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Community Manager

Today we are releasing the first in a series of updates to the Microsoft Tech community designed to help connect you to the topics that interest you the most as quickly as possible.

Over the last few years, the membership of the Microsoft Tech Community has more than tripled, and over the same time the number of topics we support has grown by much more than that.

Listening to your feedback we recognized that there were a few key areas you were looking for us to make some improvements:

 

  • Personalization of the experience
  • Discoverability of new content
  • Speed of the platform overall

Over the next few months, we are working with our partners, engineers, and community insiders on each of these areas.

 

Today we have just released our first three changes, aimed at starting this journey.

 

Simplification of the community structure

During our recent surveys it became clear that many users were confused on the difference between Products & Services and Solutions. For this reason, we have renamed these areas:

Products:  contains all communities that directly connect to a Microsoft Product or service

Special Topics:  Communities that are of special interest, speak to a specific audience or sector

We had a discussed breaking them down into smaller groups, but  decided, based on feedback, that smaller groups would only add an extra click and potentially further confuse.

 

Community Hubs Menu

The old communities navigation entry has been rebranded “Community Hubs” which, when expanded, will give you access to communities you’re a member of and a list of the most active communities in both Products & Special Topics. We have also created new featured communities. We will use these areas to promote new communities or communities which we feel users might be looking for.

Allen_0-1589819557895.png

 

 

As we continue the roll out of changes you will see more use of the term “hubs” to denote the top level of a specific area of the community, more to follow on that in due course.

 

Related conversations

Many of you have told us that the related conversations, that are in the side bar of each thread, are not that useful and frequently not actually relevant to the topic you are currently reading.

In this release we have focused on the related conversations component and expanded it. We are now building a query of related content based upon the subject of the post you are currently viewing.

Of course that means it will only ever be as good as the subject heading the original author has chosen. We would like to  remind you to think about your fellow community members and make sure your posts subject headings are as relevant as they can be.

 

We have also added “Related Blog posts” and “Related Videos”. This will help you discover blogs about or relating to the message you are currently reading, while the related videos section will surface the first video from any session in our events that maybe related to the same post.

 

Coming soon..

Over the next few weeks are going to undertake a review of some features that we know are slowing pages down and look to see what we can do to speed them up or replace them and we have more things to do to help you personalize your experiences here in the community, I will share more on them as we get closer to releasing them.

 

Please do tell us what you think about the new features below and if there is anything you would like to see us add please submit it to our Community Ideas.

7 Comments

Great news and awesome new features, Congrats Team!

 

Best Regards,
Nuno Árias Silva

New Contributor

I totally understand the use and promotion of Microsoft Sway in the weekly roundup. Maybe it's my machine/connection/etc. but I have always found the Sways not to load properly and swiftly, unlike the PowerPoint's that they have allegedly derived from (my speculation). I make it a point to go through them in case I missed something important for that week's past posts. It is frustrating, to say the least. Not a major show-stopping quibble, but one that could be avoided.

 

SOT: Why have markdown type options in posting when they can't be used. I was trying to use a subscript and it didn't take.

New Contributor

I'm excited to hear that speed improvements are coming.  I like this community but the page loads are frustrating at times lol.

Regular Contributor

I dislike the new Community Hub menu. It does not integrate well. It's huge and the font sizes don't match with the rest of the page.

And it is confusing. The ">" character implies that it is a list that can be expanded. It took a few seconds to understand that by clicking the left hand items the center area changed in the popup.

 

I preferred how you could click it and just got to the overview immediately, without having to click a second time to "Browse All Community Hubs".

 

 

Community Manager

@Herbie D: Just out of curiosity, is there a format you'd prefer? I actually build them in Sway, and then export them to Word, which is also a possibility to view for you (as an attachment to the Weekly Roundup).

New Contributor

I guess I will use them as a Word document, though PDF is preferred. I thought Sway evolved out of PowerPoint, but ICBW.

Community Manager

@Herbie D: Sounds good! I'll review with our team and consider using a PDF.

 

I don't know the origins of Sway, I thought you were referring to how I develop the Roundup (I thought you were indicating that it looked like I was developing the roundup in PowerPoint and converting to a Sway, whereas I actually compose it directly in Sway). 

 

Thanks for the feedback!