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Social Groups and Photo Albums

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Paul Gowder, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Paul Gowder

    Paul Gowder New Member

    I'm importing my vBulletin install into a test forum to see how Xenforo peforms.

    The importer is pulling social groups and photo albums. But I don't see that anywhere in xenForo? Am I missing it?
  2. Business Coach

    Business Coach Active Member

    AFAIK there is no photo album in xen

    also there are user groups (members, admins, mods etc) but that's about it. That I have seen.

    hopefully the gallery will be in the gold release. Many of us have requested it.
  3. Sergei

    Sergei Member

    Social groups would definitely be a great addon. It would also be awesome if every social group could have a small section on the main board and group admnistrators would be moderators. Of course only group members would be able to see group subforum.
  4. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    Social Groups are BAD BAD BAD. Everything you add to your forums, there are two things you should ask first...

    Will your users use it? I like to think of this as the Albums question. Will your users use it? Some forums, yes; most forums no. For most forums, users would much rather use FlickR, PhotoBucket, ImageShack, etc than the forum album.

    Does it take AWAY from your forums. Generally, everything you add to your website, you add because you want to draw people to your website. Social groups DO NOT do this. The only people who use social groups are those already on your website, and even then, only a bare minimum percentage of your users. Having social groups actually detracts from your forums because it takes content AWAY from your forums, where new users and guests will see it, and segregates them into their own archaic section.
    Robbo, whynot, Bain and 3 others like this.
  5. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

    For the most part I agree. I thought the same way as Jaxel which is why I created my own image host. Members love it a lot more (since you don't have to be logged in...etc). Also, social groups are very bad UNLESS you have a forum specifically for something like this. The only thing I can think of is if you do FPS Shooter Leagues or Sports Gaming Leagues with teams and such...but the rest, you can use forums for.
    whynot likes this.
  6. Tomble

    Tomble Active Member

    I agree, I was really excited about the social groups thing when it was released but in the end I found that it wasn't used how I had intended it (to allow group planning for various entities) and infact it was barely used at all. It was also a pain as I had to keep an eye on all the social groups every so often to ensure that spam wasn't building up etc. I'm sure there may be a good way of implementing it but I don't think it can be done so as a mainstream product, it would need to be very bespoke for its use.

    I think a image sharing system may be of more use, as it can really encourage your community to share pictures and images and people tend to enjoy discussing their pictures etc. But again it depends on your forum type.
    whynot likes this.
  7. Business Coach

    Business Coach Active Member

    I agree with the two things to ask

    but where are you getting "most forum users"? from. It entirely depends on the forum, and as we enter the point of convergence for web 4.0 (tv, internet, mobile, video) there will be more and more demand for instant integration.

    People on mobile phones will not want to upload to flickr and then have to put that into a forum.Many people hate image shack and such due to the overwhelming amount of obnoxious advertising. They want to snap a photo or video and post directly to the forum.

    One of the things that blew myspace and facebook up was in fact, photo albums. For profiles and for sharing. the old "forum" model is out. Social Networks and Forums are NOT separate (at least in the minds of the users)...which is why the largest boards are adding social and the largest social are adding boards.

    Back on topic: Social Groups can be greatm but like any feature, if you just "add it" to the forum and make an announcement, it probably will not work so well.

    You have to introduce it, encourage it and show people the benefits of it. If people are not using it, it is probably because they are not aware it exists, or how it can help them.
    RobinHood, Rich, Todd and 1 other person like this.
  8. Eagle

    Eagle Well-Known Member

    I guess, I don't agree with you little 'cause a lot of people when see that social groups, guests may be of interest to that groups and they can register in the site and show their activity. Of course social groups must be awesome for member activity. I know vB social groups are a little bad 'cause it's little undeveloped. However, if it release for XenForo then be sure a lot of Xen user would love and use it for their sites. I do not know, how many people don't care it when it will release.
  9. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Social Groups are awesome.
  10. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    I think social groups on boards got a bad rep because VB did them so badly.

    They need to link to a forum so the social group acts as a recruiter for the special topic forum. It feeds it rather than drains it. I agree with Jaxel this is paramount.
    I think of this as a Club.

    At a minimum a group/ Club needs -
    - a portal Page with profile info + lead graphic + title colour choice + bgcolor choice.
    - members list, coordinator contact;
    - PROMINENT link top centre to its own subforum which in turn has a link top and bottom to its portal page;
    - most Liked posts from the FORUM, snippet of first few lines;
    - link to an index of Clubs page off the navbar + sidebar;
    - link back to main forumslist.

    A more developed Club setup would have -
    - intro info on what the Club is about;
    - PROMINENT link top centre to its own subforum which in turn has a link top and bottom to its portal page;
    - most Liked posts from the FORUM, snippet of first few lines
    - a lead ID graphic to represent it;
    - useful links list Club members can add to - youtube videos/ music/ book pr film or game reviews etc A selected list of key items with a note that there's more in the FORUM.
    - option for polls by coordinator or members;
    - who is its coordinator with profile pic and a private convo link;
    - a list of members, or else the latest newest members, or both;
    - Link to club album which can have categories;
    - a thread on the FORUM where members post pics first for inclusion in the album;
    - stats like start date, who started it, no. of members, date of most recent activity;
    - club rules;
    - link to an index of Clubs page off the navbar + sidebar;
    - link back to main forumslist.

    I'm sure there could be more but this kind of Club enclosure could strongly feed a subforum and enhance members sense of belonging/ stickiness.

    I think Clubs need to be optionally open/ or closed/ private. Depends on board needs.

    I don't think a free for all where anyone can set up a group works well. Maybe it does on certain types of boards but if so it would be helpful to investigate which kinds of boards benefit from that.

    It makes more sense to me to have creating a Club as either admin only or a privilege that some members have, a secondary usergroup maybe. Myself I'd want to moderate applications for creating one so as not to needlessly duplicate similar interest areas.On a l;arger board that could be mod work.
    Also to me it's important to limit the number of them so members do not feel overwhelmed. I'd rather have a smaller number of good quality Club groups which can be properly nurtured than lots of pointlessly inactive ones.

    But absolutely agree it should feed the forums not pull away from them.
  11. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Well what I did in the end was enrich the forum page and the category page
    (forum_view and category_view)
    so they are club pages.
    I call them Circles.

    It means the forums stay exactly where they should be CENTRAL.
    A Circle is a node with all the functions of a node - permissions, node tree hierarchy etc
    There is no extra navigation or different kinds of areas to learn.
    Circles have moderators just as usual.
    I designed a more powerful title area with a theme graphic per category Circle/ colour theme/ larger, longer Description. The Moderator displays userbit in the title area.
    Underneath the forums is a memberslist with avatar, username, gender, location, and Start Conversation button.
    Also A Library column for selected Links.
    Admin can assign membership so usergroup or user gets notifications and displays on memberlist.

    So far it works well. Still in testing phase but will be available soon.

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