We have added several new features lately. Our team at Advanstar has upgraded our vBulletin software to v3.7 Along with that comes many new great features. Some of them will take some time to learn, others will come naturally if you are a long time user.
I will take a moment just to talk about a few of them and how to use them.
Long requested by users, threads can now have administrator-defined prefixes to their titles.
Thread prefixes are divided into groups by the administrator, allowing different prefixes to be available in different forums.
To Use a prefix, simply start a new thread and there is an option next to the thread title. Simply leave it blank if you wish not to use a prefix.
A new way to facilitate searching and grouping of threads, it is now possible for users to add tags to threads they post or read.
Tags can be added when creating a new thread, or to an existing thread by any user (with appropriate permissions).
Any users who then click on these tags will not only find all thread that have the same tag as the one clicked, but will also contribute to the building of a search tag cloud, which gives users a quick guide as to what has been searched for recently and most frequently.
Reciprocal Friendships Between Users
As part of our new social networking system, users can now request that people on their buddy list confirm their friendship, after which time a person's list of confirmed friends will be viewable to other users.
To a friends: Click USERCP to go to your control panel. You will notice a new section on the left call Networking.
Networking has several new options:
Contacts & Friends
Pictures & Albums
We will talk about the other two later. Right now you simply click Contacts and Friends. You will see an empty space to add another user and you can now press Add Contact, Or Add Friend.
If you already have contacts, you and press add friend and it will say Friendship Requested.
The other user will now get a Notification next time they log in.
Notifications are shown in the upper right corner similar to PM's. They can then approve or dis-approve the friendship.
While private messages between users have been in vBulletin since version 2.0, vBulletin 3.7 introduces the public messaging system, allowing users to communicate publicly via their profile pages.
To view someones profile page simply click on a users name and click "View Public Profile"
While public messaging is a nice way to communicate while you are not posting in the forums, please do not confuse/abuse this with chat.
Currently, their are no chat features here at ORC. Perhaps in the future this is something we may look into.
User Picture Galleries
vBulletin users can now create albums and upload pictures to their account.
The ability to view these albums and pictures can be limited by the user to just board staff and people on their buddy list if they want privacy.
To Create an album or upload pictures simply go to your control panel and it's pretty self explanatory. You have to create an album before uploading photos. You can then make your albums public or private. Their are size restrictions set, remember this is a forum not photobucket or shutterfly.
As an alternate method: Off-Road.Com also has a seperate plugin for vBulletin which allows you to go here Main Index - Off-Road.com Photo Gallery or you can find the "PHOTOS" link at the top of the forums in the menus.
This method is not to be confused with the previous method THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!
After opening the Photos link, you will see a menu bar similar to this
My Photos · My Albums · My Favorites · Home · Search · Profile · Upload Photos
You may now click My Albums and then Press Create a New Album
After creating an album you can click Upload photos and place them into your album(s).
Also keep in mind that it also makes it very easy for you to add the vb script into your threads and posts.
When you view a photo in your USERCP pictures&albums, below the photo it will say Picture URL: and below that BB Code:
These can come in handy if you wish to place them directly into a post.
If you choose to use the PHOTOS Plugin you can see the BB Code and Linked Thumbail Script as well.
We will use a picture of my rig as an example:
To enter it into your thread as a thumbail you would get the script and simply paste it into the thread. Once you learn the script you can simply type it if you know the URL. In this case:
[ url=http://gallery.off-road.com/photobb/showphoto.php/photo/182372][ img]http://gallery.off-road.com/photobb/data/4272/thumbs/PICT0109.JPG[/img ][/url ]
Without the spaces inside the brackets at the beginning and end. It will look like this, A Clickable Thumbnail Link to the full size photo.
To link a full size photo you do it the same way but use the other script.
[ img]http://gallery.off-road.com/photobb/data/4272/medium/PICT0109.JPG[/img ] and it looks like this.
Also if you are typing a new post and press GO Advanced, you can press the https://forums.off-road.com/images/ed...nsertimage.gif symbol and insert a url address to any photo on any server you may choose.
Please keep in mind that you can only do thumbnails if you upload your album and photos to the PHOTOS Plugin.
User-Created Social Groups
To further social cohesion between users and to encourage people to make friends, vBulletin now includes a facility to allow users to create their own social/interest groups.
These groups are enhanced by having their own public messaging system, and the ability to add pictures to the group from user albums.
You will find social networking under your USERCP-Networking
Social Networking was designed to bring together users that otherwise would never cross paths. For example the Toyota guys and Jeep Guys probably have more in common than they think...after all we do both drive 4x4's and certain hobbies may apply to each other etc.
New Member Profile Page
In order to accomodate all the new features in vBulletin 3.7, the member profile page has been completely redesigned from the ground up.
The new page presents information in a far cleaner and more logical manner, while dividing up information into manageable chunks using a tabbed interface.
Individual profile field categories can be displayed alone in blocks in the right column, in addition to appearing by default in the 'About Me' tab.
To edit your profile page you simply go to USERCP and click edit profile on the left column.
Remember to view another users profile simply click their username and press View Public Profile.
Be forwarned!!! This is NOT facebook or myspace, Profile pages will be moderated! If moderators or admin see unclassy or inappropriate profile pages they will be set back to default! THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!
Other than that lets see who can make the best profile pages!!!
Member Customization of Profile Page
The administrator may choose to allow his members to use the profile page customization tool, which allows users to alter fonts, colors, background and borders etc. of their profile page in order to create a more personalized look.
The administrator can lock-down customization permissions, in order to prevent the personalized pages being made too offensively awful by aesthetically challenged members... nobody wants to see some of those really ugly MySpace pages on your vBulletin installation!
Inline Editing of Profile Field Values
The 'About Me' tab of each member's profile page has edit controls, allowing them to quickly change values without leaving their profile page.
Social Bookmarking of Threads
Administrators can now define a list of their favorite social bookmarking sites and have them available for use on the showthread page for bookmarking threads.
The more you bookmark threads, the more indexing search engines will eventually do, and this will help the sight grow naturally.
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