Overview of Social Squared
Before we dive into the new features of Social Squared release 220.127.116.11, let’s first of all discuss what Social Squared can provide to your organization.
Social Squared is a Discussion Board app for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint and brings structured discussions that can be easily searched or navigated to find answers to questions or to brainstorm ideas. Conversations can of course occur within Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, and in email and the telephone for that matter. What Social Squared brings, is an application that contains discussions categorised by Forum Groups and Forums, with built-in search, and features such as ‘Mark as Answer’ which means users can find answers to their questions easily, no matter how long ago it was posted.
Social Squared can be used in both Microsoft Teams and/or Microsoft SharePoint and deployed at Team or SharePoint Site scope. The content for the discussions is stored in hidden SharePoint lists which reside in your Team/SharePoint Site which enables your data to be kept secure and relevant to each department or project.
Below, Social Squared is being used as a Technical Q&A Discussion Board in Microsoft Teams. This allows the categorisation of discussions at software level. Therefore, should someone be experiencing an issue with Microsoft Viva Topics for example, they could navigate to the Topics Forum under Microsoft Viva to search for an answer or post their own question. Moderators assigned to the Viva forum could assist in ensuring that an appropriate answer is given, the post is marked as answered, and that users in the future will benefit from knowing the answer.
Social Squared can also be used on SharePoint pages within SharePoint sites. A Discussion Board within Hubs, Communication Sites, or Viva Connections Sites offers structured conversations where the entire company can benefit.
Adaptive Cards that can be added to Viva Connections dashboards also offer great insights into the questions and answers at a higher level allowing moderators and subject matter experts to stay on top of conversations.
What’s new in Social Squared Release 18.104.22.168
In this latest release of Social Squared, you can find the following improvements that we will describe throughout this post:
- Terms and Conditions for users of the forum to accept
- Ability to Report Abuse to Moderators
- Keep track of moved Forum Topics
- Follow/Subscribe to Tags
- Improved Anonymous Posting
- Support for ‘R’ Programming language within the Rich Text Editor
- Improved Image storage when images are within the body of posts
Social Squared – Terms and Conditions
It may be that you are planning on using Social Squared to support a Community of Practice or another set of discussion forums where it would be ideal to lay down some ground rules before people get posting! Within a Community of Practice, your moderators will be doing their very best to keep discussions on-track and within subject. Therefore, with the new Social Squared Terms and Conditions feature, you can highlight some company or project rules that users will need to accept prior to engaging in conversation through Social Squared. The Terms and Conditions feature can be set globally throughout your Microsoft 365 tenant using PowerShell, or at the Site/Teams Administrator’s discretion.
Social Squared – Report Abuse
To complement the new ‘Terms and Conditions’ feature is the ‘Report Abuse’ feature. If a forum has at least one moderator, it is possible to ‘Report Abuse’ to a moderator should you need to. The Report Abuse is a feature that can be turned on or off by the Site Administrator. Once ‘Report Abuse’ has been selected, you can send a message directly to the moderator(s) of the forum.
In Social Squared, it is sometimes necessary for a moderator or administrator to move a Topic. It may be that there is a more appropriate forum for the topic where it is more likely to be answered. Prior to this release, you could move the topic, but the topic author may be left a little bewildered! They wouldn’t know where their topic had moved to! So, now, if a moderator were to move a topic, it will still display in the original forum, but with a link to its new home next to the subject and within the body.
To date, you’ve been able to subscribe to a Topic or to a Forum. Now, you can subscribe to a Tag! So, no matter which forum or forum group a Topic has been created in, if it was tagged with a tag that you are following, you’ll receive a notification alerting you to its existence!
Forum Group Subscriptions
We’ve made it easier to subscribe to all forums within a forum group. Now, using Social Squared, you can subscribe to one or more Forum Groups. Users will receive a notification if a new post or a reply to a post is made within any of the forums contained within the forum group subscribed to.
Global Anonymous Posting
It has so far been optional as to whether you allow Anonymous posts within an instance of Social Squared. The user can then decide if they would like to post anonymously or not. This can encourage some people to ask questions or provide a response without being identified. Now, Site or Team Administrators can force Anonymous posts or force Identity shown across the Social Squared instance. This will help in those scenarios where a user may have overlooked the anonymous setting when creating their post and subsequently being identified.
Support for R Language in RTE
Within the Rich Text Editor of Social Squared, you can create a code block for most of the common programming languages. This feature will format the code to make the code more understandable within a post when the code is being discussed. We have now extended the list of programming languages to include ‘R’ as a language.
RTE IMAGES STORED IN DOCUMENT LIBRARY
Using Social Squared, within the Rich Text Editor of a new topic or a reply, you can embed an image. Some behind-the-scenes changes have been made so that large images can be embedded within the post which includes photographs taken via a mobile phone. The image is now stored within a SharePoint document library which improves performance and the supported size of an image.
On the 8th December, we’ll be hosting a webinar on Social Squared which will include all of the above new features. If you want your chance to suggest features, provide feedback, or ask questions, join us on the webinar at 4pm GMT!