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Add-on What functions do you want for Social groups? (Crowdfund)

Alfa1

Well-known member
#1
Various webmasters have expressed their interest in advanced social groups functionality. I'd like to first use this thread to gather idea's and needs that webmasters have in order to come to a functionality list.

If we can come to a list of functions that is attractive to multiple admins, then we can move to the next phase and hire a developer to create advanced social group functionality.

We can opt to use an existing addon and enhance it with the needed functions or we can opt to have something new written.
Here's what I would like to see (in no particular order):
  • I think its vital that such addon is written by an experienced developer who produces quality code. It should run on small and big boards without performance issues.
  • Automatic invites based on profile fields, location, etc.
  • Gallery per group. Preferably by integration of existing galleries like xenmediagallery.
  • Subforums per group
  • Custom fields
  • Agree to group rules / terms when joining
  • Optional activity reminder
  • xentags for groups and threads
  • connect forum with a group and automatically invite the active posters of that forum.
  • project tools for groups: group tasks
  • widget: statistics on group members forum achievements in the last X days: reports, posts, likes, etc
  • Moderator checkpoint system for group members.
  • group portal layout widgets. Similar to XRGrid or by using XRgrid.
  • Privacy settings: public, invite only, only visible to members, apply for membership.
  • social sharing
  • group conversations
  • group calendar
  • multiple group owners / moderators
  • group news function
  • global categories
  • group deletion requests
  • featured groups
  • apply for group transfer in case of inactive group manager
  • apply for group moderator position
  • group alerts settings
  • thread prefixes
  • popular groups in the last X weeks widget
  • group logo
  • ban from group
  • group pages
  • groups navigation treeview widget with filter
  • main groups portal with widgets. Similar to XRGrid or by using XRgrid.
  • group usertag @ groupname

So what functions would you like to see in advanced social groups functionality?

@Dinh Thanh
@intradox
@A.Chakery
@Rob
@taylor_smith
 

Rigel Kentaurus

Well-known member
#2
You left me speechless. I was going to add suggestions but you seem to have covered everything I could think of. So I am going to comment on some of these inline instead.


Gallery per group. Preferably by integration of existing galleries like xenmediagallery
This means integrating probably with both galleries, unless one is chosen and then we stick with it.
This is better with the cooperation of the gallery author, else each upgrade things will break.

Subforums per group
Is this really really needed? The groups I have running barely need threads per group. Some forums may survive with one giant discussion, the ones that start growing up require threads, but I don't see them requiring full forums ... and once you go into forum territory things start getting messed up, does that mean watching that forum too? notifications?

project tools for groups: group tasks
I am going to issue a warning on this one because it can turn into it's own mini-project. And I think it is really specific to some groups.

group conversations
Is these private conversations? or threads?

group news function
Why is this needed?
 

dihuta

Formerly Dinh Thanh
#3
That's a huge list.
I just want to see something very essential for a modern social group on initial version.
Your list look like it's version 12.0 :)
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#5
This means integrating probably with both galleries, unless one is chosen and then we stick with it.
This is better with the cooperation of the gallery author, else each upgrade things will break.
Yes, I agree. I think it depends on which gallery people use most or if people need support for both.

Is this really really needed? The groups I have running barely need threads per group. Some forums may survive with one giant discussion, the ones that start growing up require threads, but I don't see them requiring full forums ... and once you go into forum territory things start getting messed up, does that mean watching that forum too? notifications?
Its not essential, but certainly a welcome feature to have. It allows groups to grow into mini-communities, which is the point of groups.

I am going to issue a warning on this one because it can turn into it's own mini-project. And I think it is really specific to some groups.
Project oriented groups are mighty useful. It allows you to form a group of people dedicated to managing or completing tasks or a project. For example if a group of members want to write help pages for your site, or clean up a forum, write article, etc.
But I agree that as this includes new functionality it could become a mini project. Unless a project tools addon becomes available. Which will happen. More about that later in another thread.

Is these private conversations? or threads?
private conversations.

To keep the group members up to date. To allow news articles or articles to be posted.
Social groups should not be merely threads with members. It needs other content types including articles.

That's a huge list.
I just want to see something very essential for a modern social group on initial version.
Your list look like it's version 12.0 :)
Most of those features are included in social groups for IPB. Its very popular and produced by only one excellent developer. Very similar to how @Chris D created XMG or @Jeff Berry is creating xenreviews.
Its indeed a huge list though. Not all of those are essential to me. Only a few are. I do not expect to see all those features and not in the first version either.
Its my intention to see what functions most people want and find common ground on this.

Could you explain what would like to see in a version 1.0? What functions / features are essential to you? What are you missing in @Waindigo his addon?
Make the team interaction work like: https://slack.com/ and you will have my unconditional love till version 2.0.
Can you please expand on this? What exactly do you need it to do?
 

TheBigK

Well-known member
#7
@Alfa1 - Slack's for team interaction and their basic functionality is real-time team chat; along with #channels for various discussion topics (viz. #marketing, #IT, #HR etc.) . I recommend that you should sign up (it's totally free) and see how it functions.
 

Rob

Well-known member
#8
I'd have to mirror the above... What's missing from waindigo's add on. It can't be much. The cost of extending that would be fit cheaper than a from scratch mod.
 

intradox

Well-known member
#9
You list covers most of the features I've wanted for a project of mine. Basically ~10months ago I was trying to build on-top Waindigo's group addon as it has the most flexibility and many of the features but it was just too slow so I've opted to code my own, external from Xenforo.

The main features I needed were:
- Group news/announcements. Like resource updates, the group owner/moderators can post an announcement which causes an alert for all members.
- Gallery: post images, youtube video?
- Group Permissions: Decide if group is public or not, decide member perms, mod perms, etc.
- Subforums: I'm looking to offer the groups as "mini" forums and need this functionality. Would be great if the group owner can choose which group usergroups have perms to post/view etc.
- Reviews: perhaps linked with the upcoming XenReviews addon.
- Group moderation: any group created needs to be approved by a forum mod
- Ability for group owner to upgrade their group to "premium" group and either have it ad-free and/or extra features.
- Users can pay to become premium group members of their favorite groups. Custom user title/badge within that group. Maybe split money with group owner. Ad-free experience for user. (Something like Twitch.tv's Subscriber).
- Group ownership can be passed to another user.

For me, I think it will be eaiser to just code this myself specific to my needs as my own platform than use Xenforo as the base:


 

dihuta

Formerly Dinh Thanh
#10
I'd have to mirror the above... What's missing from waindigo's add on. It can't be much. The cost of extending that would be fit cheaper than a from scratch mod.
I used to have too many issues with Waindigo addons. It's was full of bugs, low quality code, not design for large forums and not easy to contact him for support (always ask for paid support at that time, I understand this is style of his working, that's fine for me). Social Group is a special one, when I found bugs with it, I can't manage to solve these issues or conact for support, I uninstalled Social Group on my site, lots of problems, event I was fail to remove it. I and @Andy.N were tried too many solutions to solve these issues from his addon but until now something are still there (this post).

This may only my personal issues, Social Group is one of them. But after these issues, I try to avoid using his addons completely.
 
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Sage Knight

Well-known member
#11
All the features listed are nice and all but the real deal sealer is the dev chosen to develop the addon. This could possibly be the last Social Group based addon, considering the market is getting really crowded (we already have 3 and another one being developed by @LP-John). Lastly I'd only pitch in if there's a credible developer on board.
 

John L.

Well-known member
#12
Thanks for tagging us in this thread. This is a pretty huge list of features. I can tell you that our addon will have the basics since we like to push out products that may not have all the features you want immediately, but it will function well from start to finish. We will add this list to our roadmap and try to include these features as we go.

Some of them are quite extensive and could be addons by themselves (galleries for example). We will be posting a nice thread with info on our addon soon. We have made a lot of progress on it and it's looking very good. I'll keep you posted in our own thread once we get this to a good spot. Thanks for the support!
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#13
IMHO a social groups addon needs a gallery function. This can either be part of the addon or support a good gallery addon like XenMediaGallery.

Currently there are several social groups addons:
http://xenforo.com/community/resources/social-groups-by-waindigo.891/ by @Waindigo (one of the more advanced addons but still lacks a lot of features)
http://xenforo.com/community/resources/social-groups.3443/ by @Snog (basic functionality)
http://xenforo.com/community/threads/simple-groups-preview.78335/ by @LP-John (basic functionality)
http://xenforo.com/community/resources/social-groups-for-xenforo.267/by @Rigel Kentaurus (not updated since last 2013)
http://xenforo.com/community/resources/nobita-social-groups-teams.2875/ by @Nobita.Kun (one of the more advanced addons but still lacks a lot of features)

While there are a number of social groups addons now, there still is need for a full featured social groups addon supported by a dedicated and quality developer.
 
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Alfa1

Well-known member
#16
Considered, tried, I have many projects with Waindigo since last year. Also including improvements and importer for his social groups. it's clear that Waindigos time is extremely limited and doesn't have time for such large projects. especially now that his company will cease trading.
 

John L.

Well-known member
#17
Just speaking from experience, I doubt you'll find anyone who will spend the time to create everything you've listed without getting some sort of legitimate crowdsourced support for thousands of dollars...and we've all seen how that has worked out for some. It makes far more sense to start with a basic foundation for an addon (stable and sturdy) and then addon feature sets overtime to make it more robust. I mean, hey, even XenForo itself didn't have it all when it first released.

So while there may not be a "100% solution" out there for social groups, I'm sure there is one or two out there that has a good solid foundation. Everyone of the guys listed has worked hard on their product and I'm sure each one will grow at its own pace.

The key is, finding the right product to support and stick with :)
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#18
crowdfunding works fine as long as it's done carefully and considerate. xenreviews is a good example. I don't see a problem in funding a few thousand. there are plenty of webmasters interested in this. with 10 investors it would only mean a few hundreds investment.
In regards to failed crowdfunds : it's not like nobody could see that coming. I think it's quite foolish to invest in a crowdfund without exact project details, requirements, conditions, because without this it's too easy for such projects to fall through. in such case no one even knows what the project is.

I don't see any of the available social groups as a solid foundation. the available addons are either too basic at this point in time or are not coded well enough to be a long term solution for busy big boards. I am hopeful that the basic group addons may expand to a more comprehensive solution.

it would be a good possibility to expand a solid add-on in phases with upfront payment by a group of investors.
 

John L.

Well-known member
#19
I can't speak for every one of those developers since I haven't had the opportunity to view their code, but perhaps our idea of a solid foundation vs your own is not quite the same. A foundation to me is just as basic as it gets, but it lends itself to being flexible for future growth and functions efficiently on "big boards". A foundation has very little to do with its feature-set and more so to do with its quality in my eyes.

Perhaps developers willing to start a crowdfund for development are far braver than I. I have a hard time saying "no" to features which can lead to constant development and less releases (Just ask @LiquidPro he will tell you lol). I can definitely say that almost all of your requested features above are not going to be in our initial release. However some are in the roadmap and others will depend on the level of demand.

In terms of quality, I have faith ours will be in the top-tier of social group addons. In terms of feature-set, we will probably be somewhere in the lower-half. I'm actually pretty excited about it, :).
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#20
A solid foundation is indeed software that is coded well. I agree with you there. At the same time its also needed to replace those essential functions that I am currently running on my vbulletin big board. Those are simply the needs of my communities. But you have certainly sparked my interest.