Archive | October, 2012

New Business/Freemium Features: Visual workspace enhancements, Exporting workspace properties, Support designation

30 Oct

Last night, we released a number of features we’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  We hope that these new features will give you even more ways to customize and get value from PBworks.

1. Workspace Enhancements:

We’ve added a host of new features to improve the visual experience of working with PBworks workspaces.

a. Collections
We’re changing the name of “Network Folders” to “Collections.”  This is designed to eliminate the confusion that tended to arise from referring to both groups of workspaces and the folders within workspaces as “folders.”  You’ll also be able to select a logo for each collection, which will further enhance the visual appeal of the Workspaces tab.

For example, if Nike is one of your clients, and you’re working on several projects for Nike, you can gather all the project workspaces in a single Nike collection and add the Nike swoosh as the collection’s logo.

b. Larger logos
As you may have noticed, we’ve enhanced the pop-up cards that appear when you hover over things in PBworks like users, workspaces, and yes, collections.  These cards include essential information about the thing in question, and the cards for workspaces and collections can now include a much larger (up to 360 x 360 pixel) logo for added visual appeal.  This has been a popular request by customers who use PBworks on a client-facing basis–being able to see the clients’ logos more clearly is a key visual improvement.

The current workspace logos that you’ve uploaded will remain in place at the top of your workspaces, but to take advantage of the new larger logos, you’ll need to upload full-sized logos.

c. Workspace logo plugin
Once you’ve uploaded a larger workspace logo, you can take advantage of it with the new workspace logo plugin.  Much like our network logo plugin, the workspace logo plugin lets you add the workspace logo to any wiki page.  This has several advantages over simply uploading a logo and inserting it.  First, the workspace logo is a part of the workspace creation process.  When you create a new workspace, you’ll be given an opportunity to upload the logo during the creation process, rather than having to do so afterwards.  Second, the workspace logo plugin allows to you make the workspace logo part of your workspace templates.  For example, a template for customer projects could include this plugin, which would automatically add the customer’s logo to the front page of the workspace.

Again, to take advantage of this new plugin on existing workspaces, you’ll need to upload a full-sized (up to 360 x 360 pixel) logo.

d. Default workspace logos
Tired of our classic blank workspace logo?  Internal wags have taken to calling it “the PBworks flag,” since it includes three horizontal stripes, like seemingly half of the world’s nations (e.g. Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, and so on).  Our Creative Director was tired of it as well, which is why we’re replacing it with a new set of more attractive-looking default workspace logos.

Now, whenever you create a new workspace and you don’t bother to upload your own logo, we’ll randomly select one of 25 attractive designs for you.  We’ll even go back and select new default logos for existing workspaces that don’t have logos uploaded.  This will make it easier to distinguish between different workspaces, and eliminate the “wall of flags” look that affected many of our customers.  Naturally, you’ll still be able to upload a new workspace logo at any time (and you can even upload a copy of the old PBworks flag if you miss it!).

If you’ve been using the workspace color schemes to distinguish between workspaces, don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered.  The workspace cards that appear when you mouse over a workspace in the list now reflect the color schemes you’ve previously selected!


2. Workspace Properties Export

We’ve been surprised by the different uses our customers have found for our workspace properties.  These include things as diverse as the project leader and expected deal size.  As a result, one of the most popular feature requests from our customers has been for a way to generate reports based on workspace properties.  We’ve taking a significant step towards that goal with our new workspace properties export feature.

Now, network administrators can go to the Admin tab and pull a CSV export of all workspaces and their properties.  This report includes key facts and figures like the collection a workspace belongs to, the total storage consumed, and the value of all workspace properties.  You can then use Excel or your other favorite visualization tool to convert this data into graphs and charts.

Need to be able to tell your CEO the total value of potential deals, or provide a list of all “Hot” prospects?  As long as that information is encoded in a workspace property, now you can.


3. Support Designation

The final improvement we’ve launched is another popular request from our bigger customers.  While we’re happy to handle the end-user support for your PBworks network, many larger organizations would prefer that help inquiries go directly to their IT staff.  The new Support Designation feature lets you funnel all support requests to a support page or email address of your choosing.  Plus, we’ll still record the key information (operating system, browser version) in those emails so that if you’re stumped, you can still forward the issue on to our support team and let us resolve it.

We hope that you take the time to explore and take advantage of this latest set of improvements.  As always, feel free to send us your feedback and suggestions.  As you can see, we’re dedicated to improving the PBworks experience for you and your users.

Printing Workspace Pages

25 Oct

We recently discovered an issue with the software package we use to create printable PDFs from your workspace pages.  We’re looking for a suitable replacement.

In the meantime, you can still print your workspace pages.  Instead of using a PDF, you can select “Printable Version” and we’ll provide an easily printed web page.  If you still need a PDF, many web browsers, like Google Chrome, now offer the option to print to a PDF file, or installed software on your own computer can also generate a PDF through the printer interface.

Once we’ve found, tested, and implemented a suitable replacement (a process which we believe will take a number of weeks) we will switch back to providing printable PDFs.  We apologize for any inconvenience in the interim.

Introducing Search Results Sorting (business feature)

16 Oct

One of the features in PBworks that customers love the most is the search.  We’ve continued to improve it over the years, adding the ability to search within files, and more recently, adding search facets so that you can filter results by things like file type, or who last edited an item.

Yesterday night, we launched our latest search enhancement, the ability to sort your search results.

You can sort search results in one of three ways:

  1. Relevance: This is how the search currently works, and is the default
  2. Name: This alphabetizes the search results (numbers come before letters; blank spaces come in front of numbers)
  3. Date: This lets you bring the most recent search results to the top, while pushing the earliest results to the bottom. This is especially handy for finding something you were working on recently, but was getting lost in other search results.

Search results sorting works with search faceting, so you can sort results after filtering, or vice versa.

Check it out, and let us know what you think!

Search results sorting is now active on all business packages.