Getting Started

Creating an Account

Creating an account is necessary in order to use some features of this forum.
To create an account, you must provide contact information that is valid. At the minimum, to use the forum you must provide a valid email address that is active. If you have signed up for the Makers Making Change website, it is recommended that you use the same email for this forum to link your accounts. You may close your account at any point by emailing admin@forum.makersmakingchange.com.

By creating an account, you agree to take full responsibility for all actions taken using your account, whether authorized by you or not, until you close your account or notify the organization that your account has been breached. You agree to notify the organization immediately if you suspect that your account has been breached. To avoid the risk of having your account compromised, it is recommended that you choose a password that is secure and keep it secret.

Posting a topic to the forum (Original Poster)

Members of this forum may initiate conversations by posting topics within categories. A topic refers to the initial post that sparks a conversation related to themes in that category. For example, a topic within the Outstanding Requests category might be an instance of a request for a device.

To create a topic, a member must select the parent (or broadest) category they wish to post this under. If that category has subcategories, a user must select which of these is the one they want. To find the subcategories, locate the button on the top labeled “all,” then select the appropriate subcategory. From there you can locate the button at the top labeled “New Topic,” click on it and draft your post.

When drafting a post, you have the options to select tags that help viewers find your post. Tags are similar to labels and can be created or selected from an existing picklist. To add a tag to your post, locate the button labeled “Optional Tags” when drafting your post. All topics must have a title. Additional features exist in draft-mode to help you attach documents, create lists, or assign dates to posts.

Posting a reply to a thread

Members of this forum are encouraged to engage in discussion on threads – messages organized around a singular topic. Members can reply to posts by using the Reply feature to directly respond to content. In addition to participating in a general discussion, you may reply to individual members within a thread by first replying to their post as normal and then including an @ symbol in the body of their text followed by the first letters of an individual member’s username. Upon doing so, they will be allowed to tag a member, which will act as a personal reply to them which they will be notified of. Be advised, this is not the same thing as a private message. Individuals are responsible for ensuring that they do not share private information publicly on this forum.

Sending Private Messages

Maker-Requester pairs may choose to discuss details of a request in private and are encouraged to disclose personal information related to fulfilling that request through private messages. These consist of email-like exchanges within the forum itself that are visible only between recipients. To send a private message, open your inbox by clicking on your profile icon at the top menu.

After you click on your profile icon, click on your username as it appears within that menu. Locate the tab labeled “Messages” and click. This should redirect you to the messaging portal. To create a new message, select “New Message” and draft your message. When you are ready to send your message, you can add recipients by typing the username of the person you wish to contact. Usernames will appear in a picklist with or without the ‘@’ symbol before it. When you are ready, you may press send.

Once you have fulfilled a request, please email MMC Information Specialist Hannah at @hannahh. By doing this, you help us manage our device, support our users, and keep records of how many people have been served.

Customizing Notifications

Members have the option of choosing how often they are notified of new posts to the forum. To change the frequency of notifications, click on your profile icon at the top menu. After you click on your profile icon, click on your username as it appears within that menu. Locate the tab labeled “Preferences” and click. This should redirect you to a settings portal. Select “Notifications” and adjust as desired. When you are finished, remember to click “Save Changes.”

A summary of events on the forum will be emailed to you. To change the frequency of these emails, or to opt out of them, select “Emails” and locate the section labeled “Activity Summary.” If you wish to opt out of these, untick the checkbox associated with the heading. To change the frequency of emails sent, choose an option from the dropdown menu once you have ticked the checkbox.

Flagging Content

MMC is continuing to improve the experience of forum users by moderating this online space. If you see content that is inappropriate, you may flag it as an additional form of moderation. Posts may be flagged for a variety of reasons, including:

  • It’s offensive
  • It’s off-topic
  • It’s spam
  • It contains malware or suspicious content
  • It contains sensitive or personal material

To flag a post, locate the “show more” button illustrated by three horizontal dots at the bottom of the post and click. Once clicked, a complete menu of suggested actions should be visible. Select the “privately flag this post for attention or send a private notification about it” button illustrated by a flag icon. When clicked, a new window should appear that prompts you to select one of several actions. Select the action you wish to take and send your flag.

If you choose to select an option that asks you to privately message another member, please consider the following:

  1. Is singling them out the best approach to resolve this problem? Will avoiding public involvement resolve this issue simply?

  2. Is this a repeat offender? How often do you see this behavior happening?

  3. What is the severity of this issue? Does this involve multiple members?

If you have received a flag, remain calm. You are allowed up to 5 flags before they start to prevent you from engaging on the forum, and depending on the reason behind your flags, this may be less restrictive. When a flag has been submitted, it is subject to review by MMC staff. During this time, MMC staff will reach out and explain the next steps in resolving the issue. If it is helpful, you may wish to take screenshots or provide further detail on the situation as you understand it.

Searching for content – Search function

As you become more familiar with the forum you may wish to view specific content. This can be done in a variety of ways. At a global level, if you are searching for posts that reflect your interests, you can use the search function. To access the search bar, locate the “search topics, posts, users, or categories” feature indicated by a magnifying glass icon at the top of your page. Enter key words to help narrow down your results. Possible key words include tags, category titles, names of users, or specific language that you believe is in a post.

Results generated by your search query will appear in addition to the option of an Advanced search. This Advanced search allows you to limit results by what category they appear under, who posted them, when that post appears, how often that content appears, and so on. Most of these fields can be activated by selecting from a dropdown, however others may require you to enter more information. To begin your advanced search, select the “submit” button at the bottom of the Advanced Search.

Searching for content – Menu navigation

Another approach to searching is to navigate through the options of the main menu. If you are generally interested in a category, but are not looking for a specific post you may find this option helpful. Locate the “Go to another topic list or category” button illustrated by three horizontal, stacked bars. You will be presented with labels for categories that when clicked will direct you to content that falls under it. This view should also offer you options for sorting your results. You may view results for all categories at a glance, the most current threads, and the newest posts.

Searching for content – Bookmarks

To return to specific posts, especially after an extended period of time, members may create bookmarks. A bookmark is a tool used to mark important content and help guide a forum user back to that post. To bookmark a post for future reference, locate the “show more” button illustrated by three horizontal dots at the bottom of the post and click. Locate the “bookmark this post” button illustrated by a bookmark icon.

To browse your bookmarked content, click on your profile icon. You should then be shown a menu with a bell icon, indicating “notifications,” a bookmark icon, indicating “bookmarks” (bookmarked content), and an envelop icon, indicating “messages.” Selecting the bookmark button will result in your bookmarks at a glance. To view all your bookmarks, select the “view all” button, indicated by a downward arrow. This will redirect you to a portal that displays all your bookmarks.

To remove a bookmark, you can either select “remove bookmark” when taken to the bookmark portal or you can simply unclick the bookmark icon when viewing that specific post. Bookmarks are a personalized experience, and will not be uniform across users.

Following content

Members active on the forum will receive notifications that can be customized as new content is created. There are five general settings for tracking new content, which will appear each time you are select to view a category. The five general settings are: watching, tracking, watching first post, normal, and muted.

For those who want to track all the topics in a category, they should select “watching.” This will ensure that they are automatically notified of every new post within every new topic within that category as well as a count of new replies.

For those who want to track all topics, but are not interested in following every post, they should select “tracking.” This will ensure that they are automatically notified every time another user mentions them in a thread. They will also receive a count of new replies.

For those who want to track only new topics, they should select “watching first post.” This will ensure that they are automatically notified every time a new topic appears. This will not provide information on new replies.

For those who wish to track whenever they are mentioned in a thread, they should select “normal.” This will ensure that they are automatically notified when mentioned in a reply. This will not provide information on replies that do not tag them.

For those wishing to be omitted from all notifications within a category, they should select “muted.” This ensures that they do not receive any information related to new topics, posts, or when they are tagged.

To select a setting that meets your needs, locate the notifications button indicated by a stylized circle icon. You may change your setting choice at any time. When a category has multiple subcategories, you will need to make your selection for each subcategory as this setting is not global across the category in this situation.

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