If you work in two connected communities, such as a public and private community associated with the same company, you may be able to view or publish content in both places through bridging if your community administrator has set up this feature.

If you're a member of more than one community, those communities might be connected to each other. If they are, while you're in one community you can see into the other through widgets. Communities are connected to each other by a community administrator. If your communities aren't connected, you won't see ways to view content from one inside another.

If you're a member of two communities that are connected using a bridge, you can have content from one community appear in the other. (A bridge is something set up by your administrator. You'll know your community is bridged if you can set its preferences by clicking Your Stuff > Preferences.) When you bridge content from one community to another, a copy of the bridged content appears in the destination.

For example, imagine you work for a company that has an internal employee community where you and your coworkers talk about the work (and maybe fun things) you do. But the company also has a public community that its customers use to get information and support about your products. If the two communities are bridged, you can have content from one community appear in the other. The kinds of content that you can bridge include discussions, documents, and blog posts.

Suppose a customer posts a request for a new product or feature on your public community. Because they include a lot of specific information about what they want and why, you want to make their post visible to people on your employee community. That way, you and your coworkers can have a separate, behind-the-scenes discussion about the feature request. You might even want to make parts of your internal discussion visible to people on the public community (such as a description of the new product as you eventually design it).

Note: When you bridge content, you're copying content from one place to another rather than linking a live version. That means that the version at the destination (here, the internal community) isn't updated as its source counterpart changes. Even so, you'll get cues when the source changes, such as with new replies.
To start bridging content, you'll first need to let the community know that you're a member of both.
  1. Click the down arrow next to your avatar at the top right of the screen and select Preferences.
  2. Click the Bridge Preferences tab.
  3. Find the community with which you want to create a bridge.
  4. Next to Account credentials, click the Connect in with Your... link.
  5. Enter the user name and password you use for the other community, then click Send.

The basic steps for bridging content are essentially the same whether you're bridging a discussion, document, or blog post (be sure to use the helpful links along the way in the user interface for guidance!).

Here's how to bridge a discussion, where you want to bridge a discussion from an external public community to an internal employee community.

  1. In the public community, go to the discussion you want to bridge.
  2. In the bridge menu at the bottom of the page, click the tab that has the name of the employee community (you can see this because you connect with your account credentials earlier).

    On the bridge menu, you'll see whether any other content is already bridged from this one, as well as a link back to where you can adjust your bridge preferences.

  3. Click the Discuss this link.
  4. Under Choose location, choose the place on the employee community where you want to create a discussion that has content from the one you're bridging.
  5. Under Select which part, select check boxes for the parts of the discussion you want to copy to the employee community. Only those you select will be copied over. You can hover your mouse over View excerpt to see what each one says.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Enter a title for the discussion you're creating. Because you're actually creating a new discussion on the employee community that embeds content from a discussion on the public community, you need to enter a title for the new one here.
  8. Enter other content if you like.
  9. To see a preview of the bridged content, click Preview embedded content. In the preview, be sure to click View the rest of this bridged content if you want to see everything you selected. If you've changed your mind about what you want to include, after you close the preview click the Selected button in the upper right corner of the page.
  10. Click Post Message.
  11. After the discussion you're bridging has been uploaded to the other community, under Go to the new message, click the link to see the new discussion message you've posted. You'll be taken to the other community—here, the employee community.
  12. Notice that your new post embeds the content you selected from the original. From here you can:
    • View the original discussion in the other community.
    • View the rest of the content, such as the replies to the discussion.
    • View content information, including where it came from and what its current condition is. So while the embedded content won't change as its original changes, you can still see here whether the number of replies and views has changed.
    • See information about bridged content and how it works.

If you've had some discussion around a bridged piece of content, you might want to get some of that discussion back into the original content. For example, imagine you've bridged a customer discussion into your employee community, where you and others have discussed the embedded original, replying to the employee message you created. You arrived at something that you want to communicate back to the public community. In a reply to the original public discussion, you can include excepts from the employee discussion—without showing the employee discussion to the public.

To reply with content from the other side of a bridge:

  1. Go to the original discussion thread.
  2. At the bottom of the thread, click Reply to original post.
  3. At the bottom of the content window, click the Quotes from link to view a list of content from the discussion you created earlier to embed the bridged content.
  4. Under Insert a quote, select check boxes for the parts of the content you want to copy into the original discussion, then click Insert.
  5. Notice that the text from the content parts you selected has been pasted into the new reply you're writing. There's no other sign that the employee discussion exists.
  6. Finish your reply using the content copied from the other discussion.