[21 November] What are you working on this week?


(Sarah Hawk) #1

My week is predominantly going to be spent pulling together all the research that I’ve been doing into ambassador programs and putting it into some kind of digestible format.

I also want to spend some time evaluating where our SEO numbers have ended up now that we’ve had time for things to stabilise.

What’s on your plate?

(Sarah Hawk) #2

(Suzi Nelson) #3

I’m putting together a framework for member-lead live events for our customer community and creating an outline for additional training in one of our certifications. Busy busy.

(KMcNiff) #4

Last week I presented to management on where our online community should be heading - talked about social channels and replacing our broken old forum with a shiny new branded community. They liked the general concepts but want me to step back and come up with a ‘value proposition’. So that’s what I’m going to do…think I’ll start by Googling “value proposition” :smirk:

(Sarah Hawk) #5

Ha. Love it.

I’d start here: How to Calculate the ROIs of Online Community.
and then move on to Strategy

I suspect they’re not asking for a calculated ROI or a defined strategy at this point, but both those resources should help you to focus on what the value proposition (or the ‘why’) of your community is.

(Josh Wolf) #6

We’re inviting staff into our new platform two weeks from today, so the next two weeks are about clarifying workflows and generating content for them to engage with.

(Nick Emmett) #7

So I finally have my new community template installed in my testing environment so this week is tying up the loose ends for the config and set up and then do some testing - I’m checking everything is integrated with what it needs to be and does what I intended it to do. At the back end of the week I have a team of customer members lined to hopefully do some testing for me too. Install to our production site is next Wednesday and launching a week on Monday - I’m starting to feel like I can see the end!!!

@kmcniff - @HAWK’s suggested resources are awesome for getting your head around ROI and the Strategy to get there. For me it’s very much about figuring out a lot of Why questions too… Why should we be doing this as a business? what’s it going to do for us? Why should we do this for our customers? What value will they get? Why should they keep on coming back? etc etc.

(KMcNiff) #8

Wow, that’s exciting! Getting customers to test is such a great idea - seems like common sense but I hadn’t considered it :blush:

I really like your list of Why and What questions - I need to step back and address these before moving into tactical mode ( where I’m much more comfortable).

(Nick Emmett) #9

Yeah it’s going to be interesting to get their feedback - it’s only a small group but they’re people that I trust from our community and some of our top contributors. I’m more after their feedback on how it feels and looks, how easy to engage with it compared to the old one. I’m confident that everything will work, and the beauty is, as the feedback comes in, even after launch, I’m in a position where I can deal with it on the fly now, where-as with our previous config (the one that is live as of now) to make those kind of changes I need resource from our developers and it’s just a nightmare.

In terms of your Community’s WHY - I think it’s good to get an understanding early doors as o the direction your business sees it going. When I came in to my role here in my first meeting with the executive sponsor at the time my first question was Why? Why do we go down the route of having an online community for our customers? What are we expecting to get out of it? Is it revenue generation? Lead Generation? Marketing? - The answer I got was customer success. We want our customers to be successful and be able to find solutions to their challenges quicker and easier than perhaps they already are doing. That then gives me a great angle to know how to move on with everything else, how to channel my approach to the next questions of Who, How, What, When and, to a degree, Where?

It’d be great to hear where this leads for you, be sure to let us know.

(Alessio Fattorini) #10

Working on my presentation for http://milan2016.codemotionworld.com/ :slight_smile: this Friday
It’s called: How to make your project awesome by building a community

(Shreyas) #11

@Nick_Emmett That’s great! I happened to attend a design thinking workshop & sprint last weekend and there were a couple of slides specifically on feedback. It might be useful. Leaving it below in case anyone else is interested. :smiley:

How to ask for feedback

How to provide feedback

Receiving feedback


here's a great brainstorming technique

@ale_fattorini If possible, do share your slides post Friday. :metal:t2:

(Alessio Fattorini) #12

Sure! I’ll be glad to do it

(Rob Nicholson) #13

Quite a varied week. A pretty in-depth conversation with a new very-IT literate member of the (new-ish) CAMRA forums who is struggling with the experience compared to previous strongly category based forums. Trying to understand what he’s finding so jarring in the experience. I’d love there to be slightly less hostile debates over on Meta Discourse about suggestions which do question some of the fundamental Discourse designs (like flat as possible & no pagination).

Leading a walk for the local drop in centre whereby one of the walkers lost a boot in a very deep bog and as walk leader I felt duty bound to try and recover. After nearly getting stuck myself, I gave up after getting knee deep in the mud and failing to find the boot :slight_smile: The advantages of working for yourself is you can time shift your working day in the winter months.

Doing a trial of bringing Wi-Fi to a local caravan park on a budget. Never have I met a group of people who so want this project to succeed. They must miss Facebook :wink: Fortunately UBNT have some great low-cost devices and the trial worked well. Radio 1 streaming into the caravan.

Installing a ginormous cooling fan into my main PC which blew up last weekend and needed a new motherboard & CPU. Always a nervous time when you power it up for the first time - and nothing happens!

(Sarah Hawk) #14

Have you dropped the category structure since you migrated, or does he just struggle not having it as the homepage?

Sounds like you have a lot going on!

(Sarah Hawk) #15

(Rob Nicholson) #16

No, the categories are still there but in Discourse, you don’t see them unless you go looking for them. In old phpBB, you could see the categories and sub-categories in one screen with unread counts for each sub-category. This gives some people a sense of place instead of a flat topic list with all categories mixed up together.

There has been talk of “Sense of place” over on Meta and there is definitely something not quite right with the very flat structure of Discourse. Is it maybe because there is no sense of priority? This is my topic list right now - five topics with things happening shown in time order. Maybe for me “Campaigning” is more important and in a category view, I might ignore “Volunteering” right now as that’s lower priority for me. But in Discourse, they are all the same priority.

Dunno really - just typing out loud.

(Sarah Hawk) #17

You know that you can set this page as your homepage though, right? I don’t think it’s right for many communities, but if it’s expected in yours then you could test it.

(Rob Nicholson) #18

Hmm, no I didn’t and I’ve just looked through my preferences and I can’t see an option to control the home page. So how do you change your home page?

Another comment made is that the preferences/settings screen is too busy - too many options. Needs the common settings that people usually change shown by default and then an “Advanced” or “More” button to reveal more options.

An increasingly heard comment about Discourse from our newer members is that it’s too technical - and I’d find that hard to argue with. Already people have asked why when they type #1 at the start of a line, the “”#" disappears and the font changes…

(Rob Nicholson) #19

Picking this out separately, when I went back to CAMRA Discourse just now, there was a post from somebody I know pretty well in a nearby branch. He was trying to get his branch to move their Yahoo mailing list onto the central system but is really struggling with resistance or buy-in.

I think part of the problem is that when they join up, they see this long topic list (like I just posted) containing lots of things that are initially of no interest. And as they don’t get the category view by default, it’s even worse - they are over faced with posts. I’m tempted to suggest that members joining up to replace local discussion groups only see their local category and maybe the regional one - and all national categories are hidden.

This shows my lack of Discourse knowledge - is there a page in Discourse where all categories are shown and people can check which ones they want to see on their timeline? Even the categories that are obviously hidden from them? Some of them may require authorisation?

(Sarah Hawk) #20

Edit the order of the top menu. The one that is first is the default home page.

I find it hard to be objective about this because I’ve always managed tech, UX or community communities, where people are used to either the technicalities or the platform. You’ve probably noticed that there is little or no negative feedback about Discourse here, even though I’m very open to constructive feedback.

If your audience is struggling, then that’s not good. I know you’re already questioning whether it’s the right solution for your use case.

I do think that there are more elegant solutions than markdown, but I assume from the pushback from Discourse that a change to the UI is insurmountable.