Please share your tips in this discussion. Here is one to remember. :-)
Upload a File
You can upload any file in Thinkfinity so that other people can access it, comment on it, and even rate it. Just select Create > Uploaded File to include the file in Thinkfinity. Best of all, your file is now under version control so that you can get back to older versions of the file if you need to.
If you select "Remember Me" on the sign in form, Thinkfinity will not prompt you for your username and password each time you visit. This can be a very convenient setting to use, however, use it only on computers where you are the primary user. You may not want to use this feature on public computers or those which are used by a number of different users. Also, for security purposes Thinkfinity will ask you for your username and password every few weeks.
Poll your Colleagues
Do you want to know what your colleagues think about something? Create a poll in the Group you would like people to find the poll in. After you post your questions the the possible answers, you poll will show up for other people to vote on.
When you have something important to let everyone know, try posting an announcement in a group you own.
Keep your announcements short and to the point. If you have a lot to say, include a link to a blog post, document, or discussion that contains the longer version of what you have to say.
Linking is one of the key elements that makes websites valuable.
You can include links in anything you post in Thinkfinity by highlighting the text you want to convert to a link and clicking on the link button in the editor to activate the Link Picker. The Link Picker gives you the power to link to any web address (URL), search for something in Thinkfinity to link to on the All Content tab, or you can choose from your recent browsing history on the Browse History tab.
You can also link to documents using @mentioning. Just type an @ followed by some of the text to start searching for a document. For example, type @Fireside to bring up a picklist of Fireside Chat blogs with Fireside in the title.
Add Images and Videos
Want to spruce up your content? Make it more interesting to the reader! Simply add an image or video in the editor by clicking on either the camera icon for images, or the director board for movies. Images can be uploaded from your computer or included from other web sites. Videos can be embedded from services like YouTube! and Vimeo.
View or Download Thinkfinity Community content as a PDF
Sometimes you need a way to access a document, discussion, or blog post offline. Or, maybe you need to share it with someone who doesn't have access to Thinkfinity. Either way, you can use the view it as PDF then save it to any location on your computer to use anytime! Go to any page and look for View as PDF under the Actions menu on the right side of the page. Select it and a pdf version of that page will open for you to save or print.
Invite People to Join
One of the big benefits of social networking is "Network Effects." Collaboration becomes most effective when a large number of people are participating. Inviting people to join your community is one of the easiest ways to start. In Thinkfinity, there are a number of ways to do this:
Keep on top of Your Stuff with Communications
Check THINGS TO DO in the dark red navigation bar for notifications, mentions, direct messages, plus any activity on content you participated in. When there is a new reply to a discussion you participated in, you get a read alert here. When content you wrote gets a revision or comment, you get a read alert for that too. The same thing happens when you get a mention, message, or system notification. You can choose to use alerts and read-tracking alone to keep up with your Things To Do page, or you can set your email notifications by selecting Preferences from the drop-down menu next to your name in the dark red navigation bar to send an email notification each time you get activity in Things To Do.
If you want activity you are not directly involved in to be tracked, just navigate to any item and select Track in Communications. Tracking pulls that document, discussion, or other item of interest into your Things To Do page, and you will get alerted whenever there are changes or comments. If you decide to stop tracking it, just select "Stop tracking." You will not be alerted about that item again.
You have many options for Thinkfinity to notify you about changes and updates to content you care about. Changes to content you create and participated in are always tracked in your Things to Do.
You can also select Follow to bring updates about documents, discussions, and Place activity into your Followed Activity stream.
Selecting Track in Communications for any item pulls activity about that item into your Activity area, where you will be alerted about it as soon as you log in. (Be sparing about what you track. You do not want important items to be buried in a sea of updates you do not care about.)
To begin following activity, navigate to the area you care about -- a space or document or blog or person, for example -- and select Follow from the list above Actions on the right side of the page. The button changes to say "Following." Select it again to stop following.
Whether you get notified by email about stuff you follow is up to you -- just select Preferences from the drop-down menu next to your name in the dark red navigation bar to decide whether to get email about everything you follow, just communication items, or some other selection of items.
Label your Friends
Do you have a lot of friends? If so, try labeling your friends to keep them organized. You can even apply more than one label to a friend.
You can name and color code groups of people to make them easier to find when you browse or communicate with people as a group.
You can type the label name in when you are creating a direct message or adding collaborators on a document to automatically include all the people with that label.
To create a label:
Tagging content makes it easier to find later! Tags are essentially keywords that you and others assign to content. When you are about to post an item, like a blog post, document, discussion, or even a status update select or type in the keywords that come to mind in the Tags field. this will increase the search relevance of the item and help others find it in the future.
On many pages in the system you will find a Tag cloud that shows the most commonly used tags in that part of the community. You can click on any of the tags to find items that have been tagged with that word. You can select multiple tags to narrow your search to items that have more than one tag applied.
You can speed up tagging by changing your user preferences. To enable on-the-fly tagging, click on your name and select Preferences. Turn on Quick Tagging Mode and then click Save.
Ask your questions
Ask you questions in Thinkfinity rather than through email. Not only will you be helping everyone by establishing the answer in a way that other people can use it, you will be helping the person with the answer by limiting the number of times they answer it. Plus, you will receive a more thorough answer by engaging the community rather than a few selected individuals.
When you mark a discussion as a question you are giving people even more incentive to answer. Once they do you can mark their answers as correct or helpful - you will give their reputation a boost.. This method is especially helpful for technical questions posted in the Help Center or other questions throughout the community where a correct answer is desired. Please do not over use it as it does stop ongoing discussion of topics where multiple responses are valued.
If you select "Remember Me" on the login form, Thinkfinity will not prompt you for your username and password each time you visit. This is one of the most convenient settings to use. For security purposes Thinkfinity will ask you for the username and password every few weeks.
You can increase your reputation in Thinkfinity by contributing in several ways. One of the best ways to increase your reputation is by answering questions. When the person who asked the question marks your answer as helpful or correct you get a boost in your reputation. Other ways to contribute are creating documents and publishing blog posts. You will see your points score increase and gain experience levels as you do these things.
Upload a File
You can include any file in Thinkfinity so that other people can access it, comment on it, and even rate it. Just select Create > Uploaded File to include the file in Thinkfinity. Best of all, you file is now under version control so that you can get back to older versions of the file if you need to.
You can easily and quickly stay connected
Just post quick messages, updates and insights from the text box at the top of your Activity page, or select Create > Status Update from anywhere.
Cool thinks you can add to a post:
Add you input to the community:
Search Community (next to your name when you log in)
Looking for something? Try these search tips.
Enhance your Profile
Your profile is your central identity in Thinkfinity. Your colleagues will go there to learn about you, understand your expertise, and read content you have written. Make sure it is up to date. At a minimum you should make sure to:
Compare Document Versions
This feature is so handy you will wonder where it has been all of your life. You can see the full history of a document in Thinkfinity, and compare any two versions to see what changed between them.
Click on Manage version in the Actions menu to see the entire history of the document. Click on the magnifying glass icon next to the version number to see the two most recent versions compared side-by-side.
Make Personal Bookmarks Private
Create > Bookmark makes it so easy to collect your favorites resources in one place for easy access from any computer, at home or at work. Tagging your bookmarks make them easy to find.
Now, one more thing: When creating a bookmark, look for the Privacy checkbox. Checking this box will Make this bookmark private (only you will see it). When saving non-professional resources for personal use, this is a good way to do it!
Connect with People
Keep up with your colleagues. You can follow anyone in Thinkfinity to see what they are doing as they do it. Just go to their profile and click "Follow [name]" on the right side of the page.
Now that you are following someone, you can click on your name and select the Connections tab. Here you can see the latest activity by all of the people you are following, label people to organize them, opt in to receive an email every time a connection posts content, and send an email to your connections. You can also see who is following you.
When you follow people, you have a great way to keep up with them in your Activity stream. Just go to your Activity page and click "Followed Activity." You can choose between All Followed and a hand-picked "Matters Most" stream optimized by Jive Genius to contain followed content that is tuned to your interests and activity patterns over time.
Quickly Stay Connected
Just post quick messages, updates and insights from the textbox at the top of your Activity page, or select Create > Status Update from anywhere.
What should I say?
Your opinions are valued.
You can easily share any document, discussion, or blog post in Thinkfinity with a colleague. Just navigate to the content you want to share and select Share from the Actions menu. You can send a personalized message within the community or link to the content, and, in some cases, even attach a PDF of the content to an email message. You can either choose someone who is a member of Thinkfinity, or you can just enter an email address of a colleague - they will automatically receive an invitation to join the community.
Manage your Activity Stream
Your Activity page may look intimidating: when you are in All Activity, you can see all the activity generated in Thinkfinity. But as you start working in Thinkfinity, you will start personalizing your stream. As you begin following people, places, and content, toggling to Followed Activity shows you only activity from the sources you follow. Selecting Matters Most shows you Jive Genius recommendations for activity in your Followed stream.
At any time, you can select the Filter menu to catch up with status updates from the entire stream (if you are in All Activity) or your followed people (if you are in followed Activity). That is a great way to see what other members are excited about. Another way is to check out Trending Content and Trending People widgets in the right column.
After you have been using Thinkfinity for a while, Recommended For You can show you activity you might have missed based on its popularity and relevance to you and your interests. You can help the Recommender learn about what you want to see: Seen a useful recommendation already, select Dismiss. Not interested, select Not Interested.
Find a group to join:
Select Browse > Places in the dark red navigation bar and then click on the Social groups tab. On the right above the pages of groups there are two icons, one is four squares and the others is three lines. Each view offer specific information on the available groups. I found that I could Sort by latest activity (descending) to see the ones with the most current interaction. And I could Sort by title to see the groups alphabetically so I could find where I left off during my browsing. There are so many wonderful groups, I just have to find the ones I want to join.
Get more from meetings
Want to get more out of your faculty meetings? Use Thinkfinity to take meeting notes while the meeting is going on. Other people can chime in with their own notes, and you have a shared record of what happened.
Be sure to list tasks with name(s) for any action items. :-)
I've been using the Community in a new way that has been very productive and well received. When I start a typical training, ANY training, I start the meeting by creating a group. People join the group in trickles as the meeting progresses. When someone has a question I find they are more apt to ask it in the group rather than stopping the meeting vocally. When they type their question into the group someone else in the group will almost always answer the question for me which keeps the meeting going without interruption. Any links, documents or artifacts from the meeting are also posted in the group.
By the end of my session almost everyone in the room has joined the group and has a copy of my materials and has their questions answered.
By the time I get back to my desk there are generally a few follow up questions so the meeting is continuing even after I've left the building.
I really like this use of the community. It gives participants a "home" in the community and they can come back for any materials shared (think green!) during or after and followup responses. For a coach or trainer who works with teachers in different buildings this is a great idea! Thanks, Mark, for sharing this idea here.
Looking for someone? There are many ways to find them:
Enhance your Profile
Your profile is your central identity in Thinkfinity. Your colleagues will go there to learn about you, understand your expertise, and read content you have written. Make sure it is up to date. At a minimum, you should make sure to:
Improve Your Reputation
You can increase your reputation in Thinkfinity by contributing in several different ways. One of the best ways to increase your reputation is by answering questions. When the person who asked the question marks your answer as helpful or correct you get a boost in your reputation. Other ways to contribute are creating documents and publishing blog posts. You will see your points score increase and gain experience levels as you do these things.
Keep on Top of Your Stuff with Communications
INBOX is the place to look for activity that directly concerns you such as notifications, mentions, direct messages, plus any activity or content you participated in. When there is a new reply to a discussion you participated in, you will get a read alert here: when content you wrote gets a revision or a comment, you get a read alert for that too. The same thing happens when you get a mention, message, or system notification. You can choose to use alerts and read-tracking alone to keep up with your INBOX, or you can set your email notifications (under [your name] > Preferences) to send an email notification each time you get communications activity.
If you want activity you are not directly involved in to be tracked as Communications, just navigate to any item and select Track in Communications. Tracking pulls that document, discussion, or other item of interest into your INBOX, and you will get alerted whenever there are changes or comments. If you decide to stop tracking it, just click Stop tracking. You will not be alerted about that item again.