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Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

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Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of the Microsoft Tech Community, bringing multiple communities together in one central location to support discussions and best practice sharing across a variety of Microsoft products and services.  The Microsoft Tech Community is an evolution of the Office 365 Network, growing to support new Azure; Windows Server, and SQL Server Communities and in future many more communities.  The URL of the new community will change soon to http://techcommunity.microsoft.com and redirects will be in place for any existing URL on the http://network.office.com domain.

 

In today's announcement, not only will you see new communities added but you will also see the following features:

  • New Navigation Menu that reflects all of your favorite spaces, making it easier for you to navigate from space to space.  Spaces can be discussions, blogs or idea exchanges and when favorited will appear here.
  • Microsoft Ignite Community page launched: https://network.office.com/t5/Microsoft-Ignite-Conversations/bd-p/IgniteCommunity
    • Discussions about Microsoft Ignite are happening here: https://network.office.com/t5/Microsoft-Ignite-Conversations/bd-p/IgniteCommunity
    • Coming soon: Discussion threads for each session!  Make sure you favorite the Microsoft Ignite Content space to stay up to date on the latest sessions!
    • You can find the Microsoft Ignite Community Page via the new navigation menu under 'Events'.  In our roadmap, this Events landing page will house more than just Microsoft Ignite but in the lead-up to the September event all our events efforts will be focused on Microsoft Ignite.
  • New styling applied to Avatars.  Colored rings indicate different community roles:
    • 'Red' = a MTC (Microsoft Tech Community) Community Manager
    • 'Blue' = a Microsoft Employee
    • 'Green' = a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional)
  • Profile Hovercards activated when hovering over a member's avatar so you can easily see which organization they belong to and what their activity is on the MTC
    • A 'Follow' button will be applied soon and we are working on a 'People' section to help you manage your networks and feeds from the people you follow in the MTC
  • Toggle between Blogs and Discussions in Communities: While we don't have blogs everywhere in the community yet, we are supporting the concept of blogs in the community.  This will be where Microsoft Product Experts will be sharing product news, insight into how Microsoft products work and best practices they've observed.  'Favorite' Blog spaces to power your feed in your Home Page.

 

We have temporarily taken the Community Ideas section offline while we are working on some bug fixes.  While you wait you can use the Community Discussion space to share feedback on the new community.  Once Community Ideas are back online we'll be making an announcement in the Community Info Center.

 

Coming soon:

  • 'More Resources' links in the right hand rail of Communities
  • Continuing to refine threading and whitespace in conversations for desktop and on mobile
  • Ability to 'Follow' users via a button on their hovercard
  • 'People' section (more on this soon)
  • More Blogs & More Communities!

 

The following fixes to bugs have been applied:

  • Notification alert is now back on your Avatar via the Profile Menu
    • To fix this bug we had to revert back to our original larger Profile Menu.  We are investigating ways to make this profile menu smaller
  • Community Spaces tiles are now wider to support longer Space names
  • Removed the 'Sign In' text next to the Avatar placeholder image to support a better mobile experience

 

Known bugs and issues we are working on fixing:

  • @mentions not working on all browsers
  • Line breaks in Firefox and on iOS in incorrect places
  • Styling of the hyperlinks in the notifications feed
  • Replies, Likes and Views Icons not appearing in IE 11 and IE 9 browsers

 

Please continue to share your feedback in the new Microsoft Tech Community.  We are scheduled to shut down the Office 365 Network on Yammer on September 15 (read announcement here).  If you have questions about the future of groups that exist on the Yammer network and unable to find them on the new Microsoft Tech Community, please let us know via the Community Discussion space.  Thank you for your input so far, we will continue to make updates to features of the MTC and the best way to stay informed is by favouriting the Community Announcements space to power your feed.

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12 Replies

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

What does this mean for the MSDN/TechNet forums, UserVoice.com and answers.microsoft.com ?

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Oh and there's www.skypefeedback.com (which is UserVoice under the hood) for Skype for Business.

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Hi @Craig Humphrey thanks for your question.  We are investigating UserVoice integration so you don't have to visit two places to deliver product feedback and suggestions.  Answers.microsoft.com continues to be the place for Microsoft support.  The Microsoft Tech Community is a destination for discussions and best practices on Microsoft technologies.  TechNet remains to be a place for documentation and learning for IT Professionals and MSDN similarly is a destination for Microsoft resources relevant for  Developers and Testers.

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Thanks Anna. It still means people looking for resolutions to problems are going to have to search across a number of sites and potentially sign-up with differing credentials... (Some use MS accounts, some use Facebook, some user others...). I understand and appreciate the different focus' of each of these sites, but the reality is that the differences are essentially lost/meaningless when people are trying to resolve issues. The first place that comes up with the closest answer, is likely to be where the conversation continues, regardless of appropriateness.

A person bug-bear of mine is SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online. There's a thriving community in the TechNet/MSDN SharePoint 2013 (and older) forums. But SP2016 has been dropped from the MSDN forums and there's only a single SP2016 forum on TechNet. SPOnline "technical" focus seemed to move to Yammer (Office 365 Network), which is now moving to the new Microsoft Tech Community and has a Developer sub-forum, which kinda goes against what you've stated above.

I think if you're going to continue with quite separate support services, that are partitioned based on focus, rather than just product, then this needs to be enforced and processes need to be put in place to push questions/content/users into the right environments. The different focus' need to be clear and obvious, with perhaps some kind of unified nav/guidance to point users in the right direction (e.g. the Community Nav in MSDN should include links to other support services) - I see TechNet tries to do this, though it's "Other Microsoft Communities" links now just go to answers.microsoft.com

Sorry, just a bit of a rant from someone who already has too many RSS feeds, too many communities, too many support sites, too many emails...

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Hi @Craig Humphrey totally hear you! Microsoft does have a habit of spinning up new destinations to meet specific purposes but when looking at the combined impact it feels fragmented.  In the case of the Microsoft Tech Community we have cross-Microsoft support to make this the one community for technical conversations about Microsoft products and services with IT professionals and experts.  Likely the Microsoft Tech Community will evolve and perhaps further down the line it will be the destination for Developers and other roles too.  With regards to MSDN and TechNet, we are evaluating if we can join forces to create one community but for now, our efforts are focused on this community and making sure it meets its goals. 

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Cool, thanks Anna. Glad to hear there is some thought and long term plans for this!

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

I've search through my settings, how do I activate my green avatar ring?

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

You should see it now @Jason Warren!

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Quick question, The posts from Yammer ...:

1) will be migrated to the MSTech, or

2) They will stay in the old Yammer Group, or

3) They will be deleted

 

I couldn't find an answer for this.

 

Thanks,

 

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Hi Sergio, posts from the Office 365 Network on Yammer will not be migrated to the Microsoft Tech Community.  On September 15th all existing members of the Office 365 Network will not have access to the old network.  If there is any content (files, notes etc) that you want to keep, please do so before the network closes. 

 

To provide some more info that I have mentioned previously on the Office 365 Network for additional context:

  • The move of the Office 365 Network away from Yammer is to allow for unauthenticated viewing and indexing community results via search. This scenario of supporting Internet-public forums is not what the Yammer product is for. We believe there are other, more important investments for Yammer that will benefit customers more. Yammer is for collaborating and communicating in smaller (yet still large – our largest today would be around 500k-600k users) organizations and networks.
    As a company we are still very much committed to Yammer as a product. We believe it provides a best-in-class enterprise social solution for our customers and we have millions of Office 365 customers using Yammer. The product team are making many changes to handle this scale.
  • The Office 365 Network provides tremendous value to our customers through the power of network knowledge and collective experience sharing, which would be highly beneficial if discoverable by Bing and Google search. However today most customers who have not joined the Office 365 Network on Yammer can’t find that information. We have not turned SEO on but already we have seen a huge spike in membership. Of course the shutdown of this network is an impetus to drive people to the Microsoft Tech Community. If this community did not provide value to its members we wouldn't see us hitting over 10,000 members today. We expect many more to join during Microsoft Ignite and after the event has finished. SEO will be turned on before Microsoft Ignite.
  • We established early on that read-only access is not possible on Yammer networks. If that option was available to us we would have explored it further but sadly it isn't.
    Migration of conversations is a loaded topic because 1) for a migrated conversation to be meaningful every person on that thread needs to be a member of the community. 2) Turning SEO on means anyone can view and read your conversations. The Office 365 Network on Yammer was a closed network and community results could not be searched. To respect the privacy of members who do not wish to have their conversations found via search engines, we are not migrating conversations to the new community that allows for unauthenticated viewing.

Re: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Hi Anna, great news! What about the Spanish content? Can I write in spanish? I'm from Argentine and my main contributions are in Spanish.

 

Let me know.

Thank you!

RE: Announcing the Microsoft Tech Community!

Good luck ! :)
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