2 Conversations, Messages, Conferences, and Apps

These topics describe the kinds of Conversations you can create and participate in and how to work with them:

Using Conversations

How do I start a Conversation?

  1. You can start a Conversation by clicking the New Conversation button, which appears in lots of places throughout Oracle Social Network—like the Conversations page.

  2. Enter a title for the Conversation, then specify whether you want it available to members only (Only visible to members) or as a public Conversation (Visible to any user).

  3. Move people and groups from the left column to the right to add them as members; or move them from the right column to the left to remove their membership. Use the search field to find specific people quickly.

    Notes:

    • Everyone in your company's LDAP directory appears in the Create New Conversation dialog. If you add someone who has never logged in to Oracle Social Network before, he or she will receive an email inviting them to join.

    • You can add people to a public Conversation, and/or people can add themselves. Other people see your public Conversations when they apply the Available filter on their Conversations display. They can then click the Join button to add themselves.

  4. Click OK to save and open the new Conversation.

See What types of Conversations are available? to learn more about the different types of Conversations available.

What types of Conversations are available?

There are lots of options available for sharing information, depending what you want to achieve through the interaction:

  • A private Conversation is one that only you can see. You might use a private Conversation to store your private notes and comments, or as a staging ground where you gather content until you're ready to share it with others.

  • A members-only Conversation can be seen only by the people who are explicitly added to the Conversation by other members.

  • A public Conversation is open enrollment; anyone who is logged in can join. While you can see posts in a public Conversation, you can't actually post anything until you've clicked the Join button to become a member.

  • A scoped Conversation is the most tightly controlled type of Conversation. Scoped Conversations are created under a scoping Social Object in an application that has been integrated with Oracle Social Network (like Oracle Applications Cloud). When the scoping Social Object is created, a list of people is defined. Only those people are eligible to be added to Conversations about that scoping Social Object.

    Note: For information about Social Objects, see "Understanding Social Objects."

  • While a Social Object's wall isn't really a Conversation, it is another place where people can exchange information. If you've joined a Social Object, you can see posts, make posts, and invite others to the wall, provided that they have a login to the same instance of Oracle Social Network that you use.

    Think of a wall as a common area for the Social Object, where people who may not have access to your application can still collaborate with you on a particular Social Object. For example, suppose you use Oracle Cloud Application to do your daily job, and want to consult with someone in Legal, who doesn't have access to Oracle Cloud Application. All you have to do is add the Legal employee to the Social Object in question, and start your online discussion—either on the wall itself, or in a new Conversation.

How do I join a Conversation?

If the Conversation you want to join is members-only, ask someone who is already a member to add you. To see all the public Conversations you can join:

  1. Click Conversations along the top of your screen.

  2. Click Available on the left to see all the public Conversations.

  3. Click the Conversation you want to join.

  4. Click the Join button.

How do I remove people and groups from a Conversation?

A quick way to remove a person from a Conversation (including yourself) is to click the person's picture in the Conversation membership bar, then select Remove from Conversation.

Or, from within a Conversation, click Add People, then use the left arrow to move the person or group from the right column (members) to the left (not members). Use Ctrl+Click to select more than one person or group.

Notes:

  • Once you remove yourself from a members-only Conversation, you can't add yourself back. Ask someone who's a member of the Conversation to re-add you.

  • If you were added to a Conversation as part of a group, you can't remove yourself directly from the Conversation. You may be able to remove yourself from the group, but that removes you from all Conversations the group belongs to. For more information, see "How do I remove myself from a group?"

How do I use a One-on-One Conversation?

A One-on-One Conversation is a private Conversation limited to two people; you can't add anyone else.

There are three ways to start a One-on-One Conversation, depending on where you are:

  • From your list of Contacts in the Social Bar, click a name, then click Open One-on-One. (If you don't see the person you want in this list, see "How do I add or remove contacts?")

  • In a Conversation membership bar, click a profile picture, then click Open One-on-One.

  • Go to the person's profile, click the More button, and select Open One-on-One.

In your web browser, One-on-One Conversations automatically open in a minimized view at the bottom of your screen.

  • To switch to full-screen mode, click Icon that looks like a gear in the minimized view's banner, then click See Full Conversation.

  • It's sometimes helpful to clear what's displayed in minimized view so you can start a new topic without being distracted by the old content. To do this, click Icon that looks like a gear in the banner, then click Clear Window. This doesn't permanently remove anything; you can still see the content by going to the full view of the Conversation.

  • To hide minimized view, click the banner. The view collapses and the banner turns gray. If your partner posts to you, the banner turns blue again. Click the banner to re-display minimized view.

How do I add a document?

To upload a document:

  1. While in a Conversation or wall, click Add Document button below the message field, and select:

    • Upload, to upload a document from your file system

    • Copy from Cloud Document Store, to copy a document that lives on the Oracle Documents service, Google Drive, or another Cloud repository.

  2. Click the Select Files button to navigate to and select one or more files.

  3. For each file, you can leave the default at New Document or replace another file with this newer version.

    Note: Uploading a document with the same name as an earlier uploaded document creates a new version.

  4. Optionally, for each file, select whether to allow downloading and sharing:

    • Allow document to be shared to allow people to share the document with other Conversations and walls.

    • Disable download and share to prevent anyone from downloading or sharing this document with other Conversations and walls.

  5. Optionally, for each file click Add Comment to add a comment to post with the file.

  6. Click Start Upload.

How can I limit Conversation membership to certain people only?

Membership can be tightly controlled through scoping Social Objects. When a scoping Social Object is created, a list of approved members is defined. When someone then creates a Conversation from that Social Object, only people defined in the membership list can be added—no one else. This ensures that sensitive or private information is not inadvertently shared with others who may not have a need to know.

Not all deployments of Oracle Social Network have scoping Social Objects. Your application administrator can tell you if yours does.

  1. Open a scoping Social Object.

  2. Next to Scoped Conversation, click Add icon and select Create and add a new Conversation to open a new Conversation.

  3. Continue as you would with any other Conversation.

How do I mute or unmute a Conversation?

If you're annoyed by chatter from a Conversation you really don't care about it, you can mute it. Muting a Conversation hides it from your list of Conversations and stops messages about it from appearing in your email digest and within Oracle Social Network. It's still there; you just won't hear about it anymore. (The only exception is if you're flagged on a message in a muted Conversation, which will still appear in your email digest.)

To mute a Conversation, go to your Conversations list, hover over the Conversation name, then click Mute.

If you change your mind and want to unmute the Conversation, go to your Conversations list and click Muted in the left navigation bar. Hover over the Conversation name, then click Unmute.

How do I create a new Conversation from an old one?

You might want to create a new Conversation from an old one when the topic changes, or when the discussion logically moves to a next step. For example, suppose you're in a Conversation about Milestone I and the group is ready to start talking about the next phase. You create a new Conversation, Milestone II, from the Milestone I Conversation. A link to the Milestone II Conversation is automatically posted to Milestone I, and vice versa. In this way, you maintain a chain of linked Conversations that enable people to move easily back and forth among them.

While in the original Conversation, click Create a new Conversation button below the message field and add the required information. Membership from the original Conversation is automatically copied over to the new, but you can change that if you want.

Note: Any Conversation you create from a collection or Social Object's wall is added by default to the collection or Social Object's list of Referring Conversations.

How can I see Conversations when I'm offline?

Suppose you're heading for the airport and want to catch up on your Conversations while on the plane. You can save a Conversation to a .zip file, then unzip the file on your local drive. The .zip file contains all Conversation content, including messages, replies, and files, with all Conversation members listed first.

While in a Conversation, click More, then click Download.

When viewing a Conversation or wall offline, you can click a name to open the person's profile in a new browser window. You can also click any document to open it from the documents folder that was included in the .zip file.

Note: For information about viewing and interacting with offline Conversations and walls, see "How can I view a Conversation or wall offline from my Offline Briefcase?"

How do I view several Conversations at once?

You can view multiple Conversations at once by minimizing them. Each Conversation appears in a little box at the bottom of your display.

While in a Conversation, click More, then click Open in Minimized View.

Not all Conversation features are available in minimized view. You can click a link to see document previews, post messages and reply to them, but you can't do things like post documents.

One-on-One Conversations automatically open in minimized view in the web browser. See "How do I use a One-on-One Conversation?" for more information on how minimized Conversations behave.

How do I manage Conversations?

If a very long Conversation becomes slow to load, or if the topic naturally diverges to a new concern, consider branching off into a new Conversation. Both the old and new Conversations will have links to each other, so you can move between them easily. See "How do I create a new Conversation from an old one?" for more information.

If you have a long list of Conversations, here are some tips for managing them:

  • Use collections to gather related Conversations together, like those that focus on a common topic. Rather than scrolling through your Conversations list, you can go directly to your Collections list instead. See "Working with Collections."

  • Mark the Conversations you really need to pay attention to as favorites (click the star next to the Conversation name), then use the Favorites filter on your Conversations list to focus on them (or click the star icon in the banner).

  • Use the Sort By menu at the top right of the Conversations list to arrange the Conversations alphabetically, by the date of the last update, and so on.

How do I close, re-open, or discard a Conversation?

You can close any Conversation you belong to, even if you didn't create it. Closing a Conversation prevents people from adding new messages to it and removes it from people's list of Conversations.

While in the Conversation, click More, then click Close Conversation.

To re-open a Conversation, display your list of Conversations, then click Closed in the left navigation to apply the Closed filter. Click the Conversation name, then click More, then Reopen Conversation.

You can discard a Conversation only if you're the sole member. A discarded Conversation is removed from all collections and Social Objects it's related to.

  1. Open the Conversation.

  2. Remove all other members except yourself.

  3. Click Discard.

How do I rename a Conversation?

You can change the name of any Conversation you belong to, even if you didn't create it.

  1. Open the Conversation and click the title.

  2. Type in the new name, then click Save icon.

How do I get a Conversation's URL?

You may want a Conversation's URL to paste into a message, or to open a standalone view of the Conversation. As the name implies, standalone view displays the Conversation in its own browser window, without the distraction of other Oracle Social Network features and controls.

To get a Conversation's URL, open the Conversation, click More, then click Conversation URL.

How do I sort the list of Conversations?

On the Conversations page, use the Sort by menu to arrange the Conversations by name, number of active users, and so on. Most sorting options also allow you to further sort the results in ascending or descending order.

Choose a filter to arrange the data the way you want:

  • Name—Arranged alphabetically by the name of the Conversation

  • Last Updated—Arranged by date a Conversation was last updated

  • Active Users—Arranged by number of currently active users in the Conversation

  • Total Posts—Arranged by number of messages in the Conversation

  • Unread Posts—Arranged by number of unread messages in the Conversation

How do I switch a public Conversation to members-only and back again?

Anyone who's a member of a Conversation can change its membership model.

To change a Conversation from public to members-only:

  1. In the Conversation, click More.

  2. Click Make Conversation Members-Only.

Everyone who has already joined the Conversation is kept as a member.

To change a Conversation from members-only to public:

  1. In the Conversation, click More.

  2. Click Make Conversation Publicly Available.

How do I start a Conversation with a group?

  1. Open the People & Groups page.

  2. Select a filter under Groups:

    • Yours—To show all the groups you're a member of

    • Favorites—To show all the groups you have marked as a favorite

    • Muted—To show all the groups you have muted

  3. Mouse over the group, and click More.

  4. Select Start a Conversation.

    A new Conversation opens, populated with all members of the selected group.

How do I change a Conversation's language?

While in a Conversation, click More, click Language, then select the language you want.

Selecting a Conversation language affects all members' views of the Conversation.

When you change the language of a Conversation, new system messages appear in the new language. System messages that were there before the language change, however, remain in the language that was in place when they were posted. Messages and files posted to the Conversation are unaffected; that is, they appear in the language they were written in.

The language used for field labels, button labels, banner headings, and so on, is determined by your Preference settings. For more information, see "How do I change my preferences?"

What's the difference between Conversations, related Conversations, and walls?

While each provides a place to post messages and other types of content, there are some differences between them:

  • A Conversation is an online discussion typically about something that a lot of people are interested in. A Conversation may be members-only or public, which means anyone with a login to Oracle Social Network can join.

  • A wall is associated with a person (which you can see on the person's profile page) a collection, or a Social Object. Everyone who is following a person can see and post to the person's wall; everyone who is a member of a collection or a Social Object can see and post to its wall. (To have a less public discussion about a Social Object, start a Conversation instead.)

  • A related Conversation is a term that applies specifically to Conversations about a Social Object—that is, the Conversations are related to the Social Object.

Tip: Because walls are more like a clearing house for announcements, posts are ordered from the most recent at the top to the oldest at the bottom. Conversations, on the other hand, are more like discussions, so posts are placed at the bottom; you scroll up to see the posts made over time.

How do I show or hide membership messages in a Conversation?

  1. While in the Conversation, click More.

  2. Select:

    • Hide Membership Messages to hide messages like, John Doe has been removed from the Conversation.

    • Show Membership Messages to show these messages in the stream of the Conversation

Note: You can hide or show all messages in all Conversations through your preferences. For more information, see "How do I change my preferences?".

How can I link to an Oracle Social Network item in a Conversation or wall?

While writing a message, you may find it handy to link to a Conversation, Social Object, document, or other item. Here's how:

  1. Open the Conversation or wall.

  2. Click Link to a Conversation, Document or Social Object button to open the Insert Reference dialog.

  3. Select a source:

    • Recent Items—To select from Oracle Social Network items you've visited recently

    • Viewed Documents—To select from files you've opened recently

    • Favorites—To select from items you've marked as a favorite

    • Search—To search for an item

  4. Select the item you want to refer to.

  5. Click Insert to add a link to your selection to the message field.

  6. Optionally, enter text before or after the reference link.

  7. Click Post to post the reference to the Conversation.

How do I add a collection or Social Object to a Conversation or wall's Referring list?

A Conversation or wall's Referring list offers links to the Social Objects and collections that include the Conversation or wall on their Related lists. This provides a convenient way to navigate between a Conversation and a collection of Conversations with related content or between a Conversation and a Social Object that it discusses.You can set up these relationships from a Social Object or collection, or from the Conversation or wall itself.

  1. Go to the Conversation or wall.

  2. Click Refer to this item icon, then select:

    • Add an existing item—Select an existing collection or other Social Object, add it to the Conversation's Referring list, then add the Conversation to the collection or to the Social Object's Related list.

    • Create and add a new Collection—Create a new collection, add it to the Conversation's Referring list, then add the Conversation to the collection's Related list. For information about what to do once you create a collection, see "How do I create a collection?"

    • <Social Object name>—Add the Conversation or wall to the Social Object's Related list, and add a link to the Social Object to the Conversation's Referring list.

Managing Messages

How do I add a message?

  1. Open the Conversation.

  2. In the text box of the bottom of the display, type your message.

    Formatting options are available beneath the text box to help you; hover over the icons to see what they do. If plan to write a long message (or find that the message becomes long while typing), open the Note Editor, which provides even more formatting controls, plus a roomy text area.

  3. Click Post or press Enter, depending on how you set up your Preferences (see "How do I change my preferences?".)

How do I show all unread messages in all Conversations?

You can either:

  • Go to the Overview page, then click the Unread filter in the left navigation area, or

  • Go to the Conversations page, click Sort by in the upper right corner, then select Unread Posts.

Both pages have Ascending and Descending filters to help further refine your display.

Each Conversation shows a count of total unread message in a blue icon, like this: Unread messages count. If desired, click the blue icon to mark all messages in the Conversation as read.

How do I mark messages as read?

Within a Conversation, unread messages are marked Unread Message mark to the left of the message and Unread indicator to right of scrollbar to the right of the scroll bar. You can scroll through the Conversation to find unread messages, or click the blue bar to jump to their location. Click the blue dot to mark a single message as read.

To mark all the messages in a Conversation as read, click the blue icon that contains a number, like this: Unread messages count. You'll find this unread message count in many places throughout Oracle Social Network.

How do I edit my messages and replies?

You can edit any message or reply that you posted.

  1. Go to the reply, and click Edit Message icon.

    An editable field opens that contains a copy of the reply.

    Optionally, click Open Note Editor icon to open the message, note, or reply in the Note Editor.

  2. Click Save or Post.

All edited messages show View Changes icon next to the message's time stamp. You can click this to see the earlier versions of that message and to open the message for editing.

How do I delete a message or reply?

In an open Conversation, you can delete any message or reply, no matter who posted it. Once a message or reply is deleted, it cannot be easily recovered. In such an open system, take care to delete what you intend.

Once you delete a message, Deleted Message icon appears where the message used to be. You can mouse over this icon to find out who deleted the message, who posted it originally, and the date and time the message was deleted.

Note: All content is retained on the system for legal or forensic purposes. Only an application administrator can recover deleted messages and notes.

  1. On the Conversations page, click the Conversation to open it.

  2. Go to the message and click Remove icon.

How do I remove formatting from pasted content?

When you paste formatted content into the message field or the Note Editor, you can remove the pasted content's formatting if you like. Select the formatted content in the message field (or in the Note Editor), and click Remove formatting icon.

Working with Conferences

Which conference applications are supported?

Conversations include a conference feature that you can use to start and join web conferences. Both WebEx and Avaya conference applications are supported in Oracle Social Network.

You need an account with your conference provider, like WebEx, to start a conference. But you do not need an account to join one.

Whenever a Conversation is hosting a conference, Join Conference icon appears to the left of the Conversation name.

How do I configure conference account settings?

Conference account settings let you pre-populate your conference application with your name and password in Oracle Social Network. Then, when you start conferences from Oracle Social Network, the conference login dialog opens with all fields filled out.

  1. Go to the Conferencing page under Settings.

    Note: The fields that you see on the Conferencing page are read dynamically from the server and may not be the same as the fields described in the next steps. The fields are described here for example only.

  2. In the Site Name field, enter the name of your conference instance.

    For example, enter acmeweb. You can get this name from your administrator.

  3. In the User Name field, enter your conference account user name.

  4. In the Password field, enter your conference account password.

  5. Click Save Changes.

How do I start or end a conference?

You can start and join conferences from Conversations, but not from the walls of collections, groups, or profiles.

  1. On the Conversations page, click the Conversation to open it.

  2. Click the Start Conference button to open the Starting Conference dialog.

  3. If you pre-configured your conference account settings, click Start.

    For more information, see "How do I configure conference account settings?"

    If you didn't pre-configure your conference account settings:

    1. Enter your conference account name, your user name, and your password.

    2. To save your account settings to your Oracle Social Network Settings, select Save Conference Details.

    3. Click Start.

    Note: If you record your conference, a link to the recording is posted to the Conversation where the conference was started.

Ending a conference disconnects the Conversation from the conference for everyone in the Conversation, but it doesn't actually end the conference. To end the conference, click End Conference in the Conversations where the conference was started.

How do I join a conference?

  1. Go to the Conversations page, and open the Conversation where the conference was started.

  2. Click Join Conference.

Note: If the conference is recorded, once the conference has ended a link to the recording is posted to the Conversation where you joined the conference.

Bringing Apps into Conversations

What are apps?

You can add functionality to Conversations by adding apps to them (apps were formerly called gadgets). For example, add an app that provides a slide show of all images that were uploaded to a Conversation or wall.

Application developers create apps to meet the needs of your department, division, or organization. Apps provide one way to integrate useful applications with Oracle Social Network.

The browser version of Oracle Social Network comes with an Oracle Social Network Photo App you can use to view all images posted to a Conversation or wall in a convenient slide show and an Oracle Social Network Site App you can use to share a live web page in a Conversation. Your browser instance may include a variety of other apps.

How do I manage apps?

The Manage Apps dialog helps you manage all instances of an app in a Conversation or on a wall. You can use the Manage Apps dialog to create new instances of an app and to remove those you don't need anymore.

To open the Manage Apps dialog, click Manage Apps icon.

In the dialog, click the Add button next to an App type to expand it. A field opens for naming this new app instance. Once you enter a name, click the Add button next to the field to add the App to the Conversation or wall.

Tip: In the Conversation, click the instance's Open button to configure the app or show its content—once you click Open, your next steps depend on the app type.

When you add an app instance, the button next to the app type in the Manage Apps dialog changes to Manage. Click the Manage button next to an App type to expand it to show all instances of that type in the current Conversation or wall.

In the dialog, you can remove an instance from the Conversation or wall by expanding the App type and clicking Remove on the instance's icon.

Tip: You can also remove an instance by mousing over its name in the Apps column and clicking Remove icon.

Notes:

  • Administrators can configure an app type so only one instance of it can be added to a Conversation. This is useful for limiting types of apps that should appear only once, like the photo app.

  • Administrators can also enable or disable an app type and show or hide an app type. For example, if you can see an app, but you can't do anything with it, it might be that the administrator has made the app type available (shown it) but hasn't enabled it.