Tomorrow morning we are rolling out some new features for the eXtension Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) application (http://faq.extension.org/) to help users manage questions submitted from ‘Ask an Expert’ on the eXtension Public Site (http://www.extension.org/). The changes include the ability to opt-in to (or opt-out of) automatic question assignments as well as default email signatures for responding to questions. The User Preference page also got a little face-lift with the addition of tabbed navigation. The new features will be live Wednesday morning, July 18th. Here’s an overview of what’s new:
Incoming Question Assignments
Previously, when a user defined their Areas of Expertise and Geographic Regions, the user was automatically assigned incoming questions that matched their selections. We’ve now separated those two actions. This way a user can indicate their expertise to their colleagues in the system and then decide how — or if — they would like to help with incoming questions. There are a number of ways that users can help field incoming questions, and these new options can be found on the Areas of Expertise preference tab in a box called “Be a Pillar of the Community”. We hope that users will opt-in to help handle incoming questions, but we understand that it’s nice to be able to turn it off every once in a while 🙂
Email Signature Preference
There is another new feature on the General Preferences tab called “‘Ask an Expert’ Email Signature”. This lets you set a default signature line that is automatically added to your response when answering an Incoming Question. This is just a default — you can always edit it on a per-question basis.
Your Profile Page
We also made it easier to get to your User Profile page. Simply click on your name at the top of the browser window.
And once you get to your User Profile page, you’ll notice that your Areas of Expertise are now links. You can click on any item to see a list view of all users who have selected that same area of expertise. This can be a great way to see who else shares your interests.
We hope that these changes make the FAQ application a little more useful and easier to use.