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Groups and Inviting?

I am currently testing the Spark client,soley for functionaly as we are looking for an immediate replacement for MSN. I have looked around and tested somethings in Spark but can’t seem to sort out some issues with groups and shared converstations…So please correct me if needed.

From what can gather MSN groups are Conferences in Spark.

Here is are some cases for how we use MSN…

  • I have a group for each department Support, Hardware, Admin,. Emergency… members can be in some or all these groups. The moment one member of the group posts into that group, all members are notified and can then comment as well.This does not seem to be the same for Conferences as members must first join the conference to see the chat activity within the group.
    Is there group functionality in Spark like this?

  • I start a individual chat with one user. Over the course of the chat session we need to “invite” another user to our conversation. In MSN I could just click the invite icon and the other user woud be prompted to join the converstion.**
    Can Spark do anything like this?

I have only been working with Spark for a couple days and so far I REALLY like what I see. I am sure I will have more questions but will start with these.



There is an ‘Invite to conference’ button at top right, can you see that in the chat window with this single person?

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Jupp already told how to convert one to one chat into a conference and then you can invite other users to such ad-hoc conference room.

For group messaging you can use broadcast feature. Either by right clicking the group and selecting to broadcast a message. Or you can go to Actions > Broadcast message and select groups or individual contacts to send a message. Every person will get a personal message (which will look a bit different in the message tab) and will be able to reply, then such message is behaving like a normal one to one chat. Others won’t be able to see replies of other users.

Yes, Jupp and wroot, I was already aware of those thanks.

Sorry I totally dropped the ball on these questions as after I posted this I found out what i needed to do.I am certain I may be able to have this function the way I need it too.

Thanks, again.

Can you explain how you worked out being able to send a message to a group and all members see that message without needing to be invited to said group.

Best I can figure is that each person sets in their perferences to automatically accept group invites and then right click on a contact group and invite to group. Not as easy as MSN as its a few more clicks, but thats all I got for it. I just set up my server and was going through all the options and didn’t see anything similar to the MSN functionality. The group message in MSN was a big part of what we used. That is the last feature we are looking for and we will use Spark/Openfire.

Also, on a msall note, but not a major issue, is there a way to change the font color in the chat box for each user in the group? Its easier to tell each person talking apart.

Have you read my message about broadcasting to a group? As i said, you can send a single message to multiple recipients. And they can reply to such message, but every such reply will be seen only by you and not by the entire group. This means, when they reply to your broadcast it turns into a single one to one chat with every replier. I’m not familiar with the MSN group messaging, but that’s how it works in Spark and there is no other way.

I did. Trevor said he think he had a way to get the same functionality MSN had but I guess I’ll have to suffice without it. its only a few of us in the dept that use IM together but I guess we’ll have to survive without it.

Giuliano, Not ideal but what I have done is we created Groups and added users for those groups. From the main Spark screen (where you see all the users and groups) right click on the group name and select “Invite Group to conference”. This sends a message to everyone in the group to join.

The one draw back I see so far is that users MUST join the conference before they can see what topic is being chatted about. So if a user does not join right away, they could potentinally miss a whole conversation.

Still working on things as well.

Hope this helps you

The one draw back I see so far is that users MUST join the conference before they can see what topic is being chatted about.

When sending an invite to a group in the Message field you can enter the topic. It will be shown in the invitation message.

True, but by topic I just meant that those users that haven’t joined the conference won’t be able to see what has been discussed until they, themselves, join the conference. In MSN you can be late to get to the chat and review what others were chatting about. Not the case with Spark.

The conference “chat” in Spark is very much similar to that of a conference call. If you’re on the line you hear whats being discussed. If you’re late to the conference or hangup, you aren’t part of the conversation.

As I mentioned though, so far Spark has been great. The few things that are missing or different from MSN can certainily be worked around.

There is no need to create group just for "broadcasting a message’ or even ‘Start a conference’. All you have to do is highlight those names you want by ctl key+select. Once highlighted, right click and select what you want to do from there.

As for recipients having to accept invite to conference, there is a setting in Spark under Preference–>GroupChat. Just ask your colleagues to check ‘automatically accept groupchat invites’ and there will not be a need to accept invites anymore.

Automatic accepting of invitation could be a solution, though some may be annoyed by this.

Spark should be showing chat history when a new user joins the discussion. You should configure history settings on the server.

Yes having all users automatically accept is what I was looking for. The chat history may not show if the user has edited their own settings to display history or not (would that not be a factor with group chat?).

One thought on this though, if you accidentally close out of a group chat, is there anyway to get back in?

User’s chat history settings doesn’t affect group chat rooms. This history is controlled on a server.

You can get back to the room if you remember its name, which was in the Room field while creating an invite (username_XXX). Then you can do Actions > Join conference room > Create or join room and enter that name in the Room name field and press Create. Yeah, it will just join the existing room, not create another one.

Or after creating the room with the invitation you can right click in the chat history area, choose Configure room and mark List in the directory checkbox. Then the room will be listed in the Actions > Join confirence room window and you can just double click to join it again.