Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Michael Bushong

Blog Feed Post

Categorize community structure for improved site navigation

So, as my team continued our accelerated community 3.0 plans our next obstacle was how to categorize our community structure in order to align with our .com architecture and keep the navigation consistent between the two sites.

We have several issues. One is we have many products that have multiple communities some focused around support, others are beta lab forums, developer forums, education/certification and subject matter expert exchanges. We didn’t have to start from scratch as many of the .com categories fit but we released that just organizing the communities into topics didn’t really solve another problem of silo’d information not being discovered in search results. In order to really do this right you need to tag your community content to ensure the meta data is available so content appears in the appropriate search results. There was talk of having a 10 day tag-a-thon and we still may do that but that won’t make the first release so I’ll follow up on that later.

My main concern was still organizing the communities into product/solution categories so the navigation alignment with the .com site would be effective. There were two main tasks we needed to complete before we could integrate the unified web navigation. Determine what the categories would be and then determine which category or categories would be associated with over 200 communities. One of the great things about a community is it is a community which means there are hundreds of others like yourself who want to support your effort to improve the usability of the community. So, the first step was to update our community list, post the spreadsheet to our admin corner and engage our 200 community managers to associate one or more of the 14 categories with their community. Warning, you will have some overachievers who will say their community belongs in all the categories so you will have to edit to keep each community list to at most 3 categories.

While the community managers were updating the categories we needed to create the category landing pages that would be utilized by the navigation. As an example, if a web visitor landing on the .com home page, clicked on the community menu it will open up all the categories available like, storage, security, virtualization, infrastructure or backup and recovery. Because many different communities belong to a single category there needed to be a landing page that would surface all communities that were related. In order to accommodate the tight release timeline we did this manually, but plan to make these pages more dynamic. However, that comes back the tagging discussion I mentioned earlier and something we thought we could deliver in a following release.

The one thing about this exercise was it made us realized the level of effort that would be needed to re-architect the taxonomy and folksonomy of the site. Unfortunately I don’t believe there is an easy way to do this other than roll your sleeves up and get to work tagging content and communities. I have wondered though with the improvement of machine learning in search engines will we come to a point when categories, descriptions, tags and meta data won’t matter because all of the content will be indexed and available based on context. I need to do some more research into that concept but wouldn’t that be nice.


Filed under: Community Engagement, Content, Marketing Strategy, Search Marketing, Web Strategy Tagged: aligning community to web strategy, Community Categorization, community naviagation, community web navigation, How to organize your community navigation

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Brace Rennels

Brace Rennels is a passionate and experienced interactive marketing professional who thrives on building high energy marketing teams to drive global web strategies, SEO, social media and online PR web marketing. Recognized as an early adopter of technology and applying new techniques to innovative creative marketing, drive brand awareness, lead generation and revenue. As a Sr. Manager Global of Website Strategies his responsibilities included developing and launching global social media, SEO and web marketing initiatives and strategy. Recognized for applying innovative solutions to address unique problems and manage business relationships to effectively accomplish enterprise objectives. An accomplished writer, blogger and author for several publications on various marketing, social media and technical subjects such as industry trends, cloud computing, virtualization, website marketing, disaster recovery and business continuity. Publications include CIO.com, Enterprise Storage Journal, TechNewsWorld, Sys-Con, eWeek and Peer to Peer Magazine. Follow more of Brace's writing on his blog: http://bracerennels.com

Latest Stories from Big Data Journal
Cisco on Wedesday announced its intent to acquire privately held Metacloud. Based in Pasadena, Calif., Metacloud deploys and operates private clouds for global organizations with a unique OpenStack-as-a-Service model that delivers and remotely operates production-ready private clouds in a customer's data center. Metacloud's OpenStack-based cloud platform will accelerate Cisco's strategy to build the world's largest global Intercloud, a network of clouds, together with key partners to address cu...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, will discuss the real...
I write and study often on the subject of digital transformation - the digital transformation of industries, markets, products, business models, etc. In brief, digital transformation is about the impact that collected and analyzed data can have when used to enhance business processes and workflows. If Amazon knows your preferences for particular books and films based upon captured data, then they can apply analytics to predict related books and films that you may like. This improves sales. T...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is n...
When one expects instantaneous response from video generated on the internet, lots of invisible problems have to be overcome. In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Tom Paquin, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at OnLive, to discuss how to overcome these problems. A Silicon Valley veteran, Tom Paquin provides vision, expertise and leadership to the technology research and development effort at OnLive as EVP and Chief Technology Officer. With more than 20 years of management experience at lead...
BlueData aims to “democratize Big Data” with its launch of EPIC Enterprise, which it calls “the industry’s first Big Data software to enable enterprises to create a self-service cloud experience on premise.” This self-service private cloud allows enterprises to create 100-node Hadoop and Spark clusters in less than 10 minutes. The company is also offering a Community Edition via free download. We had a few questions for BlueData CEO Kumar Sreekanti about all this, and here's what he had to s...
Labor market analytics firm Wanted Analytics recently assessed the market for technology professionals and found that demand for people with proficient levels of Hadoop expertise had skyrocketed by around 33% since last year – it is true, Hadoop is hard technology to master and the labor market is not exactly flooded with an over-abundance of skilled practitioners. Hadoop has been called a foundational technology, rather than ‘just’ a database by some commentators – this almost pushes it towards...
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Where historically app development would require developers to manage device functionality, application environment and application logic, today new platforms are emerging that are IoT focused and arm developers with cloud based connectivity and communications, development, monitoring, management and analytics tools. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies, will explore how to rapidly prototype using IoT cloud platforms and c...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? Ion Stoica is co-founder and CEO of Databricks, a company working to revolutionize Big Data analysis through the Apache Spark platform. He also serves as a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Ion previously co-founded Conviva to commercial...