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Joel R

Invision Community Advocate
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Joel R last won the day on January 25

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About Joel R

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    Frequent Contributor
  • Birthday 05/01/1992

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IPS Marketplace

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    San Francisco, CA, USA

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  1. The goal of every client here in the Invision peer community, myself included, is to launch and run successful communities. Whether I’m going to be able to achieve that success in the new year depends entirely on trying these 10 steps. I know if that if I stick to these steps, then my community will grow – and I know if you follow along, your community will too. 10. Ignore Google Google makes me laugh; Google makes me cry; Google makes me want to pitch myself into the freezing icy waters of the San Francisco bay. But focusing on Google’s up-and-down volatility isn’t what is going to make my community successful. It’s a distraction, and at worst, a wrong commitment of attention. 9. Remember My Past Sins I’ve made every mistake imaginable – including over-the-top themes, too many customizations, and chasing after dream goals. The very worst is not making a database backup, then losing everything. Most of us came up through the School of Hard Knocks, and we should learn from those experiences. 8. Treat Every Person as Gold Members are the beating heart of your community, and are truly what makes your community special. I’m committed to taking time out every day to message, comment, or reply to 3 new people to cultivate new relationships. 7. Practice x3 Nobody is perfect the first time they try something. Thomas Edison famously stated that he found 10,000 ways for a lightbulb to not work, and 1 way that it did. Whether you’re publishing new content or designing a template, refine it multiple times. 6. Start as a Guest I don’t do this enough and I always find something surprising when I do. Either something is missing, something can be improved, or something is wrong. The guest experience is the very first impression a visitor will have, and it can shape all of his future expectations. 5. Less is More It’s easy to get sidetracked and to let your community get bloated with content and features. It’s better to be amazing in one domain expertise: you offer the most authority, the most trusted content, the latest news, or the most comprehensive overview. Excite members by being the best at what you do. De-emphasize, consolidate, or archive everything else as needed. 4. It’s Not the Feature; Its What the Feature Does It’s easy to think that because IPS ships with a new feature, then you should use it. You don’t. You should always pre-qualify the feature by asking how the feature can help you better engage with your community, how does it engage, and how can you customize the feature even better for your members? 3. Bring Your Superusers Along Even though I invite my superusers into a special private feedback group, I don’t leverage their knowledge, experience, or perspective enough. I recently asked for feedback about a particular feature, and it turns out none of them use it! 2. Experiment & Learn There’s always something new to learn, explore, and implement. It's my personal goal to enrich my personal skillsets in areas like leadership, team building, mentoring, emotional intelligence, organizational behavior, and psychology for more effective community management. On the promotion side, you can learn about email marketing, digital marketing, social media, creating rich media, and more. On the content side, you can always improve your content writing skills, emotive writing, keyword research, and the multiple use of one piece in different formats. 1. Enjoy the Journey For any community admin who sticks with his community for several years, you can get burned out. I know the feeling, and I like to periodically remind myself about what I enjoy running the community. There’s so much to learn and do that it can feel overwhelming, so it’s important to take every day in 2020 one day at a time.
  2. @GTServices how many pages are you going to create? What kind of tagging and organization are you trying to do? One thing I'd like to emphasize is that if you're trying to create multiple pages with organization, the proper approach is to use Pages database. They're designed for classification and organization. You can certainly make the records appear as single pages via templates, but they would be more appropriately contained within Pages database.
  3. You can check out the Bookmarks app by @Fosters in the Marketplace.
  4. There are some great points of discussion. I really liked the design examples of Disqus and Breitbart. Discussing and improving forums is the point of these forums (very meta!). How we deliver and nurture discussion matters just as much as what we discuss, and there should be substantive conversation on how to support and nurture higher quality conversation. How does reversing sort order support higher quality conversation? (Or, how do we get users to unread content faster?) What signals intelligence can we use on posts to incentivize and promote quality posts? How do we encourage users to read long posts? (Or, how do we synthesize long topics into summaries?) There are some real problems with the traditional format, many of which are listed above: - All posts are treated equal, even though some posts are better: they offer better insight, better information, more reactions and controversy, more information, more discussions to be spun-off. How do we elevate and highlight those posts? - We preach the praise of long-form and in-depth discussion, but the Editor doesn't match long form. Anyone tried to type anything more than one page? What happens to the Editor? How do we modify and improve the Editor to be inserted at the point of typing? - We create these monster multi-page topics. How do we encourage on-topic participation -- and how do we encourage substantive diversions to be spun out but still tied to the original topic? How do we prevent these multi-page topics from devolving into general chat? You know, like a gif of cake in the middle of one of the most compelling topics of the year. - How do we emphasize the immediacy of fast moving and active topics? How do we reflect that activity and movement into the platform to excite human psychology? - How do we get users to explore and learn about new topics? How do we not just allow users to passively browse, but to proactively push active and exciting topics to build a "stickier" relationship? As clients, you should be thinking of these design questions. And even though you may not have answer, you're on the right path. Now, time for a gratuitous cake photo:
  5. Looks good! What are the colorful circles of IV, VII, and L represent? Are there clubs or badges?
  6. So, let me ask you (and this is a very broad and open ended question for everyone), how would you incentivize reading of a long topic? How would you nurture and reward users for reading prior posts? Or are we resigned to people who only read the last 1 or 2 posts before giving an answer? What's the point of a 20 page or 50 page or 100 page topic that literally no one is ever going to fully read except for admin bragging rights? I've seen design that does actually nurture and reward reading. The topic can feature a "reading length", that gives you a general idea of the commitment it would take before you start. The platform can use signals intelligence of posts based on things like reactions, quality of posts, quotes and shares to summarize the top 10% of posts. You should encourage long topics to be split to precisely prevent overwhelming and rambling topics that devolve into general chat. Forums have prided themselves as being the best platform for long form discussion, but I don't actually believe forums offer an evolved design that actually supports the reading that's required beforehand or encouraging long form discussion.
  7. IYou can reference this third party plugin in the Marketplace for the time being: I would also be interested in hearing more from @Victoria Hopkins on why you think a reverse order is appropriate for forum discussion (versus navigating users to the last unread, such as the plugin above). I was watching an interesting video the other day on forum design, and one of the insights that stood out was incentivizing users to read. This is, perhaps, the single biggest differentiating factor between a post on a forum and a post on social media. In social media, your new post stands on its own - untethered to any other ongoing discussion. It's an expression of your individual thoughts. In forums, posts are meant to be replies and responses to others -- leading to further conversation and commentary around a topic. But to do so effectively, you need to read prior posts to add to the discussion.
  8. You can reference this third party plugin in the Marketplace for the time being:
  9. #1 and #2 almost exactly overlap with the thinking I privately had with a Big Board owner. IPS doesn't have functionality out of the box so you would need to go custom but it mimics your strategy almost exactly.
  10. Wow, you have a very similar story. Switched from SMF in 2013! Welcome to the community. 🎉
  11. As a preface, I want to make clear that my comments - in no way - should be construed as official company response. I'm a volunteer Community Advocate. Its important to keep in mind the scope of the client base. IPS operates architecture for Cloud and Enterprise clients, which gives them an unprecedented first-person view of aggregate visitor and user trends across thousands of distinct communities. Many other software developers only offer the software, and they're disconnected from the backend. The combined software + hosting architecture gives IPS real-time insight and trends across a range of branded, high-value communities and organizations. This provides a powerful, analytical decision point that can be paired with client feedback. With that said, the individual concerns are always the important to the company. It would be impossible for IPS to solicit individual feedback from every client, which is why it's requested that you provide feedback in the forums. It can be aggregated, organized, and revisited and your feedback of course shapes the debates and discussions of the development team.
  12. Hi everyone I wanted to open a wide-ranging discussion on pain points of forums and online communities (and yes, I know there are a lot) and solicit a broader range of thinking. There's no "right" or "wrong" here, only discussion on what's a challenge and how it can be improved. There are some areas where I think forums and online communities fall short. These aren't modern challenges, they've been around forever but social media has raised the bar for all of us. 1. Interest Discoverability All of our forums contain multiple sections, forums, and interests that can be quite diverse. However, when a user registers, he starts with 0. This is a huge problem. It requires the user to actively and manually go out of his way to follow, participate, or engage (which he may not do for a variety of reasons ... Overwhelmed, cautious, hesitant, doesn't feel like he can contribute, etc). Our forums are totally passive. This is one of the biggest challenges that we haven't addressed. When new visitors or members don't follow any topic (and this could be for a variety of reasons ... He feels overwhelmed, hesitant, cautious, not an expert, etc), this means there won't be any follow-up notifications on relevant content and our ability to re-engage with the member will be forever 0. If you could design a new app, how would you guide or lead users to interests during sign-ups? What other platforms have you seen that do a good job of suggesting relevant content and new content? How often do you think we should suggest topics, users, or content to follow? 2. Notifications On busy boards and for active members, they may be receiving dozens or hundreds of notifications. For myself as admin of my own community, I've manually un-followed almost all parts of my community except for some limited feedback and content sections and I still get 30+ notifications every day. This poses some problems: 1. Notification Overload - the delivery of notifications is "dumb." If there's a new content, a new reaction, or a new reply, you get a notification in chronological order regardless of how relevant or engaging the post is to you. This means you get flooded with notifications and you have to dig through notifications. I was shocked when my superusers told me they actually go to the notification page so they could glance through the 100+ notifications they receive every day. I was inspired by a recent article on Facebook and Instagram where they talk about how the average user can receive 1500 items if they see everything posted by everyone else, so they algorithmically condense the number to show. 2. Notification Options - I highly doubt any users have adjusted their notification preferences (and certainly not the individual notification options for every topic). Most users follow the default. If you could design a "smart" notification system, how would you prioritize the most engaging notifications? What's the most that you would show?
  13. 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!
  14. Hi @shahed Can you explain / show screenshots for what this plugin does on mobile?
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