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Multiple activity Feeds ?

I am managing a forum for Freeborders (it's like a summer snowboard for the road) in France since 2004- small& active community.
The main goal of the forum is to connect the riders together, it's way more fun to ride together than alone. The forum was under SMF since 2004 and I made the switch to Vanilla last year. Just upgraded to 2.1 with bootstrap theme and it looks neat !

While the "topics/discussions" forms is perfect for asking questions and sharing videos&stories, it is not ideal for everything :
We have one topic for each "local areas" so local crews can discuss their next ride meeting (ie : afterwork ride, or next weekend etc) and anything local (ie: new hill to ride or music event... ). But topics are now 100+ pages and it sucks to click to the last page and scroll down to get to the freshest posts.

I think it would be great to have the ability to create multiple activity pages in Vanilla. I would set-up one for each local areas, making it easier to find the latest posts without having to scroll down. The activity page is clean, it's easy and fast to see what's going recently. Just like a Facebook feed everybody is so familiar with.

I am sure many communities would benefit such a feature. Thanks for reading me :)

  • What do you think of such a feature, Is this something you could use, something you would like to see in a future update of Vanilla ?

  • Can you help me set this up on my Forum ? How would you create multiple activity feeds in the current 2.1 Vanilla ?


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    R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    I haven't understood the problem right now.

    Is it that there are too many comments in a discussion? => When you click on a link, it looks like that: and the #latest will send you to the oldest unread comment. So you only have to click and scroll if you are not logged in. Maybe a reversed sort order could also help (that's how activity is ordered):

    Or is it that there are too many discussions and it is hard to find this discussion in the discussion list? => Bookmark the interesting discussions and visit

    Back to your idea: if you could imagine to go through the tedious task of setting up one page per local area, why not set up one category per local area? That's the natural way to group things in Vanilla. You will not have an extra activity feed per category, but your users could visit

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    wooolooowooolooo New
    edited May 2014

    I was expecting that kind of replies.. THINK outside the box ;-) I'm just trying to make things easier for users : they need a classic forum for most topics, but they would benefit a lot from an easier form for their short-term, local discussions.

    latest will send you to the oldest unread comment. So you only have to click and scroll if you are not logged in

    For these regional topics we don't want to read the whole thing. For example if I didn't log in for a couple of weeks, and then I need to know what's happening, I need to get to the newest post, not the 2 weeks old one.
    Some users aren't registered yet, I still want them to get quickly to what they want. Even registered users connect through their mobile phones, work computers, laptop etc, they are not always logged in ;) I'm sure your users are not either - take a look at your stats to convince yourself.

    Maybe a reversed sort order could also help

    Not feeling that one... It'll affect all topics, and even if it'll be a good thing for the "regional" topics, it sucks for all the other topics.

    one category per local area


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    @wooolooo I don't know what sort of response you are expecting, but here is my 2p.

    Very long topics are bad, bad, bad, bad for indexing/SEO, and for users. The very fact that user aren't getting the information they want easily enough, is clear evidence of that.

    They are really difficult to use. Even if they are local, they can become very unfocused quickly, An example is a meet up thread for an area. These can be sprawling but, very difficult to follow.

    There is also nothing new, innovative, or blue sky about following a long list. In fact is as old as the hills, and has been replaced with better ideas since. The only place where I see such things these day is on really old school bbs type forums. Despite their length they can often get quite stale. It doesn't in itself increase discourse as time goes by.

    I feel so strongly about in that in certain types of forum (such as support) I recommend to clients that they automatically close discussions after a period of inactivity.

    You may not want something as hierarchical as categories, that is fine. That is exactly were stuff like tagging comes in.

    The advantage of categories ATM, is they already have a way user can follow, and receive notifications for them.

    The con might be that you want something less hierarchical like tags or similar. But currently there is no facility for user to follow the tags they want.

    If you are talking about that activity feed, truth be told it generates a lot, I mean A LOT of useless data, that becomes redundant shortly after it is recorded. Recommend purging it (albeit selectively) for old data.

    Nevertheless it could be filtered, if you like, with appropriate indexes. It wouldn't be a duplicate activity source, just filtered down.

    If you decide to go the category route there are way of organizing and categories and subcategories better.

    grep is your friend.

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    whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP
    edited May 2014

    I'm not sure barking 'Think outside the box' at people trying to help you is the most effective tactic, but maybe you know better.

    Vanilla (as the name implies) comes basic (which is not to imply 'lacking functionalitY'!) For changes that you are looking for you will need to implement them yourself.

    If you have a budget there are a bunch of very good developers on here who could probably help you.

    If you don't have a budget, and want to try it yourself, people on here will try to give you advice, once you say how far you have got, and what you have done.

    If you want someone to do this for you for free, you may be being over-optimistic.

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