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Have you ever wanted to include another user in a discussion on the Message Boards? Have you ever wanted to give kudos to a colleague in content you’re writing? With the Mentions feature, you can mention (notify and/or draw attention to) other users, by entering the “@” character in front of each user’s user name.

When you mention a user, the user receives a site notification next to the user’s profile icon and an email, alerting the user with a link to the content. You can mention users in a blog entry, a message boards thread or thread reply, or comments in any app that supports comments. What’s more, a mention in app content links to the user’s home page, so readers can find out more about the mentioned user.

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Figure 1: As you enter a user name after an “@” character, Mentions displays links to users that match the text you enter. Select the user you want to mention and publish your content.

The Mentions feature works as you’d expect. While editing comments or content, enter an “@” character followed by the user name of the user you’re mentioning (e.g., @joe.bloggs). A selector appears, listing users that match the name you’re entering. In the selector, each user is represented by his/her profile picture, name, and user name. Click on the user you want to mention and finish editing your content.

On publishing the content, mentioned users receive a notification next to their profile picture and an email, informing them that they’ve been mentioned. The notification and email indicate the author’s name and content type, and it links to the content.

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Figure 2: Liferay Portal’s Notifications feature alerts users with the number of notifications (including mentions) waiting for them to read.

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Figure 3: When you click on the notifications number next to your profile picture, your Notifications List appears.

Here’s an example notification email message:

Dear Joe Bloggs,

Neil Armstrong mentioned you in the following comment:

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I bet @joe would like visiting the moon.
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View comment.(link)

Sincerely,
Kim Admin
[email protected] 

The Mentions app is a part of the Collaboration Suite. Mentions is enabled globally by default, but you can enable/disable it globally or per site. For a site to use Mentions, it must be enabled for the site’s Virtual Instance. To access the global Mentions settings for your Virtual Instance, open the Menu (icon-menu.png), then navigate to Control Panel → Configuration → Instance Settings, click on the Social tab, and expand the Mentions section.

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Figure 4: From Instance Settings in the Control Panel, you can enable or disable the Mentions feature for all of the Virtual Instance’s sites.

All users are allowed to mention fellow site members and friends, by default. To fine tune these options, select the Define Mentions Capability for Users option and specify the settings you want.

Mentions must be enabled for a site’s Virtual Instance in order for Mentions to be available for the site. As a site administrator, you can enable or disable Mentions for your site. A site’s Mentions app configuration is accessible from within the Menu (icon-menu.png). Once in the menu, navigate to Site Name → Configuration → Site Settings, click on the Social tab, and expand the Mentions section. This section lets you enable or disable Mentions for the site.

As we’ve demonstrated, you can mention users to get their attention, praise them with kudos, and link to their home pages. It helps you welcome specific users to collaborate with you. Have fun collaborating and socializing with Mentions!

Now as your site’s community gathers more information on topics or procedures relevant to users, you’ll want to provide a means for them to collaborate on that information. Liferay Portal’s Wiki is a terrific application for users to jointly produce hierarchies of information.

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