breatheheavy reacted to Matt for an entry, We're hiring and have three new positions to fill!
Invision Community is growing! We're currently recruiting three new roles, one full-time and two part-time.
Applications are now closed, thank you to all those that applied. We'll be going through them over the next few weeks.
It's been a very busy year for all of us at Invision Community and our continued success means that we're looking to expand our team even further with three new roles to fill.
Invision Power Services, Inc. is behind the leading community software platform, Invision Community. Our tailored solutions serve clients of all sizes, from smaller communities to the world’s biggest brands.
We are looking to kick start 2021 with a tight-knit customer-obsessed support team to build a positive support culture for our clients.
All roles are fully remote-working.
Customer Service Superstar
We are in need of a full-time Customer Service Superstar, a new position within the company. You are solution-driven, customer-obsessed and passionate for cultivating a positive support culture for our clients.
The person in this role:
Answers client questions in a public-facing forum. Triages client requests to developers according to our processes. Deescalates problem or potential problem communications. Advocate for customers to our development team. Is comfortable with technology and willing to learn our platform. Why should you apply?
You are a Customer Service Star - solution driven when helping clients. You are confident in conversing via forum style, public-facing support. You can clearly communicate both in writing and verbally. We primarily provide customer service in English. You see opportunity to streamline improvements to help our team better serve our clients. Excited about interacting with our clients within our community to build a vibrant support culture. You work well with a team remotely. You are personally organized, suited to excel in a remote work environment. Part-Time Community Support Assistant
We are looking to add two part-time community support assistants to our growing team. You are self-motivated and focused on helping customers with support enquiries.
Your role will be in assisting customers via a public-facing support forum.
Ideally, you will have customer support experience, be familiar with our community platform and comfortable with technologies such as FTP, Amazon S3, PHP and MySQL.
Our company is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia with staff located around the world. These positions are remote working.
Share your resume and characteristics that make you the best fit for this role. Please include your available work hours (timezone). As we are open to both entry-level and experienced applicants, you may choose to include a desired starting salary based on your own evaluation of your relevant skillset and experience.
Applications are now closed, thank you to all those that applied. We'll be going through them over the next few weeks.
breatheheavy reacted to Andy Millne for an entry, Anonymous Posting
For a very long time Invision Community has allowed community owners to choose how open or private their communities should be. Communities could optionally allow guests to post without registering, they could allow the use of pseudonyms or they could require the use of real names.
This covers a diverse range of communities but feedback from our clients made us realize that some use cases have not been accounted for.
For some types of community, where discussion topics are particularly sensitive, community owners want to make sure that members register with their real details but are given the option to post anonymously where appropriate. For example, organisations dealing with abuse or sensitive topics might want the member to feel safe and disinhibited to post info without fear of being identified by the rest of the community.
With our next release, we are pleased to introduce Anonymous Posting to make this a reality.
When enabled, members will see the option to post anonymously when creating or replying to content.
Starting a new anonymous topic
Author details for anonymously posted content is hidden throughout the community and instead a default profile picture and name is shown.
Total anonymity is not always desirable however and in some cases it may be necessary for trusted staff members to know who posted the content. Where allowed, these staff members will be shown an option to reveal the content author.
Author details are hidden but can be revealed by trusted staff members
Anonymous posting can be enabled on a per group basis and also limited to specific forums, albums and categories etc. The ability for staff members to reveal who really posted the content is a moderator permission.
We hope this new feature is a useful addition and where appropriate makes your members feel safe or comfortable to share info they might not have otherwise.
How open or private is your community and what do you find are the benefits or disadvantages of anonymity?
breatheheavy reacted to Matt for an entry, Launching a new community needs purpose, value and emotion
One of the most commonly asked questions we get is how to ensure your new community launch is successful.
You may think that if you have the right features with the correct configuration, success is guaranteed, but it requires more than that.
Way back in the early 2000s when the internet was in its infancy, there was an explosion of new communities. If you had some webspace, a little technical knowledge and a forum script you were almost guaranteed to attract people into your community.
These days it takes a little more work to get your new community off the ground. There’s a lot of books and resources out there to help, but focusing on your purpose, value, and emotion will give you a bright star to sail by.
The purpose of your community should be very clear from the first visit. You want your new visitors to instantly understand the reason your community exists and the benefit they will get from it.
This can be implicit with a short written mission statement at the top, or it can be through robust visual design and structure.
When launching a new community, aim to be as specific as possible with your purpose. You can always broaden when it grows. This may go against your instinct to cast a wide net to catch as many people as possible, but resist that temptation!
For example, a community focused on fitness has a vague purpose. Fitness is a broad topic, and there are many niches inside of it. This could be anything from losing weight, to running faster to increasing the weight on a barbell. Narrowing the focus to running helps a little, but there’s a lot of space in that field. You have marathon runners, ultra runners, Sunday park joggers and everything in between.
A better starting point for a community may be “Run your first 5k”. This instantly makes it very clear to your audience that you intend to help new runners develop their ability enough to finish a short race. The sense of purpose is clear, and it is easy to know what to ask of this new community and the benefit you may get.
Asperger Experts has a strong design and mission statement above the fold, which makes its purpose clear from the first visit.
Make your purpose very clear and don’t be afraid to niche down to a specific area, to begin with.
The earliest communities allowed people from all around the world to gather and talk. Anyone who had the technical skill to host a community could be virtually guaranteed members and just being able to meet was all the value needed.
We now live in more sophisticated times and crave more than facilitation. Your community needs to add value beyond companionship and knowledge.
One of the simplest ways to give value to your members is through sharing your expertise. A steady flow of written articles or videos gives your members a reason to come back.
IG, a fintech company use their expert articles to draw their audience back to their community to contribute. IG is a known leader in their field, so their blog is a real draw for those investing in the markets.
Never post for the sake of it, always inform, educate or entertain your community.
At the heart of every conversation is emotion. We pride ourselves on being logical and thoughtful creatures, yet our emotional brain responds first and makes a judgement often subconsciously.
Setting the pitch and tone of your community is critical from its earliest days. As the community manager, you get to define the tone by modelling the behaviour you want to see in your own content. Some communities do well with dark humour and snark; while others require positivity and fun.
“Humans are herd animals. We want to fit in, to bond with others, and to earn respect and approval of our peers. Such inclinations are essential to our survival. For most of our evolutionary history, our ancestors lived in tribes. Becoming separated from the tribe—or worse, being cast out—was a death sentence.” - James Clear
Hang out where your audience hangs out and develop your tone so that it resonates with your community.
Starting a community is a rewarding experience, but you need to do more than just open your doors to ensure a successful launch.
Checking to make sure your site has a strong purpose, that you offer value to your members and the emotional pitch is right will set you on the right course.
breatheheavy reacted to Matt for an entry, Trial Invision Community 4.5 Now
If you're preparing to upgrade to Invision Community 4.5, there's now an easy way to test it out.
We have updated our Invision Community demo system to use Invision Community 4.5! This is a quick and easy way to take 4.5 for a test drive and test all the new functionality before making your upgrade plans.
Taking out a demo is very simple, just head over to our demo sign up page, follow the instructions and within a few minutes you'll receive your own private demo log in.
We'd love to know what you think! Please let us know in the feedback forum.
breatheheavy reacted to Matt for an entry, 3 lessons content creators can learn from conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theories have roots in the 19th century and have been popular for decades. Until recently, conspiracy theorists have lived in the margins. They are often convinced the earth is flat, Lee Harvey Oswald didn't act alone, and the moon landings were faked in a Hollywood sound stage.
More recently, with 9/11 and the coronavirus pandemic, these conspiracy theories have become more mainstream, with celebrities and politicians sharing them over their official social media channels. From the evil machinations of Bill Gates, the rise of QAnon, to the conflation that 5G is responsible for spreading coronavirus, it's hard to ignore the impact they have in creating misinformation which undermines attempts at effective communication from governments and public health bodies.
Despite reams of facts, logic and critical thinking, those that follow conspiracy theories will not be budged from their positions. They trust their sources implicitly, and a mountain of research disproving the argument does not interest them.
The number of people that succumbs to these narratives grows every day. When you consume the content shared by the primary sources of this misinformation, it's easy to see why.
Conspiracy theories are created and shared in a way that is engaging and irresistible to many seeking stability in a confusing world. Whatever your position is on these conspiracy theorists, you can leverage these tactics to make your own content more engaging and shareable.
Lesson 1: Make it emotive
Human beings have two distinct and independent thinking centres in the brain. One works on emotion (the limbic system) and the other on logic (the neocortex).
The emotional brain works much faster than the logical brain. It is what has kept us alive as a species. If you hear a loud bang, your emotional brain processes this first and triggers the urge to move before your logical brain kicks in and deduces the bang was from a book expertly pawed from its shelf by your cat.
The emotional brain is continually processing the world, and even though it's part of you, you do not have much control over it. Your logic brain, however, works on facts, truths and analysis.
When you watch harrowing whistleblower testimony telling of their suffering in a conspiracy theory video, your emotional brain is powerfully stirred.
It's why challenging conspiracy theorists who are emotionally committed to the point of view with just logic often fails. The emotional commitment is incredibly powerful, and when you challenge them, the logic brain is short-circuited, and the emotional brain becomes defensive. In fact, the more logic and evidence you provide, the more the emotional brain digs in and refuses the new evidence.
How can you use this to your advantage?
Work on creating an emotional response with your content. Don't purely rely on facts and logic to persuade your audience. Try and evoke an emotional reaction through imagery, metaphors and similes.
President Obama was a powerful orator and used emotion often to create a strong message. When he spoke of investing in education, he invokes emotion by saying "We believe that when she goes to school for the first time, it should be in a place where the rats don't outnumber the computer."
Lesson 2: Tell a story
Conspiracy theory videos don't just reel off a list of events and facts, they tell a story. Some of the more complex theories are akin to a sprawling TV series with several characters linked by circumstance.
Humans have always been curators of stories. From religious texts to morality fables, we learn and process the world through stories. Stories are memorable. Most adults can recite fairytales read to us when we were children.
Use a story to link together critical points within your content.
Consider how "Gamification has been proven to make communities more sticky and encourage more engagement" reads compared to "It was 3am, the flicker of the TV set was the only light in the room. My palms, slick with sweat, fought to keep the controller sticks moving. Even though I had a 6am start, I couldn't put the controller down. I had to finish the quest and collect the reward. Your community is no different."
Take your reader on a journey, and they're more likely to finish your content. Try and make it personal. When we read, we always try and put ourselves in the shoes of the author or the protagonist.
Stories and emotion go hand in hand. Recently, the Huffington Post ran a story with the headline "One death a minute" which is a very emotive and powerful alternative to the raw fact that 1,461 Americans lost their lives to COVID-19 on the 29th July.
Lesson 3: Make it easy to consume
A key strength for any content creator is to know when to create long-form content and snackable content.
A single meme is more potent than 300 links to PubMed. A single YouTube video can be more persuasive than an expert in her field.
Conspiracy theory creators use over-simplification to reduce a complex issue into an easily digestible entertaining snack. A meme generally contains a single idea that is easy to grasp and engaging. You don't have to work very hard to understand it, your visual brain processes it in 1/10th of a second, and it triggers a moment of delight.
Infographics and memes are often smart ways to create an entrance to your content. If an image containing a straightforward idea from a more complex piece of content is digested quickly, it can leave your audience wanting more, and therefore more likely to involve themselves in your more complex work.
When creating long-form content, consider the use of iconography, infographics and photography. Visuals help us remember and understand content quickly. I could say that 63% of this blog was written on an iPad, but a piechart would make this easier to process and more memorable.
No tin foil hats required
Creating compelling content is key to building your community. Your content sets the tone, helps drive re-engagement and positions you as a key expert in your field. Using the techniques many conspiracy theory creators use to spread their narratives will help your content be more memorable and shareable
A well-created story with emotional cornerstones made more accessible by key points simplified into snackable quotes or images will help your content find a wider audience, whether you believe Neil Armstrong landed on the moon or not.
breatheheavy reacted to Joel R for an entry, Master your community's lifecycle to increase your growth
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.” – Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of Virgin Group.
We all seek success with our Invision Communities. For too many of our communities, however, we yearn for success but we don’t plot the correct navigation to get there. We haphazardly pursue our strategies, trying new ideas and hoping one will stick. It’s time to take a step back and assess your goals in context to your growth. It’s important to understand the stages of the community lifecycle, and to strategically match your goals with your growth sequence.
Alicia Iriberri and Gondy Leroy of Claremont Graduate University surveyed over 1000 publications across multiple disciplines including computer science, information systems, sociology, and management in their seminal 2009 research paper “A Life-Cycle Perspective on Online Community Success.” Their research forms the foundation for most modern community management, and in their paper they write, “The impact each design component has on the success of the online community shifts depending on which life-cycle stage the online community is experiencing.” The right strategy at the right time will maximize the impact.
Every community goes through a community lifecycle of four stages: Inception, Growth, Maturity, and Mitosis.
Setting the wrong objective can not only fail, it can even backfire and destroy goodwill. Here are classic examples of good strategies that go wrong because of poor sequencing:
A new community with no activity that builds dozens of new boards A growth community not fostering a unique sense of community A mature community not establishing strong codes of conduct
Architecting a community is very different for the first ten users versus the next thousand users. New priorities come into play, community concerns will shift and strategies need tochange. As a community manager, ensure the strategy is appropriate and reflects your community lifecycle to ensure maximum impact.
Let’s take a look at proper goal settings for each stage of the community lifecycle.
Inception is the start of your community. You’re bursting with energy, enthusiasm, and big ideas. While your Invision Community is full of potential, your goal is to turn your vision into reality:
Growth is where the magic of community happens, balanced against the development of more explicit and formal conduct.
Members: Shift your focus from nurturing individual users to creating a workflow that can systematically welcome new members. Promotion: You should be proactive with your self-promotional activities to build community awareness such as email marketing, social media, or mailing lists. Content: Content will now be a mix between self-generated and co-created. You want to highlight community content by others to encourage community expertise. When you create content yourself, you want to start including emotionally-driven questions that connect users. Organization: Measure specific metrics for organization goals, highlight community health and successes, secure funding for ongoing budget and team. Community: A unique sense of community is cultivated at this time with shared experiences and language between members. Members feel excited to be a part of your community’s growth.
Maturity is when your Invision Community becomes critically acclaimed and well-known in the field. Even though your community looks to be run smoothly, there are still areas to address so your community doesn’t stagnate:
Members: There should be a clearly defined process and welcome guide for onboarding new members, an established pipeline that constantly brings on new superusers, and a rewards program that recognizes members for different types of member journeys. Promotion: Your site is well-known, so the search engine traffic and content within your community is enough to bring in new users. You can optimize your SEO at this point. Content: Almost all content is user-created at this point, which means your focus needs to shift to content recognition, organization, and moderation. Highlight the best community content; categorize and properly tag new content so the community stays organized; and scale your moderation to handle the size of your community. Organization: The community is a key part of your organization’s larger success and supports multiple areas of the business. Be a strong internal advocate for the community and align your community with your organization’s new profit areas. Community: Superusers not only have the privilege of creating their own content for the community, but they’ve stepped up as mentors and moderators. Your community has a strong culture that’s reinforced by members.
Mitosis is the stage when your Invision Community grows beyond its original mission, potentially splitting off into new subgroups. Many communities stagnate at this point with falling engagement and plateauing registration, but you’re catching onto the next big trend in your industry to grow into.
Members: New member registrations flatlines because you’re tracking with the industry. Your goal is to continue to delight members with new forms of omnichannel engagement like regional meetups, video conferencing, and headline conferences. Promotion: Your community self-generates organic traffic. Your promotion should shift from trying to advertise for yourself to exerting influence with industry partners as a trusted leader in the field. Content: Members can find the most comprehensive set of resource documents and discussion on your community. Your goal is to distill the knowledge into the best tips and guides for newcomers to obtain the most accurate information as quickly as possible. You should also archive areas that no longer receive activity while finding growth topics in your field. Organization: The community is a critical part of all business operations and integrates into all relevant workflows. You should build custom metrics to measure results, help determine new investment decisions, and streamline business efficiencies at the organizational level that benefit the community. Community: Your community becomes an incubator of new sections in a controlled manner for potential spin-off. Superusers control and moderate their own areas of the site like Clubs or Blogs.
Online communities evolve through distinct stages of the community lifecycle. At each stage, the needs and activities of members require different tools, features, and community management. Certain strategies are more impactful when they coincide with the right sequence.
Invision Community makes it easy to get started with a technology platform packed with features that every community manager can start using right away. But how you get to the first ten users, to the first thousand posts, or even to one billion likes will be a journey that’s truly your own.
Share your success story of Invision Community in the comments below. Did you make any rookie mistakes that you wish you knew beforehand? What are some strategies that you’re pursuing right now, and why do you think it’s an impactful decision for this stage of your community’s lifecycle?
We’d love to hear your journey along the community lifecycle.
breatheheavy reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.5: Simple Stock Photo Picker
We have come a long way since the late 90s when someone had the genius idea of using a small yellow smiling face image instead of the more common colon-bracket representation of a smiling face.
In Invision Community, there are various places that photography can be used to create visual interest. From uploads in topics, to cover photos for blogs and members.
The humble upload field has served these areas well, but sourcing images to use can be a pain; especially when you have to walk the minefield that is copyright and attribution.
Fortunately, there are a few "CC0" online stock photo libraries that offer quality photography that requires no attribution and are not hampered by copyrights.
One such library is the ever-popular Pixabay, which was established in 2012 and features a very powerful API. Pixabay has over a million images ready to use from llamas to sausages and everything in-between.
Invision Community 4.5 now includes support for Pixabay which brings those images to your fingertips (or mouse pointer if you're on a desktop.)
This video shows the feature in use.
As you can see, not only can you upload into posts from the stock photo library, but you can also use it to add a cover image to your profile and blog entries.
Finding quality photography has never been so easy!
For those that love technical details, the stock photo picker is a programmatic option on the upload form field type making it very easy to add to your own code and apps.
How will you use this new feature? Let me know!