Skip to content

Prevent Replies to Activity Posts? #73

Open
mkgold opened this Issue May 30, 2013 · 11 comments

4 participants

@mkgold
CUNY Academic Commons member
mkgold commented May 30, 2013

Is there a way to turn off replies to activity posts? On two different CBOX installations I'm on, people find the group activity stream confusing and sometimes use it instead of the forum, not understanding the difference. I'd like to have the option to turn off activity stream replies to push people to the forum. Is that possible?

@boonebgorges
CUNY Academic Commons member

Putting this line in your functions.php or bp-custom.php file will disable all activity stream commenting:

add_filter( 'bp_activity_can_comment', '__return_false' );

If you think that this is a toggle that would be of interest to, say, 50% or more of users of Commons In A Box, we could consider creating an admin toggle.

@mkgold
CUNY Academic Commons member
mkgold commented May 31, 2013

I do think a toggle would be of interest to over 50% of the users and would improve usability. I'd put this under Network Admin > Commons In A Box > Settings

I'd even consider making this default, but we can wait for more evidence of need before doing that. I will say that my suggestions are coming from directly working with people new to CBOX who are a bit confused where to posts in groups.

@mkgold
CUNY Academic Commons member
mkgold commented May 31, 2013

Also: thanks for the code!

@r-a-y
CUNY Academic Commons member
r-a-y commented May 31, 2013

people find the group activity stream confusing and sometimes use it instead of the forum, not understanding the difference.

The BP Group Announcements plugin was created to partially solve this problem.

Perhaps we can move the code snippet directly into that plugin to disable commenting on group activity replies only?

@boonebgorges
CUNY Academic Commons member
@r-a-y
CUNY Academic Commons member
r-a-y commented May 31, 2013

That said, there may be a way to combine both options into a common framework, so instead of one of them being a plugin and the other one being a checkbox, we can have a single interface.

Agreed. Since we already include BP Group Announcements as a plugin, we could probably roll both toggleable options into there.

@boonebgorges
CUNY Academic Commons member

Since we already include BP Group Announcements as a plugin, we could probably roll both toggleable options into there.

Yeah. The only problem is that BPGA doesn't currently have any options at all, either at the group or Dashboard level. Adding a panel is not a problem, but seems a waste if we're just going to add a single option to it.

Tell me if this sounds daft: I'll add the feature to BPGA, and make both features - group announcements and group activity replies - toggleable by means of a filter. Then, we add a section to Dashboard > Commons In A Box > Settings for BP Group Announcements, which will have checkbox toggles for each feature. Commons In A Box will save those settings in the database, and use them to toggle the BPGA settings via filter at runtime. That way, we won't need to build another single-use plugin, and we also centralize admin options. Does that sound reasonable?

@r-a-y
CUNY Academic Commons member
r-a-y commented Jun 3, 2013

Sounds good to me!

@visionsynergy

Let me first of all say how incredibly grateful we are to you guys for your all your efforts in bringing CBOX to the world.

I will echo the original issue raised by mkgold. We have a new community just started and already I am seeing users who think they are replying to a group forum post enter a comment on that auto-update in the group activity stream.

I think there are several issues here:

  1. Activity stream commenting is a potentially powerful feature. It's frustrating that users are confused about where to post forum replies in a group if they happen to also see the post update in the group a/s, but I am hesitant to disable a/s commenting globally. It seems to be the only means for the community to carry on 1-to-1 public conversations (Twitter-style @mentions/updates/replies). Disabling all a/s commenting removes a major aspect of the conversation/discussion capability (leaving only private messages and forum discussions). It's also great for tracking activity via RSS (granted, that's probably a minority of people).

  2. Disabling a/s commenting (even within a group) may not be the only solution. The issue seems to really only be that a user wants to reply to a forum post but mistakenly comments on the a/s update instead. Is there another way to help users rather than simply disabling the feature?

  3. The issue is further exacerbated at the moment because the email notification that is generated provides a link back to the forum, rather than the a/s update (as with a person activity update). So, for example, you post in forum. I go to group home page and see your post in the group a/s. I click the comment button and comment on your post in the a/s instead of clicking the forum/topic link in the update and posting in the correct place. You get an email notification that I have commented on your update. The link in that email takes you to the forum/topic, where you do not see my reply. You are confused. You send a barrage of angry-mail to the help desk saying that the forums are broken.

I can't comment on whether or not 50%+ of users would like to disable a/s commenting. But I do think that 50%+ of users are likely to be confused about how/where to reply in a group if they do not understand how the Activity Stream works (and who is going to take the time to actually read all the help documentation we painstakingly put together for them?).

@r-a-y
CUNY Academic Commons member
r-a-y commented Jun 27, 2013

I am seeing users who think they are replying to a group forum post enter a comment on that auto-update in the group activity stream.

BuddyPress has a setting to disable activity replies to forum posts.

Login to the WP admin dashboard and navigate to "Settings > BuddyPress". Next, click on the "Settings" tab and uncheck "Allow activity stream commenting on blog and forum posts" and Save.

Perhaps CBOX should automatically set this setting?

@visionsynergy

Yes, I just learned about this 2 minutes ago from the developer working with us. Perfect. That's exactly what we needed. I'm still on a big learning curve. I prefer this method anyway so that members comment on blog posts and reply to forum posts in context (rather than in the activity stream).

I would recommend CBOX just flip this BP setting off by default. Would that not address the issue mkgold originally raised? That would eliminate the potential confusion for group forum posts in our case, imho.

Perhaps in the future, forums will go away and be replaced by @ mentions and # hashtags and other high-level categories in public/private streams?

Anyhow, many many thanks again to you all for your generous contributions to this project!

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.