As you know, Lync Persistent Chat Rooms make it easy for you to collaborate with the people you care about around topic that are important to you. Here we will show you how to use chat rooms and customize its settings to maximize their benefit.

With Chat rooms you can search for content, broadcast messages to one or more rooms, send IM’s and/or stories, and customize how you get notified when certain keywords or someone gets mentioned in a room you are following.

To get you started, there are three different tabs where rooms appear under the chat room environment in Lync.

1- New tab: Shows new rooms that you have been added as a member to, where an invite was sent out.

2- Member Of tab: Shows all rooms that you are a member of

3- Followed tab: Only rooms you follow appear in this tab. These are the rooms that you care most about. This way you can customize how you get notified about keywords and other mentions in the room.

To follow a room, simply hover over the room name and click follow, the room will appear in your followed room list. Each time you sign in to Lync, you will automatically join the rooms that you are following. Now open a room and start posting messages just like sending a regular IM.

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Figure 1: How to follow a room

During the course of the day you can see message unread count for all rooms that you are following. Just make sure you scan your followed rooms tab to ensure that you are on top of your communication and that you have not missed any message.

Customizing notification settings

Customizing notification settings can be done in two ways:

1- Create a topic feed which monitors all rooms you are following

2- Change the notification settings per room (or globally for all rooms from Lync options menu)

Creating a topic feed is easy. Click on the “+” in Lync under Chat Rooms and select Create a New Topic Feed. Give your feed a name, keyword(s) and specify if you want to filter keywords posted by specific people. Under the notification tab you can select what sound to play (if any) and if you want a new window to pop out when your feed is matched. This is all you need to create a feed. Now you can rest assured that whenever someone posts a keyword that matches your topic feed you will be notified just the way you want. All your topic feeds appear under the followed room tab

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Topic feeds also show you the number of hits that match your filter criteria from the time you signed in to Lync. Just make sure you scan your topic feeds that appear under followed rooms tab to ensure that you are on top of your communication and that you have not missed any message.

Broadcasting messages

You can broadcast a message to one or more rooms that appear on your Followed/Member Of tab. This way you type your message once and you are sure it reaches all room that you selected. To do so, simply select the rooms you want to send a message to, right-click and select Broadcast a Message

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Figure 2: Broadcast a message dialog box

Finding rooms

To find a room simply select the chat room environment from Lync and start typing in the search box. Depending on the privacy settings of the room, if your keyword matches part of the room name/description then the room will appear in the search results.

Room card

Depending on the room privacy setting, you might be able to see various room settings such as room name, description, members, and managers. To see the room card, simply right click on a room and select “Room card” this will launch your browser and show you room details.

 

Searching inside rooms

Since all messages are persistent, you will find yourself wanting to search for messages that were sent to the room some time ago. You can search across all rooms you are following, member of, or a specific room. When searching you can specify keywords, date range, and people who posted the IM. You can access the group chat search dialog box from the “+" button found under chat rooms. Double click on a search results and the corresponding chat room will open and load the message that you want.

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Stories

New in Lync 2013 is the ability to send stories as an IM. Stories are great because they can be long IM’s, can have titles, and can be collapsed/expanded from within the conversation history area. This way you can send a long message and it does not have to consume the entire area of your conversation history. Sending stories is easy. You can send stories inside a chat room or any other regular IM session. Sending a story can be done in one of two ways:

    1. Right click menu inside the IM input area and select “Post a long message”
    2. Simple type a long message, it will be converted to a story

 

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Right click menu showing how to create a story

 

 

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Enter a story title and body

 

 

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Story is always received collapsed and you can click on read more to expand it

 

 

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Expand the story and you will be able to read the entire post. To collapse it simply click “Read less”