Platform Features


(Sarah Hawk) #1

This thread is practical, rather than theoretical.

As a freelancer, I work on a number of community platforms (currently Drupal, vBulletin, Discourse, BBPress and Facebook) and I find it increasingly frustrating when I can't use a feature on one platform that seems like such a fundamental aspect of another.

Here for example, I find it frustrating that I can't @tag people, 'Like' a post, or PM.

We often discuss the suitability of different platforms, and I think the first place to start when making that kind of decision is at a really granular level.

What features do you consider key to community engagement?


(David Powles) #2

Great topic. Platform limitations are a constant frustration for me. For me, key features I'm currently missing are things like @ tagging and some type of in-platform notification for new posts. Our platform sends email notifications on new replies, but these can be lost in spam and often aren't enough to bring the OP back to a thread they've started - which is crucial since ours is a support community. You'd think people who took the time to ask a technical question would at least be motivated to come back and check out the responses they've received, but people are busy, and they often need more prompting.


(Sarah Hawk) #3

some type of in-platform notification for new posts

Yeah, good call. It's not so bad in a single tiered forum like this, but in a huge support community that would be vital. What platform are you currently using?


(David Powles) #4

We're using a heavily customized drupal implementation, but "heavily customized" necessitates a lot of development work, and there's a long queue of improvements to be made.


(Sarah Hawk) #5

See, I would have 'liked' that response, but since I can't, I have to make this unnecessarily wordy post in order to acknowledge you.


(Alena Rybik) #6

I'd differentiate here between features important for a member vs. a community manager. Of course, features that are important for members should be a priority for a community manager as well, because we're designing all this for them. But if a platform has great UX  and is a breeze to hang out and converse on, but is lacking some essential admin features, such as good moderation and analytic tools, I probably wouldn't go for it.

Generally speaking, I'd second what HAWK and David say, the ability to send PMs, decent search functionality (which is necessary if you can't mention / tag people), customizable notifications are important. A lot depends on the community as well, eg. easy embedding and formatting of images/videos or extended customizable members' profiles can be essential for some.


(Darren McKay) #7

Liked.


(Sarah Hawk) #8

Now that we’re on Discourse you can use the big pink heart! :heart: