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Matt

IPS Management
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Matt last won the day on January 11

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About Matt

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    Chief Software Architect

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    Cambs, UK!
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  1. It's like Prototype and jQuery all over again.
  2. That defeats the purpose IMO. Lazy loading isn't just about speed, it defers loading resources (and potentially costing your bandwidth) until the viewer is ready to see it. It should start loading media just before the viewport is viewable, though.
  3. Do you want to take our latest release for a test drive? You already are! We've upgraded our own community for wider testing. A big focus has been on page speed, so you will notice that our community is significantly faster that it was on 4.3 If you need a recap of what was added, take a look at our product updates blog which takes you through the highlights. As this is a pre-beta release, expect some funkiness as we scurry around and tidy up our custom theme wrapper and other areas as we spot them. If you you find a bug, we'd love for you to report it with as much detail as you can muster in the bug report area. We'd love to know what you think, let us know below.
  4. A successful community manager is a combination of so many things. Being a successful community manager demands that you be a multi-faceted person and to apply a dynamic personality to a position that’s always in flux. You’re the authorized ambassador of your organization; you’re the chief moderator who sets and enforces community guidelines; and you’re the counselor and friend to all of your peers in the community. You may also be the one who updates your community suite, approves members, and manages the moderator team. Oh, and you find time to be the social media coordinator, digital designer-in-training, and all-around fantastic human being. You wear many hats and it can be challenging to juggle all of those hats. So what do you do? Take a breather. The good news is that you don’t have to wear all the hats, all the time. My head used to spin at the sheer amount of work that I faced as a solo community manager - especially when my community first started out – and I didn’t have a disciplined approach to community management. I didn’t even know what hats to wear! Over time, I’ve learned that there are specific ‘hats’ to community management. The best way to figure out which hats to juggle? Determine which hats are most important to you, which hats to wear for a specific goal, and which ones to swap out as your needs change. Create the change you believe in by wearing the right hat. Evangelist No matter the niche or industry, you should be a self-professed evangelist who is passionate and always learning about the topic. This personal interest will shine over time with your expertise in helping other users, bringing in new members with your helpful knowledge, and focusing discussion to evolving trends. You’re trusted as a leading voice of the community and your organization, and you can use your expertise to spread the positive impact of your organization’s mission. User Advocate You’re passionate about your users because you understand that the beating heart of your community is the valuable feedback, peer support, and testimonials that your users provide. You’re a champion of nurturing a positive and supportive community that’s aligned with your organizations’ goals. Customer service is a vital component to your team’s community outreach. Digital Marketer An effective community manager will engage people, even outside of the community. This means being a leading voice on external sites like blogs, partner communities, social media, industry events, and professional organizations. It extends the reach of your organization through non-traditional marketing and gives you and your community an online impact in relevant areas. Relationship Builder Part of your job is to be a networker for all the people around you and to be a bridge for authentic relationships. You want to listen to the ensuing conversations happening around your product, company, or industry, then add value and build relationships with key stakeholders both online and in-person. It’s especially important to build meaningful relationships within your organization to advocate for your organization’s mission through your community. Suite Administrator Finally, you should be an expert in Invision Community to leverage the built-in tools. Invision Community makes it easy for community managers of all technical backgrounds to get started and run successful communities. The more you learn of the Administrator and Moderator functionality, the more effective you become in supervising your community staff and driving your organization’s success. Community Management is one of the most exciting and rewarding roles in the modern web. It’s a position that’s filled with dynamism and people, and you grow yourself in ways that you never imagined. An effective community manager needs to extend herself by trying on new hats. And while some of these hats may be new to you at first, I encourage you to try all the hats and slowly develop your expertise in these new roles over time. Putting on more hats is the first step to becoming a more valuable and effective community manager. What hat do you wear today, and what hat do you want to wear tomorrow? No matter which new role you decide to embark upon, hats off to you for stepping up and growing yourself as a community manager. Joel R is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma. When he's not running his own successful community, he's peppering Invision Community's private Slack channel with his feedback, community management experience and increasingly outrageous demands (everything is true except the last part).
  5. Famously, all Maria Carey wants for Christmas, is you. This is great news if you're a Maria Carey fan. As the holiday season draws closer and our staff chat channel turns to egg nog, twinkly lights and why is wrapping so hard, we asked the question: What would you like for Christmas? Brandon With so many children, Christmas is more focused on them and the family than myself. My eldest son who started college this year just returned home for the holiday season yesterday which has been awesome. You don't realize how it's like a piece of you is missing until they're back. I guess you could call that a Christmas present for me. Also, my wife and I took a quick 2 day cruise to the Bahamas as a gift to ourselves. My children have not requested very much for Christmas this year either, so my wife and I have decided we're going to plan a trip to Disney/Orlando for some time later in 2019 as a family gift instead of focusing on a bunch of little toys the kids will quickly get bored with. The family time together is the best Christmas gift to me. Awww Mark H In truth, what I’d like for Christmas isn’t something Sanata could provide. At my age I already have most of the “things” I simply want, and the things I really *need* I already have; family and friends. But… I wouldn’t object to Santa dropping off a new gaming computer with a motherboard for an Intel core i9, an RTX 2080 Ti video card, 16 GB of RAM, and one or two NVME SSD’s. Me too Andy I’ve been trying to de-clutter my life for most of the year so hopefully I won’t get much in the way of stocking fillers and things that are fun for a few days and then pushed in a drawer. I’m not a total Scrooge though, honest. I’m really looking forward to spending time with family and friends, Christmas Day walks in the snow and coming home to a toasty warm fire and a few beers… just the simple things really. Marc S I think you get to the point with Christmas where presents become largely unimportant, and its more a time for family to get together and have fun etc. But I guess if I'm going to choose anything particular that I know I would use, I would probably go for a new iMac pro with all the extras. LOL. Seriously though, I'm happy with the break, a few drinks and games. This is what Christmas is all about. Lost a couple of family members over the past 12 month, and unfortunately none of us live forever. Brings home the realisation that there is more to life than material items, as much as we all enjoy them. Where's My Computer? Jennifer I don't really celebrate Christmas traditionally in my house. Like almost everyone in my house has already gotten all of their Christmas gifts. I would probably want just a quiet night with a long hot bath, my favorite bath bomb and a glass of wine. She really does How I became a cliche mom that wants bath stuff for presents. I have no idea. I'd likely love to get Metro Exodus pre-order. I know my BF doesn't pre-order games anymore because of some of the new pre-order issues with games with un-dedicated developers but it's a game I am excited for and hope to have come February when it comes out. Rhett A week in Hawaii, no phone, no computer, feet in the sand and a beer in my hand! Is that too much to ask for Santa? I've been good. Jim I'd say world peace but I think a 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 would be easier! Mark Wade A couple good bottles of wine, or I'd also quite like a new iPad Pro. Not relevant but made me laugh Matt Like others here at Invision Community, I've reached the grand old age where material possessions aren't what I long for. I'm happy watching my two children open their gifts on Christmas morning and then share a meal with family. Or maybe a new iPad Pro because if Mark is getting one, I want one too. Yet again Charles and Lindy declined to comment, so in the spirit of Christmas generosity, I've written their answers for them. Charles I would like a butler because it is what I deserve. Lindy I would like a panic room like in that Jodie Foster movie. I don't think for a second I'm going to be attacked in my own home. I just need a place to hide from the kids now and again. I'll kit it out with fresh kombucha, artisanal popcorn and poetry books. I'll be happy for hours. So, that is what we want for Christmas. What about you? Have you been naughty or nice?
  6. I really enjoy writing about the new features the development team have been slaving over for weeks (and sometimes months.) It's a real joy to be able to share the finished product after we've seen it through inception, discussion, planning, assigning to a developer, coding, peer reviewing and final group testing. Although sometimes, the features can be explained in a few screenshots, which makes for a pretty thin blog entry. With that in mind, I've grouped together 6 of the best new micro-features for Invision Community 4.4. Browser notifications We introduced browser notifications in a previous version of Invision Community. Once you've opted in to receive them, you'll get a fancy browser notification when new content is posted while you're off browsing other sites. However, the browser prompt to ask for permission to push notifications isn't subtle, and it attacks you the second you log in for the first time. In Invision Community 4.4, we've made it, so you're only asked to opt-in once you open the notification drop down. No more being attacked by a permission dialog Widget display settings One of the most popular features we've added to the front end in recent times is the drag and drop widgets. We see these used on almost every site we visit. A popular request, though, was to be able to hide them from specific devices. By default, the sidebars appear under the main content when viewed on a smaller device such as a phone. There may be times where you wish to show a block for those on tablets and desktops, but remove it for phones, so it doesn't take up precious retail space. Happily, you can now do this on each block with 4.4. Desktop only? Club Navigation Clubs are relatively new to Invision Community but they incredibly popular as they allow you to run micro-communities within your main community. You're not limited to just forums either; you can add gallery albums and more to each club. We've added the ability to re-arrange the club tabs allowing you to prioritise what you members see first. Rearranging club tabs Announcement URLS Announcements have been a core feature for a long time now. We use them whenever we have a holiday so we can notify our customers about reduced support on those days. We've made it so you can now link to an item, rather than have to provide new copy for each announcement. We may have overdone it a bit Time Frame selector We noticed that in numerous areas around the Admin CP we had time input boxes. These would sometimes be used for seconds, minutes, hours and even days. We've seen customers forced to enter things like 86400 seconds when they want the time frame to last a day. The lack of consistency wasn't great either. In Invision Community 4.4, we've added a new Time Frame selector which is used as standard on all areas we ask for a time frame to be entered. No more taking your socks off to work out how many seconds in a month. Time is no longer relative Group Name Styling For about as long as I can remember (and as I get older, this is not an impressive amount of time), we've allowed group names to be stylized when shown in the online user list. A very popular request is to extend that same group highlighting throughout the suite. Finally, Invision Community 4.4 brings this to the suite. If the group name is visible, that gets the styling, otherwise the name does These features may be micro in nature, but we hope they make a significant improvement to your community. Which are you most looking forward to? Drop a comment below and let us know.
  7. You can now do this while you're not logged in. I get you point, we might be able to sort this for 4.4.
  8. This is something we want to do. It won't make it for 4.4, but keep watching this space. (Not literally, nothing is going to happen in this specific space).
  9. It's easy to think that email is a relic from the past; from simpler times long before social media and the rise of phone apps. And it's reasonable to think that way. Your phone constantly pings at you, and your laptop OS constantly pings at you, so why bother with email? Because it's still a hugely powerful medium to get and retain attention. In 2017, over 269 billion emails were sent and received per day. Of those, 3,360,250,000 are opened, read, and a link clicked. Email is still very much a critical tool in your quest for retention. Invision Community knows this. We have options to notify members of replies by email, weekly or monthly digests by email and members can opt-in for bulk emails sent from your community team. Given how important email is, it was only fair that we invested in some love for our email system for 4.4. Email Statistics Just above, I mention that 269 billion emails are sent, and 3.4 billion are opened, read and clicked. How many emails are sent from your Invision Community daily? (No cheating and checking with SendGrid) You probably have no idea as we didn't record email statistics. As of Invision Community 4.4 we do! Chart showing the number of emails sent daily We now track emails sent, and the number of link clicks inside those emails. Email Advertisements Email notifications are a powerful way to get your members to revisit your community. The member welcomes these emails as it means they have new replies to topics they are interested in reading. While you have your member's attention, you have an opportunity to show them a banner-style advertisement. The new email advertisement form When creating a new email advert, you can choose to limit the advert to specific areas such as topics, blogs, etc. - and even which forums to limit by. Subliminal messages This is a new way to reach your audience with your promotions. Unfollow without logging in Despite spending most of this blog entry shouting the virtues of email, it's inevitable that one or two members may wish to stop receiving notification emails. In previous versions, the unfollow link would have taken you to a login page if you were signed out. For members that haven't been back in a while, this may cause some annoyance if they do not recall their login details. Invision Community 4.4 allows non-logged in members to unfollow the item they received an email about or all followed items without the need to log in. You no longer need to log in to unfollow items Respecting your member's inbox is vital to keep on good terms with them and to keep them engaged in your community. We'd love to know which of these features you're most keen to try in 4.4. Please drop a comment below and let us know!
  10. It's been said that the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google. While we can't promise to get you to page 1 for a generic search term, we have taken some time for Invision Community 4.4 to do an SEO sweep. Moz.com defines SEO as "a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines." We have the technical skills and were fortunate enough to have Jono Alderson of Yoast lend his time, knowledge and vast experience to improve our SEO. This blog article gets a little technical. It's completely fine to leave at this point with the comfort of knowing that Google will be a little happier on your site with Invision Community 4.4. The majority of the changes are designed to send stronger signals to Google and friends over which content to slurp and which to look at a bit later. Still here? Good. Let us roll up our sleeves and open the hood. Pagination The most visible change is that we've taken pagination out of query strings and placed it in the path. For example, the current pagination system looks a little like: yoursite.com/community/forums/123-forum/?page=3 Which is fine but it gets a little confusing when you add in a bunch of sort filters like so: yoursite.com/community/forums/123-forum/?sort=asc&field=topic&page=3 A better approach would be to make a clear signal to both Google and humans that pagination is a separate thing. Invision Community 4.4 does this: yoursite.com/community/forums/123-forum/page/3/?sort=asc&field=topic Not only is this good for search engines, but it's also good for the humans too as it is more readable and no longer confused with filter parameters. Of course, we ensure that the old style pagination is redirected (via a 301 header) to the new pagination URL automatically so nothing breaks. Canonical Tags These tags are a way of telling search engines that a specific URL is the 'master copy' of a page. This helps prevent duplicate content from being indexed. Without it, you are leaving it up to the search engine to choose which is the master copy of the page. For example: yoursite.com/community/forums/123-forum/ and yoursite.com/community/forums/123-forum/?sort=desc&field=time may show the same content but have different URLs. By setting the canonical tag to point to yoursite.com/community/forums/123-forum/ regardless of filters sends a strong signal to the search engines that this is the page you want to be spidered. Invision Community sets these tags in many places, but we audited these in 4.4 and found a few areas where they were missing. For example, viewing a member's profile doesn't always set a canonical tag which may confuse search engines when you click on "View Activity" and get a list of content items. Soft 404s When an application or website wants to tell the visitor that the page they are looking for doesn't exist, it sends a 404 header code along with a page that says something "We could not find that item" or "No rows available". If a search engine spiders a page that looks like a 404 page, but it doesn't have the 404 header code, it logs it as a "soft 404". Given the short amount of time Google has on your site to discover new content, you don't want it to hit many soft 404s. Invision Community 4.4 omits containers (such as forums, blogs, etc.) that have no content (such as a new forum without any topics yet) from the sitemap, and also adds a 'noindex, follow' meta tag into the HTML source. Google will periodically check to see if the status of the page has changed and happily slurp away when content has been added. Other changes Although the changes listed here don't deserve their own section in this article, they are no less important. We have audited the new JSON-LD markup added to Invision Community 4.3 to help search engines better understand the relationship between pages. The "truncate" method that is used to display a snippet of text in areas such as the activity stream now only sends the first 500 characters to the javascript method to reduce page loads and page 'noise'. The profile view in Invision Community contains a mix of information pertinent to the member and content they've authored. We've ensured that the content areas are using a specific URL, with appropriate canonical tags. This will help reduce confusion for search engines. If you made it this far, then well done. It's time to slam the hood closed and mop our collective brows. These changes will certainly help Google and friends spider your site a little more efficiently and have a clearer idea about what pages and data you want to be indexed which can only improve your ranking.
  11. Did you know that the most magical community in the world runs on Invision Community? For close to 12 years, Invision client @Michael R has been spreading joy through the Santa Claus Network (ClausNet.com), the world’s largest community for Santa and his followers. He started building the site in November 2006 and went live in the beginning of 2007, using Invision Community as his platform of choice since the beginning. Michael also founded the James D. Rielly Foundation in honor of his grandfather – a non-profit organization that provides charitable and emotional support to military and first responder families. As a tribute to the holidays, Mike was gracious enough to be interviewed by Joel on behalf of Invision Community on how he uses Invision Community and engages with his unique community. J: This is such a wonderful community of passion. How did you get started? Back in October 2005, I attended the world-famous Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School. It was a Christmas present I received from my wife. At that time, I had already been portraying Santa for 34 years but was a bit skeptical of what I would get out of attending a “Santa School.” He’s already nailed the Santa look. At the school I got to meet Santas from all over the World! It was a wonderful experience and I am still friends with many of the folks, but what I enjoyed most of all was the camaraderie I felt with my fellow brothers and sisters in red. This was the catalyst in creating ClausNet – to recreate the same feeling of fellowship I felt at the school. J: Your membership must be very unique. ClausNet is the world's largest online community dedicated to the faithful portrayal of Santa Claus. Our membership also includes Mrs. Claus, Elves, Reindeer Handlers, and all others who devote their time to bringing the magic of Christmas to children and adults throughout the world! In comparison to other sites, 2,900 isn’t a lot of members. But based on some estimates it’s about two thirds of all the Santas and Mrs. Clauses on the planet! We are very selective who of we approve for membership. In addition to Invision’s validation process, I personally email each person who registers for an account. I do this to help eliminate trolls and other Grinchy people, but mostly to keep out the prying eyes of children to preserve the Secret of Santa and keep the magic alive for children of all ages! J: What Invision apps do you use, and how do you use them? We have all the Invision Community apps and rely upon them for many purposes. We don’t sell products on the site but we do use Commerce for donations. Members can purchase Supporter Level Memberships at varying prices. We use Pages and Blogs for posting short stories, opinion pieces, and even business advice. We use Downloads for sharing files such as example contracts and business card templates. The Calendar app is a great resource in notifying and scheduling regional get-togethers, workshops, schools, and training sessions. Articles and short stories written in Pages. J: What are some of the most innovative features of Invision Community that your members have embraced? I believe Invision Community is the most robust platform for building online communities. Our members really like the new Clubs feature. We use Clubs for regional and local groups as well as specific topics such as prop making and costuming. From the Long Leaf Pines to the Northern Pacific, ClausNet uses regional clubs all over the world to foster closer relationship. J: There must be seasonality with your niche. How do you keep your members engaged throughout the year and what are some special events that you host? Throughout the year we run several activities designed to keep up engagement. Member of the Month - Each month, I select a different member of our community to featured. We interview the candidate and post the interview on the site. ClausNet Gazette Monthly Newsletter - We send out a monthly newsletter of content from the website. Surprisingly, it’s the first time many of the members see the content. It is a great way to keep members coming back to the site. Christmas Card and Ornament Exchange – These are two of the most anticipated events we hold. Members sign up and are randomly paired with another, so they can exchange cards or ornaments. It’s very exciting to receive Christmas ornaments from another part of the world! We also run several other programs such as an Annual Raffle, Countdown to Christmas, Picture Contests, and Latest News. J: As a longtime Invision client whose passion is the holidays, what are your holiday wishes to other Invision clients and clients-to-be? As many of you know, Christmas is my favorite holiday – a holiday that lives in my heart year-round! May this holiday season be one of health and happiness for you and your loved ones. Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Festive Festivas, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Nollaig Shona, Boas Festas, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas! J: Thank you Mike for graciously spending your time with me and other Invision clients to learn how you engage with members using Invision Community. Hopefully this interview has helped inspire and motivate other clients with some extra cheer during the holiday season!
  12. Outside your window, the leaves have burst into fiery reds and oranges. A crisp breeze floats in the air. The birds have long chirped their good-byes. And you’re sipping a hot cup of apple cider, contemplating the change in season. The holidays are almost here. The end of the year is one of the best chances to take stock your community and provide an emotive experience for your members. It’s a chance to reflect upon what you learned, what new initiatives you started, and what you still have ahead of you. It’s a chance to provide a sense of closure to the year and to ignite one more burst of community-wide goodwill. In short, the holiday season is an amazing opportunity to bring your community together one last time in 2018. Here are 16 ideas for the holidays in four categories. Try to select at least one idea from each category for a holiday plan that runs the gamut of the community experience. Choose the ones that you especially like; gather your staff members to brainstorm; and put together a plan that’ll navigate you better than Santa’s reindeer through the holidays! Design One of the easiest and simplest things you can do is to update your community’s design for the holiday to provide an immediate visual impact. Users love to see fun twists on your theme. 1. Tweak your logo with falling snow or twinkling lights. 2. Replace your forum icons with holiday ones. 3. Go bold and install a whole new holiday theme from the Marketplace. 4. Coordinate the holiday design across all of your social media and web properties. Remembrance Your 2018 was filled with emotional triumphs and tribulations. Did your community accomplish something great? How many new members did you welcome? Did you lose any members? Create a shared experience that binds and connects your community closer together. 1. Craft a year-end mailer that chronicles your community’s victories and struggles. 2. Post a “Did You Remember This?” topic that reconnects with all the funniest, informative, and most poignant topics. 3. Edit a “Top Moments of 2018” montage that highlights the biggest events that transformed your community in the past year. 4. Memorialize members who have moved on or departed your community. Appreciation Holidays are all about demonstrating appreciation for your loved ones, and your community is no different. Take the time to demonstrate an authentic and warm appreciation for all members who have shared the past year with you. 1. Promote new users who have done a superb job of supporting the community over the year. 2. Send out physical or digital gifts as a token of your appreciation to key members. 3. Write individualized messages for every staff member that highlights their wonderful contributions. 4. Send a thank-you note to Invision Community in the comments below on how using Invision Community has helped propel your community’s growth in 2018. Celebration Finally, the holidays are a season of celebration. Spread tidings of joy and merriment to all members in your community, social media, and offline for all-around cheer. 1. Count down to the holidays with different daily announcement using the Announcements feature. 2. Write a year-end “2018 Celebration Message” mailer to applaud all the great events from 2018 3. Host a winter giveaway with special holiday packages or gifts. 4. Throw a holiday party as a meet-up, using Calendar and Venues, to mingle with your members in person. Reconnect your members one more time in 2018 with a rich and shared story of the past year. The holidays are an intensely emotional time that can provide an occasion for remembrance, an occasion for appreciation, and most of all, an occasion of celebration of all great things that have happened and are yet to come. Let your community be the gift that keeps on giving. Happy holidays to all Invision Community clients, and may your winter holidays be filled with joyous cheer and community friendship! Joel R is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma. When he's not running his own successful community, he's peppering Invision Community's private Slack channel with his feedback, community management experience and increasingly outrageous demands (everything is true except the last part).
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