solved Helping my members see their 'pending' Followers

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
I didn't want to add to this prior thread:
https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/forum/my_posts/55403/auto-approve-followers-checkbox-not-doing-its-job#last
So I'm starting a new thread to try and improve things on my sites. Specifically, I'm finding that lots of members are not aware of the fact that they have 'pending' followers piling up. They never think to click on their profile page 'Followers' TAB, and they don't always seem to pay attention to the notifications to approve a follower. I wind up with people emailing me because they don't understand why they can't PM each other, since they both 'followed' each other. They don't realize they have not 'approved' the person yet and thus not completed the 2way follow circuit that allows private messaging.

There are two things I'd like to do to help steer members towards going to their followers page more often, so they'll then see the bright yellow 'pending' ones and then approve them.

The FIRST thing I want to do to help this situation is to add a link in their user drop-down menu under their name at the top when logged in. I already had added a link there to "Members I'm Following" which seems to work well and takes them to: https://fotmd.com/follow/following

I went to my User Menu editor in my Core Tools, but I'm finding it not easy to add the new link, because the link should take them to an URL with their member name in it... for example mine wold be: https://fotmd.com/strumelia/follow
So I don't know what URL I should put for the menu editor- please see screenshot for what I have so far, but so far my menu link's not functioning, since it doesn't contain the profile's member name and goes instead to: https://fotmd.com/follow which is a 'not found'.

How do I do this? Clearly I'm missing something.
what I fumbled with so far:
followers.png
followers.png  •  45KB




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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 31 May 2018 11:32:52AM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
Try this:

In your skins menu.tpl add this code:
{if jrUser_is_logged_in()}
<li><a href="{$jamroom_url}/{$_user.profile_url}/follow">Pending Followers: {jrCore_list module="jrFollower" search1="follow_profile_id = `$_user._profile_id`" search2="follow_active = 0" return_count=true no_cache=true}</a></li>
{/if}
to the bottom of that file.

The code reads: "If the user is logged in, get a list of all the followers who are not active. Just return the count of the items, do not cache."
shows_up_as.jpg
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code_location.jpg
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Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
This works GREAT, Michael!! It's exactly what I needed for the user menu. :)

One thing though- this new link doesn't appear in my user menu editor ( https://fotmd.com/core/skin_menu)... and perhaps for good reason. But is there a way for me to move it up or down in the listed user menu links, so it doesn't have to appear at the very bottom of the user's dropdown menu? I'd like to position it very close to the top instead... can you tell me where I'd go to do that please? I used to think I'd do that in my skin's two header_menu.tpl 's... but maybe it cannot work there and needs to remain where you told me to put it- in the plain old menu.tpl ?


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 13 Jan 2018 12:41:08PM
paul
@paul
4 years ago
4,301 posts
Move the code to the top of the template, above the {forech...} loop and it will show at the top.
Alternatively, you'd need to detect the menu item you want it to show above inside the loop and put the code there. Ie. to show it above the 'logout' link -
{foreach $_items as $entry}
    {if $entry.menu_label == 'log out'}
        THE CUSTOM CODE HERE
    {/if}
    THE REST OF THE DEFAULT TEMPLATE CODE HERE
Hope that makes sense
Pa


--
Paul Asher - JR Developer and System Import Specialist
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
Yes it is possible to have it in the menu editor, but its a bit more involved. It requires you to build a module, a pretty simple module, but still a module. :)

So if you wanted to call it xxPendingFollowers. (?? or other name.... whatever you like.). The modules include.php file would look like this:

<?php
/**
 * @copyright 2018 you.
 */

// make sure we are not being called directly
defined('APP_DIR') or exit();

/**
 * meta
 */
function xxPendingFollowers_meta(){
    $_tmp = array(
        'name'        => 'Pending Followers',
        'url'         => 'pendingfollowers',
        'version'     => '1.0.0',
        'developer'   => 'You ©' . strftime('%Y'),
        'description' => 'Adds a menu item',
        'category'    => 'custom',
        'license'     => 'jcl'
    );
    return $_tmp;
}


function xxPendingFollowers_init(){
    $_tmp = array(
        'group'    => 'user',
        'label'    =>  'Pending Followers'
        'url'      => 'followers',
        'function' => 'xxPendingFollowers_pending_count'
    );
    jrCore_register_module_feature('jrCore', 'skin_menu_item', 'xxPendingFollowers', 'pending_followers_link', $_tmp);
 return true;
}

function xxPendingFollowers_pending_count($_conf, $_user)
{ $_sc = array( 'search' => array( "_user_id = {$_user['_profile_id']}", "follow_active = 0", ), 'skip_triggers' => true, 'privacy_check' => false, 'ignore_pending' => true, 'return_count' => true, 'nocache' => true, 'limit' => 100 ); $cnt = jrCore_db_search_items('jrFollowers', $_sc); if ($cnt && $cnt > 0) { return (int) $cnt; } return true; }

Something like that. The structure is just copied from the way the Private Notes module does it, so its not been tested. It is the right way though and should be correct.
updated by @michael: 13 Jan 2018 10:56:55PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Michael, thank you for this suggestion. I'm afraid it's a little beyond my abilities still- in looking at your code and instructions, I'm completely confused and I'd have to bother for with a million step by step questions to do that. Sorry... maybe next year I'll be able to build a simple module... i'm a slow learner.

Paul, I see what you are saying and can do that, but my custom skin's menu.tpl has different code than what you are showing, so I'm not sure where to relocate Michael's earlier custom code (which has produced a nice working link but not in the desired place in the menu link list).
Here is the current code in my custom skin's menu.tpl ...with Michael's custom code currently sitting at the bottom:
{foreach from=$_items name="loop" item="entry"}
    {if isset($entry.menu_function_result) && strlen($entry.menu_function_result) > 0}
        {if is_numeric($entry.menu_function_result)}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} [{$entry.menu_function_result}]</a></li>
            {else}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} <img src="{$entry.menu_function_result}" alt="{$entry.menu_label}"></a></li>
        {/if}
        {else}
    <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label}</a></li>
    {/if}
{/foreach}

{if jrUser_is_logged_in()}
<li><a href="{$jamroom_url}/{$_user.profile_url}/follow">Pending Followers: {jrCore_list module="jrFollower" search1="follow_profile_id = `$_user._profile_id`" search2="follow_active = 0" return_count=true no_cache=true}</a></li>
{/if}

and here's a screenshot of the resultant user menu dropdown as it appears, and an arrow to show where I'd like to move that link. I want the 'pending followers' link to be right under the Private Messages link because my members keep wondering why they can't send private messages once two people have 'followed' each other- they become unaware that they have pending follows. And right UNDER the Pending Followers reminder link (people trying to follow me), will be the reciprocal link to 'Members I'm Following'.
I think the nice trio of function-connected links from top to bottom there (private messages, pending followers, members i'm following) makes a nice logical and helpful order of links there.... right 'in yer face' in the menu underneath the topmost link of Account Settings. It will do wonders to get members on my site to go check on and approve their Pending followers that they seem to so often be totally unaware of.
-I still want Account Settings to be the topmost link though. And the 'My Profiles' link only shows to me since I'm the only Power user with more than one profile anyway... so that link can remain at very top above Account Settings.
I think this kind of menu link for Pending Followers could be very helpful to a lot of JR site owners. I can only guess that there must be other site owners who have lots of members inadvertently accumulating pending followers, despite receiving one notification that they had a new follower and might want to go approve them. I wasn't aware of this situation myself until just a couple months ago.

Do you have a suggestion on where exactly I should position that code in my menu.tpl in order to put the link in the place in my screenshot?
menu-order.jpg
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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 14 Jan 2018 09:25:27AM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
To understand where to edit you need to put a bit of 'tracking code' in there first.

The structure you have is:
{foreach from=$_items name="loop" item="entry"}
    {if SOMETHING}
        {if SOMETHING}
            SHOW THIS THING
        { OTHERWISE}
            SHOW THIS THING
        {/if}
    { OTHERWISE}
        SHOW THIS THING
    {/if}
{/foreach}
So you have one outer if/else, then inside the first condition you have another if/else.

What you need to know is
* Where do I want the menu item to eventually output at.
* Where is that location currently

So to be able to understand that I would put some numbers in
{foreach from=$_items name="loop" item="entry"}
    {if SOMETHING}
        {if SOMETHING}
            SHOW THIS THING ( position 1 )
        { OTHERWISE}
            SHOW THIS THING ( position 2 )
        {/if}
    { OTHERWISE}
        SHOW THIS THING ( position 3 )
    {/if}
{/foreach}

Once you understand which position its in you can take the other markers away.

In that location where you know the "Private Messages" comes out you can add pauls code
{if $entry.menu_label == "Private Messages"}
        THE CUSTOM CODE HERE
{/if}

Need to know where to put it first though.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
ok I will work at this with adding the various position numbers (on my little sued site) to see the results Michael.
(and I'm assuming I'm still doing all this in my skin's: menu.tpl )


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 14 Jan 2018 11:52:26AM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
yes. Give it a try, if you get too frustrated, just say.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Hmm, I'm a bit confused as to what my results mean...
I modified my skin's menu.tpl with 'position #s' as you suggested, like this:
{foreach from=$_items name="loop" item="entry"}
    {if isset($entry.menu_function_result) && strlen($entry.menu_function_result) > 0}
        {if is_numeric($entry.menu_function_result)}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} [{$entry.menu_function_result}]</a></li> ( position 1 )
            {else}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} <img src="{$entry.menu_function_result}" alt="{$entry.menu_label}"></a></li>  ( position 2 )
        {/if}
        {else}
    <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label}</a></li>  ( position 3 )
    {/if}
{/foreach}

{if jrUser_is_logged_in()}
<li><a href="{$jamroom_url}/{$_user.profile_url}/follow">Pending Followers: {jrCore_list module="jrFollower" search1="follow_profile_id = `$_user._profile_id`" search2="follow_active = 0" return_count=true no_cache=true}</a></li> (position 4 )
{/if}

and what I got was this- (see screenshot). What do i do now? Am I futzing with the correct template?
position3.jpg
position3.jpg  •  25KB




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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 18 Jan 2018 05:21:59PM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
great. So the way a programmer thinks is: figure out where I need to put it, then put it there. You now know that the location that contains ( position 3 ) is the location that you want to deal with so you can remove all of the other location edits you put in because we know where to edit now.

So just above that, put in the code to check for the entry we want to check for:
{if $entry.menu_label == "Private Messages"}
        THE CUSTOM CODE HERE
{/if}

The result is:
{foreach from=$_items name="loop" item="entry"}
    {if isset($entry.menu_function_result) && strlen($entry.menu_function_result) > 0}
        {if is_numeric($entry.menu_function_result)}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} [{$entry.menu_function_result}]</a></li> ( position 1 )
            {else}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} <img src="{$entry.menu_function_result}" alt="{$entry.menu_label}"></a></li>  ( position 2 )
        {/if}
        {else}

{if $entry.menu_label == "Private Messages"}
       {* THE CUSTOM CODE HERE *}
    {if jrUser_is_logged_in()}
    <li><a href="{$jamroom_url}/{$_user.profile_url}/follow">Pending Followers: {jrCore_list module="jrFollower" search1="follow_profile_id = `$_user._profile_id`" search2="follow_active = 0" return_count=true no_cache=true}</a></li>
    {/if}
{/if}

    <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label}</a></li>  ( position 3 )
    {/if}
{/foreach}

{if jrUser_is_logged_in()}
<li><a href="{$jamroom_url}/{$_user.profile_url}/follow">Pending Followers: {jrCore_list module="jrFollower" search1="follow_profile_id = `$_user._profile_id`" search2="follow_active = 0" return_count=true no_cache=true}</a></li> (position 4 )
{/if}

and it should be close to what you're after.
where_we_want_it.jpg
where_we_want_it.jpg  •  168KB


updated by @michael: 18 Jan 2018 07:08:03PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
So, I need to add the line you have there with "Private Messages" in it, as well, right above my custom code? That tells it the spot where it goes, ABOVE the private messages link?

(sorry- must go to bed now... will do more tomorrow)...


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
right. That code immediately above should be the whole thing.

Check thats working, then remove the ( position X ) and your done I reckon.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
OK, I changed my skin's menu.tpl to read this:
{foreach from=$_items name="loop" item="entry"}
    {if isset($entry.menu_function_result) && strlen($entry.menu_function_result) > 0}
        {if is_numeric($entry.menu_function_result)}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} [{$entry.menu_function_result}]</a></li>
            {else}
        <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label} <img src="{$entry.menu_function_result}" alt="{$entry.menu_label}"></a></li>
        {/if}
        {else}

{if $entry.menu_label == "Private Messages"}
       {* CUSTOM CODE for pending followers in menu HERE *}
    {if jrUser_is_logged_in()}
    <li><a href="{$jamroom_url}/{$_user.profile_url}/follow">Pending Followers: {jrCore_list module="jrFollower" search1="follow_profile_id = `$_user._profile_id`" search2="follow_active = 0" return_count=true no_cache=true}</a></li>
    {/if}
{/if}

    <li><a href="{$entry.menu_url}">{$entry.menu_label}</a></li>
    {/if}
{/foreach}

...and that works swell!
Short of inflicting a popup notification to my members (and who doesn't hate that), this is the best option to make my members AWARE of the fact that they have pending followers. I found so many members weren't even aware of it- even some of my moderators and some of my most active members. =8-\

THANK YOU Michael (and Paul) for patiently helping me with this. I suspect it might be handy for other site owners in the future.
The inserted code now gives me this dropdown user menu (see below screenshot), which is what I wanted and in the proper link hierarchy that will stimulate members to check on their pending followers (which will facilitate their private message connections):


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
Well done :)
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Sorry to 'reopen' this thread, but there is a loose end here I really need to resolve. And I don't want to start yet a third thread on the same general problem...it's all closely related.

OK, so I mentioned earlier in this thread that I had TWO things I wanted to do in order to make it easier for my members to get their reciprocal 'follow' connection established in order to exchange private notes with each other. (they have so much trouble with this particular aspect of my JR site, even after 2 years).

The Second issue I need to address involves the "Friends to Followers" module, which I have activated.
Please see the below screenshot of the "Tools" tab of this module. It still uses the same confusing wording of "Set all site profiles to 'Follower Approve'"... which I always THOUGHT meant to make it so that 'follows' would be automatically approved... when in fact it meant the OPPOSITE... that a follow would not become active until the follow-ee Approved it. I know you JR Team have already changed the wording about this in the regular 'Follow' module language string, but the language also needs changing in the Followers to Friends module Tools tab.

So, I now recall over a year ago when I first got this module (when it was new and you guys had created it to help with these very issues amongst us former ning site owners)... I recall wanting to set all profiles settings to automatically Approve new follows, and I know I clicked that Tool button.... which immediately set all my thousands of memebers to the option that I absolutely did NOT want (to require each Follow be pending until Approved). Yikes, that's how that all got set that way... the tool did the exact opposite of what I wanted.

This reciprocal Follow/privatemessage/ thing has been incredibly difficult to get my members to understand, and also very difficult for me to figure out the right solution to, short of allowing all members to PM all members freely without even needing to Follow -which I don't want because some members might use it for marketing purposes.

What I'd really like is for there to be a sister Tool for the Followers to Friends module that would UNDO that one tool.. and switch it back to UNchecking the option to require follow Approval, on all profile pages. It was all too easy to misinterpret that wording on the tool (which ought to be changed to clarify it better) and I stupidly messed everything up a year ago by clicking the tool. Can we get a Tool there to change ALL profiles back to the OTHER setting state again, where follows do not need to be approved. If I could do that it'd be so helpful.

I ALSO want to change the default for NEW members so that that "approve" box in their profile settings is UNCHECKED by default. Right now all new members have it checked. It's causing so much difficulty since my members seem to seldom comb through their Settings, leaving many settings as their default. How can I change this default for new members signing up on my site?

Thanks for bearing with all this.


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Strumelia:
The Second issue I need to address involves the "Friends to Followers" module, which I have activated.

Please see the below screenshot of the "Tools" tab of this module. It still uses the same confusing wording of "Set all site profiles to 'Follower Approve'"... which I always THOUGHT meant to make it so that 'follows' would be automatically approved... when in fact it meant the OPPOSITE... that a follow would not become active until the follow-ee Approved it.

I know you JR Team have already changed the wording about this in the regular 'Follow' module language string, but the language also needs changing in the Followers to Friends module Tools tab.

So, I now recall over a year ago when I first got this module (when it was new and you guys had created it to help with these very issues amongst us former ning site owners)... I recall wanting to set all profiles settings to automatically Approve new follows, and I KNOW I clicked that Tool button.... which immediately set all my thousands of members to the option that I absolutely did NOT want (to require each Follow be pending until Approved). Yikes, that's how that all got set that way... the tool did the exact opposite of what I actually wanted it to.

This reciprocal Follow/privatemessage/ thing has been incredibly difficult to get my members to understand, and also very difficult for me to figure out the right solution to, short of allowing all members to PM all members freely without even needing to Follow -which I don't want because some members might use it for marketing purposes.

What I'd really like is for there to be a SISTER Tool for the Followers to Friends module that would UNDO that one tool.. and switch it back to UNchecking the option to require follow Approval, on all profile pages. It was all too easy to misinterpret that wording on the tool (which ought to be changed to clarify it better) and I stupidly messed everything up a year ago by clicking the tool.
--- Can we get a Tool there to change ALL profiles back to the OTHER setting state again, where follows do not need to be approved. If I could do that it'd be so helpful.

I ALSO want to change the default for NEW members so that that "approve" box in their profile settings is UNCHECKED by default. Right now all new members have it checked. It's causing so much difficulty since my members seem to seldom comb through their Settings, leaving many settings as their default. How can I change this default for new members signing up on my site?

Thanks for bearing with all this.

Sorry to have to keep pursuing this, but I really need to do something about the loose ends remaining with my site's 'follow' issues.
Plus I forgot to add the screenshot in my last post. Thank you!
followfriendTools.png




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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
We have a new version in testing now jrFriend 1.0.4 that should fix your issue.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Oh Boy!!! :-D


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
ok, thats released now:
https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/networkmarket/393/followers-to-friends

For you, you want the default setting for them to be OFF when new profiles sign up, so uncheckt the checkbox in the GLOBAL CONFIG setting so new profiles do not have approval on.

Then you can use the TOOL to change all profiles in either direction.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
OK, so I want to understand how this now works- can you please answer the following questions for me about these new functions?...

1) Once I have used the Tool to reset all profiles to UNchecked (to allow new followers to follow without having to be approved by them)... the checkbx still remains so that a member can reverse that for themselves if they like, correct?

2) members will then still get a notification that they HAVE a new follower... just not the notification saying they need to approve a new follower, correct? (assuming they have their notifications ON).

3) with all this set as I described, member B can go ahead and actively follow member A, but will still not be able to PM member A until A has followed member B in return (via the Follow button on profile pages. Correct?

4) by my using the Tool today to reset all members to not require followers to be approved, will this automatically approve all CURRENTLY PENDING followers for everyone? (understanding that a member might reset that checkbox and thus get new pending followers in the future) Correct? ...And if correct, will all these newly approved followers trigger any new notifications to either member A or B?

note- I noticed a little wording issue- once you use the Tool to reset the approve function for everyone to OFF, the generated popup message's wording seems to imply that it's setting approval checkbox to ON- see screenshot. This is minor of course and doesn't mean the tool is not working right, but for a moment it had me scratching my head when I saw it. ;)
disabled.jpg
disabled.jpg  •  98KB




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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
1. correct.

2. notification system has not changed at all.

3. system has not changed at all. Yes correct.

4. no. The members in 'pending' state are not effected. If they were pending before the setting change they will be pending after the setting change.


I'll get the old wording fixed up, thought I did that but obviously not.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Ok thanks for answering my questions! :)

Michael, I'm wondering if there's a glitch going on-
As master admin, I use the Tool to set all profiles UNchecked to allow following without approval.
Then I go and change my OWN profile to check the box having me approve my own new followers.
Then I go back to the Tool and I find that the box is now checked again.

I tried this also when logged in as a regular member quota. After the master admin ran the tool and unchecked it (to allow follows without approval), I logged in as a regular member I checked the Approve box on my own profile settings. Then I logged back in as Admin -and I go to the Tool and find the box has been checked again... to make all new follows for everyone have to be Approved. Maybe I'm not understanding something?


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 13 Feb 2018 01:15:55PM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
The box is not an indicator of state, its just a checkbox.

There is the form session system that tries to remember the contents of forms while they are being filled out, it could be remembering the state of the checkbox.

It also could be the default state of the checkbox.

Either way, the state the checkbox on the TOOL is set at is irrelevant, (the one on the GLOBAL CONFIG is an indicator, its important.) as that state is only used when the tool is run.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Forgive me, but this is confusing to me.
I hear what you are saying and I think I see how you are explaining that it works. Yes the Global checkbox is important ...but that controls the default setting only for NEW profiles.
But the help wording on the TOOL checkbox, which changes the setting for ALL current members, says this:
"If this is checked, anyone following a profile will need to be approved by the profile owner. This tool changes EVERYONES state to what is selected here. If checked, when a friend request comes in the profile owner will need to click 'approve' for each pending profile before they are friends."

Are you saying that that tool checkbox can be checked when you go to look at it under the Tool tab, but that it only matters if it's checked or unchecked when you actually hit the button there to "update all profiles" ? If so, then the help wording is misleading- since it merely says "if the box is checked"... not "check or uncheck this box and then run the tool to reset all profiles the way you want". Since that checkbox seems to by default check itself again when you go away and then come back to it, it makes it seem like the state of all the profiles has been reset again by the Tool. I'm thinking others will be quite confused by this as well- it sure confounded me. I expect checkboxes to behave themselves and STAY checked or unchecked... lol.
Perhaps if the help wording for the Tool made this clearer?

Sorry to be such a bother... I'm really THRILLED to be able to have these two new features on the Followers to Friends module! I just want to help folks in the future to not get confused as i did. ;)


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
im saying that the state of the checkbox is what ALL users profiles will be changed to, not what all users profiles are currently set at.

So if you checked it, then ran the tool, then all profiles would be checked.

If profileA then changed theirs to unchecked, most of your users would be checked, but some would be unchecked. There is no way to represent that "some users are one state while other users are another state" just by viewing a single checkbox.

If you want to make all users checked, check the checkbox and run the tool. If you want to make them unchecked, uncheck the checkbox and run the tool.

What you cant do is look at the checkbox and ascertain any knowledge about the state the profiles are in.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Yes I do understand and appreciate all that Michael. :)

I guess what I mean is that since the help wording simply says "If this is checked, anyone following a profile will need to be approved by the profile owner."... and when I come back to the Tool window and find the box has become checked again (even though I ran the tool as unchecked prior to that, and I left it unchecked when I left that page).. well it makes me think it went ahead and unset all the profiles to their 'checked' state again when I wasn't looking. Have we not all had it happen where our checkboxes somewhere online reset themselves and caused us problems? But now I know that's not true in this instance. I think the help wording could maybe be clearer to avoid this confusion among non-developer folks such as myself.

Aside from all that... I'm so HAPPY to have this added customization- thank you thank you!!! :D This will solve a lot of my site problems with inept members struggling to grasp the Follow system.


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Just to be clear, yes I totally get that the checkbox cannot reflect that 'some' users are this and 'other' users are that... that it reflects/effects ALL profiles. That was never confusing for me. :)


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
What is your recommendation for understandable wording please? :)
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Sorry- I had to work all day today. Will try to get to this tomorrow about the help message wordings. Thanks!


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
OK, I had a chance today to go over a few things in the Followers To Friends module that are confusing or misleading (to me).
There are actually FOUR areas or wordings that have caused me confusion and I'd like to present them in a way that hopefully doesn't cause confusion for YOU, Michael! ;)
The following is the biggest issue (I'll get to the other 3 in one post, but after this first most important one) :

In the FollowersToFriends module Description, it says this:

"Automatically create a follow back when a new follower is approved"
(see screenshot below)

When this module was first created (to help mimic the Ning friends system), I took this literally and was very relieved. However, I don't see this module actually doing that. Now that I've used the nifty new Tool to set all my member profiles to NOT require approval for new followers (and OMG that's so great!!)... I'm not seeing (and never have) that when a member follows another member, there is a 'follow back' created....EVEN WHEN THE PERSON APPROVED THE NEW FOLLOWER. It's just never been happening. In fact, I had a panicked member just now email because she's trying to make a quick sale of a dulcimer, has 'followed' the buyer earlier this afternoon, and cannot exchange PMs. I went to check the buyer's profile, and they have not had a follow back created, and yet they are still set (as I did earlier) to not require approval for new followers.
Am I not understanding this module description, or the intended function of the 'FTF' module, still?

Does it perhaps do this follow back function ONLY if the module goes through the Approve action? (thus negating any 'follow backs' for all members who have their profile "require Approval for followers" set to OFF?)

This Follow/PM arrangement continues to confound me. It's the single one thing that seemed more logical and simple to me on Ning.
Please first help me understand the above module description and how it's now supposed to work for me (now that I used the new Tool on all my members). Thank you so much!
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updated by @strumelia: 18 Feb 2018 06:06:37PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Please see above post- is this module actually doing what it says it does in the module's description? I'm not seeing that happening.


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
sorry, haven't got to this yet. Will try to make some time for it tomorrow. apologies.
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
What should be happening in the original module is:
* PersonA clicks 'Follow' on PersonB's profile, A is now following B and a pending request is added to B's pending list. Once B clicks approve, then B is following A completing the loop.

--edit--
testing the system now to figure out what is going on and what should happen.
updated by @michael: 22 Feb 2018 11:52:25AM
gary.moncrieff
gary.moncrieff
@garymoncrieff
4 years ago
865 posts
At a guess I think it's the "follow back" that causes confusion in the description, one automatically takes it as like FB friends system when it's not really.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
I thought 'following back' was the whole purpose of the module, because this module was meant to facilitate/simplify on top of the regular Follower module. But as I said, I'm not seeing that it actually is doing that. I suspect I just haven't been paying enough attention to it, and thus didn't notice that it wasn't doing what I thought it was doing.


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
So the goal is:
* When personA clicks the FOLLOW button on personB's profile, then personB is now automatically following personA too?
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Michael,
The way I'm understanding it, the 'Followers to Friends' module was created specifically to ADD TO the normal Followers module, in order to further speed up the process of creating a complete two way connection, enabling PMs faster.
See this thread from 2 years ago:
https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/forum/using-jamroom/46016/followers-and-followers-to-friends#last
In it, you quoted this:
"Followers to Friends sets up the Jamroom Followers system to make it work more like a "Friends" system by automatically "following back" a profile when a user follows a new profile."

On Ning, the Friends system works this way:
Jane clicks the "add as Friend" button on Bob's profile page. (she's now a pending friend). Bob receives a notification that Jane wants to be his friend. If he has notifications OFF, then he still will see a "Pending Friends" with a number after it in his very visible user menu on the side of every page on Ning (not hidden in a tab area which is easy to not see). Anyway, once Bob becomes aware of pending friend Jane, he clicks to Approve, and instantly there is a two way 'follow' or friend connection, and they are instantly able to exchange PMs. Bob does not have to 'friend' or follow' Jane back nor click any "Add to friends" button on her page.
BTW, if Bob doesn't like jane and doesn't want to be friends with her, he can simply either ignore and leave her friendship 'pending', or click Delete to remove her from his pending list of firends. She will not be notified that he deleted her- she'll simply not hear anything back and can re-click Add as Friend on Bob's page at any time again if she wants to try again. If she becomes a pest, Bob can always 'block' her. ;D

My problem is that I'm not seeing the reciprocal follow happening despite having my Friends to Followers activated to do so.


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 25 Feb 2018 09:53:56AM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
Strumelia:
"Followers to Friends sets up the Jamroom Followers system to make it work more like a "Friends" system by automatically "following back" a profile when a user follows a new profile."
This is correct, this is how it worked in the beginning. All new followers needed to be set to approve and when they were approved by the owner of the profile the owner of the profile also became a follower of the profile that initiated the sequence.

The important point is the click of the approve button.

In the case of bob and jane, the original system worked the same as this.

The issue now is how to handle it going forward. I added a way to turn the approve needed/not-needed setting to 'on' or 'off'. In order for the APPROVE button to be there it needs to be on 'on'. But since we can now turn that setting to 'off' too something needs to be constructed for when there is not an approve action by the user. Im unsure of how to construct that because of the concept of "I think you're my friend, so now you have to be mine automatically."
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Michael, a couple weeks ago I applied the newest version of the Followers to Friends module on my (non-active) pennywhistle site, to test it and to test the new Tool. That's when i noticed the 'auto-followback' seemed to not be working, and i wasn't sure just how long that had been going on- could have been over a year for all I know.
HOWEVER, I have still not applied that newest version to my FOTMD dulcimer site, so i could compare. The FOTMD site still has the previous version of FollowersToFriends on it- 1.0.4 ...the follow-back does not appear to be working there either. I've been going on assumptions for two years, thinking all this was doing its thing smoothly. I hadn't tested it thoroughly nor thought it all out thoroughly, and I apologize for that. One setting has conflicted with other settings and has created a dilemma of sorts... I can see that now.

As you know, I recently tried to make my members more aware of any pending followers by putting a new LINK in their user dropdown menu which appears when they hover over their name when logged in. That link also shows the number after it of how many are pending, or zero, and takes them to their pending followers page where they can take action.

See the below SCREENSHOT of a ning network- a Pending Friends link appears on every single page in the right side user's info column when a member is logged in- you cannot remove that column. NOT having that wasted space "user menu column" in JR is great, and I definitely would NOT want it back like it is forced on ning. BUT, the one good thing about it was that members were definitely made more aware of the fact that they had pending Friends. Now that I have put a link in the member's dropdown menu though, it perhaps brings back the option of maybe removing the FollowersToFriends module altogether...? and just use the tool to set everyone back to having to approve their new followers? I'm thinking out loud here and am still not sure what to do, other than try to make it more ninglike so that once you click Approve on a follower(friend), you are automatically both friends of each other and can exchange PMs. But Friends do remain pending and require approval on ning as well.

Michael, I just now dug back using the search tool to find the thread from 2 years ago when Elise sponsored the creation of the Friend module for JR:
https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/forum/jamroom-developers/43205/creating-a-module-to-change-from-the-follow-model-to-the-friend-model#last
I just read that whole thread again, and I can see how I had many of the same confusions back then that i have now. (d'OH!)

If the individual member has the option of turning OFF their need to approve new followers, OR if I set new members to by default not need to approve new followers, OR if I use the new tool to set all profiles to not need to approve new followers.....then the auto follow-back will not work for those members affected.... right?
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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 25 Feb 2018 01:33:18PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Michael, I do see what you are saying about the fact that the 'follow back' connection only actually happens when the 'approve new followers' setting is ON. In other words, when a person actually clicks that Approve button, the follow back happens.

I have just now solicited thoughts from my six site Moderators (profile admins) asking how they might like the Follow/Friend system to actually function. I think once I get their thoughts i will be finally clear on what choices I need to make about this system's settings and tools and how I'd like it to function for our site. It's important because 1) it governs the private message system which is very important to my site and 2) my members continue to have big problems understanding how 'follows' work ever since we moved to Jamroom.
Again, thank you for hanging in there on this- I know it must be frustrating for you at this point.


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...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 26 Feb 2018 07:46:55AM
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
Strumelia:....I have just now solicited thoughts from my six site Moderators (profile admins) asking how they might like the Follow/Friend system to actually function....
Thanks for this, really appreciated.

--edit--
How it was intended to work:
'follows' system is modeled on twitter. You can follow anyone, if they follow you back then you can send private notes.
updated by @michael: 26 Feb 2018 12:07:39PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
Understood Michael. And I so appreciate your patience.
I'm going to take another day or two while I get more feedback from my moderator group, then I'll get back here with a final (I promise!) plan. So far, they are not saying what I expected them to say, so their input may be very helpful in my deciding what path to take on all this.


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
3,601 posts
OK, for the past two days I discussed the whole follow/privatemessage system options with my six sensible site Moderators (profile admins). I explained to them the various function and feature interdependencies of PrivateNotes, Followers, and FollowersToFriends... and the setting options available. Usually I don't have so much trouble making site decisions, but this issue kept frustrating me, I felt it was worth bringing them in and giving them the rather complicated (to us) function explanations.
I was relieved to find that they all seemed to favor the same choices... not what I expected at all, but it made the decisions much easier for me! :)

Two things distinguish my 9 year old site from the average social network: 1) I have a larger proportion of over-50 members with pretty limited online skills, and 2) Our site is extremely kind and friendly towards each other, with almost non-existent member conflicts or trouble occurring over the years.
Keeping those factors in mind, the moderators and I have all agreed and I've put into action our new site settings:

--most importantly, we're now allowing all members to private message all other members WITHOUT needing to 'follow' the other person in either direction. This will work well for our very friendly site, with safety/privacy options still available to members: being able to BLOCK anyone they don't like, and being able to turn OFF getting any PMs at all if they like. Allowing this PM'ing freely will address the SINGLE BIGGEST ongoing difficulty my members seek help with over and over: not understanding how to use the Follow system back and forth, and leaving their followers pending and then wondering why they couldn't send messages.

-- We're keeping the Follow system in place, to allow members to enjoy building their 'friends' lists and to enable them to keep up with only their friends' posts if they like, via the Latest Activity TAB on their own page. Taking away people's Followers at this stage of the game would cause members' heads to explode. ;) I've simply eliminated the dependancy between the PM system and the Follow system.

--Using the new toggle Tool made available recently, I've now rest all 3600 member profiles to again 'require approval' for new followers, and also set the default for NEW members that way. Individual members will still be able to UNset that again for themselves, but because of the FollowersToFriends module, this will help prevent the accumulation of Pending followers by members who seldom check their settings.
As in earlier in this thread, thanks to support here I've also added a user dropdown menu link to "Pending Followers" with a number, which will go a long ways to help members REALIZE they have some pending. (most members were not thinking to click the Followers TAB on their profile page... tending instead to just look at the avatar pics of their recent followers on their profile page widget...which does not show any 'pending' status. This is similar to the user menu link to Private Messages with a number following it showing one's unread messages.

--some sites would naturally not want to allow members to freely message non-followers because of the potential for spam. This is not a significant issue for my site because: I have several anti-spam safeguards in place that prevent spammers from ever joining (I've had only ONE spammer in 2.5 years get past the gates, and they were ID'd and banned within an hour), ...and also the fact that it's not very worthwhile for legit members to 'spam' each other via PMs since messages can only be sent to one person at a time. I have a strong moderation team of active well liked people who members know they can contact if they receive any messages that are unsolicited or uncomfortable.

I think perhaps I've covered everything. I'm hoping that sometime in the future this whole thread might be helpful to other JR site owners searching this forum for input on perhaps similar issues to those I've been struggling with for such a long time.

My big thanks to the JR Team for creating additional modules and tools for us all that give us multiple options to customize what we need for our particular sites.
And of course my big thanks to the Team as well for continuing to help me understand some of the settings and options available to me. My questions and confusions have been going on about all this for much too long and surely must have tried your patience.

I'm considering this PM/Followers issue to be SOLVED for my sites now. THANKS so much!


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Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
michael
@michael
4 years ago
7,550 posts
:)

Thanks for letting everyone know a good working solution. Happy that you got it sorted.