Content Types/Nodes Overview

101 Understanding Content Types & Topics

Content types are the main objects within AnswerHub; they are also referred to as Nodes. Questions, Answers, Comments, Ideas, Articles (Knowledge Base), and Topics make up the different content types/nodes for AnswerHub.

Question and Answer

  • Each question has a title and a body.
  • You can make comments on questions and answers.
  • "Correct” Answer (Accepted Answer): Once an answer has been accepted, we give it the Accepted Answer label, highlight it in green, and push it to the top of the answers thread so users can easily reference it moving forward.
    • By default, the original asker of the questions, moderators, and community admins can accept an answer.

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In the list views, questions have a reply count displayed to the right of the link to the question. Once a user provides an answer, and it was accepted, we reflect this behind the reply count with a new green highlighted background.

  • Reward User: This is 1 out of the 4 methods in which a user can earn reputation points.
  • Upvote/Downvote: You can upvote or downvote a question by selecting the up or down arrow below the author’s avatar.
  • Favorite: Displayed as a clickable star icon below the upvote/downvote feature just below the author’s avatar.

Topics: (click on a topic)

  • More than just a simple text tag.
  • Use these as an additional method of organization and provide a unique browsing view for your users. Use topics on all content types and span across all spaces, this allows them to bridge the (necessary) gap between your content created by the use of spaces.
  • Viewing a topic specific landing page displays all content a user has access to regardless of the content type or space/sub-space it was posted to. This is for the end users who "don't know what they don't know." It allows them to use an alternative method to navigate throughout the community to uncover knowledge in a topic they're unfamiliar with, but don't necessarily have a specific ask or key phrase to search for.
  • Topic Experts: It is important to identify the go-to people within your community. Topic experts do just that and more. When you become a topic expert, your user will automatically begin to follow that topic. When a question posts with a topic within your expertise, you will automatically receive a notification prompting you to provide an answer.
    • There are two ways to become a topic expert:
      • Organically: If you receive 3 accepted answers (on 3 separate questions) that contain a common topic within 30 days, AnswerHub will deem you a topic expert. You can configure the default settings above in the admin console to change the number of correct answers and the number of days
      • Manually: Under a user's Expertise Settings (Avatar drop-down > My Preferences | Avatar drop-down > Edit drop-down) you can manually add topics of expertise to any given user under Manually added topics.
  • Ask an Expert: This widget displays in the right sidebar (Ask an Expert button) when viewing a question. It allows users to send a direct message via email notification to a user or group of users requesting their help. You can control the ability to use this feature with permissions. The most common use cases are as follows:
    • For Time Sensitive situations.
    • Extremely specific asks: If the question is so specific that only a handful of key users will have the answer, reach out to one of those users to provide the answer sooner rather than later.

Ideas

You can configure ideas can in the admin console under Content > Node Structure > Idea Configuration | Idea Workflow.

  • Status (lifecycle stage):
    • List view based; you can filter this by status.
    • How to change the status in the community UI:
      In just 4 clicks you can communicate an update to your entire end user base on any given idea:
      1. Once you have selected an Idea to change the status of, select the Gear icon.
      2. Select Change Status.
      3. Select the desired status from the drop-down.
      4. Click Ok to save the changes.
  • Idea workflow: You can create and configure ideation states on the page.
  • Voting: Unique voting associated with ideas only. You have the option to give a selected number of votes to the idea author or to all idea voters when switched to a specific state.
  • Commenting: All comments can be locked when switched to a specific state.

Articles

  • Formatting: Just like any of our other content types, you have the ability to format your article in several ways. This includes basic lists, bold, attaching images, embedding videos, and inserting code snippets that will retain some syntax highlighting.
  • Comments: While articles are meant to be more informative, we still encourage collaboration through the use of comments.
  • Navigation widget (right sidebar table of contents): Similar to spaces, you can apply a parent/child relationship to articles:
    • Once this relationship has been set, the navigation widget in the right sidebar will display this, essentially producing a table of contents for easy end-user navigation.

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This allows the creation of a defined learning path. However, we also offer a related articles widget to encourage users to casually browse other articles.

  • Related articles widget: This provides users with the ability to view a few related articles to easily browse throughout the community.
  • Export to PDF: When selected, you also have the ability to include any child articles as well. This allows users to export a guide of sorts to view/store outside of the community when needed.

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When you view the PDF online, it will retain any linked text.

  • Revision history: This view displays the history of the post, the various contributors, and the changes made over time.

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In the edit view, you can roll back/forward to previous versions. You can use this to make preliminary updates to an article before you're ready to publicly release the edits, save, and revert back to the previous version. When the time comes, you can publicly release the updated version with just a few clicks.

101 Communicating Updates to your End-Users

There are three main ways to update your end-users in the community. You can access the Sticky option directly in the Community UI, and the Site Notification and Custom Web Panel features through the admin console.

  1. Sticky: There are two options for making content sticky, both options will pin the post to the top of a list view. The option you select, determines the frequency and location of this pinned post. If you really want to draw attention to the post, double up!
  • Make Sticky: Only pins the post to the top of the space it lives in. If you use this in a sub-space, the post will also pin to the top of all parent containers but will then stop there.
  • Make Site Sticky: This will pin a post to the top of the newsfeed on the home/index page and its respective list view based on content type. For example, if I make a Question site sticky, it will also appear at the top of the questions list page (/questions/index.html) that you can reach by navigating to the Explore icon (vertical tree diagram), then selecting Questions from the drop-down.
  1. Site Notifications: This is more of a temporary notice. As an admin, you're able to define a start/end date so that your notice will flip on and off with no additional manual effort on your end. Note that the link text field makes your headline the hyperlink in the community user interface.

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You can save these so your team can curate a library of sorts to re-use the same notification year after year for various events, like conferences.

  1. Custom Web Panels: These are a bit more flexible than other out-of-the-box updates to end-users. Because of the way you creat these in the admin, your team can customize the look and feel extensively using a bit of Java, CSS, HTML, etc. You can determine the location of the web panels in the Display Options menu.
  • Accessing Custom Web Panels in the admin dashboard:
    • Navigate to Site > Layout > Custom Web Panels.
    • Here you will create and enable your Custom Web Panels to be in either the main section of your page or in the right sidebar.
  • There are two tabs to choose from to create Custom Web Panels.
    • Main Tab: Here you have the option to create, enable, edit, or delete Custom Web Panels to be in the top portion or bottom portion within the main section of your page.
    • Right Sidebar Tab: Here you have the option to create, enable, edit, or delete Custom Web Panels to be in the top portion or bottom portion within the right sidebar of your page.
  • Choosing the location of the web panels from the Display Options menu:
    • Here you will choose the spaces to display your newly created and enabled Custom Web Panels.
    • Creating a web panel does not mean it will automatically display.
    • You must enable Custom Web Panels before choosing the space(s) to display them.
    • You can display enabled Custom Web Panels either site-wide or in specific spaces in your AnswerHub instance by choosing the spaces in the Display Options menu.

In a space, only one Custom Web Panel can exist per position (top or bottom) within a section (main or right sidebar).

  • You can display the same Custom Web Panel in different spaces, either on the top or bottom portion of the main section or the right sidebar.
  • Space-specific Custom Web Panels override site-wide Custom Web Panels.

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