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Adobe Summit: Boost Engagement with Online Communities

Bertrand de Coatpont and Scott Date of Adobe about online communities.  This is communities within Experience Manager. Specifically, it’s version 6.1 which has completely redone Communities.
hand_writing_strategy_shutterstock_wordpressThere’s a thought that a community project is an overwhelming effort from a time and engineering perspective.   With that in mind, Adobe has made a lot of simplifications.
Who uses the site:

  • Community administrators
  • Content and brand managers


  • Community Manager – not a company employee but is a trusted individual
  • Community members – those who have joined the site and participate in the communities. (likes, voting, article creation, commenting
  • Community User – a simple viewer of the content

Let’s Build a Community Site

Pain Point: I need something now and I need it to be simple. A business user should be able to do this.
They showed a live demo of the new Communities. It will be released on May 7th.

  • Rebecca is a community administrator
    • She already has a couple communities up and running but needs a new one
  • The new version has the revised UI which matches the themes from Marketing Cloud
  • In administration page of the new UI
    • Each community has a set of building blocks called community functions
      • Activity Stream
      • Forum
      • Group
      • Page
      • Assignments
      • File Library
      • each is a normal AEM component but already wired together for community context
      • Blogs and calendars are coming soon
    • AEM provides a number of reference site templates you can use or choose to make your own
      • These templates have a structure tab that shows what functions are used in that template
      • You can add additional functions to any communities via a drag and drop interface
    • The concept of group is a place where community members can have sub-communities
      • Still uses the same building blocks
    • There is a new wizard to create a community site
      • Press a create site button
      • Fill in key information like Title, description, community name, and default template
      • Choose which design you want. This is the theme, color, etc.
        • based on twitter bootstrap so that’s where the default themes are derived
        • It’s fully responsive
        • Can add your own branding
        • Can configure basic things like a header image
      • Define options like
        • allow self registration
        • allow anonymous access
        • allow private messaging
        • allow social logins like Facebook or Twitter
        • other settings include
          • Tags for the community
          • Moderation
            • Is it moderated
            • flagging threshold
            • definition of community moderators (admins or members)
          • Group Management
            • Can create sub-groups, admins for those groups, etc.
          • Translation
            • Define default language
            • Check a box to allow machine translation into multiple languages
        • hit the finish button and you get a new site
  • Created the site but then went to another existing community that had more content
  • Reporting: Not in this release. It’s coming shortly after

Second pain point: I don’t want a rigid community. Make it easy to administer
Back to the demo but from a content manager standpoint

  • Login gives a number of options like sites, moderation of site, users, etc.
  • As a content manager, the manager has flexibility to put features on different pages and parts of pages.
  • Uses the same layout tools from AEM Web Content Management
    • Add an image
    • add a community function
    • Preview in responsive scenarios
    • resizing of images
    • etc.
  • Can also do targeting and personalization within the community

Now switch to the community manager (non-employees who help to manage the site)
This is a manage groups and moderate content scenario

  • From the web site (community is a sub-site)
    • Community manager can login and see the community manager options
  • The UI lets you do moderation for each piece of content in context (e.g. no admin screen, just embedded in the normal page)
    • Reply, Flag, Delete, Edit, Deny
    • Flag puts it in a workflow
  • Does have access to the administration link
    • This includes bulk administration option
    • Find all flagged content
    • approve any content
    • deny or delete the content
    • Search can be for status of content (pending , approved, denied, closed)
  • As a group manager, the user accesses and manages the group(s)
    • Can add a new group to the community site
    • Invite users
      • Use a type ahead to find users
    • Make the group public or private
    • Choose a group template
    • add an image
    • Post has a rich text editor embedded
      • can also attach images or files

Pain Point: Has to have a rich community experience. More than just a forum.

  • Members can see private messages in their inbox (assuming it’s allowed)
  • The activity stream lets you see what’s happening in all the community functions.
    • Has a following concept within the community
      • follow users and pages
    • Activity stream only shows activities for people / content you follow. Content includes threads
  • Can update your personal profile

Fifth Persona: Community Users
Pain Point: find it online and make it available via multiple devices

  • By default, this user is not logged in.
  • The pages use a nice structure to allow it to be easily indexed
    • Google can thus find the public content
  • has an internal search as well

So as you can see, each user type has a robust set of functionality available to them.


This is a license product separate from AEM.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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