Submitted by Michèle on Sat, 2008-04-26 04:17

Getting to Know the Website

There are two important access tools on the website pages: the tabs at the top of the page and the blue edged box on the left with your username at the top of it.

The tabs are self explanatory and you need to explore them at your leisure. The blue box is the area through which you will access other people’s blogs and profiles and create content yourself.

Recent posts is a handy tool for seeing what has happened since you last logged on.

Under ‘create content’ are a number of headings, you only need to concern yourself with blog entry and forum topic at this stage.

A ‘blog’ is the general purpose communication tool that you start but other people contribute to. We try to maintain the ‘identity’ of a thread by staying on the topic addressed by the author. At times the blog gets ‘highjacked’ by another topic. It happens! We usually suggest that the person who introduced another topic start their own blog. We don’t get uptight about it though.

It is helful to others if you add a signature line, stating your condition and current treatment, which will help others understand your question in the context of your unique situation.

Unfortunately due to the site's software limitations your signature will not appear in the initial post in a blog; it only appears when you post a comment in reply to a blog. (Some people do just that, they post a blog then post an empty comment so that people can see who they are and what their problem is.)

To create the signature in your profile: go to my account in the blue edged box on the left, you will be taken to your profile. Click on the edit tab and at the end of the page there is a window in which you can write your signature. Some of us find there is a limit to how much we can write in the box that will show up in our signature, so you may have to experiment with it a bit. It is difficult for others to remember the details of each and everyone’s health condition, a signature helps us remember you.

A ‘forum topic’ is a discussion tool. The author will suggest a topic for discussion by creating the first post. The content has been as varied as comparing protocols, discussions on the merit of different antibiotics, ‘back porch’ musings, travel, etc

Other useful headings in the blue box are: glossary, my account, my inbox.

The glossary explains terms and abbreviations commonly used on this site. You can also add glossary terms via this heading. The glossary is always working in the background; when you see the little brown 'i' after a term or abbreviation, it means that term is in the glossary. If you hover your mouse over the 'i' it will give you the meaning of that term.

My account allows you to access your profile and change things there.

My inbox allows you to view your private messages, and send private messages to others. When you have messages in your inbox a number will appear in brackets beside this heading.

Lastly, not the most precise tool on the site, but useful if you know what you want, is the search box. It is located in the banner on the right hand side. Be patient with it and you might find what you want.

Alternatively you could use the google search engine for searching the site, the instructions are here.