11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 21, 2011 8:49 AM by Tracy Maurer RSS

    Spaces, Communities, and Groups....oh my

    Mlavoie

      In my workworld, we rely heavily on spaces/communities.  As the years have progressed, and we're now well into our fourth year, we have found that we have hundreds of spaces and subspaces ( I won't tell you how many! ) and that some of them are four layers deep in a space architecture.  As you might imagine, that makes user searchability difficult.

       

      At JiveWorld last week, I learned that many folk don't use spaces at all, or only use one space per organization relying on that space to be a 'storefront' for user created groups.

       

      I'm hoping that some of you will share your strategies re: spaces and groups so I can continue to consider alternatives.  BTW, we're on Jive 4.5.6.

        • Re: Spaces, Communities, and Groups....oh my
          Doug MacKay

          We use both spaces and groups in our internal community.

           

          Our plan was to have the corporate "work" portion of our lives in spaces as they tend to provide for better management and visibility within the administrative console and we also have 100's and they're 4-8 levels deep.  It's the top-down approach to provide some structure to the community. The nice thing about spaces is rule management for access within the admin console.

           

          Groups allow for our organic growth and cultural aspects.  Anyone can create open/member-only groups and our Community Managers can help setup the private/secret groups since there are always exceptions where private collaboration needs to be achieved.

           

          By doing this it keeps our numbers of groups to a tinier number (still in the 100's) but also allows us to see what's going on in our community on a broad basis. We can identify groups that have content that really ought to be in the space area and can work with those members to migrate it.  This helps with navigation and search.

           

          Search is something that has nuance and there are ways to use it better.  If you navigate to a sub-space tree area and THEN search, it will provide better search results.  I heard in v5 the search has changed from lucene to solr so that might only slightly different.

           

          Other companies have gone more with groups but then had search issues (too many groups?!).  Others have also gone strictly into spaces and had issues by not being organic enough.  Overall I think that a hybrid approach offers flexibility without becoming dogma.  Some content suits a space architecture while other content is actually better in groups. 

           

          Another issue to consider is culture.  If it's important to show who the members are of a place, then groups may be a better way to go -- for that type of interaction.