As your Higher Logic Vanilla (Vanilla) community becomes more active, Admins and Moderators might find it necessary to merge two discussions or create a discussion from a comment that doesn't belong. The Split / Merge functionality makes these tasks simple.
You can split and merge the following content types:
- Discussion posts
- Questions & answers
These content types will collectively be referred to as "Discussions" in this article, and the process to split and merge each of them is the same.
📝 NOTE: When merging ideas, the votes from each merged idea will be combined; however, if a user has voted in multiple merged ideas, only one of their votes will be counted.
Enable the addon
📝 NOTE: The Split / Merge addon is available on all plan levels.
- Access the Dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings > Addons > Addons.
- Click the toggle to slide it to the right.
In addition to enabling the Addon, users must belong to a Role with the permissions outlined below to use these features.
- These permissions can be granted at the Default Category Permissions level, giving users the Split/Merge ability for all Categories, by default.
- Alternatively, these permissions can be granted for one or more Categories, if you want to limit this ability by Category.
Split a discussion
To split a discussion, users must have the following permissions:
Delete for the category that the comment is being split from and
Add for the category that the new discussion will be created in.
Merge a discussion
To merge a discussion, users must have the following permissions:
Delete for the category that the discussion was posted in and
Add for the category that houses the discussion it will be merged with.
To learn how to access and manage your Roles and their permissions, check out the article below.
📝 NOTE: The Merge feature is now compatible with the Foundation Layout -- as well as the Modern Layout and Table Layout -- for discussion pages.
There are a variety of reasons why you'd want to merge discussions. For example, two discussions will often be similar enough that merging them not only reduces duplicate content but also solidifies engagement into a single discussion.
Before we begin...
The ability to multi-select discussions and comments must be enabled for your Vanilla community before you can merge discussions.
To check this:
- Access the Dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings > Forum > Posting.
- Make sure the Enable checkboxes on discussions and comment option is toggled ON.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
1. On the main Discussions page, select the discussions that you want to merge by checking their boxes (you can select more than two).
2. At the bottom left of the screen, click Merge in the menu.
3. Each discussion you selected is listed in a popup. Select which discussion to merge the others into (i.e., which discussion will now "host" all of the content).
✔️ TIP: If you want to provide redirect links in the discussions that will be merged, check the Leave a redirect link from the old discussions box.
4. Click Merge to complete the action.
Merge discussions on different pages
You can even merge discussions that are located on different pages. As you can see in the video below, the bottom-left menu remains until you've found all the discussions you want to merge.
📝 NOTE: This only works if performed in the same window/tab; you cannot merge discussions in two different windows/tabs.
Split a discussion
Many discussion threads end up containing dozens of comments; some of these may be off topic or better suited as their own discussion thread. If so, you can use the Split feature to break them out of their associated discussion and into their own thread.
To split a discussion:
1. Check the box at the upper right for the comment that you want to split.
2. At the bottom left of the screen, click Split in the menu.
3. In the popup:
- specify a name for the new discussion,
- select the Category to place it,
- and click Create New Discussion.
How splitting/merging affects analytics
When merging discussions, it's important to note that this action merges only the original post and comments, not page views.
If you have two discussions listed in the 'Advanced Analytics' tab of your Dashboard under Discussions With Most Views, and you decide to merge them, then you can expect to see both discussions still listed as separate data-points in that display module. This is to maintain an accurate count of page views.
In this scenario, clicking on either from that module will link to the same discussion, unless you opted to not create a redirect link, in which case, the 'merged' discussion will serve a 'Page Not Found' message.
The reverse can be expected when splitting a discussion: when a discussion is split, only the "original" discussion keeps the page views; the discussion created from the split will be treated as a new discussion.