For the Fall Release, we wanted to offer our customers not only a description of new features and improvements, but also some thoughts about the feature by the Product Managers here at Jive. The new Real Time capabilities will be available to our Cloud customers in our Fall Release as a beta. This post was written by Denis Mars, Director of Products and Product Manager for Real Time. To give feedback about the Real Time Communications beta, please visit the Jive Real Time Beta project.
Getting to know real time in Jive.
This is just the beginning.
The real time capabilities coming in the Fall Release is the first step towards a larger vision of bringing new and exciting real time interactive capabilities to Jive users. So, say hello to the real time bar on the bottom right of your Jive page! This is where all your real time interactions take place and it's designed to allow you to work within Jive and to also be able to engage in real time with others in your Jive community.
Presence and Status
Presence is the key to knowing what someone's current state is. There are four possible states a user can have--Available, Away, Busy, and Invisible/Offiline. A user can change their state at any time to reflect how they want to be seen on the Jive platform.
- Available (Green) - reflects that you are online and available for real time communications. When available you will receive notifications and new chat messages when others are communicating with you.
- Away (Orange) - is automatically set when you are in available status and are away from any Jive page for more than 30 seconds. The system sets you back to Available once you move your mouse over any Jive page.
- Busy (Red) - you set your status to Busy when you don't want to be disturbed. You will not receive notifications, and new chat messages will be sent to you but will not popup to distract you. You can always open that chat to see the message and reply. When you are in Busy mode, people see that your are busy and don't expect an immediate response from you.
- Invisible (Grey) - you can set yourself to invisible mode which allows you to navigate through Jive pages without showing your status. You will still be able to write messages in chats and receive notifications but you will be perceived as not being online from other peoples' perspective.
- Offline (Grey) - when you are not logged into Jive or do no have any Jive window open in your browser your status will automatically be set to offline which signifies that you are not currently reachable in real time.
The contacts list is your direct access to everyone in your company. The contacts list shows you all your fellow co-workers and their current statuses. It also categorizes everyone within their departments so that you can easily browse through departments to see who in that department is online now for you to chat with them. So say you need somebody in marketing to answer a question right now, you'll be able to see who is available and message them directly, getting your question answered in real time.
Contacts People Search
Search for people in the contacts list by entering their name in the top search field. The results will show you matching people immediately and expose them in the departments they belong to.
Starting Instant 1:1 Chats
Click on any name to initiate a 1:1 conversation with the person.
Persistent 1:1 Conversations
Your 1:1 conversations are conversations you have with the one person. These conversations are special in the sense that they persist over time. You will always have your messages with that person exist in the one conversation thread, so you have a record of your interaction for future reference. There are two ways to get back into your persistent 1:1 conversations.
1. Starting a 1:1 from the Contacts List
2. Starting a 1:1 from the inbox
Unified Sync and Async Communications
In both methods, conversations are the same whether they render in the chat window or in the inbox. Users can participate in the conversation in the method that best suits their needs. At the same time, there is less clutter and noise in the users inbox. New conversations with the same people will not create a new conversation thread.
Group conversations are conversations that are not persisted 1:1 conversations, i.e. they are not locked into your private 1:1 conversation. Group conversations provide more flexibility to invite others to group conversations.
Chat rooms are the third type of real time conversation user can participate in. Chat rooms are similar to group conversations with the difference that chat rooms are automatically created for every Jive Group a user is a member of. There is a Rooms list that shows in your real time bar and this rooms list gives users a simple way, similar to Contacts List to jump into a chat room of a relevant group that you are a member off.
Understanding The Type of Conversations
As outlined above, there are three primary types of conversations users can have on the new real time messaging system.
- 1:1 Persistent Conversations.
- 1:many Group Conversations.
- Chat Room Conversations.
Each is designed to give users a specific real time experience and to allow users to conduct any type of conversation they need. Below is a in depth look at the key usage for each conversation:
- 1:1 Persistent Conversations is designed to give users one place to have all their conversations with the one person. This allows for a simple one-click from the contacts list to launch into any ongoing conversation with that person and you no longer need to search through mountains of data to re-engage with that person. With infinite scroll history you only then need to scroll up to see the history of all your conversations with this one person. You are not able to add other people into your persisted 1:1 conversation, as this will break your persistence since the other people invited will now have access to the conversation. Instead we have a group conversation model that caters for just this need.
- Group conversations are designed to give users flexibility in being able to invite any number of people to a real time conversation. It also allows users to mute the conversation, invite others to join, and set a subject of the conversation. All conversations that are create from the inbox mode or the chat mode are automatically set as a group conversation if you invite more than one user to the conversation. Inviting only one user to a conversation will default to using your existing persistent 1:1 conversation as detailed above.
- Chat Rooms are designed to let users jump into a real time channel of groups that already exist in a community. When a user joins a group (be it a Place or Space) the user will then have a Chat Room of this group added to their Rooms List so that launching into a live conversation with this group is only one click away. This is analogous to how IRC channels work and provides for a simple way to communicate in real time with groups that already exist. Since the chat room represents an existing group, there is no need to join or create the chat rooms; they are created automatically based on a users member of the Group. For instance, if you leave the Group you will no longer have access to the Chat Room of the Group and so on.
Deep Dive of the Real Time Chat Experience:
Let's explore the chat window in more depth and take a look at its current capabilities.
To send links inside the chat window, simply paste in any link in the chat message box. Once it's sent, it will automatically convert to a clickable link as shown:
You can @mention people, content or places just by tying in the '@' key and selecting the item you want to mention from the drop list as shown. @mentioning will then convert the @mentioned item as a clickable link with the chat thread. @mentioning in chat will not send notification to any @mentioned user that is not part of the chat group. As such, @mentioning in the chat experience is predominately used to reference items via links.
Maximized Chat Window Mode
Opening a chat window puts the window in Maximized mode. If you can have lots of chats running at any one time, just click on the name of the chat you want and it will open the relevant chat window.
- Opening a chat with Simon in maximized mode.
- Opening a chat window with Tony will minimize the chat window with Simon and Maximize the chat window with Tony.
Minimized Chat Window Mode
When a chat window is in Minimized it will be shown on the real time bar and by clicking on the minimized mode of the chat you can open that chat in Maximised mode.
- All Chats minimized:
- To minimize an opened chat, click on the black bar on the chat window or the - button to minimize this chat window.
Closing a Chat window.
To completely close a chat window and have it removed from the real time bar you click the X button on the top black bar.
Pop-out Chat Window Mode
Click the Arrow up button to pop the chat window out of the page.
The popped out window will show up as a new separated browser window, allowing you to move it around, continue with the chat, and navigate away for the original page.
Resizing Popped out Chat Window
You can resize the popped out chat window by dragging the corners of the chat window.
Pop-in Chat Window
To pop the chat window back onto the real time bar simply click on the "Arrow" button again.
Multi-lines Chat Messages
You can insert multiple lines of messaging in the chat window input by hitting the Shift+Enter keys on your keyboard to insert a new line as shown:
Infinite Scroll conversation history
Scroll up in your chats to load up your historical conversations. The chat window will automatically pull in your historical conversation data and load it in the chat. You can keep scrolling up until you reach the start of your first ever message in the chat conversation as shown:
Inviting People to a Group Conversation
Simply select the +Person button in that chat window, which will present the Invite People controls.
Start typing the name of the person you want to invite, then select that person from the drop down list.
Muting Group Conversations
To mute a group conversation, simply click on the options button (Cog button) in the chat window and select Mute Conversation. Once muted, you no longer get notifications of every message that is transmuted in this conversation. You can still participate in the conversation normally, but you will not be getting notifications for this conversations. You can always un-mute a conversation in the same way by just selecting un-mute in the options control.
Leaving Group Conversations
To leave a group conversation simply click the options button and select Leave Conversation to permanently leave the conversations. The conversation will now no longer exist to you and you will no longer be getting any notifications of activity that goes on in this conversation. You will need to be re-invited to return to this conversation.
Setting a Subject on Group Conversations
To give a group conversation a subject simply click on the options button and select Change Subject.
Here a new input field will be shown on the chat window title bar where you can set a new subject just by typing it into the input field. To save the new subject hit the enter key on your keyboard and this will save the new Subject. To cancel your change simple click anywhere and it will exit the subject edit mode.
Exporting a Group Conversation
Sometime you may want to share parts of a conversation you are having within a group. To do this, we give you the ability to export you conversation into a document at which point you can then edit out any parts of the conversation you don't want to share. As with normal documents, you can then share that document with any person, or posts it to a Place or Group.
Who's Participating in a Group Conversation
Group conversations will show you a list of all the people who are members of the group, and will display their current status. This allows users to get a sense of who else is part of the group conversation from a quick visual perspective, and also to get a sense of what these members current real time status is.
Deep Dive in the Real Time Contextual Presence Experience
Bringing the right people together is a challenge in large organizations. We're trying to solve this problem by what we call Contextual Presence. Its the idea of knowing who else is viewing the same content you are, right now, or who else is watching this video, or who else is in the group right now, and so forth. The idea is that by allowing people to see who else is converging around a topic or event, users have the ability to start impromptu conversations in a way that would never before have happened in the old world of silo'ed access and visibility.
To make use of the new Contextual Presence capabilities, you only need to look on the real time bar for the Viewing Now, Watching Now or Here Now list that shows up when you are viewing any content, watching a video or within a group. In the screen shot above we can see the Viewing Now section of the real time bar telling me there are 3 people currently viewing the same document.
Clicking the Viewing Now section will open the Viewing Now list, showing who are all the people currently viewing the document and their statuses. Here you can see that George and Phil are both viewing the same document as I am.
To start a contextual conversation with the people who are listed on the Viewing Now list, simply click on the blue "Start Conversation" button in the Viewing Now List view. This will create a new Group conversation that invites all the members that are currently viewing now and will provide the subject and relevance to the original document so that members who have been invited into this conversation will have context to what the conversation is about and which content it refers to.
Here you can see a new group conversation is created, automatically including the people that were in the Viewing Now list. The subject of the group conversation is set as the title of the original document. There is a link in the controls section of the chat window giving you direct access to that original document that sparked this conversation.
And... it only gets better from here...
The real time capabilities coming in the Fall Release is the first step towards a larger vision of bringing new and exciting real time interactive capabilities to Jive users. Imagine being able to jump into a call with anyone on Jive by clicking one button. Imagine jumping into a quick face to face with anyone from with Jive with just one click. Imagine being able to instantly share files to anyone in Jive in real time. Imagine sharing your screen or having group video meetings all with the one click. This is where we are going, but it all starts with building the base capability that lets us then escalate into richer interactions. These base capabilities are what we are releasing in the Fall Release and they set up the foundations for amazing capabilities going forward.