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Gradual 2023 Q1 Product Update

Posted May 01, 2023 | Views 611
# About Gradual
# Product Update
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SPEAKER
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Head of Strategy & Operations @ Gradual

I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

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I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

+ Read More
SUMMARY

Check out a handful of the exciting updates from Gradual launched in Q1 of this year. We explore collections, collaborators, updates to events, and preview how to further segment and build intimacy in your community!

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TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to the gradual Q1 product update for 2023. Excited to have everybody here and walk you through some of the fun and exciting things that have taken place in gradual. If you're here, live for the stream, be sure to say hi in the chat. Complete your profile. Let us know you're here and and say hello as soon as the stream ends as well.

Myself and Laura from our team are going to jump into a meeting room, which you can find in the agenda. And that's where we can connect, answer questions directly. You can chat with us about anything that you need help with, whatever you have there for you. So make sure to join us in that meeting room after this event and as we go.

Feel free to drop notes in the chat on anything that you need your questions about. As we walk through our features. We're really excited today to work through a number of different features. We're going to talk about new ways to curate and showcase content. Even more flexibility when it comes to event design and how you're presenting that to members of your community.

Some other just tools for you to be able to leverage things like meeting rooms and roundtables. And then we'll wrap up with two things. One is a case study showcasing how a customer is using a new feature to really create some curated, intentional experiences that are helping their community as well as what's to come. Some previews for our roadmap coming up.

But as we go, like we said, drop any questions in the chat and we'll be happy to answer those. I want to start talking about some new features related to content, and we're going to cover a handful of different things. So I'm going to go ahead and share my screen and we'll be able to take a look at some of the features coming up there for three big features related to content that we'll cover.

And the first of those is going to be collections. It's going to give you the ability to curate content into a playlist under content. We have already launched this ability to have featured content show up and then now you can decide if you want that to be specific content that you're pointing out or if you want it to be just what's most recent or maybe what's most, most top trending inside the community.

But now I can further curate that content based on these collections, and we like to think of these like playlists. This is something that you can build based on a topic, based on an event replay or something like that. I can explore what's in each of these and I can also feature certain ones for my community. Let's look at one built out in another community.

You'll see the engineering leadership community. They've built their content collections to be based on topic or based on things like their replays from their summit, their virtual summit, or their in-person one. Why this is so powerful. As you can see here, they can feature certain ones, but now I can also deep link to these. So let's say I'm putting together my post-event recap email.

Maybe it was in-person, maybe it was virtual. All I need to do is build that collection and I can take this link and link to that directly and then people can see all the pieces of content that live within this collection and the beauty of this is it doesn't have to be just one content type. I can have all kinds of content types within here.

Maybe I have a combination of blogs and videos or blogs and resources, and those can be built out here. Another way customers have use collections is as a sequence for training videos or things that they want people to follow in order. So let's say I want to have a an onboarding flow. What I can do is I can create that collection and I can put into it all of the pieces of content that I want people to view.

Maybe it's it's right in order. It's one, two, three, four. I can name them as such, and I can control that order by modifying that published date. All of this is controlled on the dashboard. In the back end, I'll simply go to my content, I'll go to collections here. I can create new collections as well as curate and add the content that should be included.

One of the other new pieces related to content is this external content type, which you may notice in the content menu. We had customers that wanted to be able to surface content within gradual that lived elsewhere. An example of this might be a blog post that's been longstanding on an external site. I don't necessarily want to move that for SEO reasons, but I do want people to be able to find it when they search inside gradual or maybe I have a bunch of support resources externally.

I want to be able to showcase those in gradual, but I don't want to migrate my entire help center. I can do that now with this external content type. The way it shows up is just as another card inside gradual like we see here. This is a link to our support center. I've got my image description title. I can put this into collections and it'll show up when I search, but when I click on it, it just takes me out to that external link.

These are built in the dashboard the same way that you build any piece of content. I'll go into content, click on external content and create a new one. I'll put in my title link, summary and necessary information. The nice part about this is I can build this into collections. I can determine access levels as needed. This is really good for resources that need to live elsewhere and still give you the flexibility that when someone's interacting with it in gradual, they can find it and it's going to show up in search and they'll be able to surface it there as well.

In the future, we're going to automate your ability to pull in those external pieces of content back into gradual. But for now, I just need to create those cards manually. The last update to the content piece is related to our video player. In the past, when you've loaded a video into gradual, we've used our own custom player here to show the video from whatever source.

We've updated this. So now we're going to show whatever the native player is for that video. So if you're videos hosted on Vimeo or YouTube or Wistia, we're going to use the in-built players for those services here on site. Gradual. This matters for two reasons. One is it gives you all of the direct view analytics for that video.

So when someone interacts or watches that video and gradual because of how it's embedded now, those analytics are going to show up in whatever dashboard you have in YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia. In addition to that standard page view that you can see in the gradual dashboard. But the more important feature is likely the accessibility that this unlocks. Now if you have closed captions or subtitles attached to your video in that hosting provider, those will show up natively and gradually as I played, I can see that here and I can turn on my subtitles because it's coming from video from Vimeo, in this case directly, that's a big piece to unlock the accessibility of videos in

gradual and hopefully something your communities can leverage. All this content creation is also now not just restricted to you as the admin or community manager. We've launched a feature called Contributors. The Contributors feature allows you to delegate responsibility to members of your community to be able to author content or post events without needing to give them access to the entire back end of gradual.

This isn't turned on by default for every customer, so if you have any questions or want to play with this, let us know and we can get it enabled for you. But it's going to show up in the dashboard if it's turned on and it's going to be under contributors here, I can find a new contributor and create them from a member of the community.

When I do that, it'll give me the option to add different permissions for them related to events, videos, blogs, resources or external content. Within each of these, I can subdivide or determine their permission level even further. So let's take Tiffani, for example. Tiffani is going to be an event manager. That means that she can create, edit and publish an unpublished events and export event attendees without being able to see their direct email addresses.

If I wanted her to be able to do even more things that everyone everything an admin can do, I'd make her an event, admin or maybe I just want her to help me build the agenda. I can make her an event editor. I can also restrict whether or not I want her to be able to create certain types of events so we'll say we're going to have Tiffani be an event manager, but she's only going to be able to create live stream events or meeting events.

I'll go ahead and save if I want her to be able to create videos or other resources, I can add those separately as well. So maybe you have members of your community that you just want them to be able to post videos or post blogs and nothing to do with events. I can control those independently. Then all Tiffani needs to do is log in to the contributor dashboard.

When she comes here, she's going to be presented to select the dashboard for which she's a member. So if she's a member of multiple communities, this would show up here. I'd select that contributor dashboard and then she'd be able to create events inside gradual. And you'll see that some of her commissions are different than others, so she can't edit the URL slug and there are other things that are restricted.

She can't determine that we need to take registration on another page. This is a tremendous tool kit for you to empower community members to self author content and events. We talk about consistently that the real vision for community is we as community builders get to become moderators. Facility setting, the participation and engagement of our members. We don't need to be content creators ourselves, and this starts to unlock that.

A sneak preview of the next phase of this is how do we recognize and reward people for being contributors on the front end? How do we show a leaderboard or what things that they've contributed to? I will be able to do that with the contributor profile where on a user's profile I'll be able to show the things that they have done and engage with blogs.

They've posted events that they've created or been speakers at, and a leaderboard which allows you to showcase the top contributors within your community and reward badges to them, the badges functionality will continue to be even more customizable over time, allowing you to specify specific behaviors or things that you want to reward. But for now it's going to be based on those contributor contributions to the community.

You also may have noticed some other things inside the gradual dashboard when it comes to event creation and these things have been added to allow you to have more flexibility when it comes to event creation and how you're representing the events out to your community members. We'll pick on this product seminar as an example here, and I just want to highlight a few things that are going to be shown on this page as I do the event set up.

The first of those is going to be this registration method. Now I can determine if I want the registration method to be within gradual or I want it to take place externally on a custom web page. So let's say I've created a separate landing page or a form that I want to use for registration, and I want to make sure people don't register in two places at once and gradual.

And on that form, I simply change this to custom web page and I'll put the link to that page there. Then when someone clicks register for that event, it's going to take them to that page that I specified. Another really good application of this is if I want to showcase partner events inside my community, let's say a partner is hosting a conference and I want to make sure that that shows up under the events section for my members.

I could simply create that event here in gradual set, the custom web page to be their website for registration. And then I'd also use this new feature organized by to show that someone else is organizing this event. This is also great for co-sponsor events, recognizing individuals like contributors for their event creation. I can edit this organized by and decide I want it to be organized by a different organization and I just add their logo and name and they'll be shown here.

I can remove my own community or I can add multiple for the co-organized events. One of the other things I can start to control is what shows up on this event detail page and by event detail page, what we refer to is this front end page here for the product seminar. This is where I'll showcase speakers agenda, maybe sponsors or anything else that I'd want to.

I can control the visibility of most of these components on this page. Now from the dashboard, if I go back into that product seminar on the dashboard and I click on event, set up an agenda, for example, let's say my agenda isn't finished yet, I want to start building it, continue building it in gradual, but I don't want it to show up on the event page.

I can simply turn that visibility off and then it won't show up. The next time someone comes to this event page, it'll be hidden behind until I launch it. I can do the same thing with attendees. Now on meeting style events, we have always displayed attendees. Now I can turn that off and on for any event style. Maybe it's a event that I want to showcase people for or not.

I can simply toggle that on and off by default. It's going to be turned off and it's up to you if you want to turn that on for your events. And then the last thing that you'll probably notice on the event detail page is down here at the bottom, we now showcase the sponsors for the event as long as they're set to visible inside the dashboard under the sponsor section, then they'll show up on the front end on gradual.

If I want to hide those sponsors, I just simply turn the visibility off all of those components as well. On the event detail page, the speakers, sponsors, agendas or attendees can be pulled into my own website via iframe and there's documentation on that in the gradual support center. So if you want to be able to build the event but maybe have a separate landing page, you don't have to build that web page twice.

You can use those components that already exist and gradual on the front end page. The last piece of customization for events is regarding the emails. So just as a reminder, by default, gradual is going to send a registration confirmation email. As soon as someone registers for an event, we'll send a reminder email the day before, 30 minutes before.

And then now we'll also send out a post-event survey automatically to anyone who attended. This is unchecked by default, but I can come in here, enable it and put my survey URL. This is configured for each event independently, so if I want to send a survey for all my events, I need to turn it on for each event.

But that also means that if I have certain events I don't want to send reminders for, or maybe I'm capturing registration elsewhere and my email marketing system is going to send the confirmation email. I can simply turn that registration confirmation email off inside the dashboard. And as always, a reminder, any time you make a change, be sure to hit that save button in the dashboard.

We've also made a bunch of updates to our other event type meeting events. As a reminder, meeting events are those events that are like a zoom call. I can join them natively on gradual. I simply jump in and can start participating. We're going to see a lot of me here in a second to Kyle's at the same time, and what you'll see is the first feature I wanted to highlight, which is virtual backgrounds.

Now, when someone joins an event in certain browsers, they can choose their virtual background. I can select where I want to be, maybe in front of a bookcase. Okay. And join. I actually change that virtual background earlier and you'll see it remembered it. It's also going to remember my camera and microphone settings from meeting to meeting as I join other events on side inside gradually.

Another benefit to those being here as a host, you also have some additional capacities. I can now have meetings structured to where I can control whether or not attendees can mute or unmute themselves under the attendee Mike section here, I can specifically mute all asked to unmute automatically mute attendees when they enter the call and toggle whether or not they're allowed to unmute themselves.

This is great if I have a larger meeting, especially where I don't want everyone to be able to unmute themselves. Maybe if it's more of a webinar, but not yet a live stream all uncheck this, so attendees aren't able to on mute themselves a couple of reminders about meeting room features as well. You can always hover over and see profile information for the members of the meeting and this chat lives persistently after this meeting takes place.

If I go back to my home and I go to messages that chat history is going to show up here and we'll talk about how another customer is using this here in a second. The other update regarding meetings is the meeting capacity. Right now, meetings are limited to 125 concurrent participants. You'll notice in the dashboard, though, that I can allow more than that to register for a particular event.

We've done this similar to how airlines might work, where inside the meeting room I'll allow for additional seats to be sold, but only 125 can join. We're continuing to work to upgrade the capacity of meeting rooms. But just a reminder, it's currently capped at 125. If you use cases for meetings beyond that, let us know. Maybe a live stream is a better fit or we can leverage a third party tool and link it back to gradual.

There are a ton of other updates that are out there and you can find a detailed list of all of the updates inside the gradual community. We'll post a link to those in the chat and you can find them at Community DOT Graduate Workshop. But I want to talk about how a customer is leveraging another new feature, which is space restricted roundtables in order to build curated, intimate experiences inside their community.

Quick reminder spaces are access groups and gradual. They allow me to create a group of people or a group of members that have access to certain things that others don't. So for example, here I have a customer advisory board. There are seven members of this space. What I can do is I can have it set So specific events or pieces of content are also restricted to that space.

Then only those seven people will be able to see it. For example, this customer advisory board meeting is restricted to that space. I could add another space, maybe staff. I want to be able to see it as well. I could create that and add that to the same event. Then only the people in those spaces would be able to see it.

This is a really helpful way to curate the experience inside Gradual. You'll notice I'm a member of that customer advisory board space, so I see this meeting show up in my event list, whereas someone who isn't wouldn't see it there. This can also be done for content. Customers do this to determine content geographically or based on ticket holder type or something like that.

Our friends at ELC are using a new feature which uses that space construct to restrict roundtables, meaning only members of a space can see that roundtable. They offer peer groups for about 6 to 7 members. They meet monthly to have a conversation about current topics. Those are created as roundtables. Here. Every member is added of the peer group to their space, and then that particular roundtable is assigned.

That means that at any point in time they can come into gradual, they can join that conversation and have their regular meetings, or even if it's ad hoc that they want to get together. The benefit of this being gradual is one, I know where to find it and it's easy to that conversation thread. Like I mentioned before, that ELC peer group thread exists after the fact.

So if you share best practice, maybe your resource, your favorite book, it's not going to disappear. It's going to be there no matter what. That's a great way to build intimate, curated experiences for members of your community. Is using those space restricted roundtables. Spaces aren't the only way to do curation and gradual, though. I want to talk about what's coming.

One of the cool features that we have launching here soon is sub communities. Sub communities are ways for you to build dedicated groups within gradual that can have their own events, visibility, content, branding and what have you. Maybe you have different chapters which have their own brand or look for naming convention. What I can do is I can set those up as sub communities for my parents community and gradual.

So maybe I've got one for my gradual team or people who are really interested in design or product. I can find those in the left hand menu under groups I'll be able to join or enter ones that I'm a member of will also have the ability for them to be private or secret, meaning that only people can be joined by invite or maybe they can't even see it unless they're added to it.

When I join, I can have my sub communities. I can pin certain ones that I want to make sure I can come back to you. And then within that sub community it would have its entirely own contents, events and everything completely separate from my parents community. This is a really good way to expand your utilization across your team, across different segments within your community, where I say I have this parent group that I have, but then I also have smaller subsets which can create a more curated and intimate experience.

This is launching towards the end of the first half of this year. Any questions about sub communities are want to learn more about this? Let us know. As a reminder all this information can be found at community dot gradual dot com. We have detailed resources on how you can find the product updates, maybe even you want to explore our collections on product updates.

There are community insights where we do conversations with community leaders or you can even find the gradual support center directly from there via that external content link. All this information lives there and there's always, if you have any questions, please reach out and let us know. The two things that I want to make sure I call your attention to though, are the product updates in detail.

We've got one for January and February and then another for March, and you'll see them come out monthly from here on out. That's where I can find all the detailed information about every feature that was released. Even small things or larger things are included in there. We didn't cover absolutely everything today, so be sure to go explore and find out what's what's new and ask us any questions If you have them.

Thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate everyone tuning in today. If you have any questions, let us know in the chat or we're going to jump into a meeting room here in a second. When we jump into that meeting room, you're welcome to come join us, ask us questions, just say hi, whatever you need. We're so thankful for all of you being supporters of gradual in tuning in.

We'll make sure to see you next time. And we'll share this recording with anyone who wasn't able to be here. But thanks. We'll see you at the next one.

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