IdeaStorm Update: 2/17/2011

We have several key updates and announcements about IdeaStorm today, and what better day to share than on the 4th anniversary of IdeaStorm’s launch?

Happy 4th Birthday, IdeaStorm!
When IdeaStorm launched four years ago, not only did the site set an early precedent for the social media space, but the launch also connected a community of passionate people who generated tons of great ideas – ranging from offering Linux as an OS option on Dell hardware, to suggesting our partnership with Product (RED), and many customer support improvements. We are hosting a Storm Session today to honor the IdeaStorm community. Stop by and post your birthday greetings, best wishes, and favorite IdeaStorm community stories.

Idea Partners
Based on the community feedback in the November Storm Session “What can Dell do to make IdeaStorm better?”, the IdeaStorm team has been working hard on ways to improve the idea process flow, and also encourage more participation by Dell team members. Beginning next week, you will notice several new Dell Idea Partners, who will be actively managing Ideas in their respective categories, and acting as liaisons between the IdeaStorm community and internal Dell teams. Bill Bivin, who has been working hard as the IdeaStorm Community Manager will be leading the charge on launch the Idea Partners program. A hat tip is due to our friends at MyStarbucksIdea for the Idea Partners concept.

New Community Manager
We are also very pleased to announce that one of our most senior and most active community members, Cy Jervis (jervis961), will be joining the team as a Community Manager next week. Cy has been a passionate and vocal participant in the evolution of IdeaStorm, and will be key to helping create a more engaged IdeaStorm community, as well as helping us define “IdeaStorm 2.0”.

IdeaStorm Platform
During the November Storm Session, we also received a lot of insightful feedback on legacy issues with the platform, as well as suggestions for needed enhancements and ideas for future state. IT is also important to acknowledge that the web (and online behavior) have fundamentally changed over the last 4 years. Social media is now a critical component of any online platform. We will be factoring all of these inputs and contexts into our IdeaStorm 2.0 strategy, and I will be sharing more details about this in the coming weeks and months.

Moderation Updates

Bill B. has been busy catching up on the Idea management backlog, and he has archived ideas with low vote count going back to August 1 of last year using slightly modified criteria we and the community agreed to in this discussion. In that thread we had settled on the following criteria, but in looking over the ideas it seemed one point could be changed slightly:

  • ideas must be at least 60 days old before proceeding to the next steps
  • ideas must have a score of positive 10 or less
  • ideas must have less than 20 total promotions (not points)

The point we changed was the second bullet. A lot of ideas seem to get an “automatic” 30 or 40 points when they are first posted often with little community support beyond that. If we leave the criteria at 10 points, there are not a lot of ideas in the 60 day timeframe that can be archived. We decided to move that number to 40 points or less.

IdeaStorm Trends
We also ran some site activity reports last week. Some of the numbers are encouraging. Idea submissions have been on an upward trend each of the last 3 months. Total votes by month have been fairly flat with a slight trend upwards from December to January. Comment activity showed a healthy upward month over month trend for October, November and December with a very slight dip happening in January. Also of note, by far the most active idea category has been Mobile Devices, which is not surprising when one looks at the technology landscape and where the market is going.

And now the ideas:

About the Author: Bill Johnston