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MemberCenter

Message Board Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of the questions you may have
about using the bulletin boards in
theCoffeerooms.

 
   

FAQ Contents

I don't see my post Why didn't my post show up? How do I refresh the page?
Why do I get "double posts"? My notes often get posted twice, why is that?
What are "cookies" and are they safe for me and my computer?
Acronyms & Abbreviations What are those codes (like, "EOM") that I see in messages?
Membership Registration Why do I have to register before I can post messages?
Why are some fields "required" when I register for the Coffeerooms?
Privacy Can spammers get my name and email address?
Emails in posts Entering Your E-Mail Address in new posts.
Entering a useful subject
Entering your message
Can I use HTML tags anywhere in my posts?
Adding a "Link URL" How do I add a link to my message?
Entering an "Image URL" How do I add an image to my message?
Telephone "country codes"
Telephone "city or area codes"
Chosing a logon nickname
Chosing a logon password

Why didn't my post show up?
If you post a message, and then use your browser's "back" button to go back to the board, you will probably not see your new post in the list.

If you post a message, and then use the link back to the board, then you are more likely to get a new, fresh copy of the list of posts which will include your new message. (But that's not guaranteed -- see below.)

If you post a message, and don't see your note listed, then use the "Reload" (or "Refresh") command on your browser. Or click on the coffee cup in the upper right of the board. That tells it to go get a new copy of the list of posts.

The most likely reason that your post did not show up is because your browser is showing you (what is now) an "old" copy of the list of posts. Your browser thinks it has a fresh copy (after all, it received it only a few minutes ago), so, rather than reload (or "refresh") the page from the server, your browser drew it out of its local "cache."

If you "reload" (or "refresh" -- it's called different things on different browsers), then your browser will go get the new version of the list of messages from the server, and your post should appear.

Sometimes this happens automatically and sometimes it doesn't. That depends on a lot of different things, including such things as: the settings for your "local cache" (also called "temporary Internet files" on Microsoft Internet Explorer), the amount of traffic on the 'net, the amount of traffic on our server, and, probably, the phase of the moon. If you set your cache to "off" or very small, then it will happen automatically more often -- BUT then surfing the Web, in general, will become painfully slow.

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Why do I get double posts?
The only way to get the same message posted more than once is to send it to the bulletin board more than once. A double post means that you clicked twice on the "Post my note" button -- perhaps because there was a delay in receiving a confirmation message.

Sometimes, if the Internet is very busy (or for any of many other reasons), it may take a second or two for your post to travel to the bulletin board, be posted, and then for you to receive the confirmation message that it has been posted. Click -only once- on the "Post" button and wait for the reply. It takes less than a second for your message to be posted, once it is fully received by the board software, but it make take many seconds for your post to reach the software after you click on the button -- and then it may take a few seconds for the confirmation message to make it back to you.

Clicking on "Stop" on your browser has no affect on the bulletin board software, and your message will be posted as soon as it is received from the Internet. A second click on the "post" button will result in a "double post", regardless of whether you have clicked the "stop" button.

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What are "cookies," and are they safe for me and my computer?
"Cookies" are small "blocks" of text that are created and used by web sites to help them during your "session". Cookies originate at a website, and are sent to your browser to be stored for later use. If a site has sent cookies to your browser, then, each time you ask for a page from that site, your browser will automatically send the cookie back to the site with your page request. Cookies only contain information that a web site has put into them, which the website then uses to help make the site provide more function for you.

A web site can only get cookies that originated from itself. A site cannot get the cookies that originated at other sites, and it can't get any information about you or your computer through the "cookies" mechanism.

In our case, when you logon to the CoffeeRoom boards, we send a cookie to your browser that contains your your nickname and email address. When you ask for another page, or to post a new note, on one of our boards, then our cookie (and only our cookie) is automatically sent back to us. When we recieve the cookie, then we know that you've already logged on for this session and we don't ask you to logon again. (Conversely, of course, if your browser is set to -not- accept cookies, then we must ask you to logon again every time you ask to look at a page. Your browser will only send us our cookies back. We can't get any other site's cookies and they can't get our's.

Our cookies are set to "expire" when you turn off your browser. We send you a nice fresh cookie (chocolate chip?) when you come back to the Coffeerooms and logon again.

You can actually look at cookies that have been sent to your browser, and see what they contain. Netscape stores unexpired cookies in a file called "cookies.txt", and MSIE keeps them in a subdirectory (under Windows) called "Cookies". You can look at the cookies.txt file, or at the Microsoft cookies files with any text editor (such as "Notepad").

More information about cookies can be found at Netscape's help site.

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What are those abbreviated codes I see in messages?
The abbreviated "codes" that are used in messages on the boards are a short-hand method that has come to the boards by way of real-time Chat. (You have to type fast in Chat to keep up with the conversation!)

They usually convey some quick little comment on a preceding message. For example: "LOL" means "Laughing Out Loud", or "ITA" means "I Totally Agree".

We have an extensive list of the codes available. Go to the Member's Center and click on "Acronyms". We update the list regularly, so please send us any that we don't have for inclusion in the next update.

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Registering for a free membership
We ask everyone to register, and login, before posting messages on the Coffeerooms boards. There are a few reasons for doing this; for examaple:
  • We automatically fill in your name and email address for you when you post a note.
  • Though we keep your individual information private, we use the collective registration information to show potential sponsors the value of our membership "audience".
Membership and use of the CoffeeRoom bulletin boards is free. There are some rules and "terms of use" that you should read before you register, please.

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Why are some fields required when I register?
All of the information that you provide is useful to us or you, when you use the boards, in a couple of different ways. When you post a message on the boards, your nickname is automatically inserted into the note for you. Your real name or other private information isn't shown, unless you actually write it into a note, or you enter it into your personal page in the Coffeerooms Members' Book. Sometimes members ask for help with nicknames or passwords, and at those times it is helpful to be able to look up their names in the memberlist. For those reasons we require your real name and email address.

For the other required fields; while we never provide your individual private data to anyone (see: privacy), we do compile general demographic information about our membership to show to potential sponsors. This information is only used in a "lumped together" composite of the whole membership. To do that we need to know what part of the world you live in, your gender, and the year that you were born. Gender and year are pretty obvious, but the "where in the world" part we get from these fields: country, postal or zip code, telephone country code and city or area code.

It would be very helpful if you would also provide the non-required information, such as city and state. It's true that this information can be derived from the required fields, but it would just be a help.

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Privacy of Registration information
We do not sell, or distribute our members' private information (names, email, etc.) to "mailing lists" for any reason. We only use registration information for the purposes noted in the "terms of use" membership agreement, which are outlined above.

Coffeerooms works with third parties that serve ads to our site. To find out more about how Flycast manages the privacy of information in conjunction with serving ads on this site, please go to:
http://www.flycast.com/about_us/about-privacy.html

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Entering Your E-Mail Address in new posts
A valid email address is required to post within these boards. We'll send a welcoming note to the address you provide after you register. When you post a message on the boards, your email address is associated with your nickname, but not shown. If other members wish to email you privately, they can do so by clicking on your nickname. This will produce a form that will be mailed to you without exposing your email address to the sender. If you wish to respond to a note recieved this way, the sender will then be able to see your email addres.

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Why is my birth year "required" to register
We need an accurate "picture" of the general age range of our membership to show to prospective sponsors. We never refer to, nor distribute, any individual member's private information; but we do gather up the general demographics of the membership for sponsors to review.

Your complete birthday information will be helpful in the interests of accuracy; but we will get "close enough" if you only give us your birth year. PLEASE be accurate. Again, we will not distribute or disclose this information to anyone unless you ask us to, but it will be very helpful to us to have accurate information. Thanks.

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Entering a useful Subject
You message subject should be a few words that summarize the topic of your message. After posting your message, this is the line that others see when viewing the board's list of messages. A good descriptive subject line helps others decide if they want to read your note and participate in the message thread. Your message must have a subject.

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Entering Your Message
This is the heart of the board. This is where your opinions, comments, and questions are conveyed to other members of the board family. When complete, you are given the option of previewing the message before it is actually posted on the board, or to post it directly, with no preview. If you "preview" your post, then you have the option of going back to edit your message by simply pressing the [Back] button on your browser. Naturally, your comments are required to post a message.

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Entering an "Optional Link URL"
The Optional Link URL field allows you to enter a link to another site on the World Wide Web. To use this feature, you must enter the complete address of the site (the "URL") here. It should begin with "http://", which is provided for you in the field. For example: "http://www.w3pg.com/days/" would link to the Days boards here. If you enter a Link URL, you should also enter a title for the link. This should be either some descriptive comment, or the actual title of the site to which you are linking. This is an optional field, the link URL will be shown if you don't provide a title. Example: "Dustin's Days Board".

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Entering an Image URL
This gives you the opportunity to dress up your note with a graphic image from somewhere else on the Web. The image will appear in the top, center of your message.

To use this feature, enter the full URL of the image in the "Image URL" field, beginning with "http://" and the web address of the image you want to show.

Remember, "less is more" in a case like this. A large image file linked to your message will could take a long time to download to your reader's browser. If it's too large, they may lose interest and not read your note. Keep it small, interesting, and related to the topic at hand.

Please note that you may not use copyrighted images here unless you have the explicit permission of the copyright owner to do so. Linking to the copyrighted material of another site is illegal, and against the rules of the w3PG CoffeeRooms. We have to remove messages that contain links to images, music, or other information that is the copyrighted property of other parties.

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Can I put HTML tags anywhere in my posts?
HTML tags can only be supported in the body of your message, and they are automatically removed from all other message fields. If you aren't sure how to do this, click on "Adding Color" in the Member's Center.

This is another case where "less is more." Use special formatting sparingly to add some fun or some emphasis to your message, but remember that most readers will quickly skip your message if it is too jumbled up with giant letters or hard-to-read colors.

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Telephone "country codes" and "city or area codes"
Country Codes: For international direct dialing, regions of the world are divided up into "country codes" -- usually per country. Canada and the United States share a country code: "1". (If you live in the US or Canada, that's the "1-" that you often see before the area code in telephone numbers.) Please enter your country code into the country code field.

City codes and Area codes: In the US and Canada we also have an "area code" as part of our phone numbers. Some other countries use the term "area code", but many others use the term "city code" for that set of numbers in between country code and your local exchange. Which ever term that your local telephone company uses, please enter that set of numbers into the "Area/City code" field.

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Choosing a logon nickname
Your "nickname" is both the ID that you will use to logon to the Coffeeroom bulletin boards, and the name that everyone on the board will know you by. Nicknames are unique -- and the software will let you know if someone has already chosen the nickname that you've requested.

Nicknames can contain letters, numbers, spaces, and ordinary punctuation marks, and can include upper and lower case letters. It will be stored and shown in posts exactly as you enter it in the registration field.

You can make fairly elaborate nicknames -- but remember, you'll have to type it in everytime you logon to the Coffeerooms boards. Pick one that's easy to remember, and easy to type.

In accord with the terms of membership, nicknames that are considered offensive or that contain what appears to be a personal attack on any real person won't be maintained in the membership list.

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Choosing a logon password
You should always choose passwords with care -- even for relatively unimportant things like the Coffeerooms. And you should avoid telling anyone your passwords to anything.

The more obscure your passwords are, the better. A nonsense series of letters and numbers is best, as that is the hardest kind of password for hackers to guess. Try to avoid using words that are in the dictionary or that are common names or even unusual names if they are of people you know. If you must use words or names, then mix in numbers in the middle somewhere.

Why take all this care for Coffeerooms passwords? Well, really it's just good practice to treat all of your passwords, ATM codes, calling card numbers, etc. with care. Passwords with names or birthdates of people you know are the most easily guessed by evil-doers. If someone guessed your password for the Coffeerooms, then they might create a Memberbook page for you that is less than flattering, or, worse, they might post "undesireable" messages that appear to be from you.

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