4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2013 1:40 PM by ellys

    Sandbox Space or Demo Groups on Internal Communities

    ellys

      Do any of you have demo groups or sandbox spaces as part of your internal communities?  We're starting a new internal community and are looking for some ideas and best practices for showcasing the capabilities of the platform to our new users.

        • Re: Sandbox Space or Demo Groups on Internal Communities
          jessekane

          We don't have a designated sandbox for our users to play in, but I do maintain a group that I use when giving demonstrations. It's populated with the new features (we're moving to Jive 6) and features that we think will benefit. I never rename the widgets (so people know which one they are looking at) and I have preloaded it with fake content that makes it clear what content it is (example: "This is a uploaded file" document) with some lorem ipsum thrown in. But the best "best practice" in my opinion is to highlight some real groups doing real work.

           

          YourGroup.png

          • Re: Sandbox Space or Demo Groups on Internal Communities
            Dennis Pearce

            We allow our employees to create open and members only groups without any IT involvement or request process, so we did not want a proliferation of groups being created just to play around with.  This happened when we turned on Google Sites and ended up with hundreds, if not thousands, that were just empty shells because someone wanted to see what a particular template looked like.

             

            Since most of our users were just curious about how to work with overview pages and widgets, and since the vast majority of widgets are the same for groups and projects, we set up a single sandbox group with instructions for users to create a project for those purposes.  The group is private which means users have to request access, but this is only so as not to pollute activity streams with meaningless change notifications.  Here's the text on the home page (we call our Jive instance "Innovate"):

             

             

            What is the Innovate Sandbox?

             

            It's a place where community owners can test out their ideas for home page layouts without impacting their existing followers. The reason this is a private group is because that way only those who are members of this group will be notified of activity going on in it. If you need a place to play around with ideas for laying out a home page, developing an html widget, etc. and you don't want to annoy your personal followers or the followers of your space or group with constant change notices in their email or activity streams, you can do it here.

             

            Here's what to do:

            1. Create a project in this group. A project's home page has all the available widgets of a group home page, along with some unique ones such as calendar, checkpoints, status, etc.
            2. Delete the project-related widgets and add the ones you are interested in.
            3. Do your testing.
            4. When you are finished testing, delete your project(!) and click the Leave this group button in the upper right of the group home page, otherwise you will be notified of everyone else's testing.

             

             

            We still see occasional test groups pop up but it's not too bad, considering we have about 9,000 active users.  We did not create general-purpose sandbox spaces because (1) we have a request process for space creation so we know when a new one is being created and we often work to help those admins with their design and (2) space admins have the ability to restrict their space or create a restricted subspace in order to do testing.  The real problem for a group owner is when you have an open group with a large audience and you decide you want to try out a design change -- you really don't want to do it live in front of a thousand people, so the group sandbox gives them a safe place to try out their ideas.