Friday Oct 25, 2013

The Connected Company: WebCenter Portal - Feedback - Analytics and Polls

Evernote Export Guest Post by: Mitchell Palski, Staff Sales Consultant

The importance of connecting peers has been widely recognized and socialized as a critical component of employee intranets. Organizations are striving to provide mediums for sharing knowledge and improving awareness across their enterprise. Indirectly, the socialization of your enterprise should lead to cost savings and improved product/service quality. However, many times the direct effects of connecting an organization’s leadership with its employees are overlooked. Oracle WebCenter Portal can help you bridge that gap by gathering implicit and explicit feedback.

Implicit Feedback Through Usage Analytics

Analytics allows administrators to track and analyze WebCenter Portal traffic and usage. Analytics provides the following basic functionality:

  • Usage Tracking Metrics: Analytics collects and reports metrics of common WebCenter Portal functions, including community and portlet traffic.
  • Behavior Tracking: Analytics can be used to analyze WebCenter Portal metrics to determine usage patterns, such as page visit duration and usage over time.
  • User Profile Correlation: Analytics can be used to correlate metric information with user profile information. Usage tracking reports can be viewed and filtered by user profile data such as country, company or title.

Usage analytics help measure how users interact with website content – allowing your IT staff and business analysts to make informed decisions when planning development for your next intranet enhancement. For example:

  • If users are not accessing your Announcements page and missing critical information that they need to be aware of, you may elect to use graphical links on the home page to direct more users to that page. As a result, the number of employee help-requests to HR decreases.
  • If users are not accessing your News page to read recent articles, you may elect to stop spending as much time updating the page with new stories and cut costs in your communications department.
  • You notice that there is a high volume of users accessing the Employee Dashboard page so your organization decides to continue making personalization enhancements to the page and investing in the Portal tool that most users are accessing.

Usage analytics aren’t necessarily a new concept in the IT industry. What sets WebCenter Portal Analytics apart is:

  • Reports are tailored for WebCenter specific tools
  • Report can be easily added to a page as simple as a drag-and-drop

WebCenter Portal Analytics

Explicit Feedback Through Polls

WebCenter Portal users can create, edit, take, and analyze online polls. With polls, you can survey your audience (such as their opinions and their experience level), check whether they can recall important information, and gather feedback and metrics.

How many times have you been involved in a requirements discussion and someone has asked a question similar to “Well how do you know that no one likes our home page?” and the response is “Everyone says they hate it! That’s all anyone complains about.” No one has any measurable, quantifiable metric to gauge user satisfaction. Analytics measure usage, but your organization also needs to measure the quality of your portal as defined by the actual people that use it. With that information, your leadership can make informed decisions that will not only match usage patterns but also relate to employees on a personal level. The end result is a connection between employees and leadership that gives everyone in the organization a sense of ownership of their Portal rather than the feeling of development decisions being segregated to leadership only.

Polls can be created and edited through the Poll Manager:

Oracle WebCenter Poll Manager

Polls and View Poll Results can easily be added to a page through drag-and-drop.

WebCenter Portal Poll Results

What did we learn?

Being a “connected” company doesn’t just mean helping employees connect with each other horizontally across your enterprise. It also means connecting those employees to the decisions that affect their everyday activities. Through WebCenter Portal Usage Analytics and Polls, any decision that is made to remove a Portal page, update a Portal page, or develop new Portal functionality, can be justified by quantifiable metrics. Instead of fielding complaints and hearing that your employees don’t have a voice, give those employees a voice and listen!

Thursday May 23, 2013

So Much UGC, So Little Time: Options for Moderating User-Generated Content

We all know the value of incorporating social computing features such as comments, ratings, reviews, polls and blogs into the web presence. These kinds of interactive capabilities are essential for driving customer engagement and fostering community around your brand. Ratings and reviews can also play an important role in influencing the buying behavior of other site visitors. Checking out online ratings and reviews is something many of us commonly due before selecting a particular product or service. These social capabilities certainly help cultivate loyal and satisfied customers who in turn recommend your brand to others. But before enabling these kinds of features on your web presence, there are some things you need to consider.

Whether you want to enable product reviews or commenting on articles, you’ll want to assure that the dialogue on your website remains focused and relevant.  To accomplish this, you’ll need to consider how best to approach the moderation of the user-contributed content your site visitors will be generating.  

With an open community approach, there really is no moderation.  All can contribute to the conversation and all contributions are published on your website automatically.  While this approach eliminates barriers to participation, encourages a very free dialogue and requires little oversight, there are some serious drawbacks. Open communities can invite spam, trolling or other inappropriate behavior that can be damaging to your brand. For many enterprises, an open community is simply an inappropriate choice.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is a controlled community approach.  In this type of approach, all user-generated content is subject to moderation prior to publishing.  All contributed content needs to be reviewed and approved by a community manager prior to publication.  While this approach encourages contributors to be on their best behavior and provides the community manager with the most control, this approach can result in a considerable delay in the publishing of user-generated content and can discourage social interaction on your web presence.

Enterprises that wish to encourage social interactivity while safeguarding brand integrity may want to consider striking a balance between these two approaches.  If your web experience management platform permits it, this can be done by introducing some level of automated or community member triggered moderation. For example, you might employ user white-lists and blacklists to help determine which site visitors require moderation for their comments.  You could also use customizable keyword filters that will trigger the moderation of comments that contain specific key words such as profanity. Another option is to enlist members of the community in the moderation process, by enabling site visitors to flag content that they think is inappropriate.  When a comment is flagged for moderation by an automated filter or by site visitors, it can automatically be assigned to the appropriate community manager for review, editing, approval or deletion. In this way, low risk user-generated content can be published to your site quickly, while content that may be a cause for concern enters a moderation queue for further review.

See how simple is it to deploy user-generated content features and moderation using Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Wednesday May 16, 2012

What's New in Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g: Social Computing Integration and User-generated Content

It’s no secret that the online experience has been completely transformed by social computing.  Increasingly, individuals are looking to interact with brands socially and to share their experiences with their extended social networks.  For online marketers, this creates a host of challenges. Businesses need to incorporate social computing capabilities into their online presence in order to create an interactive experience that helps build community engagement. At the same time, businesses must take care to assert a level of control that safeguards brand integrity. With the latest release of Oracle WebCenter Sites, online marketers have an even more comprehensive set of social computing capabilities that enable them to offer engaging and interactive online experiences.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the new social computing features in 11g:

Facilitate Social Login and Social Sharing
Oracle WebCenter Sites removes barriers to site visitor registration and facilitates social interaction through out-of-the box integration with Facebook and Twitter for social login.  This enables site visitors to be authenticated on an organization’s Website based on their familiar social network credentials, making the experience easier for those who may not wish to create and maintain a separate traditional account.  Social login also encourages site visitors to contribute comments, reviews or other user-generated content using their existing social network identities.

Social Login

The Oracle WebCenter Sites Social Networking Integration Offers Social Login and Social Sharing Capabilities

Organizations can also extend the reach of their brands and promote site visitor engagement via social sharing of website content with Facebook and Twitter.  This out-of-the-box capability makes it easy for site visitors to share and comment on information they like with their extended social networks. With social login and social sharing, site visitors’ onsite experience is seamlessly integrated with the rest of their online interactions and networks, driving relevance, engagement, and ultimately customer loyalty. Social login and social sharing can be further expanded to over twenty social networking sites.

Encourage Social Participation with User-generated Content (UGC) Widgets

Social computing features such as comments, ratings, reviews, polls and corporate blogs have become essential capabilities for driving customer engagement and sales. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, enterprises can easily implement social features throughout their existing web presence and manage them as a seamless part of their web platform. Business users can quickly insert UGC features into the context of their web pages making sure the look and feel matches that of the website as a whole. These social capabilities cultivate loyal and satisfied customers.  To enhance Oracle WebCenter Sites’ already robust UGC capabilities, the following new UGC widgets are now available:

Polls: A new and simple to use poll widget is now available with attractive charting options. Site authors can easily deploy polls using an intuitive and easy interface that allows them to precisely controls the display of the poll widget, results views, themes and poll status.

Ratings Widgets: Oracle WebCenter Sites now offers dynamic new rating widgets like Thumbs Up/Down, Like It button and Recommend (Email a Friend). Ratings results can then be used to help drive dynamic content on the web presence.

UGC Widgets

Some of the User-generated Content Widgets Available with Oracle WebCenter Sites

Pluggable Login Bar: A new, individually deployable login bar helps improve the look and feel of the site and can be placed on any part of the website. User login is recognized across all UGC widgets deployed on the website.

Enhancements to Existing UGC Widgets: The new release also includes a number of enhancements to existing UGC widgets for comments and reviews. Website visitors can now preview their comments or reviews before posting, get a permalink to their contribution or rate the helpfulness of the comment or review posted by other users.

More Power for UGC Moderation: Moderators also have new options to further streamline the management of user generated content in Oracle WebCenter Sites:

•    Categorize comments/reviews under custom buckets
•    Set limits on the number comments/reviews posted on a page
•    Set limits on the number of days a webpage accepts comments/reviews
•    Blacklist/whitelist website visitors with a single click

The WebCenter Sites 11g release is an exciting one that provides organizations with the tools they need to create engaging and interactive online experiences.  To learn more about the features in this new release download the data sheet, Oracle WebCenter Sites: Build Community Engagement Through Social Computing, or view the launch webcast on demand below.

On Demand Webcast - Introducing Oracle WebCenter Sites: Transforming the Online Experience
View Now

Enabling marketers and business users is a key requirement for creating and managing contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences. Oracle WebCenter Sites transforms the online experience into one that is simple and intuitive to manage as a content contributor, encourages interaction between site visitors and their social networks, and provides marketers with automated targeting options for optimizing online engagement. View this webcast now to learn more.


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