How To Start a Helpful Discussion in Community 3304

How To Start a Helpful Discussion in Community

Every day the Blackbaud Community gets asked tons of questions and our community members give tons of answers in return. But, for someone who is new to the community experience, start a discussion or sharing an answer - even when you know it - can be daunting.

There are basically three steps to composing a helpful discussion. Let's break them down:

1. Be human.
I know this might sound ridiculous, but people trust people more than they trust robots. When you decide to become active in the community (either asking or answering questions), I suggest you make sure you have a profile picture uploaded and a little bit of profile information in place.

2. Be concise.
When you are starting discussions and/or sharing tips, make sure that your discussion/response has enough detail to be helpful, but not so much detail that it becomes overwhelming. Whenever possible, include pictures. Nothing breaks up a wall of text like some strategically placed screenshots or other relevant images.

3. Be linked.
I love seeing links in a response on the community. Links mean that we are broadening the knowledge of the site and that you are either helping other community members learn about or be reminded of other resources to help them succeed. If you cite a book, link to the author (or the book). If you cite a blog, link to the post. If you cite another part of the community, link to that other part of the community. Links can often help provide the details that you may not have wanted to provide in the body of your response.

If you are wanting to start a discussion in community, here are some suggested writing prompts:
  • My best practice for ....
  • I learned this helpful trick in my product recently...
  • This has really saved me some time in my day to day tasks...
  • The new product features are helpful to me because...
Remember, this is a loving, supporting community of your peers! We are all here to help and support you, as best we can.
News Community News 03/23/2017 9:00am EDT

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"Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star."  W. Clement Stone  In development, if you aren't early then you are late....I missed this one :  ) Thank you for the tips, I was searching for one of those the other day!
The early birds beat me to it! Or as Michael would say, "Early worm gets the worm."
"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious."  Your quote for today, Holly.  Thanks for the tips on writing tips!!
If I don't quote The Office at least once a day, something is definitely wrong with me. :)
Dilbert cartoons and The Office sitcom.  Unfortunately, they hit home too many times.  :-)
Right you are, Elizabeth! Milly got there a little quicker than you, but I'll hook you up with a prize too!
The Office?
Congratulations, Milly!! You got it!! Dwight acting like Computron to make the office seem futuristic and savvy is a personal favorite of mine!!
Gina Smith Gina Smith Mar '17
Good words, Holly!  Have a great day! :) I recently won a community contest so I'll let someone else divulge the sitcom that referenced Computron! :)
umm..The Office?
Transformers -- more than meets the eye! I agree with Patti - if it's a quote from a sitcom, Big Bang Theory makes sense.
Good guess, Elizabeth. Computron was a transformer, but it's also a reference in an American sitcom. It's the sitcom I'm looking for. :)
My guess would be Big Bang Theory