A Guide to Cool Features for Chat Nerds in Collaborate

I've been working on a fun Ember JS application for the past 6 months called PureCloud Collaborate. Its a unified collaboration application with persistent chat similar to what you are used to with Slack, but with additional capability for pulling in organization profiles and for upgrading to things like telephony support and integrating into Interactive Intelligence's suite of product offerings. The Collaborate web UI team is a really awesome group of developers, and the app is a bit of a labor of love for us. We've spent many hours putting in extra fun features that can make using the app a lot of fun. I'm writing this post as an intro to some of our cooler features for new users, and for users of the app that may not have yet noticed all that's available.

Private Groups and Emoji Names

In addition to official groups you can create through the directory UI, Collaborate lets you create private, or "personal" groups. These groups are viewable by only those you invite. You can create these groups through the group creation dialog, or by simply inviting an additional person into a one on one chat. When setting the name, I like to give the title an emoji name as a visual for the group. Here's an animation showing how to expand a one to one chat into a private group and give it a fun name. (hint: click the emoji icon and the chat message text box for a list of our emoticons, and mouse over them to find out their names. If you use an emoji name like :smile: in chat it will expand a command complete to assist you)

Private Groups

Chat Commands

Chat comes with a set of useful slash commands for performing special actions

  • /dnd and /afk and /presence: Sets you presence, which is how the world sees you. Typing /afk will show you away (away from keyboard), /dnd will put you in do not disturb, and typing /presence with a status will update you as specified. For example /presence available makes you green. Possible options are "avalable", "away", and "out of office".
  • /video: Starts a video call in the context of the current room
  • /last: Switches you back to the last room
  • /collapse: Collapses all gifs and videos when the room gets particularly heavy with animations
  • /prefs: Quick launch the preferences dialog
  • /selfie: Sends an immediate selfie to your group

Embeds

Paste URLs from the following sites to get embedded content:

  • twitter
  • youtube
  • vimeo
  • github gists
  • reddit
  • images (gif, jpg)

Embeds

Interesting Preferences

If you've got lots of groups and chat partners, you can see more of them on the screen by setting the Display Density setting. You can also set whether media is collapsed by default, and choose the sort order of rooms (recent or alphabetical)

Preferences

Markdown and Code Snippets

Chat supports markdown, meaning that you can create rich chat messages, featuring elements that you regularly view in web pages, such as lists, headings, tables, and code snippets.

Markdown

Chat Search and Quoting

Collaborate offers unlimited chat history out of the box and allows you to search for past messages and browse the history around them. You can also quote old messages within your room.

Chat Search and Quote

Little Known Features

One additional nice and not obvious feature is that you can type a hex representation of a color in a chat message and get a preview of that color and the ability to copy it. This is useful especially for people who are designing web experiences.

Finally, we threw in a Dancing Kirby for fun:-)

Fun Extras

If you are intrigued, sign up for free at https://mypurecloud.com and try us out!