In response to a number of requests we've received, we're about to introduce multi-word tagging so that community members can use phrases as tags instead of just single words.
This new feature adds one more check box to the Tagging Settings: Turn on Multi-Word Tags. That's all there is to it from the administration side.
For community members, we have updated FAQs that describe the new tagging feature and explain how you can tell whether a community uses one-word or multi-word tags.
The secret is in the prompt that community members see when they click in the Add Tag box.
If your community allows only one word tags, you see this prompt: Use spaces between tags.
If your community allows multi-word tags, you see this prompt: Use commas between tags.
That's all there is to it.
PS: If you want to migrate existing tags that contain underscores to separate words, you can easily replace the old form with the new one. See the attached Tagging Guide for more information.
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As ScottD mentioned in the Lithosphere Log, we're going to be posting items from the Lithium product documentation library as attachments to articles in this blog.
Here's the way it will work. Each week, I'll be posting an article that talks about a Lithium platform feature. And attached to that article, will be the PDF version of the corresponding guide.
The vast majority of our guides are geared to community administrators, and include information about what the feature is, how it works, how (and why) you might use it in your community, and instructions for turning the feature on and configuring it.
Ready? Here goes.
Following up on my last post about ideas, today's installment is also about ideas.
Ideas—everyone has them and given the slightest encouragement, most people are willing to share theirs. If you ask them, your customers will tell you the enhancements and new features they want, the topics they’re interested in hearing about at your next user conference, or even what you should call a new product.
The challenge is to capture those ideas in a systematic way, identify the most important ones, and provide feedback and encouragement to keep the ideas flowing. Customers need to know that you are listening and acting on their best ideas. However, these are challenges that online communities in general and Lithium Idea Exchanges in particular are uniquely designed to meet. (Hey, we wouldn't be spelling out the challenges if we didn't have a solution.)
Whether you're jump-starting a new community or adding a new dimension to an existing one, idea exchanges provide an easy way to embark on or extend the conversation with your customers.
The full document is attached here for your reference – let us know if you have any questions or feedback!
Image: From WikiMedia
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We've just published a new online ideation white paper with the unwieldy title of: Succeeding With Online Idea Exchanges: Why You Need One And What You Need to Know Before You Begin White Paper.
As the, ahem, author of the piece, I thought I'd share some additional material from my research about ideas and idea exchanges.
The first official use of an idea exchange was at Lithium, of course. We had this new product under development to facilitate online ideation, but didn't know what to call it. So we created an idea exchange and opened it up to everyone in the company for suggestions. Employees submitted their ideas for names and we all voted on the ones we liked the best. The results were sometimes illuminating, sometimes funny (and pun-y). Although wiser heads prevailed in the end, we got to see first hand the excitement that an idea exchange can generate.
The current king of community crowdsourcing is undoubtedly Threadless. The business model is simplicity itself: community members submit t-shirt designs and vote on the ones the like best. When a design garners enough orders, the company puts it into production. According to an April Forbes interview with Threadless founders, the Threadless community has more than 1,000,000 members and receives hundreds of designs every day. A great source of pride for the company is that Threadless and its community can tell a story about the creation of every t-shirt they sell.
Clearly, it takes a very special business model to trust the entire product development process to a community. However, product development is not the only way to use an idea exchange. Contests come to mind as an easy way to ease into ideation: post some ideas and ask your community members to vote.
Anyone have some other ideas?
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