We are happy to announce that today, December 5th 2012, the latest version of Quandora – 1.4 – has been released and is live on the current installations.
For this release, our focus has been to clarify our customers’ options in terms of Q&A’s audience and access control. We were already giving the possibility to configure numerous settings in this area. It was possible to obtain more or less any desired use case by setting the right combination of options and values.
With this release, we’re aiming at simplifying the user’s choice of knowledge base type in terms of audience and access control, by grouping the fine-grained options under a couple of major configurations corresponding to real life scenarios. We think this will allow organizations to easily recognize their use case in the product’s offerings and therefore focus more on their own need and less on implementation details.
Public or private?
The first and most structuring question about a Q&A site is: do I want it to be available to anybody out there, or it should be restricted to a specified audience?
The answer to this question has a big impact on the user engagement strategies, signup policies, access control, content guidelines, and many other aspects.
In Quandora, the private/public choice is to be made at the very beginning, and cannot be reversed later. (If, however, for some reason you do need to change this setting, send us an email and we’ll look into it.)
When choose Public? A typical case would be a public facing Q&A provided by a company around its product(s) and/or service(s). It is a great way to engage customers, partners, and employees; to build a positive image of a vibrant, active ecosystem; and to provide real value to the community by capitalizing on those business insiders’ knowledge and experience.
In Quandora, the public Q&A comes with an open signup policy: anybody can create an account, since bringing people in is kind of the whole point. However, it is possible to activate the moderation on signups, meaning that any new user account has to be validated by the Q&A’s manager(s) before becoming active. If you feel that signups should not be possible in your case, you probably need a private Q&A (see below).
Choose Private if your Q&A’s content is not intended to be accessible to people outside a defined group, usually for reasons of confidentiality, or because of a paying access policy. This group can be a company, a government entity, an university, a project team; or, a business community comprising several organizations.
A private Q&A do not allow anonymous browsing: users have to be logged in to see the content.
Internal or external?
Refining further the private Q&As envisioned audience, two sub-categories are available:
… or single organization. It’s a Q&A dedicated to a group from within an organization, that can be: a department, a project team, or even the whole organization itself. Such a Q&A is typically dedicated to helping people learn from each other, putting at benefit everyone’s experience, lessons learned, acquired know-how, and understanding of the group culture and values.
Under this option, you have to specify one or more email domains: only people with email addresses matching those domains are allowed to log in.
… or multiple organizations. Such a Q&A is still private (no anonymous browsing is possible), but virtually anybody can be a member, modulo the manager’s approval – there’s no restriction regarding the email address. Examples of groups that could use this type of Q&A include closed business communities, professional associations, marketplaces – it allows them to share specialized insights that are not (and should not be) publicly available.
Sometimes the boundaries between internal and external can be blurred. For instance, is a project team formed by the implementation team and the customer’s team, internal or external? Our take is that the Q&As for teams whose allowed login domains are more or less known and stable should be considered internal, whereas the open-ended communities should be considered external. Under this definition, the project team mentioned before would choose an internal Q&A; however, a Q&A between a company and all its customers would be external, since the customer list is continuously changing.
In any case, this option can be changed as your group or community evolves, so it’s possible to adapt the settings to the real life usage.
User experience improvements
Besides the audience related features, this release also includes some usability improvements, mostly suggested by our users, to whom we send our warmest thanks for the valuable feedback.
- It is possible now to specify a default Knowledge Base per domain. When accessing the domain’s URL people will be redirected to the default KB, if it exists. In the future, we’ll give the possibility to override this setting at the user’s level.
- A user that answer or comment on a question is now automatically subscribed to the respective question.
- Added a couple of hints to the hints service, providing users useful suggestions.
- Reporting Quandora issues or simply giving feedback is now easier than ever, via the Report Bug / Feedback link in the top horizontal toolbar. It goes straight into our issue tracker!
- [bugfix] When a non authenticated user clicks on a question in an email newsletter, the URL is now remembered and the user is correctly redirected to the question after the login.
… and other bugfixes.
As always, we’re looking forward to hearing from you (critics are fine, too :-)). Meanwhile, happy knowledge sharing!