New for November (Software Updates)

We rolled out a few changes to the Public site, People and Ask an Experts applications this morning. Here’s an overview of what’s new and different:

People Application

Institutions received a facelift and now have the same feature set as Communities. This makes institutions easier to manage and use because they have a dashboard, membership self-management and can have mailing lists just like other eXtension Communities. You can view your institution by visiting: and clicking the view link beside Primary Institution.

Searching for communities has also been improved. The community search now favors the name of the community, but still will search the community’s description and tags.

Ask an Expert

Hand a Question off to a Question Wrangler
Question Wranglers are a group of volunteers who monitor the incoming questions and help assign them to the right person. If you’ve been assigned a question and just don’t know what to do with it, you can now click the “Hand off to a Question Wrangler” button.
Hand off to a Question Wrangler
If you’d like to be a Question Wrangler, you can join the community here, or click the QW link in your Ask an Expert preferences.

Question Handling Rate
We’ve added a new piece of information to the tooltip that appears in question assignment interface. When you search for someone to reassign a question you can now see how well that person handles questions that are assigned to him. The handling rate is displayed as a green bar that looks like this:

Handling rate for assigned questions

The handling rate looks at how many times a person has been assigned a question and either resolved it or reassigned it to someone else. This piece of information can help you determine if a question is going to sit inactive or get handled if it’s assigned to that person. The handling rate only looks at the last 6 months of activity. If a person hasn’t been assigned anything in that time period, you’ll see “This person hasn’t handled any questions in the last six months” instead.

Assignment History
You can now view a list of all AaE questions ever assigned to you. Visit and type in your login name. On your user report page you’ll find a new line titled: “Questions Assigned (Ask an Expert)”

The Public Site

Share this
We added a share/save widget to articles, FAQ and event pages on the public site. This allows visitors to more easily email pages or share on their social networks. The sharing service we’re using integrates with Google Analytics so you will be able to use GA to see what content visitors are sharing.

Mobile Views
There are now basic mobile styles for public site content. These styles are not completely refined, but they do create a better experience for users with mobile devices. The design will continue to be developed in the coming weeks.