Frequently Asked Questions
GraceBook Specific Help
- What is the idea behind the Gracebook Net?
- Our hope is that the Gracebook Net will keep people connected, in between meeting or talking, and actually open each of our worlds up to one another more than would otherwise happen at large gathering. It is private, so only the members will be able to see what is written here.
- Why is it called the Gracebook Net?
- We have called this forum ‘the Net’ after the picture that we received of the BCC fellowship being like a net of lights (like the Christmas decorations that some hang across their windows). In such a net each light has direct connection to maybe only four or five other lights. But through the many connections, one to another, the net can be seen. What this tool can do is help remind us that this net is more than just those we are closest to, but show our place in the wider fellowship. In 2010 it was renamed 'the Gracebook Net' in order to reflect and serve a community wider that the BCC fellowship.
- Is the Gracebook Net forum really private?
- It's as private as you can get without buying an SSL (one of those encrypted addresses that are used for entering credit card numbers, etc). Search engines like Google have been told not to access the forums so your comments won't pop up in anyone's internet search. It's not water tight, only SSL can give you that, but we can consider it private enough for our purposes.
- Are Private Messages really private?
- The answer is 'yes', not even the Administrator can see them.
- What rules to I need to adhere to?
- Rules! ... that's not an attractive word in view of our understanding of God's grace. But we would like to develop a culture within the Gracebook Net. Here are some suggested guidelines:
* The Net needs to remain private. Because we want our people to be free to share their hearts, it's important that don't show the content of the Net to our family and friends. If member find that people outside of the Net community are reading what they have shared they will become less open and more guarded about what they write. This is even more the case with the written than the spoken word.
* We encourage self-disclosure but not information or opinion about others, in particular those outside of Net membership. Why? Well they might become members themselves one day! Those who are members will be able to see anything written about them but you should still be careful not to share about other Net members without their permission. If they have news or opinion it will usually be up to them to share it.
* We should be careful not to be too frivolous as this could cause someone who is sharing deep stuff to withdraw. These three points are simply the application of thought, care and the avoidance of gossip.
- What do all these terms like 'board', 'post' and 'avatar' mean?
- Just like 'Windows' borrows the imagery of the office, having a desktop, files, inbox, etc. the Net Forum uses the imagery of a notice board where information can be pinned up and messages left. Hence the terms used. Here is a glossary of terms that might help:
* BOARD - this is the notice board that all the Net Forums and Calendar summary appear on
* FORUM - a pre-defined area that contains topics for discussion or information, or sometimes further Sub-forums (as in the 'Buried Treasure' forum)
* TOPIC - A topic is text on any subject you would like to start a discussion on, or information you would like to share
* REPLY - takes up the conversation on a topic (using 'Post Reply'). There can be many replies to a topic
* PM - This is a Private Message between two or more members of the forum. It's a bit like an email but just within the Net Forum. The content can only be seen by sender and recipients.
* USER CONTROL PANEL - The area where you can view and update your personal details, change your password, read and send private messages from.
* BOOKMARK - This saves your place in a topic. A list of bookmarks is kept in your User Control Panel.
* SUBSCRIBE - You can subscribe to an individual topic or a whole forum. When anyone posts a new topic or replies to an existing one the the forum send you an email. The email will have a link that you can use to take you right to where the new stuff is. You can 'Unsubscribe' at any time too and the emails from that particular area of the forum will stop. You will find all your Subscriptions listed in your User Control Panel.
* AVATAR - this is simply a small picture of you that can be set in the User Control Panel
* SMILIES - these are faces that can included in topics, replies and events. They are intended to give the kind of accents and emphasis that comes over in ordinary conversation, but that is otherwise harder to convey in the written word.
* BBCODE - formatting that can be used to give Posts that extra rizz. Also some functions enable the inclusion of images or links. Using BBCode can look great in the finished result, but looks ugly when your are drafting with it! If in doubt, don't bother with it.
- How do I get a Gracebook Net Icon onto my desktop?
- To place a Gracebook Net shortcut on your Windows desktop perform the following steps in Internet Explorer: 1 - navigate back to the 'Board index' page. 2 - on your browser menu bar select the menu path 'File' > 'Send' > 'Shortcut to Desktop'. You should now have a shortcut icon on your desktop. Any time you double-click this it will open up the Gracebook Net. (Unfortunately the prodedure is different depending on which browser you use- I suggest you Google how to do it if you don't use Internet Explorer)
- How can I read this stuff and look at the Gracebook Net at the same time?
- You can have the Gracebook Net open in two windows at simultaneously. This is a browser function. For instance right mouse clip on the word 'Top' below and select 'Open in New Window'. This will give you a new window showing the same FAQ page. Now simply scroll to the top of the page and navigate to the Board index. You can now toggle between this text and the rest of the Gracebook Net.
- Can two of us use the forum on the same PC?
- Yes, but not at the same time (unless you are using separate profiles within Windows). But in this case you would be better not to use the 'Log me on automatically each visit' feature, as it's important that you make any posts as yourself and not as another member of your family.
- Why can't I upload a picture of myself in the User Contol Panel?
- 'Avatars' (small personal portraits) must be no more than 90 pixels x 90 pixels and also no larger than 6.5 Megabytes. Anything bigger will fail. If you can play with these dimensions in some image editing software and get them within the limits you will find your photo will then upload. Thanks for trying. It really helps for other people to see your smiling face. But if all that sounds a bit fiddly, your Administrator will be happy to do it for you
- How do I see a map of where a member lives?
- Click on the name or face of the member you want to visit (you can do this via the 'Members' list or through a post they have made. If they have a map you will see a field on their profile called 'Streetmap location:'. Click on the 'http...' address next to this field and a map of his or her home will be displayed.
- I am getting loads of emails. How do I switch them off?
- All of your subscriptions are listed in your 'user control panel' under 'subscriptions' so if you start to find this feature annoying you can simply select and delete all the forums that you are not interested in. You can easily switch them on again if you change your mind.
- I get emails from the Net, but can I reply to them?
- No. If you 'subscribe' to Topics, Forums, or when you get sent a Private Message the Net will send you an email when something happens, but only give you title and first section of the text. You will need to login to the Net to read the rest, and you can reply from within the net. If you were to reply to the email then the reply would go to the administrator instead (which probably isn't what you would want).
- How do I upload a photo to share with others?
- If the photo you want to use is already on the web somewhere (and is also the size you want to display it at in the Net) you will need to paste it's address into the text box of your post, then select the whole address and click on the 'Img' button. Otherwise, in the 'Reply' or 'New Topic' screen you will find a tab below the text input box marked 'Upload attachment'. Click on the 'Browse' button to find and select your new image on your computer. Once you've got it, click 'Add the file'. The software will handle the sizing of your photo for you. Alternatively, if you can copy an image into your clipboard, pasting it into a Gracebook post will append an attachment of that image to the post
- Quirks of the software : the 'BCC' field when creating a Private Message.
- When creating a private message you will notice that there is a button marked 'BCC'. This does not stand for Brookwood Community Church but for 'Blind Carbon Copy'. This is a setting that allows you to copy other people without primary recipient being aware of it. So in the normal course of events you will never need to press this button.
- Quirks of the software : the save button
- When you are drafting a post (or a Private Message) you may not want to submit it immediately. If you press the 'Save' button, after a confirmation question you will find yourself back in the forum in browse mode with your editing nowhere to be seen! Nothing has been lost and you can find your draft in the 'User Control Panel'. If you go there your draft can be found under the 'Overview' tab and the 'Manage drafts' submenu. You can carry on editing your draft there. When you are ready to submit your post you first need to 'Save' it. Then click on the 'Load draft' link to the right of your draft title. What this does is re-load all your editing back into the location where you originally started to edit it. From here you are back in familiar territory and can 'Preview' and 'Submit' the post as usual. If however, you choose to edit further and click 'Save' again, the next time you go to the 'User Control Panel' you will find two drafts! You can quickly tell which is your latest one from the 'Saved at' date & time. When you finally post one of your drafts, all the drafts you have made in the process will be deleted.
- Quirks of the software : Preview
- When you are drafting a post you can Preview it to see what it will look like. When you hit the 'Preview' button the preview is displayed but you are instantly positioned back to the editing area on the page. You will then need to page back up to the top to see the Preview and page down again to edit further, submit or re-preview. Its an irritation but not a problem when you understand what's going on.
- Quirks of the software : 'Find a member' for Private Messages
- If you want to send a Private Message you can use the 'Find a member' link to select from a recipient for a list of members. When you do this, a new window will open displaying an array of search fields. You probably won't need these as you just need to scroll down to find a list of the members (that's the first quirk). To select the member(s) click in the check box and then press the 'Select marked' button at the bottom of the list. If, however, you click on a persons name you won't select them but instead find yourself looking at their profile details. You will then notice that the window has no menu bar and so no 'Back' button. So how do you get back? Answer: 1) Click the right mouse button and select 'Back' or, 2) Close the window and start over again by clicking on 'Find a member'.
Login and Registration Issues
- Why do I get logged off automatically?
- If you do not check the Remember me box when you login, the board will only keep you logged in for a preset time. This prevents misuse of your account by anyone else. To stay logged in, check the Remember me box during login. This is not recommended if you access the board from a shared computer, e.g. library, internet cafe, university computer lab, etc. If you do not see this checkbox, it means a board administrator has disabled this feature.
- I registered in the past but cannot login any more?!
- It is possible an administrator has deactivated or deleted your account for some reason. Also, many boards periodically remove users who have not posted for a long time to reduce the size of the database. If this has happened, try registering again and being more involved in discussions.
- Why can’t I login?
- There are several reasons why this could occur. First, ensure your username and password are correct. If they are, contact a board administrator to make sure you haven’t been banned. It is also possible the website owner has a configuration error on their end, and they would need to fix it.
- Why can’t I register?
- It is possible a board administrator has disabled registration to prevent new visitors from signing up. A board administrator could have also banned your IP address or disallowed the username you are attempting to register. Contact a board administrator for assistance.
- What does the “Delete cookies” do?
- “Delete cookies” deletes the cookies created by phpBB which keep you authenticated and logged into the board. Cookies also provide functions such as read tracking if they have been enabled by a board administrator. If you are having login or logout problems, deleting board cookies may help.
- I’ve lost my password!
- Don’t panic! While your password cannot be retrieved, it can easily be reset. Visit the login page and click I forgot my password. Follow the instructions and you should be able to log in again shortly.
However, if you are not able to reset your password, contact a board administrator.
User Preferences and settings
- How do I display an avatar?
- Within your User Control Panel, under “Profile” you can add an avatar by using one of the four following methods: Gravatar, Gallery, Remote or Upload. It is up to the board administrator to enable avatars and to choose the way in which avatars can be made available. If you are unable to use avatars, contact a board administrator.
- How do I change my settings?
- If you are a registered user, all your settings are stored in the board database. To alter them, visit your User Control Panel; a link can usually be found by clicking on your username at the top of board pages. This system will allow you to change all your settings and preferences.
- I changed the timezone and the time is still wrong!
- If you are sure you have set the timezone correctly and the time is still incorrect, then the time stored on the server clock is incorrect. Please notify an administrator to correct the problem.
- The times are not correct!
- It is possible the time displayed is from a timezone different from the one you are in. If this is the case, visit your User Control Panel and change your timezone to match your particular area, e.g. London, Paris, New York, Sydney, etc. Please note that changing the timezone, like most settings, can only be done by registered users. If you are not registered, this is a good time to do so.
- How do I create a new topic or post a reply?
- To post a new topic in a forum, click "New Topic". To post a reply to a topic, click "Post Reply". You may need to register before you can post a message. A list of your permissions in each forum is available at the bottom of the forum and topic screens. Example: You can post new topics, You can post attachments, etc.
- How do I edit or delete a post?
- Unless you are a board administrator or moderator, you can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post by clicking the edit button for the relevant post, sometimes for only a limited time after the post was made. If someone has already replied to the post, you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic which lists the number of times you edited it along with the date and time. This will only appear if someone has made a reply; it will not appear if a moderator or administrator edited the post, though they may leave a note as to why they’ve edited the post at their own discretion. Please note that normal users cannot delete a post once someone has replied.
- Why can’t I access a forum?
- Some forums may be limited to certain users or groups. To view, read, post or perform another action you may need special permissions. Contact a moderator or board administrator to grant you access.
- How do I create a poll?
- When posting a new topic or editing the first post of a topic, click the “Poll creation” tab below the main posting form; if you cannot see this, you do not have appropriate permissions to create polls. Enter a title and at least two options in the appropriate fields, making sure each option is on a separate line in the textarea. You can also set the number of options users may select during voting under “Options per user”, a time limit in days for the poll (0 for infinite duration) and lastly the option to allow users to amend their votes.
- How do I edit or delete a poll?
- As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster, a moderator or an administrator. To edit a poll, click to edit the first post in the topic; this always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote, users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if members have already placed votes, only moderators or administrators can edit or delete it. This prevents the poll’s options from being changed mid-way through a poll.
- How do I add a signature to my post?
- To add a signature to a post you must first create one via your User Control Panel. Once created, you can check the Attach a signature box on the posting form to add your signature. You can also add a signature by default to all your posts by checking the appropriate radio button in the User Control Panel. If you do so, you can still prevent a signature being added to individual posts by un-checking the add signature box within the posting form.
- I cannot send private messages!
- There are three reasons for this; you are not registered and/or not logged on, the board administrator has disabled private messaging for the entire board, or the board administrator has prevented you from sending messages. Contact a board administrator for more information.
- I have received a spamming or abusive email from someone on this board!
- We are sorry to hear that. The email form feature of this board includes safeguards to try and track users who send such posts, so email the board administrator with a full copy of the email you received. It is very important that this includes the headers that contain the details of the user that sent the email. The board administrator can then take action.
- I keep getting unwanted private messages!
- You can automatically delete private messages from a user by using message rules within your User Control Panel. If you are receiving abusive private messages from a particular user, report the messages to the moderators; they have the power to prevent a user from sending private messages.
Formatting and Topic Types
- What are announcements?
- Announcements often contain important information for the forum you are currently reading and you should read them whenever possible. Announcements appear at the top of every page in the forum to which they are posted. As with global announcements, announcement permissions are granted by the board administrator.
- What is BBCode?
- BBCode is a special implementation of HTML, offering great formatting control on particular objects in a post. The use of BBCode is granted by the administrator, but it can also be disabled on a per post basis from the posting form. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, but tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and >. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be accessed from the posting page.
- What are global announcements?
- Global announcements contain important information and you should read them whenever possible. They will appear at the top of every forum and within your User Control Panel. Global announcement permissions are granted by the board administrator.
- Can I use HTML?
- No. It is not possible to post HTML on this board and have it rendered as HTML. Most formatting which can be carried out using HTML can be applied using BBCode instead.
- What are topic icons?
- Topic icons are author chosen images associated with posts to indicate their content. The ability to use topic icons depends on the permissions set by the board administrator.
- Can I post images?
- Yes, images can be shown in your posts. If the administrator has allowed attachments, you may be able to upload the image to the board. Otherwise, you must link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. http://www.example.com/my-picture.gif. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor images stored behind authentication mechanisms, e.g. hotmail or yahoo mailboxes, password protected sites, etc. To display the image use the BBCode [img] tag.
- What are locked topics?
- Locked topics are topics where users can no longer reply and any poll it contained was automatically ended. Topics may be locked for many reasons and were set this way by either the forum moderator or board administrator. You may also be able to lock your own topics depending on the permissions you are granted by the board administrator.
- What are Smilies?
- Smilies, or Emoticons, are small images which can be used to express a feeling using a short code, e.g. :) denotes happy, while :( denotes sad. The full list of emoticons can be seen in the posting form. Try not to overuse smilies, however, as they can quickly render a post unreadable and a moderator may edit them out or remove the post altogether. The board administrator may also have set a limit to the number of smilies you may use within a post.
- What are sticky topics?
- Sticky topics within the forum appear below announcements and only on the first page. They are often quite important so you should read them whenever possible. As with announcements and global announcements, sticky topic permissions are granted by the board administrator.
User Levels and Groups
- What are Administrators?
- Administrators are members assigned with the highest level of control over the entire board. These members can control all facets of board operation, including setting permissions, banning users, creating usergroups or moderators, etc., dependent upon the board founder and what permissions he or she has given the other administrators. They may also have full moderator capabilities in all forums, depending on the settings put forth by the board founder.
- Why do some usergroups appear in a different colour?
- It is possible for the board administrator to assign a colour to the members of a usergroup to make it easy to identify the members of this group.
- What is a “Default usergroup”?
- If you are a member of more than one usergroup, your default is used to determine which group colour and group rank should be shown for you by default. The board administrator may grant you permission to change your default usergroup via your User Control Panel.
- What are Moderators?
- Moderators are individuals (or groups of individuals) who look after the forums from day to day. They have the authority to edit or delete posts and lock, unlock, move, delete and split topics in the forum they moderate. Generally, moderators are present to prevent users from going off-topic or posting abusive or offensive material.
- What is “The team” link?
- This page provides you with a list of board staff, including board administrators and moderators and other details such as the forums they moderate.
Searching the Forums
- Why does my search return a blank page!?
- Your search returned too many results for the webserver to handle. Use “Advanced search” and be more specific in the terms used and forums that are to be searched.
- How can I search a forum or forums?
- Enter a search term in the search box located on the index, forum or topic pages. Advanced search can be accessed by clicking the “Advance Search” link which is available on all pages on the forum. How to access the search may depend on the style used.
- How do I search for members?
- Visit to the “Members” page and click the “Find a member” link.
- Why does my search return no results?
- Your search was probably too vague and included many common terms which are not indexed by phpBB. Be more specific and use the options available within Advanced search.
- How can I find my own posts and topics?
- Your own posts can be retrieved either by clicking the “Show your posts” link within the User Control Panel or by clicking the “Search user’s posts” link via your own profile page or by clicking the “Quick links” menu at the top of the board. To search for your topics, use the Advanced search page and fill in the various options appropriately.
Subscriptions and Bookmarks
- What is the difference between bookmarking and subscribing?
- In phpBB 3.0, bookmarking topics worked much like bookmarking in a web browser. You were not alerted when there was an update. As of phpBB 3.1, bookmarking is more like subscribing to a topic. You can be notified when a bookmarked topic is updated. Subscribing, however, will notify you when there is an update to a topic or forum on the board. Notification options for bookmarks and subscriptions can be configured in the User Control Panel, under “Board preferences”.
- How do I subscribe to specific forums?
- To subscribe to a specific forum, click the “Subscribe forum” link, at the bottom of page, upon entering the forum.
- How do I remove my subscriptions?
- To remove your subscriptions, go to your User Control Panel and follow the links to your subscriptions.
- How do I bookmark or subscribe to specific topics?
- You can bookmark or subscribe to a specific topic by clicking the appropriate link in the “Topic tools” menu, conveniently located near the top and bottom of a topic discussion.
Replying to a topic with the “Notify me when a reply is posted” option checked will also subscribe you to the topic.
- What attachments are allowed on this board?
- Each board administrator can allow or disallow certain attachment types. If you are unsure what is allowed to be uploaded, contact the board administrator for assistance.
- How do I find all my attachments?
- To find your list of attachments that you have uploaded, go to your User Control Panel and follow the links to the attachments section.
- How do I contact a board administrator?
- All users of the board can use the “Contact us” form, if the option was enabled by the board administrator.
Members of the board can also use the “The team” link.
- Who do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?
- Any of the administrators listed on the “The team” page should be an appropriate point of contact for your complaints. If this still gets no response then you should contact the owner of the domain (do a whois lookup) or, if this is running on a free service (e.g. Yahoo!, free.fr, f2s.com, etc.), the management or abuse department of that service. Please note that the phpBB Limited has absolutely no jurisdiction and cannot in any way be held liable over how, where or by whom this board is used. Do not contact the phpBB Limited in relation to any legal (cease and desist, liable, defamatory comment, etc.) matter not directly related to the phpBB.com website or the discrete software of phpBB itself. If you do email phpBB Limited about any third party use of this software then you should expect a terse response or no response at all.
- Who wrote this bulletin board?
- This software (in its unmodified form) is produced, released and is copyright phpBB Limited. It is made available under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPL-2.0) and may be freely distributed. See About phpBB for more details.
- What you need to know about Privacy
- Gracebook is a private forum, run by its members for it's members. As far as your private information goes, it is visible to all the members. And all of it is maintained (or at least maintainable) by the you as a member. GDPR means that you can request information held about you, ask for it to be corrected, or even to be erased. All of this is self-service and so is always available for you view or change The only thing you can't do yourself is to delete your account. For that you need to message me, your administrator, and I can do that for you. Either Private Message your request to 'admin4gracebook' within Gracebook or email me on 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
- Data Security
- The other part of GDPR is about keeping personal data secure. Gracebook data is automatically backed up and the site is secure. If Gracebook were to be hacked it would most likely be done through one of our own accounts. So it is up to us all to protect our community by using strong passwords and making sure that any devices that we use to access Gracebook (laptops, tablets, phones) are also password or pin protected.
- Sharing Data ... Oh no
- Lastly, there is the whole subject of sharing, selling or trading personal data. Again, we all have the ability to do this, but I think it is clear from the private nature of our forum, and the trust that we share, that such action would be a violation of our culture and values before it was ever an issue of law
- How to manage your own details
- You see that tiny photo of you on the top right of the screen? Click on that, and then, from the drop-down list that appears, click on 'User Control Panel'. You can now use the tabs, and left-hand menu options, to access your details. You can simply over type any field to change the contents , but be sure to click on the 'submit' button (towards the bottom of the screen) to commit your changes.