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Joel R

Invision Community Advocate
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Joel R last won the day on February 24

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About Joel R

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  • Birthday 05/01/1992

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  1. Some random and not-so-random thoughts about coronavirus, crisis, and community: Diversity of opinion is normally welcome in a free and open society, and certainly in forums where it makes for more interesting conversation and problem-solving. But is diversity of opinion still important during times of crisis? Or can differing opinions sometimes lead to dangerous consequences (or in the case of Covid-19, potentially even fatal consequences for others)? Where you get the news from heavily influences what you think of the world. It's fascinating to see the conversations in this topic, where some of the posts are direct talking points from certain news sources. How do you differentiate between 'authoritative' and 'trusted' sources on your community versus 'opinion' sources? Empathy and leadership are key attributes of a strong community leader, and even more important in times of crises. A community leader needs to reassure all of his users, especially those that are angry, upset, or scared. Humans get emotional in times of panic, and a good leader understands he needs to provide comforting reassurance. People are creatures of habit, and when their normal life gets interrupted, some people freeze. They're unable to adapt, especially to large changes. Community leaders need to provide a plan, to help guide those who can't imagine a future into the future. Communities of geography matter more in times like this. I'm a member of a popular neighborhood app that connects me to my surrounding neighborhoods, and we've shared news on everything from garbage service to mail to daily updates on grocery stores that stock toilet paper! This is essential in helping me stay informed, and I'm grateful for this strong network of friends and neighbors. Communities of practice are also seeing heightened interest, as practitioners share best practices for working at home or adjusting to business interruptions. It's difficult for humans to conceptualize problems that don't hit home. I have some friends who think of this as an extended spring break, and they're mildly annoyed by the 'stay at home' orders. I have other friends who are medical doctors who work in heavily-impacted areas, and they're mentally and physically exhausted from working overtime at the hospitals, then coming home only to self-quarantine themselves from their families. How do you combat this imbalance of reaction? The coronavirus is not only a health crisis for the world. It will soon become a socioeconomic and humanitarian one too. The economic impact will especially hit hard people in the services industry, small mom-and-pop shops, and individual landlords where tenants skip payments. It'll cascade through people who are the least economically buttressed to withstand these economic and healthcare shocks. I wish all of you well in these turbulent times.
  2. A worthwhile message to share in the middle of this discussion: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/call-arms-community-leaders-matt-mecham/
  3. It wasn't meant to be insulting or rude, and I apologize if it came across that way 😀. My choice of words was meant to simply sharpen the decision making for you. Hosting discussion in clubs is not the same as hosting conversations in forums with everything else. It may make your page imbalanced to bring it all into forums, but it's a genuinely difficult taxonomy for users. (Unless you have a dedicated and truly different need for clubs, I would personally not recommend launching clubs. Clubs is not easy to navigate. It requires at least 2-3 additional clicks before you get to content sections). It's very confusing to go between club forums and forums. They have totally different navigations. Ultimately, all I'm encouraging you to think about is "ease of use" for the user and whether or not that's more important than "page layout."
  4. I don't know enough about these shows, but I paused at your response when two people both consistently told you: "where's the one general discussion for the entire series?" and your response was: "my layout would look bad." Do you want actual engagement and conversation? Or do you want a pretty layout? This might be one of those times where you (gently) swallow your pride and try out a general board per franchise to get things going. Your community is new, so one of the biggest mistakes is overbuilding your community.
  5. Can you clarify your request? eg. Provide screenshots, mock-ups, etc.
  6. Please search the community for print CSS.
  7. I did a very "low tech" workaround, which was to simply change the langstring into something more positive: "Be the first to upload a resource in this category and help other members!"
  8. As a follow-up to this article, I wanted to say that I fully recognize the supreme irony of posting this article in the middle of the feature blast for 4.5 -- we're being inundated with new features every week: blog categories! club statistics! search insights! stock photos! security stuff! mobile mobile mobile!! But this is meant to be a timely reminder in the middle of all of these feature releases that these new features and settings are simply the starting point for your community. You should think carefully and thoughtfully in crafting these features to your community's mission. How do they align with your community's purpose? How do they enhance / improve what you're trying to accomplish? Are the features necessary, nice-to-have, or irrelevant? When do the options stop becoming choices, and start becoming distractions? These are examples of real things I've seen during my community reviews: 20+ reactions: Users literally can't even select some of the reactions, because the list goes off the page. You don't need a reaction for every single human expression, agreement, not-so-agreement, totally-not-agree-but-haha-agree. You just need enough to capture simple expressions. 20+ empty boards: This usually occurs when the ambition of the admin exceeds the subject expertise. You don't need a board for every possible discussion, subject, or international language -- what value do they offer if they're empty? If you feel you absolutely must offer these boards, then offer them as sub-boards where you still have room to grow but it doesn't overwhelm the forum index. 10+ subscriptions: Humans don't need or want to make complex purchasing decisions, especially over something like a forum membership. People want choice, but not overwhelming amounts of choice. The communities who focus on their core objectives and offer best-in-class resources will be the ones who will continue to thrive as the web becomes more crowded (and with more choices!). It usually means slimming down and focusing all of your energies to be the best in what you do. The Paradox of Choice leads to analysis paralysis, to purchase paralysis, and to less satisfaction among your members.
  9. List them as subboards until they gain enough traction. That way it doesn't clutter your main forum index but you still offer spaces for new / growing areas. For example: - Primary Sport A - Primary sport B - Other sports -- subboards for sports C D E
  10. CEO Mark Triggon, previously the chief merchandising officer at Target, laid out his plans to turn around the beleaguered American retailer Bed Bath & Beyond. Part of that plan was reducing the number of can openers from 12 to 3. Sales rose. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Tritton explained how tests conducted in his first few months at the company showed that less is more when it comes to product assortment. “The big takeaway: Selling too many items in stores that are overcrowded leads to ‘purchase paralysis,” Mr. Tritton said. Bed Bath & Beyond exploded across the American landscape in the 1990s and 2000’s with its focus on opening new “big box” stores for home merchandise where it was meant to be a category killer – consumers would shop in stores that offered them anything and everything. It was famous for its floor-to-ceiling options, and a simple trip for a new shower curtain turned into a shopping spree for every room in the home. In recent years though, that approach has soured on consumers. A Business Insider reporter commented on her latest trip, “From our first steps in, the store was overwhelming. There was merchandise packed top to bottom on shelves that lined every wall.” The tides have changed. Consumers are being offered – and overwhelmed – with more choices than ever before. PARADOX OF CHOICE One of the great benefits of the modern web is a proliferation of choice: choice in sprawling ideologies, choice in niche interests, and choice in shopping for thousands of products at a click of a button. All of this, every day. Unfortunately, that abundance of choice can stress and even paralyze our ability to make decisions. Psychologist Barry Schwartz coined the term Paradox of Choice in a 2004 book by the same name, where he advanced the idea that eliminating consumer choices can reduce anxiety for shoppers. In other words, instead of offering 12 options for can openers, offer 3 options. What does this mean for online communities? LESS IS MORE Across the spectrum of communities and forums, some of the biggest critical mistakes are forum creep and feature bloat. New features are mindlessly added thinking it will lead to higher engagement, new forums are added for every conceivable discussion, and design choices are automatically enabled at the default without aligning to your strategy. Your initial goal is to sweep through your entire community and identify the areas that align with your community strategy. For categories and boards that are low-value, low traffic, or not aligned with any strategic objectives, you should aggressively consolidate or eliminate. There’s no hard rule when it comes to design choices, although 7 has been touted as a magic number for short-term human memory. You can use this magic number across a range of design decisions. For example: At most 7 Reactions At most 7 Primary Menu options At most 7 major sections or content hubs THE JAM EXPERIMENT Choice overload can actually lead to less sales. In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar of Columbia University and Mark Lepper of Stanford University led a much-recited study where they presented passerbys at a food market with two tables: one with 24 fruit jams, the other with 6 jams. The one with 24 different jams generated more traffic to sample and taste. But guess which table generated more sales? The other table with fewer jams, which had ten times more purchases! The moral of the story? At junctures of your member journey where you ask users to make a critical decision such as user information when registering, subscriptions, or selling products, don’t be the table with 24 jams to sample, but never able to sell. BIG BOX & SMALL BOX Invision Community offers an interesting approach where you can act like both a “big box” community for your general audience and still offer “small box” cohesiveness for more intimate groups. The feature is called Clubs, which empowers smaller groups to form and split off from the main audience. This is an especially consequential feature for mature and large communities looking to organically cultivate their next generation of engagement. Indeed, this is a trend happening in a large way among next-gen consumers, who are realizing the perils of broadcasting and oversharing. In a 2019 white paper “The New Rules of Social” led by youth creative agency ZAK, nearly two-thirds of the under-30 respondents said they prefer to talk in private message rather than open forums and feeds. Facebook themselves launched head-first towards social groups back in 2016 after the US Presidential election. In a 6,000 word essay called "Building Global Community," Zuckerberg sermonized on the importance of building connections in meaningful groups: Forum administrators on Invision Community have been building meaningful communities since day one. When properly deployed, Clubs will allow you to cultivate – and retain – users in a more focused environment without the distractions of your larger community. CONCLUSION For community managers and forum administrators who have run their Invision Communities for many years, you know first-hand that the power of community doesn’t come from adding another feature, another board, or another category. Happiness and fulfillment come from actually connecting with members, through education, enlightenment, problem solving, and teamwork. Overloading your community with theme options, excess reactions, and overbuilt boards get in the way of your true goal. Become the CEO to reduce the overwhelming options of can openers. Sell more jam by offering less of it. And unfetter yourself from unnecessary choices to discover a clearer connection to your members. Executive Summary Bed Bath & Beyond CEO declutters stores, sales rise Concept of paradox of choice: users can become overwhelmed and stressed when presented with too many options Jam experiment: table with more jams gets more traffic, but table of less jams gets more sales For large and established communities, use Clubs to offer intimate and uncluttered experiences.
  11. @Jim M gave the correct reply. You just use the normal search, and toggle to Members.
  12. You can use the language strings to "translate" any strong. This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to customize your community.
  13. 1. There are several apps in the Marketplace for a dedicated member list. 2. Searching for members can be done using the search function. Toggle to search for Members.
  14. Keep in mind that communities of all sizes can benefit from stats. It provided an objective way of looking at, evaluating, and measuring your strategies. Even if you're a hobbyist or casual community (like mine!), you still want to monitor your stats on a periodic basis. There's actually a gold mine of data in there, and it can be used for more than statistics. A personal example: I routinely use the Member Activity to identify at a high-level the next set of superusers in my community who are new to the community and posting a lot -- I send out a quick and personal email. Statistics = knowledge = insights = informed decisions = smarter strategy = competitive advantage.
  15. You'll need to get with your theme author to fix the issue. They may not have updated the templates. You can also check with the application's author to investigate.
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