There are many different types of content within a community and it is very important to choose the correct content type for your collaboration. Below are the main content types that are available as well as some additional content types that can be added on to the community via modules.
Discussions come in two varieties; threads and questions. The difference between the two is determined by what the author is looking for.
- A thread is where the author is seeking different point of views and there is no specific solution to the issue. These are generally used to formulate plans of actions and make business decisions. An example of a thread would be “How should we modify our process to better serve our customers?” In this case there will be many points of view and each will help you reach a decision.
- A question is where the author is seeking a specific solution to a problem they are having. The questions functionality allows the author and administrators to mark the correct response to the question, allowing the author and others find that solution faster.
Like discussions, documents come in two varieties; collaborative documents you write directly in the community and uploaded files from your local machine. Both are used to convey official or factual information to the community.
- Good examples of collaborative documents are meeting notes, how-to guides, policy outlines, etc.
- Uploaded files can be used in lieu of a collaborative document if you already have the document locally.
Similar to documents, a blog post is intended to convey information to the community. Unlike documents, a blog post is more of a story, opinion or thought leadership. A good example of a blog post would be a summary of how a project went with a client or customer.
Polls are quick surveys that allow users to vote for 1 option that best fits the question posed by the poll. The strength of polls is their ability to help make important decisions by simplifying the response to a choice. Once the votes are in the author of the poll can then see what decision needs to be made without having to sift through various comment responses.
Additional Content Types
There are other additional content types available. These include ideas, events and videos.
- Events: are used to create actual events in the community that members can then RSVP to. The events feature also includes a personal event calendar and place event calendars.
- Videos: the video module allows users to directly upload a video from their computer to the community as its own content type. Additionally, the module allows the use of the webcam to record directly into the community.
- Ideas: the ideation module allows an author to pose an idea to the community and then get “votes” for or against the idea. Each vote either awards points or subtracts points. This allows the author to quickly determine the overall support of their idea.