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New functionality - for Discussions and Demographics

By Mark Eichler posted May 19, 2014 02:53 PM


Hello HUG, a few days ago (OK, 18 days ago) I promised to provide you with an overview of new functionality.  The truth is that I was waiting to elaborate because we are tantalizingly close to two different enhancements that will likely be very valuable to you.  After two weeks I am still tantalized by those new items, but I won't wait to tell you about other new stuff.  If you want hints about what this blog post does not include, Rob alluded to one of them a while back while the other one is based on this

Those enhancements are great but I will wait for them to be live on HUG before I tell you more about them.  Today I want to let you know of some recent additions to what Higher Logic offers that you can see on HUG and configure on your sites right now.

Recommend Demographics documentation
Do you like the LinkedIn functionality to endorse the skills and talents of others?  Higher Logic has added similar functionality to Demographics.  Now, individual Demographics can have recommend functionality established for them.  Take a look below.  Use at, for example,  Rob's HUG profile to see this live for the Demographic entitled "Higher Logic Staff Areas of Expertise".  When there feel free to click a thumb to indicate that you agree he has a particular skill.  Also click on the number of recommendations to see a list of those who have recommended.    

Note the display of this Demographic is also new.  When a Demographic is configured to support recommendations the presentation is within "boxes".  You can have the box format without the recommend functionality.

How is this configured?  The configuration occurs on the ds:ContactDemographicEdit Content Item within the Profile page itself.  It does not occur within the Manage Demographics area of CCAdmin.  The three relevant Parameters are :

  • DisplayValue="CommaSeparated" : no boxes - this is the default and standard presentation of demographic values
  • DisplayValue="BoxesNoRecommend" : displays in box format with no recommend functionality 
  • DisplayValue="BoxesWIthRecommend" : displays in box format with recommend functionality
It is likely that some Demographics in your system do not lend themselves well to recommend functionality or box formatting.  Values with very long multiword names are unlikely to look great as recommendable or within the display box.  Further, text strings added by the user can have box display but not recommend functionality.  We erred on the side of caution to ensure a change in text by a user can't misrepresent the recommendations of the community.  That being said, recommend functionality on Demographics has a lot of utility - feel free to use it creatively and let the community benefit from your example.  

Best Answer for Discussions documentation
A number of clients have asked for functionality to help a user find the highest-value post within a long Discussion thread.  That is now possible with the addition of best answer functionality for Discussion.  You can see a good example of the functionality and the business need it supports with this Discussion string on the Heartbleed bug (a bug that did not impact Higher Logic sites, by the way).  Conor's post on the topic is the definitive answer, and the page-top summary makes the path to it clear. 

Configuration of the Best Answer occurs on the View Thread page (page code: viewthread) on the eg:ViewThread Content Item.  Simply add the ShowBestAnswer="True" Parameter to that User Control (it is set to false by default).  When it is in place three kinds of users can note or change the best answer - the user who started the thread, Community Admins and HLAdmins. 

I hope you find this new functionality useful.  Feel free to ask questions and post about your experiences through the Discussion post linked below. 




Jun 10, 2014 01:35 PM

I tested it.

May 20, 2014 11:25 AM

Laura, I am glad you like the best answer functionality. The best answer is chosen by the initiator of the thread or an admin. Those users see a “Make Best Answer” button on all replies when looking at the thread view for the thread. The option to remove best answer status is presented in the same area. Only one best answer can be chosen per thread. It is not a function of recommendations, and best answer buttons are not included in Discussion email. We won’t be making any changes to this functionality in the near future. I hope it can meet your organization’s needs as it is coded now

May 20, 2014 09:52 AM

Mark, thanks for this. Exciting changes for sure. I especially like the "best response" functionality. Please help me better understand how that post is flagged as the best one. My ideal would be that it is tied to the "recommend" function, so that the participants themselves vote it up. As admin, I don't have the time or expertise to do this myself. Thanks for your feedback on this.