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About us
Signing up
Login and password problems
Personal space and account settings
Latest activities of your friends and in your groups
Groups
Email subscriptions
RSS Feeds
Members and networking
Invite friends and colleagues
Privacy and security


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Help

Here are our answers to some frequently asked questions. You also ask a question on our Communities Support group. If your question is about group administration, post it on our Administration Support group.

Signing up

How do I sign up to ACCRA Consortium?

Becoming a member of ACCRA Consortium is easy. Just visit the homepage of ACCRA Consortium, and you will find the option to 'create a personal space for yourself'.

If you have received an invitation to join the site, just follow the link in the invitation email. Once registered, you will be automatically joined up to the group you have been invited to. If you have received a friend request you will automatically be set up with a friend link.

To create your personal space you simply need to fill in your personal details. The more information you give, the easier it is to interact with other members. You can also come back to edit your details or update your personal space settings at any time after registration.

What is the difference between a limited and a full profile?

On ACCRA Consortium you have the option to set up a limited or a full profile. In order to make best use of ACCRA Consortium we advise you to set up a full profile. A full profile allows you to actively participate in or set up groups or make friends. A limited profile only allows you to view messages and subscribe to email updates.

Why do I need to validate my account?

For security reasons you will have to validate your account within 24 hours of signing up. To validate your account just click on the validation link in the email you receive after registering on the site.

Login and Password Problems

What do I do if I have lost my password?

If you have lost your password, you can request a new password from the sign-in box on the homepage of ACCRA Consortium. A new password will be emailed to the address associated with this account. When you receive it, just log in with your new password. After you log in, you will be given an opportunity to change your password to something you can remember more easily.

What do I do if I can't log-in?

You can log in either by using your email address or screen name. Make sure these are spelt correctly.

Who do I contact if I have any technical problems?

If you have any problems in using the site you can consult our support group. Here you can find a number of frequently asked questions (and answers!) about using the site. There is a discussion area where you can post up your own questions. Have a look around the support group, maybe your question is answered there already!

Personal Space and Account Settings

When you log on to ACCRA Consortium you are automatically signed into your personal space. Here you can manage all your settings, access your blog and file store, access your groups and friends, etc.

I want to edit my personal space settings

Do you want to change your screen name, edit the information about yourself, change your password or change your picture? In the middle column of your personal space you can find the links to changing your personal space settings:

  • Edit my profile: Here you can edit the 'about me' information, name and contact information and your interests.
  • Edit my space: Here you can edit your log in name and your screen name as it appears to others on the site.
  • Edit my picture: Here you can upload a new picture or choose one of the ACCRA Consortium avatars.
  • Change my password: Here you can reset your password.
  • Change my email notifications: Here you can manage your email subscriptions in the subscriptions manager. You can subscribe and unsubscribe to email notifications and set up email digest options.

Why does my personal space look different from how others see it?

To make it easier for you to manage your settings and access relevant parts of ACCRA Consortium we have set up a personal or private view of your personal space. The private view is what you see when you log in and it is essentially the 'back end' of your space. Others will see a different layout of your space. To see what this looks like just click on 'view my space as everyone else sees it'.

What are the tools in my personal space?

Each personal space has a blog where you can post up your own ideas and opinions for others to read and comment. You also have a file store where you can upload and store files. In your file store you can choose whether the files are publicly accessible, only accessible by your friends, or even private by putting them into the right folder. There is also a photo album in where you can upload pictures and organise them into albums.

Who has visited my space?

You are probably curious to find out who has looked at your space. Just look under 'who has visited my space' and you will get a list of the most recent visitors to your space.

Latest activities of your friends and in your groups

When you log on to your personal space you will automatically see the recent activities in your groups and in your friends' spaces. When you click on the links or 'mark it as read' the messages will disappear. This is great to get a quick update on what has happened since you last logged in.

How can I best navigate to my groups and friends' spaces?

On the right hand side of your personal space you can find a list of all your friends and groups. Just click on the link or the picture and you will be taken to that part of the site.

Groups

Groups can be used in a variety of different ways. You can discuss a particular issue, share knowledge and information resources, just stay in touch with others or set up an online workspace to share with colleagues.

How can I find out what groups are on ACCRA Consortium?

On the groups page, you will find a list of all active public and private groups. You can just browse the list or use the search functions above the list.

How can I join a group?

When you enter one of the groups you will see the option 'become a member' on the left hand side. Just click on the link to join. If it is a public group you will automatically become a member. If the group is 'private' the group administrator will have to approve your membership request first. The request for membership will be sent to the group administrator immediately, and you can also add a personal message to the request.

There are also a number of hidden groups on ACCRA Consortium which are not displayed in the Group overview page. To join a hidden group you need an invitation from the group administrator.

If you have received an invitation to join a group (invitations can be send out from 'public', 'private', or 'hidden' groups ) just follow the link in the invitation email to join. You will also see a reminder to join the group every time you log on to ACCRA Consortium.

How can I start my own group?

If no group covers the topics you want to discuss, why not start your own? Simply go to the list of groups and find the option 'create a group'. To create a group you need to provide some basic information. Once the group is created you will be taken to the 'group settings' page where you can fine tune the functionalities of the group. These settings can be changed at any time.

How can I fine tune the settings of my group?

• You can choose who the group administrator is.

• Change the group name.

• Set an 'easy-to-remember' URL.

• Choose whether people can also post to the group via email. It is a good option to choose if you expect some of your group's participants to have poor internet connectivity.

• Set the category you want your group to appear under.

• Write a group description. This description can be read when people enter the group. The description should give a good overview of what topics the group discusses and who it is aimed at.

• You can create a group greeting (optional).

• You set your group to be public, private or hidden.

• You can set posting permissions and moderate posts.

• You can choose what the front page of the group will look like.

• You can select what tools you want your group to use. The available tools are blogs, discussion, calendar and wiki.

What are public, private and hidden groups?

Public Group: the group is listed in the group overview page; everyone can see the group's content and all members of ACCRA Consortium can join the group

Private group: the group is listed in the group overview page, only members of the group can see the full content of the group. Whilst all members of ACCRA Consortium can request to join the group, membership needs to be approved by the group's administrator first. So, obviously only members of the group can post.

Hidden Group: the group is not listed in the group overview page, content of the group is hidden and you can only join by invitation of the group's administrator. Only members of the group can post.

How can I set posting permissions and moderate posts?

Public groups: If you set your group to be public you have a choice of two different posting permissions. You can either set the group to allow postings from all ACCRA Consortium members or to restrict it to members of the group.

Private and hidden groups: Private and hidden groups are automatically set so that only members can read and post to discussions.

Special Permissions for blog postings: If you choose to have a blog in your group you can determine who has permission to post or not. The default setting allows every member of the group to post new blog entries. You can, however, also restrict the right to create new entries to supermembers. You can give your group's members Supermember status by using the 'manage members' option in the left hand navigation of the group (this link can only be seen by group administrators). If you set this option then ordinary members of the group can only read and comment on your group's blog.

Moderation: You can choose whether you want posts to be moderated or not. If you set the moderation function each post needs to be approved by the moderator. The moderator will be notified by email if a message needs to be approved.

What tools can I use for my group?

You can select what tools you want your group to use. The available tools are blogs, discussion, calendar and wiki. You can choose just one of the tools or a combination of some or all of them.

Blogs: Blogs are great to post up ideas, opinions, and news related items for other people to read and comment on. They work really well if you expect to have a number of main posts and shorter comments for each of them.

Discussion: If you expect to have a number of substantial posts on the same issue, like in an actual conversation, you best use the discussion tool.

Wiki: A wiki is a collaborative web page with sub pages which can be jointly edited by a number of people. Each edit is listed in the history list, so you can always trace who has made what changes. Wikis are great for documents or webpages which need to be updated frequently.

Calendar: The calendar is good for announcing events which you want every member of the group to know about.

Please explain the edit/manage blog option (seen by the group administrator only)

If you are the administrator (or a helper) of a group with a blog, you will see an edit/manage option on the blog page. Here you can fine tune the settings of your blog. You can set up and change the description of your blog; you can choose what tools you want to appear in the side navigation of the blog (for example a calendar, recent posts, a picture gallery of the blog team, etc.), you can set how many entries you want to have per page, and you can also enable a RSS feed.

What are the different options for a group's front page?

You need to choose what the front page of your group will look like. If you select the 'standard landing page' all the tools you have chosen will appear on the front page and you can also create extra items like links or extra discussion folders). You can choose your blog, discussion, wiki or calendar as front page by ticking the appropriate box on the group's settings page.

What is the manage members link in my group for and what are helpers and supermembers? (seen by admin only)

The manage members link is only visible by the group's administrator and helpers. With the manage members option you can set which members of the group are Helpers or Supermembers.

  • Helpers: Have the same permissions as a group's administrator except that they can't delete the group.
  • Supermembers: If you set the blog posting permissions so that only Supermembers of a group can create new entries, you can now set who you want the Supermembers of a group to be.

What are footprints?

You are probably curious to find out who has looked at your group. Just look under 'footprints' and you will get a list of the most recent visitors to your group.

Email Subscriptions

How do I use the subscription manager?

Do you want to set up a daily digest for your email notifications, unsubscribe from the notifications of a particular group or even subscribe to notifications of a group which you are not a member of? You can do so by using the email subscription manager.

The default settings for you email notifications are set so you automatically receive a notification every time something is posted in any group that you are a member of or if something is posted in one of your friend's spaces. To adjust the settings just open the email subscriptions manager. You can access the subscription manager through the link 'change my email subscriptions' in personal space.

Global settings:

In the first part of the subscriptions manager you can change your notification preferences as they apply across the site. You can, for example, set your preferences to no longer receive email notifications from any of the groups you are a member of.

Individual settings:

You can also click on any of the groups or friends spaces listed below to change settings individually. You have the option to receive a notification every time something is posted, receive daily email digest, or unsubscribe. Note: if you change your global settings after you changed your individual settings, the global settings will override the individual settings.

Subscribing to a group which you are not a member of/space of someone you are not friends with

You can also receive notifications of public groups which you are not a member of or from someone's space even if you are not linked as a friend. Just click on the group or space you want to subscribe to, and click on 'subscriptions' in the left hand navigation. You can then select whether you want to have an email digest or a notification every time something is posted. The group or space now also appears in you list of subscriptions and you can unsubscribe at any time.

RSS Feeds

What are RSS feeds?

Newsfeeds, also called web feeds or RSS feeds, allow content updates from a particular site to appear in your 'newsreader' (software that allows you to pick up and organise RSS content) or even on your own website or blog. You subscribe to a feed by entering the feed's link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. When the content on the source site is updated, it is automatically updated in your newsreader or website.

How to get an RSS feed from a group blog on ACCRA Consortium?

RSS feeds need to be enabled by a group's administrator. The RSS feed can be set up by the administrator in the 'manage blog' section of the group. It is set up by ticking the box which allows the RSS symbol to appear on the page of the blog. The group administrator can then also set how many entries a feed will have and how old entries can be which are displayed in the feed. The group administrator can also set how long each feed item should be.

If a group blog has RSS enabled, just enter the feed's link into the reader.

Members And Networking

How can I find other members on ACCRA Consortium?

All members of ACCRA Consortium are listed on the members page. The member's page also has a search function, so you can look up other members by name or similar interests etc.

Can I contact other members?

ACCRA Consortium is all about getting in touch with each other! If you find another ACCRA Consortium member you can contact them by visiting their space and using the 'send a message' option in the left hand navigation. An email with your message will then be sent to that person's email address.

How can I become someone's friend?

Just visit their space and click on 'Become a friend'. A friendship request will be sent which then needs to be confirmed by the other person. Once you are someone's friend you are automatically signed up to the email notifications from their space unless you change the settings in the subscriptions manager.

What happens when I am someone's friend?

If you are someone's friend your picture will appear in their friend's gallery and their picture will appear in yours. You will also receive email notifications every time something is posted to your friend's space and vice versa, unless you change the settings in the subscriptions manager.

Invite friends and colleagues

How can I invite someone to join ACCRA Consortium?

New members are always welcome on ACCRA Consortium. The more members, the better it works. If you want to invite someone to join, just use the invite tool in your personal space. If you want to invite several people at once just separate the email addresses with a comma or write them in the next line. You can also send out a personal message with each invitation.

How can I invite someone to join a particular group?

Have you just set up a group and now you want to invite your colleagues and friends to join, or do you want to invite someone to a group which you are a member of? In the left hand navigation bar of the group you can find an 'Invite!' button which will take you to the page from where you can send out an invitation. If you want to invite several people at once just separate the email addresses or the screen name by a comma or write them in the next line. You can also send out a personal message with each invitation. You can also invite them to join the group and become your friend at the same time. If the person you invited is not yet a member of ACCRA Consortium they will obviously have to join ACCRA Consortium before becoming your friend or joining a group. If they use the link in the invitation email to sign up they will go through the normal registration process and will be automatically joined up to the group they have been invited to.

How can I invite someone to be my friend?

ACCRA Consortium is all about making friends. If you want to become friends with someone just visit their space. In the left hand navigation bar of the space you can find a 'become a friend' button which will take you to the page from where you can send out an invitation. You can also send out a personal message with each invitation. If the person you invited is not yet a member of ACCRA Consortium they will, of course, have to join ACCRA Consortium too. If they use the link in the invitation email to sign up they will go through the normal registration process and will be automatically linked to you as a friend.

Privacy and Security

Does ACCRA Consortium use my personal information?

By providing your information to us, you are giving your permission for your personal information to be made freely and publicly available via the internet to any internet user accessing the website (your password is not shown to other members; your email address is not displayed on the site but members will be able to send email messages to you using web-based forms). A user will be able to view your information in a web browser but will not be able to change your information held and displayed by the website. Your information could be passed in this way to third parties in any country worldwide. If you do not wish to allow this type of access to your information, do not enter your information. The website administrators also have access to your personal information, but they will only use this information to contact you for account management purposes, or to inform you of changes to the website. They will not share your information with other organisations.

How can I report abuse?

All members of ACCRA Consortium are bound to apply user conduct standards. If, however, you feel somebody is behaving inappropriately on ACCRA Consortium, you can always alert us. If you are concerned about a particular post you can use the 'Alert Admin' button. In blogs; you can find this button just underneath the blog post. In discussions; it is just above the posted entry. .