Tour PC World’s New Community

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Wed, 22 Aug 2007 16:00:00 UTC

PC World is proud to unveil its brand new community platform, based on Jive Software’s ClearspaceX platform. You can check it out right now!

The new community platform retains our popular message-board discussions while adding robust features such as blogs and wiki documents. PC World community members have more freedom than ever to express themselves, discuss news and issues, troubleshoot and solve problems, and write their own tech encyclopedia. For more information, see our “What is Clearspace?” wiki document.

Differences From the Previous PC World Community

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The community has undergone a few major changes in its layout, as well. First, the PC World site navigation on the left side of the page is gone, replaced by community-specific navigation. Additional community-specific navigation is available across the top of the page, under the PC World header and the horizontal ad. The vertical ad on the right side of the page is also gone, allowing the community the full width of the page. In addition to the forums, which are now called discussions, we’ve added access to two more content types: documents and blog posts.

Top Navigation

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Click to view full-size image. At the top of every page is a horizontal navigation area designed to help you get around quickly and efficiently. From this list, you can create new content, see Your Stuff (including your profile, your preferences, your open questions, and content you have created), examine your History (items you have recently viewed), or browse (blogs, documents, discussions, tags, people, or communities).

‘What’s New’: The Community Home Page

The “What’s New” page has pointers to three new content types: the current top members for the entire community, a full list of communities, and a list of everything that has been posted to the community in reverse chronological order, with the newest items on top.

Each linked item in the list has an icon next to it, so you can quickly identify it by its content type. You will also see how long ago it was posted and where it was posted. The user name of the post’s author, linked to that person’s profile, appears along with that person’s avatar. You can filter this list by content type, or you can create a custom view that shows content from forums that are of particular interest to you.

The Three Content Types

Click to view full-size image. The community’s three content types are identifiable by icons and a new color scheme: a silver speech bubble (and a gray-blue background) for discussions, a green circle (and a light green background) for blogs, and a yellow page icon (and a pale yellow background) for documents. For more information, see our “What is the difference between a document, a blog post, and a discussion?” wiki document.

Top Members

Top Members Underneath the list of communities is the new top-members list. Members are ranked according to their point totals, and members with the highest rank are shown here with their avatar and rank icon. Top members in the entire community appear on the home page, while top members in individual topic communities are highlighted on those pages.

Communities

CommunitiesWhat we used to call a “forum” is a “community” in Clearspace. These individual topic areas are listed along the left side, and are mostly the same as they were in the previous PC World forum. Each community contains its own discussion forum, blog, and array of wiki documents. Content can be linked across communities by tags.

Popular Tags

Popular TagsBelow the list of communities is a tag cloud, a collection of the most popular tags from around the entire PC World community (and in specific topic communities, on those pages). The larger the font, the more popular the tag is. You can click on any tag to see a list of all content tagged with that word or phrase. See our “About tags and tag groups” wiki document for more information.

Diving In: Inside a Community

Click to view full-size image.When you enter a community, you will see a tabbed interface that provides an overview of all content in the community, plus “What’s New”; you may also go straight to the discussions, blog, or documents for that community.

To create content, select the appropriate link from the Actions menu on the right side: Create a discussion, Create a document, or Create a blog post.

For more detailed information on specific content types, search for items tagged with that content type. For all documents relating to the platform, search for the tag “clearspace”.

The Points System

Instead of basing user status levels on the number of posts, we have switched to a points-based system that awards points for participation as well as contributions. You receive points for starting discussion threads, making blog entries, and creating wiki documents. You also get points when other members of the community find your message-board posts helpful or accurate in answering questions. View a list of the points per action and user ranks in our “Community Points System” wiki document.

Posting Questions

Click to view full-size image.If you are asking a question in the discussion area, you now have the ability to mark your thread as a question. This clearly identifies it for members who are looking to help.

Click to view full-size image.A message at the top of the forum thread will indicate whether the question is answered or unanswered, and how many helpful or correct answers are available. Each thread can have a maximum of one correct answer and two helpful answers. The member who asked the question is responsible for designating helpful and correct answers for the awarding of points.

For more information, see “How do I ask a question in the community?” and ” If someone answers my question, how do I say so?”

Converting Discussions to Documents

Converting Discussions to DocumentsOur community generates so many great tips, tricks, and solutions, but finding these nuggets of wisdom can often be challenging. Lots of great information gets buried under other forum threads. Now, however, when a message thread contains really useful information for other members, you can easily turn the discussion thread into a wiki document.

When you click the Convert thread to document button on any discussion thread, the system automatically loads the thread content into a wiki template. From there you can edit the thread into a concise wiki document and submit it for approval. When you convert a thread to a wiki document, a link within it automatically connects back to the thread; that way, should a reader of the wiki document want to see the original discussion, they can do so with one click.

Reporting Abuse

Click to view full-size image.Although we have a fantastic and dedicated Member Moderator team, we can’t be everywhere all at once. Do you see something in our community that you think is a violation of our Community Standards? Now you can report such posts to the moderators for review by clicking the Report Abuse button, located at the bottom of every message-board post. Fill out a simple form indicating why you think the post should be removed, and a moderator will review and process your request. For more information, see our “How to report a Community Stand

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