Just suggested to XenForo to modernize his social features, like the creation of user clubs/communities inside our Forum. It's time to a big upgrade!

deslocotoco

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Well, I'm opening this thread just to inform our fellow XenForo administrators.

I opened the thread in the XF official Forum, my main points to defend this feature are there:


Well, i don't know if this suggestion is already posted around here (the search system for thread title don't give me any clue about it), but this is my suggestion and i think that should be considered.

XenForo already mastered the Forum system, no doubt, i always say that in many others specialized places. Is the best software available with a great community, specially with great developers, official or not.

But some features beyond the Forum are missing, and many in terms of "modernization" of the social experience.

We already know that we lost a lot of users to social networks and i don't see many solutions around here to keep up the pace.

My suggestion is the ability to create social communities by the users, would be a game changer for the XenForo experience. Can be even an paid add-on, since is a very particular feature that I'm willing to buy without a doubt.

Some competitors have this feature (Invision for example), creating a unique experience for the users, without the interference of the administration.

They can create "subs", like reddit, fully managed by the users. Imagine that: offering a place that a user can create it's own community or club, with their own rules and aspects.

Some of the features are the visibility (public or private), monetization systems and some flexible customization.

It's time to XenForo keep up with the improvements, specially with the social innovations that we don't have.

Thanks all for your attention.


This subject come close to the issue that we all face: the lost of relevance of the Forums compared to social networks, and i can quote Reddit as example who mixed almost with perfection the Forum experience and the social experience.

The Invision platform already offer a solution to this and i think is time to XenForo keep up the pace. Just look and imagine the possibilities:

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Yeah, i think is a core feature missing from XenForo and they can even charge for that since is a very specific product that I'm willing to pay.

So, i opened this thread here to start a discussion: is time (again) to keep up the pace, since they mastered the classic Forum experience.

What do you think guys?
 

Joel R

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My primary forum doesn't run on XF, but I do use the Clubs feature on Invision Community. Overall, I'm a huge fan of the social groups / clubs. However ...
1. Doing this well is not easy. You're adding on micro communities, and you need to be extremely thoughtful in making sure that the clubs don't overlap or detract from your main community.
2. Each club needs an active leader. This is probably the biggest factor on whether the club will do well. Not the feature, the sections, or the technology.
3. If you're not managing your forum well, I'm not sure you can launch clubs and do that well either. You really need to be a good people person, because you're managing superusers who are managing their own clubs.

Also, I thought Xenforo had a social groups add-on? You should install it, and play arou d with it, and see if it works well for you.
 

Bengie

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Quote palhanow I opened the thread in the XF official Forum Unquote

Oh I do love a humorous post. I will go over later and take a look but I bet you didn't get a proper response.
I have noticed that any past enthusiasm xenforo had seems to have waned over the past few years which is a
shame.
It seems like they don't have forethought on how to bring in the customers, give people what they want and
you will have them queing out the door for you product.

I'm afraid VB isn't any better.
 

zappaDPJ

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I can't view the thread because the site is currently unavailable to me, apparently due to a Cloudflare issue. That said I've got mixed feelings about the phrase 'core feature missing from XenForo'.

I agree it's a missing feature but it's not necessarily something I'd want to see in the core product. I do think Xenforo is starting to age a little and could benefit greatly from some added functionality but I'd personally prefer this kind of rather major social function to be a developed as an in-house add-on.

Something of this nature would cost a lot to develop and could add considerably to the cost of the product which is currently reasonably priced I think. I wouldn't want to pay more for something I doubt I'd use.
 

Pete

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Here’s the thing: why do people insist that because platform x has a feature, that platform y should have a matching feature?

This is clearly a feature XF is not interested in implementing for whatever reason - as per your thread being locked because duplicate of an 11 year old thread. And that’s their prerogative.

Does XF’s ecosystem benefit from having a clubs feature? Undoubtedly. Does the core benefit from it? Probably not. I would suggest XF should build this as a first party plugin rather than in core.

The problem is that what you want isn’t what I want and vice versa. XF has clearly decided on the path they want to take and it doesn’t appear to be hurting them, it just might not be the right path for you - and that’s OK too.

If XF isn’t doing what you want it to do, go pick a platform that will. The exact same statement is true for IPS.

Here’s the bottom line: if you homogenise the products so they all have the same feature set, there’s no competition or reason to improve. Products having different feature sets is a good thing, not a bad one, for the community as a while even if it might not suit your individual use case.
 

Jeremy8

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I am all for the idea, but what exactly do clubs have to do with "modernizing" anything? vBulletin 4, which came out 12 years ago, had them.
 

we_are_borg

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The problem with Xenforo is that they are more or less in a forum only bubble. If you look at Resource Manager its more or less tailored to the Xenforo site while it can be more. Same with gallery it can become more then it is. The forum it self is more or less forum with others extending it but you can’t go beyond whats included.
 

Pete

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I’m reasonably sure vB 3 had them under the Social Groups moniker now that I think about it.

But part of the XF mentality of not having All The Things is a lesson learned precisely from vB 3...
 

craigForo

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Need a good site example of "clubs or groups" in action to sell it (something other than Reddit? Looking at vB all I see is a bunch of dead open coffins.

I believe there is a niche for private groups, but a good example would go a long way in selling the idea.

Is anyone aware of an Invision site actively using clubs/social groups?
 

Alpha1

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Social Group Forums are Forums. Its not a new content type like calendar or wiki. The forum content type already exists. The only thing new about it is that social forums can be joined by members. Invision and BuddyBoss have added it as part of their forum functionality because it makes the most sense. Its an completely integrated part of forums. vbulletin has bolted on groups and it doesnt work well.
 

Alpha1

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The second post links to an 11 year old open topic that is basically the same thing, hence tagged Duplicate.
Yes, the Social Groups suggestion that can be upvoted is:
 

Jeremy8

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Need a good site example of "clubs or groups" in action to sell it (something other than Reddit?
Can someone also explain how Reddit follows this concept anyway? Subreddits aren't clubs, they are more comparable to individual boards on a forum.
 

Pete

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Subreddits are basically users creating new boards that they can customise and theme to a limited degree themselves - clubs are a similar concept of people adding new boards that they can also organise themselves, to some degree.

See also the entire concept of Facebook Groups - creating a new board for people to post in. This is, I think, a key motivator behind the thinking: we have to compete with Facebook using Facebook features! Or, well, not.

Seriously, for the people advocating for it, I'd love to understand how you, specifically, would make use of the feature to improve your site. Not a hypothetical 'because we need it' - how would *you* use it to improve *your* site.
 

deslocotoco

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Thanks for all replies guys.

Like Bengie said, the feedback on the official Forum was the same as ever, that's why i like to open this kind of discussions here.

My keys points on my original thread was:

- An official solution, to no rely on third party add-ons because obvious reasons;
- Not a core feature, but and optional add-on, nobody should use a feature that doesn't want it;
- XF can even charge for this extra feature, since this can and should be optional, like many competitors do with their products;
- I don't know the reality of each forum owners and their own websites, but my service proposal is go beyond the classic Forum experience, and again, it's optional;

Many of us can see others complaining about the lost of 'relevance' of the Forums around the word to social media. Yeah, that's a point, but when anyone search for something that your Forum have a thread, the SEO system tell then to go directly to your website, I'ma right or not?

I don't think that 'we lost relevance' is the proper term. We lost part of the public that is not compatible with Forum, and this is a mainstream thing. Nobody is denying that.

The Forum format is the only that is working since the 80th, basically unchanged, just with some upgrading and modernization. The format is a success and still is. Period.

But what we should think about is where social networks are doing right and try to apply the same in the old format, well, anyone should keep up with the competition, right?

I don't see much of that, specially by many administrators. They sit in the Forum egg for years expecting to find a gold one without fighting for more.

I always ask for features, buy add-ons and other stuff to try to improve my own Forum, trying to offering more solutions and more user experience beyond the simple Forum experience. I think we can do more with our powers and thinking about the decentralization, giving the users better options to use.

My suggestion is integrally based on the Reddit study case. In some way, they achieve the fusion of the old Forums systems to a modern social network, completely decentralized (or not so much since the censure is sky rocketing around there) and why try to not replicate of offer a service that is proven safe? Given the users to be completely 'free' in a ecosystem, combining and merging great add-ons that we already have?

That's my point. We need to learn more about the success cases around the internet, that's what business do and that's what separate success to failure. Maybe we are to much afraid of changing some things and take some steps to improve what is done right. And since we are entrepreneurs in our own kind, if you don't risk you risk even more.

Think about modernization people. Keep up the pace. There are so many things that need a proper improvement in our systems. We even don't a have a proper and functional App to Smartphones and mobile users are around 40-50% the access base. SEO configuration is simple and basic, even meta description we don't have.

Some competitor launched a totally flopped option of an App, copying-cat the disgrace of Tapatalk, trying to 'centralize' even more Forums in a world that is very rare to have users who frequent 2 or 3 or 4 Forums. The solution is exactly the other way.

I already suggested to XenForo a official add-on (and paid one, of course) to give the administrators the possibility to launch their own app, instead of a Tapatalk copy. The PWA is really the future? I don't know. My Firefox doesn't even know what is it. Apple? One of the biggest player in the mobile world, don't even care. My XF PWA looks like a alpha version of a prototype. And don't let me start about talking about the roadmap, future plans and others stuffs around XF scene.

Please, fellow developers, don't think this as a offense. I know corporate internal politics, I'm a lawyer so i know how things works, but we need more feedback about the future. What I'm seeing is XF launching videos about every Forum administrator already know what to do and how to do it. And that's it.

Well, sorry about the wall text, but yeah, I'm trying to keep the pacing up with my services to my costumers.
 

deslocotoco

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Subreddits are basically users creating new boards that they can customise and theme to a limited degree themselves - clubs are a similar concept of people adding new boards that they can also organise themselves, to some degree.

See also the entire concept of Facebook Groups - creating a new board for people to post in. This is, I think, a key motivator behind the thinking: we have to compete with Facebook using Facebook features! Or, well, not.

Seriously, for the people advocating for it, I'd love to understand how you, specifically, would make use of the feature to improve your site. Not a hypothetical 'because we need it' - how would *you* use it to improve *your* site.

Just after your post. I think we posted together about this.
 

Pete

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And while there's some definite food for thought there, the single most important question I posed is not answered: how would you specifically use clubs to improve your site? Having the feature and turning it on won't turn you into Reddit.

Because the reality is clubs in its crudest form is just enabling people to make new boards of their own that they moderate and have some permissions over. How would that help you specifically in your forum?

I posit that for all the clamouring of clubs, for *most* forums it would actually be *counterproductive*. How often do we tell people not to make many many boards on a new site because it splits the limited content between the many spaces and looks empty? This has a similar potential effect - you're creating new places for people to talk, and they might leave the old ones and sit in their respective new sub-communities and become insular and ignore the rest of the community.

I also don't think Reddit works, structurally, the same way as people are suggesting being akin to groups, because it's not. Nor is it quite like FB groups. What it is, is a place where you can create a forum for your interests that happens to be wired up to a very large audience who are already there. You want to replicate that? You're better off creating a forum hub that can do single sign on between forums to allow people to seamlessly go from one to the other and having some way of showing people what is out there.

That is why Reddit succeeds though, not because it's clubs in a different form, or because it's social media in a different form, but because it has that huge audience and convenient discovery of content.


Also at the size of XF comment, don't discount what a small focused team can do. I don't think it would take 'years' to develop Clubs, not for 3-4 (or is it 5 now?) developers. If they decided they were going to do it, I'd expect it to take them months at the absolute outside, and likely not many months. I actually reckon I could probably do it myself in a matter of months if I cared to. The reason they don't is not because it is a massive scary feature, but because they simply don't seem to want to implement it.
 
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