Greetings and welcome to the Vincentian History Research Network on Ning. This may be the first time many of you have used Ning so I wanted to give you a brief explanation of what the tabs at the top of the page mean.

 

Most of this is taken from Ning's help page which goes into depth on each of these topics.

Main:
This will take you to the main page of the Vincentian History Research Network. On that page you will see the latest activity of the membership, a short explanation of the group, your user information, the latest blog, group and discussion forum posts as well as a list of members and useful links.


Invite:
This will allow you to invite other Vincentian scholars to join the network.


My Page:
This is your space to share information about yourself, connect with other members and show off your content. Your My Page comes with your very own Blog. Your My Page also has a Text Box, a versatile feature where you can add widgets, embed videos and insert links to other websites.


Blog Posts:
Blog posts are a great way to share stories and express yourself right on your My Page. While discussion threads on your Ning Network are about community discussion, your blog is about you. Any blog post you add to the network will be compiled here on your profile page. To get started, go to your My Page and locate the "My Blog" module in the middle column or link on the left hand side. Click the "Add a Blog Post" link. You can also click on the "Add a Blog Post" link from the main page, or the "Add" link from the All Blog Posts page itself. You can add text, links, images and even video embeds to your blog post using the text editor. You can also select the privacy of your blog post to allow anyone on the Ning Network to view it, just your friends on the Ning Network, or just you. Click "Save as Draft" if you need to pick up the post later and want to save it. "Preview" will let you see what it looks like when posted, while "Publish" will publish the post immediately. If you want to publish it on a specific day in the future, select the radio button next to "Choose a date and time" and enter your desired date below.


Notes:
Notes are messages from the moderators and administrators of the Vincentian History Research Network to the rest of the members. We will use the Notes Home to include important messages to members.

Forum:
The Forum is a great place to interact with other members and start participating on a Ning Network. Navigate to the Forum tab to check out existing discussions or start your own by clicking the "Add" button. You can reply to a discussion by clicking the "Reply to This" link under any comment you'd like to reply to, adding your message to the comment box and clicking "Add Reply" when you're done.

If you find an interesting forum discussion you'd like to keep track of, you can use the built-in feature to follow it. When you follow a discussion, you'll receive an email whenever there is a new reply to the discussion. This email notification will contain a link to the new reply. By default, you'll automatically follow all discussions you start or reply to. This is a great way to stay on top of the discussion and make sure you see all replies.

To follow a discussion, go to the page for that discussion and click the link to "Follow - Email me when people reply." If you're already following a discussion and would like to stop doing so, this link will appear as "Stop Following". Clicking that link will stop email notifications about new replies to the discussion.


Groups:
You can use groups on your Ning Network to meet people with your interests or in your region. Groups come equipped with their own discussion forum, RSS reader, text box and comment wall, and several privacy settings. As a group creator, you can choose the features and privacy settings you'd like to have for your group.

Joining a group is a great way to get started on a Ning Network and to meet new people. To join an existing group, go to the Groups page. You can browse existing groups by most active, or sort them by latest activity, most members, or newest. Just choose your option from the "Sort by" menu.  Once you find an interesting group, click on its title to view it. If the group is public, there will be a link in the top right of the page to join the group. If the group is private, you can apply to join the group from the group's page if its creator has allowed other members to request invitations.

Groups are a great way to organize members of your Ning Network around a topic. To create a group, go to the Groups page then click "Add a group." Next, fill in information about your group. Give your group a name and be sure to upload a group image that's roughly square in size to avoid it getting distorted once saved. Fill out a description for your group, which members will see when looking for groups to join. If your group has another website, or a location, you can add it here!

On the right side of the page, choose which features your group will have. Don't forget to choose the privacy settings for your group! You can allow anyone to join the group, or moderate membership. If you choose to moderate membership, new members will have to apply to join and you'll be able to review their request before they can join. You can allow members to invite other people to join and allow people to request membership if you'd like. If you turn off both of these options, the group will be invite-only and you'll be the only one who can send invites to join the group. Once you create your group, the privacy cannot be changed, so pick carefully!

Finally, choose whether or not members of your group can send broadcast messages to the whole group.


Click "Add Group" and your group will be added to the Ning Network!

Last updated by Brian Cicirello Feb 9, 2011.

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