Orbius entered preview mode back in March.  Since then we’ve been adding new features and tweaking our User Interface. Admittedly, we started off with some great features but some of them needed a facelift. This current release is really nice and things on the site look great.  We’ll keep working on that too.  Our strategy, and a sound business plan in my opinion, is to start simple.  Now that we have a great feature set, we need to improve upon it a bit and we’ll do that based on user feedback.  So if you have any suggestions, contact me or use the Orbius Support Orb.


Of course, if you have no idea what Orbius is, check out this post or just click here and go right to Orbius.  We no longer have the preview gate up, which means that anyone can use Orbius! 


We’re always working on tweaks and new features for Orbius, don’t be surprised if every few weeks you see changes on the site.  I’ll try to blog about then too.  This week’s release has so many enhancements, I can’t even remember them all.  But here’s some highlights:


Content Rating:  Now content rating is enabled on blog posts, discussion forums, calendars, images and other content.  Community members can rate whatever they like on a 5 star scale.  Then everyone can see the ratings and sort by them too.


image image


Also, the Orb admin can customize the theme and choose a different ratings style:


image


Featured Content:  As an Orb administrator, if you want to highlight some content in a community, you can mark it as “Featured”.  When you do this, it will appear in a Featured Content widget is added.  This is a great way to make sure that your members see the content that you feel is really important.


In this example, I featured a Forum Post titled “Tons of new features in Orbius”.  It shows up in the Featured Content widget, along with Calendar Event that was also featured.


FeaturedContent image


New Menus:  Now Orbius has enhanced menus so you can easily nest items.  Plus you can add a hyperlink right to your menu and point to an Orbius page or even an external site.


And you can move menu items around.  In this example, I created a menu item for “Blogs” and moved two blogs underneath it.


image nested menu


Popup menus for Orbs, Profiles and Personas:  When you see a thumbnail image (that’s the picture that represents an Orb or a Persona) on a page, hover the mouse over it to get a popup menu with actions that you can take.  This also works for links too so most places where you see a link to a Profile (a user in Orbius) or a Persona (a user in an Orb), you can see the menus.  Just like this:


Here is what I see when I hover over the Orb thumbnail.  The popu has links to join or visit the community.


Orb popup      


And I get a different option on the popup when I hover over the link to Elise. 


Persona popup


 Enhanced features for embedding Video:  Want to include a video in your Orb?  Just create a textblock.  When you edit the textblock, click on videobutton and you will be guided to insert the video.  You can choose a variety of video providers.


Choose a provider, search for your video (or put in a specific url) and you’ll have embedded video in your Orb in no time at all!


VideoProviders youtubesearch SkiingVideo


 


There are lots of other new and existing features on Orbius.  Too many to mention here.  The only way to find them out is to click over to Orbius and try it out.  It’s free and it’s a great place to host your community.  Please contact me if you have any questions.


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