Similar Content Widgets (for any content type)

Alpha1

Well-known member
Content Discovery is a major issue with XenForo when you have addons. When a user is browsing a forum or thread about a specific content, then the user is most likely interested in the very same topic in other content types. But this related content is often hidden in a category of an addon. Accessible only through many clicks or searches for users that consider to look for it and know where to look for it.

What is much needed IMHO is widgets that display related/similar content from a specific content type.

For example a related resources widget.
A related resources widget would display X number of resources and resource categories that match with the content of the page. If you have a forum about 'Pink Floyd' then the widget would display resources about 'Pink Floyd' based on title, page content, tags. If you have a thread about 'David Gilmore' then the widget would display resources and resource categories about 'David Gilmore' based on title, page content, tags.

Same for a related threads widget.
If you have a resource category about 'Pink Floyd' then the widget would display related threads and forums about 'Pink Floyd' based on title, page content, tags. If you have a resource about 'David Gilmore' then the widget would display threads and forums about 'David Gilmore' based on title, page content, tags.

And same for any content type from profile posts, media, media comments, pages, and any addon content type.

Important with such widgets is not only to display X number of related content, but also a link to an extended search for related content. Because a widget can only display a limited amount of items.

This would allow us to present a much more integrated experience to our users and bring content deeply hidden to the attention of our readers.
For me this suggestion is in the top 10 of most important features to have.
 
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Max

Well-known member
Good idea. but it's better if you can show related content from other content types.

Ex.. You read a thread about a new book. Then related content appears from Resource manager showing ebook downloads of that book or with the same topic,
Gallery widget shows images related to the book like the author, book cover, launch event etc..
 

nrep

Well-known member
This would be a fantastic feature to add to XenForo - a similar threads feature is such an important part of content discovery. A huge number of my users used this feature in the old vBulletin forums, and subsequently in XF1 with an addon. Hopefully we'll see this native to XF2 soon, to help us grow our communities.
 

Alpha1

Well-known member
Now that XFES has a Similar Threads widget, it would make sense to extend this to work on other content types. So we could have a similar threads widgets visible on a resource page.

And conversely, it would be immensely helpful to have a similar resources widget on a thread page.
 

Lucas

Well-known member
Sounds like something that should be easier to implement now that it can be done for threads. Definitely an interesting suggestion that might end up having more people give Enhanced Search a try.
 

imno007

Well-known member
Not sure I see why it should require people to use Enhanced Search, since there are extra costs associated with it that aren't worth it for most people who aren't running large sites that bring in money. No reason we couldn't have similar content options with the core software - except of course that it would cut in to profits for the addon. :p
 

Alpha1

Well-known member
Similar Threads is a feature of the Enhanced Search addon. Which makes sense because the feature makes use of ElasticSearch. I'm happy to see that Enhanced Search is getting new features, because tbh the addon was providing Basic Search features only. So with the similar threads feature the addon is become a little more enhanced. There is so much more that can be Enhanced when it comes to search. Similar Content would be a really valuable addition. Since it would do cross content type search and could be used to display unique search results on every page of a website, ElasticSearch seems the optimal way to go.
 

mazzly

Well-known member
This is something that we would also like to see :love:

We are running Vaultwiki (shoutout to @pegasus ) on our forum, and it would be awesome if we could use the XFES similar threads widget at the bottom / sidebar of the wiki pages to link to relevant threads discussing what the wiki page is about :)

I'm also sure that it would be relevant for anyone running most of e.g. @Bob's addons if the widget would also work for those, as well as XFMG/XFRM :)
 

Masetrix

Well-known member
Sounds like something that should be easier to implement now that it can be done for threads. Definitely an interesting suggestion that might end up having more people give Enhanced Search a try.
(XF)Enhanced Search is too much overhead just to display similar topics.
My SQL Server is configured well enough and has enough memory available to be just as fast as ES, but with less resource consumption.
Therefore, I also support this suggestion of similar threads in the normal core, without installing ES.
 

mazzly

Well-known member
This is partly related to this suggestion so I'm posting this here.

I think the idea of the original suggestion in itself is good, but from a developer's perspective it is not trivial to "just throw together" something that can handle "anything linking to anything" as there are usually many moving parts that would need to be considered and even planning it would be a PITA..

I had a peek at the XFES sources, and from the looks of it, it shouldn't be too hard for an addon developer to extend some parts of XFES and create their owns widgets that can find similar threads (or other content types) related to their own content, as long as there exist "Searcher"-classes for the respective entities.

I'm a firm believer in the KISS principle and I also know it is much easier to get a developer to create some feature if it is "small, simple & clear to the point". And with that in mind, it would be better if the addon developers added these types of widgets/features into their own addons (which would be a smaller task) rather than relying on the XF devs to solve the problem (which would be 10x larger to solve since it has to "support the whole world of things")..

XFES is very powerful, and the way it seems to be built it looks to be quite extendable as well 👍

The problem I see with it currently, is that it might not be easy/clear how to extend things if you want to make your own addon and entities compatible with XFES to create a widget like this.

So therefore I'm asking the XF Developers: Could you guys throw together some guide/tutorial on how XFES can be utilized if an addon developer wants to create their own "similar X widget" to find related content as part of their own addons.
Tagging @Kier as he's usually the one throwing together nice guides, but also @Mike and @Brogan :)

Cheers!
//Jonathan
 
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