Maxxius reacted to GTServices in 4x4 Growth Hacks 🚀
GREAT TIPS @Joel R!!
I love it when I see members tagging other members. That in itself is evidence that it's an effective feature!
Oftentimes, members didn't even know that it existed until someone tags them. (You see the numbers grow after each use.)
If you don't have a Similar Content block directly after your first topic than you are missing out on a BIG opportunity!!!
Improves Engagement. Improves Bounce Rate Improves Conversion Rate Improves SEO. (Related content helps Google and other bots better understand your content. It also helps with internal links.) NOTES: The closer the block is to the main content the more effective it is. Sidebar block doesn't help much since GOOGLE and your users are now focused on mobile.
I find you win BIG when you use Similar Content with controlled tags. What I mean by this is that only a certain group of people (eg. staff) are allowed to tag topics. This keeps the crap out.
Maxxius reacted to AlexWebsites in 4x4 Growth Hacks 🚀
I use the built in IPS similar content block which is driven by tags and I also use a secondary block for similar topics based on content by @A Zayed which works out well for topics that don't have tags and ads more content to the page for readers and SEO.
Maxxius reacted to jair101 in Boundaries & Identity: Building Membership in a Community
@Joel R, Thanks for the feedback. My post was more like illustrating a concept then actual looking for an advice. I have most of your suggestions implemented, on top of my board is introductions and welcome forum, right below it are instructions for newbies. Each newbie receives a friendly welcome message pointing to the organization of the community - simple enough to be followed, not complicated enough to overwhelm them. I do have some paths to knowledge within my forums, if the newbie wants to put the effort to follow them. I think I got the newbie bases covered.
Still...the reality is a little bit more complicated. If I have to dig deeper, I would say that most actively travelling people are a bit egocentric. These people have their own blogs, they are a bit stubborn in a sense that their way is the only correct way, they hardly accept different opinions, etc. Most of the time you won't find the people doing self-organized trip from Amazon river answering basic questions on Trip Advisor. I try to nurture these people as much as I can, because they really enrich each discussion they participate in - I do add badges to people with many visited countries, to people that often share their travels in trip reports, etc. But still I am sure that many of them feel the discussions are below their level. It is up to me to figure out if I need the grumpiest of them when I am certain they will never make it within a community anyway. They are lone wolves and have them at the expense of my sometimes basic but very enthusiastic newbies is not something I like. Anyway, its an additional complication, which comes with the travel niche, I am sure other niches have similar specifics.
If I have to summarize it to one sentence, one should be careful to set the boundaries high enough, but still to make them jumpable. I think thats one of the axioms of gamification too - make the achievement hard enough so the person can feel a sense of accomplishment, but not impossible so he doesn't participate and give in easily.
And one should be aware of the signals your community is giving - are the discussions too basic and thin to your liking - try to toughen up on newbies, because usually they are responsible for the thin discussions. Are the discussions too few with rarely a new member contributing - try to relax the atmosphere and make it less elitist. This should be actively controlled by the admin, but my experience is that many admins dont realize the importance of it and let it go with the flow.
To lighten up a little bit in the end, sometimes no matter what you do the result is like this:
Maxxius reacted to jair101 in Boundaries & Identity: Building Membership in a Community
You need to be careful with the height of the boundary, though. While jumping it might be satisfying and rewarding for the member that will feel accepted, at the same time failing to jump it might leave a lot of potential useful members out. An example from my real life experience:
I have joined my first forum waaay back in 2001. Back then it was the most popular discussion option in a very specific niche - Formula 1 racing. We had real life meetings and parties, we had many internal jokes incomprehensible for outsiders, we developed strong relationships that last until today. However, entering our club wasn't easy - we really knew our stuff so newbies with basic questions or not well very well presented arguments were often ridiculed - not directly, sometimes with a joke only we can understand, but in the end it created a bit of a hostile, unwelcoming atmosphere for newbies.
As it is natural through the years many of the regular members dropped out due to losing interest or other issues and there were no fresh members to replace them, because of the stuff explained in previous paragraph. So eventually the size of the community thinned out and it died. Now, 18 years later, I have met one of my best friends in this forum, including my life partner, however what is left of it is a facebook messenger chat with 5 people. The forum is still online, but this is its most recent posts list:
So, yes, keeping the entry boundary high will result in a long term lasting friendships and really dedicated members. The higher the boundary, the tighter the friendships. However it will also be the most probable certain death of the community - sooner or later people within the borders will leave and the newer ones won't be able to jump high enough.
So, it is an extremely delicate balance. I would argue it is probably the most important detail you need to figure out - how hard you want it to be for new members. Do you want to have facebook and twitter login available that will attract a lot of members, but many of them will post thin questions and the percentage of well defined meaningful discussions will drop. Or you want a steeper entry curve, which might lead to have very few really meaningful discussions, but you will eventually lose critical mass and the community will die. Unfortunately you can't have both.
To find this balance you need to adhere to your mission statement. On my current forum, I am removing posts that are hostile towards newbies, even though some of them might be fair - a newbie asks a question that has been answered thousand of times, or a newbie asks 5 questions without contributing answers to other peoples questions, etc. This alienates the elders, some of them even might scream "censorship!" and leave, which will be a big overall loss to the community as most of them have invaluable knowledge. However, this is the path I have chosen and I am adhering to it.
My niche is travel and I have decided that this is the mission statement of my forum - I want to make self organized travel more popular and reduce the monopoly of travel agencies that shoehorn all people in the same boiler plate travel programs and charge pretty penny for their easily replaceable services on top of that. This means that very often there are newbies that take their first self organized flight and will always ask question about cabin bags size or liquid limits. This definitely dilutes the the discussions, imagine that such basic topics are always popping up on latest list, instead a story from a long self-organized trip from a little known country like Uzbekistan. However, for me I have decided that I want to be newbie friendly instead of elitist. I want to have 10 people that will make their first self-organized trip to Rome (Rome is very easy to organize when you are in Europe - tons of cheap flights, concentrated and easy accessible main attractions, etc.), instead of 2 people that will discuss their Nepal trecks. In the long term, the Nepal guys are the ones that will contribute very unique and quality content to my community, but it doesn't help with the Rome guys who will book with travel agency if they can't find a place that will provide friendly answers to their basic questions. I do want to have it both, really, but it is hard and next to impossible to achieve.
I do hope to realize a gamification idea I have, which will reward the quality and unique discussions more, I hope it will help. I am in the process of defining the project requirements and will post it here if we can community fund it. We'll see.
Very interesting topic.
Maxxius reacted to Joel R in Guest Blog: Discover Activity Streams
To give some background information on this topic, I'm a really big advocate in transforming IPS from a support community into a knowledge community with best practices and thought leadership for community management. And that's why I love the topic of Activity Streams, because it combines both strategy and product knowledge.
I'd love to hear examples of how you've customized or tweaked the Activity Streams to fit your community.
Maxxius reacted to Joel R in Boundaries & Identity: Building Membership in a Community
You're welcome! I'm glad you're getting some useful pointers from these articles.
I really wish I had these kinds of thought provoking articles on community management when I was first starting out, so I'm trying to jumpstart the success of others. These articles are really meant to provide an easy core foundation for all Invision Community admins and owners to think deeply about how to build a better community.
Sometimes I feel as if community managers try to rely too much on technology to solve all their problems. Install a new app! Request customization! Focus on SEO and sitemaps! When in reality, there's this whole component to sparking human connection which is far more important. People have been building communities for thousands of years, and the tenets of community building have been around forever.
In short, whether you build your tribe in digital or offline, you'll always need to think about things like boundaries, identification, rituals, and more. Get those right and the community will follow.
Maxxius reacted to Fierce God in Master your community's lifecycle to increase your growth
Thank you for this Joel.
One of our "Rookie Mistakes" back in 2017 was that we tried to have every single app and plugin that the marketplace offered, then try to "cram" it all into One place, not creating "doors" that led into other places to find "More"
Also we were changing Themes way to much and too often
Now, we have staff meetings every week, we have each staff member familiar with IPS and it's Powerful Core Features, then they are always going thru the marketplace to research key apps and plugins to make sure they are needed, not needed, and pro's vs con's of having them
Maxxius reacted to Joel R in Why I try and avoid the F word in public
Better than "bulletin boards" 😂
Regardless of the name, I think discussion communities will always serve a growing importance in an increasingly digital world. The ones who can be the best in their niche will be able to serve a digitally global audience, solopreneuers can now reach customers everywhere, and brands can scale to any size and audience group with a community.
Maxxius reacted to opentype in Why I try and avoid the F word in public
Forums already existed in ancient Rome (as central places where people would get together to talk and do business). If it survived for 2000 years, it probably also can go on for a while. 😉
My choice of terms would depend on the circumstances. Community is fine too, but it also rather generic. A Facebook group can also be a community. Forums describes a specific functionality. Yes, it has certain connotations (like “old-school”), but not only bad ones. And it doesn’t have the bad connotations social media platforms currently get.
Maxxius reacted to Stuart Silvester in 4.4: Converter updates to make migrating to Invision Community even easier
The UI is greatly simplified so that this information isn't visible, we do however still log any issues to the database so that can be reviewed. It's important to remember that the converted counts won't always match, we mostly see this with vB where the database can contain a lot of orphaned data. Yes, any required rebuilds and processes are automatically started when the conversion is completed. Thanks for the feedback!
The converter saves ids for almost everything converted, vBulletin attachment.php URLs will be redirected automatically to the relevant location. We try to redirect as many (important) URLs as possible.
Maxxius reacted to GTServices in 4.4: Converter updates to make migrating to Invision Community even easier
This is great. I'm glad you put it together.
Something like this would have helped me months ago.
You want to convert more people over to IPS?
Create more videos, articles, and better guides and show how easy it is to use.
Think of small AND big board admins when creating these. Each group want to hear something specific ... something that helps them make a decision. Something that helps them take that first step.
I can tell you this...
Big Board admins would love to hear that IPS conversion script saves old topicids for mapping purposes (to redirect old urls to new). The more info you provide the better. (It was hard to find this info last year.)
One question that bugs me but haven't checked...
Does the conversion script save old attachment ids?? (Specifically images.) To redirect old attachment image URLs to new. I'm only asking because I know a lot of vbulletin sites that have accumulated many many images over the years. (Thinking SEO here.)
Maxxius got a reaction from AlexJ in 4.4: Extend Invision Community with the REST API
I have read about it but honestly I have no idea how it can benefit me. In what circumstances I could for example take advantage of the REST API? I'm running a community for 13 years now and when it come to API stuff I'm clueless.
Maxxius reacted to TSP in GDPR updates for Invision Community 4.3.3
@Matt On deletion of members:
Could there be an option to define the name to attribute to on that page directly? So we could input for example "Member 3312" (where 3312 would be their memberId). This will keep the discussion still somewhat reader friendly, so it would still be possible to differentiate different accounts as having written in the discussion, for readers reading old content.
Alternatively let the Anonymize attribution do a md5 hash on the (memberId+some community specific value that is unlikely to be changed) and grab the first 8 letters or something.