This site is provided and sponsored by
groups can collaborate
easily using email.
This manual is a guide to the system that runs
managing groups, and
There are four ways of getting help at
from the user
the participation coach in a group,
Democracies Online Support.
You can access
from any page on
To access help, carry out the following.
Help that relates to a particular situation
— or context —
is avaliable on many pages.
To access the context-sensitve help, carry out the following.
To view the section of
Democracies Online User Manual that the
context-sensitive help comes from, click on
Read more at the bottom of the
The participation coach is the person responsible for
assisting group members with the interaction with
each other and Democracies Online.
To contact the participation coach, carry out the following
You can get help from Democracies Online
Support by sending an email message, detailing your problem, to
Your message should contain a description of exactly what you are
doing, what is not happening, and what you think should happen.
If possible, supplying the email addresses you use, and your
user ID, would be helpful
to Democracies Online Support.
Registered users must log in to Democracies Online to use all the
To log in to Democracies Online, carry out the following.
If you select Remember me, your
identity will be remembered by
so you will not have to log in next time you visit.
However, you should not select this if you
are using a shared or public computer, such as a computer in
an e-cafe or library, as your privacy may be compromised.
To reset your password, carry out the following.
Note: Administrator Password-Reset
Some administrators can reset passwords for group members. If
this occurs, you will receive an email message informing you that
your password has been reset. From this message, you can carry
out the tasks 4–6 above.
A profile is information kept by Democracies Online about all users,
the information stored in your profile and
the profiles of other registered users.
To view your profile, carry out the following.
Your profile will show the groups that you belong to, the most
recent messages that you have posted, and the profile data listed
Information listed in your profile
Information) can be
How the information is changed depends on the type of data it is:
You can also
email addresses to your profile.
To change your password, carry out the following.
If the passwords that you typed in do not match, an error
message will appear and the password will not be changed.
All fields in your profile, except for the password
and image fields, are text fields.
Carry out the following, to change a text-field.
Carry out the following, to change the image that is shown on
your profile and placed next to messages you post.
Images should be 125 pixels wide by 156 pixels high.
You can use your existing email addresses to
post messages, and
and summaries of group activities.
In addition, a monthly account summary will be sent to your
Changing Your Message Notification Settings).
To use your existing email address, you must
it to the system.
You can also
an address, and
the list of default email address.
To change an existing email address, you must
remove the existing email address first,
then add a new email address.
To send messages to a group, from a particular email address — and
receive messages at a particular email address — the email address
must be added to your profile. To add an address to your profile,
carry out the following steps.
Note: Administrator Adding an Email Address
Some administrators can add an email address to your profile. If
this occurs you will receive an email message that will allow
you to carry out one of the two tasks in Step 4 above. In
addition, you will receive an email message on *all* your other
addresses informing you that an administrator has added a new
address to your profile.
To remove an email address from the list of addresses in your
profile, carry out the following.
The last address cannot be removed, as you must have at least
one email address.
To change where message notifications are sent by default, you
default email address or
a default email address
from the Default Email Addresses list.
To add an address to the list of default addresses, carry
out the following tasks.
(You cannot add an email address to the list of default
addresses if all your email addresses are in the list of
To remove an email address from the default list of addresses
that are used to notify you of posts, carry out the following.
(You cannot reduce the list of default email addresses to
fewer than one.)
To view the profile on another
carry out the following.
Alternatively, click on a user's name in a message, and the
profile for that person will be shown.
Groups are online areas where people collaborate on
As a registered user, you can
join a group,
leave a group,
view a group or
change your message settings for the group.
To join a group using email, carry out the following tasks.
To post to a group, and receive email messages from a
group, you must register an account with GroupServer.
To use the Web to register an account with GroupServer,
carry out the following tasks.
Note: Administrator Registration
If you do not have an account with GroupServer, an administrator
can create one for you. If this happens, you will receive an
email message informing you that this has occurred. Clicking on
the link in the email message will take you to the Edit Profile
page (Step 4 above) and verify your email address.
You will need to join a group to post messages to it.
To join a group, carry out the following.
The Groups page and your profile will
list all the groups that you belong to
(see Viewing a
and Viewing Your
To leave a group, carry out the following.
Alternatively, follow the instructions that is placed in the
footer of all email messages sent from that group.
Viewing a group allows you to see information about the group,
including who belongs to the group and the messages that have been
sent to the group.
(The exact information that is visible can differ from group to
group, and will depend on your group membership.)
To view a group, carry out the following.
Your profile also displays the My Groups
list, which can be used to access groups.
change how you are notified of messages posted to a group
change which email address notifications are sent to.
Carry out the following, to change how you are informed of
messages posted to a group.
On the first day of each month, regardless of your message
settings, you will be sent an email-reminder by
Democracies Online that
lists the groups you belong to, the message settings for each
group, and how to leave the groups.
If you have multiple email addresses registered with
Democracies Online (see
an Email Address), then you can change where email
messages from a group are sent.
To do this, carry out the following.
You can participate online using Democracies Online by
other users, by
with messages, or by
working with files.
Carry out the following tasks to contact other Democracies Online
Messages form the basis of participation on Democracies Online.
read messages that
others have posted,
link to messages.
You can read messages that are posted to groups
To read a message that someone else has posted to a group,
carry out the following.
The page for the selected topic will be displayed.
(If you are not a member of a group, you may not be able
to see any topics.)
Depending on your message settings for a group
Changing Your Message Notification Settings
you will either be sent
email whenever a message is posted to the group,
digest of posts,
or no email notification.
If configured, you will receive an email for each individual
message that is posted to a group.
Messages from Democracies Online can be identified by the subject
that starts with the name of the group in square brackets,
followed by the name of the topic.
In addition, the message will be sent from an email account
that is named after the group, such as
The email message will contain the text of the post, and
a link to the relevant group and topic.
You can reply to the email to add a post to the group
If configured, you will receive a message digest once
The message will be sent shortly after midnight, and
can be identified by the subject line that will read
[Example Group] Topic Digest, where
Example Group will be replaced with the name
of the group.
[Example Group] Topic Digest
The message will summarise the postings in each of your
groups, and provide links that can be followed to view
the postings on
If you reply to a message digest you will be sent a summary
of your profile; you cannot create a post from a message
On Democracies Online, Web Feeds (often known as
RSS Feeds and
Live Bookmarks) provide summaries
of the messages that are posted to groups.
They can be viewed in an aggregator, such as
Mozilla Firefox and
Links to three feeds are provided, which summarise the
notices, files and topics that have been posted, are
linked of the homepage for the site.
Consult the documentation for your aggregator on how
to view a feed.
Messages can be created by either
a message to an existing topic
a new topic.
You can post a message to an existing topic
Carry out the following, to post a message to a topic using
(If you do not belong to the group, you cannot
post messages to the group.)
A tag is a keyword, or category, that is associated with
You can associate multiple tags with a post
when it is created; this should make the file easier for
others to find
Reading Messages, and
Currently, tags can only be entered via the Web
When entering a tag, they can be formatted in one of two
tags, example post, email, message
To post a message to an existing topic using email, open
a message that was posted to the topic
do not change the subject of the email
message, as this will cause Democracies Online to create a new topic
Starting a New Topic Using Email).
Once sent, the message will be added to the Topics page for
the group, and be sent to all group members who receive
email notification of posts.
Email attachments will be uploaded to the site. See the
Posting Files Using Email
You can create a new topic for discussion, in any group
that you are a member of, by
To create a new topic using the Web, carry out the following.
To create a topic using email, send a message to the
email address for the group
with the message subject set to the name of topic;
do not use the name of an existing topic as this will cause
the message to be added to the existing topic, rather than
creating a new topic.
If you are not a member of a group you cannot create a new
topic, and you will be sent an error message informing you
why you cannot post to the group.
However, people who are not Democracies Online users will not
receive error messages.
Sometimes it is useful to send someone a link to a post.
To create a link, view the message you wish to link to
Messages Using the Web)
and click short link, at the
top of the message; the post will be shown on a single
You can copy the address of the message from
the location bar of your Web browser and paste it into any
message you wish to send.
If the recipient cannot view the post, because of inadequate
permissions, then an error message will be shown when he or she
tries and follow the link.
All documents, which are not messages, that are stored on
Democracies Online are files.
view files that others
have posted, and
post files to groups
that you belong to.
Files can be viewed
the Web, and linked to
To view a file using the Web, either
Using either technique, when you have found the file,
click the link to the file and your Web browser will allow
you to view the file.
Messages Using the Web.
If you have configured Democracies Online to send you an email whenever
someone posts a message, you will also receive an email when a
file is posted.
The file is not attached to the email. Instead, you will receive
a link to the file and a short description
To view a file from an email, click on the link to the
file that is contained in the email message, and your Web
browser will allow you to view the file.
Files can be posted on Democracies Online
using the Web or
To post files using the Web, carry out the following:
The file will be uploaded to Democracies Online and
displayed under the relevant topic, and messages
will be sent to all group members who wish to
receive email notification of posts.
Any tags that are set (see
Tags) will be
associated with the file, as well as the message that is
To post files using email:
The file/s will be uploaded to Democracies Online and
displayed under the relevant topic. A link to each file will be included at the end of your email
along with a short description.
You can manage some pages on
The pages you can manage will have some of the following
tabs at the top.
Depending on the privacy settings you can
change the privacy of
the page, and
work with the history of
To change a page, carry out the following tasks.
The permissions for administering the page cannot be
be more lax than for viewing the page.
keeps a record of all changes made to a page.
view a particular
version of a page.
While only one version is
by default), you can
You can view any version of a page by carrying out the
Only one version of a page can be
published (shown to
people by default).
You can publish an older version of the page to
correct an error, or publish a draft that has not been
widely shown to people.
To publish a version carry out the following tasks.