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Tips for IdeaStorm

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Since transitioning from IdeaStorm contributor to being a part of the Dell team, I've had the opportunity to share my experience as a site member in discussions about the future of the site. Now that I have some experience from working on the site I thought it would be helpful to share a couple of tips with site members. I'd also like to discuss some recent changes and get some feedback from the community.

Tip 1 – You get more flies with honey than vinegar.

Site members sometimes become frustrated if things are not happening the way they think they should. Either Dell isn't participating enough, moving quickly enough or implementing ideas the way members think they should. Some members vent those frustrations through ideas and comments on the site in an effort to get Dell's attention (I did this myself). Now as an insider I can share that this approach is actually counter-productive. Ranting may get the attention of the community manager but it can also be intimidating to others. Nobody wants to get yelled at when they try to help improve a situation. I'm not saying members should stop discussing tough issues, I'm simply suggesting a more civil tone while doing so.

Tip 2 – Even the best idea can be overlooked if not presented properly.

I cannot stress enough the importance of proper spelling, punctuation and wording when submitting an idea. Over the years I've seen many ideas get demoted, not because they are terrible but because they are not presented properly. If you want others to take the time to vote for your idea, take the time to proof read before posting it and make sure that others will be able to understand what you are asking for.

Changes being made.

Since I've joined Dell I've noticed a trend that I'd like to reverse. Some days it seems that IdeaStorm has become more of a complaint window than an idea site. While complaints have been archived and posters advised where to get the help they need, the posts still clutter the site. As a result complaints will be archived for 7 days and then deleted from the site. The time frame will give members who are looking for assistance the opportunity to see the response before the deletion. In the future this may change to immediate deletion and the member being notified via email. 

Feedback wanted.

There have been discussions in the past about this topic but since it recently was discussed on the site I thought I would ask for some feedback. Some members have suggested deleting what they consider "bad ideas" from the site in an effort to remove some of the clutter. Complaints were one type of post discussed and led to the recent change in how they will be handled. I would like to hear from members how they feel about ideas being removed and what they would consider a "bad idea" in the comments below.

In my next post I plan to discuss the Idea Partners who are Dell experts who have started to filter into the site. I also hope to have some information on future changes to IdeaStorm as we work towards improving the site.

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