The Conversation tool allows online discussion between participants in a conversational format. Participants can make a comment and other visitors can respond to the comment, creating a threaded discussion.

Additionally, visitors can optionally vote or share individual comments from the Conversation. Comments can also be shared to social media or linked to individually. Commenters can edit or delete their comments retrospectively.

In the back end, you can choose to enable threaded or flat Conversation styles, turn comment voting on and off, choose progressive comment loading and file uploads. You can also define which order comments appear. Admins can delete comments or flag them as spam.

The conversation tool also features optional real time commenting. This means when a comment is added to the conversation, an alert will display in real time, inviting you to load the new comment or comments.

This feature will help you replicate your face to face activities with The HiVE should in-person engagement be unavailable. Pair the conversation tool with a YouTube live webinar and you’ve got a perfect real time conversation section responding to the video together.


This is an example of a Conversation in action
Loading Conversation



  • Activity Status - allows you to set the Conversation to either an active (on) or inactive (off) state. The status automatically defaults to ‘on’ when the tool is added to the page.
  • Activity Title -gives the Conversation a title that is used to identify the activity in the Reporting area of the Dashboard. This can also be used to create a user prompt or question.
  • Display Title - when selected, the Activity Question/title will be displayed to visitors. The Activity Title will also be used in the confirmation notification sent to any Contributors (if enabled), regardless of whether the ‘Display title’ option is selected.
  • Activity Description - provides a description that can be used to provide further information about the activity, including leaving internal notes to other Users.
  • Display Description - when selected, the description will be displayed to visitors.


  • Real time comments - enable to ensure comments load in real time, meaning no need to refresh the page each time a comment is made. This setting means when a comment is added to the conversation, an alert will display in real time, inviting you to load the new comment or comments.
  • Conversation Mode - determines whether users can respond to other participants comments or not.
    • In Flat mode, visitors can make a comment, but are unable to respond to another participant’s comments.
    • In Threaded mode, visitors can reply to other participant’s comments with replies being shown in a nested structure. This mode is useful for facilitating more natural conversational flows.
  • Comment Voting - enables registered Members to upvote and downvote the Contributions of other Participants. When enabled, a ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ icon will appear next to each comment. This setting is applicable for Members only. When turned on, non-member visitors will be unable to see the ‘upvote’ and ‘downvote’ buttons next to each comment.
  • Member Attributes - adds pre-defined Member Attributes to the input form of the Social Map to collect participant information. Member Attributes are defined at the Sitewide level, and allow the collection of standardised user information that can be reused later.


  • Order Method - sets the default method that comments are ordered when displayed to visitors. Users will have the ability to choose their preferred method when viewing the Conversation. There are three options for ordering comments:
    • Earliest First - the oldest comments made in the Conversation will appear first.
    • Most Recent First - The newest comments made in the Conversation will appear first.
    • Highest Rated First - the comments with the highest number of upvotes will appear first (requires ‘Comment Voting’ to be enabled).
  • Progressive Loading - determines how many comments will be displayed to visitors before a ‘Show more’ button is shown. Clicking the show more will reveal the next lot of comments.


  • Registration Required - sets whether a participant must be a registered Member to make a Contribution or may also be an unregistered visitor. This will override the registration defaults set at the Sitewide level.
  • Moderation Method - allows the moderation method to be changed between Post-moderation (default) and Pre-moderation. This will override the Moderation Method settings set at the Sitewide level.
  • File Attachments - enables participants to attach files (e.g. images and documents) to their comments. The filesize limits for file attachments can be adjusted independently for both visitors (guests) and Members.


  • Contribution Notifications - enables notification emails to be sent to the nominated Users when a Form submission is received.

Viewing results and reports

You can access your results and view reports for a Conversation activity by going to Dashboard --> Reports --> Results. Click the 'View Results' link next to the relevant activity name to view the report.

Information in the report is filtered by the date range, which you can adjust at the top-right of the report. Some reporting information relating to categories and voting will only be shown if these features were enabled in the activity.

To get further information about any reporting metric, hover over the question mark at the top-right of the reporting component to view a description.


The 'Summary' section of the report provides the following information:

  • Key statistics - shows a number of top-level metrics relating to the activity including:
    • the number of contributions collected through the activity
    • the number of unique contributors who made contributions
    • the number of discussion threads started by participants. Discussion threads are root level comments that have at least one reply
    • the number of total replies made to all root level comments
    • the total number of votes cast in response to all contributions
    • the average number of votes cast per contribution, indicating the intensity of the voting activity
    • the total number of file attachments (i.e. images, documents, etc) uploaded by participants with their contributions
    • the number of unique contributors that uploaded a file along with their contribution.
  • Sentiment - a bar chart showing the overall sentiment analysis of all posts in the activity, classified as either 'positive', 'negative', 'neutral', 'mixed', or 'unclassified'. This information is determined by Site Users by applying the text analysis tools.
  • Tag word cloud - a word cloud visualisation showing tag (theme) analysis of all post content, with the size of each tag determined by the number of times the tag was used. Tags used more frequently display at a larger size in the word cloud than those used less frequently. This information is determined by Site Users by applying the text analysis tools.
    *Be sure to not have more than 50 different words as tags in order to preserve the word cloud functionality.
  • Tag table - a table showing the number of times (count) a tag was used in the tag analysis and the percentage of times that tag was used as a proportion of total tags.
  • Voting - a chart showing the overall results of the voting activity. The visualisation type will depend on the voting method used in the activity (e.g. upvoting or upvoting/downvoting).

The summary report can be exported as a PDF by clicking the 'Export' button at the top-right of the page.


The 'Overview' section of the report includes high-level meta-information about your activity including information about whether participants were registered members or anonymous, when the activity occurred, what devices and browsers were used by participants and a breakdown of selected demographic information (for member participants only).

This report is standard across all participation tools. More information can be found in the Reporting section.


The 'Data' section of the report includes the raw data collected through the activity, in a table view.

The data table for the Conversation activity includes the following information:

  • Contribution ID - a unique identifier for the post
  • Date submitted - the date the post was made
  • Response - the text comment made by a participant
  • File Attachment - the filename and link to any attachment uploaded as part of a participant's contribution
  • Upvotes - the number of upvotes a contribution received
  • Downvotes - the number of downvotes a contribution received
  • Total votes - the number of total upvotes and downvotes a contribution received
  • Reply level - the level of hierarchy a contribution sits at within a discussion thread. For example, the original, top-level contribution is given a value of '1', a reply to that contribution is given a value of '2', and a reply to the reply is given a value of '3'
  • Reply Parent ID - the ID of the top-level (level 1) contribution that a reply relates to. This lets you associate a group of contributions with a common discussion thread.

Additional fields containing the personal information of the participant may also be appended to the data table.

Data from the data table can be exported by clicking the 'Export' button at the top-right of the page. Data can be exported as either CSV or XLSX.

Data can be filtered on a number of attributes by clicking the 'Show Filters' button at the top of the page and adjusting the values. Any filters applied to the data table will persist in the data export.

Key actions

  • Under the Activity tab, select the Conversation Mode dropdown box.
  • Select between Threaded and Flat.
  • Select the blue Save button.

Using the Conversation tool, participants can be allowed to upload files such as images and documents along with their comment.

File size limits can be set differently for visitors (guests), or Members. For guests, the default maximum file size (for all attachments) is 1MB, and for Members it is 10MB. However, this can be adjusted under the File Attachments setting.

To enable file uploads:

  1. Navigate to the Advanced tab.
  2. Set File Attachments to on.
  3. Adjust the number of allowed attachments for guest users and registered users.
  4. Select the blue Save button.

Enabling participant voting allows Members to upvote or downvote other user comments. This feature is not available to unregistered visitors.

To enable participant voting:

  1. Navigate to the Activity tab and set Comment Voting to on.
  2. Select the blue Save button.

You can enable comments to be loaded in 'real-time' while a user is viewing the page. This feature is useful where you are facilitating discussions within a set period of time, and you want the interactions to synchronous.

Without this feature activated, users will need to manually refresh the page to see when new comments have been added.

To enable real time comments:

  1. Navigate to the Activity tab of the Conversation's settings
  2. Set the Real time comments option to on.
  3. Select the blue Save button.
  • On the front end of the tool, navigate to the comment.
  • Hover over the comment.
  • Select either Delete or Flag As Spam.
  • On the front end of the tool, navigate to the comment.
  • Hover over the comment.
  • Select Edit.
  • Once complete, select Save or select Cancel to discard changes.

  • Under Display navigate to the Progressive Loading section.
  • Toggle the feature to On.
  • Under Number to Display enter the number of comments to be shown before a Show More button that loads additional contributions is displayed.

Practice tips

  • Avoid confusion and visual clutter by restricting Conversation tools to one per page.
  • For instances where multiple Conversations are appropriate, use the Forum tool instead.
  • If using the Conversation tool for a live event, ensure you have enabled real time comments. This will mean participants don't have to keep refreshing their page to see the latest comment.