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As we approach the end of the year, I and the rest of the Community team want to offer a huge ‘thank you’ to all of our members as we migrated to this new portfolio of best-in-breed platforms.  I know it hasn’t been an easy road so far, but I do want to offer my congratulations on this major milestone, and to ask for your continued partnership as we work towards the future state of the Community

Over the past 2 months, we have been working hard on building improvements and bug fixes based on your feedback.  (To see what we've been up to, check out highlights from our most recent release notes, or review the full Community release notes.)

Several of the enhancements we’re working on required more time than we were able to dedicate within this short burst of development sprints that were largely dedicated (especially during the first few weeks) to bug fixes.  Meanwhile, we’ve been making significant progress on the larger enhancements and we are taking the time to do them right.  Your feedback in IdeaPlace and across the Community has had us working hard in the background to get many of these features off the ground.

In the spirit of looking forward, we’re excited to share several new improvements coming to the SAP Community experience by the end of January 2017.

Coming in January 2017

  • E-mails sent for notifications: The first phase of one of the most demanded features is coming next month. We're adding an option within your Account Settings to opt-in to receive e-mail notifications. If you choose to, you’ll receive email notifications when someone sends you a message, follows you, responds to something you posted, and more!  You can visit your Account Settings (from the Avatar menu) to review and update your email address, as necessary.

  • Answers filtered by tags: Currently, you can only sort questions on the Q&A page by status (e.g., all questions, unanswered questions). Soon, you will also see a set of filters that allows you to quickly access the list of tags that you follow in order to view the questions under a particular tag that you are interested in. This new filtering functionality will become available first in the Q&A page and, a short time later, in the Blogs page.

  • Tags suggested when preparing content: Whenever you create a new blog post or question, you’re required to choose a Primary Tag to assign to that content. Soon, you’ll see a new option in the tag selection area to choose a Suggested Tag.  This functionality will be rolled out in phases, initially displaying a list of tags you follow.  Later, this list will be supplemented with a combination of additional suggested tags, such as those you frequently use or engage with.  This enhancement is designed to supplement our tag selection search tool and to make it easier for you to choose the right tag for your content.

  • Find related Archived content* from tag pages: As announced in the latest release highlights, the discussions in the archive now provide easy options for asking a question about the topic related to the content's tag. Next month, we will close gap between the Community Archive content and the rest of the Community by bringing the Archived content directly into the relevant tag pages. This means that when you are viewing a tag page, you will see Archived content relevant to that topic alongside the rest of the Community content.  In addition, when on an Archive page, you will also see a link to the relevant tag page to easily view more live Community content and to follow the tags for topics you’re interested in.*Note: A small percentage of Community Archive content is not yet assigned to a primary tag.  This effort is in progress and should be completed shortly.  In the meantime, you will not find these un-tagged discussions in the tag pages, but they can still be found via the Search tool.

  • Question page redesigned to highlight answers: As a part of our overall efforts to promote effective usage of our Questions and Answers platform, we’re updating the UI to reflect a clearer differentiation between answers and comments. Comments (which appear above answers) will be collapsed on default, so that the question’s answers will be more accessible. For more information about when to use comments vs. questions, please view our recently published Tip in a Minute video.

  • UI improvements in Activity Stream and Notifications: To give you more information at first glance on your Activity Stream and Notifications pages, we'll reduce the amount of white space and shrink the size of avatar images. We'll also reduce the amount of preview text shown, from four lines to two (although you'll have the option to select "more" for any item). This should allow you to easily view more items and see what needs your attention quickly.

  • Bulk clearing of Notifications & automatically mark as read: You’ve asked for the ability to clear all of your notifications at once. You’ve also asked that notifications be marked as "read" when opened. Next month, you will see both of these enhancements in action.

Many of these new features will address key concerns raised by community members - and that's just for January!  Throughout 2017, we'll continue to deliver the priority features announced in November.  Please continue to share your feedback as we look forward to new development opportunities.  Also, keep an eye out for new opportunities to get involved in user-driven development initiatives.

Every day brings new opportunities to enhance your experience with the SAP Community. We look forward to working together on great things for the Community in 2017!

Jamie Cantrell
SAP Community Experience