Today we've launched a new update to the Microsoft Dynamics Community.  It's now easier to signup, navigate and search in the community, and stay up-to-date on information you're interested in. 

We've made it much faster to join the Microsoft Dynamics Community -- now all it takes is to create a screen name (which is used for the URL to your profile page), enter your name, and select a product group to join.

Participating in a product-specific community (such as asking a question in a forum, commenting on a blog, or creating a subscription) now requires you to join the group.  New members can join right from the signup page.  Existing members will see an orange "join" button at the top of the page -- click it, and you're ready to participate.

The navigation has been updated to provide quick access to everything available, whether you're on the home page or within a product community.

You'll also find three new options in the upper-right of the site: Conversations, Favorites, and Settings.  Conversations are private messages you've received from other members.  The "Favorites" menu displays any blogs or forums that you've added as a favorite. 

You can also favorite individual forum posts, blog articles, and videos and access them from the "Favorites" tab on your Profile page, available via either clicking your name in the upper right area or by clicking the "View All" link on the "Favorites" menu.

Use the Settings link to set preferences such as your time zone, email preferences, and manage your subscriptions.

You can now filter your search results by the type of information you're looking for,  author, tags, and date. 

Subscribe to topics that are important to you by following author-provided tags or creating your own keywords.  View your subscriptions on the home page or schedule email notifications (daily or weekly).  Learn more about Subscriptions

You can now follow community members and easily view all the community information they've authored via the activity feed on the home page.  We've also highlighted specific experts on the product group home pages, who are key community contributors.

We've simplified your profile and removed many of the fields previously found in the Organization and Professional sections of your profile.  If you've used these fields in the past, you'll want to take a minute to update your new profile.  You'll also now have the ability to share your social contact information, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  Learn more about your Community Profile and Privacy Settings

We've also made it much easier to add community members as friends, which allows you to follow their activity and send them private conversations (requires the member to accept the friend request).  If you've used the previous "Business Card" capability, you'll want to take a few minutes and send new friend requests to those individuals.

When a community member answers your forum post, they can mark it as a "Suggested Answer", which will send you an email asking you to verify their answer.  If you haven't verified the answer and it's been 5 days with no other responses to your forum post, we'll send you a one-time reminder to verify the answer.  Verifying an answer makes it easier for other members to find solutions to their questions.  Learn more about Managing Notification Settings

You can now quickly create a new question at the top of the forum page.  Remember to add descriptive tags that other members can follow to create subscriptions!

We've added a new calendar feature to product groups which provides a central location for all community learning opportunities.  Help the community and market your own events by adding them to the calendar.

We hope you like the new Microsoft Dynamics Community.  Let us know what you think of the new features by posting in the Community Feedback Forum or send us a tweet with our #MSDynComm hashtag.  Thanks!

Eric Parsons, Microsoft Dynamics Community Manager