Engaging with Audiences & Collaboration

After setting up your Scholabrate profile and starting to build your network, you’re ready to engage audiences, which can be valuable to your professional knowledge and growth. It can also be instrumental to positioning you as an expert and enhancing your visibility.

Group interactions on Scholabrate may sound like that offered by other social networks. But, engagement on Scholabrate has extra benefits over other networking sites. 

When we were thinking about your convenience and saving you time (by reducing the number of apps or clicks you need to switch between or perform), we thought that bringing it all into one space would be awesome. Now, you can participate in discussion forums, drop a note to a colleague, create an announcement board to a list of recipients, and collaborate — all from a single location!

Now, you can participate in discussion forums, drop a note to a colleague, create an announcement board to a list of recipients, and collaborate — all from a single location!

While we think our system is intuitive and easy to use, to get you going, below we describe some of the features and functionality available to you on the "Collaboration" tab.

The About Channels section below tells you about the different types of channels available to you, and the different channel operations available to you.
The Messaging, a Quick Tour and the Message Actions sections provide an overview of messaging, as well as, advanced actions you can take with your messages.
The Channel Actions section shows you how to take advantage of the customization and personalization options offered, such as assigning roles to channel members, or searching messages in the channel in case you missed sometimes while you were away.

"We want to streamline the process of connecting and collaborating"

— EdSurge

About Channels

Discussion on Scholabrate is organized around channels, which are chat rooms with many useful features. One of the greatest values of participating in channels is the ability to gain and contribute insight on topics of mutual professional interest, adding comments on current discussion, or starting a new discussion.

Scholabrate lets you do more. You can collaborate with your team on research projects. Just decide whether you the project is private or of a more public nature. Set the appropriate settings and you are good to scholateam .. Yes! We have a "schola-" term for that as well 😊.

Types of Channels

You can engage with audiences using three types of channels: Private Channels, Public Channels, and Direct Messages.


Private Channels


Private channels are closed discussion groups, visible only to their members. They can be joined by invitation only and invitaions can only be extended by the group’s owner or administrator.


Public Channels


Public channels are open to the entire Scholabrate community and can be joined by any member interested in the discussion. The discussion thread  is searchable so new members won’t feel left out.


Direct Messages


Direct messages (DMs) are private, 1-on-1 conversation between two Scholabrate members. You can think of a DM as a private group with only two members.

  Another channels type  is the Read-Only channels, which can be used to make announcements to the channel's members. Posts to these channels can only be made by the channel owner or administrator.

Channel Operations

Creating a Channel

To open a channel and start scholateaming"

  1. Navigate to the “Collaboration” tab located on the top menu
  2. Click on the plus (+) button to the right of the channel search bar

This will open a pop up, where you'll be able to name the channel, mark it as public or private (or set it to read-only), and invite other members to join.

Only Scholabrate members can participate in channels. If you wish to add or invite non-members to your channel, consider inviting them to join Scholabrate.


Joining a Channel

There are three ways to join a channel: be invited to it, search for it, or be mentioned in it:

The owner of a room may have invited you to the channels when first creating he channel. In these cases, the channel should appear in your channel list.

To search for channels, use the search bar under your account box. Alternatively you can press Ctrl/Cmd + k to access the search bar quickly. The search results will display the channels relevant to the search term used (including the ones you are part of). To join the channel you wish to join, click it.

 Private channels are only visible to their members. These channels will not appear on search results.


Direct Messaging

To start a direct message you can either search the member you want to talk with by name or click on that member's avatar and click on the “Conversation Button.”


Leaving a Channel

There are two notions of leaving a channel:

  1. To hide a channel is to remain a member of the channel but to remove it from your list of channels on the left-hand pane.
  2. To leave a channel is to remove it from your list of channels and to leave the channel (i.e., no longer be a member of the channel).

Every channel has an owner, and the owner of a channel cannot leave a channel until setting someone else as the owner of that channel. If the channel has no members, other than the owner, the owner can simply delete it.

To leave a channel, enter the command /part or /leave in the message window. Alternatively, hover your mouse over the channel in the list of channels on the left-hand side and click on the leave channel button

To hide a channel, hover your mouse over the channel in the list of channels on the left-hand side and click on the hide channel button.


Listing Channels

To view the channels you're watching, click on the "Collaboration" tab located in the top menu bar. The public and private channels are listed on the left sidebar under the “Channels” section.

Public channels are indicated by a hash symbol next to the channel name, and private channels by a lock. Public channels appear first, private channels below them and each group will be ordered alphabetically.

Mentions

When someone mentions you with @username@all or @here, a symbol or a number will appear alongside the channel name. If you were mentioned, an @will show. If someone mentions @all or @here a number will show up showing the number of times you were mentioned.

Unread Messages

If using Unread Mode, a new section called “Unread” will appear on the left sidebar and all channels with unread messages will be moved to this new section. To activate Unread Mode you must go to Preferences under My Account and change the “Sidebar channel list mode” setting to “Unread Rooms Mode”.

When a channel has new messages, it’s name will be highlighted on the channel list.

 

Messaging: A Quick Tour

At the heart of audience engagement lies Scholabrate's rich communication tool. Scholabrate's messaging system lets you interact in a professional, yet social, way with many features.

You can engage audiences in a discussion forum, start a private research group, or simply send a note (i.e., direct message) to a colleague. All from a single interface. Just navigate to the "Collaboration" tab located on the top menu bar. 

Here are some of the basic actions available to you.

Composing Messages

Sending messages on Scholabrate is is straightforward. Simply type a message in the message box and press Enter or the Send Button.

If you want to send multiple lines of text, press Shift + Enter to add a new line.

Cursor Movement while Composing a Message

While composing or editing a message, you can move the cursor using the arrow keys. When you press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow keys, the cursor moves to the location determined by the wrapping of the text.

You can move the cursor to to the beginning and end of messages by holding the  Alt or Command keys while pressing an arrow key.

Notifying Other Members of the Channel

To get someone’s attention in a channel, type @ followed by their username, for example @guarilha. (They’ll see a red badge on the channel and be notified via email or their mobile device if they’re not online).

You can also notify everyone in a channel by typing @all. Please use the @all sparingly because it notifies everyone. Although @all is useful for important announcements, it can be distracting if abused.

 To avoid unintended consequences, make sure you only notify or mention someone using the [ @ ] sign who is a member of the channel. This is particularly important in the case of private groups.

Sending Attachments

Scholabrate lets you share a wide variety of files and attachments with members of your channels. To access the attachment menu, simply click on the plus (+) icon on the message box.

Emojis

A picture tells a thousand words. Sometime an emoji does the job too. To insert a emoji in a message, hit the emoji button on the left of the message input to view an emoji picker. There you can select by sections and search for emojis.

You can also insert emojis by typing a colon : in the message compose box followed by typing the emoji name. For example, to input the smiley face emoji start typing 🙂. After typing two characters of the emoji’s name, a list of suggested emojis will appear. As you input more characters from the name, the search space will narrow. You can use the Up and Down arrow keys and Enter to select an emoji to insert or select one by left clicking on it.

Emoji shortcuts

You can use emoji shortcuts to display popular text representations as graphical emojis. For example, a message with the following text 🙂will display as the graphical :slight_smile: emoji.

Disabling emojis

Graphical emojis can be enabled/disabled in your Account settings under the Messages section. When graphical emojis are disabled, emoji keywords and shortcuts will be displayed as is e.g. 🙂 or 🙂.

Message Actions

You can interact with already posted messages as well. To open the message actions menu, hover your mouse over the desired message, and click on the three dots that will appear on the right side of the message.

editing messages

To edit a message, click on the edit option on the message actions menu. Alternatively, in the message input box, press the Up Arrow to edit the last message sent.

By default, only administrators, moderators, and owners of the channels can edit messages from other users.


editing different messages

While editing, if the cursor is at the beginning of a message, pressing the Up Arrow switches to editing the previous message you wrote. Similarly, if the cursor is at the end of a message, pressing the Down Arrow switches to editing the next message you wrote.


deleting messages

You can delete a message by clicking on delete option on the message actions menu. You can also delete a message by emptying the contents while editing and saving your changes.

You will be asked to confirm the message deletion and warned that the message contents will be able to be recovered.


replying to a message

Replying to a message create an attachment displaying the original message following the sent text.

To reply to a message, click on the reply option on the message actions menu and type your message after the link that was inserted in the message input box. Replying to a message that has already been replied to will create a string of messages, showing every message quoted prior to the current one.


starring messages

Starring a message makes it easy to find it later. To star a message, select the star-message option on the message actions menu, to un-star it just select the un-star option on the message actions menu. Your starred messages are found on the starred messages tab.

Starred messages are personal and only you can see the messages you have starred. They are per chat room and are not global (i.e., each room has its own list of messages you have starred in that channel).


pinning messages

Pinning a message to a channel causes the message to be easily accessible via pinned messages tab. To pin a message, select the pin-message option on the message actions menu, to un-pin it just select the unpin option on the message actions menu.

Pinned messages can be seen by everyone in the channel. Channel administrators set permissions for who can pin messages in a channel. By default, only administrators, moderators, and owners of the channel can pin messages


reactions

Emoji reactions let you respond to messages quickly. Reactions can be used for any purpose including voting, checking off to-do items, showing excitement, answering questions or just for fun.

To add reaction to a message, hover your mouse over it, and click on the smiling face icon on the right of the message and choose an emoji. To remove an emoji reaction, click on the emoji below the message. To reiterate an existing emoji reaction that someone else posted, click on that emoji to add to that emoji’s counter.


message permalinking

Permalinking a message creates a link directing to that message, also if you post a permalink on another channel it creates a preview with the contents of the message. To permalink a message simply click on the permalink option on the message actions menu and the link will be copied to your clipboard.


Copy of message drafts

Scholabrate saves drafts of edits to your messages. That way, you can return to an edit draft after switching to another message. Pressing ESCAPE discards an edit draft.


copying a message

To copy the contents of a message to your clipboard, simply click on the copy option on the message actions menu.


quoting a message

Quoting a message behaves in a similar manner to replying a message.


 

Channel Actions

You can do more with Scholabrate channels than just posting messages and uploading files. The Channel Actions Menu, located on to the right of the channel title, lets you interact with your channels in various ways and customize your experience (note that some of the menus are accessible by clicking on the three dots at the end of the channel header).

Favorites

To help organize and prioritize your communications, you can add channels, private groups, and DMs to your favorite list. To favorite a channel, click on the star icon to the left of the channel header (located next to the room name).

When you star (or favorite) a channel, the channel moves to a “Favorites” section on the channels list, making it easier to access and find.

Channel Info

To provide a fuller transparency and picture about a channel, channel owners and administrators can provide enhanced information about their channels. Information about the current channel can be found under Channel Info.

Only channel owners and administrators can edit this information to provide a fuller picture of the channel.

These are the channel info options:

  • Channel Name: The name of the channel, how users see the title and find the channel via search.
  • Topic: The topic shows next to the title on the channel header. Great for giving more info on what the channel is about.
  • Announcement: The announcement is shown in a very visible bar under the channel header.
  • Description: The description of the channel.
  • Private: Tells whether a channel is private or public. You can set the channel’s privacy settings from here.
  • Read Only: Tells whether a channel is read only and toggles the read only status on the channel. In read only channels, messages can only be posted by people with the right permission. Good for announcements channels and such.
  • Archived: Tells if a channel is archived and toggles the archived status of a channel. Nobody can post messages in an archived channel, and channel search will not find an archived channel.

Search Messages

If you need to search the messages for something you can do this using the search icon.

You can also narrow your search using some of the basic search commands below.

  • from:me to search for messages only created by the current member.
  • from:user.name to search for messages created by a specific member. The username entered must be the format without spaces (i.e. “john.doe” and not “John Doe”. To search for any time a user was mentioned, just search for their username.
  • has:star returns messages that are starred by the current member.
  • is:pinned or has:pin returns messages that are pinned in the current channel.
  • has:url or has:link returns messages that contain a link.
  • has:location or has:map returns messages that have a location attached.
  • before:dd/mm/yyyy, after:dd/mm/yyyy and on:dd/mm/yyyy return message that were created before, after, or on the provided date. Dashes dd-mm-yyyy or dots dd.mm.yyyy can be used instead of slashes.
  • order:asc, order:ascend, or order:ascending sorts messages by ascending timestamp.
  • order:desc, order:descend, or order:descending sorts messages by descending timestamp.

For increased flexibility, the search box also supports the use of “regular expressions,” which offer the ability to search chat entries in any language, even ones which are traditionally a challenge to search (like “CJK” languages - Chinese, Japanese, Korean).


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Members List

Curious about who are the other members of a channel? You can view the channel directory via the Member List.  

Channel owners and administrators can also manage the members of their channel.7

When you first open the list, only the current active members are shown. To see all members of the channel, click the show all link. To see more information on a member, click their name on the list.

The member directory preview screen shows their name, any role tags they might have, and their current time zone. From there you can also:

  • Start a direct conversation with the member by clicking the conversation option
  • Start a video call with the member
  • Set the member as channel owner
  • Set the member as channel moderator
  • Mute the member
  • Remove the member from the channel

Notifications

By default, a channel notifies you whenever someone mentions you or uses the @all mention. Using the channel notifications tab, you can customize how you get notified. The options are

  • Disable Notifications: disable all notifications for the channel.
  • Audio: select whether the channel will emit a sound whenever someone mentions you or posts a message in that channel. You can specify the sound to play.
  • Desktop: controls notification behavior when using any desktop app or browser.
  • Mobile: controls push notification behavior when using any mobile app.
  • Email: set whether email is sent whenever someone mentions you or posts a message, or disable email notifications.
  • Unread Room Status: Controls whether the channel on the channel list is highlighted when there is a new message or mention.
  • Unread Tray Icon: Controls whether the tray icon is highlighted when there are new messages or mentions on the current channel.

Other Activities

  • Files List

    A list of all the files uploaded to the current channel.

  • Mentions

    All messages which mentioned you in the current channel.

  • Starred Messages

    All messages which you have starred in the current channel.

  • Pinned Messages

    All messages that were pinned on the current channel.

Go OTR

OTR stands for Off The Record Messaging or end-to-end encrypted conversations.

 You can only use OTR in direct (one-on-one) messages and both parties must be online.

To start OTR conversation, click on "START OTR". Your colleague will be notified of your request to start a OTR. After your request is confirmed by the other side, your messages will be encrypted. 

 Encrypted messages have a key icon on the right side.