In my last entry I talked about registration and profiles. This entry looks at what you can do with your profile.
First, in order for other members to get anything from your profile, they need to see it. To that end, we've added a Public Profile field to to the Member Profile information. In effect you're adding yourself to a local directory within the site. If you edit your profile (first item in the User section of the menu to the left) you'll see that there's a new check box at the bottom of the editing window. By checking this box you'll add yourself to the directory. Only registered members of the site can see your profile, and NO ONE can see your email address.
Another way you can publicize your profile is by posting. If you post in the Forum or add a blog your by-line also has a link to your profile. In short, if you intend to do anything but "lurk," reading others' postings but not contributing anything yourself, you're welcome to do it. But our goal is to build a community of gun rights activists.
Another way you can publicize your profile is simply by posting. If you post in the Forum or add a blog, your by-line also has a link to your profile.
Using the profile, you can communicate within the site in several ways. First is email and private messages. Those options appear beneath the Messages tab. By sending a Private Message you don't disclose anything that isn't already in your Profile. Also, a Private Message stays within this site and does not cross servers. At your option you can receive notificatin that you have a Private Message waiting, but the message doesn't get sent. If you have a private message a signal blinks near your name as you log in. Using the Email tab you fill out a regular form. The message is sent to the email address provided by the other member when they registered. When you send email your address will be disclosed to the other member. You won't see theirs unless they send a return email.
Another feature that enables communication among members is the Connection. A Connection is essentially a private address book within the site. It's basically the same thing as a friend on MySpace or FaceBook. This is potentially the most powerful communications tool this site offers. It's a relatively new feature, but new features are in the works.
A Coalition is essentially a community. And the root of community is communication. As membership on the site grows we expect to create a community of gun rights activists who will make their presence known in city halls, legislatures, and Congressional offices across the country. We're glad you're here, because we certainly can't take on this chore alone.