Marco Junior reacted to Matt for an entry, What's new in 4.6.0?
Well, friends, what a journey we've been on since we started work on Invision Community 4.6.0.
With 11 developers accumulating 934 commits over 3,157 files changing 120,281 lines of code, we're ready to show it to the world.
Along with over 260 bug fixes, this new release contains some great new functionality. Let's take a look at what's new.
Achievements, badges, ranks, rules, gamification, whatever you want to call it, this is the most significant feature for Invision Community 4.6.0. This brings a whole new level of earning and showing trust to other members while gently nudging more quality contributions to your community.
Do you want new member registrations to magically appear in a Google spreadsheet? Perhaps you want members who opt-in for newsletters to be added to Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign. Cloud and Enterprise customers can do all this and more without writing a single line of code, thanks to Zapier.
Web app and push notifications
We took the time to round out our PWA (progressive web application) framework for 4.6.0 to include service workers, push notifications and more. I barely understand it, but Rikki takes you through the changes in our blog entry.
For some types of community, where discussion topics are particularly sensitive, community owners want to make sure that members register with their real details but are given the option to post anonymously where appropriate. For example, organisations dealing with abuse or sensitive topics might want the member to feel safe and disinhibited to post info without fear of being identified by the rest of the community.
In Invision Community 4.6.0, we have rounded out our "solved" feature by allowing the feature to be enabled on a regular forum, along with notifications, statistics and more.
Show when a team member has replied
When you're scanning a list of topics, it's helpful to know when a community team member has replied, as these replies tend to have more authority and are more likely to resolve an issue. 4.6.0 adds a feature to show when a member of the team has replied.
As Invision Community is a top of the line community platform with excellent developers and an amazing QA team, it's unlikely ever to go wrong. On the infrequent occasions that you need to identify potential issues within your community, the new health dashboard makes it easier to diagnose problems and request support.
Our Enterprise customers run very visible and very busy communities. One of the pain points they had was identifying and limiting the annoyance of spam within the community. We created a new round of improvements based on that feedback to mitigate spam, and these changes are available to all Invision Community owners with 4.6.0.
Cloud and Enterprise customers will also benefit from multiple under-the-hood optimisations for our cloud platform, including better caching of resources for faster response times.
Let me know in the comments which feature you're looking forward to the most!
Marco Junior reacted to Matt for an entry, 3 Improvements to Spam Management in 4.6
Spam is as much a part of life on the internet as emoji overuse, serial GIF abuse and regretful tweeting.
But I'm not here to talk about how I conduct myself online; I wanted to talk about three spam improvements coming to Invision Community 4.6.
As you may be aware, Invision Community has its own Spam Defense functionality, which uses a mixture of crowdsourced data, publicly available data and our own special sauce to help reduce the number of spam accounts that get through the registration system. Invision Community also has several other tools to mitigate spam post-registration.
These tools have served us well, but as spammers evolve, so must our systems. Here's what's coming to our next release.
Spam Defense Scoring
I can't divulge too much on our Spam Defense system lest we give spammers targeting Invision Community information that can assist them. Still, we have made several changes to our Spam Defense system. These include rebalancing the score thresholds, checking against known TOR networks and proxies and using other data in the public domain to inform our scoring decisions.
Spam Defense Blocking
The current implementation of our Spam Defense only allows options to either prevent registration entirely or put the registration in an approval queue. However, the days when Spam Bots stood out from normal registrations are long gone, and it's hard to know if an account in an approval queue is legitimate or not.
In 4.6, we've added a new Spam Defense option that you can choose to allow the registration but put the new members into the posting approval queue, meaning their posts will need moderator approval before being published.
This reduces the decision burden and makes it easier to take a chance on a low score from the Spam Defense system and review their posts before they are made public.
We have added a new option to the Word Filters to allow content containing specific words or phrases to be held for moderator approval where the author has less than a set threshold of posts.
For example, you may notice an increase in spam targeting "CBD Oil" and add it to the word filter list to hold the content for moderator approval. This works great and captures a good number of spam posts; however, your regular members get frustrated when they want to talk about CDB Oil in their posts.
This new option allows you to set a trust level for allowing these words to be used without capturing them for approval.
We hope these three changes to our spam controls will reduce the level of spam you get in your community!
I'd love to know what's the weirdest spam (that is safe for work!) you've seen in your community.
Marco Junior reacted to Jordan Miller for an entry, Drum roll please… announcing Achievements!
One of the overarching goals for any community leader is to shine a bright light on your members. Their contributions should be publicly recognized. Now with Invision Community’s new Achievements system... you can!
Achievements is Invision Community’s native gamification system baked into our latest update, 4.6.
We’ve dreamed up innovative actions for community leaders to publicly recognize members who show up and participate in meaningful ways.
Award Points and badges based on conditional Rules!
Here’s what you need to know...
Our Achievements Points system keeps a running tally of Points. Members may earn Points in a multitude of ways. Essentially, it’s achieved by participating in the community.
Create a topic? Points! Post a reply? Points! Follow another member? Nothing. Just kidding… Points!!!
This is done through creating Rules.
Rules are actionable processes set up in the admin panel.
Here are what members can earn Points for:
Member joins a club Reaction is given New poll is created User follows a content item Review is posted Member logs in for the first time that day New club is created Content item/comment is promoted or featured Comment/reply is posted User follows a forum, blog, gallery, category etc User votes on a poll User is followed New content item is posted Post is marked as best answer There are also corresponding When/Then Rules for each item listed above.
When this action happens, then this subsequent action happens.
Example: when a member posts 10 times, then this Badge is awarded.
Community leaders can also create specific Rules when deciding what actions earn Badges.
For example, reward your members with a Badge for visiting your community for 20 days.
Once a member reaches 20 visits or more over 20 days, the Achievements system will automatically award them a ‘20 Visits’ Badge you’ve previously created.
In 4.6, we’ve completely revamped our Ranks system to communicate with Achievements.
Achievements’ Ranks system will replace our previous Ranks system*
Set up different Ranks based on how many Points a member earns. Ranks display a members’ perceived value to the community. The higher a members’ Rank, the greater their influence because the more they’ve participated.
Ranks are currently for prestige at the moment.
Here's our example for a pretend Coconut community:
There’s a lot of information to absorb here, but if there’s anything to take away from this blog post it’s this: empower your contributing members with Achievements and watch your community grow. It creates an immersive and elevated experience for your die-hards. And hey, who doesn’t love to earn?
When 4.6 and Achievements is officially released for all, we’ll hold a live Q&A event for you to join and ask any questions you may have.
Props? Concerns? Comments? Questions? We’d love for you to sound off in the comments! Not only because we want to hear from you, but because it’ll earn you some sweet, sweet Points, too!
Marco Junior reacted to Matt for an entry, Updates to our community
You’ve probably already noticed that something looks a little different in our community today.
As part of our ongoing community improvements, we’ve performed some housekeeping to streamline the forum structure, make more distinction between areas and open up a few areas to guests and friends.
The big visual change is that we now have four separate areas: support, community, marketplace and developers. It should hopefully be clear what each section does, but let's go through a few examples.
This area is where you can leave feedback on existing features, help shape Invision Community’s future by suggesting new functionality and also where you can get quick support from fellow Invision Community owners and our team.
Starting today, you can post in the Help & Support forum to get help from our team. If you’re unsure what a feature does, or think you’ve spotted an issue that needs our help, then you’re welcome to start a topic. Of course, if you want private support, then you are welcome to create a ticket in the client area as normal.
Even the most seasoned community manager needs a little help from time to time. This section is the place to ask about strategy, to blow off steam in the lounge or to ask for fellow owners to help with support requirements outside of official support, such as configuring servers, databases and so on.
Our Marketplace brings hundreds of new features, themes, language translations and plug-ins to your Invision Community. If you need support or have a request for something you’ve purchased from the Marketplace, drop into the forums here.
Invision Community is blessed with a strong developer community extending the rich functionality of Invision Community. If you’re looking to develop an idea for Invision Community, these forums will let you connect with our development team to answer questions as well as get help from other marketplace authors.
There are a few other changes of note that I’d like to go through. Firstly, ‘Visitors’ (that is a registered member without an active license) are now ‘Friends’. Who doesn’t need new friends? Guests and Friends can now view the official support forums, but cannot post a new support request or reply to existing ones.
We’ve merged ‘General Chat’ in with the Client Lounge to form ‘The Community Managers’ Lounge’. This is still a perk for active customers and the topics are not viewable unless you have an active license.
Finally, we’ve gone through and spruced up some of the forum rules, descriptions and custom error messages.
I hope these changes make it easier to find what you need and get a little help when you need it.
Marco Junior reacted to bfarber for an entry, Health Dashboard
The support tool has served us well for many years. You can identify, at a glance, potential issues with your community both presently and down the road, right from the comfort of your AdminCP, and you can often resolve those issues with just a few clicks.
But what if we could do better? What if we could make this useful administrative area of the software even more useful?
The next version of Invision Community introduces a new "Health Dashboard" which replaces the previous support tool and helps you get a better overview of potential issues within your community while retaining all of the functionality you've come to know and rely on to resolve issues with your community.
When you launch the new health dashboard, the first thing you will notice is that the previous "Wizard" process is now gone, in favor of a single page giving you access to everything you might want or need.
Central to the page are blocks that identify specific areas of your community, server, and configuration which could be problematic now or in the future. Invision Community will check for available updates, modified source files, server software configuration issues, whether your server is running required and/or recommended versions of important software and more.
Additional checks and recommendations have been added to this page, to help identify other adjustments that could benefit or prevent harm to your community. Issues are color coded and classified as informational, recommended, or critical and a summary is provided at the top of the page with an easy "check again" button which will do so without taking you away from the screen.
If we become aware of an issue, we can quickly notify communities through a bulletin which will be displayed in the "Known Issues" block on this page. These bulletins can also trigger AdminCP notifications, however they will continue to show on the Health Dashboard so long as they are relevant, even when the AdminCP notification is dismissed.
A graph showing system, error and email error log activity has been added to the page to help you identify spikes in logged issues. Commonly, if an issue begins to surface on your community there will be an increase in these types of error logs, so the graph here is intended to allow you to identify an increase in these logs, allowing you to investigate and react quicker.
The right-hand sidebar surfaces common tools you may need to access.
The first block allows you to see our most recently featured guides, as well as search our documentation. While this functionality was available in the existing support tool, we found that it was rarely used because people more often visited the tool to allow the software to check for common issues, and the ability to search the documentation required a separate work flow through the support wizard. With the block always available (and searches performed "live" via AJAX), we expect users will find the ability to search our documentation from the AdminCP much more useful now.
Next up, the Tools and Diagnostics block gives you access to common tools you may need to use. You can quickly clear your system caches, as well as access phpinfo, the SQL toolbox (for self-hosted clients only), and disable all third party customizations. The process and behavior for disabling customizations is very similar to the existing process within the support tool, with the list of customizations disabled opening in a modal window and the ability to re-enable all customizations, or selectively re-enable individual customizations, still available.
Disabling customizations is still simple
Finally, the ability to submit a support ticket is still available right from this screen. Upon clicking the button to submit a support ticket, you will be presented with a form inside a modal dialog that behaves very similarly to the existing form with one minor but useful addition: if there are any patches not yet installed on the community, you will be alerted to this right on the form before submitting your ticket. Think of this as one last reminder that your issue may already be solved by installing any available patches before reaching out to us for official technical support.
Submitting a support ticket is still just a few clicks away
We believe the improved workflow and user experience will help administrators and support technicians alike more quickly identify any issues that need addressing on the community.
Marco Junior reacted to Matt for an entry, We're hiring and have three new positions to fill!
Invision Community is growing! We're currently recruiting three new roles, one full-time and two part-time.
Applications are now closed, thank you to all those that applied. We'll be going through them over the next few weeks.
It's been a very busy year for all of us at Invision Community and our continued success means that we're looking to expand our team even further with three new roles to fill.
Invision Power Services, Inc. is behind the leading community software platform, Invision Community. Our tailored solutions serve clients of all sizes, from smaller communities to the world’s biggest brands.
We are looking to kick start 2021 with a tight-knit customer-obsessed support team to build a positive support culture for our clients.
All roles are fully remote-working.
Customer Service Superstar
We are in need of a full-time Customer Service Superstar, a new position within the company. You are solution-driven, customer-obsessed and passionate for cultivating a positive support culture for our clients.
The person in this role:
Answers client questions in a public-facing forum. Triages client requests to developers according to our processes. Deescalates problem or potential problem communications. Advocate for customers to our development team. Is comfortable with technology and willing to learn our platform. Why should you apply?
You are a Customer Service Star - solution driven when helping clients. You are confident in conversing via forum style, public-facing support. You can clearly communicate both in writing and verbally. We primarily provide customer service in English. You see opportunity to streamline improvements to help our team better serve our clients. Excited about interacting with our clients within our community to build a vibrant support culture. You work well with a team remotely. You are personally organized, suited to excel in a remote work environment. Part-Time Community Support Assistant
We are looking to add two part-time community support assistants to our growing team. You are self-motivated and focused on helping customers with support enquiries.
Your role will be in assisting customers via a public-facing support forum.
Ideally, you will have customer support experience, be familiar with our community platform and comfortable with technologies such as FTP, Amazon S3, PHP and MySQL.
Our company is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia with staff located around the world. These positions are remote working.
Share your resume and characteristics that make you the best fit for this role. Please include your available work hours (timezone). As we are open to both entry-level and experienced applicants, you may choose to include a desired starting salary based on your own evaluation of your relevant skillset and experience.
Applications are now closed, thank you to all those that applied. We'll be going through them over the next few weeks.
Marco Junior reacted to Matt for an entry, Highlight Topics With Replies From Groups
Wouldn't it be great to know if a staff member had replied to a topic before you clicked to open it?
When you're scanning a list of topics, knowing which have had a reply by a member of the community team can help decide which to read. Currently, you need to open the topic and scan the posts to see if there's a reply from the team.
Happily, in our next release, we've made it clear which have had a reply by a member of a specific group.
You can specify which groups to show as having replied via the Groups form in the Admin CP.
The per-group setting in the Admin CP
You can select to detect the group based on the member's primary group, secondary group or both.
When viewing a list of topics, you will see a badge showing that a member of that group has replied.
This simple feature will make it easier to highlight when important replies have been made to topics, which is a great addition for forums using the new 'solved' feature.
Let me know below if you'll use this new feature and what you'd like to see in the future.
Marco Junior reacted to Andy Millne for an entry, 4.5: Sign in with Apple
Since the feature was announced at last year’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) we have received lots of requests to implement Sign in with Apple in Invision Community. We’re pleased to announce that as of 4.5 this is now available.
You will need a paid Apple developer account to use it but once enabled users will be able to sign in using their Apple ID and all the convenience that brings. Touch ID and Face ID is supported natively where available and works across all your devices.
Choose to share or hide your email address
Isn’t it just another login button?
Sign in with Apple is built on similar technologies as other login buttons such as those already available in Invision Community from Facebook, Google and Microsoft. The difference is Apple’s unique focus on privacy. On certain community types users can be reluctant to sign up when they fear they need to disclose lots of personal details. Every community is different so allowing your users to share as little or as much info as they like could be important to your success. Apple have stated that no user tracking will take place in contrast to other services where this forms a part of their business model.
When signing in with their Apple ID the user can choose whether or not to share their real email address with your community. If the user chooses to hide their email address then your community will receive a relay email address that will forward to their real address. The email address used is unique to your community so the user can retain control.
Can users link their existing Invision Community accounts?
Yes! If a user signs in using the Apple button and shares their real email address, then providing they already have an account on your community they will be prompted to link their account in the same way as other social login buttons. They can also link an existing account from their account settings. If linking from account settings then the email addresses used do not need to match.
Sign in with Apple is already enabled here on our community and is available in the 4.5 beta available to download now.
Marco Junior reacted to Matt for an entry, Trial Invision Community 4.5 Now
If you're preparing to upgrade to Invision Community 4.5, there's now an easy way to test it out.
We have updated our Invision Community demo system to use Invision Community 4.5! This is a quick and easy way to take 4.5 for a test drive and test all the new functionality before making your upgrade plans.
Taking out a demo is very simple, just head over to our demo sign up page, follow the instructions and within a few minutes you'll receive your own private demo log in.
We'd love to know what you think! Please let us know in the feedback forum.