16 Jul 2019

Enterprise microblogging

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Collaborate's enterprise microblogging feature allows you to send a message to a group of users. Typically, that group would include every person invited to a particular site where you are also a member.

Alternatively, if you are an 'internal' user, you can send a microblog post to all of the users of your organisation. A microblog post does not necessarily relate to a particular piece of content in a site, but can relate broadly to the entire site and all of its members.

Microblogging must be enabled on your instance of Collaborate.

Microblogging can be configured so that some of the features discussed below may not be available at all, may only be available on certain sites or may be available only to internal users. This article assumes that microblogging has been enabled and is available for any user.

Microblogging cannot be enabled on bidder sites; when a site is configured to be a bidder site, microblogging is automatically disabled for that site.

How to send a microblog post

To send a microblog post from the Dashboard, click the text field at the top of the Recent Activity section:

This displays the Microblog post form:

The microblog form consists of the following components:

  1. A text area for entering your update, link, image or question etc..
  2. Buttons to add a link, add an attachment and format text.
  3. A field that allows you to select which site(s), organisations or people to share the message with.
  4. Click Post to post the message, or click Cancel to cancel your post.

Building the message

@ Mentions

A microblog post can also contain 'mentions' of other users that have access to Collaborate, which notifies them of the blog post. Type the @ symbol, immediately followed by the user's first or last name. A list of matching users is shown:

Select one of the names to 'mention' that user:

Any number of mentions can be included in a message. When a user is mentioned in a post, the user is notified with an email or online notification, this is configured appropriately.

An email @mention notification looks like this:

The online @mention notification looks like this:

The user mentioned in a microblog post needs to have the correct permissions and access to view the microblog post. If this user does not have access, they do not receive a notification, as they do not have access to the underlying message.

#hashtags (aka Tags)

You can also tags to microblog posts, just like almost any other type of content in Collaborate. To add a tag, type the hashtag symbol (#) followed immediately by any alphanumeric character (letters or numbers). A list of existing, matching tags in the system is displayed. If a suggested tag is appropriate, select it to replace the typed tag. 

To add a new tag, type until the tag is complete and press Enter:

Tags added in the microblog form cannot contain spaces and when completed are highlighted in blue text. You can add as many tags that are necessary to the microblog post: 

Click a tag link to search, using that tag as a filter, across all sites and all types of content where you have access. The search results are appropriately security-constrained.

Linked content and images

The microblog post can include links to content on a site, or to uploaded files or images.

Linked content

Click Link:

The Insert link window opens. This window allows you to add links to other content in Collaborate, or to upload files):

This is the standard form used throughout Collaborate for adding rich text content.

If text inside the message area is highlighted when the link is created, the link is added to that text. Otherwise, a link to the content is added to the message area:

When the message is posted, a recipient can click the link to access the content or, if a file had been uploaded, to download the file.

Attachments

To add an attachment to the message, click Attachments:

The Add attachment screen is displayed. Click Upload to add a file from your computer as an attachment:

If your browser supports the function, you can drag and drop an image into the landing spot.

If your browser does not support drag and drop, click Browse... to find the image on your computer. After the image has been added, a preview of the image is displayed:

More than one image can be added, and any image can be removed by clicking on the red X. When the microblog post is sent, images are displayed on the page:

Click the image to display it full size.

If there are multiple images, all of them are displayed as thumbnails:

The images can also be viewed in a gallery, by using the navigation arrows above the picture. The recipient can also download the attachment from the gallery:

You can add attachments of any type. Images are displayed as a thumbnail preview; other attachments are displayed as an icon with file name and size.

Choosing the recipients of a microblog post

You must choose who to share the microblog post with. A microblog post may have a default recipient; typically, this is the organisation you have used to log in (if you are part of the internal organisation), for example:

For example; by default, a user who works for IBM sees 'All of IBM'; however, the instance of Collaborate may have been configured to make a different site the default recipient. If a different site has been set, then the user cannot set their own organisation as the recipient (only a site can be the recipient).

If the user does not have access to the specified default site, then no default recipient is listed.

One or more recipient sites can be added by typing a site name in the text field. Matches are listed in a drop-down menu:

The recipient sites are limited to sites of which you are a member, but please note that a Site Administrator can choose to make their site unavailable for microblogging. Any recipient group can be removed by clicking the x before the message is sent:

Once a microblog post has been sent, it cannot be edited. Every member of a site (or organisation) that is a recipient has access to the microblog post (except for bidder users in a site).

Receiving a microblog post

The microblog post appears in:

  • the activity streams of any user who is a member of a group that was a recipient of the microblog post
  • the activity stream on the Dashboard 
  • the activity stream of the site that was the recipient of the message (assuming the Activity module is enabled for that site)

Microblog posts are NOT distributed via email.

Users who do not have permission to access the Activity log will not see the post.

The microblog post looks like this:

You can also Favourite ('star') a post, or share via More Actions.

The message may include links to site content or uploaded files; it may have embedded images. If a user is mentioned, their name appears as a link; if you have appropriate rights, click the link to bring up their profile.

Responding to a microblog post

To respond to a microblog post, click Comment to display the comment text area (if a comment is being added to a comment, then the text area is already displayed). Type your message and click Post.

Users may not be @mentioned in a comment, nor can a comment contain links to content or images. If the person who originally posted the microblog post has set up their notifications appropriately, they receive an email notifying them that someone has replied to their message.

Groups that were recipients of the original microblog post will also receive any replies as long as the user replying has access to those groups. It is not possible to remove a group recipient nor add additional group recipients to the reply (although it is possible to share the microblog post with others).

If multiple groups receive the microblog post, a user may be a member of one group and not another. If that user replies, they only see the groups where they are a member, and their reply is only received by sites where they are a member. Compare this user, who is a member of both groups:

With this user, who is only a member of one group:

If Liking has been enabled it is possible to like a microblog post or any reply.

Sharing a microblog post

Click More actions > Share to share microblog post with others, including people who were not recipients of the original post. A microblog post can be shared as an Email, a Link, a Message or a Re-post:

Email

Link

Select the Use short URL checkbox to shorten the URL.

Message

Re-post

Removing microblog posts

Microblog posts can be removed if they are deemed inappropriate (or for any other reason). This action can be taken via the Recent Activity pane, or in the Activity module for a site.

Removing a microblog post removes the message and its content (including any hashtags or @mentions), any replies and any likes. Files that were added to the microblog post, however, remain in the My files library for the author of the microblog post.

The only users who can remove a microblog post are:

  • System Administrators, who can delete any microblog post
  • The user who posted the initial microblog post can delete their own message

To delete a microblog post, click More Actions > Delete:

To confirm, click Delete.

If a microblog post is associated with multiple sites, it is deleted from all sites.

 

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