You’ve perhaps read about the ability to cruise the community by topics of interests. We refer to them affectionately as PopTops. Groups might be referred to as PopTop Minis. They are smaller, more targeted areas of interest for avid users that leverage most of the same tools our topic areas use. A group consists of a blog, a forum, a wiki and a media gallery or some subset of these.
So, along with having a more specific focus than our Topics of Interests, what other benefits come from groups? Groups can be private or public, giving us more flexibility to meet the needs of the community. Groups also have the ability to present individual design and functionality, so one group’s identity can be significantly different than another’s. We also will have the ability to let non-Dell employees have and manage their own groups. This will allow us to invite our partner’s to interact directly with the Dell community on topics of cross-interest and even, should we choose, allow our community members to have a group of their own. This is something we’re considering and may roll out in the coming year.
Since a group can have its own media gallery, we have the ability to allow some types of files to be shared based upon a group’s need. A media gallery offers a place for users to share files with other members of the community, be it a group, a topic or a separate area of interest. Pictures, Office documents, PDFs and more can be shared with the community. Upload, download, vote, comment on and tag files to help yourself and other members of the community. Within galleries themselves, you’ll be able to sort by most recent, most popular, most commented and more.
With galleries comes the ability to ‘favoritize’, to coin a perfectly dreadful term. When exploring galleries, you will be given the option to add a gallery or a file to your favorites. All your favorites will be accessible through your profile and on every page of the site via the minibar, giving you quick access to the areas of the site that you find most useful.
Groups and galleries bring two more ways for the community to find, contribute and share information. Check them out when we launch on Friday and let us know what you think.