Jump to content


Joel R

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Joel R last won the day on August 17

Joel R had the most liked content!

About Joel R

  • Rank
    IPS Client
  • Birthday 05/01/1992

IPS Marketplace

  • Resources Contributor
    Total file submissions: 1

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Interests
    reading the Economist, frisbee in the park, writing sassy yet informative posts

Recent Profile Visitors

28,466 profile views
  1. Suggestion: - When promotion fails, give notification to sender that it failed. Otherwise, you have no idea unless you manually check
  2. Joel R

    Reordering of Saved Actions

    You can use this: https://invisioncommunity.com/files/file/9001-saved-actions-sorting/
  3. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    I feel like you're observing and lamenting upon humanity as a whole (gosh darn millennials have ruined everything! 😀). But I think there's still hope. A lot of hope. And as you pointed out, it's not a stark choice between social media versus forums. It's a blend of features to create social forums (which, as a little bit of trivia, was the initial name of 4.0.0 in it's preview and beta days). It's our job to yell at IPS to continue to build out those features so we can mix and match for our target audience. There are still users who demand and crave in-depth, insightful, and thoughtful discussion. Even on my community which, as a whole is heavily leaning towards faster interactions and immediate gratification, has users who post long form posts. So don't abandon all hope! There's always going to be a place for substantive discussion, where users need deeper and more meaningful conversation. At the same time, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we're bleeding short-form communication. Facebook and Instagram and Twitter are amazing at what they do. We should learn from them, adapt, and incorporate as needed. Finally, keep in mind that the Internet is a big place. It's huge. We can still attract users who have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to also participate on our site. Will it harder to convert them based on changing online behaviors? Sure, but that means we're required to learn and adopt features that help them adjust.
  4. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    Interesting. I understand what you're saying at a conceptual level. Dump all content items into one big bucket for storage, but then we build our own templates / layers to present the content items to users. In this manner, we can present the same content items in customized apps or hubs. I used to use a very old school gallery software called Coppermine Photo gallery (still available). It allowed admins to create virtual albums by including all photos with a certain tag. This allowed me to create cross-referencing albums without re-uploading the same image, a very real problem that i have today when an image can belong in two different albums.
  5. Joel R

    what to choose?

    One platform. One unified suite of applications, one theme for consistent look and feel, one set of logins, one software to update, one backend for configuration, one channel for professional support. And when you choose one platform, you're looking out for #1 (clever joke there, hold for applause). It's why I ultimately chose IPS myself. I had hobbled together three different systems with integrated logins. You have no idea how nerve-wracking it is if one set of logins fail, because then members can't do anything (and they certainly don't care that it's only one bridge thats not working). It's also really hard to get support, because each software bridges to another software and they'll just tell you to check with the other software. It's a lot of passing the ball and maintenance to try to keep multiple platforms in sync. With IPS, you have options to mix and match your applications but still keep everything under one roof. If you want a website, you can purchase Pages which is the page and article builder. You can pair this with Forums and Gallery and give yourself a full and modern suite in one platform.
  6. Joel R

    Abandoned Attachments

    To clarify, that should already be happening. If you notice attachments that aren't attached to a post, then send in a ticket.
  7. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    I see your point, but I think you're glossing over the power of rich media to spark insightful conversations and generalizing all comments to commenting, when a good video or image can provoke as good of a discussion as any other. It doesn't have to be just topics that have good conversation. Some of the most compelling moments that have moved us, as people and as nations, have been images and videos. Commenting can be a deep conversation. It just depends on what you're commenting about. I agree. Which is why I was hesitant about enabling reactions. I even added daily limits to reactions in the hopes that my members would be judicious in their reactions and actually write something insightful. I had a minor mutiny! They creamed me in my feedback forum. Moder internet users need, want, crave, and demand quicker and easier forms of interaction. We can lament about the golden era and become victims of our own self-paralysis, or we can take a deep breath and push forward.
  8. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    I don't pretend that I have the capacity to architect the future of IPS (and also, let's honestly admit that IPS is going to be making forums until the end of times). But as a fun brainstorm: - Content types I already talked about the combinations and variations of making new content types. IPS would ship with the default content types, and we can make our own. - Hubs We could have the platform as one bucket. Or we could have the platformin many smaller buckets, what I call "Hubs." A hub would be a collection of content types and would have it's own categories, permissions, templates, and publishing options. IPS would ship with the standard hubs: Forums, Gallery, Downloads, etc. But admins can create their own unique hubs of content: -- Stories: blog posts + photoessays -- Instamoments: status updates + videograms -- Tours: Calendar events + xooms I made up cheesy names, but you get my point. Hubs can also mix and match the traditional content types like forum topics and gallery images. It wouldn't necessarily be social media; it would be a way of crafting unique item types specific to our communities and collecting them in hubs. At the very least, it'll allow us to mix different content items (forum topics and gallery images) over similar topics and create a ticket experience for our users. - Workflows Items with certain attributes would go through certain workflows. For example, items with prices or subscription renewals would go through the checkout workflow. Items with the file attribute would go through the download workflow.
  9. For the second part, you can use something like Application Forms by @Fosters to ask questions and send the forms to you (or moderators) for approval.
  10. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    I want to dissect some of what you said, because you cover a lot of ground. 1. Content sets + Templates This is a rather innovative perspective on content items. I always felt that content items were redundant across multiple applications. For example, so many of the content items in IPS are the same thing over and over again: Forum post = editor Forum topic = editor + tags + title Q&A post = editor+ up/down votes Blog post= editor + comments / reviews + cover photo + title Pages record = editor + custom fields + title Status Update = editor Calendar Date = editor + date + rsvp + cover photo + location I would be genuinely impressed if IPS rebuilt content items from the ground-up with this meta-perspective in their next version. It would be transformative. We could define whole new content items and pair them up with various attributes: "Videograms" = Video + comments "Photoessays" = Albums + comments "Xoom" = Image + up/down votes "Yap"= Sound + location You get the idea. IP.Page databases are close. You can create custom content items and add custom fields. The major difference between your idea is that you allow other media (images, videos, sounds, files) as the primary field. In IP.Page databases, you must use the editor as the primary field. You can also wrap all of this in custom templates. 2. The Brilliance of Instagram You pointed out the two (and only two features) of Instagram and called it brilliant. Pretty sure that's the entire feature-set of Instagram and the only two things you can do on your phone anyways LOL. And yet, you're onto something. Instagram is incredibly well-designed for its target screen: mobile phones. I think forum admins (especially legacy forum owners) need to think long and hard about the UIX of our forums. We cling to some truly ridiculous notions: a forum list that hides all the knowledge behind categories and sub-boards; a postbit with a dozen pieces of trivial tidbits that are longer than the actual post; and post signatures that convey no useful information. Mobile is going to force us to use two - and only two - actions to be able to participate: tap and swipe. That's it. 3. Video This is the next major digital trend (as in, that trend is already here and well-underway). As independent web owners, we're going to fall behind. Our shared hosting accounts and cloud accounts can't handle the required server processes of video encoding - adaptive streaming, universal web playback, device profiles, thumbnail generation - to do self-hosted video well. Multimedia websites that are rich in graphics, sounds, and videography are necessary in capturing and delighting users. We also need to be control the content on our own platform and not depend on other platforms -- that's why we're hosting independent communities to begin with.
  11. Joel R

    Abandoned Attachments

    I think there are two potential gaps of files. 1. Files that were uploaded (and captured by IPS) with no location. Do you have access to phpMyAdmin? You can look into your table for attachments, gallery images, and download files to see if you have files not associated with locations. 2. Files that were uploaded and never captured by IPS. What's even scarier is that we might have files that were never captured by the IPS software for whatever reason, and they're now forever floating in Amazon's cloud, haunting my monthly bill for the rest of time. I sent in a ticket on Monday night for my attachments, but I didn't think to look for gallery images or download files. I also literally have no way of tracking down files not used or tracked by the software.
  12. When are original gallery images accessed? I think they're accessed when a user clicks on 'download', right? This means cold storage may not be appropriate because users can be accessing original images all the time unless IPS changed the download function to point to the large image and bypassed the original.
  13. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    I'm going to expand this conversation to your earlier statement that "content is King." In the other related topic, @Matt remarked that communities need to provide "value."I think that's a broader and better definition of what we need to do for our users. Content is one part of value. It's the 'hard' technical knowledge and resources. But I think we lost out on the other type of value -- the 'soft' value of personal recognition, achievement, camaraderie, socializating, friendship, fun, and all of the other emotional components of being human. You know, all the stuff that actually makes humans feel good about engaging and re-visiting our forums over and over again. This component of value is where I think forums - which used to be the places to go for online camaraderie - will continue to lose out on to social networks, which by design, are hyper-focused on building the social, soft value. Humans are motivated for a lot of reasons. Some come for knowledge. Some come because they're hanging out with friends. We need to embrace the entire range of value. I feel like certain voices in the forum world somehow think that our salvation depends on 'hard' value -- providing definitive, technical or professional knowledge that users can't get anywhere else. I hate to say this, but we were already doing this; and now we can ONLY do this because we lost out on the community / social aspect of users. Even worse, there's going to come a point when a new platform comes along that disrupts the classification, presentation, and organization of hard content. (To a point, I think IP.Pages databases are already disrupting forums for IPS clients). I don't want you to think that we're all screwed. We've managed to carve out successful niches on the Internet, but it's only going to get worse. Here are some lessons to think about, for myself and for everyone: 1. Stop relying on the mantra "Content is King.". That's not the complete picture and you're missing out on a whole range of community value. Your mantra should be: "Content is King. Community is Heart." 2. We need to think extremely hard about how we present, organize, and classify information for our users to make it easier for them to find exactly what they want. This is our major strength right now, and we can't lose our lead. This encompasses things like: mobile design, homepage design, first viewport impression, search, related content, activity streams, fluid forum. 3. We also need to think about how to make our communities welcoming and social. This is why our users left us, and we need to claw them back. This encompasses things like: ranks and pips, trophies, leaderboard, introduction boards, buddy clubs, engagement emails and notifications, and a general encouragement to just let them 'hang out.'
  14. Joel R

    The future of forums... let's talk!

    Keep in mind that writing for presentation is different from writing for engagement. Are you giving space in your article for personal opinions or interpretations? Are you encouraging users to actually engage with you and respond? Are you writing articles that provoke and push your readers?
  15. So here's my ultimate gripe: I'm paying Amazon every month for storage. Like, literally for the rest of time for as long as my website is up. To save even $1 per month can make a difference when you multiple that by the rest of time. Here are some real back-of-the-envelope calculations for my site: In my case, I have 250,000 images in my gallery. I have slightly less than 150,000 regular attachments. So we have: 250,000 original gallery 250,000 reduced gallery 150,000 original attachments 150,000 reduced attachments We're going to assume all of these files are the same size, even though originals are in reality much much larger. If I delete just the original images of my gallery, I'm saving ~30% of my Amazon bill, which is about $40 / mo. That's $12 /mo. I maintain a 3 to 5 year outlook on my site, which means I'm going to save $432 to $720. That's a substantial sum of savings for a website thats broke poor. From a technical and user perspective, I can see how there's a possibility of accessing the original image though. That's why I really like the above suggestions of making a new filestorage option for originals, where we can move them to something like Amazon Glacier that's infrequently accessed.