Searching is the first stop for many community users. You can search for content, people, and even subscribe to search terms - so you can keep coming back as other users answer questions. You can sort your results by date or rating, so you can easily filter the latest and the best.
To get the best responses in the community follow these guidelines:
Search - Before posting to the community your will first want to search to see if someone else has posted the same question and received a response that is applicable to your posting. Searching for postings that have been identified as ‘a solve’ may also streamline your search.
Post - Post within the community so that others can benefit from knowledge sharing. Corresponding directly through email or other one-to-one communication tool will not help others with similar issues. Do not post the same information in two or more locations as this is not allowed. Identical topics posted in the same or different forums will be removed.
- Posting recommendations:
1) Well constructed titles and details in the body of the post helps problem identification. The title has a limit of 100 characters. The title should be a short problem description to include the product name. Do not post web addresses and links in thread titles.
2) The body should include details and relevant information. It should contain a thorough problem description, including the product name, operating System / version, and any error messages and codes. Only include a link to a site that you are in some way affiliated with if the link specifically helps to answer the question that is being asked.
Subscribe - Subscribe to your postings so that you receive email updates for your question.
Respond - Provide additional information in a timely manner if requested.
Acknowledge - Acknowledge the posting if the solution solves your problem by selecting “Accepted Solution”. Any other solutions that were submitted should be acknowledged with Kudos when appropriate.
Communities should work the way you want them to, thereby allowing you to personalize the site to meet your desired look and feel along with assigning rules and notifications. You can select threaded or linear display for fast reading, change skins for the perfect look, subscribe to threads, forums, search results, and even posts from specific users or roles. You can also control your subscription options from a single screen. You can choose immediate delivery or digest, subject or whole message, plain text or HTML. You can even choose not to receive messages that you have already read, so that you are just getting the latest. You can choose from dozens of other parameters to tailor the experience to suit your needs.
The ‘Accepted Solutions’ enables you as a community member to choose the best answers that solved your problem. Accepted solutions help first-time visitors find answers quickly and enhance the reputations of the authors. Accepted solutions rise to the top of the list more quickly in search results as they are given a premium in the search tool.
Rewarding members for their contributions helps to not only encourage participation but supports positive feedback on the forum post showing a respect for the author’s time and contribution. Kudos can carry different weights. As a person’s Kudos count increases it highlights popular content elevating the content to the community’s front page as the time and count of that content increases. Attempts to artificially increase your post count are prohibited. This includes the mass creation of short or meaningless posts. The reputation model identifies and rewards individuals that participate and are recognized for their contributions. Most super users come up through the ranks because their contributions to the community have been identified as meaningful and of value to other members.
Images and Image Galleries
You can attach images if it supports or enhances your post. Images will be reviewed by the moderators for appropriateness prior to being allowed to be visible. When posting and linking to images, videos, files, etc., provide a link to the web page on the third party web site where the item can be found. Do not insert a direct link to the images (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, etc.), video (.avi, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .wmv, etc.), audio (.mp3, .wav, etc.), archives (.zip, .rar, etc.) or otherwise downloadable or streamable files.
The Private Messenger allows you to send private notes to other members of the community. By using Private Messenger you don’t have to know the other member’s email address to send the note and you don’t have to reveal yours. When using Private Messenger you do not leave the community to read or send private messages.
You can label, organize, and describe content that you reference frequently by applying user-defined metadata, or tags, to the content. This labeling creates a knowledge map for others to follow. The individual tags are consolidated into tag clouds at each level of the community, allowing members to quickly locate important content. Top taggers leader boards give frequent contributors recognition for their efforts. Before creating your own tag it is recommended that you search the tags that have already been used with forum posts.