User Manual

Sign Up

You must be a group member in order to post to a group or receive email when someone posts to a group. Anyone can sign up and become a member of a public group. Signing up is a five-step process:

  1. Select a Group
  2. Enter an email address
  3. Set a password
  4. Change your profile
  5. Verify your email address

Select a Group

The first step in signing up is selecting the group that you want to join.

  1. Visit the group that you wish to join.
  2. Click Sign up and join. You will be taken to the Enter Email page.

Note: If the group is private then you will have to request membership rather than sign up.

Enter Email

  1. Enter your email address into the Email Address entry.
  2. Click the Sign up button. You will be taken to the Set Password page. In addition, an email message will be sent to you, verifying that you control the address you entered.

Note: It is important that the email address for the support group ― ― is added to your address book.

Set Password

Your password will be used to protect your personal information.

  1. Enter a password in the Password entry.
  2. Click the Set button. Your password will be sent, and you will be taken to the Change Profile page page.

Change Profile

Your profile says a little about you, so others can find out the names of the group members.

  1. Enter your name in the Name entry.
  2. (Optional) Select your timezone from the Timezone list.
  3. (Optional) Write a little about yourself in the Biography entry.
  4. Click the Change button. Your profile will be change, and you will be taken to the Verify Email page.

Note: Some sites may provide extra fields on the Change Profile page.

Verify Email

You must verify that you control your email address. To verify your email address carry out the following tasks.

  1. Check your email inbox. It should contain a message asking you to verify the address. If it does not, go through the procedures in Trouble Shooting below.
  2. Click the link in the email. You will be taken to the Verify Email Address page.
  3. Wait while your address is verified. You will be shown a confirmation message once this is done.
  4. Close the Verify Email Address page.
  5. Find the window showing the Awaiting Verification page. The Finish button on the page will be available.
  6. Click on the Finish button to finish sign up. You will be taken to the group your selected in the initial step.

Trouble Shooting

If your email does not contain a message asking you to verify your address, carry out the following tasks.

  1. Check your email Junk (or Spam) folder to see if the message is there. If it is then you should go carry out steps 2―5 in the Verify Email section above.
  2. Check that your email address is correct. If the address is incorrect
    1. Enter a new address in the Email Address entry.
    2. Click the Send button. A new verification email will be sent to you.
    3. Carry out the steps in the Verify Email section above.

Request Membership

You must request to become a member of a private group. To do this carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit the homepage for the private group you want to join.
  2. If you have a profile, login and click Request membership. The Request Membership page will be shown. (If you do not have a profile click Sign-up and request membership; you will have to go through the sign up process to create a profile.)
  3. Write a message to the group administrator, explaining why you would like to become a member of the group.
  4. Click the Request button.

Your message, a link to your profile, and your email address will be sent to the group administrator. The administrator will then accept or decline your request. You will receive an email message when the administrator has made a decision.

Passwords

Your password is used to log in to a site. You will set a password when you sign up or when you accept your first invitation. However, you can change your password at any time. In addition you can reset your password if you are having trouble logging in.

Your password protects your personal and private information. Because of this you should be mindful of password security.

Change Your Password

To change your password carry out the following steps.

  1. Log in, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Go to your Profile by clicking on your name, which is locate at the top right of the page.
  3. Click on Change Password. The Change Password page will be shown.
  4. Enter your new password into the Password entry.
  5. Click the Change button. You password will be changed.

Reset Your Password

To reset your password carry out the following steps.

  1. Go to the Reset Password page.
  2. Enter your email address into the Email Address entry.
  3. Click the Reset button. An email message will be sent to you email account. The message will have the subject Reset Password and will be sent from the support email-address for this site.
  4. Open the email message that has been sent to you.
  5. Click on the link in the email message. The Change Password will be shown.
  6. Enter a new password in the Password entry.
  7. Click the Change button. Your password will be changed. Your email address will also be verified if you only have one address and it is not currently verified.

Note To ensure your security the link in the password-reset message can only be used once.

Password Security

Passwords are shown in two different ways, depending on if you are setting a password, or using a password to log in.

When you set a password — using either the change password, reset password, during sign up or when accepting your first invitation — you will be able to see your password. This makes it easier to set. However, anyone who looks at your screen will also be able to see your password. Be cautious about who can see your screen when you set a password.

When you use your password to log in your password will be hidden: a series of * characters will mask what you type. It is unlikely that anyone will be able to figure out your password by looking at your screen. However, be cautious about who can see your keyboard as you type.

Passwords must be at least four characters long. However, longer passwords are harder to guess.

Your Email Settings

The Change Email Settings page is used to add an email address, resend an email address verification message, remove an email address, make an extra address a preferred delivery address and make a preferred delivery address an extra address.

Add an Email Address

To add an email address to your profile carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit your profile.
  2. Click Change Email Settings. The Change Email Settings page will be shown.
  3. Click the Add an address… button. The Add an Address dialog will be shown.
  4. Enter your new address in the New Address entry.
  5. Click the Add button. An email will be sent to your new address.
  6. Follow the instructions in the email to verify that you control the address. You must verify the address before you can send or receive email from your new address.

Note: You can only add a new address to your profile. You will see an error if you try to add an address that has already been added to any other profile.

Resend an Email Address Verification Message

  1. Visit your profile. Log in if necessary.
  2. Click Change Email Settings. The Change Email Settings page will be shown.
  3. Click the Resend button next to the unverified email address. A verification email will be sent to you.
  4. Follow the instructions in the email to verify that you control the address.

Remove an Email Address

To remove an email address from your profile carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit your profile.
  2. Click Change Email Settings. The Change Email Settings page will be shown.
  3. Click the Remove button next to the address you wish to remove. The button is only shown next to addresses you can remove (see the note below). After you click the Remove button
    • The address will be removed from your profile.
    • One of the addresses in your Extra Addresses list will be made preferred delivery address if you have removed your only preferred address.

Note: You can only remove an address from your profile if you have a different verified address. Add an address if you only have one address and you wish to remove it.

Make an Address a Preferred Delivery Address

To receive email at an address by default carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit your profile.
  2. Click Change Email Settings. The Change Email Settings page will be shown.
  3. Click and drag the address you want to receive email on by default from the Extra Addresses list to the Preferred Delivery Addresses list. The selected address will become a preferred delivery address.

Note: The Extra Addresses will only be shown when you have more than one verified email address.

Make a Preferred Delivery Address an Extra Address

To stop receiving email at an address by default carry out the following steps.

  1. Visit your profile.
  2. Click Change Email Settings. The Change Email Settings page will be shown.
  3. Click and drag the address you no longer want to receive email on by default from the Preferred Delivery Addresses list to the Extra Addresses list. You will no longer receive email at that address by default.

Note: You must always have at least one address in the Preferred Delivery Addresses list. If only one address is listed in the Preferred Delivery Addresses list then you must first make an extra address a preferred delivery address. Then you will be able to remove any address from the Preferred Delivery Addresses list.

Group Homepage

A group homepage is divided into three areas: the us bar information tabs and task tabs.

What you can see on the homepage depends on the privacy settings of the group, whether you are logged in, and whether you are a member. The table below summaries the visibility of the different sections for different group privacy settings.

Visibility of Sections on the Group Homepage
  Group Privacy
  Public Private Secret
Us Bar
Photos Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Links Everyone Everyone Logged in members only
Information Tabs
Members Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Statistics Everyone Everyone Logged in members only
Privacy Everyone Everyone Logged in members only
Task Tabs
Topics Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Files Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Settings Logged in members only Logged in members only Logged in members only
Admin Administrators only Administrators only Administrators only

The Us Bar

The Us Bar runs across the top of the group homepage, under the title. It shows the profile photos of the members that have recently posted. The photos are shown to the people listed in the table Visibility of Sections on the Group Homepage.

The Us Bar also provides links that allow the you to join or leave the group. The links that are provided are detailed in the table Links Shown in the Us Bar.

Information Tabs

The information tabs provide summary information about the group. There are three information tabs: Members, Statistics, and Privacy. The tabs that are shown depend on the group privacy, whether you are logged in, and whether you are a member of the group. The table Visibility of Sections on the Group Homepage details who can see the tabs in the different situations.

Members
The Members tab provides links to the Members page ― which lists all the group members. It also links to the Join and Leave log ― which summaries how the group membership changes over time.
Statistics
The Statistics tab summaries how big the group is, and how often the members post. It also links to the Statistics page, which provides more detailed statistics.
Privacy
The Privacy tab provides a summary of who can see the group and the posts.

Task Tabs

The task tabs allow you to carry out common tasks. There are four task tabs: Topics, Files, Settings, and Admin. The tabs that are shown depend on the group privacy, whether you are logged in, whether you are a member of the group, and whether you are an administrator. The table Visibility of Sections on the Group Homepage details who can see the tabs in the different situations.

Topics
Use the Topics tab to see what people have be discussing in the group. The Topics tab links to the latest topics in the group, and the Latest Topics page. It also provides a link to the Post to a New Topic page if you are a member of the group.
Files
The Files tab allows you to quickly find the files that have been recently posted tot he group. The Files tab lists the latest files to have been posted to the group.
Settings
The Settings tab provides links to pages that allow you to change your group membership settings. It links to the Leave page ― which allows you to leave a group. In addition it links to the Change Group Email Settings ― page, which allows you to change how much email you recieve when someone posts.
Admin
The Admin tab provides links that allow an administrator to administer the group. All administrators can invite new members and managing existing members. However, only site administrators can change the group properties.

Viewing the Group Members

There are two ways to view a list of group. You can view the posting members or view all the members of the group. Both lists are shown on the Members page. To view the members page carry out the following.

  1. Visit the homepage for the group.
  2. Click on the Members tab.
  3. Click on Members. The Members page will be shown.

Viewing the Posting Members

You can view the posting members in a public group, or if you a member of a private or secret group. Two lists of posting members are provided.

Members who Recently Posted
This list shows the members of the group who have posted recently. For each member the image, name, and the date of the last post are provided. Clicking on the image or name will go to the profile for that member. Clicking on the date of the last post will show the post that the member made recently.
Members who Post the Most
This list shows the members of the group who have posted the most. For each member the image, name, and the number of posts are provided. Clicking on the image or name will go to the profile for that member. Clicking the number of posts will show the posts that the member has made.

Viewing All the Members

You can view all members of a group if The group is private, or secret, and you are a member of the group. To view the list of all group members carry out the following.

  1. Visit the Members page for the group.
  2. Click on the All Members tab.

The list if members will be shown, broken down into three sections. In the first section the group administrators are listed. These people administer the group and its members. Next all the normal members are listed. All the normal members (and the administrators) can view any post you make to the group. Finally, the people who the administrators have invited to join the group are listed. These people will be able to view your posts in the future.

Topics Tab

The Topics tab shows what people have be discussing in a network. By default the tab shows the topics that people have posted to recently, with the most recent topic first. For each topic the following information is provided.

Name
The name of the topic.
Files
The icons representing each file that has been posted to the topic, if any, will appear after the name.
Keywords
Words that appear frequently in the topic, but infrequently in other topics.
Number of posts
The number of posts in the topic.
Most recent author
The name of the person who most recently posted to the topic.
Date of the most recent post
The date that the most recent post was made.

The topics will generally be ordered from the topic with the most recent post, to the topic with the oldest post. However, the site administrator may decide that some topics are very important and make them sticky. These sticky topics will be shown before the other topics, and will be marked with a pin-icon to the left of the topic-name.

You can view older topics, search the topics, and find similar topics.

View Older Topics

The Topics tab show six topics at once. To view older topics click the Older button; the older topics will be shown. To return to the display of the more recent topics click on the Newer button; the older topics will be shown.

Find Similar Topics

To find a topic in the group that is similar to another click on one of the keywords A search for topics with that keyword will be made, with the results shown in the Topics tab.

Messages

Messages are the core of a GroupServer group. A group member can add a post to a group using the Web or by email. When the member does this the post is displayed in a topic. This topic is common to all posts with the same name. However, a post can also be seen on its own page. Images that are added to the group are shown on their own page.

The visibility of messages in a group is detailed in the table below.

Visibility of Messages in a Group
  Group Privacy
  Public Private Secret
Email Messages Group members only Group members only Group members only
Pages on the Web
Topic Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Post Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Files Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Images Everyone Logged in members only Logged in members only
Add a Post Logged in members only Logged in members only Logged in members only

Topic

A topic is the main way for reading posts in a group.

Post

A post on the web is made up of seven parts: a title, navigation links, information about the post, a share box, a hide post button, the body of the message, and then a list of files that were posted along with the message.

Title

The title reads Post in… followed by the name of the topic. It is the similar to the subject line of an email. It will be the same for all posts in the same topic.

Navigation Links

There are five navigation links:

  1. Click First post to view the the post that started the topic.
  2. Click Previous post to view the post in the topic that was made just before the current post.
  3. Click Topic to view the entire topic.
  4. Click Next post to view the post in the topic made just after the current post.
  5. Click Last post to view the most recent post made in the topic.

Information about the Post

There are two items of information about the post: who made the post and when the post was made.

The name of the author appears at the top of the post, after the word From. Clicking on the network members name will show his or her profile page. If the author has added a profile photo it will appear at the left of the post, below the name of the author.

After the author's name is the date when the post was made. Mouse-over the date to view the exact time the post was made.

The Share Box

The share box appears at the top of the post, after the date. It is detailed in the Sharebox section below.

The Hide Post Button

The hide button appears at the top of the post, after the share box. It is detailed in the Hide a Post section below.

Body

The body of the message is divided in two parts.

Main Message
The main part is message that the author wrote.
Rest of Post
Sometimes people will include the text of previous messages at the bottom of a post. The text ▶ Rest of post will appear at the bottom of the main message if this quoted text is present.
  • Click ▶ Rest of post to show the quoted text. The quoted text will be shown and the ▶ will turn into a ▼.
  • Click ▼ Rest of post to hide the quoted text. The quoted text will then be hidden and the ▼ will turn into a ▶.

Images

An image posted to a group is shown on an image page. This page provides a view of the posted image that is smaller. Smaller images take less time to download, and view. In this section the different parts of the page are detailed — starting with the page title, the navigation bar, the share bar, the image itself, and finally the information about the image.

The title of the image is shown at the top of the page, just beneath the standard navigation elements. The title comes from the name given to the file by the person who posted it to the group.

The navigation bar is used to go between the other images posted to the same topic, or the message that was posted at the same time as the image.

  • Click Previous image to see the image that was posted before the one you are currently viewing.
  • Click Post to view the full post that was added to the group, including the message.
  • Click Next image to see the image that was posted before the one you are viewing.

The share bar allows you to share the image with others.

The image itself is possibly smaller than the image that was origianlly posted. The image shown on the image page has a maximum size of 598 by 407 pixels (dots).

If the original image was bigger than this then it will be reduced in size to fit on the image page. Clicking on the image, or Full sized image will show the original image, at its original size.

Finally, additional information (metadata) about the image is shown to the right of the page. This will help you determine some of the context of the image. The information is as follows.

From
The name of the person who posted the image. Click name to view the pofile of the person. If the person who posted the image has a profile photo added, the this will be shown to the right of the metadata.
Name
The name of the file. To the left of the name is an icon, representing the type of file. Mouse over the icon to see the file-type in text.
Topic
The name of the topic the file was added to. Click the name of the topic to view all posts made to the topic.
Group
The group the file was added to. Click the name of the group to view the group homepage.
Date
The date the file was posted.

Sharing

You can share topics, posts, and images with others. If something can be shared it will have a share box. The share box looks different depending if the goup is public, private or secure.

Public Groups

In a public group the share box will have four icons:

The first three icons allow you to share an item using social networking. The last icon is used to share a link to the item using email.

Sharing using Social Networking

You can share an item using the Facebook, Twitter, or Digg social networking systems. To share an item

  1. Click on the icon represnting the service you want to use. A dialog window will appear.
  2. Login if the dialog contains a Login page.
  3. Follow the instructions in the dialog. They will differ from service to service.

Note you will need an account to share and item using a social networking system.

Sharing using Email

If you want to share an item using email carry out the following steps.

  1. Click on the World icon. A link will appear under the Share box.
  2. Select the link.
  3. Copy the link.
  4. Paste it into a message.

Private or Secure Networks

In a private or secure network only one icon will be present in the share box:

This is because only group members can see posts, topics, and images in a private or secure network. Therefore the only people you can share links with are other group members, by posting the link to them using email. To share an item using email carry out the same steps as when sharing an item from a public group using email.

Hide a Post

You and the administrators of a network can hide the posts you have made. To hide a post carry out the following steps.

  1. Log in, if necessary.
  2. View the post on the web.
  3. Click the Hide post link. The Hide form will be shown.
  4. Enter the reason for hiding the post in the Reason entry.
  5. Click the Hide button. The post will be hidden, and you be shown the hidden post in the topic.

Some information about the post is still available after it has been hidden. The table below details what can be seen and what is hidden.

What is visible after a post is hidden
Email Messages The email messages that were sent out to the network members when the post was made are still visible after the post has been hidden.
Post on the Web Some of the post on the web is hidden. The information about the post is visible. This includes who made the post, and when the post was made. However, the body of the post is hidden.
Files The files that were added as part of the post are hidden. If someone tries to view the file he or she will see an error page. The error page will show the reason that the post was hidden.
Images The images that were added as part of the post are hidden. If someone tries to view the file he or she will see an error page. The error page will show the reason that the post was hidden.
Reason The reason the post was hidden is visible to those that could see the post previously.