Sneak Peek #2: Using Chat to Speed Collaboration

Here’s a sneak peek at another enhancement we’re introducing as part of our spring software release – chat. Along with onsite notifications (which I blogged about last week), chat enables a more responsive and engaged community. This leads to more rapid collaboration and decision making.

How? With chat, community members can instantly connect and communicate via one-on-one and group instant messages. Here’s a rundown of the new chat feature.

See Who’s Online and Manage Your Online Presence
There are two ways to tell when someone is online.

  1. Chat Lists: In the community, members can see a count and list of their friends who are online. They can expand the list to see more of their friends (the list is scrollable, and the ones most recently chatted with appear at the top), or they can use search to find any specific person. Search results include both online and offline friends, so members can either initiate a chat with someone who’s online or send a private message to someone who’s offline.

  2. Hovering: An individual’s online presence is also shown when someone hovers over their username or avatar (as well as in the person’s profile).

Members have the ability to simply click once to immediately go offline or online. Once offline, they remain that way until they choose to switch their status back to online. When members are offline (because they’ve navigated away from the community or changed their presence) they cannot be contacted via chat. However, they can still receive private messages if this feature is enabled in their user settings.

Community managers can customize how members’ online status is displayed. During the installation of chat, they can determine whether community members appear online or offline when they first log into the community. Then from there, members control their own online presence.

Communicate Instantly
It is easy for community members to initiate a chat session. They simply double click on a person in their online friend list or click the chat link in the person’s user hover-over or profile to get the conversation started.

While chatting, members can hold multiple conversations with different people at the same time (all appearing in different chat windows). Members also have the ability to add people to an existing chat by dragging and dropping their name from the online friend list into the chat window.


Keep the Conversations Going
Chat conversations are kept for historical reference in each member’s inbox. And, members can pick back up on a previous chat by simply replying to that conversation within their inbox.

Chat is built on the new Socket Framework, which also serves as the foundation for onsite notifications. It can be extended to provide any form of real-time functionality including collaborative whiteboards, real-time text editing, real-time graphical analysis, real-time games and much more.

**Note: Chat will be generally available this spring as an option for Telligent Community 7.5 and Telligent Enterprise 4.5.