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Using FirstClass conferences  
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Using FirstClass conferences

About conferences
A conference lets a number of users exchange information online. You can send a message to a conference just as you would send a message to another user. You can also open a conference and read the messages posted there by others. Where a conference contains unread mail, its icon is flagged and it displays the number of unread items that are inside.
Conferences can be created by your administrator, or by yourself or other users. On your Desktop, you will only see those conferences which you have created or moved there, or to which you have been subscribed. You can also see any subconferences within a conference to which you have been subscribed. If there is another conference that you want to see on your Desktop, ask the conference owner to subscribe you to it.
The conference owner determines what you can do in a conference. For example, you may only be able to read messages in a conference that covers personnel policies, but be able to send messages to a conference that deals with a project that you are working on. In this case, the personnel conference serves as a way to broadcast information. The project conference lets everyone involved in the project discuss it.

Addressing messages to conferences
You can address a message to a conference just as you would to another user. To automatically address a message to a conference, open the conference, then create the message.

Sending messages from conferences
In some cases, you may want a message to appear to come from a conference rather than from you personally. This is useful, for example, if you have a conference set up as a help desk.
To send a message that appears to come from a conference:
1 Open the conference.
2 Choose New Message from Conference from the Create field.

Replying to messages in conferences
If you simply reply to a message in a conference without specifying recipients, the reply is sent to the conference's default recipients.
To reply to just the conference that contains a message, click Reply to Conference with the message open.
To reply to a message in a conference so that the reply appears to come from the conference itself, click Reply from Conference with the message selected.

Approving messages in conferences
A conference may be moderated. This means that either all messages sent to the conference, or messages with attachments, cannot be read until a moderator opens and approves them. Unapproved messages appear in italics in the list of conference items.
Only someone given permission to act as moderator for a conference can approve messages.
To approve a selected message, click Approve. To make this message unapproved again, click the same button.

Creating conferences
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If you just want to create a simple shared area, you can create a workspace instead. Creating a workspace is more straightforward than creating a conference. The tradeoff is that you have more control over conference behavior.
You can create conferences just as your administrator does. If you have trouble getting your conferences to work as you expect, contact your administrator.
To create a conference:
1 Open the container where you want the conference.
2 Choose New Conference from the Create field.
3 Select the template you want your conference to use.
4 Name your conference.
Select it, then choose Rename from the context menu.
After your conference has been created, you can:
• open it to customize the view
• update conference properties on the Info form.
5 Set conference permissions.
Setting conference permissions
To specify the permissions for your conference:
1 Open the conference.
2 Click Permissions.
3 Update the Permissions form.
We recommend that you select "Do not publish in Directory", so that your conference isn't in the Directory. This lets you name the conference whatever you want, without worrying about finding a unique name, and prevents users who shouldn't be seeing your conference from knowing about it.
Giving users access to your conferences
You can make your conference available to users by:
• creating the conference in a container to which they have access
• subscribing them to your conference.
This puts a link to your conference on their Desktops.
To subscribe a user to your conference:
1 Open the conference.
2 Click Permissions.
3 Click Subscribers.
4 Enter the user's name at "Add subscriber" just as you would when addressing a message.
You can work with the subscribers in this list just as you can in the Directory list.
To remove a selected subscriber, click Remove Subscriber.
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You can click the column headings in the subscribers list to sort the list, just as you can in other lists. This lets you display the subscriber names in alphabetical order.
Setting up mail handling rules for your conferences
You can set up mail rules that tell FirstClass how to handle mail received by a conference.
Providing information about your conferences
You can provide other users with information about a conference by creating a résumé for it. To do this:
1 Click Permissions with the conference open.
2 Click About.
3 Click Edit Form.
4 Update the Résumé form.
To see conference information, users can click About Conference.

Subscribing conferences to Internet mailing lists
You can use conferences as access points to Internet mailing lists.
When you subscribe a conference to a mailing list, messages sent to the mailing list will appear in the conference.
Each mailing list has its own instructions for subscribing. In some cases, you send a subscription request and the mailing list returns a reply saying the conference is subscribed. In other cases, you must respond to the mailing list's reply before the conference is subscribed.
To subscribe a conference to a mailing list:
1 Open the conference.
2 Click Permissions.
3 Click Message.
4 Send the subscription request as instructed by the mailing list.
The mailing list will send a reply to the conference.
If you need to respond to this reply:
5 Copy the text of the mailing list's reply.
6 Click Message on the Permissions form.
7 Paste the copied text into your response.
If necessary, copy and paste the subject line as well.
8 Send the response.
Writing to mailing lists from conferences
Some mailing lists let anyone write to them. In this case, you and others using a conference can just send messages to the mailing lists, or respond to mailing list messages in a conference.
Other mailing lists only let registered users write to them. These mailing lists consider the actual conference to be the registered user, not you or others using the conference. This means that you can't send messages directly to a mailing list, or respond to mailing list messages directly from the conference. To write to these mailing lists, you must use the Message button that is available through conference permissions.
Sending commands to mailing lists
As well as sending messages to mailing lists, you can send commands such as help commands or requests for information about who is subscribed. These commands must be sent using the Message button that is available through conference permissions.