HASTAC Features

I’m very proud of some work I’ve been doing on the Drupal site that I manage at work.  Here’s a blog post I wrote about some of the newest features:

Today I am excited to officially launch several new features on the HASTAC web site, including Collections, Similar Content, Knowledge Base, and more. I think these additions will do a lot to help people connect with and utilize the rich and deep content of the site.

Collections (beta!)

Digital Badges collectionThe culmination of two months of very hard work, HASTAC Collections is a beta feature of our site that brings together content from across the site in a hand-curated list of posts which can be viewed in a large tiled display (at right), or in a multifunction list view (below left). Collections are not limited to highlighting hastac.org content, links to other sites are highlighted with yellow buttons. When viewing as a list, users can sort and filter the collection by type of content, topics and tags, and keywords in the title or body.

Digital badges collection listI invite you to check out our two inaugural collections, Digital Badges and MOOC HQ, and look for more soon. The staff are using and testing this feature now, and we hope to be able to expand it to more HASTAC members later this year. (It will require additional programming and may even result in a new module that we can contribute back to the Drupal community. As a result it will take considerable time.)

Visitors can browse our Collections by visiting the Topics landng page.

Similar Content

Similar Content

When looking at any content on the site you will now see a list of posts that may be about similar topics. It is generated by an algorithm based on the title, tags, and topics of the post. (See example at right.) If your post doesn’t seem to be generating revelant content, try adding more tags. These are the best way to tell the site what you are talking about and to properly connect related ideas.

Knowledge Base

The Help pages of our site have been in place since 2011, but don’t get much attention. We have now moved them into a proper knowledge page, and added a Frequently Asked Questions section. You can also use the Contact Support link there to create a ticket when you need personal assistance. This is being combined with our existing site feedback tool (see tab in lower right of your browser) which allows users to suggest and vote on improvements for the site.

Knowledge Base

Other goodies

tag cloud

I have also uncovered or enabled a few other goodies on the site that members might enjoy.

  • Get Random is a button you can find on the Recent Content page (linked to from the Recent Content column on the front page) that will let you trip back through 9 years of HASTAC community content, 20 randomly-selected posts at a time.
  • Two great ways to see what’s happening on HASTAC right now are the Tracker (a list of content sorted by latest comments and newest publication) and the Heartbeat (a stream of activity including new posts, comments, relationships, and users).
  • The site-wide Tag Cloud is exactly what it sounds like!

I hope you enjoy all these new features. If you have more ideas for improving the site (and I know you do) please fill out our Usability Survey (it only takes 5 minutes) and post your suggestions in our Feedback forum. Thanks for your engagement, it’s what makes HASTAC great.

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