Advertising banner:
Using FirstClass instant messaging  
Help Contents • Web Help • Help Document
Using FirstClass instant messaging

About instant messages
FirstClass' instant messaging feature allows you to have an online conversation with users who are currently connected to a server. The Instant Message page contains a transcript pane that records everyone's contributions to the instant message.
Instant messages may take the form of temporary sessions that only exist until the last participant leaves, or permanent chat rooms that are available inside containers.

Setting your instant messaging preferences
You can update your preferences to specify whether:
• users can invite you
If you prevent users from inviting you, your name appears in italics in the Directory and Who's Online list.
• instant messaging sounds will play.

Responding to instant message invitations
If you are invited to an instant messaging session, an Instant Messaging Invitation button is added to your toolbar.

Do this
open the invitation
Click this button.
The invitation shows who invited you.
decline the invitation
Click Decline on the invitation form.
The sender (but not other participants) is notified that you have declined.
decline the invitation without sending a notification
Click Ignore.
join the instant messaging session
Click Accept.
The Instant Message page opens and your name is added to the "Participants" list in the Instant Message pages of all participants.

Starting private instant messages
To start an instant message:
1 Click Instant Message.
2 Update the Setup section, if desired:

If you supply a name for your instant message, then click Set, this name will appear on the invitations you send others. It will also be used as the instant message's subject, if you save the transcript.
Enable catch up
2102006_35208_0.png Only available to the creator of the instant message.
Lets users who join an instant message session in progress see all the transcript.
2102006_35208_0.png Only available to the creator of the instant message.
If you want to control others' input to the instant message, you can make yourself the moderator.
Save transcript
2102006_35208_0.png Only available to the creator of the instant message.
If you select this, the transcript will be saved in the lower pane of your Mailbox after all participants have left.
81203_42935_18.png Tip
The transcript contains everything from the point you selected "Save transcript", so you can select this partway through your instant messaging session and still save a portion of the transcript.
Check for updates every
2102006_35208_0.png Not applicable to all web browsers. You won't see this field if it doesn't apply.
During an instant messaging session, FirstClass regularly checks to see if there is any new input from participants to add to the transcript. This is called polling.
To change polling frequency, change the number of seconds. You can also make FirstClass poll immediately by clicking Check Now.
Check Now button
2102006_35208_0.png Not applicable to all web browsers. You won't see this field if it doesn't apply.
Forces FirstClass to poll for new input immediately.

3 Click Invite to invite a user.
A list opens, showing users who are currently connected to your server and will accept instant message invitations.
4 Select the user you want to invite.
5 Click Invite.
The selected user receives an invitation. If the user accepts, you will see the user's name in the "Participants" list. If the user declines, you are notified in the transcript. If the user ignores the invitation, you aren't notified.
6 Contribute to the instant message as you would to any other instant message.
Starting instant messages from the Directory
If you are in the Directory or Who's Online list, you can start an instant message by selecting the user, then clicking Invite User to Chat. In the Directory, you can only invite users who are currently online (their names are in bold). You can't invite users whose names are in italics.

Joining public chat rooms
Public chat rooms appear with this icon:
When a chat room has active participants, there is a red balloon beside its icon:
To join the chat room, double-click it.

Contributing to instant messages
To contribute to an instant message, type your input in the input pane of the Instant Message page, then click Send.
As participants enter the instant messaging session and contribute to it, the transcript pane fills with everyone's input.

Inviting others to join instant messages
You can invite others to join an instant messaging session in progress, just as you would when starting an instant message.
If the instant message has "Enable catch up" cleared in the Setup section, newly invited users won't see earlier input in their view of the transcript. You can allow them to see the transcript from the beginning of the session if:
• you are the instant message creator (private instant messages)
• you have moderator permission (chat rooms).
To display earlier input, select "Enable catch up".
Adding files to instant messages
You can:
• embed a file, such as a picture or sound file, in the transcript
• attach a file to the instant message.

Do this
Additional information
embed a file
1 Click Browse below the transcript pane.
2 Select the file.
3 Click Embed Object.
If you view an embedded file full size by clicking it, you can return to the transcript by clicking your web browser's Back button.
attach a file to the instant message
1 Click Browse at "Attachments".
2 Select the file.
3 Click Attach.
The attachment is displayed in the "Attachments" list.
You can remove the attachment, just as you can message attachments, by clicking the Delete icon beside it.

Leaving instant messages
When you are ready to leave the instant messaging session, click Leave. Other participants are notified that you have left.
If you will be unavailable for awhile, but don't want to leave permanently, you can make the Pause icon appear beside your name in the "Participants" list, to let other participants know that you aren't currently available:

To do this, click the Pause icon. This icon is removed when you send more input.

Creating public chat rooms
To create a public chat room that is available permanently:
1 Open the container where you want the chat room.
2 Choose New Chat Room from the Create field.
3 Type the public chat room name.
You can customize the rest of the chat room's Setup section just as you can for a private instant message. If you save the chat room's transcripts, they are saved in the chat room's transcript pane.
You can open the chat room's properties, then update other information about the chat room on the Info form. If you do this, you can rename the chat room on this form.

Moderating instant messages
If you want to control the contributions others make to an instant message, you can moderate it.
2102006_35208_0.png In a moderated private instant message, only the instant message creator can allow others to contribute. In a moderated public chat room, only moderators can allow others to contribute.

Do this
What happens
make an instant message moderated
Select "Moderated".
Other participants can no longer contribute. The following icon beside their names indicates that contributions by them are disallowed:
request permission to contribute
Click Hand Up:
The "hand up" icon is displayed beside your name.
allow a participant to contribute
Click the "disallowed" icon beside the participant.
The icon beside the participant changes to indicate that contributions are allowed:
prevent a participant from making further contributions
Click the "allowed" icon beside the participant.
The icon beside the participant changes to "disallowed".
make the instant message nonmoderated again
Clear "Moderated".
Everyone can contribute freely. All special moderation icons are cleared.

Saving transcripts
2102006_35208_0.png Only an instant message creator (or moderator or higher, in the case of a public chat room) can save the transcript.
To save a transcript, select "Save transcript" in the Setup section. You can do this when you create the instant message or chat room, or turn it on in the middle of an instant messaging session.
The transcript is saved after all participants have left.
A private instant message transcript is saved in your Mailbox.
A public chat room transcript is saved in the chat room's transcript pane.
7202010_20004_0.png Note
Every time the chat room is used, the transcript for that session is added to the existing transcript. You can't clear existing transcripts.
Archiving public chat room transcripts
If you want a public chat room session to start with a clear transcript pane for the next "meeting", you must create a new chat room.
If you don't want to lose the transcripts from previous sessions, you can archive them simply by moving the chat room to an archive folder or the parent container and protecting it. Just the saved transcripts are displayed. This makes it clear to users that you don't consider this to be an active chat room.