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Socialcast Basics
Socialcast is an enterprise social network that will transform the way you work. It offers many of the same familiar features you use in personal social applications such as Facebook or LinkedIn, but it is much more robust. Socialcast is designed specifically for businesses that want to improve the exchange of ideas and information across teams, organizations, and locations. Your Socialcast network is private for you and your colleagues.
Socialcast will help keep you connected to the knowledge, ideas, and resources you need every day at work. Ask a question, share a link or document, find an expert, thank a colleague, work on a project, listen in on an executive Q&A session, and exchange ideas. Socialcast lets you do all these things within a secure online community. You will be able to collaborate with others, get more involved in the things that interest you, and quickly find the resources and experts you need to work smarter.
Socialcast allows for real-time communication and collaboration at work. At a basic level, members post messages to their company’s community, such as a status update, a progress report, or a question. They can post broadly to everyone or target certain users, groups and topics. Fellow members can then reply or add comments to these posts, creating conversation. Posts can include links or attachments of relevant files, plus any commentary and updates shared by others. These “conversations” are combined into a real-time flowing activity stream for the organization, and each individual can filter the information that is relevant to him or her into smaller streams. The result is a continual pulse of what’s happening now in a company. Over time, your Socialcast activity streams become a vital archive of institutional knowledge that can be filtered or searched so you can quickly find what you need at any time.
If your Socialcast community is just getting off the ground, your Company Directory and Groups Directory will be empty or sparsely populated. Any community member can invite a colleague to join the Socialcast community by clicking the link under “Invite Colleagues.”

The invitation link brings up a dialogue box where you will be asked to enter a co-worker’s email address and a personal message, if desired. To invite several people at once, enter multiple email addresses separated by commas.

You cannot send an invitation to a mailing list or a shared email address. All email addresses must use an approved domain. An email will then be sent to your invitees that will walk them through the process of registering, completing their profiles, and joining groups if they so choose.
An activity stream is a grouping of real-time information from your organization’s community, and consists of messages, ideas, and questions posted by other members. It can also contain links to external or uploaded videos, photos, files and images. It may also be possible to import information from external sources (e.g. Twitter, Flickr, RSS streams) if the community Administrator has enabled this feature. Learn more about community Administrator capabilities.

Your Socialcast community organizes posts into a variety of streams that filter content in ways that are most relevant to you, including: Home Stream, Company Stream, Flagged Stream, @Mentions Stream, Private Messages Stream, Sent Stream, and Recommended Stream.
Your Home Stream contains the messages and posts of the people and groups you follow. It also shows any posts in which you have been @mentioned. If you have setup RSS feeds from sources like Twitter or LinkedIn, they will show up in your Home Stream as well. Additionally, Broadcast Messages from your community administrators will appear here. When you first get started in Socialcast, your Home Stream will not be very active. Over time, as you follow people and join groups your Home Stream will become a centralized, highly efficient source for communications and updates.
Following people, groups, or conversations helps you stay connected to the information you need to know, and to uncover information you might otherwise miss.
When you follow a person, you are subscribing to their updates, which will then appear in your Home Stream.

To start following people, such as your manager or team members, click on the Company Directory link in the left-hand navigational panel. Find the person you wish to follow and click the appropriate link. You can also follow people whose posts appear in your Company Stream. Simply click on their name, which will take you to their profile page. Alternatively, you can search for the specific person in the search bar at the top of your Socialcast window, and then click their name to go to their profile page. On the profile page, click the “follow” button to the right of their name. Your follow status for that individual will appear to the right of his or her name. You can also choose to “unfollow” people using the same process.
Note: if you choose to unfollow someone, they will not receive a notification.
When you join a group, you subscribe to the group’s updates, which will then appear in your Home Stream. All groups you join, including a link to the Groups Directory, will appear under “Groups” on the left-hand side of the navigation panel.
To join a public group, search the Groups Directory by clicking on “Groups” and then “Explore Groups” in the left hand navigation panel. Search groups by keywords to quickly find groups pertaining to your interests or role. You can also sort the Groups Directory by number of members or messages to find the most active groups. Private groups are by invitation only and cannot be seen by non-members.
Profiles and Settings
A profile is your identity in the community. It can be seen by all members, and allows others to learn about you and your role in the organization. On your profile, you can display a photo, job title, job description, skills, education, and contact information. Your organization’s community Administrator can add additional fields for members to input more information.

To edit your profile, click on your name at the top of the left-side navigation panel, which will take you to your profile page. At the upper right-hand corner of your profile page, click the “Edit My Profile” link. Add details about your role and your contact information. Click “Interests” to provide more information about the key projects you are involved in, your expertise, and your passions. When you are finished making changes, click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.
Your community has a notification system that can alert you of messages or comments depending on your preferences. Notifications can be sent to a mobile device and/or your email address. You can select the notification settings you most prefer when editing your profile.

Go to “Settings” in the drop-down menu under your name in the upper right-hand corner of your screen which will take you to your profile page. Click “Notification Settings.” Check the boxes with activities where you want to receive an email notification. For example, you can ask to receive an email when someone follows you, sends you an @mention, comments on a message, or joins the group. There are many different types of notifications. You can change your notification settings at any time. Asking for notifications is a good idea if you are just getting started in a Socialcast community, or if you are frequently away from your desk. It helps ensure that you don’t miss important events or messages.
To reset your password, go to Socialcast will send password reset instructions to the email address associated with your account. Please note: premium Socialcast communities may be enabled with Single Sign On. If you are a premium customer and have forgotten your password, you should contact your community administrator for help.
It is a good idea to change your password regularly to protect sensitive company information and conversations. Go to “Settings” in the drop-down menu under your name in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Click “Change my Password.” Enter your new password and then click “Save Changes.”
Working with Activity Streams
The company stream displays all public messages from all members in your community, including messages posted to public groups. All members’ messages will be posted here, regardless of whether you are following them or not. The Company Stream is useful for uncovering interesting people, topics, or groups you may be interested in following.
The flagged stream displays all public messages that you have flagged for follow-up in the community. These messages will also display any comments or likes that other members make to the original post. To flag a message, click the “flag” icon in the upper-right corner of the message. When the message no longer needs to be flagged, click the “flag” icon again.
Any time a member specifically references or mentions you in a public message, it will appear in your @mentions stream. @Mentions is a good stream to check out periodically, especially if you have turned off your email notifications every mention of you is highlighted, so it is easy to locate and read messages that concern you.
By definition, a private message is a conversation between you and another person in your community. All private messages are accessible in this stream, so you can track private one-on-one conversations between you and your colleagues; it is similar to email.
The Sent Stream displays all the messages you have sent to the community. This is a good way to scan for how members have commented or liked your posted messages.
As you use the community, this stream will surface a list of recent messages that you may find interesting, based on previous activity and whom you follow.
When you follow someone you are subscribing to all of that member's updates. So if the person you're following comments on or "Likes" a post by someone you're not following, the whole thread will appear in your Home Stream. You can’t filter out specific activities generated by people you follow in your Home Stream. You can, however, click the "Hide" button to remove a post from your Home Stream (though it will still be accessible in the Company Stream).
The Company Stream shows you all non-private communications, regardless of whether the people posting are people you "follow" or not. Your Home stream only shows activity from people, groups, and conversations you are following.
You can easily create custom streams to follow particular subjects, members, or groups of members to help organize relevant information. Click on the “Add a custom stream” link, which is located under the Activity Streams section in the left-hand navigation panel. A dialog box will pop up, allowing you to give the stream a title and choose to filter the stream by individuals in your company or by certain tags (keywords). Custom streams will be listed in the left-hand navigation bar. You can modify your custom stream filters at any time by clicking the gear icon to the right of the stream name on your navigation panel.
The blue dot that may appear next to a stream title or a group is a “new message” beacon that alerts you to streams or groups that contain new messages. After clicking on a stream or group with a new message beacon, and reading the new messages, the blue dot will disappear.
You can delete any of your custom streams by clicking the gear icon that appears to the right of the stream name.
Searching and Filtering
The best way to quickly organize messages and comments around key topics is to create a tag. Tags are user-defined keywords. To search for an activity by a tag name, type # followed by the topic key work (no spaces, for example #companypicnic) in the search box. Alternatively, you can simply click the #tag link that appears in your activity stream, and you will then see only those messages in which the #tag keyword appears.
Socialcast provides a search engine so you can quickly search streams by keywords, person, or group. Look for the Search box at the top of your Socialcast community and enter your search terms. You will then be presented with all messages, comments or groups in which your search term appears.
Every stream contains an activity filter that allows you to view the entire stream for specific types of file. Click the “All Activity” drop-down menu below the Share Box. Select how you want to narrow down your streams messages to those associated with a particular file type—files, links, photos, or videos.
Working with Challenges
Socialcast provides a comprehensive defense-in-depth security strategy. Many clients in highly regulated industries, such as government or healthcare, trust Socialcast. Socialcast is offered as both software-as-a-service (SaaS) and behind-the-firewall deployment models. Both models support Active Directory and LDAP integration for timely activation and deactivation of user accounts. Both SaaS and behind-the-firewall deployments support single sign-on (SSO) using the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication method, enabling centralized control of user access and passwords. Socialcast also supports the WS-Federation and WS-Trust 1.3 protocols. In SaaS deployments, all traffic moves on HTTP over SSL. Socialcast supports the new OAuth 2.0 security protocol to protect passwords and identities of Socialcast users on mobile devices.
Socialcast allows the formation of groups that include members outside the company. These external-facing groups are private by default. Members outside the company are referred to as “external contributors,” and their access to the community is limited to groups to which they are invited. Private groups are ideal for sharing sensitive or confidential information among a restricted group of people. A group administrator for a private group must invite members directly. Only members of a private group can see that group in the Groups Directory. No private group messages or content is included in the company stream or in the profile streams of its members.
Working with Projects
Many industry observers agree that ESN is the fastest growing segment of the content-collaboration market, with predictions that the market will reach $2 billion to $6.5 billion between 20141 and 2016.2 Companies who see the potential in ESN for unlocking the value in human capital, for improving the flow of ideas and innovation, and for fostering deeper productivity and collaboration are investing in ESN today.
Socialcast is currently being used by more than 20,000 companies around the world to improve communication, streamline teamwork and engage ideas. More than half of Socialcast customers are found in healthcare, telecommunications, consumer products, consulting/professional services and transportation. Socialcast is most frequently deployed in large organizations that are globally dispersed and have critical security, compliance, audit and management concerns.
The community administrator (admin) establishes the experience members will have within their Socialcast community, and is responsible for the ongoing management and tracking of community activity. The admin should be someone who is actively engaged in the community and who typically serves as the “go-to” person for “how-to” questions. They monitor community use, and track community activity, among other functions. In larger companies this person is typically in IT, however the administrator can be a project manager, an internal communications manager, or anyone with a combination of passion, communication skills, and some technical know-how.
Socialcast is used in many different functional areas. The most common adopters of social communities are found in:
  • Internal Communications – Socialcast can improve organizational effectiveness by opening lines of communication and making it easier for employees to share ideas and find answers—all of which results in higher productivity, agility and innovation.
  • Information Technology – For IT staff and help desks, Socialcast enables faster answers to technical questions. Through tools that make it easier to socialize existing business systems and applications, Socialcast helps IT get more out of infrastructure investments and deliver greater value to the organization.
  • Human Resources – Socialcast enables HR teams to get new employees up to speed faster, increase employee engagement, improve learning and development, and create a dynamic knowledge base for all employees.
  • Executive and Corporate Communications – Socialcast unlocks the potential of your workforce by uniting people, information, and activities in a more streamlined flow of work. By leveraging the power of community, Socialcast helps companies encourage collaboration, cultivate innovation, and improve teamwork across highly distributed organizations.
Working with Town Halls
Socialcast enables mobile users to post messages from the road, search the entire network for "anywhere access" to timely information, receive notifications, track unread messages, send emails directly from profiles and upload attachments. The following mobile devices are currently supported:
  • Apple iPhone mobile devices (iOS 5.0 or later)
  • Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8
  • BlackBerry devices (version 4.2 or later)
Yes, Socialcast uses OAuth 2. The Android app uses HTTPS and doesn’t store the user’s password.
Technical Information
Socialcast provides these primary advantages over competing products:
  • Embeddable – Socialcast is the recognized leader for embedding social functionality into common business systems. Valuable information contained within business systems such as SharePoint,, JIRA, or other CRM, PLM or ERP applications can be shared within a social community rather than kept in functional or departmental silos, resulting in more transparent, collaborative knowledge exchange across the organization.
  • Engaging – Socialcast provides users with a familiar, intuitive interface. Built-in help supports self-paced learning. Teams can easily decide how to form groups, track projects, solve problems or develop ideas using Socialcast. Socialcast also provides tools and resources to help administrators increase adoption. With relatively little effort, Socialcast communities are able to quickly achieve a “critical mass” of participation that can dramatically improve productivity and work results.
Socialcast offers three deployment models to address a range of customer requirements.
  • On-Premise – Offered as a VMware virtual appliance that is a preinstalled, preconfigured solution stack. Deployment, installation and setup can be accomplished within a matter of hours. This is a highly secure and scalable solution that can support tens of thousands of users.
  • Private Cloud – A single-tenant SaaS deployment hosted on dedicated hardware in a Socialcast Tier 1, SAS70 Type II– compliant datacenter for enhanced security and compliance. Hardware, software and maintenance are provided by Socialcast.
  • Multi-Tenant SaaS – A standard SaaS deployment hosted in a U.S. or European data center certified as SOC 2, Type II compliant. . Hardware, software and maintenance are provided by Socialcast. This approach offers 128-bit SSL data encryption, network intrusion detection systems (NIDS) and transaction audit trails.
@mentions and #tags
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Visit the Socialcast developer web site for documentation on setting up and administering your Socialcast community, developing applications using Socialcast APIs, and embedding Socialcast into existing business applications.
Visit the Socialcast blog for up-to-date insight and information about Enterprise Social Networking, and Socialcast products and services. Visit Socialcast for additional product and business information. Visit the Socialcast Community Forum to get questions answers by users and Socialcast experts.