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Task Manager

Discussion in 'XenForo Suggestions' started by Grover, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    (edit 08-08-2012: see this post http://xenforo.com/community/threads/task-manager.10479/#post-394896, where I mention how Facebook has now actually implemented the thing I am searching for in a professional forum package. If you like that to be in XenForo, please [like] this suggestion below. Thanks.)

    I am very pleased to see XenForo offering taskmanagement-functionality that helps administrators/modertators in their day-to-day moderating duties, like this: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/managing-reported-content.2192/

    Assigning tasks and having statuses on these tasks is something I have been requested for a product like vBulletin (my 6-million-hit :) site is still powered by vB 3.8) for more then 6 (!) years now: http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php/120033-More-management-capabilities-for-our-private-Thread-Discussions-(staf-zone). Remarkably only co-member Alfa1 seemed to get the importance/value of such a request, because as you can see I am having a monologue with myself there...

    Enough of this introduction. What I would like to see, next to the already great task-management-functionality when handling Reported Posts in XenForo, is a solution for this:


    In my Staff Zone we (like so many other sites) have forums where we discuss problematic users and threads. In the past I (as the admin) used to be involved in these thread/user discussions heavily, but since a few years I have taken a step back, so now our Moderators are for 95% responsible for these discussions and subsequent thread/user management. I am hardly even reading those discussions anymore, but obviously there are moments when action of me as an administrator or owner is needed.

    What happens is that if my involvement is needed, a Moderator opens a new thread inside a forum called ´To-do Webmaster´ and puts inside for example: a quote taken from a particular thread/user discussion where it will say something like 'Webmaster, can you please ban this and this IP address?´ or they will do without any quote and give me just instructions there or they just insert a link to the specific post in the Staff Zone that needs my attention. This work process is really starting to become annoying to say the least. I don´t have the time or energy or need to follow every single exhausting thread/user discussion amongst our staff team, but I do need to know immediately when action from my side is needed. How to achieve this in the most easy/efficient way possible?


    How about a way to be able to poke the administrator or any other staff member from within the post to let them now their attention is needed? Just like you already can Report a Post. Just press a link (called 'Attention') and a popup... pops up... where you can select a person (by radio-buttons in front of the avatar, or a smart way that you actually select multiple avatars without any radio-buttons) from your Staff (every staff member should be listed, below is just a simple example) that you are addressing in that specific post.

    (a staff member is addressing the Webmaster to ask him to ban some suspicious IP, but this request is buried deep inside the extensive discussion and the Webmaster never reads those discussions anyway. And if he does, it's easily overlooked)

    attenion link in post.png

    Then this staff member will receive an automatic PM or maybe even better (trying to avoid another discussion outlet through PM): an alert... alerting her/him of this post that needs her/his immediate attention.

    Next to `Moderation queue:0´ ´Reported Items:1` XF could display `Attention needed:4' or something like that.


    frontpage fw v5.png

    This way we don't have go through all the hassle to manually PM a Moderator or put (repeat...) something inside the `To-do Webmaster´ forum in yet another new thread to get somebodies (much needed) attention. Key: We can leave everything, the whole workprocess concentrated, in one single thread/user discussion thread.

    (^ That's why I also feel that it needs to be separated from the already available Report Post functionality, because this attention functionality works on (already available) threads)

    (I am not sure about the implementation above, but I definitely need some kind of solution).

    (I will add more to this first posting in due time)
  2. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    I think that when a Moderator REPORTS a post, that REPORT is much more significant than a member reporting a post. These Reports should have their own area and not just go into Reported Items. "Report from Staff" or "Attention Needed" is a good name.

    Another hack would be that Reports by Moderators would always create a thread in the "To Do Webmaster" forum ... and that the Administrator has RSS subscription to this forum's new posts.
    tonjohn likes this.
  3. James

    James Well-Known Member

    I like the concept, so I'm going to like the post. I'm not sure how I personally would use it, but it seems nice to have a method for my staff to grab my attention.
  4. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Why? I have a very active/dedicated member on my platform who is reporting postings every time she can and she is invaluable to our moderating process. Her reports (and any report from any member for that matter) is as significant as reports by our staff.

    I also thought about combining these attention 'pokes' into the Reported Items', but...

    ... this is not quite a way it would work really. If there would be a way of poking a staff member to get his/her attention to a certain post inside a long/extensive user/thread discussion in the Staff Zone, then we do not need yet another thread (automatically generated) for that. There is already a thread to begin with: being it a user/thread discussion manually started by the staff or an automatically generated thread (Mike is looking into ways to make this available in a future version, if I understand correctly) based upon a Reported Post. I just need an efficient/effective way for my staff to get my attention on a certain posting/task that is burried deep for me inside an already available discussion.

    I realize this certainly may be a not-common request really and most admins will not need it. However, I am puzzled by how co-admins can keep up with all the tasks that are pile-ling up in your Staff Forums. I am fed up with all the enormous amount of user/thread discussions in my own Staff Zone and I just don't have the time/energy/wish/need to follow them anymore. I just need my Mods to be able to get my attention to posts/tasks/questions that can only be performed/handled by me. I am almost forced now to follow those extensive threads or my Mods are forced to copy/quote portions from those discussions into my 'To Do Webmaster' forum so I know what's going on and what tasks I need to handle for them.

    I could definitely use a system that supports us in all this. I am still not sure what would be a good way to implement it though.
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  5. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Grant sarver already posted a 'poke' suggestion. Here it is: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/suggestion-pokes-have-you-seen-this-thread-this-post.2092/
  6. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    I just had a talk with my Mod team and they would be very happy if a system such as the one proposed above would be available to them. It's so annoying and frustrating for the work process if a team member get's addressed in a posting (mostly in the Staf Forum discussions) and he/she doesn't see it and doesn't react accordingly.

    It would be really beneficial (to us) if the Alert functionality could be extended as a Poke/Attention function and incorporated on the Admin/Mod control bar. I have now included a mockup in the first posting.
  7. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    I have added yet another mockup to the first posting, to illustrated more clearly what I mean and how this very easy (and fast!... you do not have to type in anything or repeat/re-post anything inside a ToDo Webmaster forum etc, etc, etc...) to use functionality will benefit the efficiency of our (at least mine ;)) work processes behind the scenes. Enormously, in my case... (yes, I am frustrated :rolleyes:).

    (With those beautiful mockups included now, I expect to receive 5 times as much 'likes' as the only 4 that are offered now! [​IMG])
  8. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Have you thought of posting in the add-on requests forum for some of your suggestions?
    The relatively small number of likes for some of them would indicate it's not something a lot of people need, or want.

    There are plenty of talented developers who could probably fulfil most of your requirements very easily and quickly.

    Just a suggestion ;)
  9. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I just thought of this today when constructing the mockups. I think you might be right about the reasons for the small amount of likes, so that makes me curious how other board admins/staff people manage situations like I described in the first posting. It keeps being a constant annoyance/frustration on our Staf Zone that we need attention from people. Eventually we succeed (using PM, ToDo forums, etc.), but we need to put ourselves through so much hassle. A one-button solution will solve everything once and for all.

    I will however request it as an add-on as well.
  10. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    This would be useful on a community board, so I am liking this and adding my support.
  11. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your support Shamil, appreciated!
    Shamil likes this.
  12. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    I like this idea too, on very busy boards it could save some time for staff :)
  13. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your support as well Dragonfly, appreciated!
  14. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Make her a moderator ! :)
    She's obviously doing the job already.
  15. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    I can see a good use for this on my programming board. For example, when a person is trying to help a member with a problem and come to a point where they are out of ideas, we could simply click the button/link and choose/search for a member that we know might be able to to assist. Could be very useful. :)
  16. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

    My staff and I do the majority of coordination with a 24-7 webchat, Google Docs : spreadsheets, letters for translation, etc. Google Docs has API's for some level of integration.
  17. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    It has been some time (more then 1,5 years) that I took the time to offer product suggestions, but this one is so important to the workflow of my team, that I just wanted to add the following:

    Facebook has now actually implemented the thing (in one way or the other) I am asking for (since jan 2011). Yes... and it works really great (as I already tried to illustrate in my postings above). When you write a comment on a Facebook posting, you can now type in the name of a Facebook member and while typing, names that fit in with what you are typing will appear in a dropdown box (just like on XenForo when you search for a member-name). And then when you select a name from the dropdown list, the name will appear as clickable text in your comment:

    facebook name mention.PNG

    And now the beauty of it all is... this member that you mentioned, will receive a notification in their email and notification bar that their name is mentioned -by you- in a comment. And obviously, they can click on that notification and this brings them straight to this particular comment!

    So, this -more or less- turns out to be exactly what I was suggesting in my first posting above and it would do wonders for the task management of our ever growing site if XenForo would be able to implement such a thing in their -already Facebook inspired- product. I believe the benefits are so obvious.
  18. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  19. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Thanks DD!

    I truly believe this kind of functionality would do wonders for a forum, if it would come as a stock feature (like it is now on Facebook).

    It's exactly what some people say in the comments of the above Add-On:

    What a perfect way to inform users about relevant posts, love it!
    Excellent add-on that makes it really easy for users to 'ping' other users in posts.
    An excellent add-on which I'm hoping will reduce the amount of quote alerting which occurs on my site.
    An outstanding enhancement, that really extends the feeling of community on your site! Great job!
    This is by far one of the most useful mods for big boards.
    Adem Howard
    Easy for quick comments and mentions of other members. Help people to connect to one another.
    The best free XF addon I have downloaded so far. I believe this will be in stock soon

    Although a dedicated 'Attention' feature for Staff would take things a little bit further, a more simple/universal Tag function like this will already contribute hugely to the interaction on our public forums and at the same time make the interaction on our Staf Zones finally easier.

    There are apparently some issues with this Add-On. So, let's hope Andy.N is right and this will be a stock feature soon!
  20. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Tag Me + workflow would be amazing.

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