Easy Ways to Kill Spam in Your Online Community

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In our earlier blog posts, we spoke about various features that help in
tailoring your online community for a better user engagement and
branding. Once you popularize your forum, the first thing that hits you
is spam. If not effectively prevented, unwanted comments and irrelevant
responses can drive users away and suck your time up. Zoho Discussions
has powerful spam detection and moderation features that we will explore
in this blog post.

Spam Engine: To stop spamming right at the door, Zoho Discussions has a built-in spam
engine, which automatically detects and stops most of the irrelevant
content. This content is labeled and pushed to a moderation queue where
designated forum and portal moderators can approve or reject these
content.
Captcha: Another form of
spamming is repetitive posting of valid content. Zoho Discussions
provides a way to cut this down by adding captcha option for guest
posts. For those, who are new to this term, CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.
When a guest (non-registered user) is trying to post a topic, he/she
will be allowed to publish only two posts and for the third, the user
will be provided with a captcha option, which they need to fill-in
before publishing the topic.
Community Flagging: Keeping the
community area clean from spam is not only a moderator’s job. The entire
community can pitch in too! Registered members can flag a topic or
response as inappropriate and send it to the moderation queue. An
administrator or moderator can then choose to approve the flagged posts
or delete them from the discussions board with one click.
Exhaustive Moderation Panel:  To
make your online community easy to maintain, it is important to provide
your moderators with the necessary tools allowing them to moderate
quickly and efficiently. Zoho Discussions makes this easy with an
exhaustive moderation panel where topics and responses that require
moderators’ approval are displayed. Now, as a moderator you may approve
or delete the posts by checking its content.
Block Users: Other than managing
topics, it is also important to protect your discussions board from
unwanted users. With Zoho Discussions, you can block abusive users from
posting topics and responses so that they will no longer be able to
interact with you and other members of your online community. You can
then unblock them as and when required.
Post and User Moderation: Apart from these, Zoho Discussions also offers
fine grained control by allowing you to moderate individual topics and
users. When you use these techniques then all posts and responses posted
by the moderated user or on the moderated topic will require additional
approval by a moderator before getting published.

In addition to forum and user moderation, Zoho Discussions provides
you with topic management tools – like the ability to edit, delete,
lock, unlock, moderate and move posts. Thus Zoho Discussions gives you
complete control over the posts, users and forums and helping you
make your end user experience more productive. You can also read more about the moderation options here.

Subscribe to Zoho Discussions today and set up a spam-free online community for your business.

Happy Discussing!

Multi-Language Support in Zoho Discussions Forums

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It’s been almost a year since we officially
launched Zoho Discussions
and so far, the number of businesses that deploy Zoho Discussions has steadily increased. With the increasing popularity, come a large volume of feature requests from our users. Out of which, one of the most highly requested features is the ability to use Zoho Discussions in multiple languages as it greatly helps our customers to reach and engage a large of number of people worldwide who speak different
languages – especially non-English speakers.

In order to better serve our customers all over the world, Zoho Discussions now supports 10 different languages: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. And Zoho Discussions offers
you two ways of implementing language support for your user community:


1. Communicate in the language of your business

This is the most traditional way of setting up a user community / forum. You can set your Zoho Discussions portal to render itself exclusively in one of the supported languages. To enable this feature:

  • Go to the “
    Preferences
    ” tab under portal settings. [Settings > Portal > Preferences]
  • Choose the language of your business from one of the supported languages.
Voila! Your online community is now locked to one language. All your users will participate in screens that talk in that one language.
[Sample screen with menu options, instructions in Chinese]
This language lock down feature, adds more power to the visual customization features available in Zoho Discussions thus improving the brand experience.

2. Communicate with your global audience
Of course, by choosing not to lock down the language, you can create a communication platform for your global audience – where the entire instructions, navigation options appear in the language preferred by the end user.
For instance, if your business spans employees speaking different languages – say, from China and Japan, you can set up 2 different forums in your discussions portal – one for each region Chinese and Japanese. Or, you can let them all participate in one forum too. To do this, you need to select your portal language to “Default”. With this selection, your end-users can see the portal in the default language of their browser i.e., users from China will see the portal in Chinese while the other users from Japan will see it in Japanese.

Hope this multi-language support option give you yet another reason to try out Zoho Discussions! If your preferred language isn’t listed, please
subscribe to Zoho Discussions and drop us a note at support@zohodiscussions.com or in our
forums and we will be happy to accommodate your request.

Happy Discussing!

Tailoring your Zoho Discussions-powered Online Community – Part I

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Building an online community for your service or product is one of the most effective ways to promote customer confidence, loyalty and repeat business. It is of course fundamental that when you create a community, you align your brand’s value and identity with your online community. Zoho Discussions offers several ways in which you can customize your community, so that it matches what you want to do with it. Keeping a consistent look-and-feel and visual experience from your customers as they go from your website to your customer support forums is one of the most-requested things customers ask for.

Zoho Discussions offers extensive rebranding options, which enables you to create a rich user experience and fully align your online community with the other elements of your web presence. So we explore that here.
We’ll go into more advanced settings in Part II and Part III of this post.

Visual Experience

You can customize anything and everything in the online community that you create with Zoho Discussions. Basic changes to logo, colors, header and footer are available through an easy-to-use control panel. Advanced
customizations including your own custom CSS are also available. And for the ultimate custom experience, we also offer Zoho Discussions as a “white label” product.

Topic Types

Different communities have different kinds of postings – questions, ideas, problems, etc. With Zoho Discussions, you can easily create a Q&A forum, or an Idea board or a customer support community, etc. by customizing the topic type of your portal according to what you need.

Custom Widgets

Widgets are a great way to provide more useful and context sensitive information for your community to look at. Zoho Discussions offers a number of ready-made widgets, which enable you to share important announcements, promote top contributors, drive traffic to the most popular topics and more.

Alternatively, you have the ability to create custom widgets – HTML & Link Widgets – with which you can embed any HTML object to promote / advertise your product and share your product links, so that your users
can make the most use of it.

Customizing the UI is just one of the ways in which you can tailor your online community and make it a part of your brand’s online experience. In the next post about Zoho Discussions, we’ll discuss integrating it with
your own sign-on system and providing a smooth experience for your users.

You can read more about customizing Zoho Discussions here . And as always, feel free to send your comments in our online forums (powered by Zoho Discussions, of course!) or by e-mailing us support@zohodiscussions.com

Happy Discussing!