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Esther E.

Invision Community Team
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    Esther E. reacted to Matt for a blog entry, Invision Community 4: Pages databases in Clubs   
    Finally, one of the most requested features for clubs in Invision Community is coming with our March 2024 release: Pages databases in Clubs.
    You may be surprised to see a new feature being introduced for Invision Community 4 during our flow of news for Invision Community 5, but as we're committed to Invision Community 4, we wanted to continue to bring optimizations and improvements to the platform.
    What is the benefit of this new feature?
    Clubs enable communities to host multiple micro-communities with many benefits. Clubs allow more specialized and focused discussions on specific topics. This can lead to higher-quality content and a deeper exploration of niche subjects that may get overlooked when posted on a busy forum. Clubs also offer the ability to tailor the community experience based on the needs of that community. That customization is what this feature focuses on.
    Pages is a powerful application that allows truly custom layouts for content areas. Simply by adjusting templates, you can create a news feed layout (it is what we use for this news blog area!) or something even more customized to your needs.
    The March 2024 release allows you to create Pages database categories directly inside clubs, including custom fields and templates.
    How does it work?
    Setting up your Pages database to allow clubs to use categories is simple. Simply allow categories to be created within clubs when creating or editing a database.

    Once that is done, club owners can add a Pages database category to their club in the same way they can add topics, galleries, etc.

    Once the Pages database category has been added, you can then add content as you would any other club area with the added features of Pages, including custom templates and custom fields.
    This example club uses a custom Pages database listing template to show the articles in a custom format along with custom field data.

    Likewise, viewing an article in this example club showcases the use of custom templates to present the content differently from the standard topic templates Invision Community uses elsewhere.

    Allowing Pages database categories inside clubs brings the opportunity for more complex custom areas making use of multiple custom fields along with truly custom layouts using templates. This is a great way to bring additional areas, such as news articles, into your club areas to compliment discussions.
    We hope you enjoy this feature, and if you have any comments, please leave them below!
  2. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Matt for a blog entry, Invision Community 5: New Live Community Features   
    Bring your community to life with the latest live community features coming to Invision Community 5.
    Last year we introduced new features that immediately showed who was currently reading a topic and who was replying. This feature leveraged new technologies to connect members with each other instantly.
    In this blog post, we'll delve into the latest live community features for Invision Community 5 and explore how they enhance our sense of togetherness within our communities. We'll examine how these features instantly notify us about new events, updates, or interactions and how they contribute to a shared sense of presence.
    These features go beyond the static posts and comments we've grown accustomed to and introduce a real-time element. Whether you're part of a support community, a gaming forum, or a professional network, these features will have you feeling like you're interacting with other community members simultaneously, fostering a strong sense of shared experiences. 
    We've all been involved in a busy topic where you're keen to see what replies your latest post has. Select packages on Invision Community 4 can see who is active on a topic and who is typing, but you have to hit refresh to see the new posts added to the topic. If you're anything like me, then you hammer refresh until something new appears.
    With Invision Community 5, this is no longer a problem. As you interact with a topic, new replies are automatically added to the topic without needing to refresh. This one feature brings the conversation to life, and you get a real sense of other members interacting with the topic at the same time as you.

    Did you drop a razor-sharp GIF or post something applause-worthy? Watch as others react to your content in real time with Invision Community 5. There's no need to refresh or return to the topic later to see who enjoyed what you wrote.
    Getting rewarded for your content is gratifying and encourages you to post more and show your appreciation for other's content via reactions.
    Notifications have long been a valuable way to be notified when anything important happens in your community. It may be that someone has quoted your content, tagged you in a post or started a new topic in a forum you're following.
    With Invision Community 5, you can watch the notification count rack up in real time, alerting you to new events that you may otherwise miss as they happen.

    We hope that you've enjoyed reading about these new features and look forward to them coming to select packages for Invision Community 5. They provide a sense of togetherness and immediacy, making it feel like we're interacting with fellow community members simultaneously. 
    We're keen to hear what you think, please leave a comment below.
    The features discussed in this announcement will not be available for Invision Community Classic. Click here to learn more about switching to our platform to get this and other benefits.
  3. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Ehren for a blog entry, Introducing a fresh new vision for Invision Community 5   
    Welcome to Invision Community 5!
    Over the coming weeks, we'll be exploring a bunch of new features and improvements coming to our user interface including our brand new theme editor, a new mobile UI, dark mode and performance improvements thanks to a reduction in both JavaScript and CSS. To kick off this series, let’s take a closer look at the new sidebar layout and new view modes for the forum index and topic pages.
    Sidebar Layout
    Traditionally, Invision Community has shipped with a horizontal header and navigation bar at the top of the page, which is still available in version 5. We're introducing a brand new (and optional) sidebar layout, which can be enabled or disabled easily from within your theme settings. The sidebar not only provides convenient access to your applications, activity streams and search bar, but you can now add links to nodes for even easier access to popular or commonly used areas of your community. For example - a category from your forum, an album from the Gallery, or a product group from Commerce.
    Forum Index: Feed view
    One of our goals for version 5 was to re-imagine new ways for your visitors to consume content, and the sidebar layout is just one of our solutions. Table view has been the typical way of displaying forums, providing visitors with a simple summary of the most recently active topic. Grid mode introduced cover photos to forums and is a great way to make your page more visually engaging, while fluid view allows visitors to filter through a list of topics to easily focus on multiple areas of the community.
    Joining these view modes in version 5 is our new Feed view. Optional cover photos and featured forum colours allow you to personalise each forum, and a list of recently active topics with snippets of the most recent reply allow you to easily see what each forum is focusing on at a glance. The topic list drops below the cover photo and converts to a scrollable list on small devices. It's our fresh take on content display, and we can’t wait to hear your feedback!

    Topic pages: Compact view
    In addition, Invision Community 5 also introduces a new, compact layout option for topics. We wanted to create a layout which placed focus on your content while still keeping all of the authors profile information easily accessible within a mini profile. Stats, rank, badges, reputation points and more can be found by tapping the icon at the top of every post. The mini profile strip has also been added to other areas of the software too, such as comments and reviews in applications like Gallery and Blogs, and will appear on the mobile layout when the traditional "table view" is used in topics.
    Switching between the new compact view and the author sidebar view takes just seconds giving you complete control over your community.
    Mini profile.mp4
    As part of this view, you also have the choice to feature/pin the original post to the top of every page, making it a breeze for your visitors to easily understand the context of replies without navigating back to page 1. Pinned posts have a slightly larger font-size to distinguish them from replies, and we've thoughtfully truncated them on pages beyond the first to keep scrolling to a minimum.

    The new sidebar layout and view modes offer a fresh and innovative approach to navigating and interacting with your community. We’re really keen to hear your thoughts on these new views and whether you’ll be unleashing them on your own sites! We appreciate that no two sites are the same, and those who are a fan of the classic header look will benefit from quick styling tools and a visual way to re-arrange the header elements which we’ll cover in a later blog.
    We’re looking forward to showcasing a whole bunch of new features over the coming weeks - so stay tuned, and we’ll see you then!
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