Discourse User Manual for team21.ro

manual

#1

What this contains: Our shiny, new and complete manual for using the team21.ro website. Covers both general use of our forum software (which is based on Discourse), and conventions and features only found here and on the other sites of the Edgeryders Communities network. Enjoy!

If you find a mistake or want to add something: You can just leave a comment below to tell us what should change. Or, if you want to change it yourself: this is a (only slightly adapted) copy of the Discourse User Manual for edgeryders.eu. That original manual is a wiki, and you can log in and edit it with the same account you use on this platform. So we propose you make your edits there, and we’ll eventually update this version as well.

Content

1. Getting started

2. Working with content

3. Interacting with other users

4. Other topics


1. Getting started on the TeaM2021 website

1.1. Signup and login

When visiting team2021.ro, you find the “Login” and “Signup” buttons in the top right and the process only collects a minimum of information. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Some details:

  • The “Login with Edgeryders” mechanism. Your team2021.ro account also allows you to login on all websites of “Edgeryders Communities”. These are similar online communities that decided to use the Edgeryders website technology under their own brand – see the top-right menu for the list. After the very first login into your account, you are able to join each of the “Edgeryders Communities” with a single click and can post under the same username that you have on team2021.ro.

    This is made possible by our dedicated login website, communities.edgeryders.eu. It is hosted on the Edgeryders server, just as team2021.ro itself, and only the Edgeryders admins have server access (so your account is safe).

1.2. Completing or changing your profile information

Changing your profile information

Due to our “Login with Edgeryders” mechanism (see above), you have to go to your user account settings on our login website communities.edgeryders.eu if you want to change certain parts of your profile / account information.

As told in your account settings for example here on team2021.ro, this affects the following settings:

ChangingProfileInfo

After changing one or more of these settings on communities.edgeryders.eu, log out of the Edgeryders Communities platform (such as team2021.ro) and log in again to see the changes there. Please note that it can take 3-4 minutes after login until your profile picture is shown in the top right, as the system has to create a scaled-down version first, which is done in a job queue mechanism.

All other profile information is not synchronized between the different Edgeryders Communities platforms. Change it directly on these platforms. (You can also adapt it on communities.edgeryders.eu but since that platform is only for signup and login and has no content, this is not really relevant.)

Explanation

Our “Login with Edgeryders” mechanism allows you to use the same account identity (username, e-mail address and password) on all Edgeryders Communities platforms. This requires that, when you want to change your username, it has to change on all Edgeryders Communities platforms at the same time. We realized this function by defining that your username on communities.edgeryders.eu is the “master version” (since this is used for signup and login) and on every login to an Edgeryders Communities platform, the information from your “master” profile is taken over.

Troubleshooting: Forcing your profile picture to synchronize

For a few users, their profile picture shown on communities.edgeryders.eu is not taken over when logging in to an Edgeryders Communities site. These users will see the default (a letter on a colored background) as their profile picture on Edgeryders Communities platforms, and this does not change after a few minutes and also not after a new login.

Details: Who is affected

So far, we think this affects only a few of the users with an account before January 2019 (when we switched to the “Login with Edgeryders” mechanism), but we are still investigating. Probably, the original profile pictures were lost when taking them over from edgeryders.eu to communities.edgeryders.eu and only scaled-down versions are still displayed on communities.edgeryders.eu. But the original version is needed for profile picture synchronization when you log in on another Edgeryders Communities platform.

If this affects you, you can fix it as follows:

  1. Go to communities.edgeryders.eu, log in there and go to "user menu → Edit Profile.

  2. Click the pen icon next to your user profile picture, select “System assigned profile picture” and click “Save changes”.

  3. Again click the pen icon next to your user profile picture, select “Custom Picture”, upload yours, and click “Save changes”.

  4. Log out and in again on the Edgeryders Communities platform that would not show your profile picture. It should show at latest after waiting 3-4minutes and then reloading the page.

1.3. Introduction to the platform’s concepts and features

The platform team2021.ro is made from open source software – it is based on Discourse, and you can download it from our Github repository is. It will take a bit of getting used to it, but it’s a very modern and user friendly solution we have now. Give it a try! As always, get in touch if you experience any trouble.

Here is an overview of the site’s terminology and navigation:

  • Frontpage. When you first log in, the home page that you see is a listing of our categories, which is the Discourse term for “forums” or “message boards”.

  • Terminology. So forums are called “categories”. A category can also have one level of sub-categories. Within them are topics and within topics are posts. The first post is the one that starts the topic, the others are responses.

  • Horizontal menu. On the frontpage, you see the word Categories highlighted in red and other options in the same horizontal menu. These are different choices for looking at the overall content on the site. Try each one out and see which view is best for which purpose:

    • Categories. A list of all categories and sub-categories of the site, forming the content of the frontpage.
    • Unread. A list of topics with new responses, where you are participating in the discussion or get notifications from for other reasons.
    • New. A list of all topics that were created since your last visit. These are topics in which you are not participating, so they did not already appear in “Unread”. In the beginning this will be a long list because everything on the site is new to you. Close to the lower right side is a Dismiss button that lets you mark everything as “seen.” Do this and all later visits will show you what is new to you since you marked it. Very useful.
    • Latest. The most complete view of all recent activity on the site, not limited to what you get notified about. Useful to see what’s happening that might be interesting to join.
  • Hamburger menu. In addition, in your upper right view there is a “hamburger menu” of stacked horizontal lines. The hamburger menu will always be there. Use it as a one-click to navigate to other main categories and site sections when you are inside a topic.

1.4. Why we have our own platform, and it’s different

With so many people using Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks, why don’t we simply run TeaM2021 from one or more of them? Why do we insist using our own platform?

  1. Living tech. The team2021.ro platform is designed to be “living tech”, co-evolving with the community using it. Instead of developing it first and using it later, we started from a standard installation of an open source software package (Discourse), used it a bit, changed it more to how we like it, used it a bit more, changed it again and so forth. As our needs for tools to collaborate become more sophisticated, we integrate them into the platform.

    As a result, we get a platform that all of us really own. You can find it, with all the changes we made, in our Github repository edgeryders/discourse. You are welcome to install and use it yourself in any project you like, and also to pioneer new features with us. Let us hear your ideas in the Support & Development workspace on our partner platform edgeryders.eu (and no, you don’t need to be a developer for that!).

  2. No intermediation. We believe we should not need to go through corporations to talk to our own institutions.

  3. Fairness. On the TeaM2021 platform, all your content remains yours. You just grant us the license to show it to others (legal information here).

  4. No commercial interest. Mainstream social networks are for profit corporations selling contextualized advertisement. Facebook in particular constantly tweaks its code to show people content that their client pay for. They want you to look at what will make them the most money, not at what you are most interested in. We do not do that, so we can guarantee that your contribution will not be buried under status updates with energy drinks or fashion brands.

  5. Access over time. Facebook, Twitter and the others never delete content; but they do make it difficult or expensive to get over time. You can’t search for tweets older than 15 days; and Facebook prefers you to look at new content. Every contribution is precious to us, and we make sure it is fully accessible and indexed by search engines over time.

  6. Privacy and data protection. Mainstream social networks use your activity to profile you as a consumer, and figure out what sort of advertising you are responding to the most. With our platform, you can choose to participate without your participation labeling you as a certain kind of individual in some massive database in the USA. Our servers are protected by German data protection law, one of the safest in the world.

  7. Reusability for analysis. We are not simply having a conversation here: we are collectively writing a document that encodes the views of citizens engaged in future building, social innovation, lifestyle hacking and so on. To aggregate individual opinions into a collective point of view we need analysis: to do analysis we need full access to the content. Mainstream social networks do not restrict access to our content, even if we created it.

1.5. Netiquette

The TeaM2021 platform is a precious space for interaction to its community. We are proud to have somehow managed to build a space for learning safely about uncomfortable truths; for disagreeing respectfully; for asking for and freely giving help without this implying a pecking order.

The rules governing interaction are those that you would expect when talking to people you deeply respect, and want to respect you too. Be clear and respectful. Don’t be creepy. Don’t be an a§§#ole. When you post something try to make it personal, do by all means link external resources but add your own reflections to them. For more details, see our Community Guidelines.

If you notice unpleasant or inappropriate behaviour (read: trolling or creepiness) please alert the TeaM2021 team.

1.6. Security

TeaM2021 is a public platform and in that sense, not secure. Yes, we encrypt the data transferred from and to the website with SSL. We store your password in an encrypted way. We do not collect your real name and we prefer you don’t tell it. But still, it’s a public platform, and all its content is public, and its messages are not end-to-end encrypted.

So, don’t use this platform for stuff you want to keep secret, or for content that could have serious consequences if connected to your real-world identity.

For content licencing details and our privacy policy, read the corresponding chapters in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy".

1.7. What if my written English is not that good?

TeaM2021 is a Europe-wide community, and we take pride and joy in this diversity. We choose to communicate in English because it is the best approximation to a global language there is, but most of us are not native English speakers. If you can write in English, even a little, we encourage you to do so in the interest of increasing your potential audience, with the promise that people will focus on your ideas rather than your command of the language. No one is allowed to look down on anyone else on the grounds of spelling or grammar errors. If you are not comfortable with that, it’s ok to write in your own language: chances are some of us read it, and anyway there is always machine translation.

2. Working with content

2.1. Browsing through topics

When you first visit, the home page that you see is like a table of contents of this website. You see the word “Categories” highlighted in red in a menu bar with other choices. This site calls the main content areas “categories.” A Category can also have one level of sub-categories. Within them are “topics” (discussion threads), and each topic consists of “posts” (comments).

The horizontal main menu offers you other ways of looking at the content within this site. Try each one out and see which view is best for what purpose. We ordered them left-to-right by relevance:

  • Unread lists all posts that you are subscribed to and have not ready yet.
  • New lists all topics that you have not ready yet (whether you are subscribed to them or not). At first that means everything. On that screen, find the Dismiss button in the lower right to mark everything as “seen.” Do this and all later visits will show you what is new to you since you marked it. Very useful.
  • Latest lists all posts that you have not ready yet (whether you are subscribed to them or not). This is the least relevant list, but after you have read all your “Unread” and “New” content you can find all other recent activity on the site from here if you want to read more. There’s a helpful red line inside this list, marking the time of your last visit so you know what happened after you left.
  • Bookmarks lists all topics you have bookmarked yourself (by clicking the “Bookmark” button close to the bottom of a topic’s page). It is a nice way to create shortcuts, for example to this Discourse manual.

In addition, in your upper right view there is the hamburger menu . The hamburger menu will always be there on every page. Use it as a one-click way to navigate to any other main section of the website when you are inside a topic.

2.2. Using the search field to find stuff and people

You will find the search field on the top right SearchButton .

It works as you would expect:

  • Click the search icon, horizontal search bar will appear, start typing and relevant result will start appear on the screen.
  • to filter the result you can click option link right beneath the search bar.

2.3. Writing topics and comments

Creating a good topic has never been easy. But in Discourse, at least creating a topic is :slight_smile: On the homepage or any category page, click the “+ New Topic” button in the top right: NewTopicButton

An expandable text editor will pop up in the bottom of your browser window:

Just fill the fields in the editor form:

  • In the first, single-line input field, enter the title of your topic.
  • In the second, dropdown-style field, choose the category or sub-category to which your topic belongs. This defines who will be notified by e-mail about your topic, which is a big part of your potential audience. If you are not sure, choose “Campfire” or “Uncategorized” and a moderator will sort it in for you.
  • In the third text-area type field, enter your topic’s main text. You can add hyperlinks, embed images by drag & drop or uploading, and format your content in several ways.

2.4. Formatting your content

For details about content formatting and a reference of all ways to do this, please refer to our detailed documentation topic “Formatting your content”.

2.5. Structuring long or complex content

With the Discourse text editor and limited formatting options, it can be challenging to write or edit long and complex texts. Here are our best practices that emerged to deal with this:

Content that fits into one topic. If your content is around 10 screen pages or less, it fits well into a single, structured topic:

  1. Put all your content into the first post of a topic. The posts below that should be limited to discussion comments.
  2. Create numbered chapters and sub-chapters. Use the “1. – 1.1. – 1.2. – 2. – 2.1.” etc. numbering format. Start with heading level H2 for the first level of chapters (## 1. Chapter Title in Markdown), because the Discourse editor also starts with that heading level.
  3. Add a table of contents. (see below).

Content that does not fit into one topic. If your content is longer than around 10 screen pages, or requires more than two levels in the table of contents (means chapters like “1.2.3.”), better split the content across multiple topics as follows. Overall, this is much more navigable (and editable) than trying to cramp all content into one topic. In addition, this technique is useful to move some parts of the content out of a public topic into access restricted categories, where necessary.

  1. Create an index document. Again with chapters, sub-chapters and a table of contents. Some (sub-)chapters might contain content, others would only contain a (one-sentence or more detailed) summary and link to a different topic with the actual content.

  2. Make the index document a pinned topic in its category. Usually, not always – only if the topic is important / central enough to be pinned.

  3. Write sub-topics. These are normal topics with detailed content. Structure the subject matter there as normally for “content that fits into one topic” (see on that above). Especially, start the chapter numbering and level from “1.”, since each of these is an independent topic and they are just referenced from the index topic.

  4. Add a sub-topic note. In the topics with the detailed content, add a note to the top like this:

    This topic is a linked part of a larger work: "<Linked title of index topic>"

    After that note, there should be a gap to the rest of the content to emphasize it visually. A following heading (## Content etc.) will provide that. If no heading follows, create a line containing &nbsp; instead to provide this.

  5. Tag the sub-topic. We use tag subtopic to indicate its special role. This is meant to hint users to this in topic lists and when they start reading past a topic’s title. The tag provides a list of all sub-topics, but this is more a side-effect here.

For examples of this technique, see various sections in this user manual document:

2.6. Adding a table of contents

We have a convention for headings and a table of contents that lets you jump to all headings in a post (usually only in the first post of a topic, often a wiki). Detailed instructions are in topic “Adding a table of contents”.

2.7. Writing in Arabic and other right-to-left scripts (RTL)

For writing in RTL script when creating a post in the Discourse editor, first configure the writing direction for the editor textbox (if not already the default for you). For that, right-click into the editor’s left textbox and choose “Writing Direction → Right to Left” (tested in Chrome, will be similar in other browsers).

That step will however only show right-to-left text properly in the editor, not in the preview on its right side or the final rendering after saving. To fix that, use the text direction tag around your text in the editor. Before you start writing, simply click the “right-aligned lines” in the editor’s toolbar to create a [text-direction=rtl] … [/text-direction] tag, and write your content inside.

Put one blank line above and below the opening [text-direction=rtl] to keep Markdown formatting before and inside working (until we can fix these issues, #91 and #92).

For more detailed instructions, refer to Writing in Arabic and other right-to-left scripts (RTL).

2.8. Using categories

Each topic on this platform is first sorted into exactly one category. You can see an overview of all our categories on our frontpage.

Categories are meant to group topics together in a basic way. Think of these as broad themes that we talk about here. Or as the table of contents of this whole website – indeed, our frontpage even looks like that.

Categories are there to help website visitors find the content they are looking for. They come as a two-level hierarchy: main categories (broad themes), of which each can contain sub-categories (narrower themes). Each category or sub-category can contain any number of topics (texts created by the community members on this website).

Of course you can subscribe to a category to get notified when new content is added to it. Refer to section “Notifications and Subscription” for detailed instructions.

2.9. Using tags

Each topic on this platform is sorted into a category – however, this is quite a broad classification, and each topic can only be sorted into one category each. So, there is another way to categorize: tags.

In general, you don’t have to assign any tag to topics you create, except you are a moderator on this site. But you can use the list of existing tags to navigate better on this website: when visiting any tag from there that interests you, you will see a list of all topics tagged that way. Also, in the right top of such a page you will see a dropdown showing a circle icon. This allows you to subscribe to the tag in various ways, so that you are automatically notified when content is added with this tag. For example, you could subscribe to our #call-for-applications::tag tag, which we use when we have an offer for a paid job, for fellowships and the like.

After you subscribed to multiple tags, you may not remember to which ones. In that case, look at the overview that you find in your user avatar menu under “:gear: → Notifications → Tags”. It looks like this:

2.10. Adding slides to a post

See this topic for detailed instructions:

2.11. Converting a topic to PDF

Sometimes, you want a PDF in a higher quality than what you get by using the browser’s print function on the page of a Discourse topic. Mostly, you’ll want to remove the author avatar, comments, header and footer menu. Here’s how:

  1. Construct the URL of the print-optimized version by appending ?_escaped_fragment_ to the normal URL of the Discourse topic. For example, you will get https://team2021.ro/t/example-title/123?escaped_fragment

  2. Visit that URL and choose “right click menu → Save as …” and save with type “Webpage, complete”.

  3. Open the resulting .html file in a text editor and remove the sections you don’t want (comments, header and footer menu, author avatar).

  4. Still in the text editor, convert all links to other parts of the document to relative links that only use the subpart marker, for example <a href="#chap-2-9">…</a>. Only then they will scroll the PDF document, otherwise they would open in a browser. To convert the links, search for the full URL of the document you saved and replace all occurrences with nothing.

  5. Save the .html file and open it in the browser and choose “right click menu → Print …”, then save it to a PDF.

Alternatives include selecting the desired content in your browser and copy&pasting it to a new LibreOffice Writer document. However, this resulted in several formatting glitches (headers look like normal text, some numbering sections use a different font etc.).

2.12. Creating posts in multiple languages

If your content comes with translations into other languages, format it as seen in this example and described below.

List the available languages

At the very top of your post, create a list with links to the available language versions, by using Markdown code based on this template:

 **_Available in: :gb: [English](#en) / :ru: [Russian](#ru)_** 

It will result in the following output (without the quote formatting though):

Available in: :gb: English / :ru: Russian

This list takes on a similar role to a table of contents, just that in contrast to our usual way of adding a table of contents, you use two-letter language codes in the hyperlinks.

The :gb: and :ru: code pieces will show the flag icons. Just type :, select “more…” from the popup menu that appears, and see if your flag icon is already available. Some are in the “Custom” section, as we added them ourselves. If your desired flag icon is not to be found, just omit it – an admin will notice and add it to your post later.

Add language headers to the different language versions

Before you start your content in a new language, you need to include a language header like this (for English):

## :gb: **_English version_** <a name="en"></a>

or this (for Russian):

## :ru: **_Russian version_** <a name="ru"></a>

and similar for other languages, again using the flag icons and two-letter language codes. The <a name="en"></a> etc. is called a “HTML subpart marker” and defines a target to jump to, used in your hyperlinks in the list of available languages. As a result, you will see:

:gb: English version

(Your English content goes here.)

 

:ru: Russian version

(Your Russian content goes here.)

Separate the different language versions

Put code like this before the language header of each language version, which will create a simple horizontal line as a separator in the output:

---

2.13. Creating a wiki

Wikis are just normal posts in Discourse, except that they can be edited by every user and not only by its author and moderators. Wiki posts are recognizable by their special green icon in their top right, for example:

WikiVersionInfo

More precisely, wikis can be edited by every user we trust for that, configured currently to “trust level 1” – every user who is not so totally new that their username appears in light gray. That is also the current trust level requirement to be able to make ones own post into a wiki – you do not have to be moderator or admin for that.

To create a wiki:

  1. Create a topic. Because usually, by convention, we only create wikis out of the first posts of a topic. But technically, it works with every post – first posts in a topic as well as comments.

  2. Click “Make Wiki”. You find this button after saving your post by clicking on the grey “” below it, then on the grey wrench icon.

2.14. Adding a collaborative drawing to a post

For vector oriented drawings

  1. Create a new drawing in Google Draw.

  2. Make the drawing publicly editable. Or otherwise share it with the Google accounts of people who should have access.

  3. Get a public URL for your drawing from Google Draw. This is somehow in the options. You will be able to choose the size of your drawing. Here, it can be useful to choose a size larger than the 690×690 px size that is visible by default in Discourse posts. Because when clicking on the image, a fullscreen version will be shown, and when clicking on that version again, a version in 100% scaling will be shown.

  4. Embed the image in your Discourse post. In the Discourse editor, click the “Upload” button, then choose “From the web” and paste your drawing’s public URL.

  5. Add a paragraph with instructions below the image. For example:

    Please contribute edits to this drawing as needed. Access the editable version [link] and make your changes. The embedded version above is updated automatically: reload this page and you should see your changes immediately.

  6. Make the post a wiki. This makes it more recognizable that this post contains content that is open to be edited by everyone. See section “2.13. Creating a wiki” for instructions.

For raster graphics drawings

[TODO]

3. Interacting with other users

3.1. Creating comments (skillfully)

Most content on team2021.ro is commentable, and the community loves to use comments to reach out to others. Many times your comment will be part of a rich conversation. Here is how to be a skillful writer of comments:

  1. Decide what you are commenting on. Is it the content itself? Or are you reacting to another comment?

  2. If you are reacting to the original content, scroll down to the end of the comments (or to the end of the content if yours is the first comment). You will find a form to leave a comment already open. Just write the text and press “Save”.

  3. If you are reacting to a comment, locate and click the link “reply” under the comment’s text on the right. Your comment will display at the end of the discussion but with a link to the comment you are responding to. This helps other users to make sense of the conversation.

  4. You will make it easier for other users to engage in conversation with you if you make it clear, in the text, who is it you are talking to. Example: “I agree with you, Alice. Your remarks, combined with Bob’s, made me think that…”

When you create a comment, the following people are notified: the author of the original content; anybody who left a comment to the same content before you; and everyone else who follows the topic or one of its categories or tags.

3.2. Mentions

What are mentions? Like many popular social media platforms, this platform supports mentioning other users with an @ tag. If you want to involve another community member in the conversation you are in, you can “ping” her using mentions. As a result, that user will get a notification on the platform and, if needed, also by e-mail; the notification will contain a link to the conversation to join.

How to @mention. Mentions work much like on Twitter: type the “at” symbol @ followed by a username. If you type at least two letters after the “at” symbol, you will see some suggestions for usernames that begin with that combination of letters. Choose among them the name of the user you want to mention, as in the image below:

You can use mentions almost anywhere on the team2021.ro platform. Usernames are case-insensitive, so @team2021 and @TeaM2021 and @TEAM2021 will all have the same result. When the mention is shown with a gray background after saving your post, it worked and the notification was sent. If it is shown just as regular text, it did not work – try to find your mistake in writing that username.

@mentions across Edgeryders Communities platforms. Currently, you can only mention a user who has an account on the same Edgeryders Communities platform (for example, on team2021.ro). If the username is not proposed in the @mention auto-completion list, the user does not have such an account. You can also confirm this in the User Directory, for example here for team2021.ro.

But what if you want to mention such a user? Send them a message or mention them on an Edgeryders Communities platform where they do have an account.

More details

More details: You can not send messages on communities.edgeryders.eu as this site is really only for logins. But normally every user also has accounts on at least one Edgeryders Communities platform because that’s where they came from to sign up. The reason why we don’t create every account on every Edgeryders Communities platform at signup time is to avoid amassing inactive accounts and to not confuse users when they receive notifications from websites where they never actively logged in. Anyway, in the future we will improve these mechanisms for cross-platform user interaction.

3.3. Adjusting your on-platform notifications

It is really empowering for you who are registered on the platform to control just how much you wish to be kept up to date and in the loop!

Discourse is great at remembering what you wrote or where you left off, and at taking you there. For example, the system lets you know immediately when anyone replied to you or liked something you said – on your profile picture icon in the upper right side of the webpage:

Clicking on the notification takes you exactly to the section of the page relevant to you:

The most important part about notifications is that they are based on what content you subscribe to.

You can manage your subscriptions anytime on the pages of topics (“threads”), tags and categories. To do so, find the dropdown with a circular icon at the bottom of a topic’s page, or in the right top of a category or tag page. Then adjust this dropdown as follows:

  • NotificationsMuted
    You are ignoring all notifications from this topic.
  • NotificationsNormal
    You will be notified in your Unread section and in summary e-mails if someone mentions your @name or replies to you.
  • NotificationsTracking
    You will be notified in your Unread section and in summary e-mails of every new reply in this topic.
  • NotificationsWatching
    Like “Tracking”, but you receive the e-mail notifications about new replies in this topic immediately (but at earliest 10 minutes after your last visit to the website, and not if you are currently visiting the website).

The default for edgeryders is set to Tracking. It is the platform’s way of increasing the chances that you spot something interesting for you.

There are also global settings affecting notifications. You can adapt them by going, from the top right of the site, to “user icon menu → :gear: → Notifications”:

  • Desktop Notifications. To receive notifications about new activity in your browser. You have to adapt this setting in every browser you use separately.

  • Users. You can also suppress all notifications from selected users in by listing them in the “Muted” field.

If you want to understand the Discourse notification mechanism in more detail, look into our Discourse Administration Manual in section “5. Understanding notifications”.

3.4. Adjusting your e-mail notifications

You might be annoyed by getting too many e-mails. This is what you can do: go to “top-right user icon menu → :gear: → Emails” and adapt the settings as needed:

  • Replies. You can change your replies preferences as desired.

  • Activity Summary. When you don’t visit here, you will be sent a summary e-mail of topics and replies that you are interested. Specifically, this covers any new items in your Unread section, which is based on the topics, categories and tags you are subscribed to. These e-mails will only come if there is anything new, and you don’t have edgeryders.eu open in a browser tab anyway. You can choose if to include content from new users in these summary emails, and you can adjust their frequency:

    • Every 30 minutes
    • Hourly
    • Daily
    • Every three days
    • Every week
    • Every two weeks
  • Mailing list mode. Enable mailing list mode overrides the activity selection. Muted topics and categories are not included in these emails.

Also relevant:

  • Desktop notifications. To receive notifications about new activity in your browser. You have to adapt this setting in every browser you use separately.

3.5. Reaching out through messages

Another way to reach out, this time on a one-to-one basis, is to send them a message. Look through the user directory and click on the name of the person you are looking for; you can do the same anywhere else where that username is shown, including in @mentions.

Now, a small popup will appear like below:
MessageButton

Click on the Message button to compose your message; this messaging system allows us to contact each other in a private channel even if you do not know each other’s email address.

3.6. Interacting with other users outside of this platform

We encourage all users to keep as much as possible of their interaction within this platform. It’s free, open, and self-hosted: the community has complete control over the database. However, some projects just need other kinds of tools.

4. Other topics

4.1. Deleting your account

Deleting your account is possible, but not straightforward because our software solution “Discourse” includes various protections against forum vandalism and moderator damage. We recommend the following procedure:

  1. Download your content. If you want to keep the content you posted, perhaps to upload it somewhere else, you should download it before deleting your account. For that, navigate to “user menu → :gear: → Activity”, and click Download My Posts.

  2. Delete your account.

    • If you posted something substantial. Note that according to our Terms of Service in section 3.1., you granted everyone a Creative Commons Attribution licence for your content. So in case you posted anything substantial that might be of interest to others on the Internet, we as the TeaM2021 site operator would like to use that licence grant and keep your content online. Properly attributed of course. For that:

      1. Go through the content you posted and remove whatever information you don’t want to be online after your account deletion. This is meant to apply to sensitive information like names and personal information that might get people into trouble later. Also if you want, edit some or all pieces of your content and add to its bottom to whom that piece should be attributed. You find an overview of all the content you posted in the “user menu → :gear: → Activity” section. For content where you don’t do this, we will assume you want it attributed to @unknown_author, which is our standard practice in such cases.

      2. If you also want us to remove any mention of the previous username of your account in @mentions, please include that when contacting us. Usually this is not needed (and can create quite some work for us), but sometimes it might contain sensitive information that associates you in ways you don’t want or that are dangerous to you.

      3. Contact us, either by simply sending a direct message to @Val.Muresan or via e-mail, to ask for account deletion while preserving the content. Also mention if you have made any edits to hide information. An admin will then re-assign your content to @unknown_author and afterwards, delete your account, and edit your @mentions to refer to @unknown_author if desired. If you made edits to hide information, an admin will “properly hide” the old revision of the posts you edited by setting them to “hidden”.

  • If you posted nothing important. If you posted nothing of significance for the general public (say, you only participated in organizing an event or similar), you can delete all your posts by yourself first. (You find an overview of all the content you posted in the “user menu → :gear: → Activity” section.) After that, you can delete your account by navigating to “user menu → :gear:” and clicking the Delete My Account button at the bottom (source).

  • If you posted nothing important, but a lot. If you posted (say) 20 or more times, then the previous process of deleting your own content one by one becomes too uncomfortable. In such a case, you can contact us, either by simply sending a direct message to @Val.Muresan or via e-mail, and ask for account deletion incl. content deletion. An admin user will do that for you, using a different kind of tool. Please allow up to 4 working days for that to happen, as we won’t always find time to do this immediately.

4.2. Posting links to Discourse topics on Facebook

It is possible to post links to a topic on this website on Facebook in such a way that Facebook generates a proper preview image for it.

This is not guaranteed to work with links to posts (replies to a forum topic, with URLs of the form https://example.com/t/title/1234/12). In these cases, Facebook might use a preview image from higher up in the topic. But it works properly with topics (with URLs of the form https://example.com/t/title/1234) if they contain an image.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Create your topic on this website, and include an image.

  2. Start to create a post on Facebook and paste the link to your topic. Often enough, Facebook will not show any preview image yet, namely if you are the first person ever sharing that link on Facebook.

  3. Wait for 2-4 minutes. Facebook needs that long to create a preview and sort it into its own systems.

  4. Delete the link and paste it again. Without saving / posting the Facebook post, delete the link you inserted above, and then insert the same link again. Now, the new preview should include a proper preview image.

  5. Save the post to publish it on Facebook.

4.3. Administration functions and other advanced uses

If you are interested in the administration functions of Discourse (our website’s software) or in some tips and tricks for advanced use of Discourse, have a look at the administration manual that we wrote: