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Rikki

Invision Community Team
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  1. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from crmarks for an entry, Proactive and reactive moderation - which is right for your online community?   
    One of the bigger decisions a community manager has to make as a community grows is whether to employ proactive or reactive moderation (or a combination of both). This isn’t always a conscious decision; sometimes forum moderation features are toggled without giving much explicit thought to the style of moderation desired and the pros and cons of doing so. It’s worth taking a moment to consider the reasons behind each type, and come to a justification for one or the other.
    Firstly, let’s discuss what we mean by proactive and reactive moderation.
     
    Proactive Moderation
    With a proactive approach to moderation, the goal is to prevent bad content from ever appearing in public. The primary way that this is achieved is by having moderation staff review all content posted, and manually approving it after deciding whether it is acceptable.
    Another feature that could be classed as proactive moderation is administrator screening of new registrations. When a new user registers in the community, their account can be placed in a ‘validating’ state, requiring an administrator to review the information submitted and deciding whether to approve the account.
    As you might expect, proactive moderation is the safest way to ensure bad content doesn’t make it to public view. However, the significant drawback is that users won’t see their content immediately, which can be frustrating and severely stifle productive discussion. At worst, it can push users away from your community altogether. Heavy-handed moderation is often viewed negatively by members who are trying to participate, and can ultimately backfire. 
    With a proactive moderation approach, it’s important that you communicate with members one-to-one if they post content with good intentions but which doesn’t meet your criteria. This can reduce resentment over wasted effort, and gives them the opportunity to adjust their approach for future content.
     
    Reactive Moderation
    In contrast, a reactive approach to moderation allows user to post freely, without explicit pre-screening of content, with moderators reacting to issues as and when they arise. Reactive moderation is, generally speaking, a more pleasant experience for users because it allows them to engage fully with the community. However, there is of course the risk that unsuitable content is seen in public, at least temporarily.
    Choosing a reactive approach doesn’t have to mean a free-for-all. There are many features you can use to make identifying and dealing with bad content a quick and painless process, while still allowing users to contribute freely to the community:
    Report center
    Allows users to identify bad content and submit notifications to moderation staff for prompt action. Badword filter, URL filtering and keyword triggers
    Prevent common swear words and other divisive terms from being used by censoring them or replacing them with ***. You can also blacklist undesirable URLs from being used within posts. Plus, automatically watch and moderate posts that contain terms you specify. Warning system
    Where a user has proven to be problematic, the warning system in Invision Community allows you to track infractions and apply punishments to the account. These can range from a simple warning message, to suspension, to complete ban. Users can be required to acknowledge the warning before being able to see the community again. Moderation queue
    Individual users can be placed into the moderation queue, requiring all content they post to be screened by a moderator before being visible - a good compromise that means you don’t need to screen all content, just that from troublemakers. Spam service
    The IPS Spam Defense Service is a free service that automatically reviews new registrations to your community to determine whether they match any known spammers, using data crowdsourced from other Invision Community sites. The service can virtually eliminate known spammers from your community, preventing them from ever causing a problem. One-click spam cleanup
    If a spammer does make it into your community, removing their posts and banning them is a one-click action for moderators. Saved actions
    Saved actions make it quick to apply multiple moderation actions in one go. For example, if members often post support topics in a non-support forum, a saved action would allow moderators to move the topic and reply to let the member know what happened - all with a single click.  
    Which is the right approach for your community?
    Every community is different, so there’s no one answer here - that’s why Invision Community includes features that enable both approaches, to allow you to determine which to use.
    In general, we suggest thinking of reactive moderation as the default stance, and increasing the amount of oversight you make depending on the circumstances. There are exceptions of course. For example, in a situation where a user posting personally-identifying information in a public forum could have a profound implication for personal safety, a proactive moderation approach might be more desirable. Similarly, if it’s essential that users receive correct information that has been vetted by your staff, you may want to review content before it appears (though in this case, other techniques might be considered, such as staff labelling content once it is ‘approved’ by them).
    Your choice need not be entirely one or the other, either. While Invision Community has moderation settings that apply to the entire community, it’s also possible to apply different settings on a per-forum or per-member group basis.
    Communities often make use of per-group moderation as a way of screening new members. This is achieved by putting new members into a ‘limited’ group that requires content to be reviewed by a moderator. Then, using Invision Community’s group promotion tools, the member is automatically moved to a regular member group once they have a specified number of approved posts (usually a low number; one to five works well). This approach reduces the danger of a rogue member signing up and creating a problem, without requiring the resources to screen every new post to the community.
    Finally, whichever approach to moderation your team ultimately finds work best, we recommend creating a clear, detailed set of community guidelines that outlines the boundaries of the community, and what you consider acceptable and unacceptable from members. Most users don’t set out to create problems for you, and referring to your guidelines can often put the lid on any trouble before it starts.
    We hope this overview proves helpful to both new and established communities. If you have any approaches to moderation that you think others might be able to learn from, please go ahead and share them in the comments below!
     
  2. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from The Old Man for an entry, Proactive and reactive moderation - which is right for your online community?   
    One of the bigger decisions a community manager has to make as a community grows is whether to employ proactive or reactive moderation (or a combination of both). This isn’t always a conscious decision; sometimes forum moderation features are toggled without giving much explicit thought to the style of moderation desired and the pros and cons of doing so. It’s worth taking a moment to consider the reasons behind each type, and come to a justification for one or the other.
    Firstly, let’s discuss what we mean by proactive and reactive moderation.
     
    Proactive Moderation
    With a proactive approach to moderation, the goal is to prevent bad content from ever appearing in public. The primary way that this is achieved is by having moderation staff review all content posted, and manually approving it after deciding whether it is acceptable.
    Another feature that could be classed as proactive moderation is administrator screening of new registrations. When a new user registers in the community, their account can be placed in a ‘validating’ state, requiring an administrator to review the information submitted and deciding whether to approve the account.
    As you might expect, proactive moderation is the safest way to ensure bad content doesn’t make it to public view. However, the significant drawback is that users won’t see their content immediately, which can be frustrating and severely stifle productive discussion. At worst, it can push users away from your community altogether. Heavy-handed moderation is often viewed negatively by members who are trying to participate, and can ultimately backfire. 
    With a proactive moderation approach, it’s important that you communicate with members one-to-one if they post content with good intentions but which doesn’t meet your criteria. This can reduce resentment over wasted effort, and gives them the opportunity to adjust their approach for future content.
     
    Reactive Moderation
    In contrast, a reactive approach to moderation allows user to post freely, without explicit pre-screening of content, with moderators reacting to issues as and when they arise. Reactive moderation is, generally speaking, a more pleasant experience for users because it allows them to engage fully with the community. However, there is of course the risk that unsuitable content is seen in public, at least temporarily.
    Choosing a reactive approach doesn’t have to mean a free-for-all. There are many features you can use to make identifying and dealing with bad content a quick and painless process, while still allowing users to contribute freely to the community:
    Report center
    Allows users to identify bad content and submit notifications to moderation staff for prompt action. Badword filter, URL filtering and keyword triggers
    Prevent common swear words and other divisive terms from being used by censoring them or replacing them with ***. You can also blacklist undesirable URLs from being used within posts. Plus, automatically watch and moderate posts that contain terms you specify. Warning system
    Where a user has proven to be problematic, the warning system in Invision Community allows you to track infractions and apply punishments to the account. These can range from a simple warning message, to suspension, to complete ban. Users can be required to acknowledge the warning before being able to see the community again. Moderation queue
    Individual users can be placed into the moderation queue, requiring all content they post to be screened by a moderator before being visible - a good compromise that means you don’t need to screen all content, just that from troublemakers. Spam service
    The IPS Spam Defense Service is a free service that automatically reviews new registrations to your community to determine whether they match any known spammers, using data crowdsourced from other Invision Community sites. The service can virtually eliminate known spammers from your community, preventing them from ever causing a problem. One-click spam cleanup
    If a spammer does make it into your community, removing their posts and banning them is a one-click action for moderators. Saved actions
    Saved actions make it quick to apply multiple moderation actions in one go. For example, if members often post support topics in a non-support forum, a saved action would allow moderators to move the topic and reply to let the member know what happened - all with a single click.  
    Which is the right approach for your community?
    Every community is different, so there’s no one answer here - that’s why Invision Community includes features that enable both approaches, to allow you to determine which to use.
    In general, we suggest thinking of reactive moderation as the default stance, and increasing the amount of oversight you make depending on the circumstances. There are exceptions of course. For example, in a situation where a user posting personally-identifying information in a public forum could have a profound implication for personal safety, a proactive moderation approach might be more desirable. Similarly, if it’s essential that users receive correct information that has been vetted by your staff, you may want to review content before it appears (though in this case, other techniques might be considered, such as staff labelling content once it is ‘approved’ by them).
    Your choice need not be entirely one or the other, either. While Invision Community has moderation settings that apply to the entire community, it’s also possible to apply different settings on a per-forum or per-member group basis.
    Communities often make use of per-group moderation as a way of screening new members. This is achieved by putting new members into a ‘limited’ group that requires content to be reviewed by a moderator. Then, using Invision Community’s group promotion tools, the member is automatically moved to a regular member group once they have a specified number of approved posts (usually a low number; one to five works well). This approach reduces the danger of a rogue member signing up and creating a problem, without requiring the resources to screen every new post to the community.
    Finally, whichever approach to moderation your team ultimately finds work best, we recommend creating a clear, detailed set of community guidelines that outlines the boundaries of the community, and what you consider acceptable and unacceptable from members. Most users don’t set out to create problems for you, and referring to your guidelines can often put the lid on any trouble before it starts.
    We hope this overview proves helpful to both new and established communities. If you have any approaches to moderation that you think others might be able to learn from, please go ahead and share them in the comments below!
     
  3. Thanks
    Rikki got a reaction from sabrond for an entry, Proactive and reactive moderation - which is right for your online community?   
    One of the bigger decisions a community manager has to make as a community grows is whether to employ proactive or reactive moderation (or a combination of both). This isn’t always a conscious decision; sometimes forum moderation features are toggled without giving much explicit thought to the style of moderation desired and the pros and cons of doing so. It’s worth taking a moment to consider the reasons behind each type, and come to a justification for one or the other.
    Firstly, let’s discuss what we mean by proactive and reactive moderation.
     
    Proactive Moderation
    With a proactive approach to moderation, the goal is to prevent bad content from ever appearing in public. The primary way that this is achieved is by having moderation staff review all content posted, and manually approving it after deciding whether it is acceptable.
    Another feature that could be classed as proactive moderation is administrator screening of new registrations. When a new user registers in the community, their account can be placed in a ‘validating’ state, requiring an administrator to review the information submitted and deciding whether to approve the account.
    As you might expect, proactive moderation is the safest way to ensure bad content doesn’t make it to public view. However, the significant drawback is that users won’t see their content immediately, which can be frustrating and severely stifle productive discussion. At worst, it can push users away from your community altogether. Heavy-handed moderation is often viewed negatively by members who are trying to participate, and can ultimately backfire. 
    With a proactive moderation approach, it’s important that you communicate with members one-to-one if they post content with good intentions but which doesn’t meet your criteria. This can reduce resentment over wasted effort, and gives them the opportunity to adjust their approach for future content.
     
    Reactive Moderation
    In contrast, a reactive approach to moderation allows user to post freely, without explicit pre-screening of content, with moderators reacting to issues as and when they arise. Reactive moderation is, generally speaking, a more pleasant experience for users because it allows them to engage fully with the community. However, there is of course the risk that unsuitable content is seen in public, at least temporarily.
    Choosing a reactive approach doesn’t have to mean a free-for-all. There are many features you can use to make identifying and dealing with bad content a quick and painless process, while still allowing users to contribute freely to the community:
    Report center
    Allows users to identify bad content and submit notifications to moderation staff for prompt action. Badword filter, URL filtering and keyword triggers
    Prevent common swear words and other divisive terms from being used by censoring them or replacing them with ***. You can also blacklist undesirable URLs from being used within posts. Plus, automatically watch and moderate posts that contain terms you specify. Warning system
    Where a user has proven to be problematic, the warning system in Invision Community allows you to track infractions and apply punishments to the account. These can range from a simple warning message, to suspension, to complete ban. Users can be required to acknowledge the warning before being able to see the community again. Moderation queue
    Individual users can be placed into the moderation queue, requiring all content they post to be screened by a moderator before being visible - a good compromise that means you don’t need to screen all content, just that from troublemakers. Spam service
    The IPS Spam Defense Service is a free service that automatically reviews new registrations to your community to determine whether they match any known spammers, using data crowdsourced from other Invision Community sites. The service can virtually eliminate known spammers from your community, preventing them from ever causing a problem. One-click spam cleanup
    If a spammer does make it into your community, removing their posts and banning them is a one-click action for moderators. Saved actions
    Saved actions make it quick to apply multiple moderation actions in one go. For example, if members often post support topics in a non-support forum, a saved action would allow moderators to move the topic and reply to let the member know what happened - all with a single click.  
    Which is the right approach for your community?
    Every community is different, so there’s no one answer here - that’s why Invision Community includes features that enable both approaches, to allow you to determine which to use.
    In general, we suggest thinking of reactive moderation as the default stance, and increasing the amount of oversight you make depending on the circumstances. There are exceptions of course. For example, in a situation where a user posting personally-identifying information in a public forum could have a profound implication for personal safety, a proactive moderation approach might be more desirable. Similarly, if it’s essential that users receive correct information that has been vetted by your staff, you may want to review content before it appears (though in this case, other techniques might be considered, such as staff labelling content once it is ‘approved’ by them).
    Your choice need not be entirely one or the other, either. While Invision Community has moderation settings that apply to the entire community, it’s also possible to apply different settings on a per-forum or per-member group basis.
    Communities often make use of per-group moderation as a way of screening new members. This is achieved by putting new members into a ‘limited’ group that requires content to be reviewed by a moderator. Then, using Invision Community’s group promotion tools, the member is automatically moved to a regular member group once they have a specified number of approved posts (usually a low number; one to five works well). This approach reduces the danger of a rogue member signing up and creating a problem, without requiring the resources to screen every new post to the community.
    Finally, whichever approach to moderation your team ultimately finds work best, we recommend creating a clear, detailed set of community guidelines that outlines the boundaries of the community, and what you consider acceptable and unacceptable from members. Most users don’t set out to create problems for you, and referring to your guidelines can often put the lid on any trouble before it starts.
    We hope this overview proves helpful to both new and established communities. If you have any approaches to moderation that you think others might be able to learn from, please go ahead and share them in the comments below!
     
  4. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from shahed for an entry, Proactive and reactive moderation - which is right for your online community?   
    One of the bigger decisions a community manager has to make as a community grows is whether to employ proactive or reactive moderation (or a combination of both). This isn’t always a conscious decision; sometimes forum moderation features are toggled without giving much explicit thought to the style of moderation desired and the pros and cons of doing so. It’s worth taking a moment to consider the reasons behind each type, and come to a justification for one or the other.
    Firstly, let’s discuss what we mean by proactive and reactive moderation.
     
    Proactive Moderation
    With a proactive approach to moderation, the goal is to prevent bad content from ever appearing in public. The primary way that this is achieved is by having moderation staff review all content posted, and manually approving it after deciding whether it is acceptable.
    Another feature that could be classed as proactive moderation is administrator screening of new registrations. When a new user registers in the community, their account can be placed in a ‘validating’ state, requiring an administrator to review the information submitted and deciding whether to approve the account.
    As you might expect, proactive moderation is the safest way to ensure bad content doesn’t make it to public view. However, the significant drawback is that users won’t see their content immediately, which can be frustrating and severely stifle productive discussion. At worst, it can push users away from your community altogether. Heavy-handed moderation is often viewed negatively by members who are trying to participate, and can ultimately backfire. 
    With a proactive moderation approach, it’s important that you communicate with members one-to-one if they post content with good intentions but which doesn’t meet your criteria. This can reduce resentment over wasted effort, and gives them the opportunity to adjust their approach for future content.
     
    Reactive Moderation
    In contrast, a reactive approach to moderation allows user to post freely, without explicit pre-screening of content, with moderators reacting to issues as and when they arise. Reactive moderation is, generally speaking, a more pleasant experience for users because it allows them to engage fully with the community. However, there is of course the risk that unsuitable content is seen in public, at least temporarily.
    Choosing a reactive approach doesn’t have to mean a free-for-all. There are many features you can use to make identifying and dealing with bad content a quick and painless process, while still allowing users to contribute freely to the community:
    Report center
    Allows users to identify bad content and submit notifications to moderation staff for prompt action. Badword filter, URL filtering and keyword triggers
    Prevent common swear words and other divisive terms from being used by censoring them or replacing them with ***. You can also blacklist undesirable URLs from being used within posts. Plus, automatically watch and moderate posts that contain terms you specify. Warning system
    Where a user has proven to be problematic, the warning system in Invision Community allows you to track infractions and apply punishments to the account. These can range from a simple warning message, to suspension, to complete ban. Users can be required to acknowledge the warning before being able to see the community again. Moderation queue
    Individual users can be placed into the moderation queue, requiring all content they post to be screened by a moderator before being visible - a good compromise that means you don’t need to screen all content, just that from troublemakers. Spam service
    The IPS Spam Defense Service is a free service that automatically reviews new registrations to your community to determine whether they match any known spammers, using data crowdsourced from other Invision Community sites. The service can virtually eliminate known spammers from your community, preventing them from ever causing a problem. One-click spam cleanup
    If a spammer does make it into your community, removing their posts and banning them is a one-click action for moderators. Saved actions
    Saved actions make it quick to apply multiple moderation actions in one go. For example, if members often post support topics in a non-support forum, a saved action would allow moderators to move the topic and reply to let the member know what happened - all with a single click.  
    Which is the right approach for your community?
    Every community is different, so there’s no one answer here - that’s why Invision Community includes features that enable both approaches, to allow you to determine which to use.
    In general, we suggest thinking of reactive moderation as the default stance, and increasing the amount of oversight you make depending on the circumstances. There are exceptions of course. For example, in a situation where a user posting personally-identifying information in a public forum could have a profound implication for personal safety, a proactive moderation approach might be more desirable. Similarly, if it’s essential that users receive correct information that has been vetted by your staff, you may want to review content before it appears (though in this case, other techniques might be considered, such as staff labelling content once it is ‘approved’ by them).
    Your choice need not be entirely one or the other, either. While Invision Community has moderation settings that apply to the entire community, it’s also possible to apply different settings on a per-forum or per-member group basis.
    Communities often make use of per-group moderation as a way of screening new members. This is achieved by putting new members into a ‘limited’ group that requires content to be reviewed by a moderator. Then, using Invision Community’s group promotion tools, the member is automatically moved to a regular member group once they have a specified number of approved posts (usually a low number; one to five works well). This approach reduces the danger of a rogue member signing up and creating a problem, without requiring the resources to screen every new post to the community.
    Finally, whichever approach to moderation your team ultimately finds work best, we recommend creating a clear, detailed set of community guidelines that outlines the boundaries of the community, and what you consider acceptable and unacceptable from members. Most users don’t set out to create problems for you, and referring to your guidelines can often put the lid on any trouble before it starts.
    We hope this overview proves helpful to both new and established communities. If you have any approaches to moderation that you think others might be able to learn from, please go ahead and share them in the comments below!
     
  5. Thanks
    Rikki got a reaction from Leon Bollerup for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  6. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from The Old Man for an entry, Theme Tip: Create a per-forum feed block   
    An enterprise customer recently asked us how to have a different feed block for each of their forums. Their goal was to have each forum show a 'popular topics' block containing topics only from that particular forum. Unfortunately this isn't possible using the standard block manager right now, since each view is treated as one configuration. That means that any blocks added to forum view will show for all forums.
    However, as usual in IPS4, some of the more advanced power under the hood does allow you to achieve the same goal - in this case, by using HTML Logic. This technique uses a similar idea to the one I outlined in the Dynamic-ish Forum Feeds blog in May.
     
    Creating conditional blocks
    The way we would implement this functionality is by creating a custom block that is simply a wrapper for other blocks. This wrapper block will contain HTML Logic that determines which feed block to show, based on some information about the current page.
    The first step would be to create standard feed blocks for each of the forums to which this should apply. In our example we're creating 'popular topics' blocks, but it could be anything you wish - the principle will remain the same. Another idea would be to create a 'Topics from other forums' block for each of your forums, whereby in the block configuration, you set it to include topics from all forums except the one in which it will be displayed - a good way of cross-promoting your topics.
    In order to include the blocks later, set the template key of each to be forum_x, where x is the ID of the forum in which you will display the block.
     
    Once we've created a block for each forum, the next step is to create our wrapper block, which should be a custom block set to use Manual HTML, with the following code:
    {{if request.app == 'forums' && request.module == 'forums'}} {{$id = \IPS\Request::i()->id;}} {block="forum_{$id}"} {{endif}} What's happening here is we're checking the app and module from the page URL are both 'forums', which indicates we're in forum view. We then use the {block} tag to insert the appropriate block based on the ID parameter from the URL.
    To use this block, simply save it, then using the Block Manager on the front-end, drag it into the desired location in your forum view.
    I hope this quick suggestion gives you some ideas for other ways to create blocks that show contextually depending on what the user is viewing. If you have ideas for interesting ways to use this technique, share them in the comments!
  7. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Maxxius for an entry, Theme Tip: Use HTML logic to display content to specific groups   
    HTML Logic is our name for the additional tags available in IPS4's templates that allow runtime logic to be executed. It comprises if/then/else statements as well as loops and more.
    Since HTML Logic has access to all of the underlying PHP framework in IPS4, it's very powerful and a lot can be achieved with it. One common use is to limit certain content within a template to particular member groups. Let's see how that might be done.
     
    Showing or hiding content only to guests
    We'll first look at a simpler idea: showing or hiding content specifically to guests (i.e. anyone who isn't logged in). Within IPS4, the \IPS\Member::loggedIn() object contains information about the current user. Guests always have a member_id of NULL (i.e. no value), so we can simply check that value in our logic tag:
    {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_id === NULL}} This content *only* shows to guests, since they have a NULL member_id. {{endif}} {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_id}} This content *only* shows to logged-in users since their member_id is a number, which will equal true. {{endif}}  
    Showing content only to specific groups
    Let's go a bit further and this time show content to specific (primary) member groups. First, you need to get the IDs for the group(s) you want to deal with. You can find this by editing the group in the AdminCP, and making a note of the id parameter in the URL. On my installation, the Administrator group is ID 4 so we'll use that in our example.
    Once again, we're using the \IPS\Member::loggedIn() object, but this time we're using the member_group_id property.
    {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id === 4}} This content only shows to members in the "Administrators" group (ID 4 in our example) {{endif}}  
    Working with multiple groups at once
    Following the code above, you could simply repeat the check against \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id several times, for each ID you want to allow. However, since our templates allow arbitrary PHP expressions to be used, there's a neater way: use an array of member group IDs you want to allow, and check against that using PHP's in_array function. Here's an example where we only show content to group IDs 2, 4 and 6:
    {{if in_array( \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id, array( 2, 4, 6 ) )}} This content only shows to members in groups with the ID 2, 4 or 6. {{endif}}  
    Have a request for a theme tip? Let us know in the comments and we'll try and help out in a future tip! 
  8. Thanks
    Rikki got a reaction from cLau ;X for an entry, 4.0 - IP.Downloads Submission   
    The submissions process in IP.Downloads has a certain complexity that may not be apparent at first. As well as simple file uploads, we also support adding files from URLs and from the local file system, and screenshots can also be added in these ways. Which category you choose to submit to affects which of these options are available. In addition, via the AdminCP you can bulk-upload files - but not via the front-end.

    For IP.Downloads 4, we wanted to improve this process with interface and functionality changes.

    Submitting Files

    Here's a video demonstration of how creating a single file record in IP.Downloads works in v4:



    We've worked hard to improve the flow for users here - while they are uploading files (which may be large and take some time), they can continue adding the other file information such as screenshots and meta data. While that's happening, the upload progress is always shown at the top of the screen. In the video you'll also see how image uploading is handled, as well as prefixes in the tag system, which are now supported throughout the IPS Community Suite.

    Bulk Uploading

    Instead of going to the AdminCP to bulk-submit files, single- and bulk-uploads are now handled through exactly the same process on the front end. This means users can be granted bulk-upload permissions without requiring AdminCP access, a big improvement on the current implementation.

    To bulk upload, a user clicks the "Submit a file" button as normal, and chooses "I want to submit multiple files at once". They see the same upload area, but this time, the file information step is handled separately after the page is submitted. Each uploaded file has a separate block for file information and its own set of screenshots.








    We'll of course be showing more of the IP.Downloads homepage and file view later, but we hope that gives you a taste of what to expect in IP.Downloads in IPS4.
  9. Sad
    Rikki got a reaction from Christopher Nolan-Downs for an entry, New: Reactions   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    IPS Community Suite has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down system, later updated to introduce a Likes system as an alternative. Whichever system you chose to use, it tied in with our reputation system.
    We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, and it's something that has been requested for quite some time: Reactions.
    Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see.
    Let's see how they work in a post, and then cover the options you'll have available.

    What you see above is the default setup for a site that has used the Like system in version 4.1. We include 5 reactions by default:
    Like Thanks Confused Sad Haha If you currently use the older style up/down reputation system, don't fret - you'll still get the new reactions on upgrade, but they'll be disabled by default and instead the new reaction UI will show up/down reactions. This gives you the flexibility to decide which of the new reactions, if any, you want to allow.
    So, those are the basics - but what configuration options can you expect to see? First, you can of course add your own reactions! We expect that beyond the default reactions you'd expect to find, some sites will want reaction types specific to their use-case. On an intranet, you might want to have 'agree' and 'disagree' reactions for staff to use when responding to discussions. On a gaming community, you might replace the icons to be some graphic from a video game that means something to your particular userbase. There's a wealth of possibilities.
    Each reaction you set up can be configured to adjust the original author's reputation count - a reaction can be positive (i.e. award a reputation point), negative (i.e. subtract a reputation point), or neutral (i.e. leave the reputation count unchanged). Our default set won't include any negative reactions, but you are free to configure these and new reactions to suit your own use-case. A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course.
    If you don't want to use the new reactions for whatever reason, you can disable all of them except Like, and it'll behave just the like 4.1-and-earlier system:

     
    Sites that currently use the up/down system don't show a list of names of users, and instead show an overall reputation score for the content. With the new reaction system, you can enable this even if you don't use up/down reactions. This is great if you plan to use reactions as, for example, an agree/disagree system, or where the content score is more important to your site than the individual reaction types.

    How the reaction UI looks with the 'count only' setting enabled
    As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if you enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content. This remains a permission setting that you can apply per-group.

    On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks like this:

    Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including Recommended Replies:

    ...and activity streams...

    ...and a couple of places we aren't quite ready to reveal yet  
     
    We hope you're looking forward to this new feature as much as we are. It's already been a hit on our internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how clients customize it for use on their own community.
    Developer note: Reactions are one of two new features (the other currently unannounced) so far that make use of PHP Traits.
  10. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from princeton for an entry, Theme Tip: Create a per-forum feed block   
    An enterprise customer recently asked us how to have a different feed block for each of their forums. Their goal was to have each forum show a 'popular topics' block containing topics only from that particular forum. Unfortunately this isn't possible using the standard block manager right now, since each view is treated as one configuration. That means that any blocks added to forum view will show for all forums.
    However, as usual in IPS4, some of the more advanced power under the hood does allow you to achieve the same goal - in this case, by using HTML Logic. This technique uses a similar idea to the one I outlined in the Dynamic-ish Forum Feeds blog in May.
     
    Creating conditional blocks
    The way we would implement this functionality is by creating a custom block that is simply a wrapper for other blocks. This wrapper block will contain HTML Logic that determines which feed block to show, based on some information about the current page.
    The first step would be to create standard feed blocks for each of the forums to which this should apply. In our example we're creating 'popular topics' blocks, but it could be anything you wish - the principle will remain the same. Another idea would be to create a 'Topics from other forums' block for each of your forums, whereby in the block configuration, you set it to include topics from all forums except the one in which it will be displayed - a good way of cross-promoting your topics.
    In order to include the blocks later, set the template key of each to be forum_x, where x is the ID of the forum in which you will display the block.
     
    Once we've created a block for each forum, the next step is to create our wrapper block, which should be a custom block set to use Manual HTML, with the following code:
    {{if request.app == 'forums' && request.module == 'forums'}} {{$id = \IPS\Request::i()->id;}} {block="forum_{$id}"} {{endif}} What's happening here is we're checking the app and module from the page URL are both 'forums', which indicates we're in forum view. We then use the {block} tag to insert the appropriate block based on the ID parameter from the URL.
    To use this block, simply save it, then using the Block Manager on the front-end, drag it into the desired location in your forum view.
    I hope this quick suggestion gives you some ideas for other ways to create blocks that show contextually depending on what the user is viewing. If you have ideas for interesting ways to use this technique, share them in the comments!
  11. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from z1000-forum.de for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  12. Thanks
    Rikki got a reaction from RMweb for an entry, Theme Tip: Create a per-forum feed block   
    An enterprise customer recently asked us how to have a different feed block for each of their forums. Their goal was to have each forum show a 'popular topics' block containing topics only from that particular forum. Unfortunately this isn't possible using the standard block manager right now, since each view is treated as one configuration. That means that any blocks added to forum view will show for all forums.
    However, as usual in IPS4, some of the more advanced power under the hood does allow you to achieve the same goal - in this case, by using HTML Logic. This technique uses a similar idea to the one I outlined in the Dynamic-ish Forum Feeds blog in May.
     
    Creating conditional blocks
    The way we would implement this functionality is by creating a custom block that is simply a wrapper for other blocks. This wrapper block will contain HTML Logic that determines which feed block to show, based on some information about the current page.
    The first step would be to create standard feed blocks for each of the forums to which this should apply. In our example we're creating 'popular topics' blocks, but it could be anything you wish - the principle will remain the same. Another idea would be to create a 'Topics from other forums' block for each of your forums, whereby in the block configuration, you set it to include topics from all forums except the one in which it will be displayed - a good way of cross-promoting your topics.
    In order to include the blocks later, set the template key of each to be forum_x, where x is the ID of the forum in which you will display the block.
     
    Once we've created a block for each forum, the next step is to create our wrapper block, which should be a custom block set to use Manual HTML, with the following code:
    {{if request.app == 'forums' && request.module == 'forums'}} {{$id = \IPS\Request::i()->id;}} {block="forum_{$id}"} {{endif}} What's happening here is we're checking the app and module from the page URL are both 'forums', which indicates we're in forum view. We then use the {block} tag to insert the appropriate block based on the ID parameter from the URL.
    To use this block, simply save it, then using the Block Manager on the front-end, drag it into the desired location in your forum view.
    I hope this quick suggestion gives you some ideas for other ways to create blocks that show contextually depending on what the user is viewing. If you have ideas for interesting ways to use this technique, share them in the comments!
  13. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Markus Jung for an entry, New: Richer Embeds   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    You are probably already familiar with our content embedding feature in IPS Community Suite. When a link to content in the community is pasted into the editor (e.g. a topic, or a post, or a gallery image, etc.) it is automatically expanded into a preview of the content, usually with an accompanying image, allowing users to click through to that content if they are interested.

    An embedded Gallery image in IPS Community Suite 4.1
    While it has proved a useful feature to members, each embed used essentially the same structure - a small thumbnail on the left, a title, and a few lines of text. This works fine for topics, but isn't ideal for other kinds of rich content that might be posted.
    In IPS Community Suite 4.2, we greatly improved upon our embedding handling, giving every type of content within every application its own customized embed style, allowing that content to be displayed however works best. This means larger high-res previews of Gallery images, a button to download a file right from the embed for Downloads files, showing a map for Calendar events, and so on. We worked to keep a consistent overall style between apps, but allow each to display its own relevant information.
    For users, things will work exactly as they do now - they simply paste a link to content, and it will continue to expand automatically. The changes are also backwards compatible. Any existing embeds in your community will automatically show the new styling you see below - no rebuilding necessary.
    So with that in mind, let's take a look what the new embeds look like! I won't show every single embed here because there's a huge number, but I'll try and give you a feel for how we approached the embed styles for each app.

    Gallery Image

    Comment on a Gallery Image

    Gallery Album

    Forum Topic

    Downloads File

    Review on a Downloads File

    Calendar Event

    Comment on a Calendar Event

    Commerce Product

    Record from a Pages database
    I hope that gives you a good overview of what to expect when your users try out the new embeds for themselves. As always, please share your feedback in the comments below!
     
  14. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from MeMaBlue for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  15. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from InvisionHQ for an entry, Introducing our new Developers area   
    I'm pleased to announce we're finally ready to open our new Developers area. The aim of this project has been to improve our existing developer documentation by building a central place to contain it, as well as update and expand the content available.
    As of today, we have the regular documentation and REST API documentation ready to use. Over the coming weeks and months, we'll be expanding what's available further, going into more detail about the tools available within the framework. We've also started work on comprehensive Getting Started guides, that will walk you through simple developer projects from start to finish - these will be available soon, once they're complete.
    If there's a particular aspect of IPS4 development that you don't feel is adequately catered for right now, please let us know! This will help us direct our efforts to the most useful places.
    Enjoy!
  16. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from AlexWright for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  17. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Davidiwo for an entry, New: Richer Embeds   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    You are probably already familiar with our content embedding feature in IPS Community Suite. When a link to content in the community is pasted into the editor (e.g. a topic, or a post, or a gallery image, etc.) it is automatically expanded into a preview of the content, usually with an accompanying image, allowing users to click through to that content if they are interested.

    An embedded Gallery image in IPS Community Suite 4.1
    While it has proved a useful feature to members, each embed used essentially the same structure - a small thumbnail on the left, a title, and a few lines of text. This works fine for topics, but isn't ideal for other kinds of rich content that might be posted.
    In IPS Community Suite 4.2, we greatly improved upon our embedding handling, giving every type of content within every application its own customized embed style, allowing that content to be displayed however works best. This means larger high-res previews of Gallery images, a button to download a file right from the embed for Downloads files, showing a map for Calendar events, and so on. We worked to keep a consistent overall style between apps, but allow each to display its own relevant information.
    For users, things will work exactly as they do now - they simply paste a link to content, and it will continue to expand automatically. The changes are also backwards compatible. Any existing embeds in your community will automatically show the new styling you see below - no rebuilding necessary.
    So with that in mind, let's take a look what the new embeds look like! I won't show every single embed here because there's a huge number, but I'll try and give you a feel for how we approached the embed styles for each app.

    Gallery Image

    Comment on a Gallery Image

    Gallery Album

    Forum Topic

    Downloads File

    Review on a Downloads File

    Calendar Event

    Comment on a Calendar Event

    Commerce Product

    Record from a Pages database
    I hope that gives you a good overview of what to expect when your users try out the new embeds for themselves. As always, please share your feedback in the comments below!
     
  18. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Rheddy for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  19. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Ambiences for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  20. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Marcelo Cappelletti for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  21. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from Dundurs for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  22. Confused
    Rikki got a reaction from IVC101 for an entry, New: Richer Embeds   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    You are probably already familiar with our content embedding feature in IPS Community Suite. When a link to content in the community is pasted into the editor (e.g. a topic, or a post, or a gallery image, etc.) it is automatically expanded into a preview of the content, usually with an accompanying image, allowing users to click through to that content if they are interested.

    An embedded Gallery image in IPS Community Suite 4.1
    While it has proved a useful feature to members, each embed used essentially the same structure - a small thumbnail on the left, a title, and a few lines of text. This works fine for topics, but isn't ideal for other kinds of rich content that might be posted.
    In IPS Community Suite 4.2, we greatly improved upon our embedding handling, giving every type of content within every application its own customized embed style, allowing that content to be displayed however works best. This means larger high-res previews of Gallery images, a button to download a file right from the embed for Downloads files, showing a map for Calendar events, and so on. We worked to keep a consistent overall style between apps, but allow each to display its own relevant information.
    For users, things will work exactly as they do now - they simply paste a link to content, and it will continue to expand automatically. The changes are also backwards compatible. Any existing embeds in your community will automatically show the new styling you see below - no rebuilding necessary.
    So with that in mind, let's take a look what the new embeds look like! I won't show every single embed here because there's a huge number, but I'll try and give you a feel for how we approached the embed styles for each app.

    Gallery Image

    Comment on a Gallery Image

    Gallery Album

    Forum Topic

    Downloads File

    Review on a Downloads File

    Calendar Event

    Comment on a Calendar Event

    Commerce Product

    Record from a Pages database
    I hope that gives you a good overview of what to expect when your users try out the new embeds for themselves. As always, please share your feedback in the comments below!
     
  23. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from mydickisbig for an entry, New: Reactions   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    IPS Community Suite has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down system, later updated to introduce a Likes system as an alternative. Whichever system you chose to use, it tied in with our reputation system.
    We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, and it's something that has been requested for quite some time: Reactions.
    Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see.
    Let's see how they work in a post, and then cover the options you'll have available.

    What you see above is the default setup for a site that has used the Like system in version 4.1. We include 5 reactions by default:
    Like Thanks Confused Sad Haha If you currently use the older style up/down reputation system, don't fret - you'll still get the new reactions on upgrade, but they'll be disabled by default and instead the new reaction UI will show up/down reactions. This gives you the flexibility to decide which of the new reactions, if any, you want to allow.
    So, those are the basics - but what configuration options can you expect to see? First, you can of course add your own reactions! We expect that beyond the default reactions you'd expect to find, some sites will want reaction types specific to their use-case. On an intranet, you might want to have 'agree' and 'disagree' reactions for staff to use when responding to discussions. On a gaming community, you might replace the icons to be some graphic from a video game that means something to your particular userbase. There's a wealth of possibilities.
    Each reaction you set up can be configured to adjust the original author's reputation count - a reaction can be positive (i.e. award a reputation point), negative (i.e. subtract a reputation point), or neutral (i.e. leave the reputation count unchanged). Our default set won't include any negative reactions, but you are free to configure these and new reactions to suit your own use-case. A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course.
    If you don't want to use the new reactions for whatever reason, you can disable all of them except Like, and it'll behave just the like 4.1-and-earlier system:

     
    Sites that currently use the up/down system don't show a list of names of users, and instead show an overall reputation score for the content. With the new reaction system, you can enable this even if you don't use up/down reactions. This is great if you plan to use reactions as, for example, an agree/disagree system, or where the content score is more important to your site than the individual reaction types.

    How the reaction UI looks with the 'count only' setting enabled
    As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if you enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content. This remains a permission setting that you can apply per-group.

    On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks like this:

    Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including Recommended Replies:

    ...and activity streams...

    ...and a couple of places we aren't quite ready to reveal yet  
     
    We hope you're looking forward to this new feature as much as we are. It's already been a hit on our internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how clients customize it for use on their own community.
    Developer note: Reactions are one of two new features (the other currently unannounced) so far that make use of PHP Traits.
  24. Thanks
    Rikki got a reaction from Magictrick for an entry, 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.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    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.

    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.
  25. Like
    Rikki got a reaction from OptimusBain for an entry, Theme Tip: Use HTML logic to display content to specific groups   
    HTML Logic is our name for the additional tags available in IPS4's templates that allow runtime logic to be executed. It comprises if/then/else statements as well as loops and more.
    Since HTML Logic has access to all of the underlying PHP framework in IPS4, it's very powerful and a lot can be achieved with it. One common use is to limit certain content within a template to particular member groups. Let's see how that might be done.
     
    Showing or hiding content only to guests
    We'll first look at a simpler idea: showing or hiding content specifically to guests (i.e. anyone who isn't logged in). Within IPS4, the \IPS\Member::loggedIn() object contains information about the current user. Guests always have a member_id of NULL (i.e. no value), so we can simply check that value in our logic tag:
    {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_id === NULL}} This content *only* shows to guests, since they have a NULL member_id. {{endif}} {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_id}} This content *only* shows to logged-in users since their member_id is a number, which will equal true. {{endif}}  
    Showing content only to specific groups
    Let's go a bit further and this time show content to specific (primary) member groups. First, you need to get the IDs for the group(s) you want to deal with. You can find this by editing the group in the AdminCP, and making a note of the id parameter in the URL. On my installation, the Administrator group is ID 4 so we'll use that in our example.
    Once again, we're using the \IPS\Member::loggedIn() object, but this time we're using the member_group_id property.
    {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id === 4}} This content only shows to members in the "Administrators" group (ID 4 in our example) {{endif}}  
    Working with multiple groups at once
    Following the code above, you could simply repeat the check against \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id several times, for each ID you want to allow. However, since our templates allow arbitrary PHP expressions to be used, there's a neater way: use an array of member group IDs you want to allow, and check against that using PHP's in_array function. Here's an example where we only show content to group IDs 2, 4 and 6:
    {{if in_array( \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id, array( 2, 4, 6 ) )}} This content only shows to members in groups with the ID 2, 4 or 6. {{endif}}  
    Have a request for a theme tip? Let us know in the comments and we'll try and help out in a future tip! 
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