Use this tour to get a step-by-step view of some of the things you can do with Clearspace.
As you read through the tour, it will point out features and suggest things you can do to start putting Clearspace to work for you and your team. Here are the steps:
Get It Your Way
Collaborate on Content
Get Things Done
For other introductions to Clearspace, be sure to see the Jive Software web site. There, you'll find illustrations that show Clearspace in action, as well as a feature-by-feature description. You might also be interested in looking through the Clearspace Help, which answers common questions about how to get things done in Clearspace.
Get to know Clearspace. When you first log into Clearspace, the All Content page offers links to places where you can dive in. Use the content type icons, titles, and change age ("3 hours ago") to decide if there's anything of interest for you here at the top level.
Your community manager might have customized the All Content page to show certain things, so it might look different from what's pictured below. But this is a snapshot of some of the things you might see.
The content type icons are your first clues as to the kinds of content you'll find and create in Clearspace: documents, blogs, and discussions. You'll learn more about the types later in this tour. From the home page you can also get a feel for how you can find content. For example, through the sections on the home page you can browse by space, browse by content types or browse by tags (more about tags later, too).
Also, notice that menu bar near the top of the page. It's available on all the other pages, too. Use it to:
After you've gotten to know what's inside pretty well, use the Your View link to personalize your view. That way, you can choose which content you want to appear here. More on that later in this tour.
In the Find Content section of the tour you'll learn how to stay on top by using spaces, searches, tags, notifications, and something called "feeds."
As you saw on the Clearspace home page, you've got a number of paths into the content. You can browse by space, by content type and tags, and you can search. (You can even browse for content by other people — just try clicking someone's name.) This section of the tour will introduce you to Clearspace's content-finding features.
Browse spaces. Most content in Clearspace is organized by spaces (some blogs aren't connected to a particular space). In spaces, you create, find, and organize content.
The Spaces page shows the spaces you can visit in a hierarchy.
If you haven't already, take a moment to browse your spaces.
Browse by tags. When you browse by tags, you're using a community-made indexing system. You and other people apply tags like index keywords to new content to make the content more findable. You look for content you want by clicking tag names to see a list of related content. Wherever you go in Clearspace, you'll see tags that group your content into categories.
Search for content. Search for the content you want, filtering your search to refine the results.
Through browsing and searching Clearspace you can look for the content you need. But what if you've found something you want to keep your eye on? By subscribing to feeds or email notifications, you can get updated on changes to content you care about.
See the next part of the tour for an introduction to feeds and email notifications.
Subscribe to feeds. Ever want a way to see what's new or changed on your favorite web sites without having to visit the sites? You can use feeds to get a digest of updates to the stuff you're interested in. When you "subscribe" to a feed (such as RSS) — say, for particular search results or a tag or the content of a space — your feed reader (which might simply be your web browser) does the checking for you. With feeds, you can subscribe to nearly anything in Clearspace!
If feeds (such as RSS) sound appealing, take a moment to get it set up. Select one of the Clearspace feeds and subscribe. If you select a reader to use for all feeds, subscribing is as easy as clicking the feed icon where you see it in Clearspace.
Note: When subscribing to Clearspace feeds, you might need to associate your Clearspace user name and password with the subscription.
Get notified by email. In addition to feeds, you can also stay on top of content using email notifications. When you sign up to receive email notifications, Clearspace will send you email whenever the content you're interested in changes.
You'll want to personalize your home page. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of the time you're using Clearspace.
As you and others use Clearspace, the amount of content there will grow. You'll develop a preference for certain people's blogs, for discussions in certain areas, and you'll learn that some areas just rarely have anything you need.
Notice how the page in design mode is divided into a top part and larger bottom part. In the box near the top of the page is a list of widgets. Most widgets are special views on content or people in Clearspace; a few provide other ways to add other things, such as notes and links to stuff on the web.
Beneath the list of widgets is a design already started for you. This design is an arrangement of widgets for you to change by rearranging it, removing widgets, and adding some you'd rather have.
You'll find the content you need with Clearspace. But if you use it long enough, there's a pretty good chance that you're going to want to make your own contributions. And that where things really get interesting. As you join others in the space — getting answers to your questions, finding documents you need day to day, reading others' thoughts in a blog — you'll discover ideas you wouldn't otherwise have seen. And you'll want to get them out of your head and into Clearspace.
Ask a question, get some quick feedback. Discussions are great for those brief questions and comments. It might start with a simple question.
Create a document to preserve team thoughts. Documents and uploaded files give you a way to get content into Clearspace. With documents, you edit the content right in Clearspace. You and others can work on the same document and it's searchable. As you'll see later, you can also specify that other people should review or approve the content. By uploading a file, on the other hand, you can add something that was created outside Clearspace. Uploading the file makes it available to other people; you can tag the uploaded file to make sure it gets found.
A document is for capturing information that others on the team would be interested in (or might just need) — things like agendas, plans, meeting notes, equipment lists, and the like. They're team documents.
Tip: You can make a document from a discussion! View the discussion in Clearspace, then click the Convert thread to document link under Actions.
Post your views to your blog. While documents are often authored by the team, blogs are for more individual kinds of content. A blog might be the voice of a department (such as human resources) or of an individual (such as you). A blog is a like a column in a newspaper — it's there when you look for it, now and then offering something new to read. Unlike a newspaper column, though, others can comment on a blog.
If you've got a blog, you might post your views on something you just read that others in the organization might be interested in. Or you could evaluate or summarize something for the team, providing a way for others to give feedback through their comments on your blog.
Create a profile. Your profile is a quick way for other members of your team to find out more about you. It can be bare bones or more thorough. If you fill in the optional fields, you can give others a sense of who you are and what you know. It can be very useful in a team to know who to go to when you've got a question or suggestion in mind.
Nearly everything you do in Clearspace is about collaboration. Content you add is almost always visible and searchable by everyone (unless you've explicitly indicated that its visibility should be limited to certain people). Other people read your work, you read theirs. You get ideas from someone else's blog, they comment with suggestions on your document.
But Clearspace provides ways through which you can manage collaboration. For example, you can say that only certain people are collaborating on a document with you. You can say that some of these people can edit the document, while others must approve it before it's visible to everyone.
Note: Publishing a document always makes it visible to everyone who can ready documents (which is typically everyone using Clearspace). If you want to limit a document's visibility, save it as a draft!
Add collaborators. When you first create a document, you limit its visibility by setting its collaboration options. When you add people to edit and approve a document, you're giving them special roles in what's called the document's "workflow." In other words, work on the document starts in one place — a draft — and moves through a process — possibly more drafts, review, and approval — until it's ready for publishing.
After you've saved the document, you can come back later to edit these options by clicking the Manage Collaboration link in the Actions list. The people you added to edit and approve the document will be able to get to this document from their Your Stuff menu and from the Your Stuff tab of their own profile.
The document itself will also let approvers know that it's time to approve.
You've got people sharing ideas and contributing content. When specific schedules and goals drive their work, create a project to focus it. In Clearspace a project is a way to collect tasks and schedules with other kinds of content to collaborate toward an overarching goal.
After you've created the project, you'll see the home page. Here, you can get started
creating the tasks and checkpoints — the stuff that sets a project apart. You can customize
this page just as you can with your personalized home page or a space overview page.
You'll use checkpoints to map out your project's milestones, with tasks between the checkpoints.
As you add checkpoints, notice that they're visible on the Overview page in the
Checkpoints list and the Project Calendar. Hover over a
checkpoint in either place to edit or delete it.
Start adding specific, smaller-grained tasks that can be assigned to someone for completion between checkpoints.
This is the end of the Clearspace tour, but it has really only scratched the surface. The best way to get to know Clearspace is to put it to work by adding content and responding to the content other people have added. Give it a try!