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Using Communities

90 Posts authored by: Anirban Dutta
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Subscribing to content online is easy today. Start anywhere, you don't even have to be an expert.

If you still wanted some expert advice on how to get your eyes focused and ears tuned, here's some good points from Jana.

vintage-wine.jpgKeeping great content alive

Some content are meant to stay, we want them. And if you are a blogger like me, you refer to a lot of good content you have come across in the past. Even if it was created by you, it still could feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.


Here are a few tools which could help you calm the chaos. From the very basic, to the geeky:

1. Browser favorites

Or Bookmarks. Every browser offers this capability and this has to be the First one                                                                                                                                                             Image on flickr by iMaffo

2. Google Bookmarks                                                                                              

If you are on the internet, you Must be on Google. So this is the next one Google bookmarks.


3. Social Bookmarking

The natural evolution of the web where you not only carry your bookmarks online but share it as well.

Tools like Delicious, Stumbleupon and a long list of options.


4. Social Bookmarking on steroids - A single application that gives you:

  • Social bookmarking
  • url shortening (even customizing your short url)
  • tying your searches as bundles
  • and also demographics on users who've searched your bookmarks


And if that still does not seem to be enough, let's take your BMC Communities resources off the list. You can manage them natively on the platform, accessible when you log in.


That was my scale. Do you have something more geeky, or something even ridiculously simpler?

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We love YouTube

Infact YouTube and Google just took a new leap by introducing Google hangouts and Hangouts on Air and our Social team has been an avid fan of this technology. Hey that's how we greet you when you arrive at BMC Social

youtube-suggested-videos.pngSuggested videos - Not so much

And thankfully, unlike not having a way to choose a starter frame (or thumbnail) for your video, YouTube does give you an option to omit suggested videos at the end of your video helping you stay with the message.


All you need to check out in the embed code options is the 'Show suggested videos in the end' option and copy that embed code.

Make sure there is a ?rel=0 at the end of your video id.


This is how it would look:


<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



Do you have other useful tips on YouTube videos? Please comment on this post and we can all learn.

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Why BMC Communities?

Director of RnD, Sanju Burkule shares successes with Discovery, BladeLogic Communities around:


Sanju says further...

I would encourage everybody to give it a shot, and see how within a few months your domain knowledge starts increasing and you'll see growth in your understainding of the customer.



Want to share your Success story with the world? Comment on the post and the Social team will get in touch.

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Think beyond the content

So you have to build out a list of items you want to be built upon, you build it in an xls spreadsheet, attach it in an email, and just about to hit enter to 5 recipients you want contributions from. Seems the natural way to go, right?


Before you hit Send, STOP, ask yourself some questions first:

  1. Should it be useful over the next months? Can I reuse the item in future?
  2. How is the process going to scale? Do I as the author also want to be the gatekeeper for including more contributors, version control?
  3. Would people feel motivated to contribute? What if I missed somebody, how would they feel to be included later?


If that still does not appear scary, then imagine the driver having to service his car himself at the pit stop - You get the idea?

Want F1 pit-stop like energy on your doc?F1-pit-stop.png
Like my friend Matt points out, emails and attachments are great in many usecases, but this may be one where it could almost certainly fail. Does the video in Matt's blog look like a familiar situation?
Now, how about this? Instead of starting with an email and attachment, first create a document in your team collab area/ Community. Include an image, make it fun. See what you start off:
  1. Notify (intended audience) about your content and get notified on any activity on it - No need for you to attach & email.
  2. Version. Everyone in the group can edit this single living doc enabling the true power of the crowd.
  3. Findability. The doc is never lost and can always be Searched and bookmarked.
  4. Availability. The doc can be moved to a different location whenever the need be and shared with a new audience.
  5. Social powered. If it is not sensitive data, you can enable your audience to share it with their social networks fuelling more feedback/traffic.


Does this approach look more like the what's going on in the picture?

You Bet! Because now you've not only built a document but also designed a process that answers your pain points, all in one step. Isn't that sweet?

Now you know better

Today, when you set out to write a piece of content, or ask a question, I want you to think, not only about your information, but the lifecycle you want your content to go through, Scalability, Users. Sure we keep using email conversations often as a reminder or a heads-up, but hardly to foster online collaboration.


Lastly, if it indeed be emails, as prompted by Social ITSM guru Chris Dancy, let us all sign the Email charter today to have the most optimized results.


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BMC Social is now a supercharged platform with Eric from our socmed team fuelling this next wave.

The new year, we promise you'll see more and more knowledge, cool tips and fun on this blog.

Click on the images

In the new year you will see more images and infographics being included in the content, for sure.

I'm sure you know it already, but if you have not noticed it, images are best enjoyed when you click on them in the body of the content. The image in it's original resolution opens up on a pop up.


See for example Eric's post on the story of the Hashtag there is an amazing infographic on the whole hashtag ecosystem in Social. You would miss out on the wonderful details unless you clicked on the image.


You may not require for all but for images with text, like Screen captures, ones with something more going on, just click on the image and see the full size to enjoy the details.

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It is BMC Social

I like the new term BMC Social, officially announced right here by Eric Tung. Do you like it as well?

Not long ago, online success was all about web robots finding your content, indexing and ranking and making it available. The mantra being SEO.


But today, we know that it is Social powered SEO, or SMO as experts put it. Users like you and I, our friends and ordinary people can influence what content is important and in effect personalized and humanized the web.


Hence we decided to broaden this forum to enjoy the full power of #social - which is You.


Using BMC Social

Are you connected with BMC on other Social media channels?

A couple of them like Twitter and YouTube have already been introduced from this blog.


If you have any questions about using BMC Social media resources in your world, like:

  • How to feature blog posts from a Product or Industry forum?
  • Whether we have any Twitter handles, Facebook/Google+ page for your Product/Industry and how to use that?
  • Do we have a YouTube video or a Podcast for your technology?
  • BMC Social usage Do's & Don'ts?


You can engage by:

  1. Commenting on this blog post.
  2. Raising a Discussion.
  3. Or if you have an interesting #social use case, please share your idea.

                                                                                                                                                                           Diwali gift by BMC India   


Let us enjoy the gift of open collaboration

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Learning from others' experience

When you are new to BMC Communities, it might seem like a Lot of content. A lot of useful stuff, a lot of noise, confusion?

You might wonder where to start? One of the best ways to learn things as you pick up speed on BMC Communities is to observe the experts.

1. Find the Gurustop participants.png

Interested in tech conversations about Products or news about the Industry find out who the experts are?

They can be easily located as the Top participants on that Community. These guys (Customers + Partners and BMCers) are the real deal and they have risen up the ranks by helping others and contributing to the Community.

2. Know them more

Everything is transparent and accessible in Communities. Just click on the avatar image of a user and you are taken to their profile.

  • Check their Bio, Job role
  • What keywords have they tagged themselves with?
  • What contributions have they done lately [under the "Your stuff" tab on the profile]?
  • Find out more about their background on LinkedIn

3. Subscribe to learn


Now when you've identified who you want to get enlightened from, Subscribe to them.

Click to Receive email notifications for all their activities on BMC Communities from the Actions panel on their profile page.

4. Contribute

Now when you've consumed content and feel confident, go ahead and start engaging. Start by identifying users, questions you can help out within your Communities and continue to build on your learning.

A real example

  • Laurent who is not that new in BMC Communities admits had started as an Observer (video message) >>
  • Now is a Guru in #itsm, infact helped out in the recent SRM 8.0 launch >>
  • Got recognized along with other champions for October, for his contributions in the BMC Atrium family, and  BMC Remedy Communities >>
  • Encouraged, he continues to be in the Top Participant list on these Communities


Who knows, over a period of time if you've helped enough people, one day you would be recognized as a champion on this very blog!

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Users might have seen discussions not being updated for replies sent from email from your laptop or mobile devices.

Well, the Email service is out on an early Thanksgiving weekend. We are working to get the service back.


In the meantime you can enjoy the web interface for some good reasons.


This is how we have fun at BMC Communities. Let us know what you are doing this Thanksgiving by Commenting on the blog post.

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We had launched the Social sharing features for your BMC Communities resources from anywhere on the site right on this blog. Well, it is good but you still have to scroll down all the way to the footer to be able to do that.


Now you have the same sharing options right underneath the ^blog title^, isn't that easier?

Why this order?

While the options remain the same we thought or re-ordering them according to your persona:shareThis.png







  • Since all (or at least 90%)of us are on LinkedIn and on Google they are nos 1 &2.
  • Twitter is next because of the type of resources here are more tech and certainly,
  • how can we forget Facebook?
  • The green button in the end is ShareThis. We seperated it from the rest of the buttons because it gives us a mouseover & 1click multi platform sharing option


Yes all of these options shortens your lengthy url.

Public v/s Private sharing

While the sharing options (Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter), especially with the ShareThis are great for promoting the resource publicly within your networks, you'll not see Google Plus in the


Choose Google+ to share a resource more discreetly within specific contact groups (circles) as opposed to a broader public announcement.


Notify your circles

You also get the option of further sending a heads-up to your Circles about your post by notifying them over email.


If you've liked this improvement, let your friends know (public or selective) by Sharing this post from one of the options

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We can't stress enough on the importance of having your profile completed for best interaction on BMC Communities.

Can we see your face?

A Community is about it's people. In fact the life of our Community can be seen from activity streams right on our home page. The first stamp of identity is your avatar image which appears alongside your every post.

  1. So you can start by uploading a good picture of you, come on, even your cell phone has a camera.
  2. In a single process have the same pic used as an avatar. The system has size specifications and scales it automatically.


The avatar is the hook to your profile. Infact I had to understand this, that my face does a better job at representing me than what used to be my admin hat avatar - Just changed that

You might want it to be a good focus on your face.

Tell us more about yourselfprofile-chris-coffey.png

With a nice avatar up, you've now got the anchor to your profile. Matt has made a very visible comparison of profiles which shows that taking time to fill out your profile could be beneficial.


Let other users know about your experience, expertise & certifications, where to find you on other Social channels and other things important for your business.

How about some fun things?

Who says BMC Communities has to be grim and boring, you can bring in your flavor by telling us some interesting things you do.


You have a choice of 4 profile pics, you can have a business-shot of you and show us your fun/hobby side as well!


For e.g.. we know from his profile Cris is Product and Community Manager for BMC Track-It and he also enjoys cruising through blizzards! Btw, when he is not skiing, here is how Chris uses BMC Communities


So let us know more about you, on the things you enjoy both on the technology and business front as well as leisure and let us have more than one ports to connect with.


More fun = More interaction!

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IE is not my default browser so I would have never come across this issue probably, but thanks to Colin Andrews who pointed out a problem with the Document previewer.


Without having to download the file, your pdfs, ppts and docs are enjoyed right on the page, works well with most browsers and even on the latest IE 9 but if you're on IE 8, you may have seen this problem.


Resolution: Prevent caching of documents when downloaded over SSL

  • Launch your IE8 browser
  • Click on the Tools menu,
  • Click on Internet Options
  • On the Advanced tab, scroll to Security pane, and then click to select the "Do not save encrypted pages to disk" check box.
  • Click on Apply, then OK.


The doc preview will start working on IE 8.


To the IE fans on Communities

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Account management todaykeys.png

In our day we have to shuffle between different BMC forums and technologies with different Username & Passwords, like:

  • BMC Support
  • Documentation Wiki
  • BMC Network login for BMC-ers
  • iLearn for Partners
  • BMC Communities

Some of you might be using Permission management services to maintain your online portfolio. We sure want an all encompassing login for everything BMC; But, till we technically get there, let's take the the last item off the list.


While Interacting on BMC Communities:

From your laptop

On your laptop/iPad if you set your default browser to Remember you and login automatically with your BMC Communities account. Just like your Gmail/Facebook accounts don't bother logging in BMC Communities from your machine.

This is how you can reset your password or username should you need to.

While mobile

Keep interacting on your most important discussions anytime and from anywhere from your mobile devices. No need to log in.


So next time you are on BMC Communities, just remember to 'Remember Me' and enjoy a smooth transit.

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This week the Tusday tip comes to you in video, where Matt and I talk about:

Check back for more fun tips right here on BMC Social.

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With the userbase ever expanding, it is one of our top priorities to simplify your BMC Communities experience, which is to:

Connect. Share. Discover.


If you start on the Home page you get 3 clear directions to choose from:

Product Forums     |    Industry Forums     |     User Groups


< Photo courtesy CBC Canada


If you are still unsure about where to head, you can always follow the simple rule of thumb.

1. Open Search

Use your keywords and phrases and mine resources already available in the forums.

2. Check where you are

Not sure which where you are currently, check the Community description.

3. Navigate to other areas

Mouse over the top navigation from wherever you are to see the top level areas you can access. Dont worry, you can always do step number 2 anytime


Do you feel more confident about where to ask and expect knowledge better now?

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In doubt whether your post intended for a Private userbase becomes available to all on BMC Communities?

Will understanding who views what you post give you more confidence and control over your interactions? Today's post is all about viewership and it is very easy to find out.

Public CommunitiesROD.png

Unless the Community title tells you specifically that it is for a certain group, you are most likely in a public Product or Industry Forum. So your interactions would not only be picked up on the localCommunity Overview page, but can feature right on the Communities Home page viewable anyone with or without an account.


Moreover your comment/post can also be picked up on a Google search from anywhere on www.

Private Communities

It would be evident from the Community title, you can tell the audience. So if the title reads


BMC Remedy OnDemand (Private - BMC and Partners Only)


You know that you content will be available to users logged in and as a BMC Employee or a Partner and so

Social Groups

Social Groups can be Public, or Private (or Secret too)

Public Groups

Open - Like Public Communities you do not even have to be logged in to check content.

Members Only - Like an Open Group only difference is you have to be logged in and a Group Insider to participate. Hence if you are posting inside such Social Groups, you are serving the masses

Private Groups

Content in Private groups are guarded to the outside world and is only available to group members.

So to assess who sees your interactions in a Private group just scroll through the Group Members list.

The same applies for Secret groups


You can infact mouse over on the users to have a better idea about their identity.


So next time, no need to be concerned about your content being available to people you haven't considered before! The structure of Communities is very simple where the expectation is set transparently and right at the first level

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