8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2013 1:53 PM by crossman

    Spaces as Folders

    djalexander76

      How much success have you all had coaching Space Owners to use Categories and Tags to organize content rather than creating a collection of sub-spaces?  I'm hoping training can reduce the # of Spaces that merely serve as a "folder" for documents but my hunch is that the idea of file folders is too deeply engrained to avoid completely.

        • Re: Spaces as Folders
          ycheong

          Ha! I would die happy if everyone understood the significance of and fully utilized categories and tags. We point blank tell our community that categories are exactly like folders and then pull up a group (or space) with a number of categories so users can see that they are, in fact, exactly like folders. I'd say we've had a fair amount of success with getting users to create and utilize categories because they can quickly see how they work and why they are useful.

           

          Tags have been the real uphill battle. Most content is not tagged; much of the content that is tagged is tagged with essentially meaningless tags. Time and again, we point to the tag cloud (or in Jive 5.x, the user has the ability to search content by tag), but it's been tough getting the user to understand why tags are so critical to keeping content organized.

           

          The following is from a blog post I wrote. Feel free to copy if it's of any use:

           

          *****

          In the online community, tags are a way for content to "play well with others," while untagged content is like the kid standing by him or herself in the corner -- there's nothing "linking" that content with anything else in the community.

          *****

           

          Another good analogy for categories / tags might be Gmail and its system of labels -- they're very similar to but not exactly like folders and they help the user organize content. (Then again, some people remain utterly befuddled by Gmail labels, so that may or may not be the best comparison ...)

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Spaces as Folders
              djalexander76

              Thanks Yen, I'm glad I'm not alone.  I've even described Categories as "Magic Folders" since it allows you to put the same document in two "Folders".  This works sometimes but most Space Owners still prefer to create a complex folder structure using spaces, which leads to more work when it's time for group clean-up.

            • Re: Spaces as Folders
              crossman

              We have had a terrible time conveying this concept. Our power users seem to understand but less savvy space admins really abuse this.

               

              Best advice I can provide is to limit the number of spaces and the number of admins for those spaces - or else you'll really end up with too many spaces.

              1 person found this helpful
                • RE: Spaces as Folders
                  mrowbory

                  I agree, categories work well.  It‘s at the top of my list under ‘how do I create structure in Jive‘ and it‘s our intention to discourage space admins from creating sub-spaces.

                   

                  Although I have find the categories as structure to have a couple of limitations..

                   

                  You can only have one level, and there doesn‘t appear to a way to choose multiple as a filter.

                   

                  I.e all items with the category ‘UK‘ and the category ‘News‘

                   

                  Unless there is a way to construct that in the search string, I couldn‘t work it out in the 3minutes I spent on it the other day.

                    • Re: Spaces as Folders
                      ycheong

                      Martin -- another issue we've had to deal with, i.e., a lot of users ask how they can create "sub" categories. Of course, we can't create subcategories, but there is a very effective (and easy) workaround -- using tags. (Actually, it works so well when properly used, I wouldn't even call it a workaround -- it's more like an enhancement.)

                       

                      At my previous job with my company, I worked for the trade publishing arm in publicity / marketing. One thing we did a lot of was arrange "Author Events," which we (I) made a category in our publicity and marketing group. But let's say I want a "subcategory" for author events in New York City only, or a "subcategory" for off-site author events (vs those held in bookstores). All I need to do is categorize posts "Author Events" and tag them with the appropriate "subcategory," in this case "new_york" or "off-site." Now, I can search my "Author Events" category and pull up all content categorized as such and then I can either search for the tag (in 5.x) or select from the tag cloud (in 4.x). By utilizing both categories and tags, I've created my subfolders / subcategories.

                       

                      You could do the same with, say, a "Schedules" category and tag content by date / season / quarter. Or a "Team Meetings" category and tag content by date / week / month. The possibilities are endless!!!