Getting Started in the Jive Community - Steps to Setup Your User Profile

    Joining an online community is often a fickle situation.  Sometimes you dont know what to expect from the quality of content, or user temperament.  In these cases of uncertainty, it is natural for us to hold back and be cautious, which unfortunately creates a community of lurkers.  While it's expected that the vast majority of any online community will be composed of lurkers, it doesn't mean that we give up on trying to better every person's experience that wants to get the most from the Jive Community.

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    So here are some best practices that you can do to help make your Jive Community experience the best it possibly can be:


    1. Register your account for you with your name, and not your company name

      • Why:  When people interact with users in an online community, they want to interact with people.  It's difficult to have a personable conversation with a business entity (unless you are ordering take-out).   Cryptic usernames and handles (i.e. cowboy867) are a construct of a less social era, but are still relevant if you so desire.  We'll talk more about information privacy shortly and how you can have the best of both worlds.

        For example, Jane Smith not Bob's Burger Shack and not

    2. Upload a Profile Photo and/or Avatar

      • Why: Studies show that relationships are built by engaging in sensory immersion.  When face-to-face, people are able to experience all things about a person; their appearance, voice, smell (unfortunately but yes, this too), etc.  When online, all that a person can see are words.  Putting some sort of visual element to your profile allows people to "bond" (if you will) with the user.  Ideally, a self picture would be preferred for the photo; however, in the event that is asking too much ... a picture that represents the personality you'd like to project in the community will suffice.  As for your avatar, same suggestions apply.
      • Upper Right Hand Corner Toggle (next to "Welcome %username%") > Change Photo and Avatar
      • You also may find Kevin Crossman's article, Best Practices for User Avatars helpful in this regard, as well.
    3. Specify your Company and/or Industry

      • Why: The purpose of joining an online community is to find other people like yourself and/or let others find you.  Specifying your company and/or industry allows people to look for similar people in the community.  Whether it is by using the Browse User interface or simply observing the information while in a discussion ... the information can be a great ice-breaker in conversation.
    4. Specify your Location

      • Why: The purpose of specifying your location is such that people can find you for regional based events.  This doesn't mean you need to provide your specific address, or GPS coordinates, although that level of information is awesome; however, sharing something as simple as the city and/or state (international folks have different terms) can help you find others in your area to establish offline relationships to bolster the online community.  (See: #6 re:  Find Groups of Interest > Regional User Groups)
    5. Specify your Job Function
      1. Why: Similar to specifying your location, listing your primary Job Function helps you find others like yourself (and vice versa).  Once set, people will be able to click on the value in your profile and find others who have done the same with similar values.  This can often help qualify the relevance a between users.
    6. Update your Profile Privacy Settings

      • Why: Being an external community, Jive errors on the side of privacy for all Users.  When accounts are created, the default assumption is that a user wishes to keep their information private.  This of course goes against our recommended best practices.  Now that you've entered in all this great information about yourself, it all for naught if you dont share it.
        • Registered Users - We strongly recommend that you make your Name, Profile Photo, Location, Company, and Industry available at this level.  Remember, if it can help you find some one you are looking for, it will do the same for others to find you.
          • Name is the most important as this will enable simple @mentions via your Name and not your username, which may be a cryptic handle (i.e. cowboy867)
    7. Find Groups of Interest to Participate

    8. Find Users of Interest to Follow

      • Why: Finding people to follow and establish relationships with is paramount to building your social network and getting the most out of the Jive Community.  These are the people you will be dealing with online year round, or meeting at conferences such as JiveWorld11. Also, following/friending people helps create very relevant streams of information for you from the Jive Community, so the benefit is win-win.
    9. (optional) Link your Twitter account with the Jive Community


    We hope that this information will help you get the most out of your Jive Community experience.  But if you still have questions, or want something more, post a status update and ask for help.  The Jive Community thrives on helping those that ask for it!