Friday Theme Tip: Customize Discussion Appearance

3-types of vanilla discussions

As noted in the above graphic, there are some different types of discussions you will encounter in Vanilla Forums:

  • New: These are discussions you have seen, but new comments have been added since you last looked. By default, it will also have a little yellow indicator with a count of how many comments were added.
  • Brand New: These are discussions which you have not read.
  • None New: You have read these discussions, and no one has commented on them since your last visit.
  • None New & Participated: Not in the image above, these are message you have commented on in the past, but has no new responses since your last visit.

Each of these types can be modified with CSS: Continue reading

Make Your Forum Spam Catching More Effective

spam-image

Vanilla Forums has a couple of solutions for combatting spam including: Akismet, Recaptcha, and StopForumSpam (recently covered in this anti-spam video.) Both Recaptcha and Akismet work out of the box when enabled. No further action is required from you. StopForumSpam also works out of the box, but there are also some settings you can modify to make it even more effective.
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Product Community vs. the Social Community: Which Is Better?

Idea_1_done

Art by Laura Wilson – http://lauramakesart.com/

The product focused community:  the hard sell approach

A product focused community will typically have a lower tolerance for off-topic discussion than a “social” community. These communities will normally be focused on support, product questions and discussions with existing owners. The main selling factor of these forums is aspirational, a prospective customer can read about your product, interact with existing owners and begin to develop a Gollum/One Ring style relationship with it. For a great example of this, you need look no further than the official Tesla forums. All content is product focused, and as a heavily aspirational brand it benefits hugely from this. With premium priced products such as this (or say, Apple products), customers will also be keen to talk to each other about how great your product is and reinforce the wisdom of their own decision to pay more. In communities like this, a wider focus and chatty atmosphere would detract from the value of the forum. They benefit from a tight focus and controlled environment.
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