Reactions are one-click responses to discussions and comments. They enable your users to indicate an emotional ("Awesome," "LOL") or empirical ("Like," "Agree," "Vote Down") response without having to type a comment. This is important, because it gives users a more "indirect" feedback mechanism when they may not have anything to add via a comment.
Enable the Reactions addon
Reactions is an optional addon that administrators can enable for their Higher Logic Vanilla (Vanilla) community. To do so:
- Access the Dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings > Addons > Addons.
- Click the Reactions toggle to enable it.
Users must belong to a Role with the following permissions in order to use Reactions:
Reactions > Negative > Add to use negative Reactions
Reactions > Positive > Add to use positive Reactions
How do Reactions work?
Below each discussion post or comment, a row of Reactions is available (you'll learn how to control which ones are available later).
- You can click one (and only one) Reaction for each post. This will add or subtract points to the post and the author, as defined by that Reaction’s settings.
- The post will show a running tally of how many of each Reaction it has received.
- Clicking a different Reaction will switch how you reacted.
- Clicking the same Reaction a second time will revoke it.
Showcase the best content on the Best Of page
All content that receives 5 points or more is highlighted on the Best Of page, which is added to the Quick Links area when the Reactions addon is enabled. This makes it easy to automatically and dynamically showcase the best content.
To learn more about this page, check out:
Uses for Reactions
Communities can use Reactions for a number of scenarios. All Reactions can be customized to meet your need. Some benefits are:
- Positive reinforcement for contributions
- Increased participation and interaction
- Member-powered curation of content
- Enables skimming by high-reaction comments
- Optional integration with Badges for gamification
Reactions is a dynamic tool that encourages emergent behaviors and uses, and is one we recommend for most communities.
Enabling & editing Reactions
Your Vanilla community includes a variety of Reactions, some of which are enabled by default. Manage the Reactions for your community on the Reaction Types page, where you can:
- Review the purpose and affect of the Reactions (in the ACTIONS AND PERMISSIONS column);
- Toggle each Reaction on/off individually with the toggle slide; and
- Edit the properties (e.g., name, description, point value) of each Reaction individually by clicking the pencil icon.
To access your Reactions:
- Access the Dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings > Discussions > Reactions.
To enable or disable a Reaction, simply click its toggle, as highlighted in the image above.
- Generally, we recommend using one to four Reactions. Reacting should be simple and reflexive, not a complex decision over which Reaction to use.
- Reactions are universal to all Categories in your community. You can use CSS rules to hide certain Reactions in certain Categories, but they cannot be officially disabled selectively.
Edit a Reaction
To edit a Reaction, click its pencil icon.
- Editing an existing Reaction is the best way to tweak your list to fit the culture of your community. We recommend selecting the default Reaction that most closely matches your desired Reaction and simply changing its name.
- Regarding points, it's important to understand the distinction between points being awarded to a post/comment and points awarded to a user. You cannot change the points a Reaction gives to a post/comment; the Points field only affects how many points are given to users.
📝 NOTE: Updating a Reaction's default image only affects the image shown on a user's profile, not the image shown in a post or comment. Images for posts and comments are hardcoded and cannot be changed.
✔️ TIP: Doing this allows you to keep any automated badges associated with that Reaction, which you can then rename appropriately as well.
"Add" a Reaction
While there isn't an "add" option to create a Reaction, you can easily edit an existing one and repurpose it to suit your needs (e.g., change its name and/or points). If you do not have the appropriate staff resources to retheme the Reaction, consider choosing the Reaction with the most suitable icon.
Advanced Reaction settings
On the Dashboard > Settings > Addons > Addons page, click the settings icon to access the advanced Reactions settings.
- Show Who Reacted to Posts changes how Reaction tallies are displayed. The default is In a popup, which requires hovering your cursor over the Reaction to see who reacted that way. Use As avatars for small- to medium-sized communities to show a row of avatars under each comment for who reacted. Select Don’t show to hide it entirely.
📝 NOTE: Because the In a popup option requires hovering to display, it is not work on mobile devices.
- Best of Style changes the layout of your Best Of page: Tiles displays posts in a card-like format, while List displays post in a more traditional list format.
- Use the two Order options to order your Reactions by Date or Score.
- Use the Promote Threshold and Bury Threshold options to control how many points a post/comment must receive in order to be added to the Best Of page. Note that changes to points are not retroactive. For example, if you change the Promote Threshold from 5 to 10, older posts that are already on the Best Of page will not be removed.
✔️ TIP: Be sure to click Save at the bottom of the dialog to apply any changes.
Curating with Reactions
Reactions can provide your community with powerful self-curation tools. As you learned, above, posts and comments that reach 5 points will be automatically added to the Best Of page. This means users with the proper permissions can help curate and highlight the best content across your community.
It’s important to understand your community (or the community you intend to build) before selecting what Reactions to use. Let's examine some of the ways users can self-curate content via Reactions.
Promote is a special Reaction. Only users with the
Garden > Curation > Manage permission (or that ability via Ranks) can use it.
It assigns 5 points to the post or comment. The user that made the post receives the number of points indicated under that Reaction in your Dashboard.
Discussions or comments with 5 or more points will be added to the Best Of page and will get the “promoted” CSS class added to them. These points can come from any type of Reaction.
After content is added to the Best Of page, it is never removed, no matter what its future point total is. The “promoted” CSS class is reevaluated as point totals change. You can use this special class to style promoted content different (like highlighting it with a special background colour).
Posts and comments that reach a score of -5 or lower will be buried. Buried posts and comments appear collapsed by default, and require a user to click on them before it can be read. When a discussion reaches the buried threshold, it will take on the behavior of being sunk. You can style buried comments using the “Buried” CSS class.
Abuse and Spam
Abuse and Spam Reactions are available to all users when enabled and have special actions attached to them.
- Five or more Abuse Reactions will add the content to the Moderation Queue for moderator review but the post will remain in the community. Ten or more will remove the post from the community but it will remain in the Moderation Queue for review. Check out this article to learn more about the Moderation Queue.
- Five or more Spam Reactions will move the content to the Spam Queue.
📝 NOTE: When users with the
Garden > Curation > Manage permission use the Abuse or Spam Reaction it counts as five reactions. In other words, it takes five unique members to accrue five "points" but only one moderator/admin.
By default, negative Reactions remove 1 point from the post or comment, but they have no impact on the point total of the user who made the post. This discourages abuse of negative Reactions beyond simple voting scenarios.
📝 NOTE: Abuse and Spam Reactions however will remove 1 point from the discussion or comment and from the point total of the user who made the post.
🛑 IMPORTANT: There is always the potential for abuse when you open up avenues of self-curation in a community. In general, we discourage the use of any negative Reactions, unless there are established guidelines for their use in your community.
Customizable Reaction icons for user profiles
Profile pages include the Reactions component to give you an overview of how your community members are reacting to a user. Recently, we modernized this component and added icons, which you can now customize.
To customize these icons:
- Go to the Reactions page in Dashboard > Settings > Discussions.
- Edit your Reactions.
- In the dialog, click the Browse button in the Image field.
- Upload an SVG image file to replace our defaults.
- Only SVG files can be used
- Recommended image size: 200px by 200px
- This will not update the icons for Reactions displayed on posts and comments
Click the link below to access a video expanding on what you learned in this article.