Today we released a new version of our identity and directory application (People – https://people.extension.org ). This version, the first to have earned the honor of the “version 1.0” designation, has a number of new community-oriented features and a revamped look-and-feel throughout the application.
A Focus On Community
Our new communities page is the central feature of the upgraded People. There are lists of user-created communities and eXtension Communities of Practice and each individual community now has a “dashboard” where you can find out more information about the community, browse the members and leaders list, see a snapshot of the activity of the community’s members and join or indicate that you want to join the community (depending on the community’s membership settings).
You can also create your own communities and invite colleagues to join, providing a useful organizational tool for creating team and group lists among colleagues in Cooperative Extension.
User and Community Tags
The new version of People also introduces “Tags” for both users and communities. By tagging yourself with your interests and areas of expertise, you can begin to find others with similar interests and specialties throughout Cooperative Extension. As others begin make connections and join communities – those communities begin to develop a set of shared interests and expertise within community – and those community tags are used to make recommendations to you about communities that you might find of interest.
A Hub of Activity
Another major new feature of the upgraded People are the views of activity within both People and our content creation tools. You can get a feel for the recent activity throughout the application, by institution, location and more. This activity system lets us grow in the future, pulling in the content creation activities within our FAQ, CoP Wiki and other applications.
The activity information is also available within Feeds for those that want to keep up with new signups, logins, and other activities from colleagues within their communities, institutions, or locations.
By the Numbers
Want to know how many of your colleagues from your institution are members of a eXtension Community of Practice? Just start with your institution and click down through each of the links. “Numbers” is meant for exploration, so explore away!
Behind the Scenes
Even bigger changes to people occurred behind the scenes, as the application was reworked and refactored to be more efficient, and to upgrade to the latest versions of the software tools used to develop it. There are a number of core changes that will let us build upon the communities, tags, activity, and numbers to integrate our suite of content creation tools together in the coming months.
Join Our People Launch!
The power of People is, well, our people – so if you don’t already have an eXtensionID – please signup today! and if do already have an eXtensionID, please do sign in, update your profile, tell your colleagues about your interests and expertise, join and create new communities or just browse through the activity and the numbers.
If you like what you see, have questions or comments, or things that you would like to see us do in the future with People, don’t hesitate to let us know!