Okay, now what?

To those who are new to Bentley or to Bentley Communities, "Okay, now what?" is sometimes the first question asked. Granted, Communities can be an imposing site (pun intended...), but it is pretty easy to get information you are looking for or answers to questions you have. The most important things to do are:

  1. know what you are looking for
  2. sign in to Communities (you may first have to join the site if you are not a member)

Then follow these simple steps:

  1. If you have a question or are looking for information, use some of the predefined searches in the picklist on the Product Support page.
  2. For those who are more adventurous, use the site's search utility -- how that works has been covered elsewhere, but basically start by entering two or three words that accurately describe what it is you are looking for in the field at the top of every Communities page. You can refine the search to narrow down the results.
  3. If you cannot find the information you are looking for through the search utility, then you should go to the most applicable community -- which one will depend on what you are looking for. If the information you seek or want to share or question you have:
    1. is technical in nature and about a commercial release of a Bentley product, you should go to the most applicable Product Community. In some instances, like if the Bentley Product is in beta stage, you may have to request to join or be invited to a private community first to ask your question or see what others are saying.
    2. is about Bentley LEARN, a Bentley Program, or a User Community, start by going to Community Central.
  4. Once you have found (or joined) the community that applies most to what you want, you should go to the most applicable application within that community:
    1. If you have a question, you most likely will want to post the inquiry in a community forum
      1. Do not post technical questions as a blog or wiki article or a comment to a blog or wiki article. Only if your question is about that blog or wiki article should you post it as a comment to that article.
      2. When you post your inquiry in a forum, make sure to include relevant details.
    2. If you have a file or an image that you would like to share, or if you are looking for a file or image, the files area is best place for you.
  5. Of course, if all else fails or you are unsure about where you should go on the site to look for information or post your question, the Help community forum is a great place to ask.

The community applications this site hosts (e.g. forums, blogs, wikis, etc.) each serve different purposes, yet collectively accomplish a similar goal -- to provide access to information that would otherwise be MUCH more difficult to find (or even contribute). We are by no means "done", though, in improving the user experience of Communities. There are projects underway now to make it easier and easier to get to relevant information and even have it delivered TO YOU as soon as it becomes available, so you do not even have to look for it.