We also have an entirely gated community and am thinking about adding a public portion and am interested how others have approached this
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Here are some very quick thoughts and then to define and validate a solid plan for expanding your use cases / archicture / footprint I probably would recommend engaging with a strategist from Jive or one of our certified partners to make this as smooth as possible.
But with few exceptions there are huge benefits to having at least a portion of your community content public, whether you are focused more on support or thought leadership. Namely, search engines and SEO are an important way that users find your content and community. And second it can give "public" audiences (prospects of even just un-registered users) visibility into your culture, value and how you engage with your customers/partners/users.
Jive's permissions and entitlements are flexible and make it pretty easy for you to "have your cake and eat it too" with regard to having some content public but not all/most. You'll want to sit down and do some planning to figure out what approach (or progressive steps) is right for you. On the simplest end would be adding a single space that is public and populating it with some relevant content and maybe a blog. Maybe you also want to allow for some general questions? (Users would have to register to participate still.) On the more complex end of things would be rethinking your who content strategy / site architecture to make more topics or areas public, and for that you'll want to be more strategic and have a business rationale or set of criteria.
Some tactical things to call out - and again all things a Jive PS or partner consultant can help facilitate for your individual community -
- you'll may likely want to modify your permissions model to differentiate guest/anonymous users from "all registered" and then possibly from actual customers or otherwise validated users. Core Help
- you may want to tweak the profile visibility settings so that only registered users can see more about your members in the directory / profile
- make sure to communicate and support users through the transition, so they understand which areas are public vs private and where to engage on what topics etc
Hope that helps and there's a related, recent thread on blogs that might interest you: SEO Blog Comparisons