Need to create a Discussion but not quite sure what type of Discussion it should be? Or who should be included? Here are some tips and recommendations to get you going in the right direction.
Table of contents
- Choose the right type of Discussion
- Only add necessary members
- Use "Org-wide" appropriately
- Promote your Discoverable Discussion (without adding everyone)
- Know when to use the Reply feature
Choose the right type of Discussion
There are three types of Discussions and they each have slight but significant differences. To make sure you're using the proper type of Discussion, here are the key differences of each along with some examples of what topics they're best suited for.
Private (Invited members required: Yes)
- Only visible to invited members
- Appears in a member’s All category
- Suitable for: team chats, group projects, department issues/updates
Discoverable (Invited members required: No)
- Visible to everyone
- Joining is optional
- Appears in the Discover category. When a person joins, it moves to their All category.
- Suitable for: special interest chats, current events, project teams that want to share their progress, Q & A topics
Org-wide (Invited members required: No, automatically adds the whole organization)
- Visible to everyone on your intranet
- Appears in the Org-wide category
- Suitable for: company-related issues (updates for an upcoming company event or campaign, a discussion to provide info/answer questions about recent organizational changes, etc.)
Only add necessary members
When creating your Discussion, be sure you only add people who are either required or have requested to be a part of it. This will help avoid any of the following frustrating issues for your colleagues:
Notification clutter: Depending on their notification preferences, members added to a Discussion could start receiving browser, email, and/or mobile alerts for everything from @mentions to new comments. When someone gets these notifications from a Discussion they have no need or desire to be a part of, the notification system goes from being helpful to being disruptive.
Persistent presence: When a member is added to a Discussion, it is placed on their “All” list and every time someone leaves a comment, it will get a red dot next to it. Anyone who doesn't wish to be a part of that Discussion will still need to take action on it if they want the red dot to disappear. If they do nothing, then they won't be able to tell when they're getting a red dot notification for one of their actual Discussions.
Blocked removal: If you add a whole team or department to a Discussion (for example “Marketing”), then no one in that group will be able to remove themselves individually from that Discussion. So, if you add the 12-member Marketing team when your Discussion only involves 3 of them, now you have 9 other people unwillingly along for the ride who now have to deal with the persistent presence problem noted above.
Use "Org-wide" appropriately
If you're creating a Discussion that needs to include everyone in your office or HQ (for example, a Discussion for location/building-related issues like upcoming fire drills, employee parking, day care services, etc), then do NOT make it an Org-wide Discussion.
An Org-wide Discussion automatically adds everyone on your intranet to a Discussion, which means it could include individuals in other cities and/or those who only serve your org in an advisory capacity. These people don’t need to be bothered with notifications about such Discussions.
Instead, create a Private Discussion and add people by any of the following:
This way you can be sure you're not adding unnecessary board members, investors, or any other off-site individuals.
Promote your Discoverable Discussion (without adding everyone)
So you've got a helpful/interesting/meaningful Discoverable Discussion, but how are you going to let everyone know about it? You may think the solution is just to add everyone in your org, because anyone can simply remove themselves if they don't want to be a part of it, right? But that's a rocky road to travel (see above), so here are a couple of more appropriate suggestions:
- Post an "@All" Update in Activity An "@All" mention (using whatever Org Unit includes everyone in your Main Organization - for example: "@All Staff") in an Update is great because it's a one-and-done thing. It'll get the word out to everyone in your org about your Discussion in a way that lets people follow the link if they're interested or do nothing and never be bothered about it again.
- Publish a regular "Round-up" article in News If your organization has a healthy, growing Discover category, why not consider doing a weekly or monthly "Discoverable Discussions Round-Up" article for your News? Highlight new and/or popular Discussions, complete with descriptions, mini-interviews with their creators, and links so anyone who's interested can check them out.
Know when to use the Reply feature
The arrow icon in the top right corner of a posted comment lets you directly reply to it by copying it into your own post. This is extremely useful when you want to respond to something that was posted earlier but has since moved up the timeline and out of view due to subsequent posts.
However, using the Reply feature is not needed if you're replying to the most recent comment in a Discussion and your comment is going to appear right after it. So remember: keep the visual clutter to a minimum and only use the Reply feature when it might be unclear as to who you are replying to or if a previous post is needed to provide context for what you are about say.