The version 1.7 of Quandora, the Question and Answer software for knowledge sharing for distributed teams, has been released today and it’s up and running as per March 8, 2013. The main focus of this release has been to add more sharing capabilities and hence increase the “virality” of the Q&A activity.
Here are the highlights of the release.
The Activity Sharing Service
The undeniable star of this release is the Activity Sharing Service, a component allowing to easily send notifications to third party social collaboration tools. This component isolates the events susceptible to generate useful notifications, and define a communication model allowing to plug to those third party tools’ activity feed via simple configurations, tool-specific.
The beauty of this service is that we can now add concrete integrations with as many activity feeds as we want, in a matter of hours. And to test this hypothesis that, we’ve started with…
For organisations using Yammer, it is now possible to leverage the network’s social graph to “spread the word” when new contributions are happening in Quandora, therefore increasing its reach. On the other side, Quandora’s notifications enrich Yammer’s feed making it more relevant and valuable. Thus, a new question, answer, comment, or badge will generate actionable notifications in Yammer’s feed, allowing people to react quickly and contribute back, in quasi real time.
In order to make the notifications as meaningful as possible, we’ve used a pretty nice, brand new feature from Yammer: OpenGraph custom verbs and objects! This way we can display people messages like “John asked <a question>” rather than “John created <a question>” (same applies for answers, comments, etc.)
Enabling activity sharing with Yammer takes a couple of clicks. This operation is done by a Quandora administrator that is also a Yammer administrator.
The second implementation of our new Activity Sharing Service is HipChat, the private group chat from Atlassian (that we find pretty awesome by the way). It’s quite handy to receive Quandora’s questions in your chat isn’t it? And to have your questions reach fellow team members instantly. This is exactly what will happen if you choose to enable the HipChat sharing. As for Yammer, the activation is done very easily in the administrative section of Quandora.
Improved way of calculating the Popular Questions
The questions listed in the “Popular Questions” tag now take into account not only the votes cast on the question itself, but also its answers’ votes. This tab is meant to be a way of discovering content, especially useful for new members of the organisation who weren’t there when the exchanges took place. We’ve realised that prodigious answers can come from not-necessarily-prodigious questions, hence the change.
Users profile card
A “user card” is now displayed on mouse over the user names, wherever they appear in the application. They show information about the respective user including full name, picture, number of questions and answers, reputation, badges…
For the following couple of releases, we plan to add more activity sharing integrations (on the list: SocialCast , CampFire, and SalesForce’s Chatter), as well as a couple of more authentication providers (including GitHub). On the user engagement front, we’ll add new options for easily inviting users and posting Quandora questions on existing mailing lists. Also, we plan to provide to organisations the possibility to define custom badges through a DSL (Domain Specific Language). Plus a lot of various UX improvements to make using Quandora always more fun!