Chris59 reacted to Andy Millne for an entry, 4.5: Blog Categories
Ever since Invision Community 4.x was launched you have been asking for the ability to categorize blogs in your community.
We heard you loud and clear, but sometimes when a feature sounds straightforward, it requires some re-engineering of the framework. Because users in your community can create both blog entries and their own blogs to hold these entries, this was one of those areas.
Starting with Invision Community 4.5 I’m pleased to announce that it is now possible for blog authors to categorize their blog entries and it's now possible for administrators to categorize blogs.
Blog Entry Categories
When creating a new blog entry, your members will now be able to create a new category for the entry or choose an existing one that had been created previously.
Choosing your category when creating a new blog entry
When a reader then visits the blog they can choose to display only those categories that interest them.
Filtering by category
Running a community where users can create their own blogs, you don’t only need to make sure individual pieces of content are categorized correctly, you also need to make sure the blogs themselves have a logical place. Well guess what? Now you can!
As an admin you can now set up predefined categories in the control panel and Blog authors can then choose which one to create their new blog in.
Managing blog categories
We realize some of you have been waiting a long time to see these changes so we hope you enjoy this and everything else to come in Invision Community 4.5!
Chris59 reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.3: Welcome to the future, blog!
We've taken Invision Community's Blog app by the scruff of the neck and dragged it into 2018!
There has been a growing trend for imagery to play a very important part of a blog entry. This update reflects that.
Introducing Grid View
We have added a new view that shows your blog entries as cards with space for a cover photo.
We've very visual creatures, and a good photograph can entice readers into your blogs to read more.
As you would expect, you can disable this mode from the Admin CP for purists that prefer the traditional list format.
For those who's sense of adventure runs deep, the new grid mode allows you to show a list of latest blog entries as the blog home page.
This puts valuable and engaging content right in front of your audience.
This list view persists when you view a blog's entries giving a consistent feel.
Viewing an entry
We've given the blog entry page a little make-over by featuring the cover photo above the content. The slimmed down blog details bar allows your audience to focus on the content.
Default Cover Photos
You may have spotted that entries without a cover photo have a rather fetching geometric pattern in different colors.
This is a new micro-feature of Invision Community 4.3. Currently, if you do not have a cover photo on a blog, profile or event, the bar is a rather sad shade of black.
The new default cover photo feature makes it much more cheerful. Here's what a profile looks like.
Here's a few technical details for those that love to know all the things.
The grid view feature can be turned off in the ACP (but doing so will make me very sad) You can choose the default home page view: Latest Entries or List of Blogs. You can still view a list of blogs when you're on the latest entries page. This choice is stored in a little cookie (GDPR friendly, it doesn't contain any identifying data) so navigating back gets you the last view you chose. Let us know what you think! We love it, and hope you do too.
Chris59 reacted to Charles for an entry, Invision Community 4.3
We are happy to announce the new Invision Community 4.3 is available!
Some highlights in Invision Community 4.3 include...
We now support Elasticsearch for scalable and accurate searching that MySQL alone cannot provided. There are also enhancements to the overall search interfaces based on your feedback.
Express yourself with native emoji support in all editors. You can also keep your custom emoticons as you have now.
The AdminCP interface to manage your members is all new allowing you easier control and management of your membership.
Automatic Community Moderation
You as the administrator set up rules to define how many unique member reports a piece of content needs to receive before it's automatically hidden from view and moderators notified.
The new Clubs feature has been a huge hit with Invision Community users and we are expanding it to include invite-only options, notifications, exposure on the main community pages, paid memberships, and more.
Custom Email Footers
Your community generates a lot of email and you can now include dynamic content in the footer to help drive engagement and content discovery.
New Gallery Interface
We have reworked our Gallery system with a simplified upload process and more streamlined image viewing.
The full list follows. Enjoy!
We now support Elasticsearch which is a search utility that allows for much faster and more reliable searching. The REST API now supports search functions. Both MySQL and Elasticsearch have new settings for the admin to use to set search-defaults and default content weighting to better customize search logic to your community. Visitors can now search for Content Pages and Commerce Products. When entering a search term, members now see a more clear interface so they know what areas they are searching in and the method of search. Member Engagement
Commerce can now send a customizable account welcome email after checkout. You can whitelist emails in the spam service to stop false-positives. REST API has many enhancements to mange members. Ability to join any OAuth service for login management. Invision Community can now be an OAuth endpoint. Wordpress OAuth login method built in. Support for Google's Invisible ReCaptcha. Groups can be excluded from Leaderboard (such as admins or bot groups). All emails generated by Invision Community can now contain admin-defined extra promotional text in the footer such as Our Picks, and Social Links. Admins can now define the order of Complete Your Profile to better control user experience. Clubs
Option to make a Club visible but invite-only Admins can set an option so any Club a member is part of will also show in the parent application. So if you are in a Club that has a Gallery tab then those image will show both in the Club and in the main Gallery section of the community. Club members can now follow an entire Club rather than just each content section. There is a new option on the Club directory page for a list view which is useful for communities with many Clubs. If you have Commerce you can now enable paid memberships to Clubs. Admins can set limits on number of Clubs per group. If a group has delete permission in their Club, they can now delete empty containers as well. Members can ignore invitations. Moderation and Administration
Unrestricted moderator or administrator permission sets in the AdminCP are visually flagged. This prevents administrator confusion when they cannot do something as they will be able to quickly see if their account has restrictions. You can choose to be notified with a new Club is created. Moderators can now reply to any content item with a hidden reply. Download screenshot/watermarks can now be rebuilt if you change settings. Support for Facebook Pixel to easily track visitors. Moderators can now delete Gallery albums. Automatic moderation tools with rules to define when content should auto-hide based on user reports. Totally new member management view in AdminCP. More areas are mass-selectable like comments and AdminCP functions for easier management. New Features
Commerce now has full Stripe support including fraud tools, Apple Pay, and other Stripe features. Commerce packages can now have various custom email events configured (expiring soon, purchased, expired). Full Emojii support in the editor. Complete overhaul of the Gallery upload and image views. Announcements system overhaul. Now global on all pages (not via widget) and new modes including dismissible announcements and top-header floating bar option. Many new reports on traffic and engagement in the AdminCP. Blog has new view modes to offer options for a traditional site blog or a community multi-member blog platform. The content-starter can now leave one reply to Reviews on their item. Commerce now makes it much easier to do basic account-subscriptions when there is no product attached. Useful Improvements
Forums has a new widget where you can filter by tags. If tags are not required, the tag input box now indicates this so the member knows they do not have to put in tags. Member cover photos can now be clicked to see the full image. Any item with a poll now has a symbol on the list view. Twitch.tv embed support. You can now update/overwrite media in the Pages Media Manager. Mapbox as an additional map provider to Google Maps. Technical Changes
Direct support for Sparkpost has been removed. Anyone currently using Sparkpost will automatically have their settings converted to the Sparkpost SMTP mode so your email will still work. Your cache engines (like Redis) will be checked on upgrade and in the support tool to ensure they are reachable. Third-party applications will now be visually labeled to distinguish them from Invision Community official applications. The queued tasks list in the AdminCP is now collapsed by default as queued tasks are not something people need to pay much attention to during normal operations. When upgrading from version 3 series you must convert your database to UTF8 and the system saves your original data in tables prefixed with orig. The AdminCP now alerts you these are still present and allows you to remove them to reclaim storage space. On new installs there are now reasonable defaults for upload limits to keep people from eating up storage space. Categories in all apps (forums, gallery albums, databases, etc.) no longer allow HTML in their titles. This has been a concern both in terms of security and usability so we were forced to restrict it. Large improvements to the Redis cache engine including use for sessions. The login with HTTPS option has been removed and those who were using it will be given instructions to convert their entire community to HTTPS. Images loaded through the proxy system now honor image limits for normal uploads. We now consider BBCode deprecated. We are not removing support but will not fix any future issues that may come up.
There's a lot to talk about here so we are going to lock this entry to comments so things do not get confusing. Feel free to comment on upcoming feature-specific entries or start a topic in our Feedback forum.
Chris59 reacted to Charles for an entry, Invision Community 4.3 Coming Soon
Our recent release of Invision Community 4.2 was the most well-received version ever! The feedback we received on new features like Clubs, Reactions, and Promotes was better than we could have hoped and we really enjoyed seeing all the creative uses as people implemented them on their own communities.
We have been hard at work on version 4.3 with a goal of improving on all the great new features. It is well under way and we are happy to able to start announcing what's new over the next few weeks.
Invision Community 4.3 will not only contain new features but also have a core focus on refinement from 4.2's new features. You will see many improvements to Clubs, new integration options, large application improvements, new promotional features, and more changes large and small.
You can expect to see news posts about new features and changes very soon with a release date in early 2018. Follow our news section or subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.
Chris59 reacted to Rikki for an entry, New: Clubs
This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
We are happy to introduce the next major feature that will be available in IPS Community Suite 4.2 - Clubs.
Clubs are a brand new way of supporting sub-communities within your site. Many people have requested social group functionality in the past and Clubs are our implementation of this concept. Let's take a look at a few screenshots, and then go over what they are capable of doing.
The Club directory
A Club homepage
Club member listing
Example of content within a club (topics, in this case)
There's a lot to digest there! Let's go over the basic functionality.
Four types of club are available:
Clubs that anyone can see and participate in without joining. Open club
Clubs that anyone can see and join. Closed club
Clubs that anyone can see in the directory, but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or Club Moderator. Non-club-members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas. Private club
Clubs that do not show in public, and users must be invited by a Club Leader or Club Moderator As the site admin, you can of course configure which club types can be created and by whom. You could, for example, allow members to create public and open clubs, but allow a "VIP" group to also create Closed and Private clubs.
Admin configuration option for Club creations
Each club has three levels of user:
A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas (see below). The club owner is automatically a leader. Moderators
Moderators, as the name implies, have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. As the site administrator, you can define which moderator tools can be used. You could, for example, prevent any content being deleted from clubs, but allow it to be hidden. Moderators can also remove members from a club. Users
Anyone else that joins the club.
Defining the moderator permissions available to club moderators
Your site administrator and moderators, with the appropriate permissions, are able to moderator content in any Club regardless of whether they are a member of it.
Clubs can be created by any user who has permission. As you would expect, this is controlled by our regular permission settings.
For closed clubs, there's an approval process. Users can request to join and the request must be approved by a leader. Leaders get a notification when a user requests to join; the user gets a notification when their request is approved or denied.
Approving and declining join requests
Club Leaders can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, blogs and so on. It's important to note that these content areas are fully functional just as if they existed as a top-level admin created area. They will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content.
Each content area a leader adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name.
Adding content areas to a club
Club Custom Fields
Clubs also support custom fields. Custom fields are defined by the site administrator and can be filled in by Club Owners. The values they enter are shown (along with the club description) on the club homepage.
Custom fields in a club
On the Club Directory page, users can filter by the custom club fields.
Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify a physical location for their club. Let's say you run a community for car enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page:
And within a club, the location is shown too:
We offer two ways to display club headers within the club - the standard way, shown in the screenshots you've seen up to this point, but we also have a sidebar option. This is something the admin sets globally for the site, rather than per-club. This is useful where your site design doesn't facilitate another horizontal banner taking up valuable screen real-estate; moving the club banner to the sidebar alleviates this pressure on vertical space.
Sidebar club style
Using Clubs in Other Ways
There's a lot of scope for using clubs beyond allowing users to create their own groups. You do not even have to call them "clubs" if that does not suit your use case. For example, on a company intranet you could rename Clubs to "Departments", and create a private group for each of your main roles. This would allow each department to have its own community, with its own forums, gallery, file sharing and so on, private and separate from other departments.
Similarly, they'd also work well in situations where you as the site admin want to create entire micro-communities. Take for example a video game publisher. Using Clubs, they could create a micro-community for each of their games, complete with forums, galleries and so forth, and then set the Clubs directory as their overall community homepage. Immediately, they have a setup that hasn't until now been possible out-of-the-box with IPS Community Suite.
We expect our clients will come up with some really innovative uses for the new Club functionality, and we can't wait to see what you do. We'd love to hear your feedback - let us know what you think in the comments.
Chris59 reacted to Rikki for an entry, New: Reactions
This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
IPS Community Suite has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down system, later updated to introduce a Likes system as an alternative. Whichever system you chose to use, it tied in with our reputation system.
We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, and it's something that has been requested for quite some time: Reactions.
Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see.
Let's see how they work in a post, and then cover the options you'll have available.
What you see above is the default setup for a site that has used the Like system in version 4.1. We include 5 reactions by default:
Like Thanks Confused Sad Haha If you currently use the older style up/down reputation system, don't fret - you'll still get the new reactions on upgrade, but they'll be disabled by default and instead the new reaction UI will show up/down reactions. This gives you the flexibility to decide which of the new reactions, if any, you want to allow.
So, those are the basics - but what configuration options can you expect to see? First, you can of course add your own reactions! We expect that beyond the default reactions you'd expect to find, some sites will want reaction types specific to their use-case. On an intranet, you might want to have 'agree' and 'disagree' reactions for staff to use when responding to discussions. On a gaming community, you might replace the icons to be some graphic from a video game that means something to your particular userbase. There's a wealth of possibilities.
Each reaction you set up can be configured to adjust the original author's reputation count - a reaction can be positive (i.e. award a reputation point), negative (i.e. subtract a reputation point), or neutral (i.e. leave the reputation count unchanged). Our default set won't include any negative reactions, but you are free to configure these and new reactions to suit your own use-case. A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course.
If you don't want to use the new reactions for whatever reason, you can disable all of them except Like, and it'll behave just the like 4.1-and-earlier system:
Sites that currently use the up/down system don't show a list of names of users, and instead show an overall reputation score for the content. With the new reaction system, you can enable this even if you don't use up/down reactions. This is great if you plan to use reactions as, for example, an agree/disagree system, or where the content score is more important to your site than the individual reaction types.
How the reaction UI looks with the 'count only' setting enabled
As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if you enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content. This remains a permission setting that you can apply per-group.
On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks like this:
Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including Recommended Replies:
...and activity streams...
...and a couple of places we aren't quite ready to reveal yet
We hope you're looking forward to this new feature as much as we are. It's already been a hit on our internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how clients customize it for use on their own community.
Developer note: Reactions are one of two new features (the other currently unannounced) so far that make use of PHP Traits.
Chris59 reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Leaderboard
We are excited to announce the Leaderboard as the latest all new feature of IPS Community Suite. The new Leaderboard is designed to better highlight your most active members and content based on reputation and other metrics. The Leaderboard will greatly enhance both member and content discovery on your community.
First you will notice the new feature of member leaders based on a specific time frame. In the example above it is set to All Time showing those members with the most reputation overall on your community. It also shows the content with the most reputation for the same timeframe so you get a snapshot of both popular members and popular content in one view.
The Past Leaders tab shows the "winners" of each day in a history. The system counts all reputation made each day and logs the members who had the top reputation counts that day. Using reputation rather than post count encourages your members to post quality of quantity which is really important to any site.
Winner Profile Badge
Those who win the day also get a badge on their profile page to highlight that they were the member with the most reputation for a particular day.
Top Members shows you a list of all members sorted by various metrics. By default you will see members sorted by reputation but you can also easily sort by total post content Suite-wide or per-app. All of these views can be linked directly to so if you wanted a menu item to show members who post the most files in Downloads you can just directly link to that sort view.
There are various settings to control the default behavior of the Leaderboard. You can define the default view and how many members to show which is helpful to tailor it to your needs.
We hope you enjoy this initial launch of the new Leaderboard feature. We are excited about the new content and member discovery abilities this offers and look forward to adding new options to the Leaderboard as we continue to develop!
This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
Chris59 reacted to Charles for an entry, Coming Soon in 4.1.17
Version 4.1.17 is in the final stages of development and will be released soon!
Check out the release notes for the full list of what's new and our preview articles for details on some of the most interesting changes:
Better Analytics Integration Tag Quick Edit Default Warning Notes Custom RSS Feeds Word and Link Filters Leaderboard Moderation Improvements Security and Privacy Embeds and Integration We hope you enjoy all these new additions coming in 4.1.17 and be sure to read the release notes for many smaller changes. The big feature in 4.1.17 is the new Leaderboard which we really think will enhance your community.
If you like using pre-release beta versions, the public beta of 4.1.17 will be available in the client area on 28 November. We support betas on live installs with some exceptions so give it a try if you like to be first to try the new features!
Chris59 reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Embeds and Integrations
IPS Community Suite allows for integrations with quite a few third party systems and also can embed content from external sites. We have added a whole new list of embed providers where you can just paste in a link to that site and a nice box will show up. For example, if I paste this link in normally:
https://twitter.com/invisionps/status/799269691579449344 I get:
You can do that will many popular sites already and we are adding a lot more:
codepen.io coub.com deviantart.com docs.com funnyordie.com gettyimages.com iFixit.com kickstarter.com meetup.com mixcloud.com mix.office.com on.aol.com reddit.com reverbnation.com screencast.com screenr.com slideshare.net smugmug.com ustream.tv Google Maps Once you enable Google Maps under Community Enhancements by entering your Google API key you can them just paste in a link to a Google Map location. So when you paste a link to a Google Map in an editor it shows like this:
Google Maps in Editor
The maps are also interactive on the screen.
We have also added quite a few more endpoints, particularly in member management, to our REST API. If you are not already familiar with the REST API it is a great way to integrate external systems with IPS Community Suite. You can both fetch and modify data in the Suite via the API. REST API documentation...
Third Party Diagnostics
This is a bit more of a technical feature so feel free to skip if it does not interest you. If you use third party plugins or applications from our Marketplace or from other sites you may occasionally encounter issues in the Suite caused by those items but it is often hard to know the root issue. There are now tools in the AdminCP to show all places in the code that third party items are modifying to help with diagnosing issues. The Suite will now also try to detect if an error it encounters is referencing a third party plugin and suggest you disable it to see if the issue is resolved.
New Support Tool
Simplified Support Tool
Though not specifically about embeds or integrations, the new Support Tool does better help diagnose issues so I thought I would give it a nice shout out. It really does help to find server problems, database issues, or outdated files that might interfere with your site. It also makes support so much easier if you submit your ticket to us via the Support Tool as it sends along a temporary login (if you allow it) for us to use. The new design simplifies the tool down to just one step and it gives you a report and suggested actions.
This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
Chris59 reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Tag Quick Edit
Tags are a powerful feature in IPS Community Suite 4 and we have seen clients using them in many ways to enhance content discovery on their site. Adding tags to an item is quite easy but modifying them after the fact requires you to edit the root content item. Not only is this tedious but it also then shows an edited-by line for that item even if all you did was change a tag.
To make this process more user friendly we now have the ability to quickly edit tags when viewing any content item. When you view an item that has tags enabled and you have permission to edit then you will see a link to edit tags.
Tag Quick Edit
That brings up an input box where you can manage your item tags without leaving the page to a full edit screen.
Tag Quick Edit Input
We have been testing the feature for a few weeks internally and it has already saved us time as we tag our discussions. But beyond that, and I think more important, is the fact that we find we are using tags more often. More use means more organization and filter possibilities of your content which is a great thing for busy, data-drive communities.
So we hope that not only will controlling your tags be faster an easier but you too find you use the tagging feature more often with this small but useful change.
This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.