jair101 reacted to Ryan Ashbrook for an entry, 4.5: Language System Updates
Ever since Invision Community 4.0, there has been a huge focus on making communities multi-lingual by providing translation features inside the AdminCP.
We have received a lot of feedback on our multi-lingual and translation tools over the past year, and we're happy to announce these new features coming to Invision Community 4.5.
Pages Phrase Tools
If you have the Pages application, you can also use these phrases in HTML pages and HTML Blocks without needing to visit the translation tools area. Simply use the tag editor in the sidebar when editing a page or block's contents.
The new phrases sidebar options
You can quickly create new multi-lingual phrases by clicking the + icon.
The new add phrase dialog
Additionally, WYSIWYG Blocks have now been made translatable, so you can now create WYSIWYG blocks that will display their content in specific languages.
Language pack creators can now set a version update URL which is checked to notify admins within the AdminCP that an update available, just like the theme system. This is a great way to notify customers when fixes are available.
Finally, you can now quickly add a new phrase from the Translation Tools page without the need to use the developer tools.
The new "Add Phrase" option
These little changes should make a huge difference in your workflow, and make it easier than ever to create fully multi-lingual pages throughout your site.
jair101 reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.5: Forum View Updates
Invision Community has had different view modes for a good number of years.
Forum grid view was added to create some visual interest when listing forums, and we've had expanded and condensed view modes in streams since they were introduced.
We've taken both of these views a step further in Invision Community 4.5
Forum Grid View
To create even more visual interest, the grid view now allows you to upload, or choose a stock image for the header. This instantly makes for a more dynamic and inviting forum list.
The new grid view image headers
You can choose an image from the Admin CP when creating or editing a forum.
Choose a stock photo, or upload your own
Topic List View
For the topic list view, we have taken inspiration from our stream view options to introduce a new 'expanded' view mode, which displays a snippet of the first post.
The new expanded topic list mode
This immediately entices you to engage with the topic because you can read part of the post without having to click inside to see if it interests you.
This is controlled via the Admin CP, where you can choose the default view, or turn off the new view completely.
You may notice a few other subtle changes in these screenshots. The first is that we now included the follower count as a metric on both the forum grid view and the topic expanded view modes. The number of followers is usually a good indicator of how others perceive the value of the content. A higher follower count generally means a more engaging topic or forum.
You can also see that we've switched to a short number format to keep the displays clean. Instead of say, "2,483 posts", it will merely say "2.5k posts". Reducing visual clutter is always crucial to maintaining a clean user interface.
We hope that you find these new view modes useful and that they make your community even more vibrant!
jair101 reacted to Mark for an entry, 4.5: Zapier Brings Integration with Over 2,000 Web Apps
Zapier is a service that allows you to connect over 2,000 web apps. In Invision Community 4.5 we are launching a beta service of Zapier integration for Invision Community in the Cloud.
What does Zapier do?
Zapier acts as a bridge between Invision Community and other apps, such as Google Docs, Twitter, Facebook, Slack, Trello, Facebook Ads, ActiveCampaign, Zendesk, Asana, Salesforce, Hubspot, Discord, Stripe and more. Zapier has over 2000 apps registered currently, and that number grows every single day.
Let us look at a real life example.
Right now, if you wanted to add a member to a Google Sheets document each time a new registration was completed, you'd need some fairly complex code to be written that was "triggered" by this registration event. This would take days to write at some cost.
Zapier simplifies this by allowing you to connect Invision Community with Google Sheets without needing a single line of code. Zapier allows you to streamline your workflows in minutes.
Zapier has two types of events, triggers and actions.
When a certain thing happens on Invision Community, like a member registering or a topic being posted, a trigger can be sent to Zapier to then run actions in other apps. For example, you might create a zaps to...
When a member registers, add their email to a Mailchimp list. When a moderator posts a topic in a news forum, share it on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. When a member posts something that requires moderator approval, send a message to a Slack channel for your moderators.
Invision Community Integration with Mailchimp through Zapier
You can also set up Zaps so that when something happens in an external application, it triggers an action in your Invision Community. For example, you might create a zaps to...
When you add an event in a Google Calendar, create a Calendar Event on your community. When you receive an email to a feedback email address, create a topic on your community in a forum for moderators. When you create a task in Trello, add a record to a Pages Database on your community.
Invision Community Integration with Google Calendar through Zapier
In addition to using Zapier to integrate with third party services, you can also connect an Invision Community trigger to an Invision Community action. For example: when a member registers, create a topic in a welcome forum.
Self-Integration through Zapier
Frequently Asked Questions
What integrations are available?
In the beta launching with Invision Community 4.5, Zapier will be able receive a trigger when a member account or content (forum post, gallery image, etc.) is created and send actions to create the same. More triggers and actions will be added over time. When will this integration be out of beta?
Later this year. Will third party applications and plugins be able to create Zapier triggers and actions?
Because the integration requires an app hosted with Zapier (which is written in Node.js) and this has to be submitted directly by the vendor, it will be difficult for third party applications and plugins to integrate with Zapier through Invision Community's integration. In the future we may be able to provide basic abstracted integrations for third party applications and plugins through an extension API. In the meantime, third party authors can of course write their own Zapier Apps if desired.
jair101 reacted to Matt for an entry, Guest Blog: How to incorporate new features into your community
Today, we're handing over our blog to long time client and friend to Invision Community, Joel R.
@Joel R is often found hanging out in our community offering his insight and wisdom when he's not harassing the team in Slack.
Over to Joel.
Invision Community releases a variety of blockbuster features in every major update, which usually hits once a year. You may think those updates are not enough (it’s never enough!), but I wanted to spend some time talking about how to survey and incorporate those features into your community systematically.
This blog post is not about any specific feature, but more a general and philosophical approach in integrating the newest features. My goal is to help you get the most out of every new IPS update!
You may think that many of the features in the updates are easy to assess. You either want them or don’t. But it’s not that easy.
I was inspired by some recent personal experiences when I found myself revisiting features from 4.2 and earlier. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I still had so much to experience and learn from those features, all of which I had previously reviewed when they were initially released. Invision Community comes packed with rich features, and no community manager is expected to be a master at everything. But a systematic approach is your best chance at making sure you get the most out of every feature.
To give a personal example, I jumped into Social Media Promotion when it first came out in 4.2. The new Social Media Promotion offers several powerful tools for social media cross-posting, and I immediately wanted to learn how I could use it to cross-post content to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s an easy drop-in replacement for services like Hootsuite or Windscribe and allows community managers to drip interesting content to their social media pages for constant advertising and social engagement.
Well, it turns out my Facebook and Twitter reach is nil because I have no followers (wish I was more Internet famous!), so I soon lost interest and dropped Social Media Promotion as a tool.
A couple of months ago, I was assessing my homepage versus other popular websites when I came across a startling realization: I could make a gorgeously visual homepage on par with Instagram using Our Picks – a feature of Social Media Promotion.
I would intentionally ignore the social media component, but use the other component of Our Picks for a beautiful new homepage. The context of using Our Picks for a homepage opened my eyes to a whole new way to evaluate Social Media Promotion, and what was once a feature on the back burner is now – literally - the front page of my Invision community. I love it!
To help you incorporate new Invision features, I’ve brainstormed 5 strategies on how to make the most out of Invision feature updates. Each strategy comes with a mini-lesson for an action plan.
1. Learn the knowledge, not the feature.
This is my personal motto when Invision Community releases a new feature. I’m more concerned about the knowledge and broader usage of the feature than implementing the feature itself: What’s the potential scope of the feature? In what context could the feature be used? How did Invision Community intend for the future to be used, and what are other ways it can be used?
I’ve never worried about the technical configuration of the feature. You enable or disable some settings, and that’s it. But what’s more important is how the functionality can best be integrated and in what context. You never know when you might come back to the feature for the next great idea, and you can only do that if you possess the knowledge and application behind the feature.
Lesson: Try every feature at least once, even if you don’t need it.
2. When at first you don’t succeed, take a nap.
Some things take a while to think about. Don’t try to cram through all new Invision Community features. There’s too many to digest in one pass.
Assess the features you’re most interested in one by one, play with each feature until you’re satisfied, test them, find out how they work, and when you get frustrated, take a nap. Eat some ice cream. Go jogging. And revisit in a month. The bigger the feature, the longer you should think about it.
The biggest “aha” moments didn’t come to me right away. When you try to rush through a feature, you can get rushed results. Take your time to bounce ideas around your head and try to think through the context of how to best utilize the feature.
Lesson: For features that you like, set a calendar to revisit after a month. Then take a nap.
3. You’re running the marathon, not a sprint.
Successful community managers have evolved with the changing needs of our audiences. While our mission remains the same, the backdrop of user expectations and digital trends has dramatically changed.
When you implement a feature, you should be evaluating it for both sustainability and longevity.
Is this a sustainable mechanism to keep up with?
Is this something that I want to continue for the foreseeable future?
It’s nice to play with new features; every major update is like a Christmas unwrapping of new features. But you need to prudently pick-and-choose which feature is most appropriate and how it can give you an impact for the long-term. Sometimes it’s better to do a few things very well than many things not well at all.
Lesson: Ask yourself if you see yourself using the feature 3 years later?
4. Make it uniquely yours
Invision Community ships with default features ready to use out of the box, but those features are just that: default. We like to dress up our theme with custom colors, designs, and logos. You should apply the same flair for customization with your features.
Some features are ready to be customized: reactions, ranks, and group promotion. Others, however, might take more thinking. Here are some examples to spark your creativity:
• Social Sign-in Streamline – are you using the default message, or did you customize it with a unique and clever introduction?
• Fluid Forum – did you activate fluid forum and hope it went well? Or did you use it as an opportunity to re-analyze your entire forum structure for the modern web?
• Leaderboard – did you leave it as a Leaderboard, or could it be Genius board for a technology company, or Joyboard for a nonprofit, or Loyaltyboard for a consumer brand?
Lesson: Make the feature uniquely yours.
5. Talk through your scenario
Every battle-tested community manager knows that the only thing constant is change – whether it’s our forum software, ACP settings, user expectations, and broader digital trends. It’s important to find a trusted circle of friends and users who can help you steer and implement features. It may sound great in your head, but other users may look at it very differently.
On my site, I have a trusted group of users called “Champions.” In my pre-planning stage, I float my ideas by them as early in the process as possible. They’ve provided valuable feedback of user expectations with differing perspectives. I’ve nixed certain features based on their veto, and I’ve tweaked continuously based upon their continuous input. Talk through your scenario with your trusted friends, and not just with the voices in your own head!
Community management is such a uniquely rewarding and challenging role because every community demands and needs a different set of features. Invision makes it easy with regular releases of exciting features, but you also need to make the most out of those features on your own. Don’t just turn on the next feature: turn on excitement, joy, and community.
If you notice, I didn’t include a lesson yet in my last strategy when you’re ready to talk about your scenario. And that’s because it’s the ultimate lesson:
Write the next guest post in the Invision Community Blog and share your own success story in how you adopted a new Invision feature. We’d love to hear about it.
We love this angle on how to best evaluate the myriad of opportunities the Invision Community software allows.
What is your biggest take-away from Joel's advice?
jair101 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.
jair101 reacted to Mark for an entry, New: Editor Uploading
This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release
IPS Community Suite has supported drag and drop uploading to the attachments area at the bottom of the editor since 4.0. In 4.2 we're pleased to add the ability to drag and drop right into the editor, so you can drop your attachment exactly where you want it to show without having to add it afterwards.
Drag and drop into editor
If your browser and OS supports it you can also copy and paste, either from the desktop or from other content on the web:
Copy and Paste
Naturally this works for ordinary files as well as images:
Drag and drop a file