Community spirit: the low down on Telligent Enterprise 3.0 / Telligent Community 6.0

Twitter was set alight on Tuesday afternoon after Rob Howards preview webinar of Telligent Enterprise 3.0 & Community 6.0. As a Telligent Partner we have been working with the release candidate for Telligent Enterprise 3.0 for a while now, getting to grips with the new features and functionality so I wanted to give you a taster of things to come and how you can use them to benefit your community.

I talk in this post about Telligent Enterprise 3.0 but all of these features are also available in Telligent Community 6.0 as they share the same code-base.

New Features

The features covered in today's post are:

  • Faceted Search
  • User hover-over Information
  • Recommended Content
  • Weekly / Daily Email Digests
  • Widget Design Studio

Faceted Search

Faceted Search - what is it?

Faceted Search is essentially a way of filtering and ordering information by multiple parameters, usually seen on eCommerce sites where you can filter by product type, price ranges and categories.

Sounds interesting, tell me more...

In Telligent Enterprise 2.6 and below the search worked well but there were a limited number of ways to filter and drill-down into the search results.

There was an 'Advanced' option built on an open source search platform (SOLR) that allowed users to filter by 'Application Type' (i.e Blog, Forum etc) and date and user. However this was not flexible enough and required customisation by developers to add additional filtering options.

In Enterprise 3.0 however the search results can be filtered further using a number of options on the right-hand-side of the search results. The application type can be chosen to select only Blogs for example or Forum posts instead. The Group, Author, Tags and Dates can also be selected filtering the result set further.

For example if I wanted to find all Blog posts in our Football Club Blog by Andrew Maudsley , this is very easy in the new interface. You can see from the image above the results have been filtered by all of these criteria and the search is now showing a single result which is the blog post from this month by Andy.

You can remove any of the filters at any time by clicking the X symbol and you can mouse-over the results to view further information about results, such as the Author, number of posts and members in a group.

How can Faceted search improve my Community?

The end users of your community will be able to locate, filter and sort in a much more flexible manner. For example if you use the Telligent Enterprise File Galleries to store documents such as PDF's and users are searching for documents, they will now be able to use the Author, File Type, Date and Tag filters to quickly locate the file they are after. A great step forward that results in an easy to use powerful community search.

User Hover-Over Information

User Hover-Over - what is it?

The user hover-over appears whenever you move your mouse over a users username in the Community (such as in the activity streams and friend list widget). It displays the users Avatar and username and some additonal information and calls to action.

Ok, tell me more...

These user hover-overs were available in previous versions of Telligent Enterprise / Community; however, in Telligent Enterprise 3.0 the avatar is shown. You can also see a user’s recent activity and view their badges or points. We have added our own badges here; Alex is a new employee at Building Blocks so that's why he gets that badge.

Most importantly it has a number of new calls-to-action such as adding a user as a friend or sending them a message right from the pop-up. In addition to this you could also install the new Telligent Enterprise Microsoft Lync Module and you will be able to see the present status of the user and message them through your Lync client.

How can this improve my Community?

Users will be able to view additional information on other users they are interested in connecting with much easier. The larger avatars will assist in identifying friends, colleges and contacts quickly allowing conversations and connections to be initiated with a single click creating a better end-user experience in your community.

Content Recommendations

Content Recommendations - what are they?

This is a new widget in Enterprise 3.0 that aim's to assist with content discovery by promoting relevant content from your community.

Sounds Interesting....

The widget can be configured to pull specific types of content including from specific groups if required. In this case I have configured the widget to show other blog posts in the music blog I write on our company intranet. The widget uses the API to automatically suggest other blog posts I have written that are similar to the current blog post.

How can this improve my Community?

The recommended content widget could be added to specific areas of the community to help identify content for your users. For example if you have a support forum this widget could be added in the side-bar, as the forum thread develops it will automatically suggest similar threads to the user. Some of these threads may answer the users question and therefore they can resolve their problem quicker resulting in improved customer satisfaction and service.

This is a neat feature and something which can be used in your community sites to help users find content within specific groups and sections of your community.

Weekly / Daily Email Digests

Weekly / Daily Email Digests - what are they?

These are email summaries of the key activity that has occurred in a group over a week or day depending on the settings selected by the user.

Sounds good, tell me more...

In Telligent Enterprise 2.x when users joined a group they were automatically subscribed to notifications and received an email for any activity occurring within a group (unless they unsubscribed).

In Telligent Enterprise 3.0 / Community 6.0 users can configure how they wish to receive updates, either with the standard notifications, a daily digest of activity or a weekly digest.

The example shown above is a weekly digest I receive from our internal technical group and shows some new posts from Ryan (our Tridion Practice Manager). A weekly summary is ideal for me for this particular group.

In addition to the digest functionality users can manage their digest settings for any group they are a member of under the "settings" area on a new tab called "email" which now covers all of the email settings for a user.

How can this improve my Community?

All users and groups are different some users will want to be kept up-to-date with notifications as things happen, or on a daily basis. However, for some users (or certain groups) a weekly digest is preferable, this feature provides this flexibility. The key benefit here though is that these emails should remind users to come back and visit the community creating stickiness to help increase user visits and site activity.

This is a feature a number of our clients have been eagerly awaiting as many users would prefer not to get notifications in their inbox as things happen.

Widget Design Studio

Widget Design Studio - what is this?

The widget design studio is the new, flexible editing tool to allow customisation of the widgets that make up the Telligent Enterprise / Community interface.

Great, how does this work?

The widget design studio lists all out-of-the-box widgets and allows you to edit the widget templates (a combination of HTML and NVelocity markup - essentially code) and the configuration files, resources (text), images, style sheets and so forth that make up a widget.

It is possible to copy an out-of-the-box widget and save it with a new name, for example I could create a widget called "BB Activity Message List" and edit the template as I wish.

I could then also add additional configuration options that will show when I enter edit mode or customise the resources to use different visual language for my community.

You can also use the widget design studio to create your own custom widgets which is something I will be talking about in later posts, so keep coming back to make sure you don’t miss out.

How can this improve my Community?

Ever wanted to make a quick change to the text or layout of a widget and had to get a developer or somebody technical to make the change for you - well now you don't have to.

With little or no technical knowledge it is possible to make customisations to out-of-the-box widgets and create your own widgets right in the control panel.

This means you can be much more responsive to the needs of your community allowing you to adapt and modify the as and when you need to without the development cost.

Once your widgets have been customised or created they can be exported and imported between your different environments (test, staging, live etc.) making deployments much easier. It is also easy to share your customisations on the Telligent Marketplace in this way.

As I am a developer at heart this is one of the most exciting improvements for me and I believe a lot of our clients will benefit from this more agile approach to widget customisation.

Finally...

Telligent Enterprise 3.0 / Community 6.0 include over 50 new features so it's impossible for me to cover them all in this post. However, I hope this gives you some insight into some of the key new features and how they might improve your community and your end-user experience.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions.

Adam

Any questions?

If you need more information or have any questions just get in touch and we'd be happy to answer them for you.