Glad (in a weird way) that we're not alone on the weird searches. It appears to be a search crawler called Arachni, but that's about as far as I got with figuring out who/what was behind the inflated search results. As for scrubbing search results, we exported our searches with and without results to Excel, and removed the ones that said _change_me_, 1, Arachni, or some variation of it. Then we summed up the total searches again, re-calculated successful and unsuccessful, and that was that (with a notation on our monthly dashboard). Either way, I hope it goes away. Scrubbing results takes time!
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I'm putting together a metrics report on off-season activity and just noticed that our community search was rather inundated with junk searches over the summer. We received thousands of searches for the terms "_change_me_" and "1". Of course many were unsuccessful because they were searching from specific boards, categories, etc. Anyone else experience this or know who was behind it? More curiosity at this point than anything as I'll be manually adjusting the search results to remove the junk. Thanks.
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For a longtime Lithium user and community professional, there are few things as sweet as winning a Lithy. It feels like just yesterday I was standing shoulder to shoulder in an exuberant and well-dressed crowd of peers, excitedly clutching my glass of champagne, and reveling in the atmosphere of the Lithy Awards Ball. And then I heard the words I had only been dreaming to hear, “And the winner of the Social ROI Titan award is… H&R Block!”
That singular moment was validation, recognition, and elation all packed into one. And I hope every Lithium customer gets a chance to feel what I did. However, you can’t experience winning a Lithy without writing a Lithy. So here are our top 3 tips and tricks for writing a winning submission:
1. Know you are awesome.
Want to know something I regret? For a long time, I read and voted on my peers’ Lithy submissions, but I didn’t dare submit one. I didn’t think what I was working on was interesting or ground-breaking enough, so I hadn’t earned my right to try for a Lithy. Last year my team and I finally got the courage to put ourselves out there – and we won. Why didn’t we do that sooner?
It doesn’t matter where you are in your customer experience journey or what everyone else is doing. You are doing something awesome, and you have absolutely earned the right to share. Go into writing your Lithy with a positive mindset and don’t get lost comparing yourself to others. Know you’re doing something worth sharing.
2. Teach us something.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking for inspiration and ideas in my daily work, I usually find myself perusing past Lithy submissions at some point in the process. And you know what? I never walk away empty handed. I’ve found ideas for advocacy programs, design, ROI, and numerous processes to improve my community.
One of my favorite things about working on a Lithy submission is finding ways to use it as a teaching opportunity. So, get creative. Tell us about your crazy dashboard that proved incredible ROI. Show us how you used post-it notes to come up with the most mind-blowing process. Tell us how you came up with the best advocacy program of all time. Teach us something!
3. Visuals are key.
You know that corny saying, “Pictures are worth a thousand words”? Turns out it’s very true when you’re faced with a word count limit for each question. And that word count is for the best. Some of us (me) would write a novel.
From an even more logical perspective, you wouldn’t design your community with just text so the same should go for your Lithy. Break it up with screenshots, graphics, charts, and whatever else helps to tell your story and teach your lesson. It will help move your readers – and the judges – through your submission.
Get writing and good luck. We hope to see your Lithy submission up soon! For instructions on how to submit, click here!
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Thanks, Brian! I think we'll inevitably end up moving the boards to the top level to eliminate the navigation issues. I guess the next big question is whether or not to expect any major issues with moving that much content. It's about 50,000 posts, but we'd be moving the boards in their entirety - not the posts in bulk moves. Fun stuff!
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When our community was originally setup almost four years ago, the architect went about the community structure in a way I wouldn't have recommended at the time (I wasn't involved). Instead of putting our boards at the top level directly under the community, they created a category called Forums and placed all six public boards under there. They then built a custom component to list out the six boards and we've been using that for years now. The structure hasn't been a major issue up until now as we're trying to work on the mobile responsive design. By default, Lithium navigation shows the top level content which in our case is Forums (public), Moderators (private), and Associates (private). Our users won't know to click Forums to access the boards and we don't want to trouble them with that extra click. It also makes for a very empty navigation as public users will only see one thing listed. The most obvious solution here is to just re-build the navigation components to be mobile responsive, but that's not ideal as we end up needing to fix the slide-out, breadcrumbs, and the child node list among others. Another possible solution would be to move all 6 boards to the very top level, but I'm fairly certain that will break subscriptions, links, and wreak havoc on SEO and search engine results. Any one have any ideas on how to handle this? Thanks!
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