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Joel R

Invision Community Advocate
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  1. Bad communities promise great things to its members. Good communities offer great things to its members. Great communities fulfill the greatness of its members. A primary purpose of every community is to fulfill the needs of its members. A strong community will go beyond the immediate, basic needs and ensure that fulfillment is a positive experience. By doing so, it builds in positive rewards and reinforcement for an enjoyable sense of togetherness. One of the cornerstone ideas of behavioral sciences is reinforcement: delivering a positive experience to members through multiple dimensions. Why they come, why the stay, and how to fulfill those needs is our third element of Sense of Community: Rewards & Reinforcement. Discover all the ways to fulfill member needs for your Invision Community. Fulfillment of Functional Needs Your community must have a clear and unique purpose. Your community must offer something valuable. And your community must solve a problem. This is the prime reason why a user would visit you in the first place and how you fulfill his most basic needs. He searches for a question, and your community provides the answer. Many communities build up their expertise through two ways: Crowd-source community solutions - You can highlight community-driven solutions in Invision Community to curate attention to the best answers. Two of the most underutilized features are Content Messages and Recommended Replies, which allow moderators to showcase and explain great user content. Bring experts into the community – Authoritative content should be posted and marked separately from regular user content. You can accomplish this by giving experts a dedicated Blog, authorship in Pages, or enabling Post highlights. Fulfillment of Personal Needs Beyond the fulfillment of basics needs, users want other wishes and desires. It’s impossible to identify all personal needs, but here are three of the biggest ones why users come together more: Group Status – People like to be on the “winning team,” and community success brings group members closer together. Highlight community success in your monthly newsletter or topic announcements. Competence – People are attracted to others with skills or competence. Introduce superusers and subject matter experts (SMEs) through interviews, team talk, or AMA topics ("ask me anything"). Rewards – Behavioral research shows that users gravitate toward groups that offer more rewards. Use tools like the Leaderboard, Group rank, Badges, and Reputation for extrinsic motivation that excite users and make them feel special. Fulfillment of Shared Values Society and our upbringing instruct us in a set of shared values. We bring those values into our online communities because they provide a framework of how to address our emotional and personal needs and the priority in which we address them. When users with shared values come together, they’re more receptive to helping others with the same value system: A Values Statement: Make it a point to identify the shared values in your community, in Guidelines or on a separate page. Affirm those principles in your interactions and, in difficult situations, frame your decision by referencing your community values. Private communities with high engagement usually have the strongest statements of values. Process vs. Outcome: How you answer is just as important as the answer. If you run a community that is technical, offers customer support, or involves lots of questions-and-answers, the process by which you arrive at the solution can help other users troubleshoot similar but different problems. Reinforce the solving process, and you’ll discover users will feel better about sharing their knowledge even if they don’t know the exact answer. Fulfillment by Networking Groups will naturally coalesce into smaller groups, as people find other people that they enjoy and who fulfill their own needs. Strong communities find ways to fit people together. Multiply Relationships: The sooner you can build relationships among members, the stronger those members will feel towards your community. In my community, I’ve created an “Ambassador” task force that welcomes new members to build personal relationships as soon as possible. Be a Networker: One of the virtues of being a community manager is that you’re normally introduced to the greatest number of people. Use your personal network within the community to connect two users together, bring other users into a conversion, or tap the expertise of others to help answer user questions. CONCLUSION There’s an Arabian proverb that says, “A promise is a cloud, fulfillment is rain.” Make it rain. Find ways to fulfill the greatness of your members, unleash a tidal wave of rewards and reinforcement that touch upon all the functional, personal, communal, and social needs of your members in the ultimate approach to member fulfillment. Build not just a good community, but a great one.
  2. I'd like to officially lend my support for Amazon SES. SparkPost currently costs me $20 / mo on a plan for 50,000 emails (and this was after I suppressed the majority of my email notifications to switch to a lower plan). The equivalent cost on Amazon SES would be $5 / mo. This represents cost savings of $180 / yr. The cost savings are too big to ignore for independent communities.
  3. Clubs allows the same forum, gallery, blog, and calendar functionality as the rest of the suite. No more, no less. The only difference is instead of a big community using forums, you can now have a small using forums I think what @kmk desires is actually a group chat tool, and not an open community tool.
  4. Good luck on the launch of the Marketplace!
  5. There are multiple third party apps from the IPS Marketplace that can accomplish what you want, but they're third party. This means that support, development, and future releases are not guaranteed. If you're building an LMS, you're probably better off using an off the shelf LMS solution that is designed specifically for LMS.
  6. @Runar Do topic authors have permission to choose the markers?
  7. Hey @HeadStand Newsletter has not been issuing for a club newsletter. I updated to version 2.1.2 on May 27th, and that was also the last day the newsletter was sent out. Please advise.
  8. Hi @Mike John I continue to have errors on the plugin. I believe the settings do not save.
  9. I'd like to also add, without giving or affirming any direction, there have been many impassioned debates from the IPS team on how to best offer a new user experience for v5. On a more practical note, I think community admins need to strongly consider using or building a custom homepage (such as in Pages app) while on Invision 4. If there is a great homepage design that you feel does an especially good job of engaging members, feel free to link or share it in the Feedback forum for review. Or share in the Client Lounge to inspire other clients and theme developers.
  10. I read a community management article last week that asked, "Who likes to browse categories?" The answer: no one. But that's the visitor experience most forums show! You really need a custom homepage built in Pages that shows off a mix of popular content, authoritative content, and recent content.
  11. @FASEOFMARS This is the most interesting topic of the month because it brings up the larger question: what is Invision Community and what does it offer relative to other community software? Invision Community is a software that is fundamentally designed for community of content. This means things like shared discussion, group blogging, group galleries, collaborative wikis. It requires design principles like permanence, organization, structure. What you want is a community designed for users. This means user posts, user blogs, user albums. It requires design principles like social connections, levels of privacy, and emotion. There are important, fundamental distinctions between the two. Invision Community overlaps with both, but it's fundamentally designed for communities of content. I see you struggling with this answer, and I struggle with it too. My personal community is social in nature, and I have users who treat it exactly like Facebook. They almost exclusively post status updates. Sometimes I worry that users don't know how to use forums anymore. In the past week, I have had: - a user report a post, so he can reply back with a comment. - a user write his first topic in my Test Topics category, literally the worst and last board you could possibly choose out of a dozen other public boards. As the Community Advocate for IPS, I encourage every client to think very hard about evolving themselves into a community of content. You must pair your forums with definitive, valuable, and unique content. You won't win if you try to stay as a social community of users.
  12. What do visitors see when they visit your online community? And when was the last time you logged out to browse like a visitor? Check out these 4x4 tips of four items in less than four minutes for the visitor experience: Check your Registration Process, especially any social sign-ins. You may want to increase or reduce security checks. You may need to fix social logins. And you may want to offer an easier onboarding like Quick Registration + Profile Completion. Read your Guest Sign-up Widget. This is the most important text in your entire community, since it's the first message visitors will read. Is your Guest Signup Widget giving visitors the first impression you'd like, with proper keywords and messaging? Audit your Visitor Permissions. In the ACP, go to Groups > Guests > Permissions. Do your guests have access to the right boards and categories? Test on other browsers and devices. Most of us don't have ten different computers and smartphones running different OS's and browsers, so it can be hard to check the UIX. Luckily, there are free cross-browser tools like BrowserShots.org or Device Mode on Chrome Devtools that can help. Hope you enjoy these tips, and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.
  13. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/07/22/10-reasons-your-brand-needs-to-be-on-linkedin/amp/ Article from Forbes. LinkedIn has one of the highest visitor to lead conversion.
  14. Content Message that was introduced in 4.2: https://invisioncommunity.com/news/product-updates/new-content-message-r1000/
    Cute little plugin. I think it makes the suite feel more personalized, and carries over the avatar from the desktop to the mobile experience.
  15. Some thoughts in no particular order: 1. Yes, Facebook will be here for a very long time. They've done an exceptionally good job of making the service as sticky as possible for users, with games, marketplace selling, and soon their Libra coin. 2. Facebook and Discord is not free. There's a false sense of free with those services, where it's literally costing you your user data and privacy. 3. Whether or not Facebook and Discord are easier to start a new community on, they're exceptionally bad for large communities with a lot of activity. There's no long form communication or organization on those platforms, which makes to hard to save and retain the best content. The one overwhelming takeaway from this article is that anytime you rely on another platform, you're at it's mercy. The only way to protect yourself is to run an independent community. You lose a lot of the platform's benefits, but you control your own destiny.
  16. These might be better matches for what you want: https://invisioncommunity.com/files/file/8992-og-image-for-forum-topics/ https://invisioncommunity.com/files/file/7436-bim-topic-thumbnail/
  17. As an option, there are topic covers and forum covers available in the Marketplace.
  18. Group permission > Highlight replies.
  19. 100% agree. The story of mobile is the biggest story of the Internet right now. It is the overwhelming trend for everything. I don't think ALL communities need to focus on mobile though. If you have a highly technical community, you're probably okay sticking with desktop (based on your device usage, which you can see in your analytics). But if your community is more social, more casual, or more lifestyle-focused, then designing for mobile should be your first priority.
  20. Are you wanting: Change titles for ALL clubs? Change titles for EACH club?
  21. Mary Meeker delivered a rapid-fire review at the 2019 Code Conference of her latest Internet Trends Report, widely considered to be one of the most influential and comprehensive reports on Internet trends. The report covers 11 broad areas from ecommerce to education, data growth to usage, work to immigration, and China. The report's foreword includes the following statement: This is an especially appropriate message for Invision Community admins and managers, who must not only ingest the data firehose but turn it into actionable feedback. This report is presented to Invision Community clients as a way of understanding the broader trends that shape and influence the digital world around us, and to hopefully spur thoughtful conversation on how to thrive as an online community through 2019 and beyond. Here are highlights from the report, especially selected for clients of Invision Community. More International - Global internet penetration surpassed 51% in 2018, which means more than half of the world's population are Internet users. Certain regions have very different growth patterns. Asia Pacific already contains more Internet users than the rest of the world combined, yet less than half of its users are on the Internet. In contrast, North America is virtually saturated. Growth of new users is getting harder, except for China, India, and Indonesia which show the most promise of new users. More Ecommerce - Ecommerce is a rapidly rising a major portion of retail sales. Ecommerce growth is a strong 12% year over year. Physical retail growth is 2% year over year. More Online Advertising on Mobile - Internet advertising is continuing to increase overall at 22% year over year, with all of the new growth dedicated to mobile advertising spending. Spending on desktop advertising is flatlining. More Hours Online - Online media usage increased by 7% year over year in the USA, with all of the growth on mobile. Desktop usage flatlined in 2013 and even decreased in the past three years. Out of online time, Facebook, Youtube, WhatsApp, and WeChat dominate the global time spent online. Mobile use also surpassed time spent on TV for the first time in 2018. More Short-form Video - Short videos like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and WhatsApp Status are one of the newest trends to explosively grow in the past 3 years. More Opportunity for the Underserved - Square is a popular credit card processor and merchant services provider. The fastest area of growth comes from new users in the lowest-income metropolitans in the USA versus the highest-income metropolitan areas in the USA, with 58% of its businesses from females and 35% from minority-owned businesses. More Images - For two decades, users on the Internet have been dramatically ramping up image creation and image sharing. Image sharing has also evolved, with leading platforms like Instagram adding new features like video stories and collaborative story-telling. More Interactive Gaming - Interactive gaming continues to be a dominant Internet trend with 2.4 Billion users, an increase of 6% year over year. Interactive gaming is social in nearly all ways, with real-time play + talk, shared environments, collective goals, and in-game social networks. One of the leading gaming-related platforms is Discord. More Digital Payments - Digital payments continue to be more efficient, now driving 59% of all global payments. More Data Personalization - The amount of data being collected has exploded in the past decade. Successful companies now deploy data as a core part of their workflow to improve customer satisfaction. Retail customers like sharing data if it gives them a better experience. More Negativity and Polarization - With more people than ever coming online, there continues to be usage concern over problematic content and activity. We will continue to see a world that gets more polarized and divisive due to less filtering, more amplification of extreme content, more vivid live images and videos. More Internet Censorship - The early days of a free Internet are over. We are living in a 'splinternet,' where your online experiences are increasingly determined by local regulation. Truly free Internet decreased with governments increasing surveillance and censorship. More Trust in an Open Internet - On the other hand, an open Internet and online consumer reviews boost multi-sided accountability that ensure safety of products and services, make companies accountable to consumers, and make consumers feel confident on their purchases. On AirBNB, a popular online booking platform for short-term rentals, 70% of guests leave a review. The reviews are fundamental to building trust on AirBNB. More China Internet - China continues to be the world's success story, with global growth that underscore its superpower status. It is a rapidly rising country with room to grow for most macroeconomic and technical trends including urbanization, disposable income per capita, share of world exports, mobile internet users, and cellular internet growth. Some of the notable Chinese apps include WeChat, Meituan, and Alipay. CONCLUSION Online communities have been a part of the online experience from the beginning through email listservs, chat rooms, bulletin boards, Usenet groups, multiplayer dungeons, and more. We will always be a part of humanity's need to connect, to share, and to relate with similar people but our methods and technology will evolve. The world is more mobile, more pictures and videos, more international, more polarized and open to abuse, and also more connected than ever before. As more people come online, as more methods to communicate flourish, as the technology and infrastructure around the Internet continue to mature, I hope you find inspiration in the 2019 Internet Trends Report to grasp upon these macro trends and find new opportunities to connect and serve your communities better. Download the full deck here: https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/6/11/18651010/mary-meeker-internet-trends-report-slides-2019
  22. What specific features would you like to see?
    This is a necessary plugin for any communities that are using S3 compatible storage services AND want to offer downloading of image attachments and download files. In particular, if you are using Wasabi (from the Community Guide on Setting Up Wasabi and CloudFlare) and IP.Downloads, you will need this plugin. I'd like to thank @All Astronauts for updating this file and offering it as a resource to the community.
  23. 61 people from different countries offer their bodies as a canvas to send a message to the world:

     

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