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New: Clubs

This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.

We are happy to introduce the next major feature that will be available in IPS Community Suite 4.2 - Clubs.

Clubs are a brand new way of supporting sub-communities within your site. Many people have requested social group functionality in the past and Clubs are our implementation of this concept. Let's take a look at a few screenshots, and then go over what they are capable of doing.

homepage.jpg

The Club directory

club-home.jpg

A Club homepage

club-members.jpg

Club member listing

club-content.jpg

Example of content within a club (topics, in this case)

There's a lot to digest there! Let's go over the basic functionality.

 

Club Types

Four types of club are available:

  • Public clubs
    Clubs that anyone can see and participate in without joining.
  • Open club
    Clubs that anyone can see and join.
  • Closed club
    Clubs that anyone can see in the directory, but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or Club Moderator. Non-club-members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas.
  • Private club
    Clubs that do not show in public, and users must be invited by a Club Leader or Club Moderator

As the site admin, you can of course configure which club types can be created and by whom. You could, for example, allow members to create public and open clubs, but allow a "VIP" group to also create Closed and Private clubs.

Members 2017-03-29 15-31-37.png

Admin configuration option for Club creations

 

Club Users

Each club has three levels of user:

  • Leader
    A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas (see below). The club owner is automatically a leader.
  • Moderators
    Moderators, as the name implies, have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. As the site administrator, you can define which moderator tools can be used. You could, for example, prevent any content being deleted from clubs, but allow it to be hidden. Moderators can also remove members from a club.
  • Users
    Anyone else that joins the club.

club_acp.png

Defining the moderator permissions available to club moderators

Your site administrator and moderators, with the appropriate permissions, are able to moderator content in any Club regardless of whether they are a member of it. 

Clubs can be created by any user who has permission. As you would expect, this is controlled by our regular permission settings.

For closed clubs, there's an approval process. Users can request to join and the request must be approved by a leader. Leaders get a notification when a user requests to join; the user gets a notification when their request is approved or denied.

approve.gif

Approving and declining join requests

 

Club Content

Club Leaders can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, blogs and so on. It's important to note that these content areas are fully functional just as if they existed as a top-level admin created area. They will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content.

Each content area a leader adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name.

club_areas.png

Adding content areas to a club

 

Club Custom Fields

Clubs also support custom fields. Custom fields are defined by the site administrator and can be filled in by Club Owners. The values they enter are shown (along with the club description) on the club homepage.

club_custom_field.png

Custom fields in a club

On the Club Directory page, users can filter by the custom club fields.

club_filter.png

Filtering clubs

 

Club Locations

Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify a physical location for their club. Let's say you run a community for car enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page:

club-location.jpg

Club locations

And within a club, the location is shown too:

club_location.png

 

Club Display

We offer two ways to display club headers within the club - the standard way, shown in the screenshots you've seen up to this point, but we also have a sidebar option. This is something the admin sets globally for the site, rather than per-club. This is useful where your site design doesn't facilitate another horizontal banner taking up valuable screen real-estate; moving the club banner to the sidebar alleviates this pressure on vertical space.

club_sidebar.png

Sidebar club style

Using Clubs in Other Ways

There's a lot of scope for using clubs beyond allowing users to create their own groups. You do not even have to call them "clubs" if that does not suit your use case. For example, on a company intranet you could rename Clubs to "Departments", and create a private group for each of your main roles. This would allow each department to have its own community, with its own forums, gallery, file sharing and so on, private and separate from other departments.

Similarly, they'd also work well in situations where you as the site admin want to create entire micro-communities. Take for example a video game publisher. Using Clubs, they could create a micro-community for each of their games, complete with forums, galleries and so forth, and then set the Clubs directory as their overall community homepage. Immediately, they have a setup that hasn't until now been possible out-of-the-box with IPS Community Suite.

 

We expect our clients will come up with some really innovative uses for the new Club functionality, and we can't wait to see what you do. We'd love to hear your feedback - let us know what you think in the comments.

Comments

Recommended Comments



2 hours ago, Unlucky said:

Hi,

Where do we post if we spot a bug?

Think I have found a couple in clubs (which is looking very good by the way)

1 - When deleting a club and re-adding with same location, it doesn't add the map marker the second time round.

2 - When trying to filter - it is auto populating all the fields with a tick and you have to untick all boxes first

3 - Filtering doesn't appear to work if we created the custom field using checkboxs, only seems to work if we create custom field with radio buttons

Also feature requests

1 - Will it be possible to have a different coloured map marker per custom field?

So we can differentiate which sport the club plays when someone is viewing the map.

2- Will we be able to resize the map? It's a little small at the moment

 

 

Bugs can go into the bugtracker or a support ticket.  IPS will support beta installations on production boards.

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Is it possible to display the clubs as part of the forums? I still want to show the number of post and latest replies when users load the forum (forum is my default tab). Thanks

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3 hours ago, Maine said:

Is it possible to display the clubs as part of the forums? I still want to show the number of post and latest replies when users load the forum (forum is my default tab). Thanks

Not in 4.2, no. 

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1 hour ago, opentype said:

Not in 4.2, no. 

Thanks for the response.

I hope someone will create some sort of hook for this, I'd like to jump in to Clubs but this is one vital feature that I need in my forums.

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I don't presently have access to the software or 4.2 beta.  However even with a spam prevention service, spammers can occasionally get through.  I'm a little concerned they could subsequently mass create clubs.

I'm sure that when you delete/ban a spammer, you can delete all their content.

If so, will it also delete any clubs they have created?

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On 6/25/2017 at 8:24 PM, Cav3y said:

I don't presently have access to the software or 4.2 beta.  However even with a spam prevention service, spammers can occasionally get through.  I'm a little concerned they could subsequently mass create clubs.

I'm not currently using the 4.2 beta either, but I'd assume that this would obviously depend on the permissions (Group and otherwise) you set.  Thinking in terms of my site and my needs, I would never allow a normal Member to create a Club - at least not without admin approval.

But now that I think of it, I think it would be a great idea to have an option to prevent any member from creating (joining, viewing, etc.) Clubs unless they've made X amount of posts.  But perhaps that already exists?

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3 hours ago, liquidfractal said:

But now that I think of it, I think it would be a great idea to have an option to prevent any member from creating (joining, viewing, etc.) Clubs unless they've made X amount of posts.  But perhaps that already exists?

Have a group for newly joined members and require X number of posts before getting 'promoted' to a regular member status.

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On 30.3.2017 at 5:29 PM, Charles said:

A "premium" Club where you have to pay for access is an interesting idea :) 

Premium Clubs of course :)

Too bad that this is not a feature so far.

xy Euro to get access to a club. As an option: member can still be an inactive club member but can´t interactt any more, so long as he payed again for a month month (paypal ...)

Any hope to see this in 4.2 ?

 

Edited by Beatrina
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How can i delete an extra Club Feature like "Topics 2" "Events 2" ? I still find an edit option (manage Club) but no delete button.

Oh, you can delete it only in the admin Center. But there you can find only the second Calendar/Event, not the second "Topics". A bug?

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Hello!

I'm  excited as everyone else. However, I do have question about clubs.

can we categorise clubs? As like:

category 1: club a, club b, club c etc.

category 2: club a, club b, club c etc 

sorry for being vague.

thanks.

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35 minutes ago, Robins Gupta said:

Hello!

I'm  excited as everyone else. However, I do have question about clubs.

can we categorise clubs? As like:

category 1: club a, club b, club c etc.

category 2: club a, club b, club c etc 

sorry for being vague.

thanks.

Yes, you can indeed do this. (Read the quoted part below.)

 

On 3/30/2017 at 9:17 AM, Charles said:
On 3/30/2017 at 9:15 AM, Netherlord said:

Not sure if you have this covered. But will mention it.

Possibly a way to categorize clubs? Maybe tag them with a category club owner can set from a list admin creates. And then just add that to the sort by list type object?

If this is done in a default way ignore me :D

You can add a custom field and then filter by the custom field :) 

 

Edited by Wolfie
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3 hours ago, Joel R said:

Really not a category.  Those are custom fields to essentially tag the club.  

It may not be a pre-included method of categorizing, but it is a way to do it.  If anything, it provides more power/flexibility in that you should be able to allow someone to filter based upon multiple filters or keywords of the same filter.

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CLUB BANNER IMAGE DIMENSIONS?

Can anyone suggest the best dimensions to use for image height and width for the Clubs Banner? I know it has to be big and can be repositioned, but when members are uploading random sizes that the banner space won't adjust to, and that we can't reposition to show anything useful in the image, then we get some really weird, ugly, and pointless club banner images.

Or is there a way to change the banner space dimensions to be more accommodating to the images that most community members will upload? Most won't be resizing and cropping and creating whole new banners to accommodate a creation of a club, so if we can make it so that the uploaded image has more room for repositioning, that might help?

Thanks!

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16 hours ago, Vegan Gaymer said:

CLUB BANNER IMAGE DIMENSIONS?

Can anyone suggest the best dimensions to use for image height and width for the Clubs Banner?

Size and aspect ratio change with the width of the screen and depending on where the banner image shows. So no, there can’t be any size recommendations. 

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6 hours ago, opentype said:

Size and aspect ratio change with the width of the screen and depending on where the banner image shows. So no, there can’t be any size recommendations. 

There must be a minimum size and one that naturally aligns more of the main image in the window than other sizes. Experimenting, I see that different size images end up with various forms of distortion. So there must be a recommended size.

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38 minutes ago, Vegan Gaymer said:

There must be a minimum size and one that naturally aligns more of the main image in the window than other sizes. Experimenting, I see that different size images end up with various forms of distortion. So there must be a recommended size.

That would depend on the resolution of your screen or the fixed width of your forum template.

On the default skin with no side bars the image is 1309x140.

On the default skin with no side bars, set to a fluid width of 95% in Google Chrome on a 1920x1200 screen, with the page maximized the image is 1776x140.

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24 minutes ago, Mastric said:

That would depend on the resolution of your screen or the fixed width of your forum template.

On the default skin with no side bars the image is 1309x140.

On the default skin with no side bars, set to a fluid width of 95% in Google Chrome on a 1920x1200 screen, with the page maximized the image is 1776x140.

This will help!! Thank you!!!

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8 hours ago, opentype said:

Size and aspect ratio change with the width of the screen and depending on where the banner image shows. So no, there can’t be any size recommendations. 

That is not true, as there can be size recommendations.  Banner ads over the years follow standards in regards to size based on the intended placement.  They range from small boxes (for almost anywhere) to large/wide banners (sides or top/bottom of pages).  So if there can be standard sizes for ads, there can be size recommendations for club banners.

 

23 minutes ago, Vegan Gaymer said:

This will help!! Thank you!!!

Try to keep in mind that some of your members may be using a screen width that is smaller than what you use.  I recommend looking up standard sizes for advertising banners and picking one that you feel will suit your needs.  Then set that as the recommended size for your site.  You wouldn't have to make it a rule that images must be that size, just no bigger than that size (though if you do that, you might want to set a minimum size requirement).  You also might want to make sure the image remains the same size regardless of the size of the visitors screen, with the image being set to be centered, so even if the image is smaller than the max size, it won't look out of place.

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34 minutes ago, Wolfie said:

That is not true, as there can be size recommendations.  Banner ads over the years follow standards in regards to size based on the intended placement.  They range from small boxes (for almost anywhere) to large/wide banners (sides or top/bottom of pages).  So if there can be standard sizes for ads, there can be size recommendations for club banners.

 

Try to keep in mind that some of your members may be using a screen width that is smaller than what you use.  I recommend looking up standard sizes for advertising banners and picking one that you feel will suit your needs.  Then set that as the recommended size for your site.  You wouldn't have to make it a rule that images must be that size, just no bigger than that size (though if you do that, you might want to set a minimum size requirement).  You also might want to make sure the image remains the same size regardless of the size of the visitors screen, with the image being set to be centered, so even if the image is smaller than the max size, it won't look out of place.

What?  How do advertising sizes of third-party advertising sizes have anything to do with IPS Club banners? 

I personally think @opentype gave the most accurate answer, which is to say that the Club banners will resize based upon your Device View and Screen Resolution.  If you want to map out all 30+ permutations and give recommendations, you're certainly welcome.  Or you can just upload a banner that's good enough and move on with your life.  

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