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Some Limitations of IBM Connections

February 7th, 2018 | Posted by elfworld in Connections | IBM - (8 Comments)

As an IBM Champion who is visiting a lot of IBM customers, I often get asked questions about challenges that the users have with some of the products. Very often I can give them the answer. But sometimes I have to go to IBM to ask the product managers for help. And other times I turn to the wonderful IBM Collaboration Solutions community. So, here are my challenges at for the customer I’m working with this week:

  • When you save a file directly from Microsoft Office and up into Files in Connections, you can’t share this file with external users. When you try to share it afterwards, you get a strange error message. This means you have to save the file locally first, and then upload it to Files via the web GUI.
  • When you are in the Windows Explorer plugin, and you drag a file locally from your computer and over to Files, you cannot choose to share the file externally if the Connections solution is running on prem. This actually works in the plugin if the plugin is connected to the cloud version of Connections
  • While you can print a wiki page, you cannot print an entire wiki. Is there a way to do that?
  • Why can’t you print a file from the Files web GUI? You can’t print it in preview mode either. I was expecting to be able to print a file when I opened it in IBM Docs, but no. I can only print it to PDF! Why?
  • I’m not sure I understand the process of adding external users. My customer says that when they add an external user, this user hase to log on at least once before they can start adding this user to communities, or start sharing files with her Is this true?

Any help on these matters will be more than welcome.

There are two types of status postings you can just ignore, even if they try to tell you that you are a bad person for not sharing them.

I bet 5 of my friends won’t…

Batman memeI’m sure you’ve seen these lots of times. One of your friends has copied the text of a status update from someone else and pasted it. They are usually about cancer or depression. After a long text describing the illness you get this at the bottom:

“I’m going to make a bet, without being pessimistic, that out of my Facebook friends that less than 5 will take the time to put this on their wall to help raise awareness of and for those who have [insert illness here]. You just have to copy it from my wall and paste it to yours ”

So, not only content with shouting out that “hey, look what good person I am for doing this,” they also prey upon the conscience of their friends. I mean, who wants to appear to be a bad person not caring about the suffering of others, right?

Wrong! The next time someone post this, just ignore it. You are doing the world (and your newsfeed) a service. And you are a better person than the one who tried to guilt you into sharing.

The only thing you are telling the world by posting it is that not only are you a person who thinks posting a status update about an illness will help fight it. If you really want to make a difference for people with [insert illness here] donate money to organisations working with said infliction. Or volunteer for these organisations. If you want to post and brag about it, that’s fine. But do it without telling everybody how great you are and how awful they are for not doing it.

Actually, posting something like this is the least effective way to fight cancer, depression or what have you. Stop it!

I want to teach my students how fast a photo spreads

Teacher's posterI’m sure you’ve seen this one a lot, especially lately. A well meaning teacher says she wants to teach the kids of her class how fast a photo is spread on the internet. So they post a photo of a sign with this message, and tell everyone to share it. And since you think it’s important that the kids learn how to be careful on the internet, you do just that. DON’T!

First of all, this meme has been going on for over 8 years now (and a lot of times the poster is fake and it’s just someone having fun, and not a teacher). There are hundred teachers who have done it, so there’s no need to do it anymore. We know how fast a photo can spread.

My suggestion is this: Instead of posting your own meme, teach your kids how to google it. They can then use google, find the articles telling how fast a photo spreads, and then learn that they should be careful with photos on the internet. They also learn that they don’t need to spam others with things like this.

Another reason why you shouldn’t spam the newsfeed of your friends with this is that this has been done so much now that people are tired of it. It’s become spam! So most people have started to ignore it. So the more who post these, the more they will be ignored, and then you teach the children that photos are NOT spread as fast as their teacher claims.

So stop sharing these photos as well.

Now, if someone could just teach the parents about being careful with photos on the internet, we might get somewhere…

 

Life of an IBM Champion

February 2nd, 2018 | Posted by elfworld in IBM | IBM Champion | ISBG - (0 Comments)

EgoAs some of you know, I turned 100% freelance last year, and my income is now all down to me in my pursuit of assignments. If you want to book me, either as a user trainer for effective use of mail and calendar (Outlook IBM Notes or Gmail), general courses about IBM Notes, IBM Connections, general collaboration, social media, Microsoft Office, writing and photography, as a developer/architect or writer and photographer, get in touch.

I’m gonna be more active around here from now on. So first a recap about what I’ve been doing lately.

First of all, I was actually made an IBM Champion again for 2018. This year my fellow Norwegian, Robert Farstad, was named a champion too. Yay!

November and December was filled up with me doing user training in IBM Connections for the worker’s union Industrienergi, on behalf of Item. The feedback was great and I’m going to do even more user training next week and later in February. Last time I taught them their new intranet, which is running on IBM Connections, the news stream, how to stay updated on what goes on in IBM Connections and Files. For the latter I also helped them set up the IBM Connections plugins for Windows, Outlook and IBM Notes, as well as the mobile app. The reason I focused mostly on Files is that in my experience that is the ticket in for most users. That’s what makes them really see the potential in a collaborative solution as Connections. The next courses will be all about Activities, another neat feature in Connections.

I also did an IBM Notes project for a company just outside of town in December and January. It was good old fashioned Notes development, with lotusscript and Notes design elements. It was great fun, but I’m trying to get them to see the advantage of starting to go in a more web enabled direction.

As the leader of the Norwegian IBM Collaborations Software User  Group (ISBG) I’ve also been busy arranging meetings and webinars. All our webinars can be seen on our Youtube channel. The webinar is the last Tuesday of every month. If you want to do a presentation, please get in touch with me.

I’ve also done loads of journalistic and photographic assignments. Some of them will be presented in this blog during the spring.

And lastly: If you are thinking about going to IBM’s Think conference this year, get in touch with me as well. I can give you  a $100 discount.

Expect a new blog posting soon.

UPDATE: I’ve been told that on a lot of mobile apps, what I’ve described here is still not happening. I think it will eventually happen, it’s just that the change isn’t rolled out yet for you. However, the See All-link is not present in the mobile app if the change hasn’t been rolled out for your yet.

Facebook is slowly rolling out a new algorithm for how it will give you notifications. Every time you post something, and someone comments on it or likes it, you get a notification. If you have commented something, and others comment on it, likes your comment or replies to it, you also get a notification. There are also other notifications, like if you manage a Facebook page, if someone posts something on a page or event you like and so on.

The notifications are shown in the form of a small red circle, with a number telling you how many unread notifications you have, which is displayed in the globe on your Facebook web page and Iphone/Ipad app, or over the bell icon on your Android mobile app. You will also see this red circle with the number over the Facebook icon on your mobile phone or pad.

When you click on the globe, you see a list of the notifications and can choose the ones you want to open:

Notifications

 

Thus far this has been pretty straight forward. Notifications have appeared chronologically, and you’ve seen them all. Not anymore. Facebook is in the process of rolling out a big change.

From now on Facebook will prioritise what notifications they think are important to you. They do this based on your Facebook activities, who and what you interact with and who and what you follow (as far as I know). This means that there will be notifications you might not see, because Facebook have deemed them as not being important to you.

Personally, I find this incredibly annoying. I haven’t been affected by this change yet, but we all will be. Therefore I will now show you how you can see all your notifications.

Below the list of new notifications, you have a little link called See All:

See all notifications

 

Click on this, and you will now see all notifications, in glorious chronological order:

All notifications

 

PS! If you have turned off specific notifications, they will naturally not be listed here. Nor will you be notified about them.

We are the Champions

November 1st, 2017 | Posted by elfworld in IBM | IBM Champion - (0 Comments)

IBM Champions in San FranciscoLast year I was fortunate enough to be named IBM Champion for 2017 by my peers in the IBM Collaboration Solutions community.

It has been great. I have made even more friends in the community, I gotten my foot inside the door of places that were closed to me and I’ve been allowed to partake in various IBM stuff. In addition, you sometimes get news and announcements before everybody else.

You are also given access to people and resources that you normally wouldn’t be able to reach, and that is very beneficial for your organization and my customers. More than once have I solved a problem for a customer, thanks to my network that I got by becoming an IBM Champion.

If you feel that you should be an IBM Champion, nominate yourself and give me a shout, and I will nominate you also. And if you would consider nominating me, I would be most grateful.

The nomination form is here. Nominations must be in by November 13th.

If you want more details about the IBM Champions program, read this.

Social Connections in Vienna

October 27th, 2017 | Posted by elfworld in IBM | Social Connections - (0 Comments)

Last week I attended the Social Connections conference in Vienna. This conference is put together by a group of users and IBM partners, and they alternate between North-America and Europe. This was the twelfth conference, but it was my first.

Not only did I attend, I also did a presentation myself. Since I’ve become Mr. IBM Connections plugins over the last two years, I naturally gave a presentation on those. Again.

Vienna is a beautiful city, with a huge legacy of culture, architecture and history. I arrived the day before the conference started and therefore took the opportunity to do some sightseeing. There are those who frown upon those “hop on and off” tour buses that you find all over the world now, but I love them. They are perfect for getting around to see the best sites, and not too expensive.

The conference itself was attended by several IBM-ers, and they started off and ended the conference by talking about the future of collaboration. Over the two days the conference lasted we could learn about:

  • The way your organization changes because of digital transformation
  • Administration of IBM Connections (which can be a bitch on-premise)
  • Various third party apps and solutions for IBM Connections (and that’s growing, something I’m personally very excited about)
  • Integrated workspaces for employees
  • How to boost user engagement and make sure your change to collaborative solutions succeed, and how not to do it
  • The file solution Box which makes it easier to share files from Connections with people outside your organization
  • Livegrid, which is an even easier way to get your data out of Domino, or make it more easily available for other solutions (and for them to write back to Domino)
  • IBM Watson Workspace, IBM’s version of Slack where you can add their Watson technology, which will function as a bot that can answer questions. A lot of banks are using similar solutions these days without their customers even knowing about it
  • IBM Connections plugins for Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office and Windows Explorer, IBM Notes and the MacOS (given by yours truly)
  • Security and hacking. A great lecture was given by my fellow Norwegian Robert Farstad about how they asked professional hackers to hack the IBM Connections solution used by Høyre (the Norwegian political party who currently holds the Prime Minister in Norway)
  • Searching for contents and files
  • Docker
  • IBM Connections Engagement Center and IBM Connections Customizer

Vienna HallwayPhew! Quite a list. But a great conference. If you are interested in learning about any of this stuff, you can find the slides for each session in the agenda. Just click on the More Info button.

I’m interested to see where IBM Connections Pink is going. It seems exciting, but how will customers react to it going from an out-of-the-box-solution to a make-it-into-whatever-you-want-it-to-be solution?

The venue was fantastic. It was like you could hear the ghosts of winter balls past, with the waltz ringing in your ears. Chandeliers, tapestries, long winding staircases, statues, paintings and all other things you think about when you talk about the old Vienna.

Well done to all the organisers! Can’t wait for the next one. Check out my photo gallery from Vienna and the conference.

Here’s my presentation:

IBM HCLIBM made some pretty big announcements tonight. First of all, Notes and Domino will have a version 10 released in 2018. Yeah, I know. I am as shocked as you.

Secondly, IBM is now leaving all the development of the platform to their partner HCL. IBM has already a partnership with them on several other products in their portfolio.

So what does this mean? It means that the platform is not dead, something which we’ve heard since around 2002 from people.

It also means that for the customers, there will be no change in their relationship with IBM. HCL will do the development, and maybe a times help out IBM. But sales, support, PMRs, licensing, Passport advantage will all still be done via IBM.

So the biggest change is that HCL takes over the development. IBM and HCL are committed to make sure that support, development and continuation of the platform will not be disrupted.

The journey starts now, and thus far the next version of Notes, Domino and Sametime is going under the name “Proejct Sapphire.”

Other stuff to look forward to:

  • Domino will now support the Mail client for Mac as they already do for Outlook via Exchange ActiveSync
  • There will be constant development for the Domino platform, so that it will be easier to integrate with other platforms and solutions
  • IBM will hold jams (currently called Domino 2025) for ideas about the future of Notes/Domino where people will have meetings, talks and other ways to give IBM feedback
  • IBM Champions and the user groups will be invited to be much more involved in the future
  • The Think conference (taking over for Lotusphere/Connect) will have a much larger presence for Notes/Domino than what we feared

And just to be clear: This covers the entire family of IBM Notes, Domino, Sametime and Verse, both on premise and in the cloud.

Here’s the portfolio that’s a part of the HLC partnership:

IBM Notes and Domino

  • IBM SmartCloud Notes
  • IBM Notes Traveler
  • IBM Mobile Connect
  • IBM Verse
  • IBM Mail Support for Microsoft Outlook(IMSMO)
  • IBM WISPR
  • IBM Enterprise Integrator (LEI)
  • IBM Sametime portfolio
  • IBM Connections Chat/Meetings
  • IBM Client Access (ICAA)

I was today on the IBM Champions call where we were introduced to this. And some of the questions raised in the Q&A was: Is this too little too late? Will we be able to get customers to invest in Notes/Domino? Will the platform be relevant?

Let’s find out. The journey is #2025.

Aren’t there times when you where you are itching to post a scatching status posting about something or someone? But you can’t do it, because you don’t want any persons involved to read your posting.

Luckily Facebook has a function not many people know about that lets you do just that: Post something and then tell what people should not be allowed to read neither the posting itself, or any likes or comments either.

This is how you do it:

Write your posting:

Status posting

 

To the left of the Post button you have a pulldown menu:

Visibility button

 

Click on this button:

Pulldown menu

 

Go to Friends except… and click on it. This screen pops up (I have anonymized people in my list, but you will see your friends’ profile photos, names and workplace):

Friends list

 

In the top of my list I have the two last persons I blocked from seeing a posting. You can see that they are active, because of the red circle behind their names. If I do want them to see this posting, I simply click on the red icon, so that it becomes white:

Uncheck

Now the person in the top of the list will not be included in this exception list.

To choose a person that should not see this new posting, you simply search for their name in the search field:

Search field

 

Type as many letters as needed in the search field until you see the name of the person listed. Then simply click on the circle to the right of their name:

Check name

 

After clicking on it, it will turn red:

Checked

 

If there are other people you want to hide this posting from, simply search for them as well and click on the circle icon behind their names.

When you have found all the names you simply click on the button Save Changes.

However, it can be a good idea to review the list of people you want to block. To do so, click on the little x to the right inside the search field:

Close search

 

Now you can see the list of all the people you have blocked for this posting:

List of blocked people

As you can see I have two people whom I want to block from seeing this posting. The person I removed from the block list is still listed among the others that I’ve chosen, but as we can see the icon behind the name is white, which means he won’t be blocked.

Click Save Changes. You will now return to this screen:

Chosen

 

As you can see on the pulldown button, this posting will now be shown to all friends, except the ones you just chose. You can even see the names of people it should be hidden for it you click on  the pulldown arrow in the button:

Friends except

 

If you change this to Public or Friends, the people you just picked will still see the posting, like everybody else. You choice has to stay on Friends except…

However, the next time you choose Friends except…, all the people you just added to this list will still be listed here. So if you want any of them to see the posting the next time you choose Friends except…, you have to actively remove them from the list.

So that’s how you hide a posting from selected individuals. Neat, eh?

I’m sure you many times have replied to a comment someone has made on a posting on Facebook. But the well formed and well placed comment that you are so satisfied with suddenly becomes a small nightmare. You are constant bothered by notifications when people comment on the original posting.

Well, I got news for you. Because you have most likely done the same thing. And by that I mean you have probably replied to a comment in the wrong way more than once.

This is how you comment on postings on Facebook.

Here we have a posting on Facebook, with comments:

Hugh Hefner

This is the point where a lot of people get this wrong. If you want to comment on the original posting, you do it like this:

First comment

Now everybody who has commented on the original posting will get a notification that I’ve posted a new comment. And that’s how Facebook works.

However, very often people are not replying to the original posting. Instead, they are replying to one of the comments. And that’s where things go wrong.

Do not type your reply as a new comment like this:

Wrong reply

What will happen? Well, everybody who has commented on the original posting will now get a notification that someone else has commented. And everybody will be confused about who you are replying to.

Some of you try to remedy that by tagging the person who made the comment you’re replying to. Like this:

No tagging

Do not do this. Everybody who have commented on the original posting will now get a notification that someone else has commented. And that is not what you are doing. You are replying to one specific comment. In addition, the person you tagged will get two notifications. One telling him that he has been tagged, and another telling him that someone has replied to the original posting.

So how do you reply to a comment, instead of the original posting? Simple. You click Reply under the comment:

Reply

Now, type your reply in this comment field instead:

New reply

Hit Enter, or the Post button your Facebook app, and your reply will now be directly beneath that comment:

Posted reply

Now, only the person who wrote that particular comment will be notified, and not everybody else who have written comments on the original posting. This is also a way to get a discussion thread going.

If someone now wants to reply to your reply, they click on Reply beneath your reply:

Reply to reply

Their reply now will be displayed just beneath yours.

What happens when others make a reply to the original comment? It will be listed under the comment, beneath your reply. And here’s the nice part: Only you and any others who have replied to the comment will be notified about it!

This means that those who made their own comments on the original posting will not be notified. This makes Facebook cleaner and much more enjoyable for everyone. Here’s what a nice discussion should look like on Facebook:

Discussion thread

As you can see someone commented on my posting, I then replied to that comment, and then 6 other people replied to that reply. Notice the grey line to the left that tells you that all these replies belong to the original comment. And at the bottom of the picture, you have two new comments. But those are comments to the original posting, which is not a part of the discussion thread belonging to the first comment.

So now you now you know how to reply and comment on Facebook!

Join Me in Vienna

September 22nd, 2017 | Posted by elfworld in IBM - (0 Comments)

Social ConnectionsQuite a few Norwegian ICS customers and partners ahve signed up for the Social Connections conference in Vienna. Why don’t you join us?

Social Connections is an international user group. They set up meetings twice a year, and they alternate between Europe and North-America. The conferences usually last for two days, and a lot of the most famous faces in the ICS community are there to give sessions and presentations. Yours truly will this year present his talk about plugins for IBM Connections.

The conference is also a great opportunity to meet official IBM-ers, new and existing customers and ICS experts that will give you the chance to expand on your knowledge about collaboration.

This autumn the conference is in Vienna, and it takes place on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th of October, at Palais Pallavicini.

A lot of Norwegians are going, and the Norwegian usergroup, ISBG, is trying to get all Norwegians together for an informal gathering.

Agenda, registration form and information about the conference can be found at socialconnections.info.