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"New Profile Posts" on YOUR site

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by ForestForTrees, Apr 9, 2015.

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How do you feel about the "New Profile Posts" box on YOUR site?

  1. I like it.

  2. I don't like it.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Some may feel that the "New Profile Posts" box on the right side of the subforum list page isn't working well on xenforo.com/community. However, every forum community is different, so different things work on different sites. Often, only the forum admins really understand what is working and what isn't.

    On my site, I think the box is working very well. Recently the pace of profile posts on my forum has been increasing. I like this because it makes the site feel more social and more like a community. On my forum, the prominent real estate given to the "New Profile Posts" box has breathed new life into a "Profile Posts" functionality that had previously seemed like a waste. Simply put, why bother making a profile post if no one was going to see it?

    Of course, as I said, every forum is different. Our forum only gets about 100,000 pageviews per month and is a very tight knit and supportive community. People generally don't make any money on the site and aren't trying to promote anything. Bonding is very important because it is a medical support community.

    Now that we've had a chance to live with the "New Profile Posts" box, perhaps now is a good time to (re)evaluate it. How do you feel about the box on YOUR site?

    To keep this thread on topic, let's not discuss how we feel about the box on xenforo.com. This thread is about your site, not this one. Let's keep this thread on topic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  2. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Here is a four minute video tutorial I made on how to use the box:

    (Screencast made with Screencast-o-matic premium. Terrific product.)

    From the video, it should be pretty easy to find my site (I avoid linking to it because of spammers).

    You may notice from the video that I lifted the box a bit higher on my site so that it is above the fold. I did this to give it additional prominence. It just involved reversing the order of the following two code blocks in the forum_list template:
    PHP:
            <xen:if is="{$canViewMemberList}">
                <
    xen:include template="sidebar_online_users" />
            </
    xen:if>
          
            <
    xen:if is="{$profilePosts}">
                <
    div class="section profilePostList">
                    <
    div class="secondaryContent">
                        <
    h3><a href="{xen:link find-new/profile-posts}">{xen:phrase new_profile_posts}</a></h3>
                        <
    xen:include template="sidebar_profile_post_list" />
                    </
    div>
                </
    div>
            </
    xen:if>
     
    RichardGaspa and Goodfella like this.
  3. Goodfella

    Goodfella Active Member

    Is it okay to use this video on our website?
     
  4. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Feel free. I have about 15-20 more in my YouTube channel (it's about 80% XenForo tutorials):
    https://www.youtube.com/user/ForestScreencast/videos
    I find that videos work really well for some members.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
    rafass, RichardGaspa and Goodfella like this.
  5. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Holy crap. This thread got 18,000 views. I wonder if many of those were organic search results from off site.

    So far most people seem to like the new feature.
     
    Connor Smith likes this.
  6. RichardGaspa

    RichardGaspa Active Member

    New Profile Posts are not only used by our members on a regular basis, but also I have received request on making the new profile post area more conspicuous. The name new profile post is a little confusing for many of my members as they think it has something to do with a change in there profile. Maybe "status update" would be more appropriate.

    I would also like to see this block under the online member and not so far down

     
  7. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    It is, as can be seen here on XenForo.
     
  8. Connor Smith

    Connor Smith Active Member

    Well done ;)

    I like these videos of yours. Very nice.
     
    ForestForTrees likes this.
  9. RichardGaspa

    RichardGaspa Active Member

    I moved the New Profile Post feature up to the top of the sidebar under the online members avatar and we are getting much more use of this feature from our members now. It was a very easy fix. I used @AndyB 's addon entitled Sidebar Positions 2.2. Sense making this change in position of the New Profile Post many more members are using it to report on a new status. I am going to be looking at the phrases to see if I can change the name of this feature from New Profile Post to Status update. Thanks @AndyB for another great addon.

    You can see what I am talking about here.
     
  10. Poindexter

    Poindexter Member

    I noticed that new posts sometimes take some time to show up in the New Profile Posts widget. Anyone know why that is?
     
  11. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    If you are using the WF add-on, it is due to caching.
     
  12. Newt

    Newt Active Member

    Been wondering if it's worth the room it takes in sidebar's "real estate". Are your members using it in a constructive way, or is it for self promotion and/or drama? Or a mix of it all?
     
    ForestForTrees likes this.
  13. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Our users use it pretty well, but we may have a number of factors in our favor that help us keep it that way. Here's a screenshot from just now:
    upload_2015-5-28_15-2-38.png

    I expect that the way that people use it will change over time as they get used to it.
     
    Newt likes this.
  14. Newt

    Newt Active Member

    I like the way you added explanations under the field, good idea!
     
    ForestForTrees likes this.
  15. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it was just a simple edit to the sidebar_profile_post_list template:

    upload_2015-5-29_9-34-15.png

    "The Click here for how to use this new feature" link goes to a thread that basically has the video that I embedded at the top of this thread."

    I love my members, but some can be knuckleheads when it comes to technology and weren't using the threading features of profile posts correctly. The second link, "Click on the dots (•••) next to each entry," goes to a thread with the following video:

    I also made a second video explaining why it's important to do that. About 40% of the people who watch the first video also watch the second.

    It's been gratifying to see how people have responded to my videos. (See, for example, above in this thread.) If anyone would like any custom instructional screencasts done for their own site, I'm considering setting up a service to make them in the future. It wouldn't be a large market, but I've already made a substantial investment in learning how to do it well. It might be a little while before I'm able to start it up, but if someone PMs me, I could move it forward a bit.
     
  16. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Regarding self-promotion in profile posts, using this site as an example, XenForo just made a rule against it on their own site:
    https://xenforo.com/community/threads/forum-rules-updates.89767/#post-940348
    (read both the post above and the post that follows it.)

    This strikes me as a useful policy for any forum that has problems with self promotion in profile posts. Good job XF.

    With that said, Lawrence pointed out what I feel could be a limit to the policy:
    https://xenforo.com/community/members/lawrence.219/#profile-post-23536
     
  17. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    My concern with what Lawrence brought up would be that people who do business under their username will spam up the profile posts box with meaningless updates in an effort to make their brands more visible within the community.

    For example, xenBoost Mike could let us know that his favorite team was doing well in the playoffs. As a result, the "xenBoost" name will become more familiar to all of us.

    xenBoost.

    Get it?

    Are you annoyed yet, because I already am.

    At the same time it would be hard to police, as maybe some people just really like making status updates.

    On my forum, people do do business as well, but our forum is low volume enough and through a mixture of self-respect and fear of moderators, I don't think it will be a problem. It certainly hasn't been one yet.

    "Fear of moderators" = because of our identity and brand as a consumer-run nonprofit, we have an extremely strict policy regarding people who make money.

    For the record, I don't mean to accuse xenBoost mike of anything. It's pretty much impossible to look into someone else's heart and see their true motivations. However, I do hope that the number of profile posts by people with their brand in their username is controlled. Should XF choose to alter their policy to impose special restrictions on profile posts by people who conduct business on the site or have their brand name in their username, I would support that. People selling services might raise a stink, but that's the way life is and it's the type of thing I would definitely consider on my site. I actually really enjoy the New Profile Posts box for reasons that I don't quite understand yet, and I'd hate to see it watered down with a bunch of pseudospam.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015

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