a hard-wired widget on users homepages for top-down news (not too much real-estate, just a widget)
You mean like the Announcements feature already in Jive? How is what you're proposing different?
Yes but at the segmentation level eg. if I'm a "mechanical engineer" I will see an announcement on my page, but people in other segments won't see that same announcement. So yes maybe a feature like announcements, but for segments, and perhaps it can be a subtle widget on the sidebar
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For our top down news we tried a number of approaches with existing widgets in 4.5.5
First, the archive of all news stories we put in an open group that corp comm maintains. They use documents or blog posts for the stories.
Next, we wanted to highlight the top five or so stories from that group on the Jive Community home page. so we tried a few techniques:
Featured Content- Have a featured content in the news story archive group. Then have a featured content widget on the main Jive Community landing page. Edit the widget to point to the news story archive's featured content. It works, however Corp Comm sometimes gets requests to add a "story" that is essentially a link to an external web sites featuring our company, BU's etc.. We could have created a doc with the link to the external web site inside of it. That would have been nice as then we could get comments, views (social stuff). However, they didn't want to have the extra click for the user to get to the content so they needed away to add an external link directly. You can't do that with featured content. So we moved to the next option.
Formatted Text Widget- On the home page we tried a formatted text widget to list out the "stories" (blogs/docs) corp comm wants to promote including any direct links to external content ( an exec on CNBC or an external story on a web site about a BU). It also gave corp comm complete control over the order of the stories. Whereas the featured content has rules on what order items display. Sometimes Corp Comm would like to keep a story up top even though it is not the most recent, so this does the trick. The down-side was they needed to constantly go into the home page of the community and customize the page and edit the formatted text widget. Frankly, this scared the hell out of everyone. This is your Intranet landing page...if you make a mistake or accidentally delete or move a widget. So off to option #3
Watch a Document -So use the watch a doc widget on the home page and point to a doc in the corp comm archive group. You can do all the same things you could do with the formatted text widget, however you are editing a document instead of the home page itself. You can build in procedures to make a copy of the document as a back-up if you like. In short, a lot safer and still the same amount of control the communication group is looking for.
For us, in addition to the list of stories in a side-bar widget, we also have a large hero image for our main story. Again, you could implement that with a watch a document widget. Or get fancy with a slider via HTML/CSS code. We are not doing the slider yet, but are looking into that.
Hope this helps.
This is definitely something that Jive would like to do more with. Certain pieces of it can be accomplished today - the announcements feature is one, recommendations for you is another.
Overall, one of the trickier bits is the segmentation itself - do you do it by role or by department or by a combination of the two. We are always looking at better ways to both give the user control over how they consume the content and to give the corp comms folks the comfort level that their message is getting out.
One of the main things we are looking at to help in this area is the notion of featured content within the recommendations and trending content areas. Additionally, we guide implementations to create either space hierarchies or groups that correspond to the segments and to communicate with those segments in those designated areas.
We think it is critical that information in the system find the users it is most relevant for and we are always looking at new and better ways to make this happen.