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Unleashing the Community

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The Dell Community Forum has been in existence for over 19 years under many different names. Over the past 3 years, we have discussed the forum’s potential, and considered many different ways to make it better. Five months ago, my team set out to unleash the community. Currently there are over 750,000 registered users in the forum. We had 3,000 new users just last week and have more than a million visits every month. That said, we realize that numbers themselves don’t equal a community.

Up until now, the Dell Community Forum provided a place to get technical problems fixed by discussing your problem with other users. Technical support is only one value a community can provide. With the redesign, we hope to give users a place to talk about product usage, get advice on purchase decisions and getting the most out of the hardware you currently own.

With input from our users, we set out to create areas that foster sharing of news, events and training in three areas—Gaming, Digital Life and Tech Talk. If you have participated in the forum before, we aren’t removing anything. The product support aspect remains under Tech Talk. If you have a passion about Gaming and/or Digital Life, you now have specific content and a community to share and learn from.

But we’ve just gotten started. We will have a formal recognition program for the community members that contribute and help customers in the forum. We will have a better way to score content. Currently we measure success by volume of content created. Moving forward, we’ll provide community scoring based on user feedback—did the content resolve your problem or answer your question? We will upgrade our technology so forum members can easily find what they are looking for. We will establish forums in non-English languages for our international community and add additional interest groups based on your feedback. We will ask you about how you use your Dell products, share the information with the community, teach and learn from others about wireless networking, digital photography, home theater ... the list continues on. If you are currently a community member, thank you. If not, please consider joining—there is no charge and we welcome you to be part of the Dell community to deliver improvements. Please visit the site and tell us how you use our products—we’re running a Purely My Technology sweepstakes to encourage initial dialogue.

My team needs your help to continue to improve. Please give us feedback on the changes. Let us know what you like and what you don’t. In this vlog, Dawn, Chris and Stephen from the DCF team discuss some of the enhancements and explain how they intend to use the site, not only as Dell employees, but as users of Dell products.

Format: flv
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  • It's great that you have forums. In a forum, only the people who understand what you are asking are likely to respond.

    In that case, get rid of your outsourced Indian telephone operators who don't know very much english, they only serve to drive customers away. Besides, anyone old enough to need telephone support probably has a young friend to help out anyways.

  • Want a comment  ?  Read the following link to the forum VIP board

    http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=vipboard&message.id=2338

    Worst idea yet.  Hard feeling, anger from many members when and if this happens.  Boy, what a lousy suggestion. 

  • "Not again", that's a vip section of the forums. Most of us can't access it. :(

    As for the changes in the forums and some of the new programs.. I like the ideas, some of the implimentation I have concerns about.  I'll provide more feedback on that another time, no need for me to rant here at the moment. (head scratch)

    -DL

     

  • Just joining Dell, will join the forum.

    Please consider attempting to get automatic Voice to Text transcribing of videos and podcasts.

    I also think some neural network learning system to create more accurate voice to text, through expert systems AND grammar / natural voice analysis would be excellent.

    See the Future by a guy from Google -- talk to your computer and get the information you need.

  • Thanks for your comment, and sorry for the delayed response. I agree with you Shel that the community belongs to the members of the community—we have had this for years. The only changes we have made (November 21 launch) were improvements in the navigation and establish new interest groups. Dell's role is to enable the community, but the topics are from the users. Membership is free and open to all, you do not have to be a Dell customer, and you can own other brand names and discuss them. We do not censor our community members from sharing their technology experiences. We have customers posting/replying about Lenovo, HP and other brands currently in Dell Community Forum. Forum members discuss purchase decisions, evaluate products across brands, discuss integration of peripherals with desktops/notebooks, and compare features. The forum provides all of us with a wealth of information and our mission is to invite more users to experience the community and provide us with feedback on improvements. I welcome you to join and help shape our community.
  • So far it sounds to me like you don't have a community at all, just a 19-year-old user group, adressing about a million user problems a month. If you want a healthy community, stop tring to build a company town. Open it up to users of othewr cmputers. let them talk about HPs and Lenovos and Toshibas and why one is better under certain circumstances than another. Let other company spokespeople particpate. Why would Dell want to do such a thing? Because the power belongs to the community not to Dell. But if Dell wants to be influential in this community, it would be wise to be the most generous vendor addressing it.
  • Sean, Most all of your links are broken... Please fix them, as I am truly interested in helping the support forum get fixed and made usable for Dell customers... Darrell
  • Not happy with the new Community at ALL. The old user group was USER FRIENDLY not this stuff and to do this right before the Holidays to even add more confusion..................