How to use this Website

If you're new to FierySpirits, please take five minutes to read and digest this page. It's a quick guide to how to get the best out of the site.

FierySpirits is all about enabling users to share news, resources and events. The site is focussed around themes. If you've never used a 'social network' before, ask someone who has used FaceBook - it's very similar.

How the site is organised

The menus at the top of the page help users orient themselves:

HOME: summarises latest activity and content.

MY PAGE: is your customised page - where others can read more about you, and even write on your 'comment wall'. Don't worry, there's a private message system too (look in the options on the left hand side). 

START HERE: is full of links that are handy to explore when you first join.

TOPICS: contains links to resource pages and discussions  for current CoP topics.

PUBLICATIONS: points to pages within the site with resources to browse - feel free to add your publications here too.

INVITE NEW MEMBERS: lets members invite friends to join. This is how most people find out about the site.  

Adding your own stuff - ways to get active online
The whole point of this site is to encourage people to share their own material. Don't hold back - add anything you think others might find useful. Popular material is reflected in the 'leaderboard' on the home page. If you add a video or post a 'blog' please say why you think it might be of interest to members - this helps us decide whether to click on it.

Alerting friends to good stuff

One of the powerful features is the 'share' button (look out for it under each post). This makes it easy to let friends know about things you think they'd like.



Writing a Blog:
A blog is your rough notes, news, interesting links and thoughts... don't think too much before writing a blog entry! This is a fast-moving column, with the latest entry always at the top, that helps us keep our finger on the 'pulse' - a bit like the tickertape of yesteryear. If something catches your eye or seems relevant... tell us all about it. You can't attach documents here - instead, cut and paste the key paragraphs for us. If you're writing yourself, don't worry about the spelling or if someone might have talked about it before. Give it a go! And remember to put in some 'tags' (see below) so we can find your entry later. If you read something interesting in someone's blog, please do write a comment, even if it's a very simple and quick response. It really helps people to know if someone has read what they wrote!

Taking part in a topic discussion
Each broad theme has a number of live topic groups associated with it. The 'topic groups' are the heart of this CoP. It's where you put out questions for others to help with - and respond when you have some expertise to offer. Unlike the blog, posting to a discussion list in a topic group is about in-depth exploration of a topic. People commonly attach files to discuss, but should always introduce them: what issues do they raise that you'd like people to respond to?

Adding images and links to your entries - to create a link, either click on the little 'picture' on the menu bar immediately above the writing box.... or highlight the words you want to link from, then click on the 'chain' symbol (to the left of the picture graphic) and paste in the link into the box that pops up... HINT: click on the 'options' button when you add a picture - this lets you resize images, and you'll usualloy want to check the box that allows text to 'flow' around the picture. This gives the effect of a magasine and makes posts more enjoyable to read.

Use Tags so we can all find what we're looking for
Tags are short descriptions of page content that provide an efficient way to build an index to the site which help us all get to the information we are interested in. Please type in some tags that make sense to you after you enter new content (usally in a box at the bottom of the page), and separate each tag with a comma. You can put multiple-word tags in quotes, such as "Asset Based Development".Then seach for material with the search bar (top of the screen on the right, in the grey bit).

Follow discussions and blogs with email notifications
This site does not automatically fire you emails every time someone responds to a discussion thread. We are trying to avoid information overload. However, if there is something you'd like to keep up with, watch for the 'follow' option at the bottom of many pages. You can get even more control by changing your 'Settings' (from 'My Page'). Note that if you have started a new discussion thread or group, you will automatically receive updates when people respond.

What if something goes wrong?
Don't worry! Nothing you do will mess up the way the site works. If you have a problem, let us know, though. Top tip: If you're writing a longer blog article, write it using WORD or another word processor first, then copy and paste it across to the browser. This is because the site can 'time out' if it's left open too long, meaning your thoughts might be lost.

If someone isn't participating appropriately...
This site doesn't moderate or censor contributions .... we think that if you've signed up you're up for making respectful contributions. After all, we are coming together because we have a shared interest in working for a better future.

All FierySpirits are encouraged to offer each other sensitive feedback if contributions appear that aren't in tune with our purpose and way of working together. If this mechanism doesn't help particular members learn how best to engage, site administrators are able to temporarily or permanently disallow membership, and will give reasons for this in the unlikely event it becomes necessary.


Site administrator: contact Richard if you have any questions.



If you're interested in some of the thinking behind the site, try reading Margaret Wheatley: Supporting Pioneering Leaders as Communities of Practice: How to Rapidly Develop New Leaders in Great Numbers andUsing Emergence to take Social Innovations to Scale

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