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Socialcast Basics
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.

If you do not see the “Invite Colleagues” button in your community, that means that invitations in your community can only be distributed by your community administrator. Please contact your administrator with any questions.
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, Sent Stream, and Recommended Stream. You can even create your own Custom Streams based on specific people, groups, and keywords.
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 Explore icon in the left-hand navigational panel then select “People” in the Explore list.
Find the person you wish to follow in the displayed Company Directory 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 right below 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 the groups you belong to appear in the fly-out Groups menu on the left-hand side of the navigation panel. You can also use the community Search function to find Groups of interest, and access the Groups Directory by clicking the “Explore Groups” link at the bottom of the
To join a public group, browse the Groups Directory. You can sort the Groups Directory by number of members or messages to find the most active groups. Private groups are typically by invitation only and cannot be seen by non-members. If an admin has decided to make a private group discoverable in the Groups Directory, you can “Request” membership to that private group.
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 right-hand side of the screen.
Click the “Edit Profile” button below your name. .
You can add details about your role and contact information, your interests and passions, your certifications and skills, and your social networks. This is also where you can indicate when you’ll be Out-of-Office. When you are finished making changes, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
NOTE: Some profile fields may be locked if they are synced with your Active Directory.
Your community has a notification system that can alert you of messages or comments depending on your preferences. To edit your notifications preferences, select Settings from the gear icon drop-down menu in top right-hand corner.
Select “Notification Settings.”
Check the boxes for activities you want to trigger an email notification. For example, you can ask to receive an email when someone follows you, @mentions you on a post, comments on a message, or joins the group. There are many different types of notifications. 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.

You can change your notification settings at any time. When you are finished selecting the notifications you’d like, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
To reset your password, click the “Forgot your Password?” link on the Login window. Socialcast will send password reset instructions to the email address associated with your account. Note: premium Socialcast communities may be enabled with Single Sign-On. If your community utilizes Single Sign-On and you 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. To change your password, select Settings from the gear drop-down menu in top right-hand corner. Select “Change Password” and click “Save” when you are done. Note: if your community utilizes Single Sign-On, then you will not be able to change your password in Socialcast.
Working with Activity Streams
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 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 Message” eye icon in the top right corner to remove a post from your Home Stream (though it will still be accessible in 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. Please note that any message that you share publicly in your community will appear in the Company Stream.
The Company Stream shows you all non-private communications, whether or not the people posting are people you follow. Your Home stream only shows activity from people, groups, and conversations you are following.
The Bookmarked Stream displays all public messages that you have flagged for follow-up or important messages you would like to easily reference in the community. These messages will also display any comments or likes that other members make to the original post. To bookmark a message, click the gray bookmark icon in the upper-right corner of the message. When the message no longer needs to be flagged, click the red remove bookmark icon.
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. Note: You can configure your notification settings such that you receive an email notification each team a user @Mentions you.
The Sent Stream displays all the messages you have sent to the community. This is a good way to scan for comments and likes of your posted messages.
As you use the community, the Recommended Stream will surface a list of recent messages that you may find interesting, based on previous activity and the people you follow.
You can easily create custom streams to follow particular keywords, people, or groups to help organize relevant information. Click on the plus icon to “Create new custom stream”, which is located at the top of the fly-out Streams menu 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 or groups 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.
You can delete any of your custom streams by displaying the custom stream you wish to delete, pulling down the Settings menu under the gear icon and choosing “Delete stream”.
The blue triangle 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 triangle will disappear.
@Mentions and #Tags
@mention is a way to directly refer to a specific community member or group 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 Form 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Searching and Filtering
The best way to quickly organize messages and comments around key topics is to create tags. Tags are user-defined keywords that can be included in any post – simply type “#” followed by the keyword, without spaces (for example, #companypicnic). This will dynamically organize all posts with the same #tag under a topics page. You can click any #tag link that appears in your activity stream to see only those messages in which the #tag appears.

To search for an activity by a tag name, type the keyword in the search box. Use the “Topics” filter in the right-hand panel to narrow down your results.
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.
Alternatively, you can also access the Topics Directory by going to Explore and then clicking on Topics. The Directory will allow you to filter tags by alphabetical order or by most recently used tags.
To filter your activity stream by a specific file type or post, pull down the “All Activity” menu and select the type of activity you want to view.
Working with Challenges
Challenges allow 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.
Any member of the Socialcast community can create a Challenge. A company-wide Challenge can only be created by authorized administrators.
To create a Challenge, hover over the “Challenges” icon in the left-hand navigation panel and click the plus (+) symbol in the fly-out 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 your particular Challenge is trying to accomplish.
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 Company Challenges that involve the entire community, but these can only be created by authorized administrators).
To submit an idea or vote on the ideas of others, open a Challenge that you’ve been invited to or explore the Challenges Directory and “Join” any public Challenge. 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.
To the right of each idea in a 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 upvotes and downvotes will adjust in real time.
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.
Socialcast 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.
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.
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.
Yes. Polls are a great way to get a quick response to a question with a specific set of options.
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 engage employees in coming up with multiple ideas to resolve a specific issue and evaluate submitted ideas collectively.
No. Challenges replace 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
Socialcast Projects is a lightweight social project management feature that focuses on communication over process.
Hover over the “Projects” icon in the left-hand navigation and click the plus (+) button in the upper right-hand corner of the fly-out menu. Alternatively, you can click on the Projects icon to open the Projects Dashboard. Click the blue plus (+) button at the top of the Dashboard to create a new Project. 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.
Click the “Invite Colleagues” button in the upper right-hand corner of the Project page, and start typing the names of colleagues you would like to add.
“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.
Yes. A public Project can be shared with a public or private group. If a public Project is shared with a private group, only group members will be able to see the group name under the “Shared with Groups” list. A private Project can only be shared with private groups. To share a Project, click the “Groups” tab on the Project page then click the blue plus (+) icon to add a group. Only high-level project activities will be posted in the Group’s Stream.
After creating the task, click on the square box with a question mark to left of the task description. A text box and list of Project members will be displayed. Alternatively, you can hover over “Assign this task” in the Task Activity panel. Select a member to assign the task and a notification will be sent.
No, a group cannot be assigned a task. You must assign each task to an individual who is a member of the Project.
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.
When you are assigned a task, @mentioned, or when an update is posted to a task to which you have been assigned, you will receive a notification via email and in the notification center of Socialcast.
Change the filter from “Active” to “All” in the drop-down menu under the Activity heading of the Project page. The completed tasks display with strike-through text and check marks.
All completed Projects are archived and can be viewed in the Projects Directory.
Currently Projects does not have a Reach extension to integrate with other third party applications.
Currently Projects does not have an API.
Working with Town Halls
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.
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.
A Town Hall consists of Speakers, Moderators and participants. 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.
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. They can also decide whether or not participants can add comments to a question that has been answered by a speaker.
Town Halls can supplement or replace other forms of meetings, depending on the need. For presentations that require live audio and/or screen-sharing, you will 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 links to recorded playbacks. The result is a more effective capture of ideas and information.
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.
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.
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 a spreadsheet saved as a CSV file. The community Admin or Town Hall moderator can then upload the CSV file in the “Invite Colleagues” dialog box.
If you have documents, files, or images to share, just attach them to a post in the Town Hall. Each participant can then download or open them as needed.
Technical Information
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. To learn more about how to configure SSO for your community, please visit: http://developers.socialcast.com/admin/single-sign-on/configuring-ssosaml/. Please note, SSO is only available for premium customers.
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. To learn more about how to configure LDAP for your community, please visit: http://developers.socialcast.com/admin/directory-integration-overview/.
Currently, the Socialcast User Interface is available in English, Chinese, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The community administrator sets the default language used in the Socialcast UI. You may update the language for your individual account by going to your Account Settings and clicking Locale under Localization Settings. Language settings affect only the UI elements on the page. Users are free to enter messages using any language they prefer, but Socialcast does not translate message text.
For optimal performance of your Socialcast community, please use the latest versions of one of the following web browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer. As a rule of thumb, Socialcast supports all modern browsers (current and last previous version) and Internet Explorer 8 and above.
The simultaneous login, or “community switcher” feature is only accessible when you are using the same email address for each SaaS community you belong to. If you are registered in multiple communities with the same email address and want to switch to another community, click the Settings gear icon at the top of the page to display the list of eligible communities. If you are using multiple email addresses to access various Socialcast communities, then you can simply login to that community in another browser tab.
Click on the Settings gear icon from your Home stream, then select “Import Webfeeds” and navigate to the feed you wish to import. Note: If you import a web feed directly to your Home stream, anyone that follows you will also see these posts in their own Home stream. An alternative is to import a web feed to a group, so that only members of that group will see the posts.
You can set up your Twitter account to import all or select tweets as posts into your Socialcast feed. With the Home stream displayed, pull down the Settings menu by clicking the gear icon. Click “Import Webfeeds” to display the list of eligible Webfeeds, then click the Add button on the Twitter feed. Enter your Twitter account information and then click the "Import" button and Socialcast will begin importing your Twitter feed in a few moments. You will need to “Authorize access to your account” to access protected accounts. 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.
To stop importing feeds from external systems, pull down the Settings gear icon from your Home stream page, select “Import Webfeeds”, and click on the "Currently Importing” tab. Click the “Edit” button of the feed you want to remove and click "Remove account."
To deactivate your account, click the Settings icon next to your name in the upper right corner of your Socialcast window. On the Account Settings tab, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Deactivate Account,” then click the Save button. Please note that you will remain in the community as an “Alumni” and your profile and content shared will remain accessible to community members. If you need to reactivate your account, please contact your community administrator.
If you will be away from Socialcast temporarily, but do not wish to deactivate your account, you can instead change your notification settings to stop receiving emails. You can also enable your Out of Office from your profile.
Socialcast offers apps for popular mobile devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. To download mobile apps, click the “Apps” link in the Settings menu next to your name in the upper right corner or at the bottom of any Socialcast page. Select the mobile device app you wish to install from the Apps page and follow instructions for installing that app on your device.
To turn email notifications on or off, click the Settings icon next to your name in the upper right corner of your Socialcast window. You can update your settings in the Notification Settings dialog.
To post a new message to your Socialcast community via email, follow the instructions for the Reply with Email Add-on found on the Apps page. The Apps page can be accessed through the Settings menu next to your name in the upper right corner or at the bottom of any Socialcast page. You can also post via email by responding to an email notification. Please note that if you are a member of more than one community registered with the same email address, and you use the generic [email protected] email to post your message, your message will appear in the community where you first signed up. Please use your community-specific email share address, as indicated in the “Reply with Email” instructions, whenever possible.
When you want to post a message via email to a specific Group you are a member of, navigate to the Group and click on the link on the right-hand side of the page. You can then use that group email address to post messages directly into the group from your email.
Please note that External Contributors can only post via email into an externally-facing group that they are a member of. They will not have the ability to post messages into the company stream or any public or private groups.
If your posts via email are not successful, it may be because your Community Administrator has disabled this feature for your entire community. Additionally, you cannot post to a group that you are not a member of. You should receive a status email if your post was unsuccessful indicating why.
You can integrate your community's activity directly inside your Gmail inbox by installing the Socialcast Gmail Gadget. For instructions, please visit your community’s Apps page, which can be accessed by clicking the “Apps” link at the bottom of any Socialcast page. You will find the Google Gadget for Gmail under Socialcast Add-ons on the Apps page.
The Org Chart is created based on data pulled from a profile. This cannot be set up by an administrator. If you want to use the Org Chart feature, community members need to fill in the Manager field in their profiles. The Manager field for Org Chart can also be populated using LDAP integration. If you do not see the Org Chart feature in your community, it is because your administrator has disabled it.
You can export RSS feeds from any stream into an RSS reader or intranet. Click the Settings icon to the right of the stream name and then click on “Subscribe to feed via RSS.”
*(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.)
Troubleshooting
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.”
Socialcast has an attachment file size limit of 100MB. However, your community administrator may have reduced the maximum file size and/or blacklisted certain file types.
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. Pull down the Setting menu next to your name, then choose Notification Settings. Uncheck “Comments on a message I’ve commented on” and click the “Save” button. Please note that this setting will apply to all messages.