Have you ever wanted to connect with other Solvers in your area?
Ever wanted to publicize your skills and accomplishments on InnoCentive so other Solvers could find you?
Today we're excited to announce several enhancements to the Solver experience on InnoCentive.com which will help you do all of those things.
In this post, I'll introduce these new features – Solver Search, private messaging, improved profiles, badges, and social login – give tips to take advantage of them, discuss the impact on your privacy, and take a peek at future enhancements.
Your public profile settings will not be changed as a result of these new features. If you previously made select information available on your Public Profile page, that information is still public; if you had not enabled your public profile, no profile information is visible as a result of the new features. Your privacy is very important to us, so by default your profile is NOT included in Solver Search. You must opt in on your profile (by checking the appropriate boxes) to appear in Solver Search and to accept messages from other Solvers.
Until now, the InnoCentive Solver community was largely a hub-and-spoke network – everyone participating on the same Challenges, but often difficult to interact and collaborate. With Solver Search, you’ll be able to make those connections.
By visiting your profile and opting in to be listed in Solver Search, other Solvers can find and view your profile. You can then use the filters to narrow down the results by keyword, expertise or interests, participation in past Challenges (e.g. only display Challenge winners), country of residence, and more. Here’s what it looks like:
Suppose that you’re working on a Challenge and realize that you need a teammate with expertise in materials science – simply visit the Solver Search and check the “materials science” filter under “physical sciences” (you can expand the expertise filters by clicking on the arrow next to the check box) to find potential teammates. You can read their profiles to find a good fit and then send a message.
Remember, if you want other Solvers to be able to find and message you, visit your profile and check the boxes to opt in to publicly display your profile info, become searchable, and accept incoming messages.
Solver Search is not intended to be a comprehensive search on all Solvers (everyone is opted out by default). It’s intended to be a public meeting space for Solvers who wish to be found and find others. You’re encouraged to use Solver Search for general collaboration, not only on InnoCentive Challenges.
Solver Search will evolve based on your feedback. Two possible future enhancements are: 1) Challenge-specific Solver search, enabling you to indicate and search for Solvers who are interested in teaming on a specific Challenge, and 2) more robust free-text search (you can currently do a keyword search using the advanced filters). As you experiment with Solver Search, let us know what works, what doesn’t, and how we can make it even more useful in the future!
Now that you have a way to be found and find other Solvers, we’ve enhanced your profile so that you can better establish a presence and personality on InnoCentive. Profile fields include:
- Personal Headline: a short tagline describing yourself, displayed next to your picture in the Solver Search results
- Bio: a longer field to talk about yourself, your interests, and anything else. The first ~100 characters of your bio will appear below your headline in the Solver Search results
- Picture: a picture of yourself or an avatar that will appear in the Solver Search results and on your profile
- Badges: displayed on your profile in recognition of your achievements – submitting to a Challenge, winning a Challenge, being a Top Solver, and more. We’ll be adding new badges
- Education and Publications: lists your academic credentials and publications
- External links: link your other online identities on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or an external website
In addition to opting in to appear in Solver Search, you can link to your profile from external sites such as your résumé on LinkedIn.
You’ll notice that we’ve added several share buttons to every Challenge page, allowing you to easily share and show your support for any Challenge. In addition, new users can register in a click with a Facebook account, and defer filling out detailed information (required for payment) until they choose to open a project room. Note that Facebook registration is designed for new Solvers – if you're already a registered Solver, you cannot 'connect' your Facebook account. However, you can add a link to your Facebook account under the 'external links' section of your new expanded profile.
Your privacy is extremely important to us. By default, all Solvers are opted out of Solver Search and private messaging. If you wish to appear in the Solver Search or allow other Solvers to message you, simply edit your profile (found under “MyIC”) and check the appropriate boxes. Using the check boxes on your profile, you can control exactly what is viewable to other Solvers.
If you have questions, comments, or any other feedback, please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org for support.