11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2015 10:40 AM by kelly.carlsted

    Adoption plan for beta members?


      Hi Community Managers!


      I work for a software company and we are in the process of building our external community (v1) for our customers who have signed up for user groups. Each user group (we have over 70 currently) will have their own space and we will also be building out spaces for proficiency levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) in our software.


      We plan to launch to community in late August to a group of 50 customers that we are calling our "Community Champions". The idea is to have these Champions help us seed content, start discussions, give feedback on design/ux, in preparation for our launch to the rest of the user group members later in the year.


      Has anyone done something similar, or have documentation on best practices/guidelines for beta members? Appreciate any help and resources!

        • Re: Adoption plan for beta members?

          Just curious - has your team had discussions of the pros/cons of groups versus spaces for this type of scenario? We've had this conversation amongst our team when deciding the best ways to leverage our community members, as well.

            • Re: Adoption plan for beta members?

              Hi Biray Seitz - No, we haven't quite got to that point of discussion yet. For the time being, I believe we have decided on Groups. (I realize I said "Space" in my original post - oops!) The biggest point of debate right now amongst our user group leaders is whether to keep the groups open or private.


              Are you doing something similar? How long has your Community been active?

                • Re: Adoption plan for beta members?

                  Our community has been active since April 15, 2015 --- so we're still learning a lot as we go, as well. Thanks for the clarification on groups versus spaces... it sounds like groups are definitely a better solution, in your case.


                  When it comes to private versus open... there are definitely some pro/cons to consider, as well. We use 4 different types of groups in our community -- from open, members-only, private and secret... and each has a different rationale behind it.


                  OPEN: We only have very limited number of open groups. These are groups where we want people to participate and post things without having to commit to a membership. In other words, these are our 'water cooler'-type groups are open.


                  MEMBERS-ONLY: Most of our community groups are members-only. Anyone can join. There is no moderation needed (aka you don't have to approve membership) and everyone can view the content and glean information without having to be a member. If they want to participate, however, that's when they'll have to commit to joining. These are typically of our user groups. Also, the content in our members-only groups (as well as open groups) are universally searchable - which is what we wanted.


                  PRIVATE: We typically use private groups for our focus groups. We also use groups for user feedback on our product, but we didn't want the conversations and discussions in these groups to clutter our resources in the community. Content in private groups are not searchable (unless you are part of the group). In other words, we want our community members to find relevant resources and answers in relation to using our product. It might be frustrating for the general user to stumble upon a conversation in the focus group (which may have similar tags/keyphrases) that may be part of a brainstorming discussion and may not be relevant. While private groups do require approval of membership, we generally approve most people who request access.


                  SECRET: These our for our partners/clients. For the general community member, these groups are not searchable. They are generally created as an area for our teams to connect, correspond with their clients.


                  Not all use-cases fall under these scenarios, but generally, these are how our groups have been distributed.


                  Another thing to consider is the content types you want to enable for the different types of groups. For instance, in our members-only user groups, we chose to disable ideas. We strategically wanted to include the ability to submit ideas in a few distinct places in our community. We've also disabled projects in these groups because we generally weren't using this tool in our community.


                  Hope that helps.

              • Re: Adoption plan for beta members?
                Libby Taylor

                Let's see if we can get Kelly Carlsted involved as she runs our user groups communities...