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[IPS News] Invision Community 5: Quickly find the most helpful answers


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Forum platforms have a wide range of uses, from helping with support to sharing knowledge, ideation and social interaction. Topics can span years, and once the initial explosion of replies has passed, the topic lives on in local search and search engines for future viewers to discover and get value from. However, it's not always easy to get the best content from a very long topic. You may have noticed that when you come to a topic seeking an answer, some replies are less than helpful. How do I fix my Apple Watch? Like this! It's common to find a lot of social content mixed in with useful replies. Jokes, GIFs and off-topic musings are all great while the topic develops organically in real-time. Having fun is critical to feeling a sense of belonging in a community. However, those coming to the topic a little later, say from a link Google has suggested, just want to get the useful content in the fastest way possible. That's where 'helpful' voting comes in. A very helpful reply Invision Community can already mark a single post as the best solution for that topic. Still, not every topic gets a definitive answer, and some community strategies resist quickly marking a post as the best answer to encourage more discussion rather than effectively ending it. Even when you have a definitive answer, there is often value in other highly rated posts offering more context, alternative solutions and more thorough explanations. With Helpful voting, your members are encouraged to flag which posts they find helpful in the topic. When enough votes are added to a single post, they are suggested as a possible answer. You can also tune out the noise and view the most helpful replies only. This is a powerful way to get the very best content from a topic in a short space of time. Want to just view the most helpful replies? No problem. If you eventually choose to mark a post as the definitive answer, the suggested post will be replaced with the answer you choose, but you can still see the posts voted as helpful to gain further context. The helpful voting works independently from reactions, which tend to cluster around social content. Social media conditions us to add a like or funny reaction to content that gets an emotional response. Indeed, a lot of the most highly reacted content is funny content. Social reactions are valuable when building connections between community members but often don't reflect what is the most useful content. The suggested most helpful post threshold is configuration via the Admin Control Panel. Helping your members find the best content within topics helps them do more in your community with less time. Forums continue to evolve, and while social content helps develop the community, content that solves problems and helps others is the rocket fuel you need to keep members and attract new audiences. Helpful voting also feeds into picking Community Experts, a new feature for Invision Community 5, but we'll talk about that in a future blog. A sneak peak at the new Community Expert badge I hope you found this update ✨helpful✨, and if you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments!

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