by Chris Hall
Over the last few months we've been busy gathering feedback from charities about Tent and using what we learn to prioritise new features and tweaks.
As a result, we've now implemented a number of improvements to discussions (hello emojis), a new open registration process to allow members to sign-up directly and a simple way for members to contact you for support from inside the platform.
All of these tools are designed to make launching your organisation's online community easier - and more successful - than ever.
We think emojis, if used wisely, are great. They can sometimes convey meaning better than words alone and can help you set the tone of a conversation. Now any user in Tent can add the whole range of emojis to discussion posts.
Images can also make discussions more engaging and interesting. It has always been possible to attach files to a post but inline images are now fully supported and easy-to-use.
We've also added better support for links so your community members can quickly (and now neatly!) share anything on the web in a discussion post or reply.
In some circumstances you might want to open up your community to anyone who is interested, perhaps as a way of reaching new people interested in your cause or prospective volunteers. Open registration lets you create a simple link that anyone can use to sign-up to your community. You can share this link on your website or on social media and leave your new members to do the rest.
With the link anyone can go to the site and set themselves up in seconds. As ever with Tent the branding they see on the page is controlled by you.
If you want to restrict the access these new members have you can configure the groups they automatically join as part of setup.
If a member gets stuck or needs support when using your community it's helpful to have a simple process for getting in touch, as well as one that is easy to manage for your organisation. A new chat button follows members around the platform in the bottom right and when they click it they see a contact form.
As an admin you can configure where these emails go under Platform Setup and any response will go directly to the member. For admin users the chat function will continue to go straight to the Tent team.
You may notice a few other changes in Tent:
We've just kicked-off development of a new feature called Community (visible in some of the screenshots above) which will provide a directory-like function to help members more easily connect with others. We're hoping to have an initial version in place by early July.
If you've got an idea for a feature we should be looking at please let us know.
Want to see Tent up close and find out how it could benefit your charity? Book a demo here.