This month, we’re releasing the last wave of our External Contributors enhancements (for now!). If you haven’t used this feature, we highly recommend trying it out in your community today. External collaboration with customers, vendors, partners, and contractors in a secure and private manner is vital to getting work done in the modern workplace, and a major reason why we’ve invested in enhancing our External Contributor feature. Many Socialcast customers are already leveraging this feature to foster a virtual, collaborative workspace with people outside of their organization. These External Contributor groups facilitate knowledge sharing, promote ideation and make it easy to distribute large documents — all of which help to streamline communication with external parties and make everyone’s lives easier.To learn more about this feature, visit our External Contributor Overview here, and check out the other features we have for the month of February* below:
1. Improved Visual Distinctions for External Contributors
Even though conversations with External Contributors are limited to private External-facing groups within Socialcast, our customers have expressed concern that employees might inadvertently expose sensitive information to people outside of the organization. With this release, we have revamped the entire visual interface to highlight and better distinguish all interactions with External Contributors.
- A new External Contributor avatar/icon – This “visitor badge” icon will appear on the External-facing Group page, an external user’s profile picture, thumbnail, and mini profile.
- Updated warning banner at the top of the External-facing group page that reads: “This group has members from outside of [Community Name].”
- Added the text “(External Contributor)” next to the user’s Title – This will appear in the user’s profile and mini profile.
- A new “visitor badge” icon next the External-facing groups name in the title header of a post – this will also appear in the Search Results page
- A new warning label that will appear as you write a comment that can be seen in an External-facing group. The warning label reads “This comment will be visible to external contributors” and the comment box will be highlighted in yellow.
Note: The yellow color used for External Contributors cannot be customized or changed at this time
2. In-App Notifications for External Contributors
In addition to the email notifications, External Contributors will now receive in-app notifications for all new activity through the classic orange notification dialog in the top right corner of the page.
3. Exposed Admin Flag for Enabling/Disabling External Contributors
With all the improvements we’ve made over the past few months around External Contributors, we’re now ready to officially pass the baton over to Community Admins. Enable External Contributors for your community today!
To configure the settings of this feature, go to Admin Settings > Features > External Contributor. This feature is enabled by default. When disabling this functionality, it is important to remember the following cases:
- Disabling External Contributors does not revoke access for all existing external members already in the community. As an Admin, you can remove existing external members from Admin Settings > User Management
- Disabling this flag means that new external members cannot be invited to join the community, all pending invites will no longer be honored, and new External-facing Groups cannot be created
- Disabling this feature will automatically disable the External Contributor setting related to LDAP provisioning. This option can be found at Admin Settings > Provisioning > Exclude from LDAP provisioning
- Disabling this feature will also disable any Permissions related to External Contributors. This can be found at Admin Settings > External Contributor > Permissions
- If an Admin later enables the External Contributors feature, the above two options will resume its setting before External Contributors was disabled, or on, by default.
4. View Fewer Comments
As you’re reading through a long comment thread, you can now collapse the comments by clicking “View fewer comments” from the top of the comments thread.
5. Simplified Login Flow for Mobile Apps
Many of our customers have provided feedback around the login flow on our mobile apps, requesting for a more simplified process. Based on that feedback, we have enhanced the mobile app login flow by reducing the number of clicks/screens to login to your community! The flow will be:
- Screen 1 – Product Tour & Community URL
- Screen 2 – Community Sign In
*Please note that On-Premise clients will receive these features in a future release.