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IBM developerWorks Community Offerings

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Whitepaper on IBM developerWorks Community offerings

Whitepaper on IBM developerWorks Community offerings

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    IBM developerWorks Community Offerings IBM developerWorks Community Offerings Document Transcript

    • IBM developerWorks community offerings: Best practices to maximize your users’ community experience... IBM developerWorks community offerings: Best practices to maximize your users’ community experience Document version 1.0 Authors: Ami Dewar, Jason Clark, and Bob Leah
    • Contents Profiles .................................................................................................................................................................. 2 Realizing the full potential................................................................................................................ 2 Building the profile ........................................................................................................................... 2 Optimizing search.......................................................................................................................... 14 Making connections....................................................................................................................... 16 My Home ............................................................................................................................................................. 19 Personalization.............................................................................................................................. 19 Making meaningful recommendations............................................................................................ 24 Reinforcing brand loyalty ............................................................................................................... 26 Crowdsourcing .............................................................................................................................. 27 Groups ................................................................................................................................................................ 28 Stimulating organic growth ............................................................................................................ 28 Cultivating ownership .................................................................................................................... 28 Encouraging participation .............................................................................................................. 30 Making it relevant .......................................................................................................................... 31 Facilitating feedback...................................................................................................................... 36 Blogs ................................................................................................................................................................... 38 Identifying our community champions ............................................................................................ 38 Finding and interacting with blogs.................................................................................................. 38 Requesting a blog.......................................................................................................................... 40 Bookmarks .......................................................................................................................................................... 42 Improving the navigation of bookmarks.......................................................................................... 46 Recognizing user trends ................................................................................................................ 47 Activities .............................................................................................................................................................. 51 Teaming ........................................................................................................................................ 51 Managing the learning curve.......................................................................................................... 54 Ensuring accountability.................................................................................................................. 56 Glossary .............................................................................................................................................................. 61 IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS I
    • PROFILES Profiles Your electronic persona REALIZING THE FULL POTENTIAL Its often the first step and the lowest common denominator of the community experience, but undoubtedly, the profile plays the most important role in a successful social network. The more information we, as community managers, acquire about our users, the more we learn and this is the kind of knowledge that can pay huge dividends in our business. But not only do we realize the benefits, but the more that users reveal about themselves, the easier it is for them to find others and start communicating on a one-to-one level. It represents the most granular level of interaction. The profile is the user’s electronic persona, and if fully utilized, users can search for others with common interests, roles and skills or identify topic experts that could offer solutions to critical problems. The applications of the profile are endless, thus supporting the utmost need to offer a compelling profile experience with ongoing attention paid to expanding the features and functions offered within the profile. BUILDING THE PROFILE A well thought-out profile showcases the user, what their technical interests are, and why they have joined the developerWorks community and this information is invaluable for everyone with a stake in this community. We should definitely encourage and provide incentives for our users to fill out their profiles. The next few steps will identify the steps of creating a robust profile. While the actual creation of a profile is simple, a user should carefully consider the information they want to reveal about themselves. A completed profile is only as good as the quality of the information it contains. As the fields are populated, they should be cognizant of how others will use this information. Its critical to recognize that the profile is the primary vehicle that members of the community use to find and reach out to each other. The profile should be thought of as an electronic business card. How do users want others to view them? IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 2
    • PROFILES To edit the profile: 1. Choose Profiles from the IBM toolbar 2. Select the Edit my Profile tab on the profile application page 3. Select any of the five areas of the profile to update I. Contact information Contact information contains the basic data collected at the time of registration. In addition to the required registration fields, it contains optional contact information. This information is not publicly displayed in the profile. However, it can be used by IBM to recommend special promotions tailored to the user’s interests or role. To update any of these fields select IBM registration, this link will redirect to the IBM registration form as this information is maintained by IBM. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 3
    • PROFILES TIP: Keeping a valid and up-to-date email address is critical within My developerWorks. Many of the community applications have the capability to notify users of updates or broadcasts. For instance, a Group can notify its membership of a new article or call to action. The same goes for Activities, where notifications are sent to keep members current on key project dates or the completion of a task. Having a valid email will keep users abreast of all community events in real time. II. About me The About me section is all about personalization. This tab contains six categories that allow the user to select their interests, skills, professional role, and goals for their My developerWorks experience. Plus, the user has rich text fields to further elaborate on their professional expertise and personal background. This information is public and represents the real meat of the profile. It’s the basis for search and allows users to find and identify like-minded individuals. But, its also the information that we can use to further customize the user’s experience and make logical recommendations that are relevant to their selections. Each category is covered in detail below. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 4
    • PROFILES TIP: This is an important step. About Me has six categories that make up the heart of a user’s electronic persona. There are a series of selections pertinent to the developerWorks business designed to assist the user in describing their role, skills, interests and goals. The forms support multiple choices, encouraging users to make all the selections necessary to describe themselves accurately. In addition, About Me contains two rich text fields which afford the user the ability to describe themselves in their own words, with their own formatting. They can even include photos and web links. About me > My roles Encouraging users to identify their role is important. If we understand the primary roles held by our user base we can better select technical content to support these roles on developerWorks. And just as is the case with all the information collected from the user, these selections give us the basis for making relevant product, and skill development recommendations tailored to the individual and their specific role. Further, if users understand the roles other individuals play, they can use this information to facilitate cross-discipline teams to complete Activities or request like-minded individuals to join Groups. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 5
    • PROFILES TIP: Users can make selections from the pre-defined roles, or enter a role not specified in the Other field. About me > I’m skilled in Following a natural progression from roles, users are asked to identify their skills, with the likelihood that these skills support the very tasks required of them by their role, however, they may also be unrelated. Regardless, users can identify their skills at a high level, selecting just an IBM product brand or technical topic or they can filter their selection down to specific products within the brand or themes associated with the general technical topics. The skills list is based on two categories : 1. IBM products 2. Technical topic IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 6
    • PROFILES TIP: Skills are important to making connections within My developerWorks. Encouraging users to make focused selections will afford them the benefit of a community of diversely skilled practitioners, just as they will find value in congregating with users of similar affiliations. About me > My areas of interest Roles and skills pull from exactly the same list of IBM products and technical topics, however the context of their selection is very different. For some, their selections will be identical to skills, for others quite different. They don’t have to be skilled in a technical category to have an interest. Interests can represent technical areas in which the user is quite knowledgeable or concepts for which the user just has a general appreciation and wants to learn more. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 7
    • PROFILES About me > My goals What is better to understand about our users then their goal for what they are trying to accomplish while spending time on our website? The insight we can gain from understanding their goals, allows us to build learning paths and promote themes catered to those goals. If we can understand if they are using our community to solve a problem or to connect with their peers to grow and build a skill, we are that much farther along with how we provide the solution or scenario. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 8
    • PROFILES About me > My professional expertise & My biography and interests The real benefit of these fields is for the user. My professional expertise and My biography and Interests are simply the label to put the user’s input into context, otherwise, the sky’s the limit. This is the individual’s opportunity to describe themselves in their own words. Users control the formatting, add photos, customize their input however they want, within the confines of the rich text field. They should consider this an overview of their professional life, summarizing the expertise and knowledge they have gained through training, projects, research, work history, and other business-related activities. For example, quot;I've worked in a variety of industries, primarily in the area of warehouse logistics. I started with barcode programming, but now I focus on wireless solutions.quot; IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 9
    • PROFILES TIP: This is the fun part! Fully customizable, the rich text area allows the user to insert photos or other objects to describe themselves. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 10
    • PROFILES III. Photo Including a photo on a profile personalizes the experience. It’s a creative outlet for users to pictorially express themselves with either a real image or a caricature of how they want their colleagues to view them. It associates a real individual to the words on the screen giving them a presence in the community. The photo is associated with the user everywhere they make a contribution to the community. The photo should always be business-appropriate. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 11
    • PROFILES TIP: The photo appears everywhere the user contributes content within My developerWorks. Having an image helps differentiate users and allows them to standout as an individual, and not just another community artifact! IV. Pronunciation My developerWorks is a global community… as users interact with the larger community, understanding the pronunciation of their colleagues’ names is an important step to growing relationships. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 12
    • PROFILES V. Security information Security information contains information collected at the time of IBM registration. This information is not publicly displayed in the profile. To update any of these fields the user must select the link for IBM registration, this link will redirect them to the IBM registration form. VI. Favorite links Favorite links allow users to publically display other web addresses within their profile. It could be a link to their profile on another social network, a link to their personal blog or a favorite website. Ideal links are relevant to professional communities, organizations, business goals and interests. To add a favorite link 1. Within the Favorite links widget, click Add link and enter a URL. To remove a favorite link 2. Within the Favorite links widget click the X decorator associated with the link to delete. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 13
    • PROFILES TIP: Consider social networks, technical user groups, a personal blog or website or those of a favorite topic expert. Links should educate users about each other. Good examples are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. VII. Recent activity Recent activity is tracked automatically by My developerWorks applications. Recent activity provides a consolidated view of the user’s participation across the application suite. Users can track their involvement or quickly view someone else’s. OPTIMIZING SEARCH I. Tags IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 14
    • PROFILES Tagging is as simple as a user adding terms to their profile that are meaningful to them. However minute the task may appear, the value should never be considered minimal. Tags allow individuals to use their own vocabulary to describe their professional role, interests, and affiliations with 1-2 keywords. Tags are publicly displayed and aid significantly in findability as users can perform searches for each other via tags. Consider this the user’s meta data. Future functionality could allow us to further utilize tagging to associate users and their participation with other community artifacts. It opens the door to building a user reward system and incorporating badges. Using the tag widget is simple: 1. To add a tag, simply type the word into the text field and press enter. 2. To remove a tag, click the X decorator. TIP: Use an underscore between words to use a two word tag. II. Search From the Profile application, under the Search Profiles tab, users can search by name or keyword. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 15
    • PROFILES Clicking Advanced search options displays a number of fields to narrow the search results returned. Substitute “*” as a wildcard, for example: Dav* will result in a match for David or Dave. MAKING CONNECTIONS I. Colleagues IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 16
    • PROFILES Colleagues provide a way to electronically display and navigate the social network of associated users that have connected on My developerWorks. Connecting with a colleague: 1. View the profile of a colleague 2. Next to their profile picture, click Add to my colleagues 3. An invite is sent to the colleague to approve the connection Approving a colleague connection: 1. Within the Recent Colleagues widget click New invitations 2. Approve or reject the colleague request TIP: Connecting with colleagues is simple enough… but the question is often when and with who should a user make a connection? Best advice, start with known relationships. Then, as users participate in Groups or Activities, they may elect to make a connection with these peers. And of course, users should utilize the search function within profiles, looking for individuals who have similar goals, interests, and skills to invite as a colleague. II. The vCard A “vCard” is conveniently displayed anywhere the user’s name appears within the community. making it easy for colleagues to connect with one another. It’s associated with every piece of user contributed content. The vCard provides users with visibility and influence among their peers giving them quick access to each other the areas of the community they are active in. . IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 17
    • PROFILES TIP: The vCard is helpful in identifying where users are participating and who they are interacting with. To activate a vCard, hover over a user’s display name and click the link Click here to view business card. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 18
    • MY HOME My Home A personalized view of developerWorks community offerings A successful community model manages to attract diverse, and committed users and the content these users create cannot be replicated by marketing departments or editorial staff. But success is far from guaranteed. With so many social sites on the world wide web, everyone is competing for our users’ time and effort. As a result, communities that just rely on user contributions could be in a heap of trouble. It has to be a bit of give and take. We want users to spend time on developerWorks, so we must offer them the experience that makes them most likely to hang around. And who better to know what that is then themselves. Personalization is the key. Offering them a place they feel comfortable calling home is more than just the label on the page. If managed effectively it can mean the difference between becoming a destination and just another a pit stop off Google. PERSONALIZATION My home offers users a view of their activity within My developerWorks that only they have access to. While its up to them to realize the full potential that it offers, we need to listen to what it is they want to see, what formats they want to view it in (do they prefer a mobile accessible view, a desktop widget or the traditional website?), How they want the information presented (siloed per application and task or filtered by a more global view of what is going on across the entire community, vs. contributions by their colleagues, down to tasks completed and recommendations intended for just them), and what features would keep them coming back (theming, better widgets, ability to track their participation on other websites within My home– Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Linked in, etc). While much of these ideas represent future function, we need to always be considering how to stay on top of the curve, because the minute we become complacent, another site will be waiting in line to take our place. I. Customizing My Home My Home allows users to add and arrange widgets as best suits them, creating a unique landing page from which to navigate to all factions of My developerWorks. Plus, each widget offers multiple views that a user can configure. With so many options, My home can offer each user a unique experience catering to what is important to them. The first step is identifying which widgets to display, and the order in which they are to be arranged. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 19
    • MY HOME TIP: There are three widgets that are always displayed on My home: Announcements, Community Events, and My feeds. These widgets will not have a close decorator. Widgets that have been closed will exist in a minimized state on the right side of the page. To add a minimized widget to My home, grab the closed container and drag and drop it into position. Or select the open decorator (triangle) of a minimized widget and choose the position from the menu. TIP: Drag and drop is available for most of the widgets, allowing the user the ability to decide the best page layout for them. II. Changing the widget’s view Most widgets on My home have several different views and configuration options. There is a toolbar to the right of the widget’s title. The toolbar contains five icons representing possible actions. Selecting the icons will evoke the following responses: 1. Move – Re-position the widget on your home page via key selection, rather than drag and drop. (Left, Right, Up, Down) 2. Edit – Configure the widgets’ settings. The following sections detail the possible configuration settings. 3. Help – Quick tips to assist the user. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 20
    • MY HOME 4. Refresh – Refresh the contents of the individual widget. 5. Close – Minimize the widget to a closed state. III. General widgets (Activities, Blogs, Profile, Bookmarks, and Groups) The home page provides five general widgets that dynamically allow a user to follow their activity and that of others across My developerWorks. 1. Activities – Allows a user to display new responses, entries, and due dates for their activity items. The view can be altered to show a user’s private Activities or all public Activities. In addition, the user can configure the date and number of entries to display. When displaying a user’s private Activities, the calendar highlights dates assigned to “To Do” items, either overdue (RED) or upcoming (GREEN). Selecting the date will display additional details and allow a user to navigate directly to the Activity. 2. Blogs – This widget allows users to keep track of recent blog entries. It can be configured to show up to ten blog entries within a single view. Selecting a blog entry by title is a shortcut directly to the full entry. The star graphic and dialog bubble represent the number of user recommendations and comments respectively. Clicking on the blogger’s name will activate their vCard. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 21
    • MY HOME 3. Profiles – This widget provides a glimpse into a user’s profile, highlighting some personal data, key actions and pending colleague requests. The view can be toggled between basic profile data and the user’s colleagues. A search input field across the bottom, allows users to quickly search and find other individuals. Plus, a user can easily navigate back to their profile to make updates. 4. Bookmarks – This displays bookmarks in one of four views:  My Bookmarks - The user’s bookmarks.  Popular Bookmarks - Bookmarks that have been referenced most often.  My Watchlist – Bookmarks associated with a common tag or individual, that the user has elected to follow within My Bookmarks.. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 22
    • MY HOME  Recent Bookmarks – All My developerWorks bookmarks in descending order, beginning with the most recent additions Up to ten bookmarks can be displayed. Selecting a bookmark takes the user directly to the original earmarked webpage. “Details” provides additional information, including tags associated with the bookmark, in the convenience of a popup window. TIP: A user can add a bookmark to their own personal list of bookmarks by clicking Add to my bookmarks from within the popup window. 5. Groups – This widget displays either the user’s groups or all public groups. The widget lists up to ten groups and keeps the user up-to-date with recent changes within My developerWorks groups. A user can navigate directly to a Group from within the widget and a convenient popup shows additional details and a link to the Feeds, Bookmarks and Message Board associated with each listed Group. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 23
    • MY HOME MAKING MEANINGFUL RECOMMENDATIONS My home is the ideal platform for us to make individualized recommendations to the user. Whether we recognize their interests by the selections they choose, or build the functionality to understand them by means of the contributions they are making, how we market our products and likely next steps to the user can be presented as a much more natural progression to their learning if we understand where they stand on this path. I. My feeds widget This widget will display an entirely customizable view of feeds from nearly any entity within developerWorks. A user can select technologies or IBM brands, plus one or more artifact types, including articles, tutorials, and downloads. The My Feeds widget enables the user to selectively filter, from the vast amount of award-winning developerWorks content, information they find to be useful. This widget is dynamic, pushing the freshest content to the top of the list. Configuration is simple, yet allows the user to specify a date range, specific keywords to sort by, the number of entries to view and the areas they are interested in following. Selecting any result will lead the user directly to that content on developerWorks. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 24
    • MY HOME II. Community events widget The Community events widget is unique to My developerWorks, displaying upcoming technical events such as webcasts, technical briefings, podcasts and so on. The widget can be scoped to list only those events specific to one or more technical areas or IBM products of interest to the user. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 25
    • MY HOME REINFORCING BRAND LOYALTY We would be missing an invaluable marketing opportunity that no dollar amount could fairly assess, if we don’t take advantage of the captive audience and push announcements, ideas, highly rated content, and themes to our users within My home. I. Announcement widget This widget is maintained by developerWorks and used to message the community at large. This widget should be kept fresh and accurate with the latest happenings, or marketing themes we want to impart to our users. It’s a pipeline directly to every developerWorks user. This widget cannot be minimized or removed by the user. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 26
    • MY HOME CROWDSOURCING Opening the platform to the collective wisdom of our audience is the next logical step. Clearly, there is only so much time in the day and technical resources are never limitless, but our primary audience is developers, IT professionals, who for a living, build and support applications. Why not capitalize on the users willing to contribute features and functions that will benefit them, and undoubtedly thousands of others? Allowing them to contribute widgets that will surface the information they want to see within My home (and potentially beyond) can be a win-win for everyone. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 27
    • GROUPS Groups Create your own groups or join an existing group. While profiles are the cornerstone of community, groups play a critical role when it comes to establishing relationships and encouraging organic growth. Groups provide an outlet for people to interact, share ideas, add comments, tag content, and so on. Groups can be the optimal vehicle to drive many of the best practices for online community nurturing. It stands to reason that if My developerWorks provides this medium, seeds the user base with owners and subject matter experts and continues to fan the fire with new features, more incentives and ongoing support, groups, alone, could become one of our strongest community assets. STIMULATING ORGANIC GROWTH Groups reinforce the organic growth model. There is no barrier to create a group, no limits to joining a public group. Virtually no technical topic is off limits and no skill level is required. The best part is that as more groups take shape, and the collective energy of the masses is fixed on the My developerWorks global community, the trend will be contagious, resulting in a natural growth progression of community participation driven almost entirely by word of mouth and the enthusiam of our user base. CULTIVATING OWNERSHIP Its up to us as managers of the community to seed the community with owners, those who keep things moving, content fresh, groups established where there interest, dismantled where there is not. We need to develop and nuture a handful of external evangelists to carry the flame. It will be these devoted followers of developerWorks who will insite enthusiasm in the community and keep users coming back for more. I. Create a group 1. Choose “Start a group” button IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 28
    • GROUPS 2. Complete the form a. Name the group b. Choose group permissions c. Fill in the rich text field for description, d. Upload an image (optional) e. Add tags 3. Select “Save” to submit the form IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 29
    • GROUPS ENCOURAGING PARTICIPATION Trends show us that niche communities that are built around a particular emotional connection or cause recognized by users tend to become more cohesive and experience lower percentages of participation inequality. I. Join a group 1. Public groups visible from the All groups list – select “Join this group” button 2. Moderated groups – groups are designated public but users must request membership by selecting the “Request to Join this Group” button. 3. Private groups – A user must be added as a member by the group owner in order to join. II. View a group’s membership 1. Select “Members” in the left navigation 2. View all members in the membership list IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 30
    • GROUPS MAKING IT RELEVANT It’s a no brainer that there should be groups established to support every brand and technical topic central to developerWorks. And what better means of surfacing relevant content to our users on these very concepts then to post top rated articles and tutorials as bookmarks. Add tags, generate feeds and post topics that will draw in the audience to discover more, and drive them back out to developerWorks to learn more. Groups break down the walls by offering one place for users to congregate on a given topic, but providing them several different tools to learn. Within arm’s reach, there are tools that faciliate communication (message board, group messaging, membership), and those that promote discovery (feeds, bookmarks). These should be maximized in order for us to realize the full benefit of groups. I. Add a feed 1. Select a group 2. Select Feeds in the left navigation 3. Select “Add Feed” (Users must be a member of the group to add a feed) IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 31
    • GROUPS 4. Complete the form a. Feed: Paste in the URL of the feed b. Give the Feed an appropriate name c. Add a description d. Add tags e. Select “Save” to submit the form II. Add a bookmark IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 32
    • GROUPS 1. Select a group 2. Select “Bookmarks” in the left navigation 3. Select “Add Bookmark” (Users must be a member of the group to add a bookmark) 4. Complete the form a. Add the URL to the link b. Give the bookmark an appropriate name c. Add a description d. Designate the bookmark as important, if desired, important bookmarks will always display on the main page of the group. e. Add tags IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 33
    • GROUPS f. Select “Save” to submit the form III. Post to the message board 1. Select a group 2. Select “Message board” in the left navigation 3. Select “Post Topic” 3b. Complete the form to post a topic IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 34
    • GROUPS a. Add a subject for the topic b. Fill in the rich text field for message c. Select “Save” to submit the topic 4. Select an existing topic 4b. Choose to “Reply” to the topic (or “Edit | Delete” if the user posted the original message) IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 35
    • GROUPS TIP: Content is king. Keeping content fresh is the easiest way to keep users coming back for more. And if your content is interesting and appealing enough, people will be more inclined to contribute. FACILITATING FEEDBACK Groups are an ideal place to facilitate feedback. We need to take advantage of the message boards within the group environment to understand the interests of our audience. These are a perfect real-time user test, allowing us to understand what they want, what they like, or don’t like whether it be about our community environement or about another IBM product or technology. Its critical for us to earmark and follow these conversations as this is where the rubber often meets the road – down in the trenches of basic interaction from user to user. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 36
    • GROUPS Groups are more about user interaction, user involvement and less about marketing. This is an open landscape where we can follow their trends and better understand our user base in order to make more intelligent decisions within our business. I. Subscribe to the message board, Feeds or Bookmarks 1. Within Message Board, Feeds or Bookmarks, users can choose “Subscribe to this X” in order to subscribe to the RSS feed of the artifact. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 37
    • BLOGS Blogs Follow community champions or become one yourself IDENTIFYING OUR COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS The blogosphere is comprised of many software developers and IT professionals from all over the globe. These technical experts use developerWorks blogs as a way of communicating news and information that is essential to our audience. Often times, our bloggers describe concrete ways of utilizing IBM products and services, which then lead to discussions on broader topics, such as open-source technologies, and software as a service methodologies. Blogging is an essential part of My developerWorks. It allows our community members to share their thoughts, expertise and ideas on topics that are important them, as well as engage in relevant conversations with each other. My developerWorks blogs feature a tagging system and a recommendation feature, so that our community members may appropriately categorize their discussions, in addition to rating the value of the blog posts generated by the community. FINDING AND INTERACTING WITH BLOGS Locating bloggers and interacting with a blogger n My developerWorks is quite easy. 1. Click the Blogs Link from the top navigation bar. This will display the Blogs Landing page. From the landing page the most recent blog entries, most recommended blogs, most commented, and most visited are displayed on the right side of the page.
    • BLOGS 2. Users can track the Most Recent, Most Recommended, Most Commented, and Most Visited blog posts in recent history. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 39
    • BLOGS 3. The My developerWorks blog entries and blog comments also support subscriptions through RSS feeds. You can subscribe to the blog entries or comments by clicking on the appropriate RSS icon: 4. Tag cloud searches can also be leveraged in order to narrow blog posts searches down to a specifc area of interest. Bloggers are the community champions, they are the contributors generally representing a small minority, yet their words sometimes have more credibility in the eyes of users then even the corporate generated content. These individuals are our strongest asset and we need to treat them as such. My developerWorks has a low barrier to entry, If a user would like to create a blog within the My developerWorks community, all they have to do is request one. REQUESTING A BLOG 1. Find the My Blog tab from the My developerWorks: Blogs application. Once the user is logged in they may request a blog via the “create a blog” link. 2. Send a blog request email to the developerWorks Blog Administrator IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 40
    • BLOGS 3. Once a user has been granted permission to host a blog in the My developerWorks community, they can start their blog by simply clicking a link. Its as easy as that. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 41
    • BOOKMARKS Bookmarks Share and follow with others of interest Bookmarks are a convention widely recognized as a result of internet browsers and websites such as Digg and del.icio.us. The practice of bookmarking allows users to categorize and organize their collection of favorite links. Anyone who has saved more than a handful of links can see the benefit, its like putting a bunch of items in a shared folder. Bookmarks are a way for users to contribute knowledge and information to the benefit of everyone else, allowing their expertise or interests to be reviewed organically through their contributions. By offering the ability for users to bookmark, we are facilitating the sharing of ideas and resources, thus promoting the simplest form of passive collaboration within the community. I. How to bookmark 1. Select the link in the footer “How to bookmark” 2. Follow the direction to add the plugin to either Internet Explorer or Firefox.
    • BLOGS 3. Find a URL to bookmark. 4. Select the plug-in link in the browser toolbar 5. Complete the form in the bookmark popup to add the bookmark IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 43
    • BLOGS II. Sharing a bookmark 1. Find any bookmark 2. Select “Show detail” 3. Select “Notify other users” 4. Complete the form with the user’s name and a brief comment IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 44
    • BLOGS 5. Select “Send notice” III. Adding a bookmark to a group, blog or activity 1. From within the “add a bookmark” form – select the tab for blogs, activities or groups 2. Select the specific group, blog or activity to add the bookmark. Only the groups, blogs or activities that the user has joined or created will be displayed. 3. Include a message or description to accompany the bookmark IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 45
    • BLOGS IMPROVING THE NAVIGATION OF BOOKMARKS Adding tags to bookmarks provides supplemental navigation for users. We’ve learned that allowing a user to label their contributions with keywords from their own vocabulary results in a folksonomy that users can understand and appreciate. While tagging is a low threshold activity, each tag represents another possible doorway to a resource or a jumping-off point to find related tags and content. I. Adding a tag to a bookmark 1a. Tags can be added at the time the bookmark is added or 1b. A user can edit their bookmarks from any of the lists. 2b. Select “Show details” and choose “Edit” IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 46
    • BLOGS 3b. Add tags to the bookmark from the “Edit bookmark” screen RECOGNIZING USER TRENDS Analyzing bookmarks contributed by users also provides a way for us to discover trends and behaviors that we might not otherwise have noticed. What are the most popular subjects? How did users tag this content? What other sites or content did they reveal as significant relative to their roles, skills, interests and goals? We can make basic assumptions as to what motivates our users, and what keeps them engaged according to the links they earmark for further evaluation or future use. I. Most popular bookmarks 1. Select the “Popular” tab 2. View links bookmarked most often or 3. View bookmarks users notified each other about the most IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 47
    • BLOGS II. Watching people and tags 1. Select a tag from the cloud or list in the left column of the page. Search for a tag by entering it in the input field. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 48
    • BLOGS 2. View all the bookmarks associated with that tag. 3. Select “Add to Watchlist” to follow all links associated with the tag Or 1. Select a user from the list within the “People” module or Search for a specific user by entering their name in the input field IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 49
    • BLOGS 2. View all the bookmarks associated with that individual 3. Select “Add to Watchlist” to follow all links that the user bookmarks IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 50
    • ACTIVITIES Activities Collaborate with peers on community projects Communities will always fight the battle of the contributor and participant versus the non-active guest or lurker. The numbers are staggering with only 1% of users actually contributing as compared to 90%+ consuming. Its important for community managers to make every effort to lower the bar of entry, yet recognize that no matter what the level of engagement, users must coexist within the community in order for everyone to reap the rewards. Activities run the gamut, offering users anywhere on the spectrum of low threshold contributions to high engagement, an opportunity to participate and add to the collective intelligence of the greater community. TEAMING Just as groups encourage collaboration surrounding a common interest, role or skill, activities are a teaming exercise, but tied to a task. It could be as simple as a document review, or as a complex as an in-depth project plan. It can be private among a select group of users, or designated as public, open for contributions from anyone. The breadth of Activities is endless, it can be internalized as a workgroup vehicle or utilized as a general feedback mechanism. Who are we as community managers to limit the creativity of its potential use, but rather, we should encourage and reinforce this teaming principle, by means of basic instruction, best practices, and template creation. I. Creating an activity 1. Login and Select the “Start an Activity” button 2. Complete the form
    • ACTIVITIES a. Add a title for the Activity b. Describe the Activity goal c. Add tags to improve findability d. Assign a due date e. Consider “Member options” and “Template options” II. Adding members 1. An activity owner can add members when they set up the activity or 2. Open up the activity and select “Add members” from the link in the “Members” module in the left nav. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 52
    • ACTIVITIES 3. A member can be designated as an Author, Owner or Reader III. Designating visibility 1. An owner can designate the permissions of the activity once it has been established. By default, all Activities are private until visibility is altered. 2. Open the Activity and select “Change” within the “Members” module in the left nav. 3. An activity can be private, public or public with read-only access IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 53
    • ACTIVITIES MANAGING THE LEARNING CURVE Activities maximizes the idea of “don’t create, edit”, offering users less of an excuse to avoid participation. Users can build their contributions within Activities by modifying existing templates rather than creating complete entities from scratch. Editing a template is no doubt more enticing and has a gentler learning curve than facing the horror of a blank activity. I. Utilizing templates 1. When an activity is created, the owner can select an existing template to use as a model for their activity. All available templates will be displayed within the “Template options” section. 2. An activity owner can also make a copy of their Activity and save it as a template. a. Select the Activity to copy. b. Choose “More actions” drop and select “Copy as new template” from the drop-down IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 54
    • ACTIVITIES 3. Select the “Activity templates” tab a. Browse existing templates or filter the list by tags b. Select an activity c. Choose “More” and select “Start Activity from this Template” IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 55
    • ACTIVITIES ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY A team is only as successful as its members. At times, however, users need a slight nudge to prompt contributions or completion of tasks assigned. Activities has the built in tools to gently prod a user to maintain due dates, leave a comment, stay in-tune with the general happenings of their activities and expected participation. I. Adding a section 1. Open the Activity 2. Select “Add Section” 3. Add a label to the Section II. Adding an entry 1. Open the Activity 2. Select “Add entry” IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 56
    • ACTIVITIES a. Write a title for the entry b. Add a description in the rich text field c. Add appropriate tags to describe the entry d. Designate a Section for the entry e. Select the notification features appropriate for the entry III. Adding a To Do Item 1. Open the Activity 2. Select “Add To Do Item” IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 57
    • ACTIVITIES 3. Label the “To Do” item 4. Select “More options” to assign it to another Activity member, designate a due date, add a description, tags and select a Section. III. Adding a comment 1. Open any entry in an Activity and select “Add comment” 2. Users can also respond to another user’s comment IV. Completing a task and activity 1. A user can mark a “To Do” item complete by selecting the checkbox IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 58
    • ACTIVITIES 2. An owner of an activity can mark an activity complete by selecting “Mark Activity Complete” V. Deleting an activity 1. An owner is able to delete an Activity by selecting “More Actions” and choosing “Delete Activity” 2. A deleted Activity or entry may be retrieved from the Trash up until the point the Trash is permanently emptied by the community administrator. IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 59
    • ACTIVITIES IBM DEVELOPERWORKS COMMUNITY OFFERINGS 60
    • Glossary Bookmarks Stored Web page locations (URLs) that can be retrieved. Plugin A hardware or software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system. Profile Information provided by the user that is stored by the application. Some information is publically displayed which other information is considered private data. Online A virtual meeting place for people on the Internet. Designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration among people community who share common interests and needs. Rich text Text that is formatted with common formatting options, such as bold and italics, that are unavailable with plain text. RSS Feed A family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content in a standardized format. Social network The personal or professional set of relationships between individuals. Tags A label associated with something for the purpose of identification Widget A small programs which are written to make an application or service perform in a specific way.
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