A common challenge that many people face in our community is figuring out where to post content. Often, it seems like people posting questions and discussions in what seems like random boards. Why? Because the layout and organization of our content makes it hard—very hard—to figure out where to go. I’m sure it’s caused frustration for many of you. The layout and structure isn’t logical and doesn’t bring together common themes or groups of people.
The reality is that in most IT organizations of any significant size, there already are pre-existing teams or communities where people share common goals, roles and values. They share common tools, have a common language and go to the same conferences. An example of this is how the PMO with Project Managers are very different from Quality and Testing teams. Or, how the Info Security Team is simply focused on different challenges from the Service Desk.
We want our online environment to create a sense of community, around the topics, issues and tools that you believe are important. So we are addressing these concerns and restructuring our community to make it easier for you!
For the past several years, our software community online world has been organized around the type of content (Blogs, Forums, etc.), and then by product groups. This structure might make sense in a narrow way. But when you look at the big picture, we are missing an opportunity to encourage collaboration and sharing; our goal is to ultimately improve your experience and value from the on-line community.
New Changes: In the next few weeks, we’re going evolve our structure into several more clearly defined communities where you will find Blogs, Discussion Forums, Support Forums, Q&A and more. The goal is to create a real ‘community’, where you can learn best practices, share with each other and connect. The fundamental point about ‘connecting’ is to make it easier for you and our product teams to connect.
You may not have noticed, but we already have an initial ‘community’ – Protect724, where you can find a central home for all things related to security.
Starting in the next few weeks, you will see several new communities evolve.
Lifecycle, Agile & Planning – Home for ALM, PPM, ALM Octane, PPM and Quality Center
Quality & Testing – Home for functional and performance testing including mobile and virtualization
IT Operations – Home for the wide variety of groups that are dedicated to not only keeping the lights on, but burning bright.
Here is a mock-up of key features of the Community Page for Quality and Testing.
We’ll include a list of key links for the community, where you can find the Blog, News and Events along with links to Support, and even the relevant Vivit User Group forum.
Below this, there will be a list of the ‘Sub Communities’. In this case, we’re probably starting with six sub-groups.
A HUGE advantage to this model, is the Latest Topics and Unanswered Topics modules, where you will be able to immediately see recent questions and or posts inside this community.
Then, if you navigate to one of the Sub Communities, for example Functional Testing:
Here, you will find the same menu/navigation bar to get to other related ‘communities’, and the breadcrumbs will always take you back up to the top. Also, the Key Links will be common within the community.
NEW features will include the Q &A feature, which is focused on asking questions and finding answers. This interface helps you to uncover previously asked questions, which hopefully have answers. Also we can include the Tribal Knowledge base, which – has the potential to become a source of definitive answers. (more on this later)
Of course the “Latest Topics” and “Unanswered Topics” will help you to see the activity that is present in this Sub Community.
How will you find these “New” communities?
We’ll update the main menu… from this
to look something like this:
Note: We intend to keep a Product List under the Product Forums section, with links to the discussion boards. This will help someone who is looking for information on a specific product to find a list of products with links to the right community/board.
What do you think? Please share your feedback and thoughts, as our goal is to make it easier for you to connect, share and engage with each other.