Claudia999 reacted to Matt for an entry, 3 Improvements to Spam Management in 4.6
Spam is as much a part of life on the internet as emoji overuse, serial GIF abuse and regretful tweeting.
But I'm not here to talk about how I conduct myself online; I wanted to talk about three spam improvements coming to Invision Community 4.6.
As you may be aware, Invision Community has its own Spam Defense functionality, which uses a mixture of crowdsourced data, publicly available data and our own special sauce to help reduce the number of spam accounts that get through the registration system. Invision Community also has several other tools to mitigate spam post-registration.
These tools have served us well, but as spammers evolve, so must our systems. Here's what's coming to our next release.
Spam Defense Scoring
I can't divulge too much on our Spam Defense system lest we give spammers targeting Invision Community information that can assist them. Still, we have made several changes to our Spam Defense system. These include rebalancing the score thresholds, checking against known TOR networks and proxies and using other data in the public domain to inform our scoring decisions.
Spam Defense Blocking
The current implementation of our Spam Defense only allows options to either prevent registration entirely or put the registration in an approval queue. However, the days when Spam Bots stood out from normal registrations are long gone, and it's hard to know if an account in an approval queue is legitimate or not.
In 4.6, we've added a new Spam Defense option that you can choose to allow the registration but put the new members into the posting approval queue, meaning their posts will need moderator approval before being published.
This reduces the decision burden and makes it easier to take a chance on a low score from the Spam Defense system and review their posts before they are made public.
We have added a new option to the Word Filters to allow content containing specific words or phrases to be held for moderator approval where the author has less than a set threshold of posts.
For example, you may notice an increase in spam targeting "CBD Oil" and add it to the word filter list to hold the content for moderator approval. This works great and captures a good number of spam posts; however, your regular members get frustrated when they want to talk about CDB Oil in their posts.
This new option allows you to set a trust level for allowing these words to be used without capturing them for approval.
We hope these three changes to our spam controls will reduce the level of spam you get in your community!
I'd love to know what's the weirdest spam (that is safe for work!) you've seen in your community.
Claudia999 reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.5: Forum View Updates
Invision Community has had different view modes for a good number of years.
Forum grid view was added to create some visual interest when listing forums, and we've had expanded and condensed view modes in streams since they were introduced.
We've taken both of these views a step further in Invision Community 4.5
Forum Grid View
To create even more visual interest, the grid view now allows you to upload, or choose a stock image for the header. This instantly makes for a more dynamic and inviting forum list.
The new grid view image headers
You can choose an image from the Admin CP when creating or editing a forum.
Choose a stock photo, or upload your own
Topic List View
For the topic list view, we have taken inspiration from our stream view options to introduce a new 'expanded' view mode, which displays a snippet of the first post.
The new expanded topic list mode
This immediately entices you to engage with the topic because you can read part of the post without having to click inside to see if it interests you.
This is controlled via the Admin CP, where you can choose the default view, or turn off the new view completely.
You may notice a few other subtle changes in these screenshots. The first is that we now included the follower count as a metric on both the forum grid view and the topic expanded view modes. The number of followers is usually a good indicator of how others perceive the value of the content. A higher follower count generally means a more engaging topic or forum.
You can also see that we've switched to a short number format to keep the displays clean. Instead of say, "2,483 posts", it will merely say "2.5k posts". Reducing visual clutter is always crucial to maintaining a clean user interface.
We hope that you find these new view modes useful and that they make your community even more vibrant!
Claudia999 reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.5: Topic view summary and more
A topic is more than a collection of posts; it's a living entity that ebbs and flows over time.
Evergreen topics can see month-long gaps between posts and longer topics spanning numerous pages can end up hard to navigate through to find useful content.
With this in mind, we've added numerous improvements to the topic view to bring context and summaries key areas within the topic.
Topic view updates
The first thing you likely spotted in the above screenshot is the new sidebar. This acts much like a summary of activity within the topic. It very quickly lets you know how old the topic is and how long it has been since the last reply. This context is essential if you are unwittingly replying to an older topic.
Most topics are driven by a handful of key members. The topic activity section shows you who have been most active, which may influence which posters you give greater authority to.
Likewise, popular days lets you dig into the 'meat' of the topic which may have evolved quickly over several days.
More often than not, a single post attracts more reactions if it is particularly helpful or insightful, and this is shown too.
Finally, a mini gallery of all upload images allows you to review media that has been attached to posts.
The topic activity summary under the first post
This activity bar can be shown either as a sidebar or underneath the first post in a topic. If you enable it for mobile devices, then it will show under the first post automatically.
The topic activity summary on mobile
As with many new features in Invision Community, you have several controls in the Admin CP to fine-tune this to your communities needs.
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted a few other changes to the topic view.
The first is the badge underneath the user's photo. The shield icon notes that this poster is part of the moderation team. Of course, this badge can be hidden for communities that do not like to draw attention to all their moderators.
You will also notice that when the topic starter makes a reply to a topic, they get an "author" badge as their reply may carry more authority.
When you scroll down a topic, it's not often apparent that there has been a significant time gap between replies. For some topical topics (see what I did there) this may alter the context of the conversation.
We have added a little identifier between posts when a period of time has passed between posts.
These changes add a little context to the topic to give you more insight into how the replies direct the conversation.
The new topic activity summary gives you an at-a-glance overview of key moments and posters to help you navigate longer topics.
We hope that you and your members enjoy these new features coming to Invision Community 4.5!
Claudia999 reacted to Matt for an entry, A call to arms for community leaders
We are currently living through one of the most turbulent times in history.
A once-in-a-century pandemic has a grip on all of us.
Whatever the outcome, come the end of the year, few of us are going to be the same again. We will have to sacrifice our personal freedoms, and some of us much more.
Like you, I'm worried about my family, my friends and neighbours. I'm watching the news, scrolling through social media and consuming articles from scientists, scholars and doctors.
The news coming out of Italy is truly heartbreaking. Doctors and nurses have to make life and death decisions daily as they wage war with the virus. Those of us in the UK and the USA are nervously watching the graphs climb in lockstep of Italy from just a few weeks ago.
It would be easy to succumb to fear and withdraw completely.
But as community leaders, we cannot.
Let us take some inspiration from the brave people of Italy who have suffered much with an overstretched health care system and enforced quarantine yet still sing from their apartments in a display of resolve.
In a time where we have to remain apart, we must come together.
We have to keep showing up and leading.
We must focus on what we still have and not what is being taken away.
Now more than ever, we are needed to keep the world connected. To bring comfort; to support and to love each other.
This year is going to test every one of us.
But whatever comes our way, I know that we are stronger together.
"Their faithful and zealous comradeship would almost between night and morning clear the path of progress and banish from all our lives the fear which already darkens the sunlight to hundreds of millions of men."
Claudia999 reacted to Joel R for an entry, Happy New Year to the IPS Community
On behalf of the Invision Community staff and company, I'd like to wish our clients and community warm blessings and gratitude for the New Year.
We're proud to be the community platform of choice for you and your organization over the past year (or decade!), empowering you and your users with the space to debate, discuss, investigate, solve, innovate and celebrate a shared sense of purpose. The ability to positively touch and connect with the lives of others regardless of location is one of the most transformative benefits of the modern web -- and there's never been a greater demand or need for online communities to connect members in an authentic, branded experience.
Your community is the gift that keeps on giving, and we're delighted to be a part of it.
Here's a round-up of the 2019's most visited, most commented, and most clicked-on articles from the Invision Community Blog:
Invision Community managers use tools like Saved Actions and Auto Moderation to work smarter with 5 of the best time saving features Avoid the Engagement Trap, a never-ending race that measures all the wrong metrics in a community The crowd goes wild in the teaser announcement of the forthcoming mobile apps for iOS and Android Go back in a time machine with a Decade in Review - a celebration and testament to the enduring power of community. Once again, may the magic and wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the year!
Claudia999 reacted to Joel R for an entry, How To Create Value from an Online Community
Online communities shine with the brilliance of humanity. Every day, our communities inspire, evoke, inform, motivate and engage in a hundred different ways. Every member feels a uniquely individual sense of value from your community.
For too many communities, the strategy revolves around two simple pillars: content and engagement. You inform. You engage. And you think your job is done. However, you’ve barely scratched the surface of offering value.
You need to expand the ways in which you strategically match your community to member value.
New studies are coming out that show humans feel up to 27 emotions from admiration to triumph, and the best communities unleash a rainbow spectrum of value – functional and emotional, business to social - for their organizations and for their members. This results in not just deeper and more extensive engagement, but greater financial payoff.
Indeed, research from global management consulting firm Bain & Company shows brands like Apple, Samsung, and Amazon that demonstrate multiple elements of value have x3 greater customer loyalty and x4 faster revenue growth than others.
The elements of value can be divided into two broad categories.
Specialize in Functional Value
Don’t deliver content. Deliver time savings, cost savings, risk savings, organization, connection, education, and variety.
What is the utility benefit to your users?
Functional values are the core reasons why members would visit your community. It forms the baseline rationale for your community’s existence, and you want to not just be good – you want to be the best in delivering functional value in your field.
Improve your Q&A boards for feedback, inquiry, or ideation. Provide a template in a pinned topic where users fill out a consistent set of questions, so you can answer with the most appropriate and accurate options. Use moderator tools like Recommended Replies to summarize and spotlight key points in a topic. This saves time and focuses attention on expert information. Super-charge the training for your response team. Empower them to be subject experts by giving them private training, templates, and extra resources in a staff wiki so they can investigate the unique needs of user inquiries and provide the best responses. Build a set of content resources in the Pages application, which is the most powerful application in the suite. It can be used to create a set of content resources with unlimited custom fields, filters, and templates enabling you to offer variety, organization, and education that no other competitor can match. Spark Emotional Value
Don’t deliver engagement. Deliver admiration, amusement, awe, empathy, joy, nostalgia, satisfaction, and triumph.
How does your community make your members feel better?
Here’s a little secret. Even though functional value is the foundation of your community’s value proposition, emotional elements are 50% more valuable. Fortunately, Invision Community comes loaded with ways to recognize, reward, and promote members.
Take the time to explain the purpose of a new group promotion, rank, or title. Don’t let the reward be the goal in and of itself. You should connect the feature with its underlying emotion by explaining what steps are required to earn the rank, how many others earned it, and what it’ll take to earn the next one. Start with the Leaderboard. Invision Community ships with the Leaderboard, which provides an overview of the most popular users and content. Scan for up-and-coming members to investigate what triggers their emotional satisfaction; scan for popular content to discover what excites your membership. Create multiple member journeys. Most communities follow a pattern of new member to trusted member to moderator. But members can become superusers in many ways. Members who enjoy nostalgia can organize a Year-in-Review topic. Members who enjoy affiliation should serve as Ambassadors to greet and mentor new members. Members who seek reputation will appreciate new outlets for publishing. Define multiple pathways that strategically tap into the diverse desires of your members. As you implement your initiatives to build a Community of Excellence, take the time to relate the initiative to the Elements of Value (Attachment: IPS Elements of Value Attachment.pdf). You’ll find new and creative ways of offering value to strengthen the relationship between your community and your members.
Look deep within your community to unearth the rainbow spectrum of value.
You’ll discover a wellspring of extraordinary value waiting to help your members shine brightest.