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Chris Anderson

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  1. I would recommend studying all of the legalese that you must agree to follow on eBay and other established marketplaces as a seller and purchaser as well as any requirements your payment processor may require of you setting up and operating an online marketplace. This should provide a sense of the complexity and legal and financial risks you will take on if you choose to proceed. You will also need to look at how your business is structured to insulate you both legally and financially from things that might go awry for your business. The business type you choose to operate under will impact what paperwork is required as well as how you file taxes. There are expenses and lots of paperwork required setting up and operating a non-sole proprietorship business and setting up a bank account. Not only will you have to engage a law firm, but you also will need advice from a tax accountant as to what applicable local, state, and federal paperwork you need to submit throughout the year and how to figure out how much your tax burden will be based on your anticipated sales volume. Unless your sales volume is "extremely" robust the expenses of setting up and running a marketplace as described above will cost more than you take in and take lots of your time managing it. You might consider setting up a dummy site as a thought experiment and ask your members to submit items for purchase and see what items are bought by your members during a set time using virtual currency. You will need to figure out how to deal with shipping goods from one member to another and how shipping costs are addressed as well as tracking of packages, damaged goods, or failure to deliver by shipper or failure of seller to ship items "as described". At the end you could determine what demand there really is for the items posted for sale and any possible profit you might attain after initial and ongoing expenses (don't forget to factor in the cost of failed transactions) determined from your research and consultations with a lawyer and accountant. Your payment processor should be able to provide you with an approximate failed transaction rate from their other marketplace accounts as well as how many they will tolerate before limiting or closing your account. The amount of failed transactions could increase the cost charged decreasing your potential profit margin. There is also the possibility that you might not have immediate access to all the money owed to you or they might hold a certain amount aside to address any transaction abnormalities. You should setup a sufficiently funded reserve account to cover your ongoing expenses in the event of payment delays. Implementing a marketplace will initiate a more robust review process of "you" and your business to determine if you have the proper process and procedures in place as well as required written guidelines as well as the overall feel of the site to determine if you are a worthy of credit increases, decreases or outright cancelation of your account. As such it's important to weigh the value of adding additional product offerings against the possibility of losing access to your payment processor entirely or paying much higher fees. The Fed has recently telegraphed the need for increasing interest rates to stave off inflation and the credit market has been lowering credit limits and making it harder to qualify and/or keep various credit-based products. Over the course of the next year, I would recommend everyone to be especially mindful of their personal and business credit and take additional steps to minimize "any" adverse problems logged with your payment processor to ensure the longevity and profitability of your site. Most payment processors place limits on how much they will process in any given period. Those may increase in time but isn't a given. It's good to ask what the criteria is to advance to a dollar amount that will work for your needs. If the requirements are too stringent for your site or will take too long it's best to know upfront. If you figure you could reach profitability if you submitted 20k a month to the processor and you were limited to 10k than the additional 10k worth of transactions would be denied and your account wouldn't reset until the first of the next month. How much additional stuff do members have to offer up for sale in the months and years ahead that other members would be willing to purchase? What's the potential profit to you? People have a finite amount of stuff to sell. Eventually the marketplace offerings will dwindle to next to nothing as everyone will have sold off their good stuff and it will take time before they have something good again to sell or you will have to continuously recruit "lots" of new members with stuff to sell. Will these new members with "stuff" be the kind of members that fit in well with your community? Will switching from being a place to socialize to a place for doing business be in the best interest of your site in the long term? Tough questions need to be asked of yourself and your community to figure out if this is a good path to explore and something the "community" and not "you" want. You need to look at how you can extract the transaction data provided utilizing this solution in a format your accountant will require to fill out the obligatory paper trail of running a business and ensure everyone is paid all that is due in a timely fashion. There is a possibility that you might be missing key data points, or it will need to be structured in an entirely different fashion. This should be addressed sooner rather than later to minimize missteps in your implementation which could cost you countless wasted hours and expense.
  2. As much as I hate to admit it to myself, I too am older now and getting more so by the second... ⏲️ IPS seems content with Clubs "as is" and hasn't communicated to the community (to my knowledge) that subforums or any other additional features are in the pipeline. They seem content on letting third-party developers step in and further develop it instead of doing it themselves. ☹️ At this point in time @InvisionHQ seems to be the only developer willing to take on the challenge of adding additional club enhancements outside of the functionality that the Members Shop provides.
  3. 📆 It will be ready when it's ready, and not a moment sooner. 📆
  4. The IPS Suite allows me to create nested forums as shown below: Your app allows you to create a forums only: Is there any way of creating nested forums within a club? If it isn't something currently available can such functionality be added? I would be willing to sponsor such functionality if it could be done.
  5. @AlexWebsitesUnfortunately, @bfarberis no longer affiliated with IPS. Check out the posting below:
  6. 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...
  7. Based on the various weekly recaps from @Jordan Invisionover the last few months it appears this release is yet again chock full of bug fixes, new features or changes big and small and various code depreciations. With the absence of a bug tracker and formalized process of community testing and bug submission, it appears for this release IPS has chosen sole ownership of the process. I applaud them for reaching a state in their development process that their team can discover and correct any problems entirely by themselves. That's something the whole community should applaud them for,
  8. @Jordan InvisionI imagine you were feeling a bit sad at the thought of leaving us one day... Well the feeling is mutual. Instead of expressing that "sadness" you didn't write words, you resorted to a single emoji as there wasn't an appropriate reaction to capture what you were feeling. Why did you not write something out like you advocated for above? Don't you deserve that little extra attention? How many different interpretations of a single emoji are there likely to be from everyone that skims through this thread? Did I read your emoji accurately? Maybe, maybe not. Alas, forum communication can become quite nuanced and what might seem obvious to the writer might not be so to the intended reader or the rest of the community.
  9. @The Old ManYour original posting could have benefited from further elaboration. After many comments its becoming quite clear that the issue you brought up is a lot more complicated and nuanced than it appears at first glance. I gave your pizza comment a "like". Speaking of pizza, its great 24 hours a day hot or cold. Everyone: A community can add value to a conversation via commenting or reactions and sometimes both. "If" reactions are to be added to the mix then they should offer a wide variety of ways to express support or lack thereof for a particular comment or exhibit various emotions. As humans express a multitude of good and bad emotions there should be means of expressing them in ways that convey an emotion without the weight behind it that might stir an overly averse reaction from receiving it. If a reaction choice is a tad on the negative side it should convey a value of 1 out of 10 scale. Using such a reaction should be meant to make a subtle point not as a means of moderation. That's a job that should be reserved for the forum administrators if someone shows a propensity of straying outside of community norms. In those cases where a reader is feeling less than positive about a topic or situation being described there should be a way of expressing that via a reaction. Doing so shouldn't mean they feel less than positive about the commenter overall. We can agree to disagree on occasion and still get along if we are to be a successful community, whether here or your place. If you limit the reactions too much you limit their overall usefulness. If you click on the reaction button there should be an option for every conceivable "useful" use case. Their usage should be of value to the recipient as well as the rest of the community. Limiting reactions is akin to asking a wordsmith to limit themselves to only using 1000 random words to convey every conceivable thought or emotion. It's simply too limiting. If a reaction appears to be under utilized it might not mean its a poor choice for inclusion in the grand scheme of things, it simply might mean there were few instances where that reaction was appropriate. The choice of reactions should be readily identifiable by the whole community and shouldn't be tied too closely with any particular administrator as they come and go. If someone reads an old comment and sees a bunch of reactions from a prior community admin they might not understand the significance of a "cat" reaction for instance, or some other favored reaction from the past. That's not to say reactions can't be fun and whimsical, I'm simply saying they "might" have a short life span of usefulness or understood by the whole community, especially if it has an international membership. Reactions should not be implemented exclusively from the top or by a group of power users. That's why I've refrained from making specific suggestions on changes, additions or deletions of the reactions here. The entire community should be included in the conversation as "they" are going to be the ones to use them or not if they don't meet their collective needs. Maps have keys to convey the various icons used. There might be value in providing a page (or pages if you have different reactions throughout your site) that shows each reaction along with their appropriate usage. This should help set community-wide expectations on their usage.
  10. I launched my first BBS in 1988 using the Wildcat BBS software. So I've actually been around forums for 33 years.
  11. Sounds like a great blog topic for @Jordan Invisionto cover.
  12. Too true, but if you have a small group of members that lack emotional intelligence (the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathically - Oxford Dictionary) then things can go astray. I suspect that there are some folks here that don't want to be a part of a "community" they simply want to post a question or suggestion and receive an answer or response as quickly as possible. They have no interest in getting to know the IPS Staff or other members or engage in various forms of levity. While others do want to get to know the IPS staff and members and drop by to engage with them and help out when they can. Every time a member logs on they will be in a particular "mood". Sometimes they will appreciate and engage in various forms of levity and sometimes they won't. Reactions, emoji, and gifs and emotions and feelings can add real value to a site or detract from it. Being too negative or too expressive will lead to troubles as it will alienate some segment of a site's membership at one point in time or another. I respect your desire for positivity, but sometimes a comment warrants a less than positive response. There should be some quick and easy way to express: "I respectfully disagree" or "Please for the love of pizza, no!" (or some other way of expressing lack of agreement or support) for a particular comment or feature suggestion. Bringing the entire membership into the "know" about your desire for positivity and various steps you will be taking in the short and long term will help a long way towards building a true "community". All the more important as your role is meant to be a bridge between "us" and IPS management. Be of good cheer one and all in these trying times...
  13. Speaking of ironic: One would hope that everyone can be free to express an opinion here, even if it seems to be on the "ironic" side to some of us. As with many comments posted here, I personally disagree with some points made and agree with others, rarely do I weigh in completely one way or the other. As a consequence I rarely use reactions. If everyone consistently keeps their concerns to themselves "nothing" will change and there will be no chance of any knowledge transfer. What appears to be a waste of time to some may not be to others. Jordan's approach to community management may serve him well on his board but might not work 100% of the time here. The original poster was pointing out that in his opinion Jordan's approach might benefit from a little tweaking. If Jordan is to improve this community hearing contrary views will help him figure out how best to manage this community to be in service to "all".
  14. Ideally we strike a balance somewhere between what I wrote above and what @Clover13wrote below: I took the extreme view because I suspect some of the forum visitors would like things to be a little more formal and they might not offer up an opinion one way or the other on the topic at hand. Some of the forum clientele would prefer a rather relaxed (fun!!!) environment. Some sections of this board and some topics should be formal and some could benefit from some levity. It's tough to enact a one size fits all approach to dealing with this. Reactions, emojis, and gifs may be appropriate in some area and not in others. I would encourage some more thought on where they might best be utilized and to what extent. It might be appropriate to have different reactions in different areas as a means of helping manage the flow of communication and gauging support for or against a topic.
  15. This is a product support board, not an emotional support board. Enough with all the touchy feely emojis, gifs and any other means of expressing emotions, whether positive or negative. All communications should be done in a completely neutral fashion. To ensure neutral communications going forward, please remove all reactions and the emojis and gif buttons as well from the editor in these forums as a few people can't seem to help themselves from being emotionally expressive. The old saying goes, a few bad apples always ruins it for the rest...
  16. I like this idea but there would need to be some way to end subscription (and revoke elevated access) if a member fails to complete one of the payments. A configurable grace period and set of warnings should also be included to gently prompt a member to complete their payment plan. There should also be a way to track these kinds of subscriptions in the ACP so the admins know which members are on subscription plans, and their status (such as: Payment 2 of 5, Days Late). This would allow the admins to know how much money should be coming in and which members are behind on their payment plans. "If" a member fails to complete a payment plan there should be a way to mark their account as such.
  17. @CodingJungle This file is not currently available for purchase. What gives?
  18. I will leave you with this: My condolences with your task at hand. Hopefully no one else has to go through your pain.
  19. @Paul E.Have you considered utilizing a browser automation tool like imacros?
  20. Integrating with other company's products can be quite tricky as they might change, add or deprecate features on a regular basis. An integration that works this week might not next week as that company released an update that materially changes their product necessitating IPS to quickly release a patch to restore the integration code they provided to us. That takes lots of time and effort on IPS's part and they might encounter a release they simply can't support. What then? If that is a strong possibility its hard to justify pressing on month after month never knowing when it will abruptly end due to the other company's actions. Deprecations can be jarring to those impacted by them but they are often necessitated by circumstances completely out of IPS's control.
  21. Check out the IPS Community Suite 4.5.2 Release notes for deprecated features at the bottom of the page. Release Notes - Invision Community
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
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