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Managing successful online communities

Mark
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4.3: Paid club memberships, and other club improvements

We released news of Clubs just under a year ago for Invision Community 4.2 and it has been the best received feature to date.

Clubs opens up new ways to run your community by allowing members to create sub-communities away from the central forum area.

Since the feature was released, we've collated an immense amount of feedback on the feature. Here's what we're improving for Invision Community 4.3.

Paid Club Memberships

If you have Commerce installed on your community, 4.3 adds the ability for members to create paid clubs. Users wishing to join the club will be required to pay a membership fee (which can be one off or recurring) which will be paid to the club owner, minus any commission you want to keep for the site. You can choose which groups can create paid clubs.

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Paid Club Settings

If enabled, the club directory will show the price for membership in each club.

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Club directory with paid clubs

The process for joining works a little differently depending on the type of club...

  • For open clubs, the user will immediately be prompted to pay the joining fee. Once they have paid, they are added to the club as normal.
  • For closed clubs, the user will need to request to join as normal. Once they have been accepted to join the club, they will then be able to pay the membership fee, after which they'll be added to the club.
  • For private and read-only (a new type in 4.3, which we'll talk about below) users have to be invited to join the club
  • Public clubs have no membership, and so cannot be paid.

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 12.16.43.png

Joining a paid club (a closed club in this screenshot)

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Paid club after request to join has been accepted

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Paying for club membership

Club leaders can also waive the membership fee, allowing certain users to join the club for free.

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Waiving fee when approving request to join

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Waiving fee when inviting members

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Waiving renewal fees on an existing member

If a member fails to pay their renewal charge, they are moved into an "expired" state. The club leaders can see the status and renewal date for all members, and use the filter tools to just see active or expired members.

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Club members management

Paying out membership fees works just as it does with paid files in Downloads. Users receive the amount as account credit. If enabled, they can then request a payout of this via PayPal or a manual payout method you want to use.

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Viewing an invoice in the AdminCP where some payment has been given to a member

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Viewing account credit with options to withdraw funds

 

 

Club content throughout the community

Currently content in clubs is only visible within the club itself. In 4.3 a new setting allows you to show the content from clubs throughout the community - for example, if a club contains a forum, that forum can show in the main forum list.

 Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 12.39.24.png

Club forums showing on main forum list

This is a single toggle: if enabled, all content from clubs that each user has joined will show throughout the community, appearing below the normal categories/etc in that application.

 

 

New Club Type: Read Only

In addition to Open, Closed, Private and Public, we have added a new club type in 4.3: read only. In a read only club, everyone can (without joining) view everything in the club, but cannot participate unless they are invited by a club leader.

 

Following

Users can now follow a club, and will then receive notifications about all new content in the club - the same as if they followed every content area in the club.

 

List View

In addition to the current grid layout of clubs, there is a new list-style.

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 12.52.16.png

Clubs List View

The admin can choose which views are available and what the default should be.

 

AdminCP Approval

You can now filter the list of clubs in the AdminCP to clubs requiring approval and approve clubs from within the AdminCP.

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Approving clubs in AdminCP

 

Deleting Content Areas

Club leaders can now delete content areas within their clubs. This can be useful if, for example, the leader added a club feature by mistake.

Content areas can only be removed if there is no content within it, or if you have granted club leaders the ability to delete content in their clubs (since they would be able to empty it).

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 12.56.43.png

Ability to remove features from clubs

 

Other Minor Tweaks

  • You can now set per-group the maximum number of clubs a member in that group can create.
  • A member invited to join a club can now delete the invitation if they do not want to accept it (rather than just ignoring it).
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Will it be possible for closed-club members to send invitations? In current release only the leader can do it.
Will it, as in normal forums, be possible not to count members club-posts?

Out of curiosity, can anyone give an example of what kind of sites that can charge money for club access? Only I can think of is adult or dating..

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22 hours ago, bpn said:

Will it be possible for closed-club members to send invitations? In current release only the leader can do it.
Will it, as in normal forums, be possible not to count members club-posts?

Out of curiosity, can anyone give an example of what kind of sites that can charge money for club access? Only I can think of is adult or dating..

Gaming clans, local clubs/sports groups where each Club is a local chapter, software distribution where you use Clubs to provide both the downloads and the support forums in one container... there's a few ideas :p 

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On 25/1/2018 at 6:52 PM, Meddysong said:

Next time anybody suggests that the Invision Community team doesn't listen, send them to this article. There's so much here that I've seen people bring up over the past year. What an amazing product. You lovely, lovely people.

Without any mean to underestimate the value of the new features, so you count "Club categories" a useless feature? Maybe if you've 10 clubs is ok, but what about me that I've 500+ ?? The filter is useless at all. Nobody can find it there. Also as all parts of the suite is category based, is more difficult to explain users that this section must use Filters.

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9 minutes ago, ChrisTERiS said:

Without any mean to underestimate the value of the new features, so you count "Club categories" a useless feature? Maybe if you've 10 clubs is ok, but what about me that I've 500+ ?? The filter is useless at all. Nobody can find it there. Also as all parts of the suite is category based, is more difficult to explain users that this section must use Filters.

Please don't say club categories is not part of the new version?

We desperately need this and have to say I am extremely disappointed if this is not going to be part of the new release

 

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12 minutes ago, ChrisTERiS said:

Without any mean to underestimate the value of the new features, so you count "Club categories" a useless feature? Maybe if you've 10 clubs is ok, but what about me that I've 500+ ?? The filter is useless at all. Nobody can find it there. Also as all parts of the suite is category based, is more difficult to explain users that this section must use Filters.

What are you shouting at me for? Where have I mentioned anything about useless features?

For what it's worth, I would really like to see Club categories too. I think I was one of the first to request that feature too, as I've also done for Blogs.

 

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5 minutes ago, Unlucky said:

Please don't say club categories is not part of the new version?

We desperately need this and have to say I am extremely disappointed if this is not going to be part of the new release

It's not.  

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7 minutes ago, Meddysong said:

What are you shouting at me for?

First and most important. I was not shouting. I count myself very calm down person.

The only that I commented is that "Next time anybody suggests that the Invision Community team doesn't listen, send them to this article." .......

To me was like that I lost the right not to complain, but to be disappointed. Because I've (among others) suggested the need of categories. But they didn't listen to us. Yes, paid memberships, even if I don't need them, is a superior feature. But categories is on the same top level prioriry.

That was all my mean. Nothing personal.

Edited by ChrisTERiS
Some additional info
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Long story short. Marketing trick to sell extra Commerce licenses. That's why they added Paid Clubs. That's all. As I remember, at least the time that I post my request for Club categories, nobody has requested Paid Clubs, while there were also other requests for categories, before me.

Edited by ChrisTERiS
Typos
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20 minutes ago, ChrisTERiS said:

I count myself very calm down person.

Doesn’t feel like it actually. Asking someone whether one request from many that was not yet implemented makes that request “useless” makes no sense. Assuming financial interests as priority, just because one of the features implemented happens to be connected to Commerce is nothing but a bold assertion. You state it as it would be a fact. And paid clubs were indeed requested by multiple users. 
Calm or not, it’s a terrible/dishonest way of arguing.

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16 minutes ago, opentype said:

paid clubs were indeed requested by multiple users. 

 

Hi,

Even if paid clubs were requested by lots of members, I truly believe club categories totally trumps paid clubs in terms of a feature request and should have been available first or at the very least, the same time.

Club categories are so fundamentally a basic requirement for adminstration and organisation, plus ease of user for the site members who are the most important people at the end of the day.

 

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Yes, I agree. I've certainly asked for categories for Clubs (and Blogs ... and Calendar) in the past and would make extensive use of them myself. Like many, I don't understand why they're not offered, considering that the other apps in the suite all propose them to users. Nobody's forced to use them if they're there, but everybody's forced not to use them if they're not, so the only people missing out are those who actually want them. I don't get it but ... still, this is a stellar update and does show a lot of listening. It's just that not everything requested seems to have been brought on board, frustratingly for those of us who really would benefit from this particular feature.

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I'd like to see a feature where packages can require that you be part of a particular club before being able to purchase (or even renew) that package.  Either that, or where paying a membership to a club enables a package.

An example would be a software developer wanting to limit access to products to those within a group.  Let them in the group, they can purchase a package that grants them access to something online, or if they paid to join the group, the package is automatically added to their account.

 

Other than that, wonderful addition.  I doubt I'll get any use out of it, but I can already see how this will benefit many MANY communities.

Edited by Wolfie
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  1. Just because a feature isn't in this version doesn't mean we don't think it's important :) We can only do so much in any one release. Clubs in particular is a very new feature and has both been used by more people than we expected, and in ways we never thought of. It will take a few releases to add everything everyone wants. I'm really glad you love the feature so much!
  2. The vast majority of our customers do not come to these forums. We get a lot of ideas for features through support channels (either explicitly or by asking "how do I do this?" for something you can't do). So don't assume "nobody has requested" something. We wouldn't waste our time adding features nobody is requesting!
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For all of the fans who love clubs, here are some behind-the-scenes peek of Clubs in 4.3:

5a7537fcc503c_0ClubIndex.thumb.png.03d666c614740cae186bb552621a9dba.png

The new club index, featuring a world map of club locations.  I'm using the new "List View," which is great for a large number of clubs.  Notice how the STEM Club is "Read Only," which is the new type of club in 4.3.  

 

5a753801ce78d_1ClubHome.thumb.png.fce0ac5164d47122a3c482abdaf90299.png

Club Home features a standard "About" widget for basic information on the club, Activity Stream of all recent items, and map.  The club block in the sidebar is optional depending upon your ACP club settings.

 

5a7538068936c_2ClubBlogs.thumb.png.3e70fdb2768b84bdfa72a28da76d175b.png

Club Blogs featuring the new grid view and featured photos.

 

5a75380d8a0a1_3ClubFiles.thumb.png.b838fe17ed6846c72d25594d3f3e530d.png

Club Files with a list of files like the normal IP.Downloads.  My first file "HD Kite Wallpapers" is actually linked to URLs for both the files and screenshots, which is an existing feature of IP.Downloads.

 

5a7538139f3a3_4ClubImages.thumb.png.7c18f9d1871a169d3b2e3c5cdf22eecb.png

Club Images shows 2 albums.  You can upload images without assigning to albums too.  These albums can be linked into your Club's Calendar Event or Club Blog Entry for cross-integration.

 

5a75381800e2a_5ClubSettings.thumb.png.06e165a99c33418438b3bb7ddf823754.png

Club settings showing the new Paid settings.  It costs $100 to enter my club with renewal fees of $100 every 365 days.  Kites are expensive.

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With the read-only feature, will it be possible to specify specific content that is readable and content that is not?

So, if I have a topic I want only members to see but I want other topics to be read-only... or if I have an blog article written up and I want only the first half of that blog article to be read unless you are a member, then you can read the rest.

Some videos or images might be available to view for everybody but others can only be visible if you are a member, etc etc.

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These are great additions.  Now, I would LOVE for the user to get an auto sub-role when they are approved to a group.  That way you can open more content from the site simply by managing roles per which club they are in.

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8 minutes ago, Benjamin Garrison said:

These are great additions.  Now, I would LOVE for the user to get an auto sub-role when they are approved to a group.  That way you can open more content from the site simply by managing roles per which club they are in.

You keep saying that, but you still haven’t explained what that means. No one gets it. Clubs, groups, roles, auto-something …

 

Edited by opentype
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Quote

This is a single toggle: if enabled, all content from clubs that each user has joined will show throughout the community, appearing below the normal categories/etc in that application.

I've found this isn't the case at all - it displays every single club the user can access, so all public/open clubs etc regardless whether of member has joined / even looked at it, which isn't as practical in my opinion.

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22 minutes ago, jfrazer said:

I've found this isn't the case at all - it displays every single club the user can access, so all public/open clubs etc regardless whether of member has joined / even looked at it, which isn't as practical in my opinion.

Actually, “practical” is exactly the word to have it this way. Any club you can access you see – to easily access it. 

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On 5/6/2018 at 11:05 AM, opentype said:

Actually, “practical” is exactly the word to have it this way. Any club you can access you see – to easily access it. 

Actually, it depends on how clubs are being used on the site. Ideally, having both options would be best, as different communities will have different needs. As I said though, in my opinion, how it is worded in the announcement (where members can see clubs they've joined) would be far more practical, as we have hundreds of club forums and so I will never be using this feature as it currently stands. Allowing members to have direct homepage access to the clubs they've joined and are actually interested in on the other hand would be a great feature.

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