abobader reacted to Jordan Invision for an entry, Take Your Community to the Next Level With Content Curation
Community sharing is community caring.
Take it from me: prominently curating your members’ content will profoundly accelerate growth. It’s also pretty darn fun.
I’ve run my company, BreatheHeavy, since 2004. While many online businesses shuttered because of social media’s looming presence, mine thrived because of the community. Full disclosure? I had no idea creating a community back in 2004 would become the not-so-secret ingredient to staying alive. Ahh, if only I knew then what I know now.
Hindsight is 20/20 (that number gives me anxiety, am I right?), but I never fully understood or appreciated how immensely game-changing community building is.
Related: The Importance of Moderation, err... Community Guidance (New Video!)
In the past, I focused my efforts on writing news articles (in Wordpress) while my Invision Community community ran rampant. I felt my presence needed to take center stage. That cast a shadow on my community and thus my members. I unintentionally muted their voices by exclusively promoting mine.
That was a colossal mistake, but the greatest learning lesson.
One year ago, I decided to pivot and shift all my energy towards fostering my community; the results were astounding! I saw more than a 100% increase in unique visits compared to the previous year.
The most powerful change I made was shining a light on the content my members created.
My website went from being a news site to a community.
I constructed a new homepage that featured topics created by myself AND my members. This not only manifested a dynamic, constantly varied homepage, but also incentivized members to post thought-provoking and engaging topics in the hopes their content gets featured.
In my community, topics that are featured on the homepage are considerably more viewed and commented on than topics that aren’t. I suspect you’d find similar results.
Here’s how I set up my new homepage:
I utilized Invision Community’s custom blocks feature. It’s available with the Pages application.
I created a new block plugin, selected “topic feed” from the list, then set the permissions in the Feed Configuration tab to only show “featured” topics from members. I also used @opentype's SuperTopics plugin to give a more-polished look. Might sound a bit complex, but it’s rather intuitive.
Community leaders can “feature” members’ content by selecting their topic and in the moderation panel, tap “Feature.”
“Featuring” content isn’t the only powerful tool Invision Community has baked into its software to highlight your members’ content. We’ve also carefully crafted a promotion option to manually select content that’s included on the “Our Picks” page and corresponding block. This is another powerful method to curate community content.
We created a guide on how to set up promotion/our picks.
With great power comes great responsibility
The ability to “feature” content is a privilege only moderators in your community should have access to – at least in the beginning. Avoid giving any member the ability to freely feature their own content onto the homepage - instead, focus on manually curating the content. Be selective and choose what topics you want to represent your community.
By creating a standard, your homepage won’t feature any and all content. Instead, it’ll display items you believe will pack the greatest punch.
Featuring your members' content visibly shows your desire to embrace your community. It’s one thing to comment on members’ topics, it’s another to feature and promote them for all to see. That’s the secret sauce of curation.
Do you agree? Disagree? Have any suggestions? Curate content in your own community? How many questions can I ask in a row? Drop us a line in the comments below!
abobader reacted to Jordan Invision for an entry, Drum roll please… announcing Achievements!
One of the overarching goals for any community leader is to shine a bright light on your members. Their contributions should be publicly recognized. Now with Invision Community’s new Achievements system... you can!
Achievements is Invision Community’s native gamification system baked into our latest update, 4.6.
We’ve dreamed up innovative actions for community leaders to publicly recognize members who show up and participate in meaningful ways.
Award Points and badges based on conditional Rules!
Here’s what you need to know...
Our Achievements Points system keeps a running tally of Points. Members may earn Points in a multitude of ways. Essentially, it’s achieved by participating in the community.
Create a topic? Points! Post a reply? Points! Follow another member? Nothing. Just kidding… Points!!!
This is done through creating Rules.
Rules are actionable processes set up in the admin panel.
Here are what members can earn Points for:
Member joins a club Reaction is given New poll is created User follows a content item Review is posted Member logs in for the first time that day New club is created Content item/comment is promoted or featured Comment/reply is posted User follows a forum, blog, gallery, category etc User votes on a poll User is followed New content item is posted Post is marked as best answer There are also corresponding When/Then Rules for each item listed above.
When this action happens, then this subsequent action happens.
Example: when a member posts 10 times, then this Badge is awarded.
Community leaders can also create specific Rules when deciding what actions earn Badges.
For example, reward your members with a Badge for visiting your community for 20 days.
Once a member reaches 20 visits or more over 20 days, the Achievements system will automatically award them a ‘20 Visits’ Badge you’ve previously created.
In 4.6, we’ve completely revamped our Ranks system to communicate with Achievements.
Achievements’ Ranks system will replace our previous Ranks system*
Set up different Ranks based on how many Points a member earns. Ranks display a members’ perceived value to the community. The higher a members’ Rank, the greater their influence because the more they’ve participated.
Ranks are currently for prestige at the moment.
Here's our example for a pretend Coconut community:
There’s a lot of information to absorb here, but if there’s anything to take away from this blog post it’s this: empower your contributing members with Achievements and watch your community grow. It creates an immersive and elevated experience for your die-hards. And hey, who doesn’t love to earn?
When 4.6 and Achievements is officially released for all, we’ll hold a live Q&A event for you to join and ask any questions you may have.
Props? Concerns? Comments? Questions? We’d love for you to sound off in the comments! Not only because we want to hear from you, but because it’ll earn you some sweet, sweet Points, too!
abobader reacted to Mark for an entry, 4.4: Recurring PayPal Payments and more with Braintree and Commerce
Braintree is a payment gateway provided by PayPal which provides some great additional features for PayPal transactions including a significantly improved recurring payments model. We are delighted to be bringing full support for Braintree for Commerce in Invision Community 4.4.
What is Braintree?
Braintree is a payment gateway provided by PayPal which supports taking payments by credit cards (including Apple Pay and Google Pay) and Venmo as well as PayPal, providing a good option for communities wanting to use a single payment gateway, and also brings improved functionality for recurring PayPal transactions.
For PayPal transactions, there are no additional fees and the checkout experience uses the normal PayPal experience your customers are used to.
Recurring PayPal Improvements
Recurring payments / Billing Agreements in PayPal have up until now been initiated by PayPal. Invision Community tells PayPal what the renewal terms of a purchase are, but then it's up to PayPal to take that payment and notify your community when it succeeds (or fails).
This comes with a number of limitations and problems. It makes it difficult for you as an admin to modify an existing purchase or for the customer to upgrade/downgrade. It also means the customer has to create separate Billing Agreements for each purchase. Most significantly though, it means if there is a delay in receiving the payment (such as an expired card) it is sometimes unclear what should happen on your community's end, and how it can be resolved if/when the payment is received.
Other payment gateways work the other way around. When a customer pays by card, for example, they have the option of storing their card details. Later, if they make another purchase or a renewal invoice is generated, Invision Community can tell the gateway to recharge the same card - and if it fails, allow the customer to provide an alternative payment method. This allow both you and your customers to have much greater control, and is much more reliable.
Braintree resolves this by allowing customers when paying with PayPal to save their PayPal account in the same way they would save a credit card on file. When paying with PayPal, users will see a simple checkbox which, if checked, will allow future payments to be taken with PayPal automatically.
Storing PayPal Accounts for Recurring Payments
In addition to an improved checkout experience, our integration with Braintree supports:
Taking payments by Credit Card, including 3DSecure checking and the ability for customer to store card details on file. Braintree uses a fully PCI-compliant method of taking card details in a way that ensures the card information never reaches your server. Apple Pay and Google Pay Venmo, which also allows storing accounts in the same way as PayPal accounts. Offering PayPal Credit Handling chargebacks/disputes Support for Braintree's Advanced Fraud Tools
A Disputed PayPal Transaction
Existing Setups and Upgrading
The existing PayPal gateway will continue to be available for basic PayPal integration, and your existing set up will continue to work exactly as it does now after upgrading.
If you are using PayPal, especially if you are using Billing Agreements, we strongly recommend switching to Braintree after upgrading. While it isn't possible to convert existing Billing Agreements, you can allow existing ones to continue to work and use Braintree for new purchases.
Please note that while existing setups will work fine, from 4.4 it will no longer be possible to set up a new PayPal method with either Billing Agreements, or to take payments by card, as PayPal has deprecated the API this was using in favour of Braintree and it can no longer be enabled on new accounts.
As mentioned though, this does not affect any existing setups, which, if you do not switch to Braintree, will continue to work as they do now.
This blog is about our upcoming release Invision Community 4.4.
abobader reacted to Rikki 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.