Dell Community Site Upgrade: What’s New?

Today, we're ready to roll out a new version of Dell's Community site based on the Telligent Community platform. It's something that has been in the works for a long time. Over the last several weeks, we've been working with some of our customers on a pilot version of the site. Overall site performance has been a key focus throughout the process. Beyond that, we worked to make things easier to find. We also worked to make the site a more compelling place to be. After you spend some time on the new site, I hope you agree that we're moving in the right direction.

With that, let me dive in on some of the things we've done. Here's a list of key functionality improvements:

  • Search: We now have two different ways to search: 1) Search the Dell Community site or 2) Search within the current blog. Searching the community site overall breaks out results by forum, blogs or wikis.
  • More flexible navigation: you can now navigate the whole site from the header at the very top of your browser, or you can use the breadcrumb navigation in the page area to hop around. Beyond that. we've enabled tags for more granular navigation. You can get an RSS feed at the tag level. We've got more we're working on in this area. I'll share those details in a subsequent post.  
  • Ability to Favorite (bookmark) blogs or specific forum threads: This makes it easy to navigate to places a user reads or contributes to frequently. It works across blogs, forums and wikis and automatically divides bookmarks into those sections.
  • Featured Content area: we took a page from top blogs like Engadget, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Read Write Web and many others. The benefit here is that important posts will be accessible for longer periods of time for customers who might not read our blogs everyday.
  • Mark as Answer/ Suggest Answer: While we had similar functionality in the past, we worked to make this more straightforward. In the forum boards, if you find a response to one of your forum posts that fixes your problem, you can click the Mark as Answer button to let others know that it fixed your problem. If you are browsing a thread and see something that you think might solve another user's problem, you can click the Suggest Answer. You can also sort forum threads by Unanswered or Unread.
  • Cleaner design: Our teams worked to make the blogs more visual-we added banners to each of the blogs, display user avatars in more areas than before and we have widgets that enable you to view our YouTube videos and Flickr images from within the blog page. Beyond that, I think it's worth mentioning that the Profile Bar takes up a lot less space than it used to… yet you are one click away from things like your private messages Inbox, your Favorite Places bookmarks, your profile settings and more.

While I think these site improvements are moving us forward, we know we've still got work to do. More on that front later. To users who are already registered and have contributed to the site, thanks for spending time here. If you're new to the Dell Community site or new to Direct2Dell, I welcome you.  If any of you have thoughts or ideas on how we can improve the site, please let me know in the comments section.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca