As the leading provider of online community solutions, we at Jive Software have our ﬁngers on the pulse of what’s
happening with new developments in Web technology and usage. Our observations led us to create Clearspace, a
phenomenal team collaboration solution that will revolutionize the way your company does business.
In this document, we explain the latest Web trends and technologies, and how Clearspace integrates them into a single
solution for use inside the enterprise. We also offer best practices for using Clearspace’s next-generation Web-based
capabilities to your business advantage. Finally, we provide guidelines for organizing your content, encouraging user
participation, gaining executive buy-in, addressing some likely challenges, and demonstrating a return on your investment.
Content Type: Blogs ..............................................................5
Content Type: Discussions ....................................................6
Content Type: Collaborative Documents ...............................7
Content Type: Proﬁles ...........................................................8
Understanding the User Types ..............................................8
Selecting Permissions to Assign to Users and Groups .........9
Leverage Existing User Authentication Systems ...................9
RSS Feeds and Email Notiﬁcations ....................................10
Getting Executive Buy-in .....................................................12
Encouraging Participation ...................................................12
In Closing ............................................................................13
Instant messaging and online presence that allow
you to communicate immediately with someone
Right under your nose, as you’ve been sifting through because you can see that they are online.
mountains of email, struggling to ﬁnd information on a
shared drive, and googling the Internet for information, a
revolution has been quietly taking place. A revolution that
is fundamentally changing the way we use the Web. This
revolution has turned the Web into a place where you
Even before Andrew McAfee, Associate Professor at the
ask questions and get answers in online communities,
Harvard Business School, coined the term “Enterprise
collaborate on projects, subscribe to news and information
2.0” in the spring of 2006, we at Jive Software recognized
you need, and express opinions. In this new Web, you
the tremendous potential that these Enterprise 2.0 tools
can also share your knowledge with the world, ﬁnd others
had for the business environment. The potential to create
with similar interests or expertise, see online presence
a central repository for the collective intelligence of an
information and communicate with others instantly in real
enterprise, and to create it in such a way that information
time. The Web has become a place where the individual
could be retrieved. The potential to identify subject matter
actually has a voice and can participate. Collectively, these
experts within the enterprise. The potential to make team
tools deﬁne the second generation of the Web known
collaboration far more efﬁcient and, quite honestly, fun.
as Web 2.0, where Web 1.0 was the traditional web site
A way to transform the way businesses do business
and homepage—a one-way street where individuals or
by taking advantage of the collective intelligence of all
corporations posted information, and web users could
employees in the enterprise.
only review the material. In contrast, Web 2.0 tools and
capabilities include collaboration technologies such as:
Many Jive customers have used our discussion forums
Blogs, where you can express ideas and and classic knowledge base tools for internal business
opinions—from product development schedules collaboration purposes. Such practical application of
to what you considered during product design these tools within the business further supported our
to ideas for a new marketing campaign—and for assumptions about their potential. These customers
others to provide feedback on those thoughts. asked us to build a product that integrated the Web 2.0
technologies described above, while simultaneously
Forums, an online community where you can ask providing the security, scalability, reliability and control
questions and get answers from other community mechanisms required for modern business practices. We
members about anything from how to change listened. Clearspace combines blogs, wikis, forums, RSS,
an investment allocation in your 401K plan to and tagging capabilities with additional innovative features
installing Oracle’s latest database on the RedHat into a thoughtfully designed team collaboration solution
Linux operating system. for the business environment—one that understands your
company’s most important asset, employees, and their
Wikis, an online space where you can
collaboratively author content with others, giving
credit to contributors and keeping track of versions
The following sections further discuss these tools in the
as the content evolves.
context of best practices and approaches that enable you
RSS feeds that allow you to determine what to work, communicate, and collaborate with others more
content you receive based on your needs and effectively. With that in mind, the ﬁrst question to address
interests, and how you receive it—via email, in is organizing your content in the system.
your personalized browser page, or within the
company’s main intranet or Web page.
Tagging, the phenomenon of associating keywords
with Web content so that you and others who
use similar descriptive language can ﬁnd or later
retrieve the content. Tagging is classiﬁcation by
the user, and not by a formal taxonomist.
We designed Clearspace to be as ﬂexible as possible
so that you could determine the best way to set up your
online community. To organize your content you need to
understand the content hierarchy: space > sub-space
> tag group. You can have deeper sub-spaces with tag The hierarchy terms “space” and “sub-space” provide a
groups—the depth of your sub-spaces depends on how structure for the content based on logical divisions within
many logical divisions you need. the organization. Users upload, create, and tag content
within these areas. In contrast, tag groups dynamically
When planning your spaces think about the reasons group that content based on a set of deﬁned tags. This
users will come to the online community and the way in dynamic categorization of content is especially useful
which your organization is structured by functional area, because logical divisions of content often emerge over
project, or topic. Each space and sub-space can have time as users add content.
different sets of user permissions, so you can control
user access and capabilities at each level. You can also When you create or upload content within a speciﬁc space,
expose portions of the space to external partners using that content cannot be shared with or tagged within other
Clearspace’s powerful and secure permissioning system. spaces. This same content sharing and tagging construct
We will describe permissions in greater detail later in this applies to sub-spaces. Because tagging and tag groups
document. are so critical to retrieving and dynamically categorizing
information, be extremely deliberate when creating your
Typically an internal community is organized by functional space, sub-space, and structure. Make sure you do not
area. You could set up spaces and tag groups to mirror accidentally wall off or silo content in a space or sub-
these areas. For example: space that actually needs to be shared with and tagged
within other areas. Creating the ideal space structure
Marketing (space) may take some time; fortunately, Clearspace’s powerful
Marketing Communications (sub-space) search capabilities still ensure that you can ﬁnd relevant
We recommend the following approaches when planning
your content structure:
Product Management (sub-space)
Use a space to group multiple concepts or functional
areas. The example above creates spaces based on
business divisions or departments.
Avoid creating too many sub-spaces. As mentioned
Channel Sales (sub-space) above, you lose one of the main beneﬁts of tagging—
dynamic categorization of data related to a particular
topic—when you wall off or silo content.
Business Development (sub-space) Create a more general hierarchy to start with. Once you
launch your space, its users will show you how they want
and need data categorized based on tags.
Direct Sales (sub-space)
Start with more general topics. General topics make
it easier to manage your content as your tags and tag
groups expand and divide over time.
Human Resources (space)
Use tags in the following ways to get the most from this
In the previous section, we discussed tagging and tag
groups in the context of setting up your space. This section Use tags to ﬁnd similar or related content. Referring
provides additional insight into and best practices for using to the above example, ﬁnd additional content related to
tagging and tag groups. In Clearspace, content authors can organizational goals by examining all the tags people
tag their content with words or terms to categorize where associated with the strategic plan document. Most likely,
that content displays within the system and to help users you will ﬁnd other terms that relate to the concept of
locate that content in future searches. In some respects, organizational goals. In this case, the tags company_goals
tags function much like keywords do in other knowledge and long_range_planning appear relevant. By clicking on
management systems; however, one of the primary failings either tag, you would likely ﬁnd the type of content you
of old-school knowledge management conventions is were looking for.
that information becomes siloed and difﬁcult to ﬁnd. The
effective use of tags allows you to overcome this issue Use tag groups to dynamically group content related
because content is automatically categorized by community to a discrete topic. In the above example, if you wanted
members with the terms they use to describe the content. to ﬁnd all content related to overall company plans, an
In addition, content can reside in different logical groups administrator could create a tag group called Company
using tag groups. Although Clearspace provides extensive Planning and specify the following tags for the group:
search capabilities, we recommend tagging all content to focus_areas, strategic_plan, goals, objectives, long_range_
greatly enhance information retrieval. planning, company_goals. Now any documents, blog posts,
or discussions tagged with any of these words would be
In Clearspace you can add tags to individual blog threads, listed by simply selecting that tag group.
discussion threads, and documents. Any time a user adds
a tag, that tag word is added to Clearspace’s complete Use the Popular Tags list to quickly tag content.
tags list. Clearspace displays the most frequently used Clearspace displays this list on each space and sub-space
tags in a “tag cloud” called “Popular Tags,” with the tags page, as well as at the bottom of the page when you are
that are assigned to more content having a larger font and editing content. To tag content when editing or creating it,
located near the front of the list. When you click a tag from click any appropriate tags in the list of Popular Tags that
the Popular Tags list or the complete Tags list, Clearspace appears just beneath the Tags editable text box.
then generates a collection of any content within the space
tagged with that word. Use the tag clouds from the Popular Tags list and the
Tags list to quickly locate groups of related content.
For example, if a strategic planning team co-authors the Select a single tag within a tag cloud to display a collection
organization’s strategic plan, each contributor would add of content associated with that tag. The larger font size of
the tags that best describe the document. One person popular tags in a tag cloud is a useful way to see concepts
could associate the tags strategic_plan and focus_areas. and terms that have been democratically “voted” on by the
Another could associate the tags strategic_plan, goals, community.
and objectives. And a third could associate the tags
long_range_planning and company_goals. All terms would Develop an enterprise vocabulary. This actually happens
be added to the tag list, so any user could click any of the automatically as Clearspace identiﬁes popular tags. You
associated tags from either the complete tag list or Popular can easily pick out the tags that are most used by their font
Tags list, to display a list of content that would include the size in a tag cloud: the larger the font, the more content
strategic plan document. associated with that tag. As employees review and access
content from the Popular Tags list, they discover what the
majority of employees call something, and an enterprise
vocabulary tends to emerge.
Clearspace provides four main types of content that you
A blog, or Web log, is essentially an online journal. People
use blogs to document almost any topic imaginable,
can include in any space: blogs, collaborative documents,
including their opinions, plans, product reviews, and vision
threaded discussions and proﬁles. In the following sections
for the future. People can read blog posts, comment on
we describe each content type and discuss how you can
them, and even link to them from within their own blogs
leverage the unique characteristics of each to work more
with a “trackback.” Blogs are often free to create and
use, and typically provide templates in which people can
easily post text, images, audio, and even video. Blogs
remove the barrier of having to know how to create a Web
page to be able post to the Web. As a result, blogs have
become extremely popular over the past four or ﬁve years.
As users add content, the differences between Your Clearspace administrator manages blogs with user
a blog, a discussion, and a document become permissions, enabling all or just a subset of your users to
important as guides for choosing the best format. have personal blogs. Your administrator can also set up
Use the following as a guide to understanding what space-level or team blogs, which allow multiple users to
characterizes each. contribute to a single blog within a space.
In Clearspace, a blog is an online place to provide
information or express opinions. Unlike discussions or
documents, blogs are visible across communities; several
spaces can subscribe to a speciﬁc individual’s or group’s
Use a discussion as a forum to ask questions and receive
answers. For example, a Human Resources (HR) manager
could use the Discussion area to prompt a discussion
among other HR employees by asking the question, “How
Discussion should we structure our job-sharing policy?” Responses
from the other HR employees help the HR manager
develop a draft policy. At that point the HR manager could
post the main points of the draft policy in a blog and pay
attention to employee comments to see if they would
support the policy.
Businesses use blogs to communicate with the public and
Wiki Document to communicate internally. Although this section focuses
on internal blog use, public-facing blogs serve several
To bridge the gap between customer and company
by letting the customer feel that their views and
input are important and help inﬂuence company
To foster innovation for the company through input
from customers passionate about that company’s
products or services.
To increase search engine rankings due to the
volumes of fresh content containing keywords and
links from other blogs or sites—all key factors in
search engine algorithms.
Within the organization, blogs serve a very different led successful marketing campaigns, or generally retain
purpose—chief among them is to capture and maintain knowledge in their heads critical to the organization’s
valuable employee knowledge and thought processes. competitive advantage. If these employees leave the
Employees use blogs to post information, comment company, their knowledge leaves with them. Encourage
on posts, and access those interactions from a single these employees to blog so that their knowledge is always
place. If your administrator provides you the appropriate available from the central repository.
permissions, you can quickly set up a personal blog
through your proﬁle. You can access an alphabetical list If you decide to have public-facing blogs we recommend
of all blogs in your space by clicking spaces from the the following:
navigation menu at the top, and then selecting Blogs.
Alternatively, open a user’s proﬁle and click their personal Choose a good company representative. A corporate
blog, or open a team blog from within a space. To post to blogger should be somebody who is a good writer, is
your personal blog, click the New > Blog Post from the knowledgeable about the company or the topic being
menu at the top of the page or post directly from your blogged about, and has a little charisma. A sense of humor
proﬁle. is almost always a good thing for a blog, but above all, be
Before setting up a personal or team blog in Clearspace, Post regularly. Many blog fans check their favorite blogs
determine what you hope to achieve through its use— daily. At a minimum, Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate
perhaps even use your blog to share your thoughts. The Blogging Book, recommends that you post at least twice a
following list provides some possible beneﬁts and ideas for week. If you don’t have a single employee who has time to
using blogs to reap those beneﬁts. blog regularly, consider forming a blogging team to share
Reduce email use/abuse. Use your blog instead of email the responsibility, or even consider hiring a writer/editor to
to post information and receive feedback. Send an initial serve as your corporate blogger.
email to employees you want to read the post, include a
link to the post, and request that all further communication Respond to customer comments quickly. Make sure
occurs within the blog. Blogs help users locate information customers know someone is paying attention to what they
more easily because the communication occurs in a single say by responding to their comments quickly. Also reward
linear thread, not in multiple email threads. them for providing feedback. Send them company hats, t-
shirts, or even coupons for a product discount.
Manage project communications. Conduct project
communications via a team blog—post progress reports,
issues encountered, and links to relevant information. Add
Forums, called “discussions” in Clearspace, provide a
tags to blog entries to enable users to easily retrieve the
medium in which you can post questions and receive
business processes and knowledge captured by the team
answers from other users. Discussions enable you to
overcome the handicap inherent to static knowledge
resources—running into a dead end when search results
Tag blog entries for better information retrieval. Add
don’t answer your question or deliver relevant content.
tags to blog posts to make information highly retrievable
With discussions, when a traditional search fails to deliver
from Clearspace. Later in this document, we discuss tags
the information you need, you can post your question to
more fully, and how they can be best used in Clearspace.
the broader community. Unlike blogs, discussions support
multiple, or branched, threads as people respond to
Moderate blogs with a light touch. Establish general
comments on the original question. To start a Clearspace
blogging guidelines and post them, along with your
blogging policy, but then back away and let employees discussion, click New > Discussion from the top menu.
blog and comment. If someone posts or comments
inappropriately, deal with the employee directly, Use discussions in the following ways to get the most from
quickly, and perhaps even visibly, and then remove the this feature.
unacceptable content. A swift and visible response clariﬁes
your company’s position on such behavior. Find answers to questions. For example, if a sales
person needs feedback on how to demo a speciﬁc product
Encourage members of your braintrust to blog. Each feature, he could post a question to the Sales team: “Has
organization has a few people who have been with the anybody developed a good approach to demonstrating
organization the longest, developed the most patents,
feature X to clients?” As sales team members respond, a
rich discussion develops with ideas useful to all sales team
Without a doubt, today’s most popular collaborative
Reduce email use/abuse. Companies often use email to document site, or wiki, is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org),
ask questions of larger groups of people, many of whom the online encyclopedia authored by anyone who wants
have no need to be on the email. In addition, emails to contribute to it. According to Wikipedia’s December
generate multiple threads with duplicate information due to 18, 2006, entry, a wiki is “a type of Web site that allows
reply-to-all and email forwarding features. With Clearspace the visitors to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit
discussions, a question and all responses reside in one content.” In addition to content such as text, wiki entries
place. often include links to related articles, blog entries, and
references. Because wikis support multiple authors
Assess content usefulness. Clearspace includes a and editors, popular views and new terminology tend to
feature that allows the person who posted the question emerge. Because of their ﬂexibility, wikis can also quickly
to mark a response as “Helpful” or “Correct.” Encourage become confusing. Wikis traditionally have very little in the
employees to use this feature because it helps others way of content or structure permissions control. It is not
quickly locate the valuable responses within a discussion unusual for the structure of wikis to become inconsistent
thread. In addition, employees receive points when their and ﬁnding relevant information becomes difﬁcult. Because
responses are marked as Helpful or Correct, and these of these challenges, Clearspace was designed to allow
points give them status within the community through organizations to control the structure and workﬂow of
Clearspace status levels. information deliberately, making it a more productive and
safe collaborative solution.
Convert discussions into documents. Because
employees use discussion to work through questions, Clearspace provides two ways for people to collaborate on
issues, share ideas, and provide information, discussions documentation: File-based and Collaborative (wiki style).
capture important organizational knowledge. When
combined with reader comments and further author File-based Content Collaboration is the traditional
responses, blogs form the basis for an information-ﬁlled document management system in which you check out a
paper. For example, if customers ﬂood a customer service ﬁle (any ﬁle type, not just text-based) edit it locally on your
department with complaints about a defective product, a computer, and then upload the edited version to the ﬁle
customer service representative could use discussions management system. The system automatically creates a
to collaborate with colleagues to successfully resolve the new version of the ﬁle, but provides access to all previous
issue. When additional representatives comment with versions. In Clearspace, to add a new ﬁle to the system’s
what worked for them and someone turns the discussion central repository select New > Document from the menu
thread into a document and edits it, the customer service at the top, select Upload File as the Document Type, click
department has an internal best practices document for the Create New Document button, browse to it on your
handling the issue and an external article their clients computer, and then click Publish.
can use. Adding these converted threaded discussions to
FAQs and the organization’s knowledge base ensures that Collaborative Documents (wiki-style) in Clearspace are
information and knowledge is used and reused effectively text-based documents created, edited, and stored within
throughout an organization. Clearspace. In the long run, collaborative documents may
be best for co-authoring text-based documents because
Tag, tag, tag. In Clearspace, leverage the power of authors can’t forget to upload their changed versions, as
tagging to maximize search by encouraging users to tag they can with ﬁle-based documents.
all discussions they initiate and any documents they create
from threaded discussions. With both types of documents, Clearspace ensures
that users can’t overwrite each others’ edits; when a
Moderate in moderation. Because discussions, like blogs, user checks out a ﬁle for editing, the ﬁle locks out other
are internal, we recommend that you inform employees contributors until the user editing it checks it in.
of the corporate guidelines and policies for discussions.
Avoid moderating a post unless it is clearly out of line.
When employees know that you trust them, they rarely
disappoint you. If anything, moderation should only amount
to suggestions that help people stay on topic.
when a document has multiple stakeholders, and each
Clearspace makes wiki-style authoring ideal for the wants to ensure that the document includes speciﬁc
business environment by including features that support information or viewpoints.
the natural workﬂow found when multiple people are
required to contribute to, review, and approve documents Tag document entries. Request that employees tag
before publishing. Although users can upload ﬁles other documents or ﬁles they create, upload, edit, or review.
than documents, you will primarily use these workﬂow Impress upon them that tagging allows them to retrieve
features with text-based documents. Both ﬁle-based and documents more easily.
collaborative documents support these workﬂow features.
Upload existing content to the central repository.
Add Collaborators. When a user creates or uploads a ﬁle, Before you had Clearspace, your organization stored its
the ﬁrst decision they make is whether or not the document content on shared drives and on various employee local
will be co-authored, needs reviewers, or must be approved drives. Once you launch Clearspace, ask employees
before publishing. Clearspace documents allow the to upload all valuable documents from their computer
original “Creator” of the document to add collaborators— into the central repository, and then consider assigning
Authors, Reviewers, and Approvers—to their document. individuals to upload material from shared drives and other
Authors can edit the document, Reviewers can read it backup sources. Set aside time for employees to upload
and provide feedback, and Approvers must all sign off documents so they don’t feel that they’re taking time away
on the document before it can be published publicly. The from more pressing work.
ability to add collaborators depends on whether or not
the administrator has left this feature open to all users. Rate documents to help indicate which are most
In most organizations, the authority to author and decide valuable. Encourage users to use Clearspace’s rating
what information gets published, or deemed “approved” system to assign a value of one to ﬁve stars to indicate a
by the organization, is limited to speciﬁc individuals. In document’s usefulness. Clearspace averages these ratings
Clearspace, the administrator creates permissions for and associates it with the document to help viewers quickly
Communities and assigns rules on who can author and determine if other employees considered a document
approve documents. valuable.
Use Feedback Mechanisms. As collaborators on a
document edit and review the document, they can In large organizations, locating experts can be difﬁcult.
provide feedback, explain what they changed, or initiate Employees can be in different buildings, states, or
discussions in the Author Discussion area below the even countries. The sheer number of employees can
document. Once the author receives necessary approvals make ﬁnding subject matter experts all but impossible.
and publishes the document, they can receive further Clearspace user proﬁles, along with user status levels and
feedback from additional readers via the Document document ratings, assist employees in locating the experts
Comments area, also found just below the document. within their organization.
Review Versions with Track Changes. Clearspace saves
each version of a document so that authors can compare Take advantage of Clearspace user proﬁles in the following
any two versions to see what was changed. If necessary, ways to locate organization experts.
an author can revert to an earlier version.
Review user status levels and content ratings/
assessments. Understand which users provide the most
In addition to using the collaborative authoring workﬂow valuable content by looking at the discussion author’s
features included in Clearspace, you should consider assessment of other collaborator’s posts as either “Helpful”
applying the following best practices and approaches. or “Correct.” In Clearspace users accumulate points for
how much they participate and the how valuable their
Co-author papers. Clearspace documents are ideal for contributions are. These points help determine their status
co-authoring when individuals are responsible for portions level in the system. Glance at an employee’s user status
of a document. For example, if a team is applying for a level to see if the broader community considers that person
grant, create a basic outline with placeholder headers, to be a valuable contributor.
add collaborators as authors, and request that co-authors
develop individual sections such as the background,
objectives, plan, and budget. Co-authoring is also useful
Include additional ﬁelds in user proﬁles. Administrators with a guest or to allow anonymous access. Anyone
can increase the ability to accurately search for experts permissions are a blanket set of permissions for anyone
by adding ﬁelds to the default set of ﬁelds in user proﬁles. who visits. Think hard about what you want people to be
These ﬁelds can be required or optional, and may be able to do anonymously, but weigh that against the need to
presented as a pick list or in an editable text box. For engage people to encourage them to participate.
example, if someone wants to locate a patent lawyer within
their organization, include Title as a user proﬁle ﬁeld to A Registered User is someone who has entered your online
allow users to search for employees with a title of Lawyer community’s required registration information. Registered
or Patent Lawyer. Users permissions are globally assigned permissions
you give to anyone who registers. Participants must be
Include contact information in proﬁles. Ask employees registered in order to participate in threaded discussions.
to include location and phone contact information so that
those who want to communicate with individuals in person Although you can assign a registered user permissions
or on the phone have quick access to necessary contact as an individual, forming user groups and assigning
information within Clearspace. permissions to groups saves time because you can add
and remove permissions to multiple users simultaneously.
Recognize who does the work. As a manager, view
user status levels and the actual content your employees Determine the user groups you’ll need before launching the
contribute to gauge which employees are adding the most space. For example, group users according to employee
value to the organization. job function or department. User and Group permissions
can be assigned on a space or sub-space basis.
Identify who is online and available for communication.
Clearspace shows you who is online and available by
looking at the online status icon of their user proﬁle. You
can also see the entire list, in alphabetical order, of all
employees who are online by visiting the People area of Clearspace provides the following capabilities for users and
your spaces dropdown list, and clicking the “Who’s Online” groups. You can assign all or any of these permissions to
tab. your users and groups:
Like our Jive Forums online community solution,
Clearspace provides extensive control over user and
content permissions. Your Clearspace administrator will
use the Clearspace Administration Console to set up
permissions. While your administrator may determine
permissions, it’s more likely that a team of individuals
responsible for managing your Clearspace implementation
will discuss user types and permissions while developing
the space’s content structure. Once the content structure,
types of users, and content and user permissions have
been determined, the administrator can implement those
permissions through the Administration Console.
Clearspace ships with two default user types that cannot
be deleted: Anyone and Registered Users. Once a user
registers, they can be assigned permissions as a User or
How Jive Clearspace Applies Permissions
as part of a Group. Anyone, Registered, User, and Group
Clearspace permissions are applied when a user accesses
are the main types of Clearspace users.
content. First, the application examines the global user
permissions—the permissions the user has within the
An Anyone user is simply anyone who visits the online
entire Clearspace instance. Then it applies any group
community. This user type is designed to be associated
permissions that the user belongs to. After applying those
“user” permissions, it applies content permissions at the
Space (Called Global in the Administrator Guide).
Specify the permissions you want all users to have
when they log into your space and access space
content. Add these permissions to users or groups
at the sub-space levels.
Sub-space. When the user accesses content, the
system checks the user’s space permissions to see
if they have been modiﬁed from the original space-
level permissions. If so, when the user access
content in that space or related sub-spaces, the
space permissions override the space permissions.
For example, in a Marketing Department space all users
may have space permissions that allow them to view and
post content in the general community, but only those
Product Managers with the appropriate permissions may
be able to author and approve content, such as brochures
and pricing information, that can be accessed by the sales
If you have an existing user authentication system
and/or an LDAP Directory, integrate these systems with
your Clearspace application to offer members log-in
convenience and save administrative time managing user
Single Sign-on (SSO) Integration. Many web sites require
visitors to authenticate themselves before they can access
site content. By integrating with a Single Sign-on (SSO)
system, users log in one time to authenticate and access
web site content and the online community. We make the
integration process simple, using the Auth Token and Auth
Factory libraries. If you lack in-house expertise to do this
integration, our experienced Professional Services staff can
LDAP/Active Directory Integration. Avoid manual
entry of user and permissions data by integrating your
existing LDAP user database with your online community
membership database. Refer to our Administrator’s Guide
for more information.
report the post exceeds an administrator-speciﬁed number.
The post is put into a moderation queue, and must receive
We’ve discussed moderating content earlier in the moderator approval before it can be placed back into the
document, indicating that moderation is typically a thread.
lesser concern with internal Clearspace use. However,
Clearspace includes comprehensive auto-moderation
features that you may choose to conﬁgure to ward off user
Clearspace provides additional features that will help you
abuse or improper posts. We discuss those features, as
further optimize the value of your implementation. You
well as provide some recommendations in this section.
can take advantage of RSS feeds, modify the appearance
of your Clearspace instance, tie in Web services
Develop Your Usage Policy. Design a usage policy
with Clearspace proﬁle data, and access Clearspace
to ward off abuse or inadvertent posts that are not
documents through traditional ﬁle-based systems. We
appropriate for the community. Early warning can make
discuss these features and others next.
a big difference, and can prevent your members from
having a negative experience. Make the consequences
for unacceptable behavior clear. Derek Powazek, author
of Design for Community, recommends that you include a Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, allows you to feed
statement to the effect of: “We retain the right to remove constantly updated Web content, including blog posts,
content or deny individuals access anytime we feel it is discussion threads, or news feeds, into a variety of
necessary.” Some ideas for possible policy statements to places, such as a speciﬁc location within your web page
include are: or a personal feed reader such as MyYahoo or Google
Homepage. While email is a passive way to receive
information, RSS lets you determine what you want to
Treat others with respect. receive. For example, the National Association for Public
Health Information Technology (NAPHIT) wanted to post
Stay on topic. information about public health IT and electronic medical
records into its main www.naphit.org page. They identiﬁed
Use ﬁlters and interceptors. A ﬁlter dynamically formats that iHealthbeat.org aggregated important health IT
message content before it posts to the space, while an information and provided an RSS feed of that information.
interceptor, based on speciﬁc criteria, accepts, modiﬁes, The NAPHIT web site manager simply inserted a snippet of
or rejects an entire incoming message before it enters code in the NAPHIT main web page that essentially said,
the space. Filters and interceptors can be applied to “Take content from the iHealthBeat.org site that has the
discussions, document comments, and blog comments. following keywords—public health IT and electronic medical
Because you cannot apply ﬁlters or interceptors to records—and place the links to the resulting articles at this
documents and blog posts, make sure that you are location in my web site.” Now anytime iHealthbeat updates
comfortable with the employees you allow to author those their content, NAPHIT automatically receives updated links
types of content when setting permissions. When you to relevant content on the main NAPHIT page.
don’t want any part of a post or comment with an offending Once you understand the power of RSS to provide the
word to enter the space before an action is taken, use an business-critical information you need, you will take
interceptor instead of a ﬁlter. advantage of this easy-to-implement functionality. Until
then, Clearspace provides email notiﬁcations to send you
Apply a profanity ﬁlter. This ﬁlter automatically detects an email any time new content is posted to a blog thread,
words in the profanity list and replaces them with ***. blog, discussion, or document that interests you. Subscribe
Use the list of common profanity terms from our site as a to the notiﬁcation from within the speciﬁc content that
starting point, and then conduct a team-building exercise interests you by clicking Receive Email Notiﬁcations in the
at the local watering hole to augment this list. The profanity Actions area.
ﬁlter is the most commonly used ﬁlter, and is one we
recommend that you use.
Encourage employees to report abuse. The Report
Abuse feature gives your users the ability to help police
the community by allowing them to report an offensive
post to the moderator. A reported post can automatically
be taken out of the thread when the number of users that
expose content with your Web site or other Web-based
These best practices help you get the most from applications. For example, if you want to show Clearspace
Clearspace’s RSS and Email Notiﬁcation capabilities. user proﬁle information in an existing human resources
application, use a Web service in the human resources
Find out when new content is added or modiﬁed. Set application code to let the human resources application
up RSS feeds from Clearspace to your personal RSS search for a person in Clearspace’s user proﬁle, grab
reader or subscribe to email notiﬁcations for blog threads, the relevant data, and display it in the human resources
project team blogs, discussion, or documents of interest application.
or importance to you. RSS feeds allow you to further ﬁlter
the information by specifying the keywords that must be
associated with the content for you to receive them.
WebDAV lets users access Clearspace documents in
Use Clearspace’s shortcut for RSS feeds. Clearspace read-only format from the actual drive where the content
makes it easy for you to post to most of the popular RSS is stored. Users simply navigate to it using their familiar
feed readers on the web, including MyYahoo! and Google ﬁle navigation system. Accessing content this way may be
Reader. Click the orange RSS feed icon next to content convenient when a user wishes to attach a document to
that interests you to open a list of common RSS feed an email or doesn’t want to log into Clearspace to read a
readers or personalized homepage services. Select the document. To set up a WebDAV connection, you establish
feed reader that you use to open a page in which you can a server connection to the server that houses your
add the Clearspace RSS feed. Clearspace content. Files are stored in folders that parallel
the structure of your communities and sub-communities.
Use RSS feeds to pull users into Clearspace. Because
not everyone will immediately turn to Clearspace to access
If you have a number of users who need to interact with
content and collaborate, draw them in by posting RSS
Clearspace via email, you might want to enable the Email
feeds of the latest to blog posts and discussions on the
Reply feature. Clearspace allows users to post messages
by replying to notiﬁcation emails they’ve subscribed to.
All they need to do is reply directly to the email and their
Clearspace themes allow you to customize the appearance reply is posted directly in Clearspace as if they’d logged in
of your Clearspace interface. Include your company logo, from their browser. Any ﬁles attached to their reply become
colors, font, navigation, and layout. Employees are more attachments of the resulting content. Email Response is
likely to work in Clearspace if it feels like an extension a popular feature for management, sales or professional
of your web site or intranet. Refer to the Administrator’s services personnel who travel extensively and use PDAs to
Guide for more information on customizing your online stay connected.
community’s appearance. Above all, employees should
easily be able to locate content, respond to it, connect with
Polls are an effective and easy-to-use way to get
other employees, and perform any activities in your team
measurable feedback from your community. If you have
collaboration solution effortlessly.
the appropriate permissions, set up your poll with single or
multiple responses, specify when it should begin and end
Search for content using Clearspace’s comprehensive and which individuals or groups can participate.
search capabilities. You can search for content by entering
key search terms in the Search text box. Further reﬁne the
When you have a message you want to broadcast to users
search by limiting it to a speciﬁc space, content type, or
of a speciﬁc space, but don’t require responses, use the
length of time since post. You can also search user proﬁles
Announcement feature in Clearspace. Announcements,
and ﬁlter on ﬁelds. Make sure you add ﬁelds to user proﬁles
like blogs and discussions are a great substitute for group
so that users can more easily locate experts.
Use Web Services capability in Clearspace to integrate
existing applications with Clearspace. Clearspace includes
a number of Web service-enabled objects. The SOAP-
based Web Services provided in Clearspace provides
the ability to easily enable space functionality and
equivalent encyclopedia content showed that Wikipedia
had a higher degree of accurate information. In other
words, collaborative authoring works. In addition, tagging
enables content to be found again and again. Clearspace
Before you launch Clearspace, you’ll need to overcome also scales to handle plenty of users and content—from
a couple of challenges—getting executive buy-in and three users to three million. Overwhelming the system is a
convincing employees to adopt its use. This section tells non-issue.
you how to address and overcome some of the challenges
you’ll encounter in launching your Clearspace instance.
Alex Barnett, a Microsoft employee and frequent blogger
about wikis, online communities, and blogs, brings up an
Executives hold the purse strings and also need to back important rule for these collaborative spaces. He says that
changes in the system for them to succeed. It’s critical “personal value must precede network value” for people to
that they understand how Clearspace can improve the participate. In other words, there has to be a good answer
business. At a minimum, hand them this document so that to the question, “What’s in it for me?” This is especially true
they can understand how they can beneﬁt from online team for employees accustomed to the status quo of email and
collaboration. disparate ﬁle storage systems. While employees mostly
recognize that these systems have their problems, change
Tell them who’s using Enterprise 2.0 solutions. Let feels threatening. You have to make them want to use the
them know that as of December 14, 2006, 43 of the system. Here are some ways to advance adoption.
Fortune 500 had launched Enterprise 2.0 solutions (from:
http://www.blogbusinesssummit.com/fortune500/index. Show executive buy-in and support. Have one or
php?title=Main_Page), up from just 24 in March 2006 more executive level individuals blog. Just as external
(from: http://www.socialtext.net/bizblogs/index.cgi). If the blogging fosters a connection between a company and
Fortune 500 companies are increasingly adopting these its customers, hearing directly and regularly from the
solutions, they’re at least worth investigating. CEO, with the option to comment on that person’s blog,
can make an employee feel like a valued and trusted
Show a Return on Investment (ROI). Once you’ve organization member. If you don’t have an executive level
launched Clearspace, you need to prove that it has been individual who is a good blogger, consider who within your
worth the initial investment. Some ways to measure ROI company is high proﬁle and charismatic enough in a blog
include: format to get the enthusiasm rolling.
Identify Clearspace evangelists in your organization.
Determine which employees can help you champion using
Clearspace. Likely candidates are employees who already
use these tools in their personal life or who have been
informally using external blogs, forums, and wikis to help
manage their projects. Encourage them to blog regularly,
Debunk the Myth that Success Might Overwhelm the post questions to a forum, and lead others through
System. Another frequently raised concern is that if the collaborating on documents in Clearspace. Make sure they
system succeeds through massive user participation, the have the time to do this, so that using and evangelizing
result could be an unmanageable volume of content. As Clearspace is as much a priority as any of their other
it turns out, the more people participate in these systems, responsibilities.
the higher quality the content it produces, and the more
apparent it is which content and people are most valuable Reward good contributors. Use status levels and
within the system. Wikipedia is a prime example. Anyone accumulated points to locate and determine who your best
in the world is free to contribute it, yet users respect it as contributors are. Active community members care deeply
a place for legitimate knowledge to be written, edited, and about their status within the community—a fact that most
shared. Wikipedia produces some of the most in-depth companies greatly underestimate. The 80/20 rule applies
discussions on terms and topics available; in fact, one to communities: 80 percent of the content and participation
study that compared accuracy of Wikipedia content to will be driven by 20 percent of your employees. By
rewarding and recognizing contributors, you greatly Set up a discussion area for feedback. Make sure
increase your community’s success. employees have the opportunity to express what they like
and don’t like about using Clearspace, and make sure you
Our status and reward system is driven by several respond to them when a response is warranted.
variables, including a sophisticated Q&A Workﬂow feature
in discussions and a conﬁgurable set of reward points for Develop a set of usage guidelines and a corporate
contributing documents, blogs, and discussion comments. policy for using Clearspace. Part of what makes blogs,
Your administrator can set the number of points rewarded forums, and online collaboration succeed in the workplace
for these actions as your organization deems appropriate. is an environment of mutual trust and respect laterally,
from top to bottom, and from bottom to top. Typically, a set
Status levels give members prominence in the community of guidelines that says “play nice,” is sufﬁcient, though it
and help members discern what content is likely to be more may be useful to remind employees that all the policies for
useful than others. We recommend structuring your status email, print, and other mediums for communication apply
levels so that you can easily add new levels as members equally to the company blogosphere, online community,
accumulate more and more points. and collaborative document areas. As mentioned earlier,
though, if someone does not play nice, respond quickly and
Organizations that have successfully implemented the ﬁrmly to make sure employees understand that this type of
reward and status features recommend implementing behavior will not be tolerated.
additional perks for star contributors. For example:
We hope that you’ve learned enough from this document to
launch your Clearspace community. At Jive Software, we’ve
been using Clearspace to speed up product development,
capture corporate knowledge, and help turn out a solution
that marks a major milestone–not just our product offerings,
but in how we do business. We hope you’ll experience
many of the beneﬁts we know are possible, and we invite
Publicize Clearspace content using RSS feeds and you to tell us about your experiences using Clearspace so
email. Make sure employees know about new content that we can constantly improve it. Our community is your
posted to Clearspace by including RSS feeds of new blog community, and we always have an open door policy for
posts, discussions, or wiki entries on your organization’s feedback. Click the Submit Product Feedback link at the
intranet. Email distribution of content is also a very bottom of any page in Clearspace to let us know what you
effective means of viralizing use. Community participants think.
can respond to email notiﬁcations and have the content
of those responses posted directly into the appropriate
document comment or discussion thread.
Transition employees to Clearspace gently. Provide
employees the option to navigate and work from something
that feels more like Web 1.0—left hand navigation links in
Clearspace that show people, projects, and departments
may be appreciated initially. Send emails with links to newly
posted content in Clearspace to draw them in and slowly
raise their comfort level with this new way of working.
Make it safe to contribute. Ask management to decrease
their visibility so employees aren’t worried that every
post they make could cost them their job, or at least their
window view. Andrew McAfee suggests that you allow
people to contribute to wikis anonymously, as you might
ﬁnd that some employees are nervous about being open to
criticism by their peers and upper management.