New SE Cloud Features: Anon posting, post-by-email, Clean theme improvements and more!

SocialEngine - Community Software

We rolled out a huge SocialEngine Cloud update today. Here are the highlights:
Bug Fixes & Improvements

  • Status posts are now searchable
  • Usernames now linked in new signup post feed items
  • Connecting accounts to LinkedIn now pulls user’s avatar
  • Tags now created for only alpha-numeric phrases
  • Delete link now being displayed for feed items in the activity widget
  • Fixed highlighted menu item being lost for Admin > Manage > Members pages
  • Bots no longer increment post view counts
  • Featured posts now show in descending order
  • Fixed missing span tag in activity widget
  • Fixed 404 errors being thrown for like lists
  • Fixed issue causing replies from Hotmail to include mail headers
  • Fixed 500 errors on post delete
  • Notifications are now removed when comments are deleted
  • Fixed issue causing some sites to show a “Not Found” error when using a custom domain
  • Fixes birthdays showing an incorrect date
  • Fixed “View More” and HTML display issue for Topic posts
  • Fixed LinkedIn sign up for private sites
  • Modal-based post composer hidden from Clean theme menu bar (can be added back with CSS if desired)
  • Title and message no longer required when posting new images
  • Admin an moderators can now delete comments from the activity feed
  • Captchas on signup are now valid for 5 minutes, instead of 1 minute
  • Notifications about deleted users are now hidden from digest emails
  • Custom fields “Hidden Everywhere” no longer show in the member-about widget
  • Fixed double overlay issue caused by using the share-it button
  • Create Account button now hidden on the sign-in form for private sites
  • Fixed data-type=”featured” option for the mini-feed widget
  • Fixed issue with Facebook likes not showing up on Facebook’s activity log
  • Comments inserted via AJAX now correctly show user avatars
  • “Everything” main menu item label renamed “Categories”
  • Added client-side validation for user input on sign up

New Features

  • Sign In form now shown on landing page for private sites
  • Members autosuggest added to site search
  • Top, Hot and Following sorting modes added to the activity feed widget
  • Post category added to activity widget
  • Posts now support animated GIFs
  • Members can now post messages anonymously (Admin > Settings > Posts)
  • A unique ID is now added to the <body> tag for all pages for easy CSS styling
  • Files and photos can now be attached to new posts from the activity feed composer, including drag-and-drop support
  • Activity feed items can now be commented, liked and voted on.
  • Mentions in new posts (not just comments) now send email notifications
  • “View more” link in activity feed now expands to show more comments
  • (beta) Members can now create Topic posts via email (Admin > Settings > Notifications)
  • (beta) Reply to posts, comments and messages with email (Admin > Settings > Notifications)

New Email Features (beta)

Our goal is to help you attract and retain your community members. A big part of that is making it easy to keep your members engaged without changing their current behavior. We’ve added two key email features to help you do that. Firstly, when your members receive a comment response to their post and get an email notification, they can now reply directly to that email notification – that reply will be auto-posted in your community. Secondly, each member in your community can now make new posts simply by emailing a unique email address (which they can see on their settings page). Members will also receive this unique address and instructions on how to use it (it’s easy) when they first sign up. As the admin, you have total control – you can enable or disable these features.

Anonymous Posting

Another interesting new piece we’ve added is the option to enable anonymous posting. If you enable this feature, your members will see an “Anonymous” checkbox within their “share something” composer box. If they select this, their post will be anonymous. Depending on your community’s theme and purpose, this can be a powerful tool that introduces a whole new dynamic to the way your members interact.

File Sharing & Attachments

Your members can now drag and drop files into the “share something” box and attach them to their posts. SocialEngine will detect if they are photos and display them accordingly.

Unique page IDs

Now the <body> element on every page has a unique ID, e.g. <body id=’page-new’>. This should make it MUCH easier for you to add CSS style adjustments for specific pages in your Custom CSS page in the admin panel.

Improved Search

Now, when your members start typing in the search box in your main menu, they’ll see an autosuggest list of other members’ names. We’ve also added more content types to the search index – it will now include “status”-style posts.

Animated GIFs

Your members can now posts animated GIFs. So brace yourself for the impending cat maelstrom.

Caturday Gif

So, what’s coming in March?
We’ll be doing another major SocialEngine PHP sprint in the next two weeks. The main focus will be on A) performance improvements (specifically page load speed), and B) frontend/style improvements. We are cooking up a whole new default theme that should blow the current one way – it will resemble the new themes we’ve built for SE Cloud in some ways. Performance-wise, we are working with an independent expert to see how we can safely refactor parts of the SE PHP codebase without interfering with third-party addons.
Let us know what you think of all the changes. We really hope you like them!

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