Communities, Social Networks, and KCS: Team Meeting Summary

Three minute summary:

Consortium members met at National Instruments in Austin to discuss the convergence of Communities, Social Networks, and KCS. Melissa George began by setting some context and covering the work previously done by the Consortium, including the Three Tenets of Social and Support, the Social Support Journey Matrix, and Dr. Michael Wu’s Relativity Framework for Customer Experience.

Jordan Groves at National Instruments gave us an overview of their community, including key success factors and current challenges.

Derek Vink from Sage North America described the Sage City community, including ways Sage is currently encouraging customer participation and the work they are doing around building a reputation model with game mechanics to drive future customer engagement.

Ernie Racine and David Cabral from MathWorks discussed how they integrated internal and community knowledge. Results of this integration include increased use of high value content, a 50% increase in customer feedback, and immediate publication of customer comments and advice. Ultimately, the knowledge base is more interesting and meaningful to both MathWorks employees and customers.

The team did a lot of work around the approach to building a reputation model for community members. Here, in order, are ways to use a reputation model to maximize the benefit of the community to both the members and the organization:

  1. Knowing who you’re interacting with in a community helps members identify quality resources and content.
  2. Incentivizing desired behavior teaches people how you want them to engage.
  3. From the company’s perspective, knowing who the user is increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the support experience, and allows for customer segmentation.
  4. Eventually, building individualized people-to-people networks allows for community intelligent swarming.

Harvesting community content has been a topic of much discussion over the past few years. This team determined that implementing federated search is the ideal first step when dealing with multiple sources of knowledge. With federated search in place, avoiding duplication should be a priority; linking between sources of knowledge is preferable to migrating content.

Establishing a way to identify content that adds value is key for a “harvesting” strategy, where the goal is not to duplicate content, but to leverage it for other uses like onboarding, root cause analysis, product management, or marketing. Identifying content can be done in a variety of ways, including monitoring various page or post activities and/or by nomination by community members.

Open Space generated more questions than we had time to answer. We worked on scoping out user privileges and permissions, the benefits of building a reputation model, and best practices for managing content life cycle.

As always, Consortium members can access complete notes from this meeting on the wiki. We hope you’ll join us for a meeting soon!

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