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superaven

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Everything posted by superaven

  1. I didn't see a topic like this posted anywhere so thought to kick it off and share some recent observations and thoughts that I'd assume would be very interesting to a community that is focused on building online communities... Though I think it would be hard to argue how social media all but stole away the audiences from private / directional online communities found on forum systems, it's been very interesting to now observe what I believe is the decline of the social media era. Obviously social media will not disappear in the near future and who's to say if a new platform or perhaps a killer feature or rethinking of existing social media platforms manage to breath new life into the existing one (though IMHO, I seriously doubt the latter). There's a lot of articles and data around the web talking about engagement levels in steady decline across most demographics, new membership growth flat or in decline and in many areas, existing users that are simply deleting the apps from their mobile devices, if not altogether canceling accounts. Considering all the various scandals regarding various violations in individual privacy (at best) and some pretty profound implications regarding the manipulation of people and elections (at worst?), it's no wonder that more and more people are growing weary of mega tech companies like Facebook / Instagram, Google and so many others. This morning someone was just commenting on our own forums in regards to the US Government response to the TikTok in regards to their concern that it might be a way of gathering user data about Americans from a Chinese owned social media platform. What was most interesting to me about the response wasn't so much that information was likely being gathered, but rather that it was being gathered by a foreign country in this instance. Anyhow, not to don the tin foil hat or derail my own topic by going down that rabbit hole... I just wanted to lay down some context to my statement that I believe we might very well be seeing the downward side of the social media era. At the very least, I do believe that there is a very real opportunity for people like the community here on Invision to take advantage of the dynamic we're beginning to see and tempt users back towards private and more directional communities as those built and hosted by all of us. It would seem to me that privacy is much more in the social consciousness and that likewise, the one size fits all approach (in general) to social media, is getting old. The super user friendly, steady stream of bite sized content that replaced the longer form, ongoing discussions found on forum systems has lost a lot of its novelty and that people are yearning for the more satisfying content experience found by deeper explorations of topics and richer showcasing of photo, video and other asset based content. At least on our forum, when we started using our Instagram to point out the flaws of that platform and put out a rallying cry that we were 'moving the conversation back to our forum', we saw a good many users old forum members that were following us get get vocal about being excited about our decision to refocus on our forum, while being exceptionally critical of what the experience on Instagram has become. Being honest, many did express difficulty in transitioning from those tiny bits of steady content to suddenly reading long posts and even longer threads, but most seem to have stuck it out. We managed to double our traffic in a couple weeks, then double it several more times over the following few months. No doubt a lot can be explained simply by the fact that we've been focused on promoting our forum, but I can't ignore how many DM and comments I've seen both on our Instagram, via email and on our forum about how perfect our timing was and that people were looking for an alternative so they could stop going to Instagram. In any case, I'll be honest... I don't have all this figured out yet, but I am seeing something very interesting (and promising) starting to happen. People seem to be fed up with social media in increasing numbers, yet the desire to interact online, share and discuss with like minded people remains strong. Not to beat a very dead horse, but I really wish IPS had a slick dedicated app as that has become the request I keep hearing. I've been following a few discussion on this forum and elsewhere online in regards to 'progressive web apps' and do believe this is liklely to be the future for mobile usage. Anyhow, I wanted to share some recent occurrences / observations and open it up for discussion with the hopes we might build on the topic and see how we might collectively take better advantage of this situation as I really do believe that now, more than ever, the private directional communities that can be developed by forum systems like IPS have a better chance at success. I'm not saying that any of us pose any significant threat to monster platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but I do believe that collectively, we stand to steal back massive amounts of market share, that could very likely accelerate the dynamic we're seeing of people dropping off them. ---------- In regards to the above, I'm wondering what else could be added to IPS to allow it to become that much more compelling an alternative? Recently it was brought to my attention that the younger generation, a demographic that makes up the majority of Instagram's users, grew up in a post forum era. As such, they're used to seeing all content in reverse chronological order. I've been on forums since the late 1990s so that format makes no sense in terms of reading on going discussion, but in terms of SEO and in terms of younger viewers, I was recently told that it works against what they've grown accustomed to. I know this can be changed in the Admin CP, but I'd like to propose that a per user setting to adjust this would be of great benefit. Expanding on the above, having a way to also change the default view of comments to instead show comments that have been highlighted - based upon mod / admin selection or user reactions - could be a third view that is more in line with how a lot of users on social platforms are used to seeing comments. (think of Reddit for example, where you see top comments and can then expand the view to see them expanded into a chronological view). Another area I would love to see improvement in, or at least a more robust plugin solution for, would be in regards to the emails. Would be awesome to see metrics for the transactional emails and especially with any 'newsletter' type emails. In fact, more control to develop templates for dynamically generated emails and then an ability to track their success would be pretty huge. And last, but not least... The optimized mobile view of the forum is pretty standard, and expected, at this point. Again, I know this topic has been discussed to death here, but it remains of critical importance considering for most of us, mobile traffic represents the majority of all traffic. With technologies like Progressive Web Apps (PWA) evolving and maturing, I very much hope that we see significant improvements in the mobile experience with IPS. In fact, I think this aspect of the forums will likely make or break, or at the very least accelerate or postpone the opportunity we're likely seeing for a huge resurgence in forums. ---------- For those of you that made it this far into my post... Thank you for reading. I very much look forward to the insights and experiences of other forum owners on this topic and really do hope to hear from IPS staff about whether they've noted the same and what plans they have (that they're willing to share) as to whats in the road map to help capitalize on all of this. Cheers!
  2. Going to bump this. Recently I had an expert come in and evaluate my site (shop, forum, etc) and they brought up a very interesting point regarding the sort order of posts. The younger generation that grew up on social media and often represent the most active users online, grew up only seeing content in reverse chronological order. Though I personally like reading things in order and have always viewed it that way, the younger generation has not. They've grown up on social media where the newest content is presented first and you can then dig deeper for the older content. Admittedly this makes conversation a bit odd in my opinion, but we're seeing so many of our Instagram followers dropping off that platform and / or expressing discontent with it and reading so many articles talking about the decline across most demographics on that platform, that I believe there is a real opportunity for a resurgence with forums. People are just fed up with Facebook and Instagram and want something else. I know in most cases its ludicrous for a forum owner to think they can actually compete with platforms like that, but reality is we have a real chance at growing significant market share, if we can provide a compelling alternative. I believe that starts with an easy transition and it would seem that allowing for reverse chronological ordering (or better yet an option for a user to set this preference at the account level), would be a great step in the right direction. Anyhow, might loop back to this over arching topic in a new thread to keep it clean, but the specific request here is hoping I might compel the forum developers to strongly consider implementing this.
  3. Hello, Wondering if this plugin I still available and updated to the current forum software? Recently I had one member mention that they don't come on to the forum often due to eye strain. Was surprised when so many others jumped in and expressed the same sentiment. Obviously on desktop you can over ride certain styles and increase font size as you wan't but with most the internet connecting via mobile (75%+ in our case), there's no simple way to do this in most mobile browsers. Very much wish there was a way to develop of use a white boxed version of a dedicated forum app, but for now it would seem we just need to optimize the mobile view. As such, the closer we can get to the feel of a dedicated app, the more compelling the user experience. Great for IPS and for their customers. Anyways, the ability to increase / decrease font size as a user selectable feature (maybe from their account settings), would be very helpful. Seems that what this plugin does, but looks largely abandoned. Thought I'd check in and ask. Thanks
  4. Oh man, that's fantastic! Thank you @opentype and @Jim M. I haven't seen that interface since I first setup my forum. Have a tendency to theme things out and then not really look at that side for ages at a time until I come up on a reason to. I'd completely forgotten about the ability to manage blocks and all that. Thanks again!
  5. Hey @Daniel F, Thanks for the comment, but would you mind elaborating? I still can't figure out how to add that to my forum. Searching has only shown me a couple comments in the feedbacks and suggestions section. Thanks
  6. Perhaps a dumb question, but couldn't find an answer after searching, but how do you add the "Our Picks" preview to the forum index as seen on the forum index here? Never noticed it before, but was interested in being able to spotlight content a little and seemed like a cool feature. Thanks
  7. Hello, I recall seeing a feature at some point that allowed a mod / admin to restrict a member account slightly different than the usual ban. From what I remember, it had various configuration settings that allowed you to make the pages / comment submission hand, 404's and just make it an overall miserable experience. Looked through the member and moderation settings and didnt see this, so assuming it was Invision that had this feature. Anyhow, just wanted to confirm that I didn't miss it and to also check with the community to see if there was any Applications / Plugins that does anything similar? (Didn't see much come up when I searched). Thank you.
  8. Thanks @TAMAN, For some reason when uploading an image, its not showing up. Any suggestions?
  9. Hello @TAMAN, Wondering if you can please post the default Swiper Slider code and / or links to any instructions on the code you can enter for this that calls the default classes? Accidentally deleted the sample code and can't seem to figure out the formatting / markup you used for the demo. Thanks!
  10. Hello @TAMAN, As you know via DM, I've recently upgraded my forum and MD Panel theme. Shortly after I got a few complaints regarding a change that occurred within the thread pages and wondering if there's a setting that might affect this or if it was a change to either the forum or theme? At the bottom of threads, where it says "go to topic listing" it used to also have the forum section name. Then on the other side where it says "go to next unread thread" it would have the thread name underneath. Honestly its been so long since I dove deep into code or templates that I can't remember if this was somehow coded in after. Also, its not a feature I use so am only going off what a bunch of our forum users have said as they really seem to miss this after the upgrade. Thanks for any help on this.
  11. @Adriano Faria Was interested in purchasing your plugin, but seems its not updated to the current Invision version? Can you please confirm if it functions with v4.3.5 of the forum so I can buy? Thanks!
  12. Thing is that is a sort of work around for proxy images to avoid errors with serving non secure images over https. Was looking for something more permanent that allowed it to be treated like an attachment and copied over, rather than a cached image that doesn't expire.
  13. Hello, Was just talking to IPS Support about a feature I hoped existed. Basically I was looking to replicate a feature available as a plugin on Xenforo since we just recently switched over to Invision Community. What this feature does is convert any linked images in posts to a locally hosted attachment. Purpose is to avoid image leaching, which often results in complaints from the target site and also to avoid broken images over time since it's not unusual for sites to switch things up or disappear altogether resulting in a bunch of broken images in order threads. Anyhow, there is a work around using the proxy features of Xenforo to serve from local server and then setting caching to "indefinite". This works, but I don't like the idea of using a hack to achieve this if there's any way to avoid it. In any case, I wanted to reach out to the community on here to see if anyone is familiar with a solution or maybe a marketplace plugin that might achieve this since I was unable to find anything when I searched. Here's a link to the Xenforo version of the plugin so you can see how it works: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/convert-image-all.2527/ Thanks for any info or advice.
  14. Hello, Just recently relaunched a pretty big forum on IPS after being a Xenforo user for a really long time. I purchased the Commerce module as we'd been using a third party help desk service and figured this might be a smarter way of handling support requests. Bummed that guests cant open support tickets, but do have all support emails going into the system via pop3, so that goes a long way to solving it. Anyhow, starting to explore the features of the Commerce module and had a few questions... --------------- 1. Firstly, I noticed there a "subscriptions" option. Seems self explanatory and assume its most often used for premium membership upgrades on the forum. My question is that I noticed setting up regular products also allows for "renewal Options" and "Purchase Benefits". I'm a little confused between the differences of these two items that can be sold and assume its so that the the regular product has those extra features so that a customer purchase of a physical item can also allow for a subscription as part of it? Was thinking of something like... I could make a member patch that is a physical item and purchase gets you the patch plus an upgrade of a member account. Then also allow for the membership upgrade to be renewed later for a discount off since they wouldn't be receiving another patch. Am I thinking about this correctly? 2. Second question is that IPS support told me I can restrict product categories and the product themselves to target specific member groups I've configured. Was sort of wondering of how this could be hugely evolved as an idea and wondering if the Commerce module makes it possible or if there is a market place item that build on commerce to allow one to achieve the following: Would I be able to setup a community market place that allows members the ability to sell their own items, that we would in turn host? Sort of like a virtual flea market or Etsy like community shop? Maybe even be able to create sections like the official forum shop, a section with highlighted / vetted member shops, then a general community flea market section? No doubt this opens up conversations regarding trust, but the same way Etsy allows for a community market place and IPS allows for the moderating of members, I would think it's doable and just wondering if Invision has though (and created this), has plans to or if maybe an enterprising IPS Market Place developer has created such a thing? --------------- Anyways, I'm super excited to be on the IPS platform! Took nearly two weeks to import and process our old forum, so just now getting into tweaking and see what this software can do. Thanks in advance for any tips, advise or info.
  15. Just an update in case anyone has an issue in the future regarding support status badge colors... I just heard back from IPS Support and the option to edit the badge color can be found in AdminCP > Commerce > Support > Settings > Statuses. You can change the color and other settings for each status. In regards to the signature of outgoing support ticket emails... You can set a signature by clicking the 'my preferences' ticket at the top of the support requests pages in the AdminCP (Where you're looking at the list of support tickets).
  16. Nice! I'll give that a go. I did open an IPS support ticket to ask about it.
  17. Hi @TAMAN But if both the active and resolved tickets have the same class then this badge is the same color. I noticed on teh actual IPS support system that the status' are different colors to make them easy to identify in the ticket list. Possible? Will ask regarding the signature. Thanks!
    I'm new to Invision Community after leaving Xenforo and vBulletin before that. So far, I'm really impressed with the platform and there's a distinct different to the level of consideration and effort that goes into IPS in my opinion. This being said, I feel I got extra lucky coming across this mdPanel theme. The default theme is great, but mdPanel is next level. You'll see in teh demo that it isn't just a color tweak and a couple slight CSS changes, but rather a very slick translation of the default look and feel. The mobile / tablet version is great, but I'm particularly impressed with the desktop version. It's really awesome, but don't take my word for it... Go look at the demo. Beyond that, @TAMAN has been amazingly helpful. I feel as a new user of IPS, I'm likely asking a lot of really basic questions, but he's answered all enthusiastically and has been a tremendous help. Besides being helpful and polite, he really has been *Johnny on the spot* about it and has been very quick to respond to inquires. I'm very pleased so far about my decision to move forum platforms, but mdPanel and the assistance of @TAMAN has made the process extra easy. 5 stars for sure.
  18. Hello @TAMAN, I have two additional questions before I think I'm done tweaking my theme... The first is a theme question, the second is a general question. Hoping you might have the answers to both. How do I edit the CSS for custom colors on the support ticket status? Seems both "In Progress" and "Resolved" status use the same class: .cNexusSupportBadge How do I create a default signature for the support desk replies? Would like to add some helpful links and a note to all outgoing support desk emails. Thank you!
  19. Hi @TAMAN Maybe you can assist with explaining what the following color choices affect? These are the last of the ones I can't figure out and searching the forums hasn't provided any clues either. I know a lot of them affect many elements, but if you would please give me the main ones (if there are many). Thanks again! Front-End Colors - Data item background: Status - Data item background: Info - Data item background: Warning - Step Badge Custom Widgets - Widget title background Widgets & Titles - Secondary title bar text
  20. Ah, makes sense now why I wouldn't be able to see them... Several are dependent on a certain feature being activated. Really appreciate the help @TAMAN, I owe you a stellar review of your theme. Will get to it asap.
  21. Here's some examples... I can see the description on the left is color coded, but no idea what it represents. Data item background: Status, Data item background: Info, Data item background: Warning are all items I haven't been able to locate and thus have not chosen my own colors for. Makes sense that some of these would represent many items, but there's nowhere that sort of clues you in to it? Seems crazy that this would all be a matter of trial and error.
  22. Another question... I just posted this to the general forum, but is there a cheat sheet or guide to help a person that is editing theme colors in the admin CP, to know what elements they affect on the front end? Some of the names in the admin CP for frontend colors aren't so obvious and I cant seem to figure out what's what to a lot of these even after setting a loud color and exploring the front end.
  23. Unfortunately it was just the front end pages. I guess I'm a dummy for not insuring I had a backup or versioning system in place. That said, can you recommend anything beyond manually copying or downloading the theme? And no, this issue only affected the active default theme that I was working on. There was a copy of my theme that was a week old that at least got me halfway there. Better than nothing.
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