Here is a quick checklist of items that will allow you to best leverage your IdeaScale portal:
Create a Test Portal
There are a myriad of features/tools for IdeaScale. The best (and safest) way to try features that are new to you is by creating an additional portal, and testing them out first. Also, customers find this is the best way to for their design team to fiddle around with layout and design before moving to the live site.
Seed Your Portal with Ideas
There is nothing that is more of a buzz kill for a portal than an empty one! And when people first go to your portal, they’ll want to see a few ideas there already. Otherwise, they’ll think its just a cheesy, half hearted attempt at being “Web 2.0”. Pick a handful of ideas and pop them into your portal ahead of time.
External and Internal portal (and graduate ideas between them)
Will all your ideas and users be available to anyone? Or will the portal be a closed portal, separated by internal and external? You’ll want to decide this ahead of time, before you begin your project. If you do decide on two portals, make sure the right audience is aware of where to go to submit their idea (an employee rant about the companies inferior products doesn’t need to be on your external portal – let your customers do that 😉 ).
Choose Your Authentication
Choose early on how you want your users to authenticate…and choose wisely. This is a very hotly contested issue among our users: do we allow anyone to submit an idea or do we require them to create an account first? The desire to place some control around the portal is understandable. However, in practice, portals can expect a 20-30% decrease in participation when they hit a wall – can you afford to lose this valuable feedback?
A very elegant solution to many of the authentication issues, especially with internal portals, is to use IdeaScale’s access restrictions tool. Basically, only users with a particular domain can create an account on your portal. For example, at XYZ company, everyone’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. When a user signs up for your portal, you can configure IdeaScale to automatically grant access to the user if the email address they supply ends with @xyzcompany.com.
Announce Your Portal
There are tons of ways to announce your portal. Don’t hesitate to use them all:
- Upload and email list and send invites
- Install the IdeaScale widget on your website
- Configure Twitter Integration
- Set up Facebook Integration
- Enable Blog Integration
- Publicize your portal’s iPhone support
- Link your portal in your email signature
- IdeaScale feedback widget: http://www.ideascale.com/help/508-window.html
- IdeaScale blog integration: http://www.ideascale.com/help/506-window.html
- IdeaScale iPhone support: http://ideascale.com/help/373-window.html
- IdeaScale moderation levels:
- IdeaScale access restrictions: http://www.ideascale.com/help/528-window.html