Articles - A More Technical But Hopefully Still Friendly Guide for Newbies
  • A More Technical But Hopefully Still Friendly Guide for Newbies

    Welcome to the Personality Cafe!


    Before we begin, let it be said now -- you do not have to read this thread to be involved in the Personality Cafe forums! This is only a reference thread for some basic functions.

    Below is a short post explaining some of the more technical aspects of the forums, meant to supplement the "Friendly Guide for the Newbies ^^" thread and the vBulletin FAQ. Feel free to ask questions in the forum, even if this guide answers them. This thread is merely a support and reference tool to be used in answering questions in the forum.

    There are many aspects of the forum not covered, so I encourage you to test and try out as much of the site as possible! I myself am new, so this thread is largely to help myself.

    Please make use of the ctrl+f function to search for certain words, or by the numbers used in the table of content. By clicking these two buttons (f while holding down ctrl) you will be able to search the page for a specific word in a pop up, or in a bar located somewhere on your browser screen. This is possible in all popular browsers as far as I am aware.

    As PerC is in a constant state of update, it is possible this guide will go out of date or some sections will become irrelevant as time goes on.

    Last update: June 10, 2011

    Search the Personality Cafe| Use ctrl+f to search this thread for a certain word/number

    Table of Contents
    1. Forum Terms
    1.1. Forum Titles
    1.2. Achievements
    1.3. Trophies
    1.4. Infractions/Bans
    1.5. Signatures and Avatars
    1.6. Default Settings
    1.7. My Mood
    1.8. Cafe Arcade/Cafe Gold/Cafe Pets/Flash Chat/Cafe Shop
    1.9. Member of the Month
    1.10. Blogs
    1.11. Spam World
    1.12. PerC/Lance
    2. Forum Tools
    2.1. Thanks
    2.2. Private Messaging
    2.3. Reporting Posts
    2.4. The Notification System
    2.5. The @ Symbol

    2.6. Thread Tags
    2.7. Search Function
    2.8. Hyperlinks
    2.9. Video Insterion
    2.10. Polls
    2.11. Ignore Function
    2.12. Invisible Pages and Posts
    2.13. New Posts
    2.14. Linkbacks

    3. Forum Policy
    3.1. Moderators
    3.2. Name Changes
    3.3. Rules
    3.4. Grace Period
    3.5. Nominations for Member of the Month

    3.6. Adding Moods
    3.7. Restrictions by Post
    3.8. Account/Post Deletions
    3.9. Retirement
    3.10. Maximum Image Usage
    4. Forum Guides
    4.1. Subscribed Threads
    4.2. The User Page
    4.3. Posting a Post/Thread
    4.4. Viewing Forums and Threads
    4.5. Private Messaging
     
    Forum Terms
    1.1. Forum Titles: What do the different titles on the forum mean? Why do some people have two?
    Different titles are granted when a certain amount of posts are obtained. The bar below your name will slowly fill up (initially, it will read "Starting" until 100 posts are achieved) with different percentage amounts every few hundred posts until you reach a thousand posts. At that point, your name will be bolded and a new tag will be given calling you a V.I.P member.

    When you gain 3,000 posts, your name will turn orange, and your rank title will be "Super Member." At 10,000, you will be given the tag "Cafe Legend" and your name will be a rainbow of colours that sparkle. This tag remains at 20,000 posts currently. Beginning at 1,000 posts, each of these increases will be noted by a congratulatory thread in the Awards forum by @Mrs. CafeBot .

    Some people have two because they hold other positions in relation to the site. Those who are Retired have given up access to their account and it's posting rights, but can email the staff for those to be returned (3.9). Those who are banned have been forcibly removed from the site for failing to follow forum rules (3.3) by moderators (3.1). Others are various staff positions. Moderators are green, Globalmods are blue, administrators and founders are different shades of red.

    Only @Happy (once known as Lance) retains the "Founder" tag. There are also post ranks which are displayed under the avatar in threads.




    (several more percentage ones)








    1.2. Achievements: What are achievements? How do I get them? Where can I view my achievements?
    Achievements are accomplishments automatically given when you have reached certain preresequites. For example, a certain amount of posts, or threads reached will earn you an achievement.

    Here is a list of all achievements. See guide 4.2, and area 7 to see where you would find your achievements listed publicly. 4.4, area 21 shows where they will appear in threads.
    1.3. Trophies: What are trophies? How do I get them? Where can I view them?
    Trophies are given for being at the top of a certain level of activity. While not all types of trophies are tracked anymore, here is a leaderboard for those that are.

    Like in 1.2, see guide 4.2, area 7, to see where you would find your awards listed publicly. They will not appear in forums.
    1.4. Infractions/Bans: What are infractions? How do I get them? What is a ban?
    Infractions are placed on your account by members of the staff (3.1) for breaking the rules of this site or acting in a negative fashion.

    Bans come at variable lengths, but can be permanent and involve your removal from the site. They are listed as a user title, albeit a negative one (1.1).

    If you do not wish to use an account anymore, see section 3.9.
    1.5. Signatures and Avatars: What are signatures and avatars? Where do I edit them?
    Avatars are the pictures which appear under your name when posting in the forums (and is different from the profile picture (see 4.2 {15} or 4.4 {24}). Signatures appear at the bottom of posts, and can be words or pictures. Signatures can contain anything normal posts contain.

    To edit your avatar, click here. To edit your signature, click here. To edit your profile picture, click here. All this is in the Edit Profile section of the site.
    1.6. Default Settings: What are default settings? Why do you mention them so often in this thread? How can I change them?
    Default settings are the settings which come with the account. All accounts begin with these settings, for posting, reading, and interacting otherwise with the site. A good deal of them can be edited on your General Settings Page, which is in the Edit Profile section of the site.
    1.7. My Mood: What is this mood thing under peoples posts? How do I change my mood? How do I get moods added?
    To find out how to add moods, go to section 3.6.

    Moods represent people's... moods. Off site, or on site, or however people wish to interpret their moods. A limited pool is available for selection at the top of the page. See below image. As is seen, mine is currently set to "sick" at the time of writing this post.

    Examples:



    1.8. Cafe Gold/Cafe Arcade/Cafe Pets/Flash Chats/Cafe Shop: What are these things? Where are they? What happened to them?
    These are defunct parts of the site, largely due to updates. Unfortunately, these updates were required as the operating software for this forum was heavily out of date, and as such things like significant potential security flaws were the primary concern.

    Hence, references to pets, cafe cold, the arcade or flash chats are largely out of date at the time of these posts. While forums discussing these topics remain, they are far less used today than they were at one point.

    Much of this functionality was lost during a singular update. Further information on this is available in this thread.
    1.9. Member of the Month: What is the Member of the Month?
    The Member of the Month is a member of good standing who has contributed a great deal to the site. The Member of the Month makes an appearance on the front page of the site, and an interview is conducted so we get to know more about them.

    Those who recieve such recognition are generally well respected. The Interview forum, containing past members as well as their interviews, can be found here. Information on the nomination process can be found in section 3.5.
    1.10. Blogs: What are the blogs? Where are they? Can I have one?
    As long as you have an active account, you can make a blog. Blogs are places where you can write about whatever you want within the guidelines of the site rules (3.3). This could mean anything from reviews through personal stories. The main blog page can be found here.

    Activity on the blogs is generally kept separate from the forums, but as sections 4.2 and 4.4 show, there are some places where they interconnect. New blog posts can be viewed here. You can edit your blog settings here.
    1.11. Spam World: What is Spam World? What is special about it?
    The more insane part of the forum. The rules are slightly more lax to allow for a more laid back atmosphere.

    This section does not count towards your posts and the thanks tool (2.1) is disabled. It also includes a forum where the reasons behind bans and infractions (1.4) are explained by site staff (3.1).
    1.12. PerC/Lance: What is this PerC thing I keep hearing about? Who is Lance?
    PerC is short for the Personality Cafe. Lance used to be the username of our Founder, but he changed is account name to @Happy .
    Forum Tools
    2.1. Thanks: What are these and why/when should I give them?
    Thanks are a way of showing appreciation for any post on this site. Should you feel any post deserves thanks, feel free to give them thanks. Note that in some areas of the site, Thanks are disabled and hence cannot be given.

    The option to give thanks is above the signature (1.5) of a user's post.
    2.2. Private Messaging: What are private messages? How do I send them?
    Private messages are a way for you to send a message to another member without others reading it. You can disable the ability to recieve private messages, and some people have made use of this option. A full guide is available in section 4.5.

    You can access the Personal Messaging or PM system via this link, or by going to the gray bar at the top of the forum -- it is one of the left-most options.
    2.3. Reporting Posts: What is the report function? How do I make moderators aware of a problem? How do I use it? When do I use it?
    At the bottom of every post, below the signature, there is a small triangle icon with an exclaimation at the bottom at the left side of the post. Clicking on this will take you to a small screen, where you can write a report and send it. This will notify all with moderator-level abilities (3.1) of a potential problem.

    You can make use of the report function at any time you feel a post is questionable or breaching the rules of this site (3.3). Questionable posts or posts which breach the rules could lead to an infraction or a ban (1.4).
    2.4 The Notification System: What is the notification system? Why do I have Notifications at the top of the page? What is it for?
    The Notifications tab at the top of the page will light up whenever something relating to you has been updated. This includes a post being thanked, a friend request being made, you being quoted and so forth. It is an excellent tool for keeping up with what is happening in regards to you, or your posts. You can often see many ways that this is kept track of in your userpage. A guide will be provided. See 2.5 for more details.
    2.5. The @ Symbol: What is the @ symbol used for? Why do some people put them in front of their names? Why do some names in this guide use it, like @Khar ?
    The @ symbol is part of the notification system (2.4). Making use of it means you are "mention"ing someone, which will inform them that they have been talked about, to, or for in another thread. They will then be able to check this.
    2.6. Thread Tags: What are thread tags? What are they for?
    Thread tags are used to identify key topics in a thread. A thread creator can add as many as forty, while other people can add four tags to each thread they encounter.

    They are a method of searching for threads. For example, if you click on the tag for cats, here are all threads using it as a tag. If a thread has tags, they will be at the bottom of the page, right below the "Similar Threads" listing.

    You can see the most used tags here, and can search for them there as well. Unfortunately, tags are not often used, so they are not the most effective search method. The search function is described in 2.7, below.
    2.7. Search Function: What is the search function? Where is it?
    The search function is a way to search for various keywords. As seen in section 4.4, you can even search within specific forums or threads. These options are available on the advanced search screen.

    The search function is easy to find, as it is always above the gray bar at the top of the page, and to the right. Advanced search is inside the gray bar, right under it.

    The advanced search provides a greater range of ways to search, and ways to be more specific in what you want. This includes variables such as who posted it, when, and where the word is within the message.
    2.8. Hyperlinks: What are hyperlinks? Why do my hyperlinks automatically change to words? Can I add one like that to my post?
    Hyperlinks are URLs, or links to other sites. If the parse link option is on (default options on those forum always have parse links as on) then it will automatically turn them into links with titles from the target page.

    To add a URL, highlight the text you wish to turn into a URL and click the button. Enter the link, and it will form a hyperlink. Just posting the link will automatically turn it into a link, and likely use the link's title as the linking words.
    2.9. Video Insertion: How do I imbed videos? Why do my links sometimes become videos automatically?
    To inset a video, all you have to do in cases like youtube is post the URL to that video. PerC's default settings automatically turn it into a video. Otherwise, click the button and place the link in the box provided to imbed a video.

    Keep in mind that the PerC system will automatically stop you from posting a video if 15 posts have not been obtained, as stated in 3.7.
    2.10. Polls: What are polls? How do you add them?
    Polls are ways for people to vote in a thread. You can set polls to show how people voted, or leave it anonymous, even to yourself. An example of a poll can be found in the Member Polls forum, which is a forum dedicated entirely to polls. Polls can be made in other forums as well.

    In section 4.3, polls are mentioned peripherally. To add a poll, simply go to the Additional Options section, which is found underneath the posting screen, where you are writing your post. The instructions for how to construct a post are there.
    2.11. Ignore Function: What is the ignore function? Where is it?
    The ignore function is a way for you to avoid seeing or hearing from someone you find particularly offensive in some way. This is more effective at times than having to deal with them in the forums. To add someone to ignore, you must got into their profile, to the spot represented in section 4.2 as area 15. There should be a spot with the icon and wording which says "Add to Ignore List."
    2.12. Invisible Pages and Posts: Sometimes I cannot view most recent pages, or some posts. Why?
    If a post is deleted, it still counts for the thread but we cannot see the deleted post. Hence, you really are seeing the most recent page even if you can't access the most recent page displayed, because of the difference of posts displayed and how many posts there actually are.

    Some posts are soft deleted. We can see that they were there, but not what was written in them. Sometimes, staff members will note why they were deleted.
    2.13. New Posts: Where can I view new posts? How can I know new posts are "new"?
    New posts can be recognized by their bold titles. A full list of new posts sitewide can be viewed in the New Posts function. You can find it by going to the gray bar at the top forum. It is the left-most option.
    2.14. Linkbacks: What are linkbacks? How do I add them to a thread? How do I view them?
    LinkBacks (Trackbacks, Pingbacks and Refbacks) allow you to notify another site that you wrote something related to what is written on a specific page. This improves the chances of contributors to this page noticing that you gave them credit for something, or that you improved upon something they wrote. With LinkBacks, websites are interconnected. Think of them as the equivalents of acknowledgments and references at the end of an academic paper, or a chapter in a textbook.

    Linkbacks have long been a major force in the development of the blogging network, by creating an interconnected series of blogs and posts acknowledging one another. Not only does this improve the general community ethos throughout the "blog-o-sphere", but it also helps to make blogs into more powerful link-building tools.

    Note: Links built via this method are highly relevant and do not carry the disadvantages typically associated with "link farms" or "link exchanges".
    This information comes from the vBulletin software FAQ. You can view how to insert and view link backs in sections 4.3 and 4.4 respectively.
    Forum Policy
    3.1. Moderators: Who are the site moderators? What are moderators? What do they do?
    The site moderators are listed here, along with the Site Founder, currently named Happy, and any GlobalMods or Administrators currently on staff. Moderators make sure that forum-goers follow the rules (3.3) and help members with problems. They have been granted special tools to be able to assist in these functions, including the ability to close threads, delete posts and so forth.

    Posts can be reported to moderators (2.3).
    3.2. Name Changes: I would like to change my name. How do I get my name changed?
    You can get your name changed by contacting the site staff. You can do this via the Private Messaging system. The private message system is described in section 2.2.
    3.3. Rules: What are the rules of the site? Where can I find them?
    The rules are in the Announcements forum, and can be read here. Forum moderators (explained in 3.1) uphold these rules. Problem reports can be forwarded to them, as mentioned in section 2.3.
    3.4. Grace Period: What is this Grace Period? How long do I have? What is it for?
    A grace period is the amount of time you have before your edits are either recorded or final. You can make your edits show earlier by choosing to add a reason for your edits in the box provided. Overall, you will only have 24 hours before your edits become final, and you cannot delete your own posts.

    Unless your post is breaking the rules, past 24 hours it is there for good, so as to keep the continuity of the topic. Never post something you will regret a day later!

    If the "Last Edit:" line appears at the bottom of your post, it is in hyperlink form so you can use a Wikipedia-esque system to review the differences between the two posts.
    3.5. Nominations for Member of the Month: How do I nominate someone for Member of the Month?
    For those who want to nominate someone for member of the month (1.9) you must use the private message system (4.5) to contact the Founder @Happy with your nomination.
    3.6. Adding Moods: How do I get a mood added?
    Moods (1.7) can be added if there is an available image. At this time, there is no graphics moderator on this site to create these images, although that may change shortly. Questions about this can be placed in the Support & Suggestions forum.
    3.7. Restrictions by Post: Are there things which can only happen once I have enough posts? What are they? Why are they there?
    Until you get at least 15 posts, there are several things on this site which will be unavailable. This includes the ability to post links, videos, or view the Members Photos & Videos section. Should you encounter these restrictions, then you simply need to post more before they become available.

    This is a security measure to ensure members enjoy their time on the Personality Cafe website.
    3.8. Account/Post Deletions: Can I request my account or posts be deleted? Can I ask to be banned?
    No.

    In the case of requesting a ban, you can request retirement (3.9).

    Once your post is there, it becomes the property of the site. You have a grace period of 24 hours with which to edit it however you want (3.4), within site rules (3.3). You can remove private information from your account and request retirement (3.9), but your posts will not be removed, nor will your account be deleted.

    This is so as to not disturb the continuity of threads.
    3.9. Retirement: I wish to end using this account, how do I request Retirement? What is retirement?




    It is requested by the account owner and is activated by the site staff. Retirement is not the same as a user ban (1.1).


    A retired account cannot post as it is disabled, but they can email the site staff for the account to be reactivated at a later date should they feel like returning to the Personality Cafe.

    3.10. Maximum Image Use: How many images can a post have? What does that include?
    A post can only have 20 images in it maximum. This includes smilies or any other image copied and pasted, or added using bb image tags.
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