Community CenterTM FAQ
- Do I have to be registered to use the community center?
- How do I log in?
- What do I do if I forgot my password?
- What are forums?
- How is forum content organized?
- How do I create a topic or post a reply in the forums?
- What is a profile?
- What is the list of profiles for?
- What is a photo album?
- What is a blog?
- What is a storyboard?
- What is a gallery?
- What is a calendar?
- What is a video?
- What are 'My Messages'?
- How do I send a message?
- How do I know if I have any messages?
- How do I set my profile and view other user profiles?
- How do I create a poll?
- How do I search the community?
- What does subscribe mean?
- What does 'Send a Message' do?
- How can I format the text of my posts, replies and comments?
- How do I check the spelling of my posts, replies and comments?
- How do I post or upload a video?
- What are ratings and rewards points?
- What are RSS feeds?
Do I have to be registered to use the community center?
The community administrator may require you to register in order to view, post or reply to topics. Some forums may be open for posting without registration. To register, just click Register and fill in the appropriate information.
How do I login?
To log in to the community, click Log in/Register. Then enter your name and password (NOTE: both are case-sensitive; capitalization, spaces, etc., do matter). If you would like to be automatically logged in when you visit, click the checkbox next to "Automatically log me in". (Note: You must have cookies enabled for this feature. Your login information is encrypted and stored in a cookie.)
What do I do if I forgot my password?
To reset your password, first click Login/Register and then "I forgot my password". Follow the directions in the email that is generated to the address you entered when you registered. Note: Many of the community features are available only to those using valid email addresses.
What are forums?
Forums are discussion areas that allow members to share ideas, opinions and information quickly and easily. Organized by topics in an easy-to-follow format, forums are designed so you can quickly locate information, find other knowledgeable members and participate in conversations. Your community has standards of conduct that explain the rules of posting; please familiarize yourself with the rules prior to posting.
How is forum content organized?
The content is structured as follows:
How do I create a topic or post a reply in the forums?
To start a new topic, choose the appropriate forum and click Post New Topic. Type your topic header in the subject line and type your text in the message box. Before you submit your post, you can spell check your text by clicking Spell Check. When you are satisfied with the text, click Preview to see how your post will appear when published. Or you can post without previewing by clicking Post.
What is a profile?
Profiles are personal publishing spaces for information that members want to share with the community. If the community offers photo albums, blogs, storyboards and forums, profiles include all the content created by the specific member who authored them. To view all your own contributions to the community, log in, click My Content and then Profile. If you enter your AIM screen name, your online status may be displayed on your profile. See the AIM Developer''s FAQ for more information about your AIM status display.
What is the list of profiles for?
The profiles list is a central place where members can find all the public profiles of others within the community. If you do not wish to have your profile listed among the rest, click Hide (next to 'List me in the directory').
What is a photo album?
A photo album is a collection of pictures with captions describing them. To start your own photo album, go to My Content, click Photo Albums and then Add Photo Album. In some communities, you can comment on a picture.
What is a blog?
A Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal that is frequently updated and intended for public consumption. Blogs often represent the personality of the author. To start your own, go to My Content, click Blog and then Post New Blog Entry. In some communities, you can post a comment to another member's blog.
What is a storyboard?
A storyboard is a series of photos-usually 2 or 3 based on a specific theme. Depending on the community, you may see such themes as wildlife photos, before-and-after photos, pet photos, etc. To start your own storyboard, go to Storyboards home, select a category and theme and then Create Storyboard from Menu. In some communities, you can post comments about the pictures.
What is a gallery?
A gallery is a place for displaying a collection of featured content. Depending on the features in the community, you may see things like Featured Profiles, Featured Photos, or Featured Blogs, which are member-posted content featured by community administrators.
What is the calendar for?
Community administrators use the calendar to note special events that may be of interest to members. Depending on the community, members may also be able to schedule events (look for the Add Event link).
What is video?
Video is a place for displaying collections of videos. Depending on the community, you may see such themes as Travel videos, Sports and Activities videos, Pet videos, Entertainment videos, etc. To upload a video and start your own video collection, go to My Content, click Profile and select Upload Video, or, select 'Videos' under the My Content button. In some communities, you can comment on a video.
What are 'My Messages'?
Community members can send and receive private email-like messages among themselves. Like regular email, but only for messages sent within the community, My Messages allows you to easily keep track of messages in folders: Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Trash and any others you create. You can even keep an address book filled with your friends in the community!
How do I send a message?
Go to My Messages and click Compose Message. Type the member's nickname in the 'To' box, enter your subject, type your message in the large text box, and click Send. Or, go to the member's profile and click 'Send Message to Member', which takes you to the Compose Message page with the member's nickname already in the 'To' field. Fill out the rest as noted earlier in this paragraph.
How do I know if I have any messages?
When you have a new message, a small envelope with a starburst icon appears next to My Messages. If you have no new messages, you won't see such an icon.
How do I set my profile and view other member profiles?
To create or update your profile, click My Preferences. Your profile, privacy settings, signature line, display preferences, avatars (if enabled in your community), subscription settings, storyboard preferences (if available), and blog preferences (if available) are set from here. To edit settings, fill in your updated information and click Save.
To view the profiles of members who have posted in the community, click their member names wherever you see them as links. You can also use the search feature to locate their member names. You can elect to "ignore" a member's posts by clicking Ignore Member in the member's profile or in the member information area of any post the person has authored.
How do I create a poll?
If polls are enabled in your community, you can create them for your blog page or photo album and in the forums. To post a poll, click Create Poll. Type your poll title in the subject line; then compose your question and poll reply choices. To have the poll expire at a certain time and date, fill in the additional information as requested.
How do I search the community?
From just about any page of the community, click Search and type your term(s) into the search box, selecting where you'd specifically like to search by choosing from the Content drop-down menu, and clicking Go. You can also search by specific member name, and date ranges.
What does subscribe mean?
A subscription notifies you via email when a content area that interests you is updated. Similarly, you can subscribe to any content added by a specific member.
To add an item to your subscriptions list, click Subscribe at the top of the page. Clicking on Unsubscribe ends the subscription (and cancels the email notifications you may have set). After 30 days, inactive subscriptions automatically expire (unless you elect to cancel the expiration in your subscriptions list in your Preferences). To see your current list of subscriptions, click 'My Subscriptions'. Click 'My Preferences' to change or update how often your receive email notification on each of your subscriptions.
What does 'Email to Friend' do?
If this feature is enabled in your community, you can send a live link to a friend by clicking 'Email to Friend' and entering the information as indicated.
How can I format the text of my posts, replies and comments?
To format text (bold, italics, underline, etc.), you can use the format buttons (in enabled in your community) in the posting view. Type your message and then highlight the word(s) you want to format; then click the appropriate button. Small bits of code indicate the formatting, such as in this example: "This is [b]bold[/b] text, and this is [i]italicized[/i] text" text" will appear as "This is bold text, and this is italicized text" in your post. To insert a smiley face, first click the smiley button and then the expression you want to use.
How do I check the spelling of my posts, replies and comments?
To check your text for proper spelling, click Spell Check on the post screen. If our Spell Check dictionary doesn't recognize a word in your text, the unknown word will appear in a box. You can correct it yourself by typing over what is displayed. If the dictionary has any suggestions, they will appear in the suggestion box. To choose one of the suggestions, select it and click Change.
When you finish checking your text, click Post Message to save your changes and post the text with your spelling corrections. If you want to continue editing text, click Go Back or Edit to return to the posting area. Your community administrator may or may not elect to allow edits of your own posts after they are published. If allowed, you will see a pencil icon next to the post where it appears in the list.
How do I post or upload a video?
If videos are enabled in your community, you can upload them. In some communities they can be displayed in Recent Videos or Featured Videos areas as well as in specific Video Categories.
To upload a video and start your own video collection, go to My Content, click Profile and under Recent Videos, select Upload Video. From the pull down menu, select a place to upload your video. Alternately you can select Videos under the My Content button. Either path will take you to the Upload Video form. In the Upload Video form, type your video title in the subject line; then type a brief description of it in the entry box. Click the Browse button and browse to a video you wish to upload. Click on it and the path to your video will display in the Upload Video input box. Then, click the Upload Video button at the bottom of the form and your video will upload.
What are ratings and rewards points?
Ratings: If this feature is enabled in your community, you may elect to rate a member, or particular content with 1-5 stars.
Reward points (if enabled) may be assigned to a post (usually a question) by its author. The author then awards part or all of those assigned points to other members whose replies are helpful in answering the question.
What are RSS feeds?
If RSS feeds are enabled in your community, you may click the RSS link on any page to copy the code required to regularly add any new content as it is posted, making it available to via your RSS reader software.