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I'm new to Ning 3.0 but was vary familiar with the old Ning prior to 2013.  I would love for there to be an easy way to have the main forum display by category (and while we are on the topic, sub-categories grouped under main categories), while still having a sidebar displaying posts by most recent.  A great non-Ning example of forum display by category and sub-category would be like this

Here on the creators forum, you can view the forum by category if you choose in the drop-down menu - - the boxy display of each category is ok but if you have more than half a dozen categories, then even that wouldn't be a good solution.  I would still like to know how this is done though.

It would be very valuable for our network to be able to have brief discriptions under/with each category.

I would also love to be able to create sticky posts or a top post that always stays at the top of a category.


Our organization wants to create our Ning network & forum to discuss a lot of issues around maternal health care and advocacy in our state so having clear categories instead of a random stream of most recent posts will be very important to us.

If anyone has tips or advice for how to do some of this without me becoming a coding expert - maybe by using forum instances? - please let me know.  Like I said, I'm a brand new creator with 3.0

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  • forum instances would work. But this isn't possible directly. There is a work around however which could assist you.

    Forum instances would only give you 2 level categories deep. Groups and then adding forum instances to groups would give you 3 levels deep, at the cost of having to add all members to the group. Making it an unnecessary step.

    You'll have to create the manual HTML code for this feature and place it on a page. Even then it will not be a list of discussions sorted by latest activity. However you could add in a mixture of HTML code and RSS feeds to do the trick. Then just add the custom HTML page with the categories on it to the main navigation. You could put the actual forum tab in the unpublished section of the navigation aspect to the site pages, or just make it only visible to administrators to hide there being duplicate instances of the same forum.

    I miss that about Ning 2.0.

  • An alternative to this method is using content instances of the Latest forums. Again, on a custom page but you sort them by category.

    So instead of using RSS feeds, you use the latest forum discussions by category modules. You'll still have to create the HTML code either way for the description and the title with the link to the category either way. You'll also have to create your own pagination and link the pages together in chronological order if you want it to feel and function like how Ning 2.0 did their category structure system.

    The basic HTML code uses headings, lists and paragraphs with links added to the structure to make it properly align. You can use whatever suits your fancy. So if you'd rather ad a div tag or a javascript redirect feature when you click on a post or title for example, you could add custom css styling in this way.

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