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IPB native Points System (IP.Subeconomies? IP.Points?)


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Perhaps this is a pipe dream, but as sub-economies have proven to be a very effective way of hijacking goal-oriented psychology I would love to see a native points system in IPB.

In such an application one could develop different "banks" for different types of points systems depending on the nature of your website.  Examples:

  • "credits" (for purchasing services, Store products, exchanging for cash donations to relevant charities)
  • tokens (for gambling, buying bling for their online personae)
  • hours (if you're like me, you sell hours of tuition and/or consultation)

How might these points be accumulated/awarded?  Examples:

  • buying blocks of tokens/credits/hours in the Store
  • buying Store products: buy product X and get Y amount of credits in points system Z
  • having the highest-rated answers in a Q/A Support forum
  • having the highest reputation in a given forum
  • Awarding points to people who invite new members to your community
  • completing courses or other certifications

Other ideas:

  • Targeted emails to certain groups, or certain individuals when credits/tokens/hours are at X or 0 - time to get more!)
  • Targeted emails to people indicating they've been awarded free tokens/credits/etc.
  • Promotions where points are awarded under special circumstances from dates X to Y
  • Toss tokens into a (virtual) fight pit and watch your community fight for them.  Cue the oldschool Star Trek fight music.  Dance, puppets, daaaaance! mwuahahaha)

Hijacking goal-oriented psych--err, offering points could be a great way to spur development and participation in one's community.  They could also obviously be integrated into other apps (or other apps could make use of points) as part of competitions, e.g., submitting the highest-rated photos, articles, blog posts, etc.  The possibilities go on and on!

As some know there have been a couple of third-party devs who have made Points systems, but I have come to think that if one is going to embed something like this into a community (let alone a business) I wouldn't want to trust it to anyone but the core developers for updates and stability.

I obviously can't speak for others, but I for one would be happy to pay for this as an additional (optional) IPS module, similar to the way IP.Downloads is offered.

Edited by liquidfractal
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6 hours ago, Jordan Invision said:

😍

There's so much to unpack here, but I love where your head is at. I put your feedback into our system and will have some eyes take a look. I'd imagine this would be a huge undertaking, but I do think it'd elevate Invision in a pretty profound way. @liquidfractal

I think so too, @Jordan Invision - but I also think it's the kind of thing that would add a new dimension to the Invision suite and allow for all sorts of possibilities - including all the possibilities I can't think of.

Thanks for your response and for sending this forward!

Edited by liquidfractal
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15 hours ago, liquidfractal said:

I think so too, @Jordan Invision - but I also think it's the kind of thing that would add a new dimension to the Invision suite and allow for all sorts of possibilities - including all the possibilities I can't think of.

Thanks for your response and for sending this forward!

Yea of course 🙂 

Wondering... have you tried out any of the third-party points systems in the Marketplace by chance? I know you mentioned wanting a native points system, but just curious. 🙏 

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1 hour ago, Jordan Invision said:

Yea of course 🙂 

Wondering... have you tried out any of the third-party points systems in the Marketplace by chance? I know you mentioned wanting a native points system, but just curious. 🙏 

I have used Kevin Carwile's Points Economy app, which was working fine until Kevin decided to abandon all of his IPB apps a little while back without notice.  I believe there might be another one in circulation, but to be honest I haven't checked into it since restructuring my site around the sudden disappearance of KC's app.  If I remember correctly, it didn't support the creation of different "currencies" and was fairly limited, but I could be misremembering.

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35 minutes ago, liquidfractal said:

I have used Kevin Carwile's Points Economy app, which was working fine until Kevin decided to abandon all of his IPB apps a little while back without notice.  I believe there might be another one in circulation, but to be honest I haven't checked into it since restructuring my site around the sudden disappearance of KC's app.  If I remember correctly, it didn't support the creation of different "currencies" and was fairly limited, but I could be misremembering.

Ahh that's a bummer. I use this currently for my own forum. Have you ever checked it out? 
 

 

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This would be amazing! 

Members Shop application looks like it does most (if not all) of this, but for something this major it would be great to have it natively built and integrated into IPS, as I can see some mixed reviews on the third party integration.   

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6 minutes ago, theipsguy said:

This would be amazing! 

Members Shop application looks like it does most (if not all) of this, but for something this major it would be great to have it natively built and integrated into IPS, as I can see some mixed reviews on the third party integration.   

From what I gather, it's not quite the direction we're taking IPS into at the moment. There's some other major things that we need to focus on for the time-being,  however I do personally see a lot of value with it 🙂 

It'll def stay on my mind and hopefully I can inspire some change 🙏 

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20 hours ago, Jordan Invision said:

Ahh that's a bummer. I use this currently for my own forum. Have you ever checked it out? 
 

 

I purchased this addon but for a $35 app, the dev is not very responsive to questions and suggestions. The APP is missing so much vital controls, it makes it hard to use. I have a forum that pays members for posting but I must hard limit their group to xx amount of posts per day in order to stop them at a certain point from earning. It shouldn't have to be this way. If the user wants to continue posting and not care about points for rest of the day, they physically can't because of the way the app is. The app is not intertwined to the commerce exchange points for currency, so that's another flaw. The app doesn't support deletion of points for a post getting soft deleted, only perm deleted. I'd like to keep the post if a user gets warned as proof, but can't be bothered to deduct all the points. These things need to be automatic. I find it hard to continue using IPB because of these restrictions whereas Xenforo has DragonBytes credits which can do ALL of these features...

I'd love to see points be integrated with the actual software and support all of these major features which is very widely needed. 

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1 hour ago, Christopher Scott Grigg said:

I purchased this addon but for a $35 app, the dev is not very responsive to questions and suggestions. The APP is missing so much vital controls, it makes it hard to use. I have a forum that pays members for posting but I must hard limit their group to xx amount of posts per day in order to stop them at a certain point from earning. It shouldn't have to be this way. If the user wants to continue posting and not care about points for rest of the day, they physically can't because of the way the app is. The app is not intertwined to the commerce exchange points for currency, so that's another flaw. The app doesn't support deletion of points for a post getting soft deleted, only perm deleted. I'd like to keep the post if a user gets warned as proof, but can't be bothered to deduct all the points. These things need to be automatic. I find it hard to continue using IPB because of these restrictions whereas Xenforo has DragonBytes credits which can do ALL of these features...

I'd love to see points be integrated with the actual software and support all of these major features which is very widely needed. 

I feel you 🙏 I do think gamification is pretty important. I was previously told that IPS isn't heading in that direction currently, but I will circle back because I find a lot of value in it (no pun intended 😝)

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7 minutes ago, SammyS said:

In the other hand, social media almost destroyed forums and they doesn´t use points. You dont build a community "paying" people for posting

Interesting perspetive. 

On my forum, members can earn a subscription (which gives them perks and an ad-free experience) by earning points. Points are earned by commenting and posting topics. I do find that that does incentivizes people. 

Also there's this blogging platform called Medium.com. They are a subscription only platform (you can read a few articles for free each month). Their business model works like this: publishers (people who post stories there) earn money by other subscribers reading their stories. Any time a subscriber reads a story, the publisher of that story gets a cut of the subscribers' monthly payment of $5. In other words, it does pay to post 🙂

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4 minutes ago, Jordan Invision said:

Interesting perspetive. 

On my forum, members can earn a subscription (which gives them perks and an ad-free experience) by earning points. Points are earned by commenting and posting topics. I do find that that does incentivizes people. 

Also there's this blogging platform called Medium.com. They are a subscription only platform (you can read a few articles for free each month). Their business model works like this: publishers (people who post stories there) earn money by other subscribers reading their stories. Any time a subscriber reads a story, the publisher of that story gets a cut of the subscribers' monthly payment of $5. In other words, it does pay to post 🙂

Ey Jordan, congrats for your new job : )

Yeah, I know medium, Im a subscriber and I love it!

But:

1.- I think they´re not a community per se
2.- As you said, they pay you if many others subscribers read your stuff. They pay quality, not quantity. No views, no money

Maybe for some communities that works, and I'm ok with that, of course. In general I believe that the fewer mechanisms and functions a community has, the better the user experience.
Many administrators instead of concentrating their energies on creating a community, spend their priceless time adding and configuring a lot of useless stuff thinking the more things the forum has the better. I disagree

 






 

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41 minutes ago, SammyS said:

Ey Jordan, congrats for your new job : )

Yeah, I know medium, Im a subscriber and I love it!

But:

1.- I think they´re not a community per se
2.- As you said, they pay you if many others subscribers read your stuff. They pay quality, not quantity. No views, no money

Maybe for some communities that works, and I'm ok with that, of course. In general I believe that the fewer mechanisms and functions a community has, the better the user experience.
Many administrators instead of concentrating their energies on creating a community, spend their priceless time adding and configuring a lot of useless stuff thinking the more things the forum has the better. I disagree

Thank youuuu!! Appreciate that 🙏 

Love Medium. I will have to disagree with you in that it's not a community. Now that I'm typing this, they'd be a perfect fit for Invision 💡 Where writers could get together and discuss their ideas before publishing. Strategize what stories would work well etc. Anyway that's beside the point lol. 😆 

I do agree with you about simplicity. I have fallen victim to that in the past where more features = better. Which is not the case. 

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I do have a little update regarding a native points system after circling back with the team :] 

Of course there is nothing concrete. I'm told this would require a fairly large chunk of development time. There are a lot of moving parts and other priorities right now, however... I would take this as very good news as it's not a no 😄

If the Invision Community can generate enough interest in this idea, and ideally illustrate how points would be incorporated in a meaningful way in their own community, there'd be more momentum behind making it a priority. Again, can't make any promises, but the team is open to the idea, and that right there is a very good (and might be the most important) first step. 🙏 

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It's certainly something a lot of us have been asking over the years, we had IP Points, then iAwards, etc for v2.x and I think even 3.x. It would certainly be welcomed, but I can't see it getting much traction within the team. But it would be something I'd use. I've had to stop using Jackals and gone back to Michaels point system, but both are very basic and doesn't suit my needs.

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Some interesting responses here!  @Jordan Invision, thanks for the link to thejackal's point system - that's the one I was thinking of before, and aside from my reservations about trusting something like this to a third-party developer, the deal-breakers for me, upon reviewing the product page, are

  • you don't seem to be able to create several different banks.  Personally, I need to be able to create "hours" (for consultation and tuition), but also (somewhat less importantly) I need another economy such as "reputation points" or something, which could ideally be exchanged for X amount of hours (in short, the ability to purchase/trade between economies).
  • key deal-breaker for me: clients need to be able to purchase blocks of points/hours directly from the Store.

To use an admittedly facile distinction, thejackal's app seems more "community" based and not so much "business" based for these reasons.  I know there's a "Members' Shop," and you can probably set up a system where you can give clients X points and then they go into the Shop and buy packages for tuition and whatnot, but for my specific situation those are unnecessary steps when you should be making it as easy as possible for people to purchase your products (or, in my case, services).  It also comes across as unprofessional in my specific situation (not bashing the app; I'm sure it works great for other user cases).

I'd also hope that a native app would allow a more direct and intuitive way of email-dripping based on point amounts (as per my OP).

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2 hours ago, SammyS said:

You dont build a community "paying" people for posting

Actually, forums have been "paying" people for posting since the beginning of time.  

We pay them in badges, in ranks, in pips, in titles, in signatures, in special permissions, in upgraded membergroups, in crazy formatting and styling.  We've been paying and paying since forums have been around.

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2 hours ago, Jordan Invision said:

I feel you 🙏 I do think gamification is pretty important. I was previously told that IPS isn't heading in that direction currently, but I will circle back because I find a lot of value in it (no pun intended 😝)

I thank you for at least acknowledging our requests. It's unfortunate that the app devs making money from these can't even be bothered to check once daily to reply.

 

2 hours ago, SammyS said:

In the other hand, social media almost destroyed forums and they doesn´t use points. You dont build a community "paying" people for posting

While I agree that social media doesn't "pay" you for your content, some communities just like paying their members for the content that they contribute to the forum. There is lots of reasons why one may want to do this type of plan.

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3 hours ago, Joel R said:

We pay them in badges, in ranks, in pips, in titles, in signatures, in special permissions, in upgraded membergroups, in crazy formatting and styling.  We've been paying and paying since forums have been around.

Well said.  It's important to keep in mind that capital isn't the only currency that matters (in an online community or in culture in general), which is in essence the whole point behind this thread.

So yeah, this gets my full support and I'd offer myself as a tester in any capacity.  Oh, and let me do the fight pit part.  Pleeeeease let me do the fight pit part...

4 hours ago, Jordan Invision said:

Of course there is nothing concrete. I'm told this would require a fairly large chunk of development time. There are a lot of moving parts and other priorities right now, however... I would take this as very good news as it's not a no 😄

That's great news.  I think one could also argue that this could transform the potential of the IP platform as much as Clubs in some ways.  I mean, are there any other CMS which have points economies as baked-in features?  Is this new ground Invision would be breaking in doing this?

Edited by liquidfractal
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4 hours ago, Joel R said:

Actually, forums have been "paying" people for posting since the beginning of time.  

We pay them in badges, in ranks, in pips, in titles, in signatures, in special permissions, in upgraded membergroups, in crazy formatting and styling.  We've been paying and paying since forums have been around.

So, forums "pays". I agree with you. But SM doesn´t, thats the reality. And I see SM crushing forums, so may be we should learn from them. I´ve never seen people complaining because FB, TW, doesnt give them badges, ranks, titles... and that´s because people doesn´t care about them. They want a clean, modern interface. Filling their screens with medals, badges looks really old and annoying. They dont want to see badges, or how many posts, or likes, has a member every time they read a comment. 
Maybe Im wrong, but that´s my opinion, we all are trying to learn here and be better admins for the good of ours comunities so I like to read yours opinions even if we dont agree.


 

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15 minutes ago, SammyS said:

So, forums "pays". I agree with you. But SM doesn´t, thats the reality. And I see SM crushing forums, so may be we should learn from them. I´ve never seen people complaining because FB, TW, doesnt give them badges, ranks, titles... and that´s because people doesn´t care about them. They want a clean, modern interface. Filling their screens with medals, badges looks really old and annoying. They dont want to see badges, or how many posts, or likes, has a member every time they read a comment. 
Maybe Im wrong, but that´s my opinion, we all are trying to learn here and be better admins for the good of ours comunities so I like to read yours opinions even if we dont agree.


 

Social media pays users too.  

Social media pays users in likes, in virality, in attention, in interesting and fun new content.  

I 100% agree that social media does a better job of figuring out how to motivate, reward, and "pay" users with behavioral psychology.  

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9 hours ago, Jordan Invision said:

If the Invision Community can generate enough interest in this idea, and ideally illustrate how points would be incorporated in a meaningful way in their own community, there'd be more momentum behind making it a priority. Again, can't make any promises, but the team is open to the idea, and that right there is a very good (and might be the most important) first step. 🙏 

Just check the popularity on the point systems. There are a few on the marketplace (you hardly see any competition with multiple mods with the same purpose) and the one linked above has close to 300 purchases (very high for a paid addon) and its price tag is not insignificant.

Seriously, you can hardly expect more definite proof on "generated enough interest". Now, if you are looking for a way to politely deny the request for the time being as the priorities are different, thats fine. But there is enough interest and it is proven, IPS don't need to wait for that.

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Points system is important I agree but collecting points just for the sake of points makes not sense anymore. 12+ years back it did, at least on my community. Now there has to be a practical reason for it. upgraded membership for X points comes to mind so ads could be skipped.

What I'd like to include is quite important to the gamification process - awards/trophies. native ones. Many platforms have them, use them. IMHO IPS needs one too which would be customizable up to the extent as kevins rules have allowed it or even more so. having a solid achievements system would get members involved even more. except for having valuable content in the first place that is 🙂

Edited by Maxxius
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