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 your network and your subscriptions appears, enabling you to skim over the recent updates to Lotus Connections and preview information.
In Lotus Connections 2.5, there is a new view of the Home Page that shows the most recent updates from across your network, as shown in Figure 6.32. These updates include new status updates and new additions to Connections content (for example, new blog entries, new files). You can expand the entries to view more information and even save items to come back to later. Your recent updates list can be filtered by the type of content you are most interested in as well. If you want to see what's going on outside your immediate network, you can use the Discover tab off Updates to see status updates and new entries from everyone.
Figure 6.32 The Home Page's Updates view
A very important addition to the Home Page is the capability to watchlist a person or tag you are interested in following. You may want to follow a person you are not directly connected to, so you can add a person to your watchlist tab and follow the stream of updates they make in Connections. Likewise, there may be a topic you are interested in that you want to follow. You can also watchlist a tag to ensure that you are staying up-to-date on any new items tagged with your topic of interest, no matter who they come from.
Notifications aggregates all the notifications you've received, such as new requests to connect, bookmarks being shared with you, Activity entries that are new, and more. You can see your outgoing notifications as well. The Home Page also offers status updates and an Activities to-do calendar as quick actions from the main page.
The My Page tab of the Home Page is based on a set of customizable widgets. To add a widget onto your Home Page, simply click Customize at the top of the screen and select the widgets you want to use. 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 arrow 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.")
Global search allows you to search across Lotus Connections, in addition to the individual searches each application provides. Global search is available from every service in Lotus Connections in the upper-right corner of the screen as the option All Connections. The global search results are shown in Figure 6.33.
Figure 6.33 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.