Socialcast Help

Socialcast Basics

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What is Socialcast? 

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.

What does Socialcast help me do? 

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.

How do I invite others to join me in a Socialcast community? 

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.

What is an activity stream? 

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.

What is my Home 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.

How do I see information that I care about in my Home Stream? 

Following people, groups, or conversations helps you stay connected to the information you need to know, and to uncover information you might otherwise miss.

How do I follow or unfollow people? 

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.

How do I join groups? 

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

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How do I change my profile? 

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.

Why am I receiving emails from Socialcast? 

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.

I forgot my password. How can I reset it? 

To reset your password, go to https://login.socialcast.com/sso/forgot_password. 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.

How do I change my password? 

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

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What is the Company Stream? 

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.

What is the Flagged Stream? 

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.

What is the @Mentions Stream? 

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.

What is the Private Messages Stream? 

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.

What is the Sent Stream? 

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.

What is the Recommended Stream? 

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.

Why does my Home Stream display posts from people I’m not following? 

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).

What is the difference between the Company Stream and my Home 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.

How can I customize and filter my activity streams? 

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.

How can I quickly scan for new posts? 

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.

How can I delete a custom activity stream? 

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

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How can I organize messages around a particular topic? 

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.

How can I quickly find out if others are talking about a particular topic? 

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.

How can I find a specific file or link in my activity stream? 

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

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What can I accomplish with Challenges? 

Challenges allows people to cultivate ideas in a simple, social way. Share a Challenge aimed at solving a specific business issue. Solicit ideas from those with first-hand knowledge. Take a vote on ideas to identify and act on those with the highest potential.

Who can create a Challenge? 

Any member of the Socialcast community can create a Challenge. A company-wide Challenge can be created only by authorized administrators.

How do I create a Challenge? 

To create a Challenge, hover over the “Challenges” icon in the left-hand navigation panel and click the plus (+) symbol in the pop-up menu. Alternatively, you can click on the Challenges icon to open the Challenges Dashboard. Click the blue plus (+) symbol at the top of the Dashboard to create a new Challenge. Make your Challenge stand out with a highly descriptive name and an eye-catching image, and add a description so people understand what a particular Challenge is trying to accomplish.

Who can participate in my Challenge? 

Challenges can be public or private. Public challenges are open to anyone. Private challenges are invitation-only, and only those individuals or groups you designate can participate in your Challenge. (There are also Community Challenges that involve the entire company, but these can only be created by authorized administrators).

Can external community members participate in Challenges? 

No, not at this time.

How do I participate in a Challenge? 

To submit an idea or vote on the ideas of others, find a Challenge from the list in the Challenges workspace, then click to open the one you would like to participate in. You’ll see a prompt box labeled “what is your idea?” You can also vote on an idea, or comment on an idea that has been previously submitted.

How do I vote on the Challenges created by others? 

To the right of each Challenge is a vote tally box. To vote “yes” on an idea, click the upward arrow. To vote “no” on an idea, click the downward arrow. The total tally of yes votes will adjust in real time.

Can I set deadlines for ideas or voting? 

Yes. When creating a Challenge, you can create a deadline for submitting ideas and for voting. These can be different dates, separating the submission of ideas and voting into two distinct phases. This can be useful for Challenges involving a lot of people, where you want to make sure everyone has a chance to submit their ideas before voting begins.

How can I quickly interpret input to my Challenges? 

Challenges provides you with a number of filters and controls to quickly see what is happening in your Challenges. In each Challenge, you can filter ideas by status: Active, Accepted, Archived, or Duplicated. You can also sort ideas by Most Popular, Least Popular, Submission Date, or Most Commented.

Can I delete or edit an idea that I have posted? 

Yes. Mouseover the tally controls to the right of each idea to reveal a gear icon. This allows you to edit or delete your idea, and also designate how you would like to be notified about ongoing votes and comments about this idea.

Is Challenges the same as polling? 

Polling is a Socialcast feature that allows people to vote for a specific, pre-determined list of options. With Challenges, the community comes up with the list of ideas and then votes to arrive at the best ideas or answers.

Can I still use polling? 

Yes. Polls are a great way to get a quick response to a question with a specific set of options.

Can I still designate posts as Ideas? 

Yes.Ideas are not restricted to Challenges. You can now easily share ideas from your home or group streams. People will give feedback on your ideas with votes and comments. Posts in the Socialcast community that are designated as “Ideas” provide a very simple way to capture “yes” or “no” votes on a single idea, whereas Challenges engages employees in coming up with multiple ideas to solve a specific issue and evaluating submitted ideas collectively.

Can I still use Idea Groups? 

No. Challenges replaces Idea Groups. Any existing Idea Group in the community will be converted into a regular group, with all content (posts, rankings, and vote tallies) preserved.

Working with Projects

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What is Socialcast Projects? 

Socialcast Projects is a lightweight social project management feature that focuses on communication over process.

How do I create a new Project? 

Hover over the “Projects” button in the lefthand navigation and click the “+” button in the upper right-hand corner of the pop-out menu. Public projects are open to everyone, and are listed in the company projects directory. Private projects are invitation only and do not display in the Projects directory.

How do I add coworkers to a Project? 

Click the “Add Colleagues” button in the upper right-hand corner of the Project page, and start typing the names of colleagues you would like to add.

What is the difference between a “Lead” role and a “Member” role in a Project? 

“Lead” role acts as an administrator of that project. A Lead can add or remove members from a Project or change the Project type from public to private. A “Member” is a regular contributor to a Project. A Member can create and assign tasks and see all the updates in the Project.

Can a group be a member of a Project? 

Yes. A public group can be member of a public Project. Adding a public group to a private Project will make the Project public. Private groups added to a public Project will only be visible to the group members.

How do I assign a task in a Project? 

After creating the task, click on the square box with a question mark and start typing the name of the member the task should be assigned to. When you see their name, click on it. The task will now be assigned to them and a notification will be sent.

Can a group be assigned a task? 

No, a group can not be assigned a task. You must assign a task to an individual who is part of the Project.

Can I @mention a co-worker in a Project they are not a member of? 

Yes, as long as you are @mentioning them in a public Project. In a private Project, you can only @mention the members of that Project.

How do notifications work in Projects? 

When you are assigned a task, @mentioned, or an updated is posted to a task you have been assigned to, you will receive a notification via email and in the notification center of Socialcast.

How do you view objectives or tasks that have been completed? 

Change the filter from “Active” to “All” in the drop-down window in the upper left-hand side of the Project page.

How can I view a completed Project? 

All completed Projects are archived and can be viewed in the "Projects Directory.

Can I use Reach to integrate Projects into another business system? 

Currently Projects does not have a Reach extension to integrate with other third party applications.

Does Projects have an API? 

Currently Projects does not have an API.

Does Projects have a user role, similar to Thanks or Groups that can be assigned by a community administrator? 

No, currently Projects does not have a user role that can be assigned by a community administrator.

Working with Town Halls

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What is a Town Hall? 

A Town Hall is a scheduled, timed event within your Socialcast community that can replace or enhance a conference call or in-person meeting. Use Town Halls to address specific questions and topics of interest in real-time. Town Halls can be public or private. Public Town Halls are listed in a directory and anyone can attend just by pressing the “Join” button. Private Town Halls are only available to invited participants.

How do I schedule a Town Hall? 

Only community Admins or Town Hall Admins can schedule Town Halls, so work with them to discuss your needs. They will help you determine what is best for your situation, and will schedule it for you.

During a Town Hall, who monitors questions? Who provides answers? 

A Town Hall can include up to five speakers and up to five moderators. While the number of participants is unlimited, we recommend holding Town Halls with fewer than 5,000 people for best results. We also suggest having multiple moderators to help manage the technical end of the process and to assist the speaker with questions. While any speaker, moderator, or participant can join in the discussion, a question is considered answered only when a speaker replies to it.

When can questions be submitted for a Town Hall? 

Once a participant joins a Town Hall, he or she can submit questions and add comments in advance of the event. New posts and comments are also allowed during the event. Once the Town Hall has ended, comments can only be added to existing discussions; no new discussion threads are allowed. Organizers have the option of allowing participants to see questions before they have been answered by a speaker. They can also decide whether or not participants can add comments to a question that has been answered by a speaker.

Is there a conference call or webinar-style screen sharing included in Town Hall? 

Town Halls can supplement or replace other forms of meetings, depending on the need. For presentations that need live audio conversation and/or screen-sharing, then you will still need to arrange a conference call and/or video conference session (i.e., WebEx™, GoToMeeting™, etc.) Town Halls can be used as the repository for questions and comments about important topics, and point to recorded playbacks. The result is a more effective capture of ideas and information.

How will people know about the Town Hall if I schedule one? 

Public Town Halls are listed in the Town Halls Directory and posted to the stream when created. It’s a good idea to send out additional notifications, emails, or advertising to promote your Town Hall, such as a broadcast message to the community.

How long will discussions in Town Halls be available? 

That is up to the event organizers. Town Halls can remain visible in the Town Halls Directory but should be archived or deleted when they are no longer current. Archived Town Halls can still be found in the Town Halls Directory.

What is the best way to invite a large number of people to a Town Hall? 

This depends on whether the Town Hall is public or private. For a public Town Hall, sending an email invitation with a link to the Town Hall will work. For private Town Halls, invitations must be sent from the Town Hall Admin page. Hint: for a large group, have all the attendee email addresses in a single column on an Excel spreadsheet saved as a CSV file type. The community Admin or Town Hall moderator can then upload the CSV file in the “Invite Colleagues” dialog box.

Can a Town Hall include document sharing? 

If you have documents, files, or images to share, just attach them in a post in the Town Hall. Each participant can then download or open them as needed.

Technical Information

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Does Socialcast support Single Sign-On? 

Yes. Single Sign-On (SSO) is a great option for companies that want to minimize the overhead associated with password management while improving user experience in the Socialcast community. With Socialcast’s SSO feature, once an authorized user is logged in to your business network, they have seamless access to the Socialcast community as well. For a resource guide, click here.

Does Socialcast work with LDAP? 

Yes. Directory integration is one of the most important tools for administering your Socialcast community. You can use Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to synchronize Socialcast profiles and passwords with your company’s master database for centralized user authentication. For a resource guide, click here.

Does Socialcast support other languages? 

The community administrator can set the default language used in the Socialcast user interface (UI). In addition, each user can choose a default language for their personal account. These language settings affect only the UI elements on the page. Socialcast does not translate message text entered by the user. Users are free to enter messages using any language they prefer. Currently, Socialcast supports English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and German.

What Web browsers does Socialcast support? 

For optimal performance of your Socialcast community, please use Firefox 3.5, Safari 4, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer 8.

What is a community Administrator? 

The Socialcast community Administrator establishes the experience that members will have within the Socialcast community. They are responsible for the ongoing management and tracking of community activity. Socialcast provides a number of tools that allow the community administrator to manage, customize, protect and extend their Socialcast community.

For more detailed information and resources tailored to the role of Administrator, please visit http://developers.socialcast.com/

Can I log into multiple Socialcast networks at the same time? 

The simultaneous login feature is only accessible when you are using the same email address for each SaaS network. Once you log in, you will see a bar across the top of the page that displays what network you are currently viewing. To switch, click the name of the network and a list of all the networks you can view will appear. If however, you are using multiple email addresses to access Socialcast, then you can only log into one network per browser.

How do I import an RSS feed into my Socialcast home stream? 

Click on the gear next to “Home” in the left-side navigation panel and click “Import Web Feeds.” Then click “add” next to the appropriate feed and enter any additional information required, such as login information, and then click “save.”

How do I delete my account? 

To delete your account, click your name in the upper right corner of your Socialcast window and then click "Settings." Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “Deactivate Account.” Once you deactivate your account, it is not possible to reactivate it. If you will temporarily be away from Socialcast, but do not wish to deactivate your account, you can instead change your notification settings to stop receiving emails.

Can I access Socialcast on my mobile device? 

Socialcast offers apps for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android devices. In addition, Socialcast provides a mobile-optimized version of the web app located at https://subdomain.socialcast.com/i for other mobile devices.

How can turn off Socialcast email notifications? 

To turn email notifications on or off, click your name in the upper right corner of your Socialcast window and then click "Settings." You can update your settings under the "Notification Settings" tab.

Can I integrate Socialcast into my Gmail? 

You can integrate your community's activity directly inside your Gmail inbox by installing the Socialcast Gmail Gadget.

How can I remove streams I have imported? 

To stop sharing an external stream, click "Home" in the left-hand navigation panel. Click the gear icon to right of the "Home" stream link. On the settings menu that appears, click the link that says "Currently Importing." Then, click the feed you want to remove. Finally, click "Remove this account."

How do I set up the Org Chart feature? 

The org chart is created based on data pulled from a profile. This cannot be setup by an administrator. If you want to use the org chart feature, simply instruct your community members to fill in the Manager field in their profile.

Can I export my Socialcast streams as RSS feeds? 

You can export RSS feeds from any stream into an RSS reader or intranet. Click on the orange broadcast icon next to the stream name to pull the feed. *(NOTE: RSS feeds contain authentication tokens and provide a real time feed of your data. If importing RSS feeds isn't available, your community Administrator has deactivated it.)

How can I add my Twitter account to Socialcast? 

You can set up your Twitter account to import all or select tweets as posts into your Socialcast feed. Click "Home" in the left-side navigation panel. Click the gear icon to right of the "Home" stream link. On the settings menu that appears, click "Add" link in the Twitter row. A form will appear. Enter your Twitter account information and then click "Import" and Socialcast will begin importing your Twitter feed in a few moments. If you only want select tweets to appear in your Socialcast network, you can set up a tag (#) that will filter which tweets appear in Socialcast. If you don't specify a tag, Socialcast will import all of your tweets. For example, you could designate the tag #sc for the tweets you would like to appear in Socialcast (e.g. meeting with a client downtown #sc), and any tweet without your specified #tag will not appear in the community.

Troubleshooting

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My tag is not displaying correctly. 

Tags cannot have spaces; for example, the tag “#todo” cannot be written as “#to do.” The space indicates the end of a tag, so the result would be a tag for “#to” followed by the word “do.”

My file won't attach to my post or comment. 

Photos attached to a post have a file size limit of 100 MB. Profile photos have a file size limit of 4MB; please ensure that your file meets these requirements.

How do I turn-off notification when people post comments after I do? 

When you comment on a post, Socialcast will notify you of all future comments to that post. You can change this option in the notification settings. Click “Settings” or “Edit My Profile.” Click the notification button, then uncheck “comments on a message I’ve commented on” and click “Save.” Please note that this setting will apply to all messages.

Why does my Home Stream have people that I am not following on it? 

When you follow someone, it means you're "subscribing" to that person's updates. If the person you're following comments on, or likes a post by someone you're not following, the whole thread will show up in your stream. There isn't a way to filter out certain activity by the people you follow from your Home Stream. You can, however, click the "Hide" button to remove a post from your home stream (it is still accessible via the company stream).

@mentions and #tags

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What is a #worklog? 

This is a tag that you can use to aggregate status updates about what you are currently working on. Adding the #worklog to a status update keeps your boss or co-workers up to date on your projects. Example: #worklog completing last minute tweaks on beta version, should be ready before the end of the day.

What is an @mention? 

@mention is a way to directly refer to a specific community member in a message. Mentioned people will receive a notification that they were mentioned in your message. This is a good way to bring relevant topics and questions to the attention of a particular person or group of people.

To create an @mention, type “@” in the Share Box, and a menu of names will appear. You can continue typing the member’s name, or select one from the list displayed. Once you have completed typing the member’s name, you can continue writing your message. Example: @Julie has the date of the product launch been decided?

What is a #tag? 

Tags are community-defined keywords that help organize, filter, and unite messages with similar topics. Clicking on a tag filters the Activity Stream to show only the messages or comments that include the tag. Tags indicate trends in the content of your community, providing real-time insight into the pulse of the community. Any word or phrase can be a tag.

How do I create a #tag? 

To post a message with a tag, type the hash (#) sign and then type your word or phrase. Tags can include multiple words, but a space should not be used between them. Some examples of possible tags are: #worklog, #followup, #officeLunch, #conferenceRoomHelp, #todo, #documentation, and #questions.

Can I tag someone else’s post? 

You can tag another person's post by adding a tag in a comment on the post. For example, if you commented on a post with the following: #todo #accounting #followup, then all of these tags will be added to that message, making it searchable by those tags.