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Re: Changes to Community Functionality

Community Team

AnnouncementBanner.png

 

The next phase of our ongoing community renovations is quickly approaching! In November, we'll be performing the migration of the NI User Group Community onto the platform currently used to host the NI Discussion Forums. See the timeline here for more details.

This is a major change that will affect all users and we want to ensure everyone is prepared. Below we have provided some quick updates regarding changes to features and functionality within the NI Community.

 

User Profile

How does the migration affect my user profile?

  • If you are currently active on the NI User Group Community, your account will automatically be generated in the NI Discussion Forums or merged with your existing account on the forums.
  • Users who have been inactive for multiple years and never contributed content will need to log in to the community post-migration in order to regenerate their profile.
  • Your avatar from the NI User Group Community will not be migrated over. If you do not already have an account on the forums, you will be given a default avatar. If you do have an account on the forums, you will keep the avatar you have now.
  • Your sent and received private messages will not be migrated over.

 

Subscriptions, Bookmarks, and Email Notifications

How does the migration affect my subscriptions and bookmarks from the NI User Group Community?

  • Subscriptions and bookmarks will not be migrated over.
  • You will need to subscribe again to groups or content within groups for which you want to receive notifications. You can find a list of the groups you are a member of in the My Groups component on the community homepage.
  • You will need to bookmark content which you would like to be available on the My Bookmarks page within the community.
    • You can find the bookmark option in the Options menu on any piece of content.
  • If you had bookmarks saved to your web browser, the URLs will redirect to the new location.

How does the migration affect my email notifications?

  • If you are did not previously have a forums account, you may want to setup your email notifications within the forums. To do this, go to My Settings > Subscriptions & Notifications > Notification Settings. You may also want to review your subscriptions and email format settings.

 

User Groups

How does the migration affect user groups?

  • Groups will either be open (content is visible to the entire community) or closed (only group members may view content). During the migration, your group privacy options will be respected, and all of your members and content will be migrated over with your group.
  • Groups will be segmented into different categories such as Local User Groups, Product User Groups, Special Interest Groups, and Partner Groups.
  • Groups can be found via the community navigation. Group names cannot be searched for, but you can search for content within open groups or closed groups that you are a member of.
  • Closed groups will not be accessible in the community navigation unless you are already a member.
  • You can find groups that you're a member of in the My Groups component on the community homepage.
  • GroupAdmins will be able to invite members directly from within the user group.
    • This function is currently not working as epexcted for closed groups, but will be available in our next release. Until then, you will need to send the user a direct link to the group and the user can then request to join.
  • The group overview page layout will be standardized across all groups. The layout includes a component which features the group avatar and group description, and an HTML component that can be used for whatever content a Group Admin chooses to add.
    • GroupAdmins will need to recreate your group overview page (including your group avatar and description) after the migration is complete. Please take any screenshots or save any HTML that you may need prior to November 11th. If requested, we can provide a screenshot of the overview page and a copy of the HTML after the migration.
  • Groups now only contain threaded topics. There are no documents, blogs, or projects within a group.
    • Any documents, blog posts, or content within a project will be converted into the topic format within the group during the migration.
  • The URL to your group will redirect to the new location after the migration is complete.
  • Links to projects will not redirect. You will be able to locate the content from projects within the user group that the project previously exisited within.
  • New user group creation is limited to Community Managers. To avoid the duplication of groups, each group will pass through an approval process to certify that available groups are distinct and helpful in their own respective ways. Community Managers will work with you to identify the best fit for your group.

For more general information on user groups, see Using Groups in the NI Community.

If you have questions or feedback, please post here User Groups - Questions and Feedback.

 

Documents

How does the migration affect documents?

  • Documents do not exist within user groups. Documents will be found in their respective areas such as Example Programs, Reference Designs, Sample Exercises, etc.
  • For documents that previously existed within a user group, the documents will be migrated over and converted to topics within the user group.
  • For documents that were not located within groups and that were not categorized, the documents will be moved them to an "Additional Documents" category within the community.
  • There will be templates available to chose from when creating a new document.
  • Saved drafts for documents are visible to any community user within the Documents Dashboard.
  • Published documents can be edited and collaborated on by any community user.
    • There are options to restrict edits (anyone can edit but only the author can publish changes) or block edits (only the author can edit and publish changes) on documents.
  • Some categories will require special permissions for creating or editing documents.
  • Documents can have pre-defined labels added to act as a type of sub-categorization.
  • Tags can be added after a document has been published.
  • Documents being migrated over will display the original publish date but not the last edited date.
    • The last edited date will update once a document is edited post-migration.
  • The version history available for a document will start with the most recently published version. Versions from before the migration will no longer be available.
  • Personal documents and drafts will not be migrated over.

For more information on documents, see Using Documents in the NI Community.

If you have questions or feedback, please post here Documents - Questions and Feedback.

 

Example Programs

How does the migration affect example programs?

  • If the documents were within a user group, the documents were brought over within that group and became discussion topics within the user group. For documents that were not located within groups and that were not categorized, we moved them to a "Additional Documents" section. Example Code located within the "Additional Documents" section are being reviewed and tagged by content curators.
  • To ensure that the code submitted to the site via Code Exchange is of the highest quality, there will be an approval process after the document has been submitted for review. The document will be reviewed by tenured and expert NI employees, and you may receive feedback on your document prior to publication.

For more information, see Example Programs Submission Process.

If you have questions or feedback, please post here Example Programs - Questions and Feedback.

 

Blogs

How does the migration affect blogs?

  • Blogs do not exist within user groups. Blogs can be found in their own area of the community.
  • Blog post creation is limited to the authors assigned to a blog.
  • Blog posts can have pre-defined labels added to act as a type of sub-categorization.
  • New blog creation is limited to Community Managers. Requests for a new blog will go through an approval process to ensure that the available blogs will be regularly contributed to by dedicated authors.

For more information, see Using Blogs in the NI Community.

If you have questions or feedback, please post here Blogs - Questions and Feedback.

 

More announcements will be made over the upcoming weeks as we prepare for the migration. Please stay tuned and let us know if you have any questions.

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Comments
Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

That sounds like a scary move. How are we supposed to recreate subscriptions and bookmarks without a way to save them prior to the move? Some may date from quite a while back. I know I won't remember any of them when I next visit the new community site. It would seem more user-friendly to:

1) provide a way to backup those settings automatically (no user action required)

2) provide a way to import these backed-up settings after the transition (possiibly user instigated, but ideally automatically).

 

I may of course have totally misunderstood the gist of the explanations in the OP.

Community Team

X. - unfortunately, it's not feasible to migrate over all user subscriptions. How the bookmarks and subscriptions are saved prior to the migration is up to each user. You can create web browser bookmarks or save the URLs locally now for the content that you care about. The redirects will kick-in after the 14th. You can then bookmark or subscribe again.

As for user groups, after the migration, there will be a page that lists all of the groups that you are a member of. You can then visit each one to subsribe to the group again -- which subscribes you to all of the content within the group as well.

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Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

OK, so be it. You do realize though that due to the new website design, this page (and annoucement) is most likely unkwnown to most. I'd rather not be in your shoes after the move is completed and users realize that they have lost all their bookmarks and subscriptions.

To be very honest, I don't believe the way this move is shaping up is befitting for a company like NI.

 

At the very least, you should post a summary of this blog and a link to it in ALL forums.

Or email everyone.

Member

I had no clue today about the closing of the community groups, it appears a day earlier. I was figuring that these things would be merged over to the forums method.

 

I would have to agree with X, this is not very good of NI to do this and not do it properly.

Community Team

Hi Mike -- can you please clarify what you are referring to? All of the user groups are being migrated over to this platform. This begins tomorrow and will be live on Monday.

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Member

I have lost my community information completely in the "My Account" and only see my forums.

Community Team

Mike - with this migration, there will no longer be a need for two separate profiles. Your user group account and forums account will be merged into one. We updated the My Account (ni.com/myni) page in preparation for the launch on Monday. You can still get to your user group profile on decibel.ni.com.

 

Your profile: https://decibel.ni.com/content/people/MikeMesolella

Your preferences: https://decibel.ni.com/content/user-preferences!input.jspa

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Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

There are now at least two people who know where to find their community profiles...

Proven Zealot

Now that we are after the migration, how do I find my Groups, including one of my Private Groups?  I can't even find the information that used to list "My Groups" and the other items that were in the other "My Profile" that wasn't My Profile (if you know what I mean ...)

Community Team

Hi Bob - on the homepage, in the left sidebar, you'll find a component called My Groups. Every group you are a member of will be found there.

We are working on adding a link to this component from the user profile dropdown menu as well.

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Proven Zealot

Thank you.  There were other groups that showed up in my "My Groups" listing previously whose names I don't fully recall, but which were mentioned at the end of some very insightful talks at NI Week in years past (AQ's talks, Actor Framework, the Object community).  These may be Public groups whose names I've forgotten -- is there a listing somewhere of these groups?  Can I "bookmark" them?  [Sorry I didn't anticipate this and write them down beforehand ...]

Community Team

Some of those groups may now be their own categories found in the Special Interest Groups area. For instance, here is Actor Framework.

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Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

Where are my documents gone? I have written "documents" with VIs and comments and such, and the new layout doesn't provide any hint of where they may be. Not under my profile at least.

We had a nice "mini-website" in the previous version, and now all this is basically gone.

User groups: what the heck am I supposed to care about the Arkansas and Alabama user groups? And reciprocally. Provide a way to push those we are member of to the top and hide all the others...

 

Proven Zealot

X (the Unknown),

 

     I agree that a lot of the "structure" that was in the "non-Forums" part of the Community is currently missing or seriously messed up. I'm hoping that the team working on this is trying to fix it, and (at a minimum) has the "old stuff" still available to them (and, potentially, to us). This is an awkward time, perhaps, to have made such a huge change -- one weekend before a 4-day US Holiday (with end-of-year activities to follow). I'm willing to be a little patient and optimistic, as I think the McDonald "Team" has our best interests at heart, but it is too bad that they didn't (a) get it "right" the first time and (b) didn't realize the effect of such a major "formatting" (organizational) change would have ...

 

Bob Schor

Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

I am afraid the "team" knew perfectly well how messy this was going to be. See my first post on that topic.

I want to be sympathetic but we are talking about a $3.8 B market capitalization  company (NI) using the services of another (private) company boasting of working with Google and Microsoft. I have a hard time to fathom whether this  motto of "we will fix things on a later iteration" is actually taught in business schools, but I for one am getting bothered by it.

But, eh, after all, we are not paying for all of this, so who are we to express our opinion?

 

Let me just add, that, following "our team"'s (secret) advice, I have bookmarked all Community Bookmarks, Community Groups, Community Discussions and Community Documents I was interested in, but:

 

- a bunch are dead ("The topic you are trying to access is not available.")

- a lot redirect to the community landing page...

- most of them show up as a page without context (no side menu bar).

 

And of course, my documents and "mini-site" are goners.

 

But other than that, everything look as before the change (which is to say, a real pain to deal with anyway).

 

EDIT: I thought I'd illustrate my last sentence:

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 13.24.01.png

 

What kind of UI design rules do the Lithium guys use? Clearly not the same as those cooked up by the Next Gen team, but as far as I am concerned, just as disastrous.

Community Team

We are actively working on the issues that our community members have reported to us today as a result of the migration. We will also continue to work Thursday and Friday to answer questions and track issues that are reported. As we work through the issues reported in the various questions and feedback topics (Example Programs, Documents, User Groups, Blogs), we will post updates as we have them.

 

Thank you for your patience.

Proven Zealot

I'm a fairly active member of the LabVIEW Forum.  I've noticed that the current implementation does not appear to sort topics in order of "latest Reply" (I had gotten used to seeing my just-created Reply show up at the top of the list of Topics, and earlier replies from the same session appear later -- now, the order is (illogically) reversed, as though the list does not "re-sort" when I click "Return to Previous Location" (I'm very grateful to Lili for alerting me to this "one-click" "return to Forum" button).  But now I come back to the top of an "un-time-sorted" list ...

 

Bob Schor

Community Team

Old topics showing up first in boards is a known issue that we're working with Lithium to resolve. The Known Issues with Migration document is where we're tracking all the issues we confirm, and we'll update that page when issues are resolved.

 

There is also a post on the LabVIEW board with more information.

 

Active Participant RER
Active Participant

Hi! I am loving the fresh new look of the community space! However, I notice that a lot of very useful Example Code posts, which had been previously appeared in the top level "Developer Zone" are now hidden away in the nested (and vague sounding) "Community Documents"

 

Capture.JPG

 

Is there a way for authors to move their posts from the "Community Documents" folder, into a more relevent, visable space? The old community platform allowed users to move their posts between spaces - but I cant find the functionality in the new platform. Hopefully, I have just missed something.

 

Many thanks,
Rich

Rich R

Staff Marketing Engineer
National Instruments UK & Ireland
Example Gatekeeper

Rich,

 

Thank you for your question. These documents should be showing up in the "Example Program Drafts" area under "Code Exchange". It looks like during the migration a few documents ended up in the wrong category, so I appreciate you pointing this out.  I'll work on getting these moved today.

 

To provide some more context on the structure, as may be aware, we recently released a new style guide and template for example programs on the NI Community. As part of this migration, we are in the process of updating all previously submitted example programs to meet these new standards.  For now, all example programs that was previously posted, but require some level of edits to meet the new guidelines are located in the Example Program Drafts area.  We have a team here at NI that is going through all the example programs in the draft area and updating the style and documentation, according to the style guide, but not updating the underlying functionality of the code. As these documents are updated over the next few months they will be moved to the Example Programs area.

 

Rest assured that example programs located in either place are still completely searchable and accessible via external search engines like google, ni.com, and the NI Community.  (At the moment, the migrated pages are probably still being crawled by these various search engines, so it may take some time for you to see results show up). 

 

Regards,

Hassan Atassi
Group Manager, Digital Support Content