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Questions and Answers
by Novacaster Administrator at 12:32 02/06/03 (Community Welcome)
If you have a question about how this site operates, or are having a problem using it effectively, please post a comment to this article.
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Novacaster Community Admin

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Questions and Answers Novacaster Administrator - 12:32 02/06/03
How do I run my own area of the site? Novacaster Administrator - 13:29 02/06/03
If you want to run your own area of the site, then this is how it works.

1) We create you a user Group (or Groups), and a content Category (or Categories) with the configuration you need to support what you've said you want to do in your Community Area.

2) You use a simple web interface to manage the membership of your Group(s) and to post content to your area of the site.

3) Depending on the configuration you've asked for, other users may also be allowed to post content into your area. They might include every registered user of the site, or just the members of your chosen Group(s).

4) Also depending on the configuration you've asked for, the content posted may be visible to everyone (logged in or not), just those logged in, or just those who are in your Group(s).

5) If you want a particular look and feel that marks out your area from the rest of the site, that's also possible. We'll give you a template and some instructions, you make the template look the way you want it and we'll integrate it for you.

Some examples of how you might use the site - you could have an area where you post items of interest up and allow other people to comment on them.

Or, you could have an area where only you and your Group members can discuss between yourselves, either in public or private.

Or, you could have an area where anyone is allowed to submit content, but it must be approved by you before it's published.

Or some other combination.

There are many features of the software underpinning this site including email driven workflow, job requirement posting and online application, automatic email notification to users of new content, file attachments - all of which are configurable.

Rather than try to explain what every possible facility does and how it could be useful, instead you tell us what you think you need to do with a group of people and a website and we'll take it from there.

The following are examples of good ways for you to approach telling us about your requirements:

I am the clerk of the local Parish council, which has 23 members. We need somewhere private that I can put planning applications and upload associated files (like plans, drawings etc) for private discussion amongst ourselves. We'd also need a place to post notices that should be visible to the public.


I need a place where about 30 of my friends and I can chat together about motocross. Don't mind if it's public as anyone can join in.


I'm looking for a simple blogging area, where I can write stuff and everyone can read and comment to what I write. It'd be neat if people could subscribe by email to my stuff, so they got it in their inbox the next day.

Get the idea? You can use this form to send us your requests.

Novacaster Community Admin

How can I have my own blog on the site? Novacaster Administrator - 14:44 06/06/03
Just ask :-)

You'll need to be a registered user of the site, but beyond that it's simply a matter of letting us know what your username is and we'll set one up for you.

Here's a form you can use to send us your requests.
Novacaster Community Admin

What are these different areas about? Novacaster Administrator - 11:55 25/10/03
A useful, rigid categorisation of almost anything - discussion areas especially - is a tricky thing to arrange.

Any particular group of people might regard themselves as being in different categories at different times - often depending on the nature of the conversation as it shifts.

However, in order to make it a little easier for the newcomer or the casual visitor to tell roughly where they might find those people that share their interests or have just the information they seek, some means of navigation is needed.

So, people discussing matters primarily related by physical location can be found in the 'Community Areas'.

More individualistic content, such as blogs (online diaries) are in the 'Personal Areas'.

The 'Business Areas' are where to look for people wanting to talk about anything with a more commercial slant.

Within the 'Group Areas' there are discussions of the most general nature.

More top level categories can be added at any time, but not everything needs to be signposted. Remember, there are humans here so you can ask people, not software, for help.

The nature of this system is such that different areas demand different levels of access rights. Some areas are fully open, others may contain read-only material, still others may allow access only to invited guests, or may be wholly invisible to the non-member.

The configuration of any particular area can be changed, so areas that start off closed may become open and others that start off open may become more restricted - it's all up to the people who run their own areas to decide.

Many have tried to apply real-world metaphors to online communities - likening them to villages or towns or cities, meeting rooms, debating forums, public houses, libraries and so on. No single metaphor works - an online community is an online community. That there are people here is all you need to know.

If you're completely lost having registered and logged in, just find any piece of content authored by the Novacaster Community Admin that has a 'Reply' button below it, use the button to post a plea for help, and we'll come along and point you in the right direction.

Novacaster Community Admin