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Managing successful online communities


IPS Community Suite 4.1: Activity Streams and Menu Manager

The two largest changes in IPS Community Suite 4.1 are the new Menu Manager and Activity Streams. I will do a quick overview of what we were thinking with designing each one and show a nice video to summarize.

I made a video to quickly go over the new Activity Streams and also a bit on the new Menu Manager. I hope you will see just how powerful and flexible they are. You can do everything you could do in previous versions of our software plus a whole lot more. We are really excited to see all the inventive uses our clients come up with for the new Activity Streams.

 

If you are not interested in hearing me ramble in the video, and who can blame you really, here are some screenshots and info on the Activity Streams in general.

AdminCP Interface:

55e86e0b496ca_Streams2015-09-03j4swl.png

The streams you see there are some examples of the default ones that come with 4.1 and a few others we made. The one labled View New Content we renamed from Unread Content to demo that it is the same thing just in a different name :)

Admin creating a stream:

55e86e84b61ac_Streams2015-09-032fi5j.png

All these admin-defined streams show up here:

55e86f0db291e_AllTopicsOnly-IPS4.1Previe

And if you want them to show somewhere else you just use the menu manager:

55e86f638b739_MenuManager2015-09-038nysw

If you do not like the "All Activity" stream (or anything else really) just remove the link to it:

55e86fbeade77_MenuManager2015-09-030vipv

Then, once you actually view a stream, the use can choose how they want to see it. In the full format or in condensed:

55e8704f41522_AllTopicsOnly-IPS4.1Previe

55e87068bc3c2_AllTopicsOnly-IPS4.1Previe

Once the user selects their preferred view format the system will remember it. There is no way for the admin to set the default view format because we did not really think that made sense. While many of us that run a site are power users and might want the condensed format because we "understand" what is going on, new users would not have that knowledge. Therefore, it makes more sense to show them all the content at first until they understand what it is they are seeing then they can choose, if they want, to condense it down.

In early previews of 4.1, some people were confused about the All Activity stream versus the custom streams that can be told what to do (like creating a View New Content stream). Also, some did not realize you could create admin-defined streams that could be tailor-made to what you want them to do. It is a bit different than old versions but in a good way in that you have a lot of flexibility. We hope you enjoy!

 

We are still on track to release 4.1 in early October. Expect beta release soon.

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