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Looking to create a community

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by jimbothompson, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Hi I already run a xenforo community but I also have a ecommerce store that is growing rather large.

    In order to bring it to the next level I was thinking I should start to build a community around our store.

    Now I am wondering if there are addons for xenforo where I can reward members for activity maybe a points system where they can "purchase" store credit at our online store. Most of my time is spent in customer support and packaging and shipping now days so I do not have much time to research all of this.

    I was thinking of a xenforo install with xenporta so I can showcase our stores news and so forth. I need to give my users a reason to use our forum though. We are already active on a lot of other forums to promote our products but it would be nice to bring users in our market to us for all there discussions and let them earn something for their participation.

    I have not started a new community in a long time so what addons would you recommend so I can streamline my research and setup of our new site?
     
  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    For me there's some add-ons that are essential:

    XenPorta (home page, articles/news etc.)
    Nodes as Tabs (perfect for organising your navigation)
    Template Modification System (some add-ons require this, but it also makes editing templates pretty easy and in theory upgrading XenForo easier)
    Tag Me (allows your visitors to tag other people using @username)
    Thread Tags add on (recently released but looks good, and great for SEO)
    Sitemap generator (there's a couple, really handy for submitting your site to search engines)
    Custom BB Code Manager (very handy for creating BB code)
    Social Integration (allows logging in/registering using Google and Twitter, in addition to Facebook)
    Widget Framework (great for customising the sidebar though that can be done quite well too through XenPorta)

    There's loads more out there but obviously what I consider essential is totally different to what you might consider essential.

    There's loads of ways to reward your members built in, but specifically relating to store credit and that kind of thing? There's a Banking add-on which might help but I don't do that kind of thing myself. Take a look: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/bd-banking.536/
     
  3. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Thanks for your help. Its looking like it may be a bit complicated to reward members with something like store credit. Are there any addons where people can get awarded with random prizes or anything like that?
     
  4. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    Could you adapt the "Trophy" thing? I don't know how customizable it is as far as the points and what people get points for. 100 points and they redeem a coupon?
     
  5. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    You know this is something to think about. I know my request here is something very unique. I just want to stand out in our market and the other forums do not offer what I am looking for. Since I have a brand built we will be the only ones actively advertising on our forums. I was thinking about the bank and as soon as they have the store people can exchange their points for store credit :D. That way I would be notified when stuff like this happened. It would be great to have a raffle system or something like that though.

    Where you earn points and can buy raffle tickets into a drawing that happened and maybe win a prize. That would work too. I hate having unique demands as stuff like this had not yet been developed that I know of lol.
     
  6. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    The trophy gizmo might do it. I'd ask a few of the add-on writers (the ones who did the Add-ons ValveTime mentioned) directly as they may not realize your topic was as technical vs. a "how to build a community".
     
  7. Sadik B

    Sadik B Well-Known Member

    It depends on what software you are using for your store? Any points system you have in XF is going to have a points column against users. Be it trophies or anything else, what XF can provide you is how many points a particular user has. Beyond this, providing "store credit" to the user would be the job of the cart / store software you are using.
     
    Yorick likes this.
  8. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    As a user, I wouldn't be bothered by having to Redeem my XF points/trophies. As a forum manager, there are advantages to having the redemption manual, kind of like Airline miles etc. It allows the forum to promote the points awards system and, the ultimate goal, promote using the marketplace. "Have you checked your points today!" reminders to the entire membership. The promotion of the points accumulation is the promotion of the store. I believe the XF trophy thing sends the member a message telling them they are a winner at various points plateaus.

    So if the built in trophy system of XF can be modified, that would work. I don't know if the various points XF measures can or need to be modified to suit the forum behavior the OP wanted to reward. That would be the question.
     
  9. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Yeah I want the conversion over to store credit to be manual I am not looking for a integration here just a system that will help me keep track of points. I am wanting to award points like the trophy system does. The problem is when a user spends those points they would loose all their trophies correct? This is no good so it has to be a separate thing. I think that bank add on is looking like my best bet.
     
  10. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    That's something someone like sadikb could answer. Could the trophy points thing be reset by admin when they award the redemption, like airline miles?

    Is the behavior of the current trophy system tracking (postings in the forum, likes, etc) the behavior you want to reward in order to gain points to use the store?
     
  11. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Yes I want to reward members for activity. I do not know exactly how much I want to reward them yet but I would like them to earn something for participation. I pretty much need to take people from the already popular forums in our niche and give them a reason to use mine. Sure my 1000+ customers may be happy to use our forum but I want others to come from the outside that may not have heard about us yet and keep spreading our brand. I need my name to be the first name said when someone asks hey where did you get that.

    I really think it will help drive activity on the forum and it will make it fun for all the members. Building a community around our brand can be something that is exciting for us the owners and the members alike.
     
  12. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    Interesting idea. I'd say the Trophy thing does the hardest first part, tracking and recording behavior you want to reward, creating points. The other nice part about using it for promotion is appears in every users profile that can appear as part of their avatar in every message they post. Instead of "Trophy points" it could say "Reward Points for Xforum store" so all the other users say "Hey. What's that rewards points thing?". It promotes the whole reward system and you other forum in one shot.

    I notice on this forum the person's avatar is just that on the left side of the message. On XenForo forums I use, it is expanded and shows sign on date, messages and trophy points.
     
  13. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Yes if I just renamed it and then let each trophy send a message like you are almost up to $20 in store credit or something silly that would work. Then on the last trophy that earns them the store credit let them know to PM me to get the store credit added to our stores account that would work perfectly! Its already built in too! Now is it easy to set someones trophy points back down to zero? (As I pull up a current xenforo install :D )

    I do not see a way to monitor trophy points by users maybe I am just over looking something but the trophy system seems like it would work great. Now I just need a easy way to edit our users points! I am starting to get excited now :D
     
  14. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    Its monitoring it in some way since it sends users emails at set points. No reason it couldn't send admin an email also. You need to talk to one of the Add-on developers about it. It looks like the trophy thing could be used for your application.

    When you award points you could do a public award thing by posting a public forum message. "We have a winner!" Remind folks of the fabulous prizes awaiting those who participate in your forum.
     
  15. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Thank you so much for all the help. Now I just need to find a addon developer to help me with the logistics and figure out how much certain activities are worth to me so I do not bankrupt myself awarding people. This is rather exciting for me :)
     
  16. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    You don't really have to. If they don't redeem their point it's OK. When they do redeem them it is notice to you reset. Also, you could set it so you get notified at the same time the user gets notified when they get to trophies. You might want to know every time so you can remind that they are earning store points with trophy points and they should start shopping NOW for what they would like to use their trophy point redemption for. You get them into the store all along the trophy ladder, not just at the end to redeem. It also works on the other end to get people to participate in the forum more to get points, that generates its own rewards for you.

    Are they part of the XenForo "Discipline Bad Users" controls? Billy stop that rude behavior or I'll take your trophy points away!!

    Least way to go I see two mods needed.

    1. Getting the trophy system to email or alert you each time a person gets a trophy.
    2. Reset person's trophy points to zero after redemption.
     
  17. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    I sent off a couple PMs to some developers with my requests referring them to this thread and offering cash. I have not gotten any replies yet so if anyone reads this we are willing to pay to have this done. There are so many you can cross promote your community with a store it is crazy to think about. There will be a lot of manual work but as BGL has stated along the way you can even have them earn different things. Get to a certain level on the forum and i put them in a special customer group in the store that gets 5% off everything or something cool. Reward them with free stuff out of the blue all for doing what they would have been doing before. The longtail traffic to our brand sky rockets. Since my forum will sit on the .net version of our domain and the .com version is already our store people start googling our brand name more then the 800 times a month they do now. All using the best forum platform around. Really the sky is the limit here and will be able to take these experiences over to other projects as I expand into other markets.
     
  18. jimbothompson

    jimbothompson Member

    Yes but I know what I need to build forums and my favorite is working with xenforo :D
     
  19. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    Any responses yet?
     

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