All Treats: No Tricks

By Mark Eichler posted Oct 06, 2015 01:55 PM


What’s your favorite holiday?  A lot of people now say Halloween.  It has been third in popularity in the United States for four years - behind only Christmas and Thanksgiving.  This means that the “holiday season” inclusive of the top-three US holidays is a 2 month span beginning in late October. 

Super Forum attendees may feel the “most wonderful time of the year” begins the week before Halloween this year.  Higher Logic’s 6th Annual User Group Meeting, kicking off October 21, really is appropriately timed – it combines the best of the “holiday big-3”.  We’ve got sweet software treats to share; tables full of hot, stuffed functionality to enjoy; giant orange product packages ready for unwrapping.  Here's what we are eager to unveil at Super Forum - either to be released of the week of October 18 or shortly thereafter:

Consolidated Digests
Would you like an email digest that includes content from all communities?  Would you like an email digest that includes discussion posts AND community library entries/blog/events/announcements?  Everything with a community attribution, across communities, in a single configurable digest: is this the Holy Grail? Actually, it is two Holy Grails. Daily and Weekly Consolidated Digests are a real game changer.  Discussions have long been Higher Logic's cornerstone engagement product. This is in large part because Discussion posts are circulated by email in Daily Digest and Real Time formats.  We are now extending the kinds of content included in email through two new "consolidated digest" offerings - Daily Consolidated Digest and Weekly Consolidated Digest. Everything newly created with a community attribution across all communities can be included in these new digests - Library Entries, Blogs, Events, Announcements. We anticipate a bonanza of accelerated engagement with all community content subject to email delivery. 

Search relevance scoring logic is completely reworked.  But what happens behind the scenes is just the beginning. A new interface introduces faceting to search results - the kind of experience provided by online retailers like Amazon.  Now, the user is empowered to understand the results returned and easily modify result sets to include or exclude types of content, content within specific communities, dates and much more.   We anticipate more content being found, more information being discovered, more replies, more engagement, and much greater user satisfaction overall. 

Event Manager 
Higher Logic's premium event management product keeps getting better.  A streamlined event page includes registration through a shopping cart experience, moving away with the multi-page registration wizard for the most common event configurations.  For these events the user never leaves the event description page when registering – payments are processed in a pop-up modal.  We are also now fully integrated with Stripe, a leading online payment processor. Further, dozens of small but meaningful improvements have been made to ensure the events are created by Community Admins correctly while optimal registration experiences are extended to users. 

Communities can now, where desired, extend anonymous posting experiences to their members. This allows sensitive topics to be the subject of a conversation without “outing” the poster.  Further, we have revised the experience of creating discussion posts on a website. The poster's signature now displays below the editor to ensure users understand how their message will be presented.  Also below - now outside - the editor is the previous post when the user is making a reply.  Copy/paste of part of the past message into the editor will be "quote styled" - formatted to clarify an inline response to the question/statement in the last post.    

And there is more. New Automation Rule options and enhancements to the interface to set rules are coming. Volunteer Manager, our newest product offering, has enhanced reports and tools for admins to understand and manage the platform.  Our “coming soon” previews will also include the first glimpse at the content management system (CMS) revision – page and content item editing changes will be in focus.  Of course there are a number of small enhancements sprinkled through all the products – sometimes the best gifts do come in small packages.  

We're hoping you'll join us in Arlington, Virginia, for the 6th Annual Higher Logic Super Forum starting October 21.  "It's the most wonderful time of the year..."