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September 2022 Product Update

Posted Oct 05, 2022 | Views 189
# Product Update
# About Gradual
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Head of Strategy & Operations @ Gradual
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Watch the replay off our September 2022 Product update! We covered new content updates, accessibility features, and new meeting room features in events!

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Welcome everyone to our September gradual product update, which just happens to be taking place in October. The theme of this month's update is gonna be ease and accessibility. We have two big new features and a bunch of other updates today, view this month, which are centered around making the gradual platform easier to use and more accessible for, for your community members, um, regardless of how they're engaging.

So let's, uh, let's jump in. I'm Kyle. I'm the head of strategy and operations for Gradual, and I'm excited to share new feature updates, best practices and what's coming up for gradual this. Today we're gonna dive specifically into our new content page, which we previewed a couple months ago, but is now being rolled out, and we're gonna talk about accessibility improvements for our live event.

We're also gonna share some smaller but important updates, unifying meeting room functionality across the platform in improving the output of your meeting recording so you can repurpose that content later on. And as always, we'll offer some insights on how some of our customers using pre-recorded sessions and round tables and meeting rooms to make live events easier, but just as engaging.

So let's dig into our first topic, our updates to our content. A few months ago, we previewed Graduals new content page and content organization, and that update has a couple of goals. One, we wanna make it easier for our customers to curate content to their communities. We want to improve the organization and discovery of content across different types, like videos, blogs, and podcasts.

And we wanna make all of that organization more flexible. So it allows you all to create content and cur it how you want for your c. We've been doing a ton of work behind the scenes to make this possible, and we're excited to share that. We're now beginning to roll out the new gradual content page, and we're gonna pull it up and we'll take a quick look,

a little bit of context. The first phase was this, of this overhaul was to unify the tags and gradual, and you'll now see that set up here over on the left hand side. Rather than categorizing and tagging each type of content separately, now all of your content in your events share a same set of tags.

This means now if I click on the tag for marketing, for example, it'll show me all the types of content related to that tag. Why this was important is because it paved the way for us to combine content into one view rather than content being separated by post type, where I have to go look into blogs separate from videos, and you probably most recently saw this on the homepage in the gradual community, and now we're bringing that to the content page itself.

We're launching the new content page, which you see designed here along with this featured section here at the. This page isn't enabled for everyone just yet, but will give you the ability to curate either your most recent or specifically chosen content for your community. You'll be able to do that right within the gradual dashboard where I can select which content that I wanna show.

Maybe I wanna select a very specific piece of content that I wanna showcase from my videos or maybe my podcast, and then I can decide if this right hand side. Just pushes my most recently published content or relevant content to whatever I've selected over here.

This pa, this means that you're able to decide what you put up front and center and cycle in and out. New content as you'd like. Below this featured content section, we've also combined content together, so rather than looking through the different post types independently, we can see it all in one. Here as long with popular topics, maybe ads that I wanna run, which I can control in the dashboard and other popular pieces of content.

This isn't a hundred percent finished, but we're beginning to roll it out for customers. This helps keep your environment fresh and showcase what's new coming up. Next will be collections, the collections. We'll accompany this page and we should think of these like playlists where you can choose to add certain pieces of content of any type to any number of collections.

You can feature those collections here on the content page or link to them directly. This is a great way to showcase, replay from an event altogether, or maybe a specific training series or organized content by theme or category like you see. And then following these collections will be contributor profiles.

These profiles will show all of the content, events and contributions an author or speaker has made within your community, and you'll be able to link these to a specific user as well. So when I go look through the members tab, I'll be able to see everything that this person has done or what's coming up.

This will be able. To allow for more cross-linking between people and content, and improved search end and engine indexing and general performance. Plus, the user experience will now be that if I, there's a speaker that I really enjoy, I can click on that speaker's profile and see what else they've done.

The collections and contributor profiles are underway now, and we'll have those complete early. This.

We also wanna make sure that anyone tuning into a live stream event on gradual can engage and participate and gradual needs to continue to implement resources and features that support this and improve the accessibility within the platform. Our goal is to continually add new features that support accessibility, but even more so make that a core part of our design process.

One huge new accessibility feature that we've added is closed captioning for livestream. Now you can have close captioning enabled for your livestream event. As long as your streaming provider can send along embedded captions, your community members and viewers will be able to enable those and view those captions right within the player.

We'll have a really detailed demo of this feature coming out soon with some best practices and instructions on how to do live captioning for streaming is, it could be a little bit technically complex, but we wanna make sure that we can help you reach every member of your c. And then in the future we'll support Native Live captionings, meaning grad will be able to caption your stream for you.

The last big feature update is we're continuing to add new functionality to our meeting rooms and now all of the meeting room types, the ones that are standalone events, round tables within your community, and then your in event meeting rooms and round tables all share much of the same functionality.

Within events, round tables and meeting rooms can now support up to 200 participants as well as breakout rooms. We've not yet added recording to those meetings, but that's coming soon. This means within an event, I can host larger breakout rooms and round tables within my livestream events, and I can conduct breakouts.

It really unlocks those meeting room features to serve much larger a. Also all meetings. Now support Spotlight. Spotlight allows you to focus one or more speakers for all of the participants. This will automatically change their view to put those speakers front and center, and it'll also be in reflected in the recording of that meeting.

That means you really can control the composition of your recording to be able to action and utilize this information or this recording later. Those are just some of the new features that we released. If you have any questions or feedback on those, please, please let us know. And I wanna jump into some of the tips and best practices we've received from other communities, leaders leveraging gradual, it no doubt seems that fall seems to be the season for for events, and we have a host of customers hosting major livestream events or even their ongoing events throughout these in the coming.

One of the biggest trends that we're seeing is that folks are tending to prerecord their content and play it back as though it were live Tools like Breeze Stream or Stream Yard make this really easy. You can edit and package your sessions or even your entire event into one video, upload it and schedule it to play back when the event starts.

Why would you want to do it this way? Well, While we might lose some of the excitement of a truly live event where our speakers are participating, we found that having the polish of a prerecorded video is really helpful and maybe even outweighs that excitement. But Gradual has some tools that you don't have to have either or We can have the polish of a prerecorded video, but we also get to have the draw of live engagement and interaction.

So what we've seen customers do is they'll pre-record their videos, but then they'll invite their speakers to join live and participate in the chat. They'll post pin a message that says, Hey, the speaker is here to answer your questions. This way they can interact and ask questions live, but the speaker gets to be a little bit more relaxed and engaging.

Then if you take it a step further, we can use a meeting room to host a live q.

We're almost doing that exactly in this event today. I'm talking to you all now, but then we're gonna jump into a live q and a to interact. This way everybody can interact and ask questions, but your event gets to run smoothly. This gives you the best of both worlds. Your speakers can be more comfortable, sessions more polished, but you still get the draw of that live Interac.

Plus all of that takes place on gradual the live q and a as well as those meeting rooms. So no need to get your speakers to join somewhere else. They just jump in and join the conversation just like any other, other attendee, we found this really preserve the value of live events. Gives you more peace of mind as the producer and polish, while still being incredibly.

There are a lot of tick and tips and tricks related to this, but if you're curious, there are a couple examples that we have here in our own community of how this could look. If you go to our events and check out the example Mini summit, the agenda is built this way where you've got speaking sessions and then live q and a following those speaking sessions.

As well as we have a video on engagement on Gradual, which show some examples of this in action from some of our customers and their communities where they hosted all of their sessions. They were prerecorded, but they had their speakers join and interact, and our customers have found that they've gotten really positive feedback over this.

So let's talk about what's coming up soon for gradual. We're gonna be busy in the fourth quarter of our year, going October, November, and December. We're launching forums later this month that we've talked about in the past, along with more capabilities in our meeting rooms to give you a little bit more control as the community organizer.

Things like being able to mute all participants on entry, restrict whether or not they can unmute themselves. The goal here is that it's gonna let this meeting room future grow to replace the need for some of the smaller livestream events, giving you that interaction, but giving you the flexibility and the ease of having it on gradual.

We also have some other tools coming related to that content attribution that I talked about. Things like contributor profiles and collections, as well as some other things to allow for self-service for new customer onboarding in general, community maintenance. And if you're curious about what's coming up, just ask and we'll let you know.

We're gonna jump into a meeting room right after we finish up with these updates here and are happy to share or answer any questions about what's happening and what's coming up with Gradual. I also wanted to share that we have some of our own events coming up right within our community. If you navigate back to our homepage and look at our events, You'll see some upcoming events that we have.

Our goal is that this community can not only be a resource for you to learn about what's going on with Gradual, but just how to be community leaders and improve our performance as community leaders. Coming up later this month on the 20th, we're going to talk about the power of small purposeful communities with Bill Johnston, and then coming up early next month will be joined by Jared Jones from Move about combining community and partnerships to create a thriving ecosystem.

Plus we have some even more events coming up yet to be released. So be sure to check back frequently and we'll let you know as we have things coming up. And just feel free to explore this environ. The gradual community is built to be both a living, thriving community and a bit of a demonstration space for you to learn new tricks and ideas for your own gradual community.

Thanks so much for joining us, and if you're still with us, let's join one of our round tables.

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Posted Jun 28, 2022 | Views 1.6K
# Product Update
# About Gradual