Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Cloudera’s Community Forums

It’s been a couple of weeks since Cloudera’s new Community Forums did a Hello World, and we’re seeing activity start to ramp up. If you haven’t dropped in yet, please do so!

Today, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some features that will help you get the most out of this new service:

1. Get email updates and reply-by-email. For the browser-averse, it is possible to “subscribe” to threads (AKA “topics”) as well as entire forums by selecting Options > Subscribe contextually. (You can also subscribe to topics in which you are involved by default via My Settings > Subscriptions & Notifications.) You will receive an email when an update occurs, and you may then reply by email instead of returning to the Web to do so, if you wish. (However, it is not possible to create a entirely new topic that way.)

2. Invite your friends. Involved in a topic that would interest a friend or colleague or otherwise benefit from their involvement? “Invite” them to contribute by email – again, by using the “Options” pick list.

3. Give back. If you receive an answer or solution that you appreciate, spread the love: Give the answerer a “kudo”, and “accept” the answer as a solution. The former rewards contributors for their efforts, and the latter rewards the rest of the community by saving someone else from repeating the same answer to the same question.

4. Get a birds-eye view. The quickest and easiest way to get an overview of activity is by clicking the View All link in the “Recent Topics” widget found on the homepage. You’ll see a simple reverse-chron list of all recent updates. (Unfortunately, you cannot subscribe to this list, but that would be a welcome enhancement.)


5. Bling up your profile.
Although we happen to like the default set of avatar images, it is also possible to upload your own avatar via My Settings > Avatars > Upload an Avatar. (My personal choice? The immortal Joe Strummer.)

I will bring you additional tips and hacks in the future as we observe the most popular features of the service. In the meantime, enjoy.

Justin Kestelyn is Cloudera’s developer outreach director.

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