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Managing successful online communities


4.5: Topic view summary and more

A topic is more than a collection of posts; it's a living entity that ebbs and flows over time.

Evergreen topics can see month-long gaps between posts and longer topics spanning numerous pages can end up hard to navigate through to find useful content.

With this in mind, we've added numerous improvements to the topic view to bring context and summaries key areas within the topic.

Topic View 1.jpg

Topic view updates

Topic Activity
The first thing you likely spotted in the above screenshot is the new sidebar. This acts much like a summary of activity within the topic. It very quickly lets you know how old the topic is and how long it has been since the last reply. This context is essential if you are unwittingly replying to an older topic.

Most topics are driven by a handful of key members. The topic activity section shows you who have been most active, which may influence which posters you give greater authority to.

Likewise, popular days lets you dig into the 'meat' of the topic which may have evolved quickly over several days.

More often than not, a single post attracts more reactions if it is particularly helpful or insightful, and this is shown too.

Finally, a mini gallery of all upload images allows you to review media that has been attached to posts.

topic view under bar.jpg

The topic activity summary under the first post

This activity bar can be shown either as a sidebar or underneath the first post in a topic. If you enable it for mobile devices, then it will show under the first post automatically.

topic view mobile.jpg

The topic activity summary on mobile

As with many new features in Invision Community, you have several controls in the Admin CP to fine-tune this to your communities needs.

topic view settings.jpg

AdminCP settings

Other improvements
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted a few other changes to the topic view.

The first is the badge underneath the user's photo. The shield icon notes that this poster is part of the moderation team. Of course, this badge can be hidden for communities that do not like to draw attention to all their moderators.

Topic view post.jpg

You will also notice that when the topic starter makes a reply to a topic, they get an "author" badge as their reply may carry more authority.

When you scroll down a topic, it's not often apparent that there has been a significant time gap between replies. For some topical topics (see what I did there) this may alter the context of the conversation.

We have added a little identifier between posts when a period of time has passed between posts.

My idea to make adding comments easier - A test forum - Invision Community 2020-04-03 15-13-57.jpg

These changes add a little context to the topic to give you more insight into how the replies direct the conversation.

The new topic activity summary gives you an at-a-glance overview of key moments and posters to help you navigate longer topics.

We hope that you and your members enjoy these new features coming to Invision Community 4.5!

Edited by Matt

Comments

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1 minute ago, AlexWebsites said:

What happens to the sidebar advertisement position? Is it above this fixed block? What happens to the advertisement under the first post position if you use the slimmer option? 

In the horizontal slim mode, the ad displays above the summary box. In sidebar mode, the ad will under the summary box but above any other widgets.

Note this is all easily themeable though, you can move the includes around if something else would work better for your site.

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With the time elapsed notice, I can just hear the narrator's voice from SpongeBob saying it.  Maybe someone could make an add-on that will do a T2S of it in a very similar voice, be sort of an easter-egg for people when clicking on it.

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1. Video is some important format that user use to shared messages, please include video section too, when we want to find a video inside of 100 replies...more easy.

2. Other files uploaded section. With that we have abilities that help users interact in the topic content with more accuracy.

Maybe some admins don´t want mentioned sections, please consider give us as options. 

P.S. How about if use gallery to manage all files upload, images, videos etc...? those files upload will appear in a gallery section, that will let us do a unifor management of our videos, images...deleting duplicated images, files, moderate globally if there any images or video that are porn content etc.

Edited by kmk
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I usually complain that most of your new features have great concepts, but just don't get delivered properly and end up not being useful. There is of course still plenty of time, but I have been very pleasantly surprised by how well implemented this looks, and I'm actually looking forward to rolling this out on my site!

Thank you, and please keep it up!

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I like this, but having it appear under the first post when not in the sidebar seems a mistake. Fine for a new topic, but once you're past the first page, it's going to get overlooked pretty quickly. I'd say bottom of page, or under the 'target' post - ie, the post that a 'read new' link takes you to. Put it where people will see it.

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I've been looking for something "usable for readers" (especially for the sidebar) and the TOPIC ACTIVITY block is it.

THANK YOU! 

What really stands out for me is that active members are the focus (making them shine). Basically, it's all about the members. eg. Top Posters, Popular Posts

If you want your community to succeed, that's the way to do it. Make your members STAND OUT.

topic-activity-block.png

Edited by GTServices
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