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Valued Guide
Posts: 632
Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

I suspect that you are already aware that sasCommunity.org is available as a landing page for your user group.  In addition, from time to time i like to post user group announcements on the sasCommunity main page http://www.sascommunity.org/wiki/Main_Page .  If you have a general interest announcement that you would like me to post, please let me know.  A nice picture or logo to catch someone's eye is helpful.  You can view past announcements at the Whats New page http://www.sascommunity.org/wiki/What%27s_New.  I can't promise to post everything, but will try to accomodate what i can.

Moderator
Posts: 246
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

Art,

 

I'm aware that the two sites (sasCommunity.org and communities.sas.com) are managed separately and differently, how would you differentiate between the two? i.e, what would you consider appropriate for one site, and what appropriate for the other?

 

Thanks,

Andrew.

Valued Guide
Posts: 632
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page
[ Edited ]

@AndrewHowellyou are right that the two sites are radically different in a number of ways. 

 

Communities.sas.com is a SAS run site, and it provides a very strong base for user interaction.  This is especially true for forums and multiway discussions (including this one).  You can form groups and communities.  As you participate you can earn a variety of fun participation badges (and at SAS Global Forum prizes).  Although past threads are indexed the site is not designed to be a repository of user contributions such as articles, code, and papers. 

 

sasCommunity.org, on the other hand, is a SAS user wiki site supported and hosted by the SAS Global User Executive Board.  sasCommunity hosts, indexes, and makes available thousands of articles and user papers on a wide variety of SAS topics.  Although it does have a very limited discussion capability, that is not its strength. its strength lies in its ability to host user content.  Conference proceedings include a PDF of the paper, on sasCommunity authors can also upload drafts of future papers, sample code, powerpoint,  graphics, supporting documentation and more.  A number of SAS user groups use sasCommunity.org as their (free) home page/web site.

 

These two sites compliment each other very nicely.  @ChrisHemedinger is on the management team for Communities.sas.com and he also is on the Community Advisory Board for sasCommunity.org.

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,272
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

I certainly find both sites valuable and useful in the way they both share content.

 

@AndrewHowell - when I was chairing QUEST, I used sasCommunity.org as the place to keep presentations and photos of each event. It centralises the content for the local and wider SAS community http://www.sascommunity.org/wiki/Brisbane_SAS_User_Group

 

Kind Regards,

Michelle

Moderator
Posts: 246
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

Thanks, @ArtC (and @MichelleHomes)

 

Art, if you hadn't gathered from this post (and our discussions at SGF BOF meetups), I've been trying for years to get some sort of "statement of collaboration" between the various forums - specifically SasCommunity.org & communities.sas.com, but also others like (UK's) SasProfessionals.net, SasCanada, etc. At the SGFs I've attended, the BOF meet-up is a series of each forum's independent self-analysis, but with little (if any) collaboration to help the end-user select an appropriate forum (and surely it's ultimately meant to be about and for the SAS users?)

 

BTW, I now co-moderate the largest SAS User group on LinkedIn (SAS Professional Forum), but it's of little value nowadays - no-one discusses, it's mostly job agencies and bloggers just bulk-posting their blog-links to many LinkedIn groups as their auto-blogging software allows.

 

Clearly, this is the "discussion" forum.. 

 

I'd really like to hear each forum's admins clarify not just their own function, but when they would advocate using an alternate forum - SasCommunity's Art has kick-started this by redirecting discussion to communities.sas.com.  @ChrisHemedinger - what are you thoughts on posting content here in communities.sas.com? Or would you advocate posting content (papers, presentation, etc) on the SasCommunity wiki, with appropriate links here?

 

How about a mutually agreed position statement?

 

Tagging other BOFs @MattMal & @hollandnumerics for their thoughts..

 

Thanks,

Andrew.

Valued Guide
Posts: 632
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

Another cross-group collaboration is with the SAS-L group.  A number of SAS-L threads have been gathered and indexed on sasCommunity.org.  For instance the longest running SAS-L thread has been indexed here http://www.sascommunity.org/wiki/Index_to_SAS-L_Chance_to_Make_SAS-L_History_Posts  If you only read one item a day from this thread, in a short time you would be a top SAS programmer in most any organization. 

 

At sasCommunity.org we are always trying to find new ways to help the SAS user community.

Moderator
Posts: 246
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page
[ Edited ]

Yes, of course - apologies to you & @art297 for omitting SAS-L..

Valued Guide
Posts: 632
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

One way that the various sites can help each other is by cross posting links to content and related threads.  The problem to making this work is two fold.  First most of those that add content work in one or perhaps two of the sites so the cross pollination of threads becomes difficult (from the knowledge perspective), and the second is that the linking process itself takes time.

 

That said the sasCommunity advisory board is all ears for ideas on how the sasCommunity.org site can be improved - or made more useful.

SAS Employee
Posts: 21
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

Thanks for including me here. I agree, it would be nice to have a common statement of intent for all of our online communities. I think part of the challenge is that we're all different flavours of online experience. For example, when I think SAS-L, I think pure problem solving for SAS issues... communities.sas.com evokes a similar feeling, but with a wider variety of tools/solutions and an easier entry point for novice heavy content with less of a focus on 'how do I' questions - like Art, I would typically direct those type of conversations towards communities.sas.com. Because of the different mandates/directions of each of our groups, I think it's hard to pin down a very specific, common goal. Certainly the user experience is top of the list for all of us, but exactly HOW we achieve that experience seems to be more of a personalized approach. Another potential wrinkle is that SAS owns/moderates/guides some of these communities, which means that from our perspective, there is the potential for us to leverage them for strategic initiatives of our own. I can't speak for all the other communities, but we have a strict 'no direct SAS sales pitches' in mine. We do, however, often post content or have 'asks' of our community which align with some of our larger goals around activating and engaging with our users here in Canada. Having said that, our communities program is very transparent and a true partnership between SAS Canada and our customers in everything we do, so there's nothing untoward happening here. I guess I'm not adding much to the conversation here in terms of pulling together a common statement of intent - rather, I suppose I'm shining a light on how we all have different goals, ways of addressing those goals, and style in doing so. Chris Hemedinger and I have chatted over the years about finding some common ground and I'm hopeful that still may happen. Perhaps this thread is the 'boost' we need to rally around!

Community Manager
Posts: 2,842
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page
[ Edited ]

Hi All -- thanks to @AndrewHowell@ArtC, and @MattMal for chiming in and bringing me into the discussion.

 

I agree with Art and Matt that there are a few key differences among the groups, but that the lines are blurring recently.  And that's probably partly due to the increased energy that we have put into the SAS Support Communities (this site).

 

SAS-L and sasCommunity.org are grass-roots communities, each delivered in a specific medium that many people enjoy.  SAS-L is strictly e-mail (with archives on the web, but no longer indexed by public search engines).  sasCommunity.org is a wiki - a repository of documents that anyone can view and edit.

 

communities.sas.com -- and the SAS Canada Community and SASProfessionals.net -- are all "branded" communities moderated by SAS.  As Matt said, our #1 goal is to deliver the best customer experience with information relevant to practitioners, not a sales/marketing message.  We rely on SAS Support Communities to allow users to solve their own SAS challenges without calling SAS Tech Support -- that's better for us and better for them.  And we know from customer surveys that it serves that purpose well.

 

My hope is that even as a branded community, we have earned the trust of our users.  We aim to be transparent and approachable.  The vast majority of content you see on the site is user generated, and we don't censor content unless it's blatant spam or offensive or wildly off-topic.  

 

And when a legit user posts something that seems to violate that -- we don't just remove it.  We reach out and explain our actions, and give the user a chance to repost with something more appropriate.  As online community leaders, you know that there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work in moderation.  We have staff who are paid to do this, and I think that reflects well on SAS' priorities for creating a useful forum that's fun and rewarding.  [EDIT: I need to add that we get a lot of help from our Super Users, who all have special privileges to help with moderation.  This community wouldn't be nearly as pleasant and useful without them!]

 

We partner with SAS-L and sasCommunity.org leaders to coordinate our efforts and try to leverage what we each do best.  I'm happy to have a deeper, candid conversation about all of this (and more) -- probably best as a real-time discussion among the leaders, which we can then supplement with more discussion here.  If there is interest, I'll set that up.

 

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the "SAS-L BOF/Communities Linkup".  That's meant to be more fun and a celebration, not so much a navel-gazing session.

Moderator
Posts: 246
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page
[ Edited ]

@ChrisHemedinger re: "real time discusion", this is why I was disappointed the BOF meet-up didn't (really) happen at this year's SGF; the forum is meant to be a User-focused forum, which is why I think it vital the various online user forums should have been given the opportunity to meet, discuss and find ways to be more effective for the users.

 

Thanks all for the feedback, and especially @ArtC for the post which kickstarted this..

 

To paraphrase the A-Team's Hannibal Smith: "I love it when a discussion comes together.."

Community Manager
Posts: 2,842
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

@AndrewHowell And I love an A Team reference.  And I pity the fool who doesn't understand it.

 

the plan comes together

Moderator
Posts: 246
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page
[ Edited ]

I suspect one of the key stumbling blocks to sharing will be legal - who is legally accountable for each site? @ArtC - who's accountable for the sasCommunity wiki?

 

I'd love (for example) to see community.sas.com focus on discussions, even to the point of placing restrictions on attachment sizes, instead referring attachments elsewhere (sasCommunity?) - otherwise useful things such as attached files will disappear deep down in the discussion feeds over time. @ChrisHemedinger, how extensible is the Communities site for landing content like attachments (powerpoints, PDFs, etc) to a respository such as the sasCommnunity wiki (legal aspects notwithstanding)?

PROC Star
Posts: 7,416
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page

@ArtC: Now that you've offered, an announcement of the May 2nd Communities' BOF/Meetup/Linkup would definitely be appreciated.

@AndrewHowell: No appology necessary! Just glad it got mentioned. And, to not answer your question about who is responsible for the content on SAS-L, it's an anarchy by definition, 

Valued Guide
Posts: 632
Re: Posting User Group Information on the sasCommunity Main Page
[ Edited ]

Done -  an announcement is on the sasCommunity.org main page.