Your developer community provides tremendous value to both you and your users. Whether you want to use your community as a developer marketing tool, to create advocates, or to provide “freemium” advanced support to your users, there are several elements that are present in every successful community.
[RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC], [Nov. 27, 2018] — Devada, the leading resource for engaging developers around the world, announces the appointment of Matt Webb as chief financial officer. Webb adds a unique blend of media and software experience to Devada’s already stellar executive lineup.
Devada Ranked Number 490 Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500™
[RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC], [Nov. 15, 2018] — Devada today announced it ranked 490 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. Devada grew 147% percent during this period.
Are you one of the 1.2 billion users who have a Gmail account? I am. In fact, I have multiple Gmail accounts. Like most people who have multiple accounts, each account serves a different purpose. For example, one is strictly for personal communications, while another is used for business purposes like email newsletter signups, registrations, and whitepaper downloads.
Value in the community lifecycle is tricky to measure. Value and how you define it depends on what stage of the lifecycle your community is in. It is ever-changing, from first launch to growth to maturity. You need to prove the value of your community if you want it to stick around and more importantly, grow.
DURHAM, N.C., Sept 17, 2018 – This week, DZone Inc., provider of online communities that empower developers, announced that it is changing its company name to Devada. The rebranding also coincides with the company’s move into its new headquarters in Research Triangle Park, NC.
If you’re spending the money for an enterprise level developer community solution, you need to make sure you optimize the ROI you get from it. The first steps are setting objectives, ensuring you have great content, and making sure you’re engaging all of your members.
If your company is like most, the workplace is growing more diverse, an enormous advantage as you bring different and unique points of view, cultures, and ideologies together to achieve a common goal. Companies today look to utilize innovation, collaboration, and transparency in order to achieve strategic objectives. The diversity of perspectives yields greater resources applied to the problem or situation. The question is not should we encourage greater participation; it’s what is the best way to do so effectively?
DZone Recognized Among Fastest Growing Private Companies for Fifth Consecutive Year by Inc. Magazine
DZone Inc.,provider of online communities that empower developers, proudly announced today it has been named No. 2887 on the Inc. Magazine list of 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.
DZone Inc., provider of online communities that empower developers, today announced the appointment of veteran marketing executive, Susan C. Wall, as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Susan brings to DZone more than 25 years of experience in marketing, technology, and media. As CMO, Susan will oversee all aspects of branding, positioning and the revenue cycle including the development and execution of strategies to grow the business through the increased acquisition and retention of community members and customers.
You’ve identified the need for a developer community solution, you may be evaluating vendor options, seeing who best solves the problems you’ve identified. The question now becomes, “How do I sell this to my company and get buy in from senior leadership?” The most important thing to have prepared before you go to leadership is a well-developed plan with data to back up your ideas, specifically focused around ROI.
There are two things every company tries to do whenever they are looking at purchasing a new tool, raise the bottom line by reducing costs, or increase their top line by increasing sales. The main problem we see with people researching community software is a lack of focus in what they want the product to do, and what business objectives they want to accomplish. Before moving forward with a solution, you need to ask yourself what your goals are, and can this tool help me accomplish those goals?
Once you recognize the need for a developer community, the next step is putting together a list of wants and needs for your community. We created the following list of things every great developer community needs.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – DZone, an emerging entrepreneurial company that provides a growing variety of content for software programmers and web designers and under the direction of a new CEO, will relocate its headquarters to RTP from Cary.
In its basic form, knowledge management is about converting available raw data into digestible information. That information is then placed in a reusable repository for the benefit of any future need based on similar kinds of experiences. Knowledge management contributes to the streamlining of ideas, solved problems, new projects and product deployment driving towards productivity.
A community is only as strong as it's contributors. Whether you're at the top when it comes to user engagement, or you're at the bottom struggling to excite your users to participate, here are 13 tips to help you improve engagement and foster a mentality of sharing.
Ideation, in terms of community, can be a useful tool on several fronts. It can motivate employees helping them feel appreciated when others vote for their ideas. It can also be used to increase engagement, ensuring your developers stay in your community and continue to grow. Most importantly, it can be the driver of your product development as your community suggests new uses and features they would like to see.
There are countless free and inexpensive options if someone is looking for a Q&A solution for their teams. Heck, the founder of AnswerHub is the same person who developed OSQA (open source Q&A). Why did he revisit the solution and turn it into a paid solution then? The answer isn’t just that he wanted to make money (although that’s always nice).
A developer community generally defined is a group of developers gathered in a place to achieve a common goal. Thanks for reading!
AnswerHub’s story begins in the mid 90s when the founder of DZone, Rick Ross, recognized the need for developer communication and also saw an opportunity to solve this need using the internet, a new tool at the time. He set up a community site called Javalobby for developer-focused news and information where anyone could come for free and get information.
Dealing with different personalities, across different generations, all with their own different sets of motivations can be one of the toughest challenges managers face today. While it may be impossible to please everyone, there are some things that are almost universally known to motivate people. These things range from one of the oldest parts of human society, games, to simply providing easy access to relevant information.
Picking the right tool to build your developer community to be a space where people want to spend time is hard. Getting users engaged and actively contributing is a whole new level of challenge. Below are three proven keys to marketing your developer community, encouraging users to make your space their digital home for Questions & Answers, articles related to your business objectives, and ideas to build your product roadmap.
The product roadmap can be a winding and twisting path with branches that lead to dead ends. The best roadmaps are adaptive and can change when the voice of the customer (driver of your business) lets you know what they want. One of the hardest jobs is understanding what your product does best, what your customers desire and expect out of your product, and what to do next in terms of evolution if there are gaps. The best way to understand what your customers want is to ask them, but not all customers are vocal or can accurately articulate what they want to see next. This is where AnswerHub’s ideation tool can step in and help your community work together to let you know what they want.
Today, a Google search for any type of information will deliver you ads and thousands of results. Many of the results are discussion threads on forums. There are millions of online forums that people around the world use daily. Studies indicate that employees spend 20% of their time, a day each week, looking for information and data.
The goal of implementing a Developer Engagement and Community Platform should always be in pursuit of the following: increased employee productivity, improved customer service (both internal and external), and lower support costs. Successful implementations require meticulous planning, a deep understanding of what makes your company unique in your space, and adequate training for your user-base.
Forrester Research has released a new report focused on their findings studying Development-Only Public Cloud Platforms. The report details the 11 major players in the market, their strengths & weaknesses, and how they stack up.
DZone, Inc. today named Matt Tormollen, an accomplished Raleigh-Durham based technology leader, as its new Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Rick Ross, who retired in December, 2017. Matt will be based at DZone’s headquarters in Cary and started his new role on April 16, 2018.
Game Developers Conference (GDC) is happening this week in San Francisco and if you asked people walking even near the South Hall of the event what they noticed first, they would say “Virtual Reality," and to be fair, you’re not really allowed to miss it.
Written by Jo Stitchbury, Guest Contributor to dzone.com's Developer Marketing Zone
In this article I'm going to review some of the ways I've seen successful developer communities engage with their audience and build a solid, sustainable brand. I'm going to illustrate key points with some high-level examples that I recommend you check out further. I want to point out in advance that I'm not affiliated with any of the communities that I describe below (alhough I did once work for GRAKN.AI) and I don't stand to benefit financially from them.
Tools, Technologies, and Communities: The Three Drivers That Make This an Amazing Time for Software Developers
Cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms are democratizing technology for developers at a rapid clip. Easy access, do-it-yourself components and drag-and-drop apps have catapulted software development from the domain of techies hunched over code in siloed offices out into the daylight of everyday business, where developers are growing globally and at an ever-increasing scale.
Engaged and happy remote developers aren’t identified or sustained in a vacuum. Engagement of remote developers starts with practices championed from the top of your organization down. Your leadership needs to embrace the merits of a global, diverse workforce and support efforts that attract and retain remote employees.
Written by Orlee Berlove, Guest Contributor to dzone.com's Developer Marketing Zone
Finding tech advocates is one of the early wins that any smart marketing team is going to try to get. In marketing, we know that outside publicity is worth at least double anything the marketing department can write about the product internally. So, the idea of an advocate can a bit like the holy grail – you’re always looking for it but it’s hard to find.
Developer evangelists and developer relations managers need to show the business value their efforts are generating. One significant measure of value is developer engagement in your online community. Using the right community software, regularly tracking activity, and reading engagement metrics can give you a keen understanding of how your community is performing. These measures can also give insight into how that performance contributes to your organization’s broader product development goals.
When it comes to developing products, no one knows a product inside and out better than a developer. Developers know a product’s advantages, flaws, uses, and potential uses. It’s their job to know, and it’s in their bones to know.
A developer community platform is different from other online community platforms: a developer community centers around solutions. Developers engage in a community to solve problems, exchange knowledge, and find tools that help them do their jobs better. Your platform should be a highly interactive environment weighted toward coding and best practices in the field.
By: Wendy Dessler, Outreachmama.com
It’s been a hot topic for over a decade now, with little in the way of hard evidence or answers. Are there elite software developers, rock stars of their trade, among us? Does the mythical “10x Developer” actually exist, or has it been an elusive myth all this time?
Developer evangelism is like trying to sell shoes to a bunch of cobblers. Software developers relate to technology, not to the brand or company behind it. They aren’t fazed by traditional marketing tactics, and their radar for being thrown the company party line is keen. You’ll get their attention after you earn street cred by demonstrating your technical know-how and ability to feel their pain. You need to gain their respect before you get their ear.
CARY, N.C. (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 14, 2017
Navigating the world of API developer relations, developer evangelism and advocacy, and developer marketing is no easy task. APIs are dime a dozen (over 16,000 listed on Programmable Web!), but quality developer experiences are more rare. Last week I visited San Jose, CA to hear best practices from API developer program managers and marketers.
Application Programming Interfaces, or API’s, allow two pieces of code’s data to contract allowing independence for evolution and new business opportunities within systems. While the latter may not be entirely new information to developers, the use and adaptability of API’s have been on the rise to help businesses with everyday tasks and accelerate data sharing.
On average the typical person spends 8 ½ hours online and on their phone. The technology industry has grown tremendously in the past decade and it’s necessary to provide innovative technology for an ever-changing market... these changes start with engineering from a developer. We've outlined some key points as to why developers matter so much at playing an integral role to our everyday and our futures.
With hundreds of customers and a variety of use cases, no two AnswerHub communities are the same. But from time to time we encounter a unique use of our software that others might also find compelling and helpful. Enter Jasper Kuria of Capitalandgrowth.org. The Capital and Growth community was born out of Jasper’s own frustrations as a highly skilled engineer and entrepreneur who lacked the necessary marketing savvy to make his first start-up a booming success. We recently sat down with Jasper to find out how he’s made his online community such a sensation.
DZONE: Could you give our readers a brief overview of your company and your online community use case?
JASPER: Sure. My company, Capitalandgrowth.org, is a resource for technical founders and there are three ways in which they can engage with us. The first is our Sales and Marketing Q&A platform powered by AnswerHub, which facilitates the sharing of knowledge between the technical founders, like myself, and dozens of marketing experts. Secondly, on our blog we feature interviews with high profile investors about their investment decisions and processes so that our audience can prepare for upcoming investor meetings. Lastly, we offer courses on marketing should users be interested in more in-depth learning. DZone readers can download our free user acquisition guides here.
DZONE: So you’ve got a robust collection of marketing experts answering these really critical, and usually urgent, questions for entrepreneurs. Clearly you are reading their answers because you have, yourself, turned into quite the marketer. You are single-handedly driving tens of thousands of unique visitors to your community weekly. How are you doing it?
JASPER: Well, it’s not exactly single-handed. I have one other person on my team and two interns who helps promote the site, but we have reached what I call “reasonable engagement”. The challenge is getting people’s attention. I read recently that there now exist more blogs than blog readers so getting our share of readers’ attention is challenging. I use several tactics, including social media campaigns, but most of it is through public relations efforts that drive traffic to the site. We’ve had some success with TechCrunch, which syndicated our initial investor interviews, and an article published by GeekWire that linked back to our site. While the GeekWire article did not drive a lot of traffic it gave us legitimacy and a few dozen sign-ups.
We’ve also posted to Hacker News which has sent us over 30,000 unique visits in the last month! Once there, people see the immediate value and register to be part of it. It’s all free! We only charge for the courses. Additionally, If a technical founder doesn’t want to hire a full-time marketer, he or she can contract with one of our experts on a project, which we dub a “win-win-win”.
DZONE: Which leads to the other attribute that makes your use case so exciting-- You’ve come up with a really different way of incentivizing your community participants. Can you elaborate on what you mean by “win-win-win”?
JASPER: Of course. The marketers in our community are rewarded with karma points and deemed experts based on their number of accepted, correct answers. As such they often receive contract work, which is a win in itself, but we also dedicate a portion of the referral fee to fund scholarships awarded in the expert’s name. So the founder gets his or her question answered and a huge crowd from which to source contract work, the marketing expert gets project work and recognition and the children receive scholarships! We’ve found that once we’ve communicated this “do good” part of our mission, people are even more willing to partner together for a common cause. We highlight our scholarship donors, as well as the recipients, on the Money for Kids page of the website so they feel recognized and connected personally. Some of our scholarship donors even share letters back and forth with recipients. It’s been a wonderful way to keep the engagement level in the community high.
DZONE: At DZone we’ve been particularly focused on community success metrics and hosted a webinar on the subject recently. What else contributes to the success of the community aspect of your company and what metrics do you measure?
JASPER: Moderating the community is absolutely critical. Marking questions as answered and rewarding those karma points keeps the vibrancy going. We measure unique visitors, number of new members, number of shares and number of page views among other metrics. We also measure the growth of our email list. Our blog posts have opt-ins through which we are growing our email list. We then send the most useful answers to the list each week as a way of triggering engagement.
DZONE: What’s next for Capitalandgrowth.org?
JASPER: We’re always thinking of new ways to gain momentum. We’re not at a critical mass yet so we have work to do. We are negotiating a couple of syndication partnerships and also co-organizing monthly Hacker News meetups in Seattle to reach the right audience. We’d like to invite DZone readers—especially those with startup ideas--to engage with our community and download our free user acquisition guides here.
For more information or to try AnswerHub, contact sales at 919-238-7100.
This interview was originally written and posted by our friends at DevRel.net, a blog for technical evangelists, developer advocates, and anyone interested in developer relations.
A developer community is a place that developers can work, interact, and learn organically to create and share knowledge as well as ask questions on topics important to what they want to learn more about. A developer community is different than an ordinary online community platform in that it is solely focused on a development environment, mostly coding, an interactive environment, and best practices in the field.
Developer community platforms are vastly becoming a popular way to help development teams within businesses organize people and accomplish work in an interactive and collaborative way. A developer community is different than an ordinary online community platform in that it is solely focused on a development environment, mostly coding, an interactive environment, and best practices in the field.
Creating a communal space for your development team to interact is critical in an ever-changing field. However, knowing which environment is right for your development team’s needs can be difficult with the amount of options available. Developer forums and developer online communities are two main ways that have been popularized to create an interactive environment for your development team.
Online communities can help your company build stronger brand awareness, nurture deeper relationships with your customers, relieve pressure on your employees, validate product roadmaps and gain new business insight necessary to adapt to changing markets.
Your community will establish a culture, which will either drive or inhibit engagement. Community managers must establish guidelines to set the stage for desired culture and community behaviors — if you leave it up to your users or member base, your community is less likely to thrive and will be harder to manage.
Every company goes through employee turnover. Compdata Survey's reported a 16.4% average turnover rate across all industries in 2015. That's a lot of people leaving and a ton of knowledge leaving too! But, how much does that turnover cost your organization?
What does success of a community really mean? There's no one answer to this, but all community managers and owners need to understand how to track success. Knowledge-sharing communities serve many different purposes – and often times are unique to your organization. To accurately measure the success of your community, it’s critical that you first understand the objective and vision for your community. Without understanding the objective, you won’t be able to track your community’s success.
Put your AnswerHub skills to the test in our latest blog series of AnswerHub Expert Tips. Whether you’ve been using AnswerHub for days or years, there are probably a few tricks we can teach you. We’ll show you some tips and tutorials to help you use AnswerHub to the fullest, one week at a time.
Over the course of my career, I've worked with more than 80 clients and companies in 18 different vertical industries.
Baby Boomers, once America’s largest generation, have been surpassed by millennials, also known as Gen Y. With this increase in numbers comes more purchasing power. According to Ad Age, millennials are expected to collectively spend more than $200 billion annually beginning in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes. Millennials are also increasingly becoming decision-makers at major corporations – the businesses your company wants as customers.
Put your AnswerHub skills to the test in our latest blog series of AnswerHub Expert Tips. Whether you’ve been using AnswerHub for days or years, there are probably a few tricks we can teach you. We’ll show you some tips and tutorials to help you use AnswerHub to the fullest.
How many times have you spoken to your bank, cable company, or another product or service provider with whom you have a relationship and had to provide them with a list of information about yourself, your order, your preferences, your previous issues and your most recent unresolved issue?
Organization is critical to an online community’s success. To drive adoption – and keep users coming back – a community must provide a user-friendly experience. The navigation must be intuitive, content should be segmented into Spaces, and posts should be properly tagged and categorized. If you’re struggling with creating an organized community, we have tips from the experts at Safe Software, Inc.
No matter how customer-centric your organization is, at some point your customer service will fail. How will your customers respond? A dissatisfied customer used to tell 13 people about their experience. Today, they tell hundreds or even thousands. Social media has magnified the customer's voice.
DZone Software today announced the donation of its knowledge-sharing software, AnswerHub, to Enable Outreach, a global network of passionate volunteers who use 3D printers to create prosthetic hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device. DZone Software’s donation is part of a new initiative to make life better by building and optimizing knowledge ecosystems for select non-profit organizations.
With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time to make our list of New Year’s resolutions. For many of us, our goals include eating healthier, saving more money, or traveling. Why not add increasing productivity at work to your list?
Smart customer engagement leads to better customer service and a better customer experience.
PlayFab’s mission is to power the future of live games by providing developers and publishers with the best liveops platform in the industry. PlayFab believes game developers shouldn’t need to worry whether their servers can scale, or which of the ten SDKs they’re trying to use broke the build. With PlayFab, they don’t have to. They tell game developers, “you bring the fun, we’ll do the rest.”
Work in natural light. Use the 90-20 Rule. Add a succulent to your workspace. How many of us have tried a proven productivity hack only to be disappointed that we were still struggling to improve productivity?
In the age of the digital customer, delivering differentiated customer service has become a strategic imperative. 78% of customers have ended a business relationship because of bad customer service. It is also estimated that it costs a company six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. And that’s just the beginning – there are plenty of reasons why companies should invest in strong customer service.
Being more productive is something that everyone wants to achieve. However, procrastination and stress can make completing our to-do lists nearly impossible. If you’re struggling to maximize efficiency and productivity, start with these seven helpful hacks:
Medic Mobile and DZone Software Partner to Bring Healthcare Knowledge to Developing Communities Around the World
DZone Software today announced the donation of its knowledge-sharing software, AnswerHub, to Medic Mobile, a tech non-profit organization. DZone Software’s donation is part of a new initiative to make life better by building and optimizing knowledge ecosystems by partnering with select non-profit organizations.
You asked, we answered! Here are the top 6 questions about AnswerHub asked by Community Managers:
Across all age groups, self-service support is becoming increasingly popular. Web and mobile self-service interactions are rapidly overtaking all other channels. Online community use among US adults jumped from 31% in 2012 to 56% in 2015. Why? Because customers expect companies to value their time and provide accurate, relevant, and complete answers to questions upon first contact.
For organizations launching an online community for the first time or for companies trying to revitalize an existing community, user adoption can be frustrating. Many struggle with how to not only drive customers or employees to the community, but entice them to participate and return on a regular basis.
Companies no longer only compete to deliver the best product or service — they compete to deliver the best customer experience. To establish a sustainable competitive advantage, learn from companies like Starbucks, Apple, Zappos, and Disney. Each company has transformed the way it does business by focusing on the quality of every customer interaction.
Online communities present multiple opportunities for enhanced business value. They create an experience that helps businesses achieve their goals, whether it’s empowering customers through self-service support or increasing employee productivity.
Thomas Edison said, “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” We all want to accomplish more with the precious 24 hours we are given in a single day. After all, there is nothing better than walking out of work with the confidence that you accomplished everything you needed to. However, some of us aren’t that lucky. How is it that some people magically accomplish more and complete multiple projects without fail? The secret to success may be their approach.
According to Gartner, 64% of people say customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand.
There are plenty of tips for increasing your productivity: take exercise breaks, drink coffee, get a good night’s rest, and even look at cute animals. While these tips may be beneficial for some, many people still struggle with finding a way to stay productive at work. So, what really increases productivity and what doesn’t? How can we become more productive according to science?
70% of customers prefer using a company’s website to get answers to their questions over phone or email. However, a survey included in the book The Effortless Experience and Customer Experience 3.0 showed customers struggle with two main issues related to self-service support: they “couldn’t find the answer” and “instructions weren’t clear enough.”
Put your AnswerHub skills to the test in our latest blog series of AnswerHub Expert Tips. Whether you’ve been using AnswerHub for days or years, there are probably a few tricks we can teach you. We’ll show you some tips and tutorials to help you use AnswerHub to the fullest, one week at a time.
I've used voice of the customer (VOC) research throughout my career to solve business problems.
Nothing is scarier than a terrible customer support experience. Customer frustration, coupled with the lack of and resources, can tarnish your brand or organization’s reputation, send customers running for the door, and negatively impact your bottom line.
Great customer service is about more than fixing problems; it’s about listening to what your customers are saying and understanding their needs, wants and frustrations. Knowledge-Driven Support (KDS) accomplishes this goal by combining self-service resources with an online community to nurture deeper relationships with customers.
An online community can be the perfect outlet for transforming customer support into a powerful and engaging experience. Online communities provide efficient support through improved customer knowledge; people can resolve problems at their own speed and learn as much or as little as they want. Companies can pre-populate communities with strong content to address frequently asked questions. Further, customers can connect with others based on similar interests, such as product inquiries or support issues – and even route questions to experts for immediate answers.
Knowledge-Driven Support streamlines customer support by combining self-service knowledge bases and online communities to empower customers and take the pressure off of your support team.
Experts add immense value to an online community. They possess a wealth of knowledge that enables others to become more productive and solve problems. But expert status doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of having all the answers, most of us join an online community in search of an answer. For the average, everyday user, is becoming an expert an unattainable goal?
Put your AnswerHub skills to the test in our latest blog series of AnswerHub Expert Tips. Whether you’ve been using AnswerHub for days or years, there are probably a few tricks we can teach you. We’ll show you some tips and tutorials to help you use AnswerHub to the fullest, one week at a time.
Success starts with knowledge. It’s the foundation of great products, services and communication, and it’s the key to improving your offering in the market. As an employer, it’s your job to encourage your employees to share what they know, learn what they don’t and collaborate to make your organization successful. Your goal should be to create a system of knowledge sharing and team collaboration that promotes the success of your employees and your organization.
Look around you – how well do you know the people you work with on a daily basis? Your boss, the marketing team down the hall, the new hire sitting next to you – they’re all hardworking members of your company, right? What if I were to tell you that you may be working with a murderer – an online community murderer?
Being more productive isn’t rocket science; in most cases, it only takes a few small changes to our work habits. If you find yourself needing to boost productivity, but want to avoid working longer hours or packing more into your already-full calendar, take a step back and think about how you can work smarter, not harder.
A lot of pressure is being placed on your marketing and product management teams to generate new ideas and initiatives for every aspect of your business. Sales are down, what is your marketing team doing about it? Competitor X is stealing your customers, what new feature does product management plan to add that will bring them back? Questions like these require immediate attention and a quick resolution, but the solution is rarely clear.
To build loyalty, companies must earn the trust of their customers. Consistency builds trust, deepens relationships, exposes customer challenges, and sparks innovation. Inconsistency results in confusion and distrust. One way to be consistent is by communicating openly, honestly and with complete transparency.
If you have visited our blog before, you probably have a good understanding of the benefits of online communities – such as increasing brand loyalty through customer support, increasing productivity, and more. But, there is another huge benefit that tends to be overlooked when considering starting an online community – Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Good news! Your boss has given you the green light to create a knowledge-driven support community. However, he wants to wait to launch until the new year. That’s three months from now and, for both your support team and customers, there is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in wait mode. How can you make the case to your boss that you need access to the software now? How can you emphasize the cost of waiting?
In today’s digitally-driven world, customer service is a company’s most critical competitive advantage. It’s also an easy way to positively differentiate your company as the customer service bar is set very low.
Chances are that you’ve seen Mythbusters, or at least heard of it. A panel of experts takes rumors, myths and even movie stunts to test the validity of possible truths. Often times, they debunk what people believe to be common knowledge. For example, you may have heard that humans only use 10% of their brains, but they were able to conclude that we use at least 35%.
We all know the proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” In 2016, that’s no longer the case. Less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged at work. Instead of coming to the office bursting with energy, many arrive dreading countless emails and afternoons packed with meetings. How do organizations reengage employees and increase productivity at work? Gamification may be the answer.
For progressive companies, customer support is now a critical element of an integrated marketing plan. When a customer has an amazing experience, he or she shares it. More and more people are turning to Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and other online channels to share their positive experiences with the world – including those with whom you hope to do business with in the future. However, this willingness to share also serves as a cautionary tale for today’s businesses. The only thing more powerful than a glowing customer review is a negative one – and the evidence can’t be ignored:
We’ve all been there, it’s our first day at a new company and we are struggling to figure out procedures, who to ask for what, why our email isn’t working, even where the coffee machine is. At first it’s scary, even frustrating at times. You learn through observation and asking questions. But, as time progresses, we eventually learn our way and grow. Who knows - in the future, we may even become a mentor to a new hire.
DZone Software's recent webinar, 4 Ways to Make Your Community a Total Flop, discussed the top mistakes to avoid when launching and managing an online community. Panelists included Sara Jane Kauffman, Director of Customer Care at DZone Software, Dale Lutz, Co-CEO and VP of Development at Safe Software, and Sylwia Ganiec, Senior Knowledge Consultant at SAP Hybris.
It should go without saying that knowledge is at the heart of every organization. It’s what differentiates your products, drives departmental interaction, and keeps your business thriving. But knowledge can also be a bottleneck when not utilized to its fullest potential.
The top five obstacles to improving employee engagement:
How can you build a better organization in which the best and brightest people want to work together to make an impact? According to Dave Logan, author of the New York Times #1 Best Seller Tribal Leadership, the answer is culture.
StudyMode is a platform for students to create, discover, and share study materials. StudyMode believes that education should evolve as the world evolves and is committed to developing cutting edge ed-tech tools to help students change the concept of studying from a chore to life-changing skill.
Here are the key factors to consider when assessing a build vs. buy decision:
At DZone Software, we’re often asked how building an online community with AnswerHub affects a site’s SEO. Often, potential clients are interested in knowing if using AnswerHub will help them rank better in Google search results. Your marketing team has worked tirelessly (probably with the help of engineering staff and possibly with third parties) to rank where you are on Google and you've heard that adding a community can increase your rank. You don’t want to blindly introduce something new to your site without being sure you've covered all your bases.
Cary, NC – Aug. 19, 2016 – DZone, The Knowledge Sharing Company, is excited to announce that it has been listed on the prestigious Inc. 5000 for the third consecutive year. On the 2016 Inc. 5000 list, DZone reached its highest ranking yet at #1662, rising from #1856 in 2015 and #3167 in 2014.
Launching an online community is an exciting new business initiative that needs to be aligned with your company’s goals and objectives. However, many companies fail to create a well-thought out launch plan, a mistake that can quickly and easily result in a failed online community. With the right strategy, dedication, and guidance, your organization can overcome launch pitfalls to create a thriving community that delivers an impressive return on investment.
In the spirit of the Olympics, let’s dive into the science behind gamification, why it works and how you can apply it to your online communities. Let’s pretend that you could be a part of a four-man Olympic swimmer relay team. Who would you pick to be your teammates? Chances are that you wouldn’t choose Johnny, who can barely make it to one side of the pool without having a cramp. No, you want three of Michael Phelps and Johnny can watch from the stands. You want to WIN. We all do – it’s human nature to want to succeed. And it’s all thanks to a neurotransmitter called dopamine.
According to the Gallup Management Journal article, Five Ways to Improve Employee Engagement Now, only 13% of employees are engaged at work. When employees are disengaged, they are unlikely to share knowledge, collaborate, create great customer experiences, or participate in knowledge-sharing communities. Further, when employees fail to share knowledge, their company, customers, and colleagues cannot benefit from their experience and knowledge.
Sharing knowledge and ideas pushes the limits of teams and organizations, but not everyone feels comfortable sharing them. What is the worst that could happen by sharing an idea?
In a recent post, we discussed four common misconceptions of community health. These misconceptions stem from organizations not understanding the factors that contribute to community health and failing to assess community strengths and weaknesses.
Online communities are an important tool for driving sales and building a strong, engaged customer base. In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, researchers found that community participants at an online auction site both bought and sold more, generating on average 56% more in sales than non-community users. This translated into several million dollars in profit over the course of one year.
In today’s competitive marketplace, companies strive to maximize business opportunities through valuable relationships. One way to achieve this goal is through an engaged online community. Online communities a fantastic way to share knowledge, boost employee productivity, connect with customers, and develop innovative ideas. Spanning verticals such as retail, financial services, high tech and more, companies have discovered a strong use case for online communities:
We’ve all been there, it’s 30 minutes into a customer service call and you’re in the process of being rerouted for the third time. Nobody seems to know the answer to your question and you are displeased, to say the least. To make matters worse, you already tried to use the company’s website, social media pages and Google to find your answer, but no luck.
What is company culture? Look around you – company culture encompasses everything from your office layout, to the way you collaborate with peers and managers, to the costume contest held every Halloween. In today’s workplace landscape, culture has quickly moved from a “nice-to-have” to a “must have”. However, a recent study by Deloitte University Press reported that HR leaders consider culture and engagement their number one challenge.
Knowledge management practices and theory pop up more and more in the news each day. As our focus continues to shift to more efficient ways to create a knowledge sharing culture, organizations and thought leaders will begin to promote new ideas and approaches to knowledge management. Recently, three stories stuck out in particular as interesting takes on knowledge management, knowledge sharing, and collaboration.
The introduction of the Internet, social media, and mobile has changed the way companies – large or small – interact with dissatisfied customers. According to a study conducted by Nuance Enterprise, 67% of respondents preferred self-service support over traditional support. Phone calls and emails have quickly been abandoned and instead, customers voice complaints online – be it a tweet, review, or blog post. How can companies diffuse the situation and avoid immeasurable damage to their brand’s online reputation? Easy – if you can’t beat them, join them.
Think back to your childhood – how did you learn? Odds are your parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors worked to instill the values of hard work, knowledge, and commitment. As we age and assume more responsibilities, we quickly realize the value of the life lessons taught to us as children. We carry these teachable moments with us and apply them as we grow professionally and personally. However, the need for learning never ends. In the workplace, the importance of knowledge grows exponentially. However, the way we experience and engage in teachable moments has changed.
We're excited to announce DZone Software’s latest release of our product, AnswerHub, version 1.6.5! AnswerHub’s newest release focuses on improved search and performance, and we've delivered dozens of customer requested features that make our product the top choice for enterprise and on-premise use. Some new features are highlighted below, but take a look at our full changelog for all improvements, bug fixes, security fixes, and added features.
Our latest release, AnswerHub 1.6.5, offers a variety of new enterprise and search features, along with dozens of customer requested features that make our product the top choice for enterprise and on-premise use. AnswerHub customers can request an upgrade to 1.6.5 by speaking with their Customer Care Representative.
What does knowledge sharing mean to me? It means working smarter!
MuleSoft makes it easy to connect the world’s applications, data and devices. With its market-leading Anypoint Platform™, companies are building application networks to fundamentally change the pace of innovation. Organizations in more than 60 countries, from emerging companies to Global 500 corporations, use MuleSoft to transform their businesses.
Editor's Note: Are you an Azure Active Directory user? Follow this tutorial originally shared by our friends at Microsoft to enable the Azure AD SSO integration with your AnswerHub community.
The objective of this tutorial is to show the integration of Azure and AnswerHub.
The scenario outlined in this tutorial assumes that you already have the following items:
- A valid Azure subscription
- An AnswerHub single sign-on enabled subscription
After completing this tutorial, the Azure AD users you have assigned to AnswerHub will be able to single sign into the application at your AnswerHub company site (service provider initiated sign on), or using the Introduction to the Access Panel.
Buyers would rather hear from other customers than from your marketing or sales people.
More than ever, organizations are embracing the value of collaboration. Effective collaboration can deliver a multitude of benefits. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, collaboration can increase employee productivity by up to 25%, which translates into nearly $600 billion in value across commercial sectors alone. A Google study showed an 81% positive correlation between collaboration and innovation across all markets. The list goes on and on.
As editor-in-chief at DZone, it is my responsibility to publish content – such as articles and research guides – that helps developers make better software. To reach this goal, I use DZone’s online community, The Collaboratory, to share knowledge and collaborate with other members of the organization, including the editorial staff, sales and marketing teams.
Knowledge management practices and theory pop up more and more in the news each day. As our focus continues to shift to more efficient and better ways to create a knowledge sharing culture, organizations and thought leaders will begin to promote new ideas and approaches to knowledge management. Recently, three stories stuck out in particular as interesting takes on knowledge management and knowledge sharing.
As Lead UX/UI Designer of DZone’s Product Vision team, I am presented with the challenge of creating optimal and gratifying experiences for others. Outside of work, I keep the gears turning through expressions of music and visual art. One thing is key to all of these creative processes: collaboration. Whether to gain different perspectives, seek feedback, or just share an experience with others, it is the interaction with other beings that gives creative work its meaning, a purpose. At the heart of collaboration is the desire to seek and share knowledge, without which we cannot grow and creativity cannot flourish.
Dow Jones. Xerox. World Bank. These names are undoubtedly familiar to your leaders in their respective industries. But besides all being large and powerful organizations, these three companies all have something else in common – a real and tangible investment in growing knowledge management as a fundamental aspect of their corporate culture. We know that knowledge management matters, particularly to small companies that are just making their imprint in their industries, where finding any competitive advantage can mean the difference between sinking or swimming. But the question is this – why does knowledge management matter for even the largest of organizations?
“Thank you for your email – I am currently out of the office and will respond upon my return.” This familiar message is popping up in our inboxes more frequently. It’s summertime and most people are busy planning vacations to the beach, the mountains, or other exciting destinations. However, business doesn’t stop just because someone is out of the office. Other employees are expected to immediately fill critical voids within the company, but sometimes lack the expertise required to maintain momentum or the product knowledge necessary to answer questions.
While we understand that knowledge sharing and knowledge management are an important tool for companies trying to create a more productive and collaborative culture, we talk about it mostly conceptually, but what does the knowledge economy actually look like, tangibly?
According to Merriam-Webster, a community is a ‘unified body of individuals: as an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location.’ As far as definitions go, that description of a community is both broad and specific. Meaning, there isn’t anything in particular that a group has to be doing other than interacting in a common location – outside, inside, online, etc. For our purposes, this non-specific description actually encompasses how we view organic knowledge management communities aptly.
Millennials grew up in a digital era with countless resources at their fingertips. This access to infinite amounts of information has created a new breed of employee – one possessing a strong entrepreneurial mindset, a thirst for knowledge, and a desire for personal growth.
Ever since knowledge management became an established practice in the early 90s, organizations have struggled to find convenient, powerful, flexible ways to collect, share and store information. Even the most productive of organizational knowledge generators cannot reap the benefits of their labor without an effective way of accomplishing these tasks. However, the cloud has opened new possibilities for knowledge management, and a large-scale generation of information and a vast web of storage and sharing platforms are truly a match made in heaven. In this blog we’ll take a look at how the cloud and organizational learning are a great fit and how you can leverage the cloud to help you achieve your knowledge management goals.
GE Digital is transforming itself to become the world’s premier digital industrial company, executing critical outcomes for customers. The GE Digital business unit develops software that connects streams of machine data to powerful analytics and people, providing industrial companies with valuable insights to manage assets and operations more efficiently. At the intersection of people, machines, big data, and analytics stands Predix, GE Digital’s cloud-based platform, powering innovative Industrial Internet apps that turn real-time operational data into insight for better and faster decision-making.
The big news in the business world on Monday morning was Microsoft’s reported purchase of LinkedIn for more than $26 billion. The implications of the deal are far ranging. From a business perspective, Microsoft appears to have picked up a thriving social media platform directed specifically toward professional users. From a knowledge-sharing and management perspective the picture is interesting.
"Don’t force it.” One of the best lessons you can learn – in life, love and, of course, in knowledge management. Knowledge management, the practice of aggregating and sharing knowledge across an organization, is one of the most beneficial initiatives a company can take to help optimize their processes, but it is also something that is best accomplished organically. The question is, why does natural knowledge sharing trump forced transfer? And how can you both encourage knowledge sharing without making it mandatory?
When companies deploy an internal community, user engagement is paramount to success. A community must be a welcoming, vibrant place where employees return with regularity, share knowledge, and contribute to conversations. However, community engagement requires dedication. Common challenges – such as knowledge hoarding, slow user adoption, and unanswered questions – have the potential to negatively affect community health and success.
In the business world, things tend to come and go. There are trends, which ebb and flow fairly quickly and there are practices, which usually have more staying power, until there is some form of evidence to demonstrate value in revamping the practice. When it comes to knowledge management, there are some aspects that fall somewhere in between trend and practice, but the value of solidifying the knowledge management workflow in today’s professional atmosphere means understanding why the practices and trends need to shift. As we’ve noted before, the dominant form of knowledge management, historically, has fallen to the supply-side of knowledge management. Taking into account several factors, this dominant practice is in need of a re-shifting for the following five reasons:
One of the most often cited obstacles in building a system of organizational knowledge sharing and knowledge management is establishing the practice at a grassroots level. Often times, folks at the executive level are onboard with knowledge management, but don’t know how to rally the troops around making knowledge sharing an intrinsic part of the organization. In this blog, we’re going to talk briefly about the idea of how you can reward organic knowledge management in a way that will help attract participation from your entire organization.
SAP Hybris enables businesses to transform how they engage with customers, innovate how they do business, and simplify their technology landscape. With a comprehensive approach to customer engagement and commerce, SAP Hybris solutions unlock opportunities to optimize their customers’ experience and transform their business.
The importance of Q&A communities has quickly been realized by Fortune 500 companies, universities, small and midsize businesses (SMBs), and non-profits. 86% of Fortune 500 companies reported communities provide insight into customer needs and 64% of companies said community has improved their decision-making. Within an online community, people are able to learn and succeed through shared knowledge. They can post questions, provide answers, build expertise and engage with one another – but who exactly are the “users” that visit a Q&A community?
We use sports metaphors in the business all the time. Nailing a product or presentation is a ‘home run’; executing tactically on a plan is ‘blocking and tackling’; and a customer acquisition or sale is a ‘win.’ But perhaps most interesting is the use of ‘team.’ The connotation is very similar to what comes to mind when thinking of a ‘team’ in the sporting realm. However, beyond that lies even more similarities both tangibly and philosophically.
Online communities present multiple opportunities for enhanced business value. They create an experience that helps businesses achieve their goals, whether it’s acquiring new customers or increasing insight into consumer needs and wants.
Your organization has many assets, and possibly the most important amongst them is your organizational cache of knowledge. Tapping into this knowledge, and figuring out the best way to share it in a useable and meaningful way throughout your company can be a difficult task. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the idea of the “knowledge management value chain” and discuss how knowledge can pass all the way from the C-suite to the rest of the organization.
Today, Google announced that it will be releasing the Google Home, a product designed to compete with Amazon’s Echo. As far as technology goes, the category these products fall into has the potential for implications far beyond the home. The main idea here lies in the trainable responsiveness of the technology to the needs of the user – a bit like machine learning – and for in-home use, having a piece of technology that can anticipate one’s needs and track connected devices seems to be one of the next big steps for Internet of Things and connected technology. But as the technology matures, what are the implications for the professional world? How will businesses in the 21st century harness these capabilities? For companies using knowledge management and knowledge sharing practices, the possibilities are strong.
Editor's Note: this piece originally ran on CMSWire.
Today’s business environment is inherently fast-paced, exciting and competitive. Everyone is working on what they think is the next billion dollar idea -- but only if they strike while the iron is hot.
Knowledge management practices and theory pop up more and more in the news each day. As our focus continues to shift to more efficient and better ways to create a knowledge sharing culture, organizations and thought leaders will begin to promote new ideas and approaches to knowledge management. This week, four stories stuck out in particular as interesting takes on knowledge management and knowledge sharing.
When news broke Monday morning that Facebook may have been artificially suppressing ‘conservative’ news stories in its feeds, it was easy to chalk it up to politics-as-usual. But, regardless of the veracity of the claims, the act raises some interesting questions about knowledge sharing in the public realm.
Knowledge management tools have existed for quite some time. From the simple act of documentation, to indexed systems and databases, we’ve created more and more ways to smoothly and efficiently manage knowledge to increase accessibility and recall. Today, however, the knowledge management community exists mostly in a digital format, and the tools and platforms available to create these communities have grown to be more complex and responsive than ever before. As a result, organizations that may have suffered from poor knowledge management in the past are better able to effectively monitor and mediate these communities.
Knowledge management (KM) enables organizations to increase their chance of success by facilitating team collaboration, building a culture of learning, and driving innovation. Further, it can reduce an organization’s exposure to risk and prevent knowledge loss. However, many companies still doubt the importance of KM technology due to the following five myths:
The word ‘innovation’ gets tossed around frequently in the tech world. While it has become a bit of a buzzword, the way that we value actual innovation and creative solutions is emblematic of the kind of professional culture that we idealize. Certain companies have a reputation for promoting a ‘creative’ culture, and while that is certainly a strong quality to develop within an organization, the real reason that these atmospheres can even be cultivated is trust.
In our previous blog posts, we have discussed the importance of developing a knowledge sharing culture. It starts with leadership, and it ends with the collective buy-in of the team from bottom to top. Because knowledge sharing is such a communal concept, it is critical that the engagement level spans each member of the organization. But what happens if a team member doesn’t want to buy in? Can that derail the entire knowledge sharing culture the organization worked to develop? It can, but it doesn’t have to. Here are four ways to counter a resistant employee:
A successful community feeds on engagement. Therefore, it is important to identify and recognize topic experts within your community that actively share insights and drive relevant discussions.
The evolution of the narrative of data continues to expand, splinter, create sub-categories and specialized services and generally transforms the way we think about analytics and how we connect to the world around us. Companies have found many innovative ways to engage with the data marketplace, from small-scale business applications to the Internet of Things and even enterprise-scale open data platforms. One such company, Hortonworks, offers an interesting case study in the implementation and development of an online community centered on open data platforms.
We all have those moments throughout the day when we need a few minutes of procrastination before diving in and getting the next task done. Reddit? YouTube? Social media? Rather than beat yourself up about these momentary diversions, you can take the opportunity to actually do something productive. Here are five ways to increase your knowledge sharing and intake.
Organizations that have begun to embrace the next generation of knowledge sharing and continuous learning are finding that successful implementation can lead to a wide range of benefits, from leadership down through the rest of the employees. Recent stories and op-eds in the news are highlighting this shift in approach to internal culture. This week, we’re sharing some of our favorites from the last few weeks.
Knowledge management in its most basic format is the exchange of information. But within that exchange are two distinct, but deeply connected, approaches: supply side and demand side knowledge management. Traditionally, the corporate or professional structure has operated under the supply side, but today, with the shift in workforce demographics, the growth of knowledge management tools, and a greater emphasis being placed on innovation and collaboration, organizations have begun to incorporate demand-side knowledge management into the structure as well. This next generation approach to knowledge management thrives on the balance between supply and demand, rather than prioritizing one over the other.
Online communities present multiple opportunities for enhanced business value. They create an experience that helps businesses achieve their goals, whether it’s acquiring new customers or increasing insight into consumer needs and wants. However, to have a successful community launch, companies must outline expectations, research best practices, and remain dedicated to community member needs.
We’ve spent a lot of time speaking to the value knowledge sharing and continuous learning have in a professional setting, but the benefits go beyond an organizational goal. This week, we’ve compiled some great, illuminating quotes from global visionaries on these most meaningful themes. Also, we’ve added in a bit of commentary, too. Enjoy, and we hope this helps spur new ideas for you and your organization!
Asking a question is a simple act, but has the potential to unlock vast amounts of information and knowledge. In a professional setting, asking questions can lead to better project efficiency, the sharing of knowledge, increased engagement between employees and leadership, creative problem solving and critical thinking.
With the widespread adoption of knowledge bases, online communities and Q&A sites, consumers can easily find their own answers, any time, anywhere. What does this shift to self-service mean? The answer is clear: consumers are the new face of customer service. The need for knowledge is immediate and organizations must implement a self-service strategy to meet – and exceed – customer expectations. Not only will this strategy allow them to reap the benefits associated with self-service, but it will also enable consumers to successfully support themselves.
Throughout the last few weeks, there have been several articles and blogs published about knowledge sharing and learning management. We wanted to highlight some of our favorites for you this week. Have any stories to add? Let us know by sharing your post and tagging @DZoneSoftware on Twitter.
The idea of shared knowledge can be traced back to the oral tradition. The oral tradition sought to share knowledge by teaching through stories, histories, songs and other orations. Sometimes this information was tangible – how to build things, medicinal knowledge, food provision, etc. – other times, however, the organic knowledge and information passed along was less structured and centered on life, existence or beliefs. This kind of knowledge sharing is inherently human. It is subjective, at times flawed and most importantly, proprietary.
From physical workspace (remote vs. open office plans) to shared values and goals, your workplace is probably comprised of some competing ideologies. Many companies look to innovation, transparency, and collaboration to drive company growth. One tenet that often is over-looked is the importance of knowledge sharing.
Ongoing engagement is critical to the success of an online community. Without active dialogue and member participation, communities fail to meet the expectations of organizational leaders and stakeholders. Increasing engagement enables companies to build a community that is healthy and successful, as well as achieve high customer retention and user satisfaction. However, increasing online community engagement can be a challenge. Email is an effective way to keep your community top of mind and build quality user participation.
Though the purpose of an online community may be different for every company, all businesses want to generate results from their community engagement efforts. Once the goals of the community (i.e. customer retention, increased revenue, lower support costs) are clearly defined, it is critical that companies have a strategy to track their progress. By tying customer performance to business-level goals, companies can increase executive buy-in and prove a more impressive return on investment. Companies can do this by tracking the following three metrics:
An online community is a great place to fill in the gaps left behind by big data. Even good data will not provide the most accurate picture of the consumer. Consumers make decisions based on emotion and then rationalize their decisions after the fact. Big data provides a lot of information on the purchase, and what action led up to the purchase, but it provides no insight into the emotions involved in the consumer making the purchase.
Employees spend an average of five hours and 41 minutes at their desks everyday, but what are they accomplishing? Are they making the most of the workday or are distractions and lack of knowledge affecting productivity?
Word of mouth continues to be the most efficient and effective way to promote a developer community. And, with the growth of social media, it's even more effective. However, happy developers do not automatically refer their colleagues to any community.
Transparency is much more than a buzzword. The topic of transparency carries significant weight in today’s competitive business environment. Everyone, from executives, to employees, to customers, is talking about transparency. Why?
Any organization knows that its most valuable asset is its own people. The businesses that create the most impact are those that recognize their employees and encourage them to succeed. When employees feel valued, they align themselves with the company’s mission, actively contribute, and strive to achieve organizational goals. However, if employees feel their worth, work, and ideas are not valued, they will walk out.
Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression – especially with new hires. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to invest in the onboarding experience. In fact, 35% of companies spend $0 on onboarding.
In AnswerHub, Articles refer to structured documents within your knowledge base. The Article content type is perfect for how-to's and process documentation. One of the primary features of Articles is the ability to assign parent and child documents, in turn allowing you to create sections and a table of contents.
Business success depends on satisfied customers. 78% of consumers have ended a business relationship due to bad customer service. It is also estimated that it costs a company six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
Silos are a natural part of any organization. Every company is divided into different departments, and even teams within departments. However, company silos can quickly lead to challenges. When departments fail to interact with one another, work can become repetitive, business opportunities can be lost, and an organization can quickly fall behind their competitors.
In the bestselling book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, author Jim Collins says, “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.”
Everyone has questions, but many people don’t know who the right person is to ask. It also doesn’t help if questions and knowledge are routed to the wrong people (i.e. those who don’t have the specific answers necessary).
AnswerHub’s main organization tool, Spaces, are used for categorizing site content. Public Spaces allow users to easily navigate the site and find specific content easily. However, not all content on your site should be public. Private Spaces, AnswerHub’s more advanced version of Spaces, are used for hiding or restricting access to content.
What is one thing a manager dreads more than anything? More often than not, it is learning that a valuable employee is leaving the company. When employees leave, they often take process and product expertise with them, resulting in immense stress for business managers. Most companies struggle with this transition because they lack a plan to retain the employee’s expertise. Instead of an efficient off-boarding, the process often involves a flurry of panic, paperwork, and exit interviews.
In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are working to enhance customer and employee relationships through engagement and collaboration. Online communities can achieve this goal by connecting and engaging employees, customers and prospects. Despite their benefits, communities sometimes throw their share of curveballs. What do you do when engagement isn’t at the level you want it to be? Or, how do you explain a community’s value to the company’s leadership team?
Strong communities are created with a combination of organic engagement and community management. With knowledge management and sharing systems like AnswerHub, managing a community has never been easier. However, getting users to join and actively participate is often a struggle for new communities. To combat engagement and adoption challenges, communities often turn to gamification. According to Gartner, gamification is defined as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”
What comes to mind when you hear the word “innovator”? According to Forbes, there are five types of innovators.
No matter the size of the business, customer loyalty is incredibly important. However, if you want to start building and developing a loyal customer base, you must first ask yourself something: if you want loyalty from your customers, are you willing to return the favor? You must commit to being loyal to your customers first, if you expect them to be loyal to you in return.
The majority of today’s customers prefer self-service over traditional forms of support. In a study conducted by Nuance Enterprise, 67% of respondents stated that they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative. An investment in a self-service tool enables companies to provide efficient support experiences through improved customer knowledge; individuals can resolve problems at their own speed and learn as much or as little as they want.
We live in a fast-paced world that constantly requires us to reevaluate the way we do business. Everything from starting companies to raising money, building software to marketing products and services requires us to learn new concepts and put our newfound knowledge into practice. However, time is scarce; many feel there is not enough time in the day to complete their work, let alone expand their skill-set. The willingness to learn becomes a “like to do” rather than a “must do.”
Providing customers with responsive and effective customer support is more important than ever. 78% of customers have ended a business relationship because of bad customer service. It is also estimated that it costs a company six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. And that’s just the beginning – there are plenty of reasons why companies should invest in strong customer service:
We see it everyday -- developers make quick fixes to an application and then they’re on to something new. The development lifecycle is getting increasingly shorter and business goals can often determine product launch deadlines over the quality of the application. In fact, DZone surveyed developers and found that 72% of respondents have had to release software with less testing than they thought was necessary. Tough deadlines and quick patches can quickly become mountains of disorganized code.
Expertise is an essential component of leadership. It fuels innovation, inspires employees and establishes a strong competitive advantage. However, expertise is not exclusive to the C-Suite – employee knowledge and experiences are just as valuable, but rarely receive the same attention.
How do companies foster vibrant, active engagement? They establish an online community where employees and customers can share ideas, help their peers, and discuss common interests. However, building the engagement necessary to sustain a successful, valuable community requires strategy and motivation on the organization’s part.
When you think about the most successful people in the world, they all have one trait in common -- they never lose the desire to learn. In today’s fast-paced world, if we stop learning, we become stagnant, and eventually fall behind. There are always new skills to learn and techniques to adopt. This is especially true in the workplace -- but what happens when there is a desire to learn, but obstacles stand in the way of finding the knowledge employees need to remain productive and successful?
It’s the moment you have always dreamed of. With just one piece of paper and a few numbers, a Powerball jackpot has changed your life dramatically. Except the winner is your employee, not you. Instead of enjoying early retirement on your own private island, you are tasked with replacing a vital member of your team, someone whose knowledge and expertise is now lost.
The difference between success and failure is a great team. As American industrialist Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Successful leaders – despite how driven, intelligent or passionate they are – understand that team collaboration is key to propelling an organization forward. Instead of closing themselves off to new ideas, great leaders open the door to transparent communication and encourage employees to work towards a common goal or vision.
How many times have you heard, “time is money”? It’s a saying everyone knows, but we rarely reflect on its true meaning. If time is money, what changes need to be made to the way we do business? How do we use time to save money? Further, how do we use time to make money?
It’s that time of year where we reflect on past achievements, make lists of resolutions, and toast to all we hope to accomplish in the New Year. During this time of reflection, remember to set goals for not only yourself, but also your online community. Here are five tips to help you build a stronger, more effective community in 2016:
Think about your typical week—it’s Monday morning and you’re excited to wrap up a project or two and start some new ones but before you know it, it’s Thursday at 6:00pm and you have no idea where your time went. Maybe you were pulled into meetings that were unnecessary, busy tracking down information from the right person, or completing repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Here is how to get your week back with our productivity tools roundup:
The Q&A format can make it easier for users to find the answers they are looking for. Today's web makes massive amounts of knowledge available, but for most of us there's a limit to how much effort we're willing to invest to find it. The Q&A format, when applied in a community with a commitment to high content quality standards, can greatly reduce the effort required to find any particular piece of knowledge because a specific question is an obvious and strong indicator of relevance for a specific answer.
The mind of a software developer is filled with copious amounts of knowledge. Getting that valuable knowledge out of their heads and captured in a shared community can save both developers and customer service valuable time.
The right online community platform can provide multiple benefits to different audiences within the same organization.
You’ve got plenty of data, how about knowledge?Knowledge is the the most valuable asset of many organizations, yet many organizations’ knowledge walks out the door every night, retires, or moves to a job with another company.
Every private equity firm performs a great deal of due diligence prior to making an investment or executing a deal.
A highly extensible and flexible enterprise knowledge management and social collaboration platform is built on the design principle that takes future growth and evolution into consideration.
You know what you want your community to look like today. What about next month, or next year? Ideally, you should be able to make your community look any way you, or your team, desire.
AnswerHub Release Notes - Version 1.6.3
- Allow admins to disable core badges
- Add support for storing attachments in OpenStack Swift Storage
- Add a header to take IE out of compatibility mode
- Add a new role to control visibility of awards and award pages
Does your organization have a culture of innovation?
People like to help people. It’s gives us a good feeling.
Improving the effectiveness of enterprise knowledge management and social collaboration will improve productivity, customer satisfaction, collaboration and innovation.
Dr. David Griffiths’ “The 2015 Global Knowledge Management Observatory© Report” offers insights to the knowledge management industry and how capturing knowledge can really help organizations.
There are a plethora of enterprise knowledge management (KM) and social collaboration platforms available from a number of different vendors.
Developer communities deliver tangible results throughout an organization – increased productivity, higher user satisfaction, greater engagement, and reduced support costs. With many software offerings, it can be difficult to choose a solution.
Gamification is a great way to get users engaged and encourage users to participate and contribute.
Traditional topic filtering on enterprise knowledge management and social collaboration platforms tends to be overly broad, limiting access and over-categorizing content, which makes it hard for users to find exactly what they are looking for.
In an effort to continuously improve our AnswerHub product, as well as provide new functionality to support customer needs, our latest release of AnswerHub 1.5.2 offers a variety of new features and bug fixes. AnswerHub customers should request an update to our 1.5.2 release from their customer success manager.
Some clients prefer a cloud-hosted solution, while others prefer an on-premise solution. The functionality of the software or platform will vary little whether it resides in the cloud or on-premise.
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from prospective customers are what challenges they can expect from setting up, and managing, an enterprise knowledge management and social collaboration platform.
Knowledge work is different from other forms of work.
Being a part of an online community is exciting and can offer great benefits, but all communities are a little different from each other, as are the community members, which means getting the most out of your community may change depending on its make up.
How many knowledge workers does your company employ?
Many times, a quick Google search for any type of information will deliver you thousands of results, many of which are discussion threads on forums. It's no surprise, as there are millions of online forums that individuals around the world use on a daily basis.
When you start out with your online community, you want — indeed, need — to create the right culture for your community. You want habits to form that define your community in the right way, because new members will join based upon that initial culture, and they will be influenced in their own behaviour by what has preceded them.
We’re excited to announce our latest update, AnswerHub 1.6.2. This update has some new features and additions to provide a better experience for both community managers and community users.
Here we’ve highlighted some notable improvements which are just few among many other improvements and bug fixes also included in the latest version 1.6.2. AnswerHub customers should request an update to the AnswerHub 1.6.2 release by speaking with their customer success manager.
The concept of companies reaching out to consumers via Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks is far from new, but a number of companies are seeing a significant return on investment from building their own branded online communities for customers and fans. A survey conducted last year found as many as half of the leading global brands have their own branded customer community online, and new research is showing just how lucrative this move has been for the companies.
The success of any community tends to rest on its ability to attract the right mix of participants. These participants need to have the diversity of ideas and perspectives to allow them to contribute innovative ideas.
I’ve read countless books and articles, and listened to numerous public speakers talking about the importance of providing outstanding customer service in order to “delight” customers. They talk about “moments of wow” and “fanatical support” and typically share stories about an employee from a company like Zappos or Nordstrom who did something completely unexpected and extraordinary for a customer.
In our knowledge economy, being able to rapidly facilitate the flow of information amongst employees with a tried and trusted repository of knowledge and insights is an increasingly valuable skill for any organization to have.
It's hard to dispute that we live in a knowledge economy, with the success (or failure) of your organization often resting upon the efficiency with which you can tap into knowledge, both from inside and outside of your organization.
This graphic above is from the works of Robert V. Keteyian, who works in the space of “interpersonal communication consulting.” He’s been an advisor to many within the Human Resources space for years, and his work has been featured on Fast Company, among numerous other places.
Inc. magazine ranked DZone No. 3167 on its 33rd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.
One central component of marketing is the idea of "the funnel." You can look at it in different ways, but essentially it teaches you how customers move through their interactions with a brand: typically it's something like awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, adoption/conversion, and advocacy.
Our newest release of AnswerHub includes new features and enhancements to improve functionality and user experience. AnswerHub customers should request an update to the AnswerHub 1.6.0 release by talking to their success manager.
Times have really changed in recent years, and that affects how we communicate and process information. Take a look at these statistics to understand the amount of information and distractions we encounter everyday:
A concept you may have heard recently that is getting a lot of attention is 'gamification' — the process of turning something fairly intangible (education, business) into a game that can be tracked and lead to rewards. Lately there has been a lot of discussion around the merits of gamification, and it has emerged as a controversial subject — the data on it is not all there but it’s true that companies are seeing success with it. Here's a basic summary of how it can work, via The Wall Street Journal:
Here's a new academic paper, summarized here, that basically says if you hire a "star" — a great performer— then your department will be 26 percent more productive. Now, there's a huge caveat to this study: it focused on evolutionary biology departments. Those are much different places than corporate America, so the results may not extrapolate. The broader idea does roll up with Steve Jobs talking about how "A-Players" (the best people) want to hire and work with other "A-Players," thus getting two or three top people in the door can ideally lead to an influx of other top people.
One of our primary use cases for AnswerHub is customer support; we’ve written about aspects of this on the blog beforehand as well. One of the things we frequently hear from clients who have used us primarily to help with customer service/support is that we helped them reduce cost. That’s critically important in any business/vertical as a strategic advantage, so consider this data from SalesForce: on standard call center technical support, the cost-per-contact figure can be upwards of $12 (predominantly because of labor costs).
If you Google around the topic of “knowledge economy,” mostly you get back scholarly PDFs — such as this one from OECD. There are disagreements on when exactly the knowledge economy began, but there aren’t disagreements over the fact that it’s here in essentially full force now. Broadly speaking, it means a shift away from industrial production methods focused on lower-skiled, repetitive-action workers and towards a technology-integrated, highly-skilled, mostly-creative workforce.
AnswerHub’s latest release, 1.6.0, provides new updates and added functionality. We focused on better performance, more support, and fixed over 100 bugs to improve our product. In this release we upgraded to a new framework and improved on-premise support. Some features are highlighted here, but check out our changelog for a full listing of changes and added benefits.
Let's say you really like football, up to the point that you consider the best football players to be "warriors" and the like. You view the whole thing as a complex allegory for war, so the most successful coaches are true "generals" and real leaders, and sheesh, they don't take anything from anyone. No sissy stuff here! Now let's say you think that's how you need to be at work — if I'm a general, the feeling goes, people shall follow me, and all will be glorious — and you come in blazing like gangbusters.
You might have heard of "blue ocean strategy." It's a very business school-type term in some ways, but basically it means this: rather than going head-to-head with your competitors on everything, carve out "blue oceans" of untapped market space. It's all documented in this 2005 book and via this website.
The Ryan Block situation went a little bit viral this week. Here’s a basic rundown of the situation, and here’s a post from Gawker where it’s referred to as “Kafka-esque.” Essentially, the summary: Ryan Block called Comcast to cancel his service. Rather than simply cancelling the service, the Comcast support representative becomes angry (you can listen to 10 minutes of the audio on the first link above) and demands to know “why (Block) doesn’t want faster speeds,” among other topics. The audio went viral, reaching as far as NPR and The Washington Post. Comcast did offer a statement saying they were “embarrassed” by the situation.
One of the more interesting things going on in the organizational development space right now can be seen in Zappos' corporate culture. Its the idea of "holacracy," or a "distributed authority system" that basically gets rid of the traditional manager/"boss" idea. A lot of people over 35 right now would look at that and think it’s a ridiculous millennial idea that will never truly catch on; after all, it’s a fact of life that everyone must have a boss, no?
One of the bigger challenges in the modern business environment is calculating the specific cost of knowledge loss.This topic is frequently discussed, especially in HR and Operations circles, but it can be tangibly hard to calculate; oftentimes, people are viewed as connected to their salary, but their salary can be a gross misrepresentation (in either direction) of the knowledge they bring to the organization.
Take a deep breath and say it with us: not everything needs to be a meeting. Pause, and now say it loud and say it proud: some things can be an e-mail, a quick talk in the hallway, or a trip to the gym. Pause again, take a swig of that coconut water, and repeat: the meeting is not the be-all and the end-all.
As teams have become the predominant form of organization within businesses over the past 20-25 years, an inherent contradiction has also emerged. Teams typically possess an information advantage over individuals simply because of size (what six people know would likely be more than what one person knows, for example), but over 25 years of research has also shown that teams typically don’t utilize that advantage.
Oftentimes at DZone Software, we get on calls with prospective clients — and even though the U.S. economy is certainly looking better, everything ultimately has a cost, so they want to know: Why do we need this type of program? And why now? Here are a few cornerstone reasons why you should invest in knowledge management software as soon as possible:
If you’ve decided to use an online community as an internal or external developer relations platform, one central question remains: how do you do it right? In other words, what are some of the best practices for online community management? We work with online developer communities and their implementation across a variety of clients all the time at AnswerHub. Here are a few best practices when trying to engage developers in a community:
If you talk to most people in a business/organization about how they measure success, chances are one of their answers starts with “RO” and ends with one of three other letters — I, C, or E. That would refer to Return On (the RO) Investment, Capital or Equity. Of these, ROI is probably the most-tossed about, but all three generally reflect the way that global economies emerged: notably, the focus was on things and production, not necessarily on people (although the people built and operated the things).
The first thing to understand about the idea of collaboration in an organization is that it’s highly contextual; the base concept doesn’t work for every organization, and when it does work, it’s going to take a variety of different forms. A standard Google search for “challenges of collaboration” has north of 100 million results, including a host of scholarly articles. This is definitely a topic people are interested in.
You can make a pretty strong case that Yahoo Answers is one of the most roundly-mocked communities on the entire Internet — examples include “How do I unbake a cake?” and “If I eat myself, would I double in size or just disappear?” — and yet, it is also regularly in the first page of Google results for specific queries.
The Wikipedia for “tacit knowledge” ends its opening paragraph with this: “While tacit knowledge appears to be simple, in fact it has wide-reaching consequences but is not widely understood.” Indeed. And in that simple sentence, billions of dollars in multiple industries are squandered every week.
I recently ran across this quote in a Harvard Business Review blog post from Vijay Govindarajan:
Poor collaboration is a problem that is sweeping the globe, infecting organizations from top to bottom, crushing innovation and snuffing out creativity at every turn. But the biggest issue is that 89.3% of poor collaborators don’t realize they have a problem*.
Earlier this month, the Internet experienced an event unlike anything else we’ve seen in its short history. A vulnerability in one of the core parts of handling secure traffic on the web (OpenSSL) was discovered. In fact, it turned out it had been present in all versions of OpenSSL for the last 2 or 3 years. Dubbed Heartbleed, this bug has the ability to allow someone outside your organization to acquire the private key that pairs with your SSL certificate.
In an effort to continuously improve our AnswerHub product, as well as provide new functionality to support customer needs, our latest release of AnswerHub 1.5.2 offers a variety of new features and bug fixes. Some of the new features include:
In a recent interview with Forbes.com, collaboration expert Robert Johnson stated that recent success often hampers an organization’s efforts to effectively collaborate.
Online communities are a great way for organizations to communicate and share knowledge both inside the office and with their customers. Problems often arise, however, when communities fall victim to some common issues that range from not putting someone in charge to launching a community devoid of content.
As a follow-up to our recent major release, AnswerHub 1.5.0, we are proud to announce AnswerHub 1.5.1 that includes over 140 new features and bugs fixed. New features include:
The strength of an organization lies with its employees. As Guy Currier at Baseline puts it, “All employees, no matter their experience or position in the company, have the potential to contribute to strategy, tactics and capabilities. Determining how to tap this resource in an effective, organized way has been a fundamental management problem for generations.”
Most technologies are supposed to help us be more productive at work. Unfortunately most of these technologies have the opposite effect, eating up significant chunks of our day and leaving less time to accomplish actual goals.
To start off the new year we decided to make resolutions to improve the way we manage our knowledge here at AnswerHub. Then we decided, "Why stop there?" So we asked you to send us your Knowledge Management Resolutions for 2014.
Last week we introduced a few of our Knowledge Management New Year’s Resolutions here on the blog and through our social media channels.
Over the past several weeks our engineering team has been hard at work putting the finishing touches on our first major update release for AnswerHub. The changelog is pretty extensive, so here we’ve highlighted some of the major new features and enhancements.
Last week we released our fourth Quotecard digital background featuring Stephen Hawking.
Last week we released our first Quotecard digital background featuring Bill Nye.
At AnswerHub, we love knowledge. In fact, we love it so much we created a set of Quotecards featuring quotes about knowledge and from some of the most knowledgeable people in history.
We’re at the Internet Summit 2013 in Raleigh, NC this week to talk with attendees about the value of knowledge management and the best ways to capture and leverage organizational knowledge. There’s an amazing group of speakers this year that includes:
LinkedIn is the best place to network with other professionals on a number of topics including knowledge management. Unfortunately, wading through the growing number of discussion groups can be a tedious process that results in nothing more than an influx of emails that never get read.
Imagine: You're purchasing new software for your team or organization that will solve a core business challenge. You’ve found several solutions: the most popular, the least expensive, the one with an endless list of cool features, and now you’re trying to decide which one to choose.
f you're serious about knowledge management (or if you just want to add a little variety to your Twitter feed), you're in luck! We've compiled a list of 11 knowledge management influencers to follow on Twitter.
One of the biggest decisions you will make when selecting new software for your organization is whether it will be cloud-hosted or installed on-premise. While the functionality of the software itself will remain generally the same, there are several reasons you might choose one deployment method over the other.
Here at AnswerHub, we’re always looking for ways to expand and improve our platform to include new features and functionality that our customers desire. Recently, we’ve had a lot of requests from customers looking to limit account registrations for their sites to certain email address domains (e.g., email@example.com), so we’ve done just that.
AnswerHub offers users a variety of options when it comes to logging in, including integration with some of the most popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Today we're going to cover the basics of integrating Facebook login with your AnswerHub instance.
Ideas are a valuable resource for any organization, but much like personal knowledge, new ideas are often underutilized in an enterprise setting. Here at AnswerHub, we love ideas and thought they deserved a place in knowledge management along with questions and answers.
Knowledge is key for today's organizations. Every organization pays employees for the knowledge they possess and the ability to put that knowledge to use. Yet, most organizations are not providing these "knowledge workers" with a way to collect, manage and share their knowledge with the rest of the organization.
“Knowledge sharing” is a buzzword you’ve probably heard floating around your office lately, but it seems to come in many forms — from mass emails and calendar invites, to forums and wiki articles. The difficulty often comes in keeping this information organized and connected.
One of the greatest benefits of having a knowledge-sharing site is the strength of the community that populates your site. Knowledge management tools like AnswerHub encourage users to be creative and active in the community, awarding them with custom badges, reputation points and even moderation privileges.
From giving your employees each a unique voice that can be heard throughout the company, to promoting innovation, creativity and problem solving, knowledge management has a lot to offer and is gaining serious traction within organizations.
Whenever a new tool is brought inside the corporate firewall, adoption is key to its success. Blockers to adoption can take many forms, from bad UI to buggy software or even lack of internal evangelism and reward for use. Today we're not going to look at any of those - instead we're going to look at possibly the biggest blocker of all - not being able to login!
When approaching the task of creating a new standard theme for AnswerHub we wanted to make sure we got one thing right -- Responsive Design. We wanted to provide a consistent experience for users throughout the platform, regardless of the device they're using.
AnswerHub headed south to Atlanta this week for the Digital Summit 2013 at the Georgia World Congress Center and it seemed that everyone there was talking Social Business. There were presentations from reddit, Twitter, Google, and Bing centered around the increasing importance of social business initiatives and the tangible benefits companies are realizing.
In the early days of the Internet, long before forums became popular, DZone CEO, Rick Ross, sent an email to a couple lists hoping people would share his need for developer communication. He set up a community site, called Javalobby, for developer-focused news and information with no intention of it being a business.
Thanks for checking out our blog! We're really excited to be able to bring you new content every week that will help you understand what Enterprise Q&A is and how you can leverage it to improve communication, collaboration and customer support in your organization. Here's a sample of the content you can expect to find on our blog: