In September 2015, IEEE introduced IEEE Collabratec ™, a unique technology platform where technology professionals can come together to network, create, and collaborate. During its first year since introduction, IEEE Collabratec attracted thousands of users, expanded its feature set, and stimulated the creation of a dozens of interactive topical communities.
Smart Cities: Building a technical community with IEEE Collabratec
One especially active Collabratec community is the Smart Cities community, which now has over 5,000 participants – nearly the same size as the companion Future Directions Technical Community. Because of its attraction of participants and its active conversations, the Smart Cities community excels on multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) among IEEE Collabratec communities. These metrics include average time spent in the community, page views, and engagement.
Sharing Innovative Ideas
The community has had in-depth discussions around topics such as the role of citizens in the development and operation of smart cities, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in smart cities, trends and developments driving smart city innovation, and implications of vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. These thought-provoking discussions not only further idea and knowledge sharing, but have also generated opportunities for community participants to collaborate on research papers.
Making Global Connections
As community participants engage each other in dialogue, new connections are made. This gives participants a unique networking opportunity within the Smart Cities field.
Communicating About Smart Cities in New Ways
This summer, the Smart Cities community updated its participants on the upcoming IEEE International Smart Cities Conference (ISC2 2016) in Trento Italy. In September, the community live cast sessions from that Conference – allowing remote users to participate.
Recently, IEEE Smart Cities hosted a webinar on “Integrating the IoT and Cultural Heritage in the Smart City.” IEEE Smart Cities used its IEEE Collabratec community to promote the webinar and discuss topics brought up during the webinar.
To further expand the collaborative work of IEEE Smart Cities, IEEE Collabratec will be launching the Smart Cities premium network. In this network, smart city municipal administrators can use a directory to connect with service providers and business owners. Administrators will also be able to share and exchange ideas and best practices in the Smart Cities Exchange community.
Other IEEE Collabratec Communities of Note
The IEEE Entrepreneurs Exchange, Women in Leadership, Internet Technology Policy, and AuthorLab communities are among the Collabratec communities that have also distinguished themselves as being especially effective in attracting new participants and engaging them in discussion.
New Features on IEEE Collabratec
IEEE Collabratec has grown to 65,000 participants and 100 communities. In addition, the functionality of the platform has been expanding. In response to user feedback, the platform has implemented new features that include:
Activities Tab Showcases Contributions
The Activities tab, found in the Profiles area, shows your, or another user’s, collective contributions on IEEE Collabratec.
Dropbox, Microsoft Office, and OneDrive Integration
Dropbox, Microsoft Office, and OneDrive for Business are integrated into IEEE Collabratec, allowing you to create, edit, or share files in your Library or Private Group.
Add Content Directly to Your Library with the Bookmarklet
Build your research Library with the IEEE Collabratec bookmarklet. Use this browser plugin to import content, including PDFs, directly into your IEEE Collabratec Library from supported websites, including IEEE Xplore, Web of Knowledge, ScienceDirect, and more.
Improved Email Notifications
Enhanced emails now include an excerpt of the post.
Mentoring Options – Exclusively for IEEE Members
Identify yourself as a mentor by updating your preferences. Mentees can find a mentor by using the search features in IEEE Collabratec.
Personalized Network Invitations
When you send a request to add someone to your network, you can add your own customized message.
Allow Organizations Seeking Talent to Find You
Upload your CV/Resume and modify your Employment Preferences to allow organizations seeking talent to find you. If Recruiters find a match they will contact you.
IEEE Members Only Community
The IEEE Membership Forum highlights the benefits of IEEE membership including exclusive offers for IEEE members; recognition of member achievements; and access to IEEE Contact Center associates.
An IEEE Collabratec Mobile App and a “Like Button” are soon to appear.
As this article “goes to press,” the introduction of a “Like” button on activities and the introduction of a Collabratec mobile app were both imminent. Both features were user requested – and have been anxiously awaited.
Try these new features for yourself as we continue to enhance IEEE Collabratec and engage its communities during its second year.