The word “curation” refers to the preservation and maintenance of digital assets. In an online community, we curate content in order to ensure the content in our community is easy to find and relevant to our customers, and to ensure accurate reporting. We also curate when marking the status of a particular topic, adding tags to topic threads, archive old topics, post new FAQ-type topics, and generally organize the community.
Below are recommended guidelines for content curation, but Community Strategists should define specific curation practices designed to help achieve the goals that have been set for the community.
- Canonical: An authoritative, or canonical, topic is the primary source of information on any given subject within your community. These can include, but are not limited to: Frequently Asked Questions, known bugs, correctly-answered questions, etc. Canonical topics should never be archived, but they can be closed for replies and comments in order to keep the topic clean.
- Private Tags: Private Tags are tags only visible by community employees with a Management Seat, and can be used to build queues in Management view or curate content for widgets. Topics can be associated with multiple Private Tags.
- Activity: Activity refers to replies, comments, and/ or Me Too votes on a topic. Activity should always be taken into account when determining the importance of a topic.
Edit Topic Titles
The Get Satisfaction platform search weights topic titles more than any other element when performing a search, so it’s crucial that the title clearly define what’s being discussed in the topic in natural language, and include relevant keywords. An email notification is not sent when a title is edited, so it’s a best practice to post a reply or comment on the thread, letting the author know why you’re editing the title. For example:
Hi Sam! Great question — thanks for posting. I’m going to do some research for you and get back to you a little later with an answer. Also, I adjusted the title of this topic so that it’s a bit more clear and easier for others to find. Thanks!
Along with editing a topic’s title, ensure that the topic is listed under the correct topic type.
Use Categories and Category Sets
Content categories are useful for categorizing all content in your community. They help make topics more findable based on search terms, and widgets can be filtered by product tags. Product tags must be created in the Admin section of a community prior to being used.
Clicking through a product tag in a community will bring the user to the product page, where all topics associated with the topic will be listed. Like public tags, the URL to product tag pages can be shared with customers, employees, as well as linked to in other areas of your site. Community members can add product tags when posting a new topic, but cannot add tags to existing topics. Community members can only remove their own product tags from a topic. Users with a Management Seat can add, or remove, any product tags to a topic. Users can opt to follow a product by clicking the “Follow” button on any product page. When new topics are posted with that product tag, they’ll receive an email notification.
Think of product tags as broader categories to tag your content with. Each tag does not have to be associated with a specific product. For example, create a product tag called “FAQs” and add the URL to the additional support links section on your community homepage. You could also add widgets filtered by the FAQ product tag to certain pages in your help center.
It’s recommended to review & add/ delete product tags on all customer content, especially if widgets are in use.
Use Private Tags
These tags are free form, and do not need to be added prior to use in your community. However, it’s recommended to come up with an internal taxonomy for your moderation team when using private tags. Suggestions include:
- Canonical or FAQ – These can be used on topics that members ask frequently or solved problem topics that are evergreen. Use them as a way of indicating that you do not want the topic archived.
- Unrelated – Used if you don’t want to remove a topic, but it’s not 100% about your company or service.
- Ticket number – If you’re using a bug tracking system, add the ticket number as a private tag so you can follow up with the customer once a fix has been released.
- Project/Product name – If a cluster of topics refer to a specific project/product. This is useful for funneling feedback to the product development team, as topics can be filtered by this tag in Management View.
- UX Feedback – Use to give the UX team a list of all questions, ideas and problems that refer to the user experience of your product or service.
- Needs Update – Canonical FAQ topics that need revision. If the topic is unable to be updated due comments or replies being posted, post a new FAQ topic (and close it). Then update the existing thread with the link to the new topic, and close and archive the out of date thread.
- Waiting_[name] – If you’ve shared a topic with a team member or department and are waiting on their input.
- Waiting_Customer – Indicates you’re waiting for additional information from the customer.
- Waiting_Archive – Indicates the topic can be archived if there has been no additional activity within 7 days of the last activity date.
- Investigating – To indicate to other team members that you’re looking into a topic further.
Each topic can have multiple private tags associated with it. Engage widgets may be filtered by private tags.
Mark Canonical Topics
A canonical topic is the main topic we refer members to on a particular subject.
How are they categorized? Mark with a private tag of your choosing.
When do we change/archive them? Never archive canonical topics unless the content within them becomes irrelevant due to product changes. When archiving a canonical topic, be sure to remove the “canonical” tag and close the topic to further replies or comments. It is also useful, prior to closing & archiving, to post an update on the topic thread if there is an additional post that others should refer to.
What topic types can be canonical topics? Any topic type.
What if there are multiple similar topics, but no good authoritative topic to merge them all into? If you’re unable to locate a topic from the handful of similar topics that would make a good authoritative topic, the following path is recommended:
- Collect all the topics that you’ll need to merge into the authoritative topic.
- Script out a topic title, body, and response.
- If you need to point people to other topics, like ideas related to the subject matter, be sure those are included in the reply portion.
- Identify any products, tags, and tracker stories that need to be associated with it.
- Post a new topic from your company’s FAQ account (recommended). We recommend using a FAQ account to keep all those formal FAQ topics organized by user, and to be sure they’re coming from a user account that will always be an Employee in the community.
- Merge the multiple topics into the authoritative FAQ topic.
- Post your response from your personal employee account.
- Promote your reply as the Official Response.
Mark Problem Topics as Bugs
If an issue reported in a problem topic can be duplicated, then it is likely a bug that should be shared with your development team. We recommend this path when marking problem topics as bugs:
- Respond to the user and acknowledge the issue. Apologize sincerely for any frustration, and give them any relevant information that you might have.
- Set the topic status to “Acknowledged”
- File a bug in your internal bug tracking system and link to the Topic
- Enter the bug number in the private tag or public tag section
Once the bug is associated with a release, switch the status to “In Progress” and update the user(s) appropriately. Once the bug fix has been released, set the status to “Solved,” and post an Official Response on the topic. Consider archiving the topic if the content is not evergreen.
Mark Idea Topics as Feature Requests
Many users will submit idea topics hoping that they’ll become features in your product or service. Not all ideas will be implemented in your product, so it’s important to set the correct expectation in the community early on. We recommend this path when evaluating potential feature requests
- Provide an initial response to the idea thanking the user for their suggestion.
- Share the topic with your product team, and tag it appropriately
- Once your product team has had a chance to review, set the status of the idea appropriately and provide an update on the thread.
- If the idea has been marked as “under consideration” or “planned”, continue to provide regular updates to the users on the thread as the development process moves along.
- Once an idea has been implemented, mark the topic status appropriately and post an Official Response. Consider closing the topic to new replies and comments after a few days.