Building a Sense of Community

Why our new interactive features matter

5 August 2011

By now you’ve noticed the new look of our site. But there’s a lot more to this redesign than just aesthetics. We’ve loaded up the site with various interactive features, like the ability to comment on our articles, submit your response to our Question of the Month, and send us news about your IEEE region. But what’s the point of all these new features? It’s simple: to build a sense of community among fellow IEEE members by sharing your opinions, and to increase coverage of things that matter to you most.

In order for these new interactive features to serve their purpose, we need your help. Have an opinion about an article? Instead of emailing us, simply type your username in the Commenting Form located at the bottom of each article, or click on the Login button in that form to get a drop down menu for your Facebook, Google, Twitter, or another account to sign in to leave your message. We’ll be moderating the comments to make sure discussions don’t violate any terms of our commenting policy.

Why is commenting on articles important? Besides just being fun to share your opinion with other IEEE members and read what others have to say about a topic, these comments provide a valuable insight to us—the editors—about what interests you (and what doesn’t). So don’t be surprised if in the future you notice more coverage of popular, highly commented-on topics.

Don’t see enough news about your particular IEEE region? It’s likely we simply just don’t know about the event or news for which you’re seeking coverage. Now’s your chance to make a difference. The submission form at the bottom of the Region News pages (found on the Region News channel as well as the individual Region subchannels) is designed to make it quick and easy for you to tell us what’s going on in your area. Not sure what’s considered “news”? The possibilities are endless, as long as it’s related to IEEE. We’d like to hear about anything from a local IEEE student competition to a career seminar sponsored by your area’s IEEE Graduates of the Last Decade affinity group, to an IEEE Life Members tour you’re organizing. Perhaps a chapter of the society you belong to is having an especially interesting presentation. When you fill in the Region News form, we’ll go through each entry and determine which ones qualify as something that needs further research or just requires us to publish as a short item in our Region News page. And if we need more information, we’ll be in touch thanks to the e-mail address you leave us in the form.

One of the biggest changes is how we’ll be accepting your responses to the Question of the Month. Each month we pose a question about a technical topic in the news. Previously you had to e-mail your response and then we published a selection of them. Now, you can just send us your response using that commenting form located at the bottom of each article. Check out this month’s Question of the Month, about Sony’s Playstation network hacking nightmare.

In addition to all these new submission features, we’ve given you easy ways to share The Institute’s articles with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and more. You’ll notice those familiar icons located to the right of each article, just above the Related Content area.

Now that you know how these new interactive features work, it’s time to get busy using them! We’re always on the lookout for feedback so let us know where there’s room for improvement below.

Image: iStockphoto

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