From [[http://cpsquare.org CPsquare]], the community of practice on communities of practice.
These indicators mark new items on a site such as new postings in conversations, documents, member profiles, etc. In many systems, the number of such new items in a page and its subpages appears by the link to the page.
Uses in communities of practice
"New" indicators are very important for people who connect to a site by visiting it regularly. These people have to have easy ways to know what has changed and get there. Seeing the number of new items in an area helps one decide where to go first.
- Where are recent items
- Where are important items
- What do I need to see/or ignore
- Together/apart, Synch/Asynch:
- Community-oriented indicators. These indicators mark recent contributions to the community space, for instance in the last month.
- In some systems, these indicators disappear after the person logs out. This works only if one assumes that a member has seen everything new before logging out.
- Featured indicators. Some systems provide a way to feature significant recent contributions in a specific area designated for this purpose (e.g., entry page or side bar). This can be done for the entire site, or recursively as one moves into areas. [[Does this belong here? (It is not personalized) already above…]
- This is especially useful for large and complex sites where members visiting occasionally can use some guidance about where to go to see something deemed significant.
- Personalized indicators - "new flag." These indicators mark items that a member has not seen yet. They disappear when the member has opened the specific page where the element appears. This requires that the system keeps track of new material for each user separately. -- session-based description -- [[ session-based descritpon needed ] belong in this section under "Personalized"
- Our experience suggests that this kind of indicator is essential for community sites that rely on regular visits. For instance, asynchronous conversations usually develop multiple threads in parallel and one quickly becomes lost without personalized "new" indicators. The reason one needs personalized indicators is that a visit to the site is a complex event for a member. During a visit, one wants some help not visiting something twice. And at the end of a visit, one wants to remember what one has not see yet.
- Mark as "seen." The ability to get rid of the "new" indicators for an item or an entire area.
- New indicators in areas of low interest can be distracting when one uses these indicators to organize one's visit. The ability to discard the new flags in a given area of little interest can help keep the sight easy to visit.
- Keep as "new." If you want to come back to an area you just visited, you can ask the system to keep the "new" indicator on.
- One often wants to come back to a message to respond to it at a later date, and bookmarking is too permanent for this.
- "New" tours. Some systems can take you automatically to every location where there is something new. Some systems allow you to list areas to visit first if there is something new there.
- This provides a quick way to visit a community site as a faster alternative to the site index. Some people love them and some hate them. People who love them are often frequent visitors for whom the tour is short.
- Bookmarks. Marks a page or a location for later viewing by creating a system-level bookmark.
- Large complex sites become difficult to navigate, so having a way to find your way back to an interesting location is useful.