A community site is a new site template that is available in SharePoint 2013, and it is also available as a feature that you can enable, called the Community Site Feature. This type of site is truly like a forum. Remember the old discussion boards in previous versions of SharePoint? This is a dramatically improved discussion board! The idea is that, just like any interactive forum, you have concepts like “Likes”, ratings, badges and reputation scores. Top contributors are rewarded with higher points, which equate to badges.
Here is some information about the features you can look forward to on your community sites:
- When you click on Categories on the community site, you are presented with a pretty metro interface with all of the categories as big boxes.
- When creating categories, you can assign each one an image to be associated with it, as I’ve done below.
- When you hover over each category, like I’ve done with the General category, it shows the description and how many discussions and replies there are in it.
Where did I get those cool metro icons? This software.
- You can start a new conversation, similar to the way you did it in old SharePoint versions (with a subject and body), but you have an extra check box to indicate whether your conversation is a question or not. Pick a category also.
- Site admins can also mark any conversation as “featured”, which puts it at the top of the list in that category, indicating that it is featured.
- Reply to any conversation, by clicking the Reply button.
- Site admins can mark a reply as “Best Reply”, which will then be listed directly under the question, indicating that it’s the best reply. Also, when you’re looking at the list of all conversations, the ones that have a best reply will say so.
- Notice several things in this screenshot. Todd started a conversation. A couple of people “Like” it, and the reply by me was marked as the best reply. Also notice the little blue bars next to our pictures. Those are our points / reputation.
Likes and Ratings
- You can click the “Like” button next to any conversation and/or any of the replies
- There is a setting where site admins can choose whether to use the “Like / Unlike” or a rating scale 1 to 5.
- Your reputation score is affected by the member achievements point system, which can be set up by the site admin on each community site. This score does not carry across to multiple community sites.
- Assign a certain number of points for creating a new post, replying to a post, get likes or 4-5 star ratings on your posts, and points for getting marked as the best reply to a post.
- The members screen shows the top contributors by default, and can be switched to the “new members” or to the
- See your own reputation score on the right.
Community Portal Site
- There is a site collection template that you can use called a “Community Portal Site”.
- A community portal site is not meant for having each community site as a sub-site.
- Instead, the community portal site, AUTOMATICALLY shows a roll-up of all community sites in the environment, in other site collections and web apps.