Epilepsy Foundation - eCommunities Support

Welcome to the Epilepsy Foundation’s e-Communities!

Welcome!
We have made significant changes to the Foundation’s e-Communities! The new technology may be intimidating at first, but a little trial and error will ease your anxiety. This guide will highlight some great new features available on the site, but be sure to explore beyond the User’s Guide and build your own pathway to the places you want to go.

LET’S BEGIN!
The first thing you will want to do, if you have not already, is join!

(Remember, you are required to register for the new e-Communities even if you were a member of the old site.)

JOIN

After you successfully join the e-Communities, you will see a greeting at the top-right of the homepage. You will also see options to control your personal page: check your mailbox, view your friends, and control the settings to your personal page.

There are two areas to access your personal page from the e-Communities homepage: (1) the top-left of the site, and (2) in the top navigation.


MY PAGE:
You will notice that your page has been prepopulated with information you submitted during the registration interview, such as your picture, interests/hobbies, and demographical information. Remember this is your page, customize it to your liking—drag and drop page elements wherever they make the most sense to you.

You can also change the page title on your personal page. Feel free to add something about yourself, such as a cool tagline or signature.


INBOX:
Email allows you to view messages you’ve sent and received. To send a “private message” to someone on the network, either select friends from the drop-down option (circled below), or type in their e-mail address.


BLOG:
Start your own e-Communities blog. Create an online journal and recount your experiences with epilepsy.


DISCUSSIONS:
There are two places you can post questions and engage in dialogue with members of the e-Communities.

- Forum: This page is for general discussions. It carries over the format form our past e-communities. Click the "Forums" tab to visit.

Forums

- Groups: In groups, you can post discussions based on group topics and even create your own group. Click the “Groups” tab to visit.


COOL NEW FEATURES!
Event Calendar:
Schedule events, invite network members, and keep track of whose attending. This feature allows you to post your epilepsy-related events on a shared calendar, which will become an online repository for all epilepsy events. You can manage RSVPs to the event and send messages to event attendees.

Videos and Photos:
Post photos from the National Walk for Epilepsy and other events, and organize them into albums. You can also upload videos from your computer, as well as YouTube videos into the video gallery or into forum/blog posts.

Go to the desired video on https://www.youtube.com/ and copy and paste the “embed” code, located on the upper right, directly into your comment box.

Badges and Widgets:
Remember to tell your friends about the e-Communities. Embed your e-Communities badge with pride on your Facebook or MySpace profile, blog or website so others can check out this great community.

OTHER KEY TERMS AND FEATURES:
Invite: Allows you to send an invitation via email to a friend who is not yet a community member. Just add your friend’s name and email address, and they’ll receive an email from us!

Tags: A tag is a key word. Adding tags to your comments, videos, photos, etc., allows you to search for other pages with similar tags.

Share: This button, usually at the top of discussions/blogs/videos and photos, allows you to email your friends, so they can respond to your post and join the discussion.

Follow: This button, at the bottom of pages, allows you to receive e-mail updates of activity going on in the e-Communities.

 

HAVE QUESTIONS:
Be sure to check out the FAQ section of the e-Communities, where you can see other member’s questions, post your own questions, and get answers.

FAQs

This thread is designated for e-Communities FAQ. Please notice that only administrators are able to start discussions in this forum; however, members are able to post comments to the discussion.

This is how it works. You pose a question to the moderator(s) below and, once we are able to find an answer, we will update the list of FAQ or respond to your question within the thread. Please be sure to browse the FAQ regularly and check back for updates. We will try to add timestamps to the responses to help you recognize new posts.

» Is there a way to turn on signatures?
No, you cannot automatically include signatures in posts. However, a member's profile picture will always appear with their posts. Additionally, please check out the "User Guide" to see how to change the title of your page--enabling you to have a cool tagline or quote at the top of your personal page.

» Is it possible to extend the 15-minute time limit that is allotted to modify posts?
There is no way to modify the time you have to edit a comment. However, when you create a discussion, you have an unlimited amount of time to modify your original post. For those who create lists and modify them often (i.e. Brad and the “acronym list”), you have a couple of options: start the topic as a discussion, and as the administrator of that discussion, you can edit the initial post as much as you want. So Brad could start a discussion in “Living with Epilepsy” called “Helpful Acronyms” and as the list grows or folks comment and leave updates for him, he could “Edit Discussion” and modify the original post he started. Also, you can use the blog tool when you need to create posts that need the flexibility of being edited beyond 15 minutes.

» Will there be an e-mail verification process?
Yes, Captcha is installed on the site to ensure that the response to the log-in questions are not generated by a computer, and instead are submitted by a human user.

» Since you are able to change your username, how will this work with a troublemaker if they can just keep changing their username?
Your username is tied to an e-mail account. You can change your username, but Admins are able to track the user by their e-mail address—a valid one is required to create an account. Additionally, as Brad pointed out, members will be able to keep track of usernames because when a user changes it, all previous posts get updated with the new username.

» Can we add a 'preview posts' feature?
Unfortunately there is no preview for comments/posts in the forums. However, the 15-minute edit period allows you to correct any mistakes your slippery fingers may have made in the original post (this is much better than other social networks, which gives you no time at all to edit your comments.)

» Is there a way to hide your friends list?
This is a legitimate concern—not wanting folks who just join to feel less popular or have the message boards seem like an exclusive club controlled by friendships. This feature cannot be made private, but to navigate to “My Settings” > “Privacy” to see what options can be controlled by the user. As for establishing friendships, the Foundation trusts from the previous iteration of the e-Communities that members recognize this as a place for sharing experiences with epilepsy and seizure disorders. Always remember the goal of the e-Communities is to be a supportive environment for folks to interact, learn and grow with each other. Even if you are not connected by an online friendship in the e-Communities, remember that we are all are working together to promote a future where there is not another moment lost to seizures.

» Will there be advance search capability? There is no “advance search” enabled on the site. We will make sure we relay this concern to the developers. However, there is a completely separate search function for the forums, so that you are only able to search forum posts. The search button at the top-right searches the entire e-Communities, including videos, photos, blogs, forums, etc. The best way to improve the search results is to make sure you are tagging your discussions. Tags are keywords and optimize the search function. You can add multiple tags to a post—just be sure to separate each keyword with a comma.

» Will there be a migration of content from the old site? Will users be notified in a reasonable enough time to save their private messages (PMs)?
Content will not be automatically migrated over from the old forums. However, the old forums will be viewable as a read-only database so that users are able to go back and view past threads.

As for saving private messages: We do advise that users save their private messages. PMs will not be migrated over. All forum users are required to create a new account in the new e-Communities, and we will give users a 72-hour window before we make the database read-only and lock their old accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience but hope that this “fresh start” will be empowering for the e-Communities.

» How can I access the old forums' posts?
Roll over 'Forums' In the top navigation, and a sub-group should appear (in yellow) called 'Archives.' This is a link to an archive of past threads and will be read-only on 3/26/09. After that date, you will not longer be able to create or edit posts on that site. All activity will be restricted to the new site.

» Uploading Photos and Videos?
Because of the issues we’ve had in the past with pictures, we’re using an approval system for photos and videos on the new forums. What this means is that you can’t directly post photos or videos to the site. You’ll post them, we’ll approve them (unless there is a problem with them), and then they’ll go up.

Please be mindful that EF moderators will try to approve and moderate material published to the site in a timely manner, but please remember that these kind folks may not be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We don’t know how long this system will continue for, since it depends on whether we have any problems with users trying to post inappropriate material.

»How do you save PMs from the old message board?
PMs are not guaranteed to be available once old message boards are made read-only. We suggest that users save their PMs from the old site and cmscribbles has offered the following instructions:

Sign in on the old forums...click to open your private messages. above the ABCDEFGH.... you will see titles:
PRIVATE MESSAGES: BANNING: BUDDY LIST: EXPORT PRIVATE MESSAGES
Click on export private messages that opens a window where you can specify a time frame or click export all. Then it will open a window and you can edit, select all, copy, and save as a doc to your computer.

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