailed (which is where the mouse-swipe-and-quote feature of the forums really shines), and my clients often attach files, so I assumed that the Support ticket system wasn't design for that sort of robustness.

Quoting and attachments are both supported in Commerce tickets, both when pulled in via email and when a client manually visits the site and replies to a ticket. 🙂 

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49 minutes ago, bfarber said:

Quoting and attachments are both supported in Commerce tickets, both when pulled in via email and when a client manually visits the site and replies to a ticket. 🙂 

Thanks for that.  I had always assumed the "support ticket" system was generically different and incompatible, but I'll look into it. 🙂

 

Edited by liquidfractal

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Personal Messages or Commerce support tickets can both be options. Rename the langstring to "Student Support" and you can host private conversation with full editor capabilities and notifications.  

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