Community Terms Glossary

Document created by MMathias-esristaff Employee on Nov 29, 2017Last modified by lfountain-esristaff on Nov 22, 2019
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Content Types



  • What it is: Discussions is a content type designed to allow you to have a deeper, topical conversation where you are seeking a different point of view and there is no specific solution to the issue. Discussions have formatting, editing, and commenting capabilities so you can expand on your topic and have a more detailed conversation. 
  • When to use it:  The best way to use the Discussion type is when you want to have a deeper, open conversation, get varied feedback, or want to formulate plans of actions and make business decisions. 
  • Example:



  • What it is: Questions are designed to enable you to ask a question that requires a specific solution. The Questions content type allows you and administrators to mark the correct response to the question or identify if a response was helpful. This puts the correct response at the top of the questions for other members to find the solution faster. 
  • When to use it:  Use Questions when you are seeking a specific answer to a help solve an issue.
  • Example:



  • What it is: Documents come in two varieties:
    • Collaborative native documents you write directly in the community  (Document)
    • Uploaded files from your local machine. (File)

Both are used to convey information to the community. However, the native documents within GeoNet allow multiple authors and can track changes. 


The Document content type is designed to be a collaborative document by nature. Anyone with the Create permission on Documents will also have editing permissions. This means when you create a document, other users will have access to edit your document unless you choose the option to restrict authors at the bottom of the page, before publishing. 




  • What it is: Blogs are intended to convey information to the community. Blog content is normally static and does not require frequent updates. Each user within the community has a blog that can be hosted within their personal profile. Additionally, blogs can be written and posted to certain places within the community. 
  • When to use it: Use Blogs when you are trying to share a story, opinion, or thought leadership.
  • Example:



Ideas is a content type that allows members to post a product idea that can be voted on by other GeoNet members and reviewed by Esri staff for potential product upgrades, changes, or new development. More information about submitting ideas can be found at ArcGIS Ideas or in the ArcGIS Ideas FAQ.


Status Updates

  • What it is: The Status Updates tool lets you share quick updates with others in theGeoNet Community. You can add links, pictures, or @mention a person, a place, or a piece of content to increase the visibility of your update. These updates are limited to 140 characters, so you’ll want to keep these brief. Note that Status Updates are only visible from the activity stream of the place you post it because it's not one of the filter options on the content page. 
    NOTE: although there are still some status updates on GeoNet, they are phased out and no longer in use

Threaded vs. flat views

You can set discussion replies and content comments to display all on one level (flat) or indented hierarchically (threaded) from your Preference page.

  • Flat views display comments and replies chronologically in the order they were received, and there is no indentation between responses. This view can be helpful if you like to see comments in the order they were made. However, it can become difficult to follow conversations between people when a discussion is longer than a few comments
  • In a threaded view, you can see which post a person is responding to because comments and replies appear indented beneath the post to indicate embedded replies or comments. This can help you follow conversations because responses remain associated together visually.


You can read Choosing the Right Content Type for more information on content types in GeoNet.


Other Features


Throughout the community, you'll see references to the @ symbol. Select it to mention a person, place, or content in the community to create an active link and/or notify them that you're referencing or calling attention to them, their content, or a piece of content. You can @mention when creating new content or posting a comment or reply.

For more information read: Using @mention



Tags are keywords that you and others assign to content to make it easier to find when you search for it. You can assign tags to existing or new content to describe it for people who might search for it later.

For more information read: Tagging Content



You can help improve the popularity of a piece of content by liking it, in addition to communicating with the author of the content that you've read their contributions to the community. The popularity of content in the community helps determine whether a piece of content is promoted in certain places within the community and in the search.

For more information read: Liking and Rating Content



Connections are other users whom you “follow”. When you make a connection, you will be able to view that user’s updates and activity in the community.

For more information read: Connecting to Other Users



"Bookmarks" is a feature option designed for when you see something that you know you’ll want to use later. Bookmarking an item adds a link to that content in your list of bookmarks. It's easy to find the content again by going to your bookmarks page. 

For more information read: Creating Bookmarks in GeoNet



In the community, places are where you go to collaborate. Places are typically named for a specific topic or purpose. There are two different varieties of places in this community: spaces and groups. Each place can contain multiple types of content including discussions, documents, blog posts, polls, and other content types. 

For more information read: Places: Space vs Group

  • Spaces are created and sponsored by GeoNet administrators. Primarily they are used as places related to Esri products or industries. As a user, you can “follow” a space to include its content in your daily news stream. Administrators control which kinds of content types are allowed in spaces.
  • Groups can be created by request to the GeoNet administrators. These types of places are best used to bring a smaller group of people together to collaborate on a specific goal. Users may “join” a group to become one of its members. The group owners may make their group private or public. Group owners can also control which content types group members vs. non-members have access to.
    • Group types name:
      • Public
      • Public Restricted
      • Private
      • Private Unlisted


Answered vs. Open Questions

This community allows you to ask questions of your peers (See “Content Types"). When a question is asked and has either no replies or replies that have not been accepted as the ‘correct’ resolution to the question, it is considered an “open question”. Once the question-asker and/or administrator has identified one response to the question as the correct resolution, the question becomes “answered”.


Search vs. Browse

Browsing the community is helpful when you have a general idea of the information you would like but are not sure what is in the community already or where it might be. You can browse by either clicking “All Content” on the home page of the community (This will show you all the recent content in our entire space), or by clicking “Content” inside a specific place (this will show you the recent content that has been posted only in that group or space).


Searching the community is the best option from when you are looking for one specific item that you know exists in the community, but are unsure where it ‘lives’. 


There are three types of search in this community:

  • Quick search – Click the looking glass icon under the blue banner. Type your key term without hitting enter and the search engine will populate results automatically.
  • Advanced search – Follow the same process as with quick search. After typing your key term, hit enter to be directed to a full advanced search page that will allow you to apply filters to your search.
  • Esri search – Click the looking glass icon above the blue banner. Enter your key term and hit enter. This will direct you to an Esri-wide search (which includes items outside of the community).

For more information read: Finding, Searching, and Browsing Content


Profanity Filters

To avoid offensive, abusive or harmful content within GeoNet, we have established a profanity filter that will catch certain phrases within the posted content that may contain profanity or offensive language in multiple languages. Content with profanity will display as ****** when posted. This will keep the word form being viewed.



Moderations allow the community manager, and space or group owners to review content posted by new users to ensure it is posted in the right place and that it meets the GeoNet Community Guiding Principles. Moderations help protect users and the community from spam, harmful content, abusive or obscene content, and ensure that new questions or comments are in the right place.

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