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MeteorForum FAQ’s Section II
What is the Public Profile Page, what’s on the Public Profile Page and what are Visitor’s Messages?
Every member has a publicly viewable profile page. This page includes information provided by the member, either during the registration process or later on via the “User Control Panel”. There are a number of ways to view a member’s profile. Whenever you see a member’s name, clicking on it will usually take you to view their profile page. The “Members List” have been disabled by Administrators due to “Spammers”, we strictly disallow mass member private message in our forum. When logged in, you can also view your own public profile by logging into the forums and clicking on your username shown in the header at the top of the page. You can also go straight to a profile if you know the username of the member by typing in the following into your web browser: http://www.meteorforum.com/member.ph...name=(username of the member)
What is the “User Control Panel” and how do I change my user details?
The “User Control Panel” (also known as the “User CP”) is where you control your personal settings, options and preferences. To visit the “User CP”, you must have the first registered on MeteorForum. Once logged in click on “User CP” in the header bar near the top of the page. The “User CP” main page will list any new notifications, including new private messages and pending friend requests. Additional pages and forms allow you to control:
o Your email address and password
o Custom public profile settings
o Private messages
o Subscribed threads and forums
o Contacts and friends
o Social groups
You can change your account information using the “User Control Panel”. For basic profile details (including your email address and password), click on the “Edit Your Details” option from within the “User CP”. This page allows you to set a number of required and optional details, some of which will be displayed on your public profile. With the exception of your email address, do not enter information that you do not wish to be publicly viewable.
What are signatures, avatars and profile pictures? How do I set signatures, avatars and profile pictures?
“Signatures” contain information that you want to include at the bottom of all your posts. This might include pictures, links to your sites, quotes, etc’s. “Avatars” are small images that people use to identify or distinguish themselves to other forum members. In some cases the administrator will not allow avatars or only allow them for specific members. The administrator can also provide some stock avatars people can use, or they can allow members to upload their own custom avatars from their own computers. These avatars will be displayed as part of the user info in posts, as well as in the public profile.
For more information about avatars, please click “Here”.
Profile Pictures are photos members can upload that will display in their public member profile. This option may or may not be enabled by the administrator. You can set and change your signature, avatar and profile picture in the “User Control Panel” (providing the administrator has made these options available). For signatures, click on “Edit Signature” under the “Settings and Options” area of the navigation bar within the “User CP”. To select an existing or upload a new avatar, click on “Edit Avatar”. To upload a profile picture, click on “Edit Profile Picture” in the “Your Profile” section.
What do the other settings and options do?
In your “User CP”, there is a section under Settings & Options named “Edit Options”.
* Login & Privacy: set your
o “Invisible Mode” – sets whether or not other members can see if you are online and what page you are viewing
o “Show Reputation Level” – shows your reputation level on posts if this option is enabled by the administrator
o “Allow vCard Download” – sets whether or not to allow other members to download a vCard containing your email address and username.
* Messaging & Notification: – options include:
o “Receive Email” – whether or not you want to receive emails from other members, moderators and administrators
o “Default Thread Subscription Mode” – how you want to be notified about new posts in threads to which you have subscribed
o “Private Messaging” – control how you want Private Messaging to work for your account
o “Visitor Messaging” – control how you want Visitor Messaging to work for your account
* Thread Display Options: – these include:
o “Visible Post Elements” – whether or not you want to be able to see Signatures, Avatars and Images in posts
o “Thread Display Mode” – how you want to view threads by default (more info available “Here”)
o “Number of Posts to Show Per Page”
o “Default Thread Age Cut Off” – the time period for threads to be displayed – threads older than this age will be hidden
* Date & Time Options: – these include:
o “Time Zone” – your local geographical time zone offset from GMT/UTC
o “Start of the Week” – for the Calendar.
* Miscellaneous Options: – these include:
o “Message Editor Interface” – This option allows you choose what kind of editor you will use when posting messages. Your choices include a basic text-only editor, a standard editor with clickable formatting controls, or a full WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor that will show your formatting as you type.
o “Forum Style” – only available if there is more than one style (or “Skin”) available and the administrator has enabled this selection
o “Forum Language” – only available if there is more than one Language enabled. This will change the language in which all controls and board messages will be shown. It will not translate member’s posts.
How do I customize my profile page?
You may be able to edit the design and styling of your public profile page (if this is enabled by the board administrator) via the “Customize Profile” section within the “User CP”. You can adjust the colour front scheme, fronts, borders and layout of elements on the page.
You can also use images as background for various sections of your profile. Firstly you will need to upload the background images to an album you have created “Here”. Background images can be sourced only from albums defined as public, or “Profile” type. Images in private albums cannot be used.
What is a social group? How do I join a group and can I create my own social group?
A social group is a group of people usually with a particular interest or something else in common. It provides a way of communicating between members as well as sharing photos or other images. You can get to the list through “Group Memberships” section on your public profile “Here”. The “Social Groups” list page displays all groups that have been created. You can list the groups by the number of members, messages or pictures, the group name, when the group was created or by the date of the most recent message posted. You can use the controls provided to search for a group. To join a group, click the group title then click “Join Group”. When you have joined a group, its name will show in your public profile. You must be a logged-in, registered member to join groups.
As a registered member, you can create your own social group (providing the administrator allows this). Go to the groups page and click 'Create A New Group'. Complete the title and description for your group then select the type. There are three types of groups:
* Public – open to everyone. There is no restriction on who can join or who can post messages to it
* Invite Only – require an invitation to be sent to join them. Invitations can only be sent by the group creator or forum moderators and administrators. Invitations are sent by clicking “Pending & Invited Members” at the bottom of the page for that individual group
* Moderated – open to everyone to join but messages need to be moderated before they will appear. They are moderated by the group creator and the site moderators and administrators.
How do I use albums and upload pictures?
As a member, you can create Albums of images that are linked to your public profile. Albums can be created by visiting the “User Control Panel”, and clicking on the “Pictures & Albums” link, and then clicking on “Add Album”. Each album can have a title (“Meteor's Holiday in Asia”), a description (“Pictures with my friends from my recent adventure.”) and can be of three different types: Public, Private or Profile.
* Public albums can be viewed by anyone
* Private albums can only be viewed by site staff (Moderators, Administrators) and your Friends and Contacts “Here”
* Profile albums are viewable only by you. However, you can use the images to customize your public profile “Here”
Once you've created an album you can upload images to it. Simply view the album and click on “Upload Pictures”.
You'll have the option to give each picture a caption, and to set one image as the Album cover, which will be displayed on the public profile. To delete an album or edit the title, description or album type, click on “Edit Album”. To delete an image, or to edit a caption or change the album cover, click on “Edit Pictures”.
All members who have access to your album images can comment on them, in a similar way to Visitor Messages “Here”. You can delete any image comments from your albums, and report inappropriate messages to moderators.
When you have uploaded a picture, you can place it in your posts by using the BB code text that is displayed below the image when you view it at full size.
How do I send private messages, work with Private Message Folders and track messages?
If administrator has enabled the “Private Messaging” system, registered members may send each other private messages. Private messages work a little like email, but are limited to registered members of this forum. You may be able to include BB code, smiles and images in private messages that you send. You may send a private message to a member of this forum by clicking the “Send A Private Message” link in the private messaging section of your user control panel “Here”, or by clicking the “Send a Private Message” link in the drop down menu that appears in a member’s posts when you click on their username. When you send a message, you have the option to save a copy of it in your “Sent Items” folder. By default, you will have two folders in your private message area. These are the “Inbox” and the “Sent” Items folders. The “Inbox” folder contains any new messages you receive. It allows you to view all the messages you have received, along with the name of the person who sent it, and the date and time it was sent. The “Sent Items” folder contains a copy of any messages that you have sent, where you have specified that you wish to keep a copy for future reference. You can create additional folders for your messages by clicking the “Edit Folders” link.
Each folder has a set of message controls which allow you to select messages, then either move them to one of your custom folders, or delete them. Once you have selected your messages, you can choose the following options in the “Selected Messages” box at the bottom of the list:
o Move to Folder
o Mark as Read
o Mark as Unread
o Download as XML
o Download as CSV
o Download as TEXT
You will need to periodically delete old messages, as the administrator has probably set a limit to the number of private messages you can have in your folders. If you exceed this number, you will not be able to send or receive new messages until you delete some old ones.If you would like to keep a record of your messages before you delete them, you can use any of the “Download as..” options listed above to take a copy and store them on your own computer. Whenever you read a message, you will have the option to reply or forward it to another member of the forum. You may also have the ability to forward that message to multiple members of your contact list. When you send a new private message, you may have the option to request a read-receipt. This lets you check whether or not a message has been read by its recipient. To do this, go to the “Message Tracking” page. This page is divided into two sections: unread and read messages. The unread messages section shows all messages that you have sent with a read-receipt request which have not yet been read by their recipient. The read messages section shows all messages you have sent with a receipt request that have been read and acknowledged by their recipient. The time that the message was read is also shown. You may choose to end the tracking on any message you choose by selecting it and clicking the “End Tracking” button. When you receive a message with a read-receipt request, you may have the option to read the message while denying the read-receipt request. To do this, simply click the “Deny Receipt” link rather than the title of the message, if it appears.
What are subscriptions and how do I subscribe to a thread or forum? What subscription modes are available and how do I manage subscriptions and folders?
Every member has a publicly viewable profile page. This page includes information provided by the subscriptions are a way of keeping track of different threads or forums. You can choose how you are notified about updates – for example by having they listed in your “User CP” and receiving email updates for each one. To subscribe to a forum, click the “Forum Tools” link above the list of threads then select “Subscribe to Forum”. You will then have the option to choose the subscription mode for this forum. If the forum that you are subscribing to has any child forums (forums within a forum) then your subscription will be extended to these automatically. To subscribe to a thread, click the “Thread Tools” link at the top of the list of posts then click “Subscribe to Thread”. You can then choose the subscription mode that you wish to use for that thread.
There are a number of different forum subscription modes available.
o No Email Notification – lists the subscription in your User CP only. You do not receive any notifications about new posts or threads in the forum.
o Daily Email Notification – sends one email a day with the new and updated threads in the forum and any sub-forums. If there are no new or updated threads in the forum or its sub-forums then you will not receive an email.
o Weekly Email Notification – sends one email per week in the same way as the Daily Email Notification.
Thread Subscriptions have the same options as forum subscriptions with the following additional option:
o Instant Email Notification – sends an email as soon as a new post is added to the thread. This is not sent for every reply and will only be sent once until you revisit the forums.
Thread subscriptions can be sorted into folders for easy management. You can create as many folders as you wish by going to “Edit Folders” in the “Subscribed Threads” section of your User CP. To add a new folder, enter the folder name into one of the blank boxes and save the page. To delete a folder, delete the folder name. Editing a folder is done by simply editing the folder name in the list. You can also manage your individual subscriptions by clicking “List Subscriptions” under “Subscribed Threads” in your User CP. Here you can select which subscriptions you wish to manage and delete them, move them to another folder, or change their subscription type.
Forum subscriptions are not managed through the List Subscriptions page and are shown on the User CP page where they contain the option to unsubscribe from the forum.
What is reputation and how do I give reputation? How do I know what reputation I have received and how much reputation is given? What is reputation power and what if I don't want anyone to see my reputation?
Reputation is a way of rating users depending on the quality of their posts. If the administrators have enabled reputation, then the reputation icon will be visible in posts. Reputation may be positive, negative or neutral. Negative reputation may only be given if the administrator has enabled this. Neutral reputation is only given when the person giving reputation does not meet the criteria set by the administrator to affect someone else's reputation. To give reputation, click on the reputation icon in the relevant post. This will reveal a form to complete with the reputation type and the reason for giving the reputation. If negative reputation is disabled then it will not be displayed in this form. You may not give reputation for the same post twice. You can view the reputation that you have received in your “User CP” (User Control Panel) where it is displayed at the bottom of the User CP page. Here you will see the latest reputation that you have received and whether this is positive, negative or neutral. Your total reputation will be shown as series of reputation indicators in your posts and profile. The more positive your reputation, the more positive icons will be shown. The more negative your reputation the more negative icons will be shown.
If the administrator has enabled this, the amount of reputation that each user will give (or take away if negative) is shown in the user's posts as “Reputation Power”. The value of the reputation power is determined by the administrator and may increase over time depending on the settings they have applied. You can disable the display of your reputation by going to your User CP and selecting Edit Options. On this page you will find a check box labelled “Show Your Reputation Level”. Un-checking this box will remove the display of your reputation and replace it with the Reputation Disabled icon. You can still give and receive reputation while your reputation display is disabled.
How do I format my posts and messages?
When posting messages you may wish to include some formatting such as bold text, italic text and “Underlined Text”.
Adding formatting to your post can be done in two ways:
o Using clickable controls similar to those found in most word processors
o Typing formatting commands in BB code
Clickable controls are available in the Standard and Enhanced WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors. The difference between these is that the standard editor will show the BB code in your message and be processed when it is displayed. The enhanced WYSIWYG editor will show your message as it will be displayed while you are typing. To use these, simply click the button, for example the B (bold) button and then type to get bold text. Click the button again to stop using that formatting. You can also highlight text that you have already typed then click the formatting button to format existing text. BB code is a special set of codes similar to HTML that can be used in posts to the board.
Can I edit or delete my posts or can others edit my post?
If you have registered and are logged in, you may be able to edit and delete your posts (although the administrator may have turned off this option). Your ability to edit your posts may be time-limited, depending on how the administrator has set up the forum. To edit or delete your posts, click the “Edit” button by the particular post. If your post was the first in the thread, then deleting it may remove the entire thread. Once you've made your modifications, a note may appear to inform other users that you have edited your post. If the edit time and date appear as a link you can click on this to see the differences between the original and edited versions, or between edits if there have been multiple edits. Administrators and moderators may also edit your messages. If they do, there may not be a note telling other users that the post was modified.
How do I create a new poll and how do I vote in a poll and view the results?
You may notice that some threads on this forum also include a section where you can vote on an issue or question. These threads are called “Polls”. When you post a new thread, you may also have the option to create a poll. This allows you to ask a question and specify a number of possible responses. Other members will then be able to vote for the response they wish, and the results of the voting will be displayed in the thread.
An example poll might be:
What are your favourite colours?
o Pink with yellow spots
To create a poll when you post a new thread, simply click the “Yes, post a poll with this thread” checkbox at the bottom of the page, and set the number of possible responses you want to include. When you click the submit button, you will be taken to the poll creation page, where you can specify the question and the list of responses you want to include. You may also want to specify a time limit for the poll, so that (for example) it stays open for voting for only a week. To vote in a poll, simply select which option you want to vote for, and click the “Vote” button. Sometime you can choose more than one option. You can see the current results for a poll before you vote by clicking the “View Results” link. Voting in a poll is entirely optional. You may vote for any of the available options, or cast no vote at all. Note whether or not a poll is a public poll. If it is, any votes you cast will be attributable to you. Generally, once you have voted in a poll, you will not be able to change your vote later, so place your vote carefully!
How do I attach a file to a post and what type of files can I use? How large attachments can be sent and how do I add an image to a post?
To attach a file to your post, you need to be using the main “New Post” or “New Thread” page and not “Quick Reply”. To use the main “New Post” page, click the “Post Reply” button in the relevant thread. On this page, below the message box, you will find a button labelled “Manage Attachments”. Clicking this button will open a new window for uploading attachments. You can upload an attachment either from your computer or from another URL by using the appropriate box on this page. Alternatively you can click the Attachment Icon to open this page. To upload a file from your computer, click the “Browse” button and locate the file. To upload a file from another URL, enter the full URL for the file in the second box on this page. Once you have completed one of the boxes, click “Upload”. Once the upload is completed the file name will appear below the input boxes in this window. You can then close the window to return to the new post screen. In the attachment window you will find a list of the allowed file types and their maximum sizes. Files that are larger than these sizes will be rejected. There may also be an overall quota limit to the number of attachments you can post to the board. If you have uploaded an image as an attachment, you can click the arrow next to the “Attachment Icon” and select it from the list. This will be inserted into your post and can be located where you want it displayed. To include an image that is not uploaded as an attachment and is located on another website, you can do so by copying the full URL to the image, (not the page on which the image is located), and either pressing the “Insert Image” icon or by typing [img] before the URL and [/img] after it, ensuring that you do not have any spaces before or after the URL of the image. You can insert pictures from your albums “Here” in this way too.
What are smilies and how do I add smilies?
Smilies are icons that can be used in your posts to express emotions or feelings. You might wish to use these to show that you are happy, sad, joking, or embarrassed. For example, if you are telling a joke or being sarcastic you may wish to add a wink instead of writing “this is a joke”. The basic smilies are the same as what you would find on any instant messenger system. They are made up of a combination of characters which often show the basis of the resulting image. For example, is converted to a smiley face and to a sad face or frown. Tilt your head to the left to see this in action as these consist of two eyes and a mouth either smiling or frowning. Some smiles can be accessed from the “New Post” or “New Thread” pages if your administrator has enabled this function. Clicking them will automatically insert them into your message. You can also type the character combinations for the smilies directly. A full list of the smilies and their character combinations used on this forum can be found “Here”. On occasions, you may want to prevent the text in your message being converted into smiles. You will see a checkbox which you can select when you make a new post, which will allow you to “Disable Smilies”.
What are message icons and what are thread prefixes?
“Message Icons”, also known as “Post Icons”, are small icons that appear in the title of your post. If your post is the first in a thread, then they also display in the thread listings. If the board administrator has enabled these, they can be found below the message box on the “New Post” and “New Thread” pages. Simply select the icon that you wish to use and this will be displayed before your thread title. “Thread Prefixes” can be used to further identify your thread as containing a particular content in the forum. If your administrator has enabled these, you will see a box before the title box which contains a menu with the available prefixes for you to choose from.