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Chris Anderson

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Entry Comments posted by Chris Anderson

  1. 1 hour ago, Jheroen said:

    Does this release break things or just change things?

    I will leave it up to you to read through the release notes and various topics scattered about in regards to this release.  As there will likely be several 4.6.x builds there are always the chance that the next several releases will require software fixes or code be changed as a consequence of customer feedback.  


  2. 26 minutes ago, Jheroen said:

    Can it be i don't see the update available in the dashboard?

    The release is currently in a "Soft Launch" phase.  If you "really" want to upgrade now you can create a constants.php file and paste the following php script in it:


    Click on "Check for Updates" and you should get a dialog box letting you know a new update is available.  Please backup your site and read all about "Achievements" and other postings about this release.  There are many things changed, deprecated and added that will likely impact every site in some fashion or another.

  3. Adding an new entry under Applications for "Achievements" would provide consistency and allow a member to toggle between "Disabled" and "Enabled".  Disabled should be the default setting to allow an admin to decide when they are ready to implement Achievements for their site.  Many site owners will choose to spend months planning, waiting on graphic designers to create a personalized set of badges or wait for Achievements to mature to a point that it fully meets their needs. 


  4. @Jordan Invision As Achievements won't meet my site's needs (as it currently stands) I do not wish to have it enabled.  What are the steps to completely disable it? I would like the steps to be provided for upgrading a site or installing it from scratch.

    It would be nice to see a brand new sample site made available by IPS with Achievements setup and running that members could join to see how it works with everyone starting at the same level.  The site could be dedicated to only discussing Achievements.  The information gathered there could be utilized in determining various use cases and how best to setup and administer them.  Achievements could prove to be a very beneficial for some sites but if implemented incorrectly it could cause real harm to a community.  Through "real" collaboration with other site owners the amount of less than optimal rollouts may be minimized.

    The information gathered could be utilized by the person assigned the responsibility of writing the official IPS documentation for Achievements.

  5. 32 minutes ago, Unienc said:

    When will the official & stable version 4.6 be released?

    This site has been running 4.6 Alpha for only a few days now.  Based on previous 4.x releases, it will take several beta releases before IPS makes it available for download in your client area.  Once it's available there, it will take several 4.6.x releases before its "really" considered stable and the marketplace developers begin releasing updates to their products. 

    If your site doesn't use marketplace apps a stable 4.6 will likely be available 2 to 3 months from now. If you are dependent on marketplace apps it could be many months before they get updated especially if the developer has lots of apps to update. There are a fair amount of apps that haven't yet been updated to 4.5 so it seems that updating isn't as easy to accomplish as it would seem.

    This timeline is based on IPS keeping Achievements "as is".  If they should decide to take customer feedback into consideration and include their various suggestions to change, add or delete functionality then the timeline could be extended much further.  Time will tell...

  6. A community leader is still a top down leader even if they work hard to be generally accepted as "one of us".

    There might be value in also having at least one Community Advocate who advocates for the community leaders and the community members.

    A single point of contact the community can interact with to advocate for various site improvements, changes or deletions or anything else the community feels strongly about. This would lighten the load of the the community leaders allowing them to be more present  which should allow them to be seen as 'one of us" more readily. 

    Does this sound familiar to anyone?

    I'm not advocating for any particular title here, just using them for illustration purposes.


  7. It's probably a good idea when in the role of community leader to hit the pause button on any communications you might feel inclined to send to individuals or the community until such a time as you "really" have a feel for your community and you have adopted a communication style that works for them and elicits the responses you are hoping for.

    Your initial communication might not be the best approach and once sent can't be retrieved.  

    You should consider giving your communication another once over a few hours later or the next day, maybe you might see something in the communication that might be better worded or an entirely different approach might come to mind. I know this is hard as we have become so ingrained to utilizing instant communication. 

    You should gauge your community to determine if you should write at the high school or college level as well as how technical they are.

    With that knowledge you can better determine which words you could readily use in your communications as well as how detailed you might have to be. 

    On the other hand you need to be cognizant aware of the fact that If you are too wordy then you might lose people with extremely short attention spans. Know any Twitter or heavy sms users?

  8. @Jordan InvisionI posted a comment in another forum posting about the fact I have come to know a fair amount of personal details about the staff here.   There was a time when they were more personally vulnerable and open with the community. Heck @Matt was the first blogger I kept tabs on.  That was long before blogs became a "thing". They "were" community leaders here but over time became Admins. 

    When you start out as an admin and morph into a community leader its important to not to go back to being an admin as your members will miss the connection they had when they were a community leader.  You might take on lots of extra duties running your site making it difficult to find time to be community leader  an effort should be made to carve out a few moments each day to put on the community leader hat.

    Any site bad news you may have to impart onto your community will incur less of a sting if it comes from community leader versus admin.  Community leaders are "one of us" while admins are often seen as cold uncaring individuals who think "it's my way or the highway".


  9. The more successful your customers are the more likely they will purchase additional products and services from your firm. This product could help many sites stick around for the long term or grow to a point that switching to your hosting platform is within their means. As customers many of us have invested thousands of dollars in your company by paying for self hosted licenses and renewals, maybe you could return the favor by investing in your customer's success. I would recommend making it available to self hosted customers with the understanding that they assume responsibility for all support and if they run it on underpowered servers they will experience suboptimal results. 

    Right now we 'really' don't know how this product might enhance our communities. It will require lots of experimentation and sharing of what works or doesn't before the community will embrace the value of this new service. Maybe it will turn out this service holds great appeal to the vast majority of your customers or just a handful.  Limiting it's adoption will limit it's potential for attaining that "great appeal".

  10. Your advice is great Jordan, unfortunately, a very small percentage of individuals lending toxicity to a site are having a bad moment or moments.  They are simply jerks, they know they are jerks and nothing you or I or anyone reading this blog post is likely to change them for the better via “kindness and vulnerability”.  Not that I’m not advocating you not give your suggestions the ole college try.  As the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

    It really comes down to the value of your individual forums and the topics and subsequent comments posted by your members.  In other words, what is the “real” value of the interactions taking place on your site in the grand scheme of things… The higher the “perceived” value the more likely a culture of “caring” (that kindness and vulnerability thing you mentioned) will spring up among your members.

    Elevating the conversations to ever higher levels will get people to slow down and think a moment before responding to posts or creating new ones. This is where moderation can be handy.  If you have moderators or willing members help steer conversations that veer off into tangents back on topic or pose thought provoking comments to get others to “really” engage their brains (and never, ever feed the trolls) the jerks will quickly see this isn’t the place for them and they will move on.

  11. I know there is an ACP toggle to force users to acknowledge new terms of service or privacy policy before being allowed to use the board. Could a similar process be created for this new feature? Have a dialog box appear with an explanation of the new feature and a list of who will be able to ascertain user name and for what purpose.  User clicks on an accept button and only then can they post anonymously.

  12. 59 minutes ago, C4D Cafe said:

    OH man, this could also be abused so much! 😄 But I hope it will not go that way

    Setting expectations will be paramount to successfully utilize this forum software and this new feature in particular.


  13. It's important to "really" know your audience.  Many people tasked with communicating to a wide audience assume readers have sufficient "real world" experience and college-level reading ability (In the language being used) in which to be able to "really" understand the message that is trying to be conveyed.  

    There was a time people actually had a love of words, think back to the time of Shakespeare.  Now it seems people take a certain pride in trying to communicate with others with the fewest characters (not words) they can.  This is causing people to have shorter and shorter attention spans.  

    "Executive Summaries" are a great way of providing a simplified explanation of a topic and cater to those folks with short attention spans. 

    If you choose to use abbreviations or words not commonly used it is helpful to provide an explanation of their meaning.  

    Lastly, writers often focus their attentions on details (or choosing just the right words) and completely forget to call the readers to some kind of action.  Some folks have more time than money, while others have money but little free time.  Most any call to action can readily utilize both so don't focus all of your attention on one group.  Give your readers a multitude of ways to be of service in the short and long term.  






  14. 18 minutes ago, openfire said:

    ^This. Just give me a clue... are we talking days, weeks or months??? 

    Although there might not be a lot of "big" improvements in this release there are a fair amount of little tweaks and additions that will have to be tested.  This particular release will likely require many marketplace apps and themes to be updated and the developers may discover a bug or two that should be fixed prior to a 4.4 release.  So far none of the customers have been given access to download a beta so it is anyone's guess how long the beta testing process will take or if it will require 4.4.1, or more dot builds to reach stability.   Sometime this Spring would be a good guess

  15. Update 4.3.3 is probably set in stone at this point in time.  Although it would be nice (from my perspective) to have many of the suggestions mentioned in various forum postings included in 4.3.3 it is a good start.  Many of the suggestions will require additional discussions in order to fully understand all of the pros and cons and determine how many customers will actually use it.  Should a suggestion be included in a future update or could one of the developers step up and create an app for the marketplace. Such conversations should probably occur in a separate forum posting.  I am only mentioning this as I seemed to have sparked an ongoing conversation around TSPs suggestion which has inspired others to offer up suggestions themselves.

  16. 1 hour ago, TSP said:

    @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. 

    If you have deleted a handful of members and their content has been merged to Guest you will probably have several hundred postings over time.  Someone that took the time to read through all of these "Guest" postings would find it difficult to guess which posting was made by which prior member.  If the same postings were attributed to various "defined" accounts as mentioned above someone "could" comb through the site and see all of the content a particular deleted member wrote.  Those postings might include enough clues that someone could conceivably figure out the identity of the poster. "If" content left behind by a departing members "could" be attributed to them is the content "really" anonymized?  Something to consider.

  17. 2 hours ago, O9C4 said:

    Will my community be cut off from the European members and traffic after 25 may, if no actions from me as Administrator regarding the GDPR?

    GDPR should be readily understood and easy to adopt.  The fact you asked your question means the people rolling out this new regulation failed to adequately inform the populace about it in a way that could be easily understood by one and all.  Lawyers themselves may find themselves puzzling over the wording of the regulation and it is quite likely many a law suit will be launched to bring clarity to various aspects of it.  Some if it is likely to be changed or deleted as consequence. You are responsible for adhering to GDPR even if it is flawed and you don't fully understand it.  Ignorance of the law is no defense in the court of law.

    Nothing is likely to happen at first.  I imagine the individuals tasked with enforcing this regulation will focus their attentions on websites that inspired the adoption of this regulation in order to make an example of them.  They will probably move on to websites after that who have made no effort whatsoever towards trying to be compliant.

    Every website owner will have to make a personal determination if they feel comfortable that they can come to understand the GDPR enough to know what changes (if any) need to be made on their website and have the wherewithal to make those changes or sufficient resources to hire legal and technical expertise to handle it for them.  The GDPR is likely to cause many website owners to decide the effort to become compliant with GDPR and other initiatives around privacy and security is just too much.  You and others members of this forum will have to make that decision in the coming months.

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