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Better Profile + Chat + Forums integration

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Morgain, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    I do not enjoy other types of forums as XF is so superior.
    But I have been shocked to discover a type of community which has quick, sleek connections very much in the spirit of XF - but XF lacks these features. They integrate the Profile page with Your Content, and a popup chat allows lively exchanges individually to strengthen bonds. Far from drawing input away from the main shared areas it stimulates it.

    I think it's joomla. Anyway on this site my profile page has a wall, of course. But here I get ALL my posts, shown as snippets with a Read more ... link. Plus direct posts to my Profile or to others.
    (I expect moderators would be able to switch a lot of their routine posts off this)

    The result is I have ALL my content gathered in one place, for me to see, or those I allow access. No need to look it up in different places and my content is not hidden behind a tab away from my visitors. Those who comment on my forum posts are there as well, but all neatly dispalyed with Read more ... snips. The story track of combined Profile posts - mine or my posts on others, and my forum posts, is a whole cloth of great interest. From it I can click the writer's own page, or the discussion they have contributed to.

    The popup chats are delighful. I have 2 tabs bottom right. One shows me who's online - seems to update in realtime very fast, not like the front page here. From this each name offers me either their profile page, or a private chat. Bliss.
    The other chat is a group one, like a shoutbox for any members who are online. It displays my (small) avatar and text, as does the online members list. A discreet quiet bleep tells me if someone posts in this or a pc, which I can disable if I wish.

    I've always felt the XF Profile page is a poor relation and the lack of realtime chat for quick exchanges is a lack too (I know a chat can be added but this joomla version is so well integrated).
    At last something for XF to aim at to get really powerful community connections going. Very strange to find XF is being outdone at last but I think this is a creative challenge.
     
  2. DeafDroid

    DeafDroid Member

    Heya, I think you should try using CometChat. I've been using it for sometime and you seem to be describing a similar chat system.

    It works smoothly with xF on my site. You can check it out at cometchat.com

    XenForo is not yet out of the competition. ;)
     
  3. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    I used Joomla a while back. It was OK as a CMS but of course it isn't a forum. You have to add forums to it, either one of the plugins or a bridge to other forum software. I tried a plugin previously and it was OK but no match for Xenforo. If you check the Joomla site itself and go to forums, they are using phpBB. Not something I'd want, I moved to Xenforo from phpBB and now have a much superior user experience.

    As for chat, I use Arrowchat which is available on any page right across the website.

    I do agree that Xenforo could make more of the profile page and particularly profile posts which, unless you're using a sidebar add-on or Widget Framework, go pretty much unnoticed by other users.
     
  4. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Arrowchat seems to be very similar to what I used on the other site - it's ning by the way. But it's the combination of a good profile and chat which is good, the rest is no big deal.

    For the profile page display on XF I think a few basic design changes could achieve a great deal.
    I would comment out the tabs (I hate tabs because they hide things away)

    ... make the main content area 2 columns
    ... col 1 the existing wall of profile posts and comments
    ... col 2 = Recent Activity (Postings is contained in this so no need for it) - I did this on an old site and it was fine.
    ... add personal description (under Information) to the top --->Make it a snippet with Read more ... When you visit someone's page you want this out front not hidden - it can replace the tabs for space.
    ... Resources and the full Information become links at the top.
    ... Place the Signature along the bottom like it is on the Information page.

    I'd make the username primary link on the navbar open the Profile page, and have an EDIT PROFILE link in the side menu.
    Would be good to have the profile wall updates appear in the site sidebar -how do they appear with widgets?
     
  5. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    I like tabs - they save on clutter being all on one page.
     
  6. cathy bloom

    cathy bloom New Member

    Joomla is okay as a CMS it is polular as well however, I agree that we do need forums;
    We once used VBB before, I think xenforo still can hold esp comparing with vbb and smf.

    For chat, we use a group video chat software which called 123 Flash Chat. We tried flashcom before , very neat , but it does not have htmlchat;
    Well 123 Flash Chat does. and they have an IM tool sharing addon which quite fits out website as a chat solution.

    They can integrate with xenforo completely.
     
  7. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    Are we talking about the Joomla Plugin JoomSocial? If so i have a license and incorporated on a site and thought it had tons of potential but it was ultra resource intense and it competed to much with my forum traffic so i dumped the notion.. It was also pretty buggy and since it tries so hard to look and act like Facebook and it just cant compete making it seem even clunkier..
     
  8. Divvens

    Divvens Well-Known Member

    Instant chat/messaging is very bad for a forum community, it kills activity in threads and takes more activity to the chat.
     
    tommydamic68 likes this.
  9. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    That's not always true in some cases a chat room can foster friendships that translate to more discussions on the forums.. I've seen chat rooms work magic on forums.. I've also seen chat rooms create cliques that can have a devastating effect on the forums..
     

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