there's really quite a bit to know about this website as a user. of course, you can get by perfectly well using the simpler features, but it always helps to know some of the more advanced features as well. this little help page is designed to help you understand what's going on so you can learn how to do things as well as shortcuts to do them quickly. to find a topic you're interested in learning more about, use the find feature in your browser. as of now, i've not written a quicker way of jumping to certain topics.
random helpful hints
it seems some you you have been a little confused about writing html. it's really quite simple. you can even copy and paste this wherever you'd like.
to make a link, type this:
<a href="http://www.link_address.com">link text</a>
to style your text, use similar tags. for italics, use <i>text in italics</i>. for bold, use <strong>text in bold</strong>.
each user on peter dot has a profile section. you can have as little or as much information as you'd like, as everyone on the site can see it.
to edit your profile, click the profile icon in the user icons. several fields will show up. again, you needn't fill any form you don't want people to see. these fields are all generic enough that people won't need to know where you live, so there's little to worry about.
display name: your display name differs from your user name in that it, if submitted, is what other users see. they can still see your user name, but this makes it convenient for other users to know who you are even if your user name is something slightly more obscure. often, display names are someone's real name or nickname, etc. if this is not filled out, your user name will be shown instead.
email address: you email address will not be shown to any other users. it is used only to verify that you are indeed a real person and in case you forget your password. this MUST be a valid email address to be a member, even though it will never be shown. in many ways, this is an extra password.
user website: why not advertise? if you've got pictures on flickr, or a profile on facebook, or your own page, why not let people know? you'll get more hits this way, and google will recognize you more!
location: your location is where you are in the world. this can mean anything from "mom's house" to "colorado springs" to "china" to "webster & nevada". it is not recommended that you give too much information, as people who you're friends with know where you live anyway, and others don't necessarily need to know.
profile: this is where you really can have fun. feel free to put anything in this box. it must be sanitary, as some younger folk may be reading it.
time zone: this is just so the website knows what time you want to see for all the times. it can be a pretty big pain to have to add an hour here or there every time you see a date. time zones are all in terms of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), where central time is GMT-6, mountain time is GMT-7, etc
you post it: from your user profile, you can see what your last post it was and when it was posted. for more on this, see the "post it section"
changing your password: this is fairly self explanatory. if you forgot your old password, you need to log out (if you're not already logged out) and click the "forgot your password" link at the top right o the screen.
other users' profiles
to view other users' profiles, simply click on their display name wherever you see it. the easiest place to find their name is in the online page. when viewing other users' profiles, you can also see all "conversations" you've had with them. in other words, you'll see a list of all messages sent between the two of you, ordered by time sent. this is pretty neat, i think.
one of the neatest aspects of this site is the message-sending capability. you can send messages to your friends, people who've struck your interest on the wall, or to the site administrator with suggestions or complaints.
your inbox: to view your messages, either sent or received, read or unread, click on the neato little mailbox icon in the user icons. this set of icons is at the top right of the screen. by default, you'll see your inbox. each message is displayed in the reverse order of when it was received (newest ones first).
composing messages: to compose a blank message, click the compose icon in the user icons. from there, select the user you'd like to send a message to, fill out the subject and message, and click send.
messages: in a given message section, you'll see several things: (reply), (unread message), the subject, date, (delete) and a check box. while most of these are fairly self-explanatory, a few of them deserve some explanation.
marking unread messages as read: the unread message icon will be in a message section that you have "not read". even if you may have read the message, this icon will show until you click it, marking it as read. once you do this, the icon will become read. if you have any messages in your inbox with an unread icon, the mailbox at the top of the screen will have the red flag up rather than down . this is how you'll know if you get any new messages. generally, it is a good idea to keep track of these things so you don't miss any messages. if all of your messages have been read but are marked as unread, you can select all (the link at the bottom of your inbox) and click the mark as read icon . this will mark all selected messages as read.
deleting messages: you can also delete a message by clicking the delete icon . as with the mark as read, you can select all messages and delete all of them.
replying to messages: you can reply to a message in one of two ways. if there is a subject heading in a message, you can click on it, bringing up a new compose form with the given subject, addressed to the sender. or, you can click on the reply. this is generally better since it is always there, whereas the subject heading may not always be there. there are several other ways to conveniently write messages to other users, which are listed below.
your outbox can be access from within your inbox page. there is a link at the bottom of the page. your outbox contains most of the same things as your inbox, except it notes the recipient rather than the sender.
not the greatest pink floyd album, but one of the greatest features of this site. on the wall, you can post any thoughts you may have, make any announcements, ask any questions, start discussions, etc. all users will see this (but only users), so keep it clean. to view or post on the wall, simply click on the wall icon. from there, you'll see what others have written and when they've written. to post, simply click the post link.
leaving a post-it is kind of like leaving an away message. you can either post what you're up to, a random thought, etc. this is much like the wall, only the wall leaves more room for possible conversations. post-its are all seen in the online page. to see when a post it was posted, click on the user's display name. you'll see their profile, in which you can see the most recent post-it and when it was posted. this is useful for checking to see if it's still valid or if it's old news.