Quick Start Guide: Setting Up Your Community

Open Social • 5 April 2017
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We make Open Social as accessible and user-friendly as possible. Therefore, the settings and modules (Drupal extensions) are already set for you when you start. There are, however, some things that we could not do for you, which means you, the site manager, have to take care of. All these settings can be found on the Dashboard for Site managers.

 

First things first

There are some steps you can take to give Open Social a personal look and feel and to customize the user experience.

 

Make Open Social your home

You can change the colors, logos, favicon, and font of your platform to make Open Social feel like your community. Go the appearance section in the dashboard.

Further individualization is possible by adjusting the home page. You can change the sphere image of the home page and the welcome text via customize homepage.

Here you can find more information and a detailed description of how to change the theme.
 

Determine the details

In order to create the best experience within Open Social, you should ensure that some basic site settings are in place. For example, set and change the site name and the email address from which automated emails will be sent (via basic site settings). 

You can also determine what the emails sent to users will look like via account settings, and there are further instructions if you're interested. 

Last but not least, you can set your own timezone so that the dates of events and content are displayed accurately (regional settings).

We also have more information and a detailed description of how to change basic site settings.


Things that have to be finished

As mentioned before, there are some things we started for you we need your input for the final touches. There are two modules that need your attention: social login and Google analytics.

 

Social Login

If you want people to be able to login with their social media accounts you have to set up a connection between the specific social platform and your Open Social version. Follow this simple step by step description.
 

We offer social logins for Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Twitter.

 

Google Analytics

In order to analyze the behavior of your, you can connect Open Social to your Google analytics account. Go to google analytics in the dashboard, and fill in your Google Analytics ID number.

 

Almost there!

Before you invite users there are some other things we advise you to do:

 

Check settings

There are some additional settings you can check or adjust. The following list contains all the settings that were not discussed above. These are not vital for the basic functioning of your Open Social community and have been preset by us. However, it's good to know where to find them and adjust them to your liking if necessary:

  • Profile tags (taxonomy settings in dashboard)

  • Topic types (taxonomy settings in dashboard)

  • Enable or disable public visibility (public visibility settings in dashboard)

  • Hide or show email address for all users by default (profile settings in dashboard)

  • Invite members! (people overview in dashboard)

  • User export (people overview in dashboard)

 

Make sure everything is ready

 

Double check that all settings are how you want them to be and if the site looks the way you imagined it. You can organize some test users and have them look at the site through the eyes of a hypothetical new user.

 

Make sure that you know how the platform works and set up a strategy on how to use functionalities. We have built Open Social to be flexible and for you to structure the community according to your needs. If you know your way around the platform you can help your first users get started and solve issues when they arise.

 

Soft launch

Start with a soft launch. This means that you should not invite users to an empty platform. Invite a small group of selected users to pre-populate the platform that will create content, create groups, and test functionalities. This way you already have content and a veteran user base that can introduce and help activate new users.

 

One last thing

There's far more to setting up a community properly than adjusting the settings, so make sure you explore the rest of our in-depth community management documentation as well.

Good luck! 

Further relevant information: