Customizing SMF > Building Your Community and other Forum Advice

Moving a FB Group to SMF

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I'm moving a 50k member facebook group into my SMF forum (long story... FB disabled my group without any warning or a solid reason)

So I have some handicaps. People prefer FB because of its convenience, quick and easy login, being able to see everything on their news feed also things are very interactive and usually a single click etc.

So moving to a forum is very challenging right now because firstly, the word forum doesn't excite people anymore. Forums are seen as old fashion boring things. So I have to either use another software instead of SMF or instead of a forum for that matter, or I need to make the forum very interactive and user friendly to be more appealing for people to come and be active on. I assume I need things like social login, maybe a pretty cool theme and some pretty nice mods.

so I'd like to get you guys suggestions on how and where to start this? Which mods I should use and how should I customize the forum to make people come from Facebook and be active in my site?

what are the cool and very useful mods you guys use and why?

Umm, well,  Forums are very different to facebook in function so they are never going to look similar either.
Forums have some advantages over facebook and some disadvantages - horses for courses.
If your users only like facebook user interface then a forum, of any brand, is unlikely to keep them happy.

Many of the questions you ask are very general. I suggest you set up a  test forum and have a try of various themes and mods yourself.

Have a read of other posts about the sort of topics you are asking about, you'll find many of the answers / info you are looking for.

Oh and I'm sure you know but you can't move any content from a group on facebook to a forum etc.
You'll be starting from scratch.

I'm sure there was a reason they disabled it - whether you agree with it or not, it wouldn't have just happened at random.
I assume you've been through the appeal process etc with facebook? (I assume there is one, of some sort)

This is one of the best things about forums as comapred with social media  - you are not at the mercy of a faceless corporation as to your existence - you control that.

a paid for mod from smfpacks 'social profile' is beneficial especially if you leverage it akin to facebook...

-social login is almost a must for what you're trying to do. 
-using mention's (@username) so notifications are sent are almost a must for what you're trying to do... you can use the notifications from SMFPacks or some of the free ones- but the intent is to have little notices akin to FB so folks feel engaged.
- social share buttons are important... not social 'like' but 'share'... there are a bunch of them around in package form, but i ended up writing my own so as to lose the tracking functions of FB... these let the members who haven't transitioned see your page and those of the group easier and through FB... they may arrive after seeing the conversations/subjects continue.
- your theme MUST be responsive.  I believe, and have shared this, that SMF does itself (as an organization) a disservice by not PRESENTING as a modern friendly engine... sure you can edit a theme or find one that works for you, but people who are considering an engine happen by here (in my opinion) and the 'look' (and lacking mobile/responsiveness) sends them away to another engine.... based on 'look'... and all the while the SMF ENGINE (backbone) is as solid as any open source system out there and far better than most.

that's pretty much it...

here is a page i've posted live but use primarily as a test site- cv19 has greatly impacted it's being shared with the group it is supposed to support as there haven't been any 'live' meetings to socialize it... it may catch traction after the August (tentative in person meeting) or it may not... but... it's mobile friendly, doesn't look like clunky old forum (although it's curve theme at heart with very little changes) and offers some interface newer page styles do... it even incorporates wordpress and shares three most recent articles on the main page (which is SMF).  ... there aren't that many images in the splash header right now, but they are all images offered by users... another 'inclusion' type effort that seems to pay off on sites i run.

Both comments were very useful. Thank you all. Seems like I'll have to research a bit to see if there's anything better than SMF (and still free) for what I'm looking for. If not, then I'll have to make it work with SMF I guess.

smf could work....for replacing an fb group....
essentially you'd just get rid of any categories and boards and just have all topics on the index uncategorized.....

for me this is my biggest off-put of fb....nothing is organized and it drives my ocd crazy  :laugh:

whereas forums allow you to categorize things into categories and boards....

but yeah, no it's not going to be the same forums and social networking platforms are 2 different beasts.... social networks are more of (in my opinion) a free for all whereas forums are more structured

like yourself I started a forum for an fb group that I admin on (160K members) because there's only so much that you can do on fb and as you've found out, they can shut you down without any warnings if they so wish....
the fb group that i'm working with is more discussion and question/answer based so a forum would work better for our purposes (but getting people to use it is another matter entirely)

but here's a few things that I added to try and help
Emoji Parser

Relative Time And Date

Quick Buddies


OneAll Social Login

Who Quoted Me

Custom Report Mod

Best Answer

Nickname to Reply

Pretty URLs! For SMF

Quick Translation

Play Media Attachment


Dynamic Memberlist

Post and PM Inline Attachments

AJAX Recent Topics


Related Topics

Buddies With Me (aka Followers)

@mention members

Signature Area BBCode Buttons

Number of Unapproved Posts and Topics in Header

Open Embed

PM Attachments

Current Signature Mod

Audio and Video BBCodes

of course ;) Responsive Curve


Extended Help

Name History

View Voters at Polls

Awesome Post Ratings *paid mod that adds the smilie reacts to posts*



Descriptive Links

Spiders Don't Increase Topic Views

Prevent Topic View Increase by Author

Make modified post unread


Profile Visitors/Views

View Single Category

Multi Quote

Push Notifications

Ignore User Button

Buddies Block

Open Mod Reports

Adding AutoSuggest to Search for 'By user' field

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: have fun


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