Community entry page
From [[http://cpsquare.org CPsquare]], the community of practice on communities of practice.
The main landing point for members and others. It contains information about, and provides access to, the community and its resources.
Uses in communities of practice
The entry page is the first impression that people get of the community's online space. It can be both an entry point for members and an advertisement for prospective members. It is useful to have features that make it easy to update and change the entry page to reflect current community activity and provide pointers to locations of high interest or activity. Some communities use a portal as their entry page when there is a need to integrate multiple applications. The entry page answers questions such as:
- What is this community? What has it produced? What does it offer to members or to the world?
- How can I enter or participate?
- How can I get help (to join or to solve a problem), who to contact?
- Together/apart, Synch/Asynch:
Community shingle / public face.
- Public page usually on the web, that describes the community and its activities.
- When a community welcomes new members or wants its work to be better known, a concise description of the community, its purpose, activities, and membership is helpful.
- Public Content Ability to point to a specific areas or resources to make them visible to non-members.
- In addition to what a community says about itself, showing what the community actually does can be a powerful advertisement.
- A community blog that's regularly refreshed with information about current events sends a message that the community is active.
- Easy news publishing: A person with access can very easily publish news items to the front page.
- Dynamic content: A new look upon entry each time.
- Automated publishing: Facilities to promote material from inside the site to the entry page and have it appear in the right place and/or category. This tool may also apply to subgroups inside the community.
- Some systems allow you to mark content for display on the front page. They automatically display pages from inside a working site to place it on the entry page, such as announcing "new members"
- Top-level sitemap: Line to taxonomy of topics.
- The actual site-map (described elsewhere) may be too complex or overwhelming.
- Request membership: Newcomers can request membership or access. These requests are usually routed to a site administrator or community coordinator.
- Automating the function of joining a community can simplify the process and eliminate a clerical task.
- Login for community members: Provides a login access point to password protected areas from a public place that is easy to find.
- Because the "Community shingle" is a useful identifier, members may want to enter from the public page, connecting to the multiple resources that a community provides.
- Recover password: There is a facility to ask for one's password and/or userid (Does this belong elsewhere?)
- People always forget their password
- Suggestion or comments box: Easy suggestion making for users or leaders.
- New user help Tool to help new users learn the software.
- http://learningalliances.net/resources/shingle/ an annotated example from a Toastmasters group.