Communities Platform Upgrade

We recently mentioned that an upgrade to our Communities site is coming. A sneak peek at the next release is below:
Our biggest effort is to provide “new and improved” for the user experience. Although we are starting simple, there are a number of things will be introduced on the platform and as "programs" to help make Communities an awesome experience. Some of the Communities "programs" we are working on include:
  • Change Management
  • Messaging and Communications
  • “Virtual Office Hours”
  • Single sign-on enhancements
  • Access to product
    • Downloads
    • Documentation
    • Training/LEARNservices
  • Personalized communities for organizations, projects, etc.
  • Gamification/badging
  • Reputation/leaderboards
  • Ideation
  • Localization of content
  • Integration with products
  • Expand to be more “social”
  • “BeMVP” Program Upgrade
  • Webinar Integration
  • Interactive LEARN Sessions
  • Calendar Integration
We will be identifying those "programs" separately over time. From the Communities platform perspective, we are concentrating on new and better functionality. Every few days following this, we will be providing information on various enhancements that are coming in the next release of the platform... mainly as a head's up to identify some of the changes (and how they will benefit members).
Our current ETA on these things being in place is about a month, and then we are looking to upgrade the platform every six months.
There are many good things coming, so stay tuned...
  • Very good questions. All of these concepts are connected -- some directly, some indirectly. The overall premise is to provide a better way to identify (and raise the visibility of) those who provide quality information. Currently, the system we are using identifies quantity more than quality. The former does contribute (some) to the latter, but the two are definitely not equal in terms of metrics. So...:

    + Gamification is something that started in the gaming industry (hence the name), but applies in many other areas, too, including that for our business. Wikipedia provides a fairly comprehensive dive into that -- see for that.

    + Badges demonstrate status and progress through visual presentation. In our communities, we are looking to do that through either the avatar or member name fly-over (currently it is manual and pretty static, our vision is to make that more dynamic in nature).

    + Reputation is a quality metric that contributes to the above.

    + Leaderboards will show things like who has the most contributions, who has the most replies, who has the most likes/kudos, who has the most replies to contributions, etc.

    + Ideation is something that adds challenge posing and idea generation, rating, commenting, voting, and triage to any system (i.e. communities). We are currently using that in a few areas -- it was previously "documented" in -- and are working on a plan to integrate that into our product planning system.

    + Calendar integration is mainly to identify certain upcoming events that are relevant to the community they will appear in.

    We are still working some of these things out, but do plan to provide more details on them as we move forward. We just wanted to provide a "head's up" on things that we will be integrating into the communities platform over time.

  • What is "Gamification/badging", "Reputation/leaderboards" and "Ideation". I kind of understand the words but not in the context of a forum.

    How does "Calender Integration" work and what does it integrate with?