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This chapter is from the book

Inviting Others

Thanks to the Internet, you can invite anyone in the world to Groove with you, provided that they have an Internet connection and a computer that meets Groove's system requirements.

To create a new space and invite others, choose a toolset from the Add Tool menu and name your space Invitation Space. Check the Invite No One at This Time option.

You can invite others to your new shared space in one of three ways:

  • Send an instant invitation on Groove's Instant Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, or MSN Messenger Service

  • Send an email invitation

  • Save a message as a file and make it available to your invitees

Issuing an Invitation

In your new Invitation Space, click the Invite button. Doing so brings up the Groove Send Invitation dialog. The name of the space is already filled in, and the To: line holds a pull-down menu of your current Groove contacts. If your invitee is on the list, you can simply select that person, include a message, and click Invite.

In this case, you have no contacts in your contacts list, so you need to click the Recipients button. The Select Recipients dialog lets you address Groove identities from several different sources: My Contacts, Known Groove Contacts, your Local Network Directory, and the Groove.net Directory. There is also an option for entering an email address. You do not have any Known Groove Contacts. (Known Groove Contacts include people in your Contacts list plus people who are members in your shared spaces.) You'll be looking for invitees in the remaining three categories.

The Local Network Directory lists all Groove users on your local area network (if you belong to one).

The Groove.net directory lists all Groove users who have opted to list one or more of their identities in the Groove public Web directory. The Groove.net directory is quite large, and some LAN directories can be as well; so Groove provides a capacity for searching for specific names. Type the name you are searching for, click the Search button, and you will get a listing of identities that meet your search criteria. You may be able to find out more information on users if they have filled out their vCards. Even if they haven't, you can click on their vCard and be able to tell whether they are online.

Unless you have a lot of Groove users on your LAN, you will probably opt to invite people by email until you develop a lot of contacts. Select the Enter Email Address option and enter the email address of someone you'd like to invite to your space; then click OK.

You are returned to the Send Invitation dialog and the recipient's email address appears in the To: field. Click the Invite button, and you're prompted to enter your email address. Enter it and click OK.

If you use a mail program that has its own client, such as Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, or Eudora, and have that client listed as the default mail program for your browser, you can invite people by instant mail as easily as you used Groove Instant Messenger. Simply click the Invite button again, and this time select Invite by Email. Groove fills in the subject line, writes a message stating the reason for the email, and provides a link to a Groove Web page that tells the recipient how to accept the invitation in Groove, as well as how to get Groove if the invitee doesn't have it. It automatically attaches the shared space .grv file to the email.

One last feature requires an explanation. Groove has a tremendous focus on security and is expected to be used by businesses, medical personnel, and government agencies that must operate in an absolutely secure environment. For that reason, Groove has a Require Acceptance Confirmation check box on the Enterprise version of the email invitation dialog. If Require Acceptance Confirmation is checked, a different notification and delivery procedure occurs.

When the invitation is accepted, you get a notification that says (whoever is in the To: line): is accepting an invitation - please confirm. When you click this notification, a confirmation dialog appears that gives you several options. If you click the From: button, you can see the recipient's vCard. Clicking the digital fingerprint line brings up the digital fingerprint, which you can use to compare with the recipient's digital fingerprint that you received from a different channel. If the fingerprints match and you click Confirm, the shared space is delivered, and you can be absolutely sure that it is being delivered to the right person.

When you click OK, you then receive a series of notifications designed to keep you informed of the progress and outcome of your invitation:

  • The first message you see is Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Waiting to send. Usually you get this message if the invitee is offline.

  • The next message, Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Sending..., appears when the invitation is going either to the invitee's computer or to the relay server if the invitee is offline.

  • The message Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Sent tells you that the invitation is off of your computer.

  • When the invitation gets to the other person's computer, you see the message Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Delivered, waiting for invitee to open.

  • When the invitee opens the invitation and is deciding whether to accept or decline it, you see Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Opened, waiting for reply...

  • If the invitee accepts the invitation, your notification reads Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Accepted, waiting to send space.

  • When the shared space is being sent to the invitee's computer, the notification is Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Accepted: Sending shared space, x% complete.

  • Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Waiting for delivery means that the shared space has been uploaded from the inviter's computer.

  • The last message is Inviting (whoever is in the To: line): Shared space delivered!

  • Of course, if the invitee declines the invitation, you are notified of that, too, with (Whoever is in the To: line): Declined (no message). If there is a message, it explains the decline.

This may seem like a lot of feedback, but waiting for shared spaces to be disseminated is one of the most frustrating parts of the Groove experience. You have created this beautiful shared space and want to use it now! But networks being what they are, and with no guarantee that the invitee is even online, the results are seldom instant, and the notifications certainly keep you informed.

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