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Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

4.5: Invites and Referrals

Invision Community has supported member referrals via the Commerce app for many years.

Community owners have been able to see at a glance who is spreading the word and members have received the kudos associated with a growing referral count in return.

When planning Invision Community 4.5 we saw that this feature had the potential to be so much more… So what have we done to improve it?

4.5: RSS Feed improvements

You'd be forgiven for thinking that RSS feeds belong in some bygone era of the web where Netscape was king and getting online meant listening to your modem scream at your phone line.

There's certainly a lot of newer web technologies to share data, but the venerable RSS feed still has a place.

Invision Community has supported RSS feed importing and exporting for a very long time now; however, it has been restricted to just Forums and Blogs.

Importing an RSS feed is a simple way to populate content on your community. It's even a great way to share content to and from your site without creating blocks or writing custom code.

Invision Community 4.5 now centralizes RSS feed importing, so it is available for Forums, Blogs and Pages.
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4.5: Club Pages

Without a doubt, clubs is one of the most popular features added to Invision Community in recent times.

Invision Community clubs allows you to run sub-communities on your site. We've seen clubs used in many ways, including managing geographically local groups and clan groups for large gaming sites.

This popularity drives us to keep incrementally improving the feature set for clubs, and Invision Community 4.5 is no different.

One thing that was raised many times was a way for club owners and leaders to create simple pages with general information members need.

Happily, in Invision Community 4.5, this feature now exists (and more!)
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4.5: Your new admin control panel

Invision Community has come a long way over the past five years.

We've added many new features and invigorated the front-end user experience to keep it current and in-line with modern interfaces.

One area that has remained largely the same is the Admin Control Panel.

When we released Invision Community 4.0 back in 2014, the Admin Control Panel was updated but has stayed relatively dormant since.

But that's all about to change with the upcoming release of Invision Community 4.5!

What Is The Engagement Trap (And What To Do About It)?
The engagement trap is a race to community activity for the sake of activity. It's usually measured by simple aggregate numbers like the total number of posts, topics, likes, or members.

Many community managers and webmasters enjoy spouting engagement numbers. It's an easy number to brag about. It's an easy number to find. It's also, unfortunately, a terrible metric to measure.
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Three simple community building strategies
Once you have built your community and watched it spring into life, it's easy to think that you have done all you need to do.

However, there are three simple things that you're probably not doing that is curbing your potential growth.
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4x4 Superuser Concepts 🏅
Joel is back with another snack size blog where he flexes his community building and emoji selecting muscles to bring you 4 simple ideas that can be digested in less than four minutes.

Responding to the Contact Form
Think about all the different touchpoints where you try to connect with members: forum discussions, blog comments, personal messages, email newsletters, weekly meetings, and perhaps offline events. You write witty and clever messages. You dedicate an entire section of your community to welcome and hello topics. You spend enormous amounts of time trying to elicit engagement from members.

What if I told you that there’s one touchpoint that you consistently overlook where members reach out to you, some for the very first time?

How to keep your community secure
Security should never be an afterthought. Don't wait until an attack has compromised your site before you review your community's security.

All too often, site owners consider increasing their security only when it's too late, and their community has already been compromised.

Taking some time now to check and improve the security of your community and server will pay dividends.

In this blog, we run down 8 ways that you can protect your community with Invision Community. We go through the security features you may not know about to best practices all communities should be following.
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How to Build an Audience with CHIP
Are you looking to launch a new online community or revitalize an existing community, and you're worried about the numbers of users?

Gaining members - and retaining them - is always the hardest struggle for new communities.

Joel explains how to build an audience with CHIP.
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Invision Community Apps for iOS & Android
I'm excited to reveal that we are making Invision Community native apps for iOS and Android!

We wanted to take full advantage of a clean slate and build a brand new experience that embraces a native app's interfaces. While the app is unmistakably Invision Community, it features new ways of interacting with your content.

We want the app to help shape the future of Invision Community, and we're asking for you to help.

How to deal with negativity and toxicity in your community
The term "flame-wars" was coined way back in the 1970s when computer scientists talking in the first electronic discussion boards noticed that here was "an escalation of critical comments and an increase in the frequency with which people would respond with short negative messages."

For anyone that has ventured into the comment section of Youtube, read Twitter for more than a few minutes or frequented active forums will know that our behaviour hasn't improved.
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Honor and Humiliation: Building Emotional Connection for Community
This article is the last element in our Sense of Community series, and it’s also the most powerful. It allows new communities to win over legacy ones; niche communities to triumph over generic platforms; and impassioned communities to outlast everyone. It’s also the hardest element to cultivate.
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What are the benefits of a support community?
There is no doubt that unless you have a support community for your brand that you are not delivering the best experience for your customers and risk losing them to competitors that do.

Building a support community around your product or service will positively drive your business across all departments from product development through sales and into customer support.

Let's break it down and look at the key benefits for each department.
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Audience or community?
It's not uncommon for some brands to have a link to their Twitter account and Facebook page, with a hashtag they'd like you to use when discussing their products.

That is an audience, not a community.

A true community encourages group conversation and empowers people to contribute ideas, promotion, content and support.
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Ideation within Invision Community
Interested in ideation?

Collecting, curating and organising ideas and feedback is a critical part of managing a community for a product.

If you wanted to add more rigour to your ideation process, then Invision Community has built-in tools that you can use.

This video covers setting up a "Question & Answer" forum, which forms the basis for your ideation section along with using the built-in translation tools to tweak the interface language.

The complete process takes around five minutes and is the perfect way to collect and organise community ideas.
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What's new in 4.4.5?
Minor releases are almost always just maintenance releases. We gather up a fistful of bug reports and fix them to ensure that every month or so, our clients enjoy more stability and efficiency with Invision Community.

However, more recently we've noticed that we're running low on bug reports, so we've managed to squeeze in a handful of improvements in Invision Community 4.4.5.

Let's take a look and see what's new.
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4x4 Growth Hacks 🚀
4x4 is a power series by Community Advocate Joel R that focuses on four items in less than four minutes. They're designed to cover everything from quick maintenance checks to community tips to help you make the most out of your Invision Community.

This month, Joel outlines four quick and easy growth strategies (as well as his impressive use of emoji)

Rewards & Reinforcement: Delivering Member Greatness in Online Communities

Bad communities promise great things to its members. Good communities offer great things to its members. Great communities fulfill the greatness of its members.

A primary purpose of every community is to fulfill the needs of its members. A strong community will go beyond the immediate, basic needs and ensure that fulfillment is a positive experience. By doing so, it builds in positive rewards and reinforcement for an enjoyable sense of togetherness.

4x4 What Do Visitors See When They Visit?
4x4 is a new power series that focuses on four items in less than four minutes. They're designed to cover everything from quick maintenance checks to community tips to help you make the most out of your Invision Community.
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The State of the Internet: Mary Meeker at 2019 Code Conference
Mary Meeker delivered a rapid-fire review at the 2019 Code Conference of her latest Internet Trends Report, widely considered to be one of the most influential and comprehensive reports on Internet trends.

Joel breaks down the big trends and what it means for community owners.
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The Power of Influence: Building Trust and Governance in a Community
In the June edition of his "2019 Year of Community", Joel takes a deep dive into how influence can build trust and help govern your community.

"Have you seen communities where the moderators take heavy-handed actions and do things without prior notice? Or they assume you know everything? It feels rude, unwelcoming, and very cliquish. On the other hand, I’ve also seen communities where the moderators and community managers take the time to explain every response."
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How to grow your community with Facebook Ads
In the first of our expert series, we invite Martin Jolly-Jarvis to give us an overview of how Facebook ads can help drive traffic to your site.

"The purpose of this post is to give you a short introduction, so you know roughly how to make profitable ads.

It’s not going to turn you into an expert, but it might stop you digging in the wrong spot and spending BIG on things you should avoid."
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How I Started My Community - Part 3 Growth
When I wrote my last entry, The Dogly Mail had just reached the 100 member milestone but since then things have grown impressively.

The photo competition has proven very successful at encouraging new signups and we are now at around 1400 members picking up 15-20 new members a day. This is far better than I could have hoped for but there a few caveats…
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The 3 things your community needs to succeed
A successful community only needs three core elements to flourish and begin producing results.

Your community will require some care and effort to flourish, but with the right strategies in place, you'll ensure that the value your community produces continues to increase as time goes by.

Let's take a look at the three elements that make for a successful community.

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