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Communities :: About
Communities :: About :: What is an "online community"?
Anyone can create and manage an "online community". This is a fairly broad term and, at this time, it mainly means a message board. Soon, we will add more functionalities to the communities, such as web pages, live chat, member directories, private messaging, weblogs, newsgroups, and other cool stuff. Right now, however, you will be able to create, or just participate in a message board.
Communities :: About :: Do I need to create one?
You don't have to, but you can. In other words, you might as well just take part in an already existing community, if you find one that matches your interests. However, if you feel like starting your own community, nothing is easier. It is free, and can be set up in only 2 clicks.
Communities :: Creating your community
Communities :: Creating your community:: Choose the name wisely
So, you decided to create a community, great! The only mandatory thing you have to choose is its name. Even though you can change this at any time after the community is created, it is advised to find out a good name from the start for technical reasons. A good name would be one that reflects the community's purpose, i.e. "Joe's Bar" if your name is Joe, or "Wild Dragons Clan" if the community will be mainly used for your video game guild/clan called "Wild Dragons Clan". The reason is that even though you will be able to change the name of the community later, you won't be able to change the web address of it - which will resemble the original name you have chosen. If you create a community called "Forward Somersault", its web address (URL) will be something like http://com1.domain.com/bforwardsomersault - and this web address is fixed (you will not be able to change it). You will still be able to change the full name of the board, though.
Communities :: Creating your community :: Keywords are important
Indeed they are. If you want people to be able to find your community faster and more easily, please make sure to enter the correct keywords when creating it. You will be able to change these keywords after the creation as well. Those keywords will be used to classify your community in our directory, as well as used in user searches. If your community is going to be about, say, the computer game "DOOM", it would make sense to set "games, computer, 3D, action" as keywords.
Communities :: Creating your community :: So is the description
The description of your community is as helpful for people trying to find a community as are the keywords. A correct description makes it more likely for the right people to come and visit your community. Feel free to write a lenghty one, but remember that a user will not spend 10 minutes reading it - the user must have a quick idea of what your community is about in just a few seconds of reading - or they'll just skip it.
Communities :: Creating your community :: Create it
Creating your community is surprisingly easy and quick. Just click here and fill all the fields. It is free of charge, and the community will be open and available immediately. You will be able to manage it using your Control Panel right away. Remember, you must be a registered global user to create a community. Registering is free, immediate and hassle-free. If you do not have a global account, you can quickly create one by clicking here.
Here is a brief description of the fields of the community creation form fields:
Full community name:
Enter here the full name of the community you want to create, such as "Foo's bar", or "The Fishing board".
Enter here a brief description of your community, such as "Foo's bar is the place where all the foos meet at".
Enter here a few keywords that you deem most descriptive of your community. For a community centered around fishing, you'd want to enter "fishing, sport, bait, pole", or something to this effect.
Time zone offset to UTC:
Enter here a digit between -12 and 12. This will be the number of hours that separates you (or your community, or both), from the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time - also known as UTC, Coordinated Universal Time) time zone. This will affect how all the times and dates are shown on your message board to the users. You will be able to change it at any time later.
Communities :: Managing your community
Managing your communities is done through your Control Panel. Obviously, you need to be logged on to access it.
If you are the Owner, an Administrator, or a Moderator of a given community, its name will appear at the bottom part
of the main page of your Control Panel, and you will be able to select it.
Many options are available for managing a community. Some of the options are only available to the Owner of the community (there can only be one Owner for a given community), some are only available to Administrators or Owners, and some are available to Owners, Administrators and Moderators. Depending on your access level to the community, only the available options will be displayed. Should a problem arise, your best bet is to ask about it at the Support forums which are available off the home page Home page.
Communities :: Advertising your community
Soon, there will be an automatic tool available that will help you submitting your board to major search engines and directories. At this time you'll have to do this manually. Your best bet is to check out the following search engines and directories and submit your board to them manually: