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Community functions

edited July 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help


I have been running many different boards as admin trying to build communities. So I am approaching the great vanilla from a people's not just a technical perspective. Most of these suggestions are meant for later versions of vanilla - maybe as plugins (love that idea!!!).

Rating / Best Answer

Sometimes when you browse a forum, you want to 'find' the best answer to some topic. Here some form of rating or meta moderation function would be great. Metafilter has recently introduced some sort of 'best answer' function, Slashdot has meta moderation others use some sort of rating systems.

In the spirit of vailla I would prefer something simple, like a [+] button to mark an answer / posting as special.

There is also a twist: it should show (maybe as a small symbol / number) how many ratings the posting got from others - but also should keep YOUR personal rating as well - so you can find them later.

Bookmarks extended

In connection with the last suggestion and the current bookmark system I have two ideas: let me bookmark single postings and give me a function in my users settings to edit/delete all my bookmarks. Just jumping back to the old discussions and 'unsubscribing' is a LOT of work once you have been on a board for some time. Maybe folders for bookmarks is too much to ask. Maybe something for vanilla 2.o?

Bookmarking people would add my next point:

Bookmark people: Friends & Enemies

Forums are often used like social places - so friendship lists or even enemy lists are a great help. Great social engineering tools. So why not bookmark people as well? You already have a 'negative' bookmark function: block user.

Metafilter allow user to link to each other. Slashdot offers all sorts of lists / social relationships.

Tribes, Clubs and Postings

I am sure many gaming boards and social forums would love a function so people could organize themselves into groups (tribes, clans, whatever you wanna call them). Sure people can use the custom fields to add some sort of 'clan' function - but it would be nicer if you could have a proper function for it: starting a clan, clan elders, members and applicants. More or less the same functions like the admin already offers - only for members.

In that context it would be nice if clan people could create postings only visible to their own team/clan. Very groovy!

Posting history

Personal profiles should include a simple button so you can search / list all of a persons postings. The board already has the functionality, but a small button would simplify the access. Also a great social egineering tool - because it's easier to get to know other members if you could study what they write / behave.

Fields in Profile

I love the easy custom field options in the user profile. Would love to see the idea extended with fields the admin can create and which appear on EVERY profile. The admin should also be able to make some of them mandatory. Obviously you also want to be able to search those fields: like in a single community you can search for certain hobbies or someone who like the same TV show as you. did this very nicely (although a bit complex).

Thanks for reading.


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    haha, remember when this was a simple forum, guys?
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    I know. Lego is also simple. But what counts is what you can build with it.

    Like I wrote I think the plugin concept is great - and just offers the right basis for such things. I have seen so many forums starting out small and simple - but with a certain amount of postings and people you want 'more'.

    And some of the requested 'functions' are already here: like search and rights management. Just combine them in a new way - just like whispers are a different form of postings, but used in a new and brilliant context.

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    sorry if that sounded rude. it's just that now that the thing is sort of "released" it seems like a million people are trying to pull it in a million different directions. that's dangerous. the extension system is great but I think there are limits to where it can or should go.
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    Yeah, I agree with unipus, Vanilla was supposed to be lightweight and simple, now people are asking for features from other forums like polls, email replies to threads etc. It kind of veers off from the orignial Vanilla concept...
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    MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    They're just extensions. Suggestions are good. If people develop their suggestions rather than just suggest them: even better. If we don't like an extension, we don't have to use it. Notice how this version of Vanilla doesn't use a lot of them? I say keep the nifty ideas coming :)
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    edited July 2005
    I don't think you could have picked a better name for this forum. with the extensability of its architecture, it's a lot like vanilla ice cream; you can have it plain or you can put any topping you want on it and it will still taste pretty good. chocolate syrup, sprinkles, fudge, carmel, strawberries, whatever, it's your ice cream. damn, that sounds really good right now. *runs out to get some ice cream
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    Oh, I agree with you.

    I don't want all functions integrated into the core - rather as extensions. So everyone can make their own remix - whatever they need for their site.

    The problem with Invision PowerBoard and phpBB is that you CAN'T choose your functions - there is way to much stuff crammed into the core. Vanilla is a great concept - and the biggest selling point for me is the very concept of the light core AND the plugs.

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    Yeah. I can see doing the profile fields easily being done via an extension as well as the "posting history" one. It would simply be adding the a link with the user in the sidebar. hmm I should be able to do that. (time to look at more code when I get home)

    I really like the idea of a buddy list/friend bookmarks...

    yeah, like everyone has already said - extensions for teh w1n. I agree that the vanilla core should be kept simple and utterly streamlined. The only things I'd add to the core are things that make extensions more extensible and/or work better.

    That is all. End Transmission.
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    heh. I'll post at least a couple of those tonight. I've bookmarked the thread so I don't lose it :)
This discussion has been closed.