12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 6:42 AM by susanprice RSS

    How do you all use announcements?

    Aaron Johnson

      We're looking at making some improvements to the announcements feature as part of the next release. We'd love to hear how you're using announcements, especially if you're running a big enterprise or external community, specifically:

       

      • Do you post announcements on the homepage? If so, how are they used? Who does it? How long do they typically last?
      • Do your communities / groups / projects use announcements? If so, how are they used?
      • Do you think it would be helpful if posting an announcement resulted an email being sent to all the users watching that space / group / project? What about on the homepage? Why / why not?
      • How would you feel about announcements showing up in the activity stream?
      • Do you have any gripes about announcements as they stand right now?

       

      Thanks!

       

      AJ

        • Re: How do you all use announcements?
          Christina Zurcher

          We use announcements sparingly on our external community. We do use them periodically on the home page. Because we are a global community, any downtime or maintenance impacts someone's business hours, so we use announcements to tell our users when there is going to be any planned or scheduled maintenance/outages on the site. We also use it on occassion to publicize some major new initiative on the site. Typically our announcements only last a day or at most a week.

           

          Some groups and spaces use announcements. Primarily so far they've been used to let user's know they need to login/register to perform certain actions on the site - we feel there are major improvements that could be made in Clearspace in terms of directing users to login rather than given them "unauthorized" warnings, and calls to action to log in when the user isn't yet, etc.

           

          They are used on occassion within spaces or groups to highlight new features or content as well.

           

          We would not want announcements to be automatically sent as email - although it could be a setting. Our users have told us they don't want to receive a lot of email from us, so we would definately need the ability to turn that off or let users opt out.

           

          I don't think it would be that useful for announcements to be in the activity stream - at least the way our users use the site - they are most likely to see it on the home page or the landing page of whatever space/group they are visiting.

           

          It would be nice if there were a way to change the display of announcements a bit more easily - and also a nice way to offer announcements in different languages for those of us with global communities.

           

          Thanks,

           

          Christy Zurcher

          Community Manager - Premier Farnell

          www.element-14.com

          • Re: How do you all use announcements?
            Intel_Mike

            We also post announcements on the homepage of our external community, as well as within the individual sub-communities on occasion.  Primarily they are used for notification of system downtime, newly launched community publicity and event promotions (live chats within the community).

             

            I could see some use in having the ability to email the announcements out, but agree that this would have to be an opt-in feature that is controlled by the user.  I think having them included in the activity stream would probably be okay, but may also benefit from having a toggle switch.

             

            I would love to see something different in the announcement space visually though.  Maybe a persistent widget that you could drop into the layout that would only be visible if announcements existed.  Currently I think the announcement takes up too much space on the page and doesn't seem to follow the stylesheet of the page (maybe that is something we can configure on our end already?).

             

            Mike

            Intel Open Port Community Manager

            • Re: How do you all use announcements?
              Kevin Crossman
              • Do you post announcements on the homepage? If so, how are they used? Who does it? How long do they typically last?

              Yes, for system-wide announcements, important "global" initiatives/communities, or promotion for new groups/spaces/blogs that we think users should look at. These are typically up for 1-2 weeks.

               

              • Do your communities / groups / projects use announcements? If so, how are they used?

               

              Some do, for the same kind of purposes.

               

              Do you think it would be helpful if posting an announcement resulted an email being sent to all the users watching that space / group / project? What about on the homepage? Why / why not?
              How would you feel about announcements showing up in the activity stream? 

              Yes, in fact our users have been complaining that it doesn't do this right now. If the idea behind an email alert is to make sure you receive notification on the "latest info" then surely Announcements are among the most important things to be notified about.

               

              Would be nice to do this for the home page as well.

               

              Likewise, yes to the activity stream.

               

              Do you have any gripes about announcements as they stand right now?

              They don't stand out too well even with CSS customization to make the coloring more bold.

               

              I'd like the option to run these in a list where every announcement is visible rather than rotating (yes, this would push the rest of the content down the page).

               

              Would like to be able to upload an image rather than (always having to) referencing a URL...

               

              How do I get to my old Announcements? There are times when I'd like to disable Announcements and later turn them back on again. These show up in search results but if there's a way to go to your disabled announcements in the UI I'm not finding it.

               

              It might be useful to be able to force a top-level announcement to appear on all space/group overview pages. In cases of an upcoming site-wide maintenance shutdown, for example.

               

              It also might be useful to widget-ize announcements and have them appear within a widget somewhat akin to Recent Blog Posts where you either get the headline or the full content. Then the announcements could be placed whereever you wanted on the page rather than only at the top.

              • Re: How do you all use announcements?
                Deirdre Walsh

                I manage the community for National Instruments and have provided some thought/answers to the questions below.  Additionally, I've asked a few of our online social group managers to chime-in because they provided feedback on annoucements in the past:

                 

                 

                 

                Do you post announcements on the homepage? If so, how are they used? Who does it? How long do they typically last?

                Yes.  I post annoucements on the homepage on a regular basis.  They are used to promote user group events (both online and offline), major product annoucements, content highlighting to encourage participation (ie. join this hot discussion on x,y,z; check out this new social group; read the latest blog post by the VP of software), show deadlines (ie. last day to register for the user conference), and other marketing needs. Most annoucements are time sensitive.


                Do your communities / groups / projects use announcements? If so, how are they used?

                Social Groups and communities use annoucements frequently. They use them in a variety of ways, depending on the group.  We have public groups based on geo-region, product interest, events, and application area.  Here are some examples of how groups use annoucments.

                 

                EX: Alarm is a geographic based online user group.  They are using annoucements for job openings, meeting notices, etc.

                 

                annoc1.png

                EX: Event - used to get feedback and share deadlines.

                annoc2.png

                 

                Additioanlly, we use product annoucements in secret groups for product feedback.  The annoucements promote deadlines and other time sensative material.

                 

                Do you think it would be helpful if posting an announcement resulted an email being sent to all the users watching that space / group / project? What about on the homepage? Why / why not? 

                YES! YES! YES!  This is something our group managers have asked for on several occasions.  However, they would also like annoucements to be permissioned (see below).

                 

                How would you feel about announcements showing up in the activity stream?

                We don't really do a whole lot with the activitiy stream, besides use it to monitor, so I don't care either way.

                 

                Do you have any gripes about announcements as they stand right now?

                I think annoucements should be permissioned at the group level, so that the group owner can pick who creates annoucements (admin or all).

                  • Re: How do you all use announcements?

                    Hi Aaron,

                     

                    Thanks for asking. Responses below.

                    • Do you post announcements on the homepage? If so, how are they used? Who does it? How long do they typically last?

                    We normally use these to post site-wide changes or notifications of maintenance. As such, I wish they would propagate across the entire site as most people don't see them if they drop in a subsection of the site. We've had to consider customization to do this.

                     

                    • Do your communities / groups / projects use announcements? If so, how are they used?

                    Somewhat. We normally use these as a replacement for 'sticky' threads. Only mods/admins can do this. We don't use projects or groups.

                     

                    • Do you think it would be helpful if posting an announcement resulted an email being sent to all the users watching that space / group / project? What about on the homepage? Why / why not?

                    Only if it was an option. For maintenance windows I don't think we'd send one; for policy changes we might want to. We have a very large community with a large user base. If we were to send emails to all of those users, we'd have a huge bounce problem. If I could only to send to recently active users, I might be willing to do that but I'd still be afraid of bounces. A couple of other options:

                    1. Have a separate 'email your users' page - separate the tasks.

                    2. Use the PM system - although we have that turned off too so it wouldn't help us (I have some thoughts on the PM system if you want them).

                     

                    • Do you have any gripes about announcements as they stand right now?

                     

                    I agree with crossman: "How do I get to my old Announcements? There are times when I'd like to disable Announcements and later turn them back on again. These show up in search results but if there's a way to go to your disabled announcements in the UI I'm not finding it." In addition to turning them back on, as a community manager, I'd love a page to show what the moderation team is posting as announcements in one page.

                     

                    Cheers,

                    Mark

                    • Re: How do you all use announcements?
                      DEL_CW

                      We absolutely need email alerts on announcements!  It would be best if it were an option.

                      • Re: How do you all use announcements?
                        Line6Miller

                        We use announcements primarily to keep the community in the know when it comes to new software releases, bug fixes etc. A big, huge +1 to sending out email alerts when a new announcement is posted in a community you are following. I find the biggest draw back to the announcement feature in Jive is how they are placed on the page. Our members simply miss them all of the time. If that can be rectified, I believe announcements would be much more useful to us.

                         

                         

                        Rick

                          • Re: How do you all use announcements?
                            abreacher1

                            Users at our company's site have expressed an interest in displaying announcements right at the top of the page rather than underneath the Browse tools. This would make them more prominent. Currently, it does not look like this is possible. Does anyone know whether there are plans to allow this capability?

                          • Re: How do you all use announcements?
                            susanprice

                            Hi All,

                             

                            We are wondering about the following:

                             

                            If I'm a member of a Group, and not following its Project, and the Project owner sets an announcement, do I get notified of the Project Announcement in my stream? If I do get notified even though I'm not a Project follower, then what (if any) benefits are there to my following the Project? This leads me to wonder: If a user is going to get all the notifications of Project activity simply by being a member of the Project's Group, then what compels them chose to follow the project?

                             

                            Many Thanks!!