Using the Home Page
The Home Page is the area in Lotus Connections that brings together all its components and features, allowing you to stay on top of your network, keep abreast of updates to your interest areas, and search throughout all the services. In the Home Page, information that is specific to you appears, enabling you to skim over the recent updates to Lotus Connections and preview information.
Home Page Widgets
The Home Page (shown in Figure 6.28) is based on a set of customizable widgets. To add a widget onto your Home Page, simply drag the widget from the right-hand palette and drop it into the location you desire. Lotus Connections comes with a default widget for every service, and additional widgets can be added by administrators to custom applications or popular Internet widgets and gadgets. Each widget provides an overview of information from the service it is showing, as well as a few actions. You can remove a widget by clicking the x icon in the upper-right corner of the widget. Other icons there allow you to refresh the widget, move it, get help, or modify settings. (For more on widgets, consult Chapter 10, "Plug-ins and Widgets.")
Figure 6.28 The Lotus Connections Home Page
The Profiles widget gives you two options for what to display in the widget. You can show your own profile, which will show your business card and photo. You can also show your colleagues (as displayed in Figure 6.28), giving you quick access to their most recently updated Lotus Connections information. For example, if you select Heather's blog updates in Figure 6.28, you will see a pop-up preview of the blog entry. You can also do quick searches in Profiles on names or tags from this widget, and the results appear right inside the widget. Clicking the settings (pencil) icon in this widget will enable you to choose how many colleagues to show by default in your colleagues view and how many search results to display.
The Communities widget shows you a list of recently updated communities, either from all public communities or from your list of communities. You can use the drop-down arrow to toggle. If you want to view the recent postings, click on the Feeds, Bookmarks, or Forum links to see the latest entries. The settings for this widget allow you to select the number of communities you want to appear in your list.
The Blogs widget shows you the most recent blog entries posted along with the number of ratings and comments. Clicking on details will show you the blog entry, tags, and rich text. Settings will allow you to select the number of blog entries to show.
The Dogear widget allows you to toggle between most recent bookmarks, your bookmarks, your watchlist, or the most popular bookmarks, showing the poster and date for each. Details will show you who else has posted the bookmark. Settings will allow you to select the number of bookmarks to show.
The Activities widget shows a calendar, highlighting any dates you have to-dos due. If you click a date, you will see the to-do item appear as a pop-up. You will also see the number of responses to your postings, new entries in your high-priority activities, and a list of all your activities, allowing you to navigate to specific activities. The Settings option allows you to select how many of your activities to display in recent entries, all the way from yesterday to last month, as well as the number of public activities to show.
Global search allows you to search across Lotus Connections, in addition to the individual searches each application provides. Global search is available from the Home Page in the Search tab (see Figure 6.29).
Figure 6.29 Global search
With global search, you can search on a keyword and select all or some of the Lotus Connections applications you want to search. The results appear in an aggregated view. You can filter the list of search results based on the content types that the search yielded (bookmarks, activities, and so on). You can also view what type of information the results contain, based on the icon showing whether it is a bookmark, an activity, a community, or something else.
The search results also provide a tag cloud to show related tags from across Lotus Connections. The tag cloud allows you to filter the list as well, scoping to a finite set of results. In addition, the most active people are listed, showing you potential experts to whom you can reach out, based on the information you are looking for.