discussion forums

11月 092011

The popular mailing list for the SAS user community hits a milestone this weekend by turning 25. 25 is often referred to as the "silver anniversary", but for a quarter century SAS users have found gold among the messages in this list, which feature everything from questions and answers about SAS software, information about SAS the company, SAS user events, career advice, humor and more.

SAS-L was a pioneer in grass-roots support for a widely used software package. Today, it's joined by sasCommunity.org, SAS discussion forums, blogs, LinkedIn groups, Twitter, YouTube and more.

Have a question about SAS? Do not beat your head against the wall. There is no need to wallow in ignorance: SAS experts around the world stand ready to help.

tags: discussion forums, SAS blog, sas users, sas-l
6月 222011
I've always suffered from a strong sense of deja vu. Never has the feeling been stronger than this week. This blog was started way back in 2007 to keep you posted on changes on support.sas.com. I remember writing a post one morning in October 2007 titled in part, Anticipation. I was waiting to unveil the new organization for the Customer Support Website. I was nervous and excited. I was living the words of a Carly Simon song.

Today is a day just like that day 3 1/2 years ago. Anticipation. Now deja vu. Around this time tomorrow we will have completed the migration from our existing discussion forums to an updated, feature-rich new collaboration site. So much excitement. So much anticipation.

UPDATE June 23: The new forums are live. The URL has changed. Please visit the forums at communities.sas.com.

What to Expect
We made sure that this release contains so many familiar words and features that you will be able to pick up right where you left off. We are recreating all 18 of the current public forums in the new Communities on SAS site. We migrated all of your existing ForumIDs, now called username. We also migrated all of the existing forum posts. You still have the ability to search the archives for questions asked and answered. (In order to ensure that we migrate all content, there will be short period early Thursday morning when the forums will be unavailable.)

This wouldn't be an upgrade if everything stayed the same; some changes will be more subtle than others. For example, to participate in the discussions you must still log in using your sas.com Web profile credentials, but the login uses our new profile model. Some of you will be required to reset your password before completing your login.

Other changes to look for:
  • New look. The design and layout has changed. Be sure to look for posting options in the Actions box on the top right of any discussion page.

  • Content tagging. You can add tags to your posts to help you and others search and watch for posts on a particular topic. Tagging can help create groups of content within a discussion.

  • Participation recognition. We have implemented reputation monitoring that recognizes users who are active in the community. As a way to say thank you to everyone who supported the forums in the past, we included points for previous activity.

  • Personalized experience. You can make your experience more personal by completing your community profile. Note: This step is not required for participation.

  • Better notifications. Use email notifications and RSS feeds to ensure that you don't miss any great content. Note: All of the URLs have changed, so you will need to reconfigure your RSS feed subscriptions and watches. BTW, we dropped the term "watch" in favor of the more intuitive "email notifications".

  • Better editor and spell checking features. Ah. The editor. The new site provides a much better editor. You can use it in WYSIWIG mode or switch to a full text editor where you can format your post using HTML tags. Using the HTML view will make it easier for you to format your complex SAS code.

I hope that is enough to raise your anticipation level. Stay tuned.
5月 022011
We've all heard that at some point. You heard it when your best friend moved across town or changed schools. They were words of comfort when you returned from summer camp with your first crush. And you heard them again at graduation when you and your friends were scattered to the four corners of the world. Your experiences determine how true you believe this saying to be.

One thing I know for sure. No one ever told a blogger that absence makes the readers more anxious to read your next post. In fact, every social media advisor tells you that you must post at least once a week to keep your readers. I am so far behind in meeting those guidelines, so if you are reading this, please accept my heart-felt Thank You for staying with me. (And thanks to my co-workers who posted great topics in my absence over the last few weeks.)

What have I been doing, you ask? I'm working on some really exciting enhancements to our Online Support Site offerings. The best part is that they are things that you, our customers, have been asking for. I can't wait to get your feedback. These updates will be available before summer arrives in Cary, North Carolina. The first change is an update to our discussion forums. Here are a few things to look forward to:
  • a better user interface

  • a much better editor

  • the ability to embed graphics inline in a post

  • reputation ratings for contributors

  • indicators of answered questions.

I talked about this a bit in my Inside SAS Global Forum video.

The second change will be an update to the search results. We've added some new features and improved on a few existing ones. You can expect:
  • an improved interface

  • easier access to advanced search features

  • better access to content filters

  • the ability to drill into a section of the site to narrow in on the best results.

Get a first look at the interface.

You'll be hearing a lot more about these features before we release them. Stay tuned.
1月 272011
Your requests for a discussion forum that focuses on data integration, SAS Data Integration Studio, or DataFlux products and features have been answered! The new forum is live and SAS staff have posted two great, informative posts to the SAS Enterprise Data Management & Integration forum.

I love it when we can offer customers something that they tell us they want! All we need now is for you to visit the forum and join the conversation.

New to forums?
If you are new to the SAS discussion forums, here are a few usage hints.
  • You must log in to the Website before you can post to the forum, but you can read forum posts without logging in.

  • You can set watches for e-mail notification or subscribe to an RSS feed.

  • You can search the forums to see if your question has been asked and answered.

  • You can review the four most recent forum posts in the bottom left corner of the Customer Support Home page.

Don't forget to tell us what else you want to see in the forums. It really does help when we hear from you.

Update: Some of you have indicated in the discussion forums that you are hoping for a SAS Administration discussion forum. Can you tell me more about what you expect to see? A focus on installation and deployment, on metadata adminstration, something else?