Technical Stuff

Okay, we thought that it might be helpful to give our members some technical info that may help them to get the most out of the network (with the least amount of frustration). Please understand that the following information is only a tool, and from time to time (for example as we update the site in different areas), this information may actually change. Anyway, for all of you who need this type of help, or who just like the technical side of things, here you go, and enjoy:
Groups or Forums?
Our thinking with regards to Groups and Forums is that a Group defines a set of people who share a common interest, ministry, hobby, or even a phase of life. Examples would be "Married With Children", "Teen Group", or on the secular side, "Right to Life". Groups should be assigned a category when they are formed. This should help when one wants to search for a particular group, especially once there are many. The site admin can create new group categories when needed, or re-organize the ones which currently exist. This organizational concept so far has been the design of just one person, so hopefully having more people involved will make it more generally intuitive. Within a group, "Discussions" can be started. These operate somewhat like forums and, depending on how the group was started, can be restricted to just the group members. If one "Discussion" seems to the moderator to have permanent relevance, then it can be made "sticky", which keeps it at the top of the "Discussion" list, which is otherwise organized by date.

Forums, on the other hand, are organized around topics, as opposed to people, and don't have "membership". Participation is ad hoc. There are forum topics, which describe broad areas of discussion, and threads inside the topic, which follow a particular discussion. An example of a forum topic is "Baptist Distinctives", and some threads would be "Baptism by Immersion", or "Independance of the Local Church". The threads are where the discussion takes place. By their nature, things like "Baptist Distinctives" and other basic doctrinal issues would probably become "sticky", and stay at the top of Forum topics. Note that on issues of basic beliefs, advocating a position opposite to the doctrinal statement published on this site, and which every member expressly promised to honor, will be grounds for ejection. Questioning the logic of claims, or the appropriateness of interpretations is certainly welcome. We should all be ready at any time to give an answer concerning our faith.

Blogs are like personal forums, but lack the organizational aspects of forums. We created categories for blogs, but for now they are just an experiment. We're not sure how much they will be used. You can subscribe to someone else's blog, which will notify you when a new entry is posted. 

There is provision for the entry of events, like an on-line virtual calendar. Event "Categories" were created to help organize the various kinds of events anticipated. As with Groups, let us know if new categories should be added. Anybody can be invited to an Event, and notifications are sent out.

Uploading Music Files
To post a Music file like a mp3 or m4a you can click "Post Something" and then "Add Music"...then "Select File"....then simply add the music file from your computer.Ripping from CD
You can use Windows Media Player or your Mac Media Editor to rip music from CDs. The output can be in multiple formats, depending on what you plan to do with the file. If you want an archival copy, you should use a lossless conversion, making the file an exact duplicate of the original. However, you can't post a file that large, so some compression will be needed. Other programs may perform this function more seamlessly, and will be described once we review them.
Real Player, WinAmp

Compression issues
The objective of uploading music isn't really to share audiophile files, but to expose others to the styles of music which you prefer, some of which they probably have not heard previously. Files don't need to be huge to do this, and allows for more music to be posted. If a particular song strikes your fancy, there should be enough information posted with the file to enable you to obtain a licensed copy of your own.

Compression Programs
Audacity with Lame encoder

Audacity, Lame, WinAmp, Real Player,
ripping audio from video
It is possible to rip the audio track from a movie file. Some of the files uploaded were obtained that way. A Firefox plugin called "Download Helper" downloaded the youtube video, and converted it to an avi file (lossless). Another program, AOA, was used to separate the video from the audio, and store the audio with compression (from the "Lame" encoder) as an mp3.
Uploading Video Files
.mp4 .mov .avi and most popular formats.

To post a video from youtube or vimeo you can click "Post Something" and then "Add Video"...then "Choose Source"....then simply add the link from youtube or vimeo and your video will be posted.
If you wish to upload a video from your computer you must go to "Videos"....then "Post New Video. Fill in the Video Title and description and category .....then click "Video Source". You can choose "My Computer" then "Add Video" and upload your video.