Not too long ago, we laid the groundwork for our member categories feature by streamlining the management of your existing and prospective members. Now, we're almost ready to roll Member Categories out, and we wanted to give you a preview of the feature and get your feedback on its functionality and a few improvements that we've added along the way.
Create up to 50 categories and assign members to them. All of your members will begin in the default category, called Members. You can create and edit new categories via the Member Categories tab in the Member Management section. A couple of important limitations to note up front: the default category can't be edited, and members can only belong to one category at a time.
When you create a category, you have an option to create a listing page exclusively for the members in that category, and you can create listing pages for up to 5 10categories. When you do this, a new submenu item for the category will appear in the submenu items for Member pages. You can choose the text for the submenu listing, so that you can pluralize or customize it. This is a great way to highlight specific members on the network.
Image and Text Badges
Each category that you create can also have an optional image or text badge that gets added as an overlay on a member's profile picture. Whether you create badges of honor or badges of shame, this is an excellent way to identify admins, reward special members, or just make it easy for visitors to identify different types of members. Text badges are based on the category name, and can be placed at the top or bottom of the profile picture. You can set the text color, background color, and the background opacity for each badge.
Images badges can be positioned in one of the four quadrants of a member's profile picture. We've included 22 badges to get you started, and you can upload and manage up to 50 of your own custom badges.
Text and Image badges will appear in most places in your network, but not everywhere. Right now they won't appear in Chat and in a couple of other places, like the profile images on sign in and sign up pages.
Designers and Network Creators who are comfortable with CSS will be pleased to know that each created category is associated with a CSS class that we're adding to the #xg_themebody div in profile pages. This means you can create CSS styles that will be applied to the profile pages of members in a category. This will let you do things like adjust the background or color scheme of every member of your network who's in a specific category.
Once you've assigned your members to categories, you can use new functionality in the Broadcast Message feature to send a broadcast message to just those members. Choose any category you've created and proceed from there. The current broadcast message includes a subheader with the words "A Message to all members of Network Name". Now that you can target individual categories for messages, that text is no longer accurate, so we'll be removing it with this release. If you like that message and want to retain it, you can add it in manually like this:
<h3>A Message to all members of Network Name</h3>
We're currently targeting Thursday for this release. We'll update this post if that changes. We're excited to see how NCs will use Member Categories, and we'd love your feedback. There are a few enhancements we may add to member categories like the ability to connect a Paid Access subscriber list with a category. There are also a few longer term things you've already told us you want, like category-specific feature permissions (e.g., Blog-only members). Let us know in the comments how you plan to use Member Categories, and once it's gone live, let us know how we can make it more useful for you.
Check out the new post about member categories. It includes a way to assign members automatically to a category using profile questions.
Some "Brands" are going to be using my community to promote some of their products. Our community is where amateur wrestlers buy, sell, and trade their gear, so Brand Pages just makes sense. I will be creating a Category for these members...is there a way where the members would be able to search for the category or a way for me to put them on a separate page? Should I just Feature all of them? Thanks in advance.
just when u make the category make a tab then on the members page thers a link with category nanme and all men=mbers in the category
Yeah. Totally like soaring eagle says, Anthony. You can check the "create a submenu item on member page" choice, and all of these folks will appear in that location.
Hey Ning. My members are liking their icons, but in many cases don't know what they mean. Is there an easy way to create a key somewhere on each page, or at least the home page, to show what the different icons indicate about the people who have them?
No plans to create a legend or key for this. You can always customize these to be more specific to your network. Maybe there are icons your members would like that you can use.
[posted in wrong thread, so deleted and reposted]
I have had a flurry of queries for details on the badges on my site, even though I did send a broadcast message and did post a forum discussion about it.
http://englishworldwide.ning.com = you can see what I did on the home page = added a chart (simply cropped a screenshot image from my member management page).
Apologies for posting this without reading/skimming through 47 pages of Q & A, but I've just implemented the badges (two days ago), and have a question.
I think the answer is "no" but want to be certain -- and if the answer is "No" my follow-up question is "Do you have any ideas of how I might make this work?"
Question: Can I set up a label AND a badge for the same member?
My site [http://englishworldwide.ning.com] is a language learning site and would benefit greatly by easy ways to distinguish between
BUT I've already added badges (and they are a hit) for other options (Member of the Week, Mentors, and so on) that cross levels.
Is it possible to create our own icons that would include a text label and a symbol of some kind?
All ideas appreciated and please let me add my "Kudos!" to all the recent changes and efforts. Thank you!
Hey, Holly. You can only create either a visual or a text badge. It's not possible to implement both. Basically, people can only be put into one member category. You could create your own icons that include text, although that text would be probably be unreadable (and it would require a lot of manual effort, I think).
Thanks for the prompt response, Eric. That's rather what I expected to learn.
What I'm working on is my own specific to our website assessment to determine one's LEWWP level, then ask each member to post their level accordingly.
(LEWWP = the acronym for our site)
One of the sign-up questions for our site is to state their level. I've made this a visible question, so members will be able to take the assessment and then set their level.
I'll at least try this as (at least) a temporary workaround.
Eventually, maybe we'll find/create/upload our own badges, and colorcode them by level? It does get complicated trying to mesh all the ideas.
Thanks again for your response,
I'm not sure if this has already been suggested.
But for completeness, will Ning consider allowing individual member categories to be assigned in the Tabs & Pages setup screen menu option "Make Tab Visible To" (currently its just Members or Administrators).
This would then allow NCs to have different menu options visible to different categories of users and allow full use to be made of this new feature. So users of member CAT1 would see a different menu from member CAT2 etc.