Friday Theme Tip: Customizing Categories

We know you spend time making sure you create the proper categories for your community, but did you know you can customize things further? In the following article, we will show you two ways to make your categories have some personality.

Adding Category Images

To make your categories stand out, you can add an image to add a visual cue to the category name. You can do this at the time you create the category, or come back later to add one. Continue reading

Introducing Topic and Sentiment Analytics

Introducing Topic and Sentiment Analytics

A community forum can provide a tremendous amount of insight and feedback across many areas of your business. Extracting insights from unstructured text data in thousands of comments can be a challenging task for community managers. This new analytic capability uses natural language processing technology to identify popular forum discussion topics, the sentiment associated with those topics, as well as user sentiment.

blog-topic_cloud

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Friday Theme Tip: If Statements and Variables

A Vanilla Forums theme is highly flexible. One way you can take advantage of this can be by using if statements and variables. In the past we covered how this can be used with pockets, but we’d like to dig a bit deeper. Please note, what will follow is very powerful and you should not attempt this unless you are comfortable with editing code. Improper use can cause your forum to have issues, so please tread carefully.
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Should you soft launch your community?

Community launch

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of launching a community is the moment where it actually goes online. All your preparations are finally tested, your plans go into action and your users step, blinking, into the glorious light of your new community. A lot can go wrong. Your moderators could become befuddled by the interface, your categories may turn out to be confusing or redundant, your theme might aggravate the eyeballs of your userbase. The list of potential hiccups is endless. Given how hard it can be to rescue a community once it starts going south, it’s understandable to look for a way to manage that risk. Soft launching can be a good way to do this. In the simplest terms, a soft launch is opening your community to a limited number of users to test and perfect before opening them to the larger community. In software terms, it’s similar to a closed beta.
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