The issue has come up about where to post news releases and other company product news. The PIUG space home page states "Commercial vendors and participants should follow the Guidelines for Commercial Participation in the wiki, news section, and discussion forums." Those guidelines have not changed since content and functionality was moved from the PIUG website to the PIUG wiki and discussion forums. But there is no guidance on posting news items vs. PIUG-DF topics.

In the past, we only had one choice, the PIUG Discussion List (PIUG-L). Now we have its direct replacement, PIUG-DF, and the News function of the wiki. The former uses the Add Topic link on the main PIUG-DF page. The later uses the Add News Item link and the Recent News Items archives link near the top of the left sidebar of every PIUG space page.

There isn't (yet) a clear explanation about what should be posted as a news item and what on the PIUG-DF. There isn't much difference between them. Since the PIUG-DF is a "discussion forum," I advise users to post on PIUG-DF whey they are sharing learnings and/or looking for "discussion," comments, or feedback. Otherwise, press release-type information and simple announcements should be news items; comments are still possible for news items. Jim Brown of Fiz Karlsruhe has started making good use of news items. Most other information providers have been using PIUG-DF since it seems most analogous to the old PIUG-L. I have been thinking about asking people to reconsider how they post. The PIUG-DF would be a lot less cluttered without all these press releases and product announcements. News items and PIUG-DF posts are all findable via wiki search or external search engine search.

Of course, there are differences between posting news and posting on PIUG-DF. The main differences are where people see the listing of topics and how they are notified. The PIUG space main page lists six recent PIUG-DF topics, a short list of the PIUG-DF page. People have to be proactive to check out news, either via the calendar on the PIUG space page or via the Recent News Items archives link. As for email notification, everybody gets a daily update email message by default at midnight GMT, which contains all new and edited new content: news items, discussion list postings, and other wiki pages. Similarly, everyone "watching" the whole PIUG Space will be notified by full-content email messages of all the new content. The issue is people watching only PIUG-DF: they would not get an email message for a new news items but would see the news title with a link in the daily update. I encourage people to watch the whole space via Settings...Watch this Space as long as their email threshold is not exceeded, not a problem yet at current PIUG wiki participation. Of course, some will take advantage of the option to "Watch this Forum" if they aren't already watching the space. I don't have an easy way to determine how many people are doing what, but I am reasonably sure that many people aren't yet doing either. In fact, we still have nearly 40% of current PIUG members who haven't yet signed up for the wiki. I hope they are at least manually checking the wiki for new content.

Can I get some feedback on a policy for using either "News Items" or PIUG-DF for press-release and product announcements?

Tom

2 Comments

  1. Hi Tom,

    You asked for feedback about posting press releases, product announcements and similar items in the news area rather in the PIUG-DF area.  

    I would agree with you that this is the appropriate area to post this stuff, but you highlight the relevant point - people just watching the DF space and not the whole PIUG wiki won't get the information directly in their in-box, just a link via the daily digest.  Would it be an idea to send a strong recommendation for people to watch the whole PIUG wiki space together with instructions how to do this to address this issue.  If we can do that, I'm sure people will be happy to post in the news area.

    1. Bob:

      I appreciate your support for posting press releases, product announcements and similar items in the news area. The issue then is maximizing the number of people watching the whole PIUG space and not just PIUG-DF.

      I haven't yet figured out how to get the word out about this and related wiki usage matters.* Do I post such messages "from the admin" in PIUG-DF? I would like to avoid cluttering PIUG-DF with such topics, just as I want to keep temporal announcements and news out of PIUG-DF. But this is another "chicken and egg" situation: we need people to be watching the whole space in order to be able to communicate most effectively about wiki matters from another forum. If no one has a better idea, I may just have to bite the bullet and send out "from the admin" from PIUG-DF. Thanks for your feedback.

      Tom

      * FYI, the current list of "from the admin" topics based on recent interaction with and feedback from users:

      • Watch whole PIUG space, not just PIUG-DF, using Settings...Watch this Space.
      • Don't post comments to your own pages and topic. Just edit them yourself, highlighting the change and sending out a new email message (or not) by using the "Minor change?" box. Use the comment box (not to be confused with Post Reply or Add Comment links on view screen) on the edit page to create a short explanation about the change for the email message.
      • Get email on your new pages and topics using Settings...Manage my Email Notifications...Notify me on my own Posting.
      • Add personal photo (not an icon) using Settings...Manage my Personal Information...Edit my Picture.
      • A recent "email blizzard" relating to moving PIUG-DF postings to the subforum on the PIUG 2009 Annual Conference was regrettable and unavoidable as the Confluence application is currently written. Such mass page moves will be done on the weekend in the future to avoid disturbing users during the normal business day.