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Talk and Groups

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What are groups for?

Groups connect users. You can set a group up for socializing through forums. Each group also comes with its own "mini-Zeitgeist" statistics page - currently disabled by Admin to help reduce server load. Switch back on date, not yet known.

Who might use a group?

Book clubs and other organizations can use groups to have a forum for their announcements, book discussions, and other interactions. Users in a particular city or area can use it to talk and see what interesting "statistics" develop. Finally, you can set up interest-group communities, like "history" or "romance novels."

Who can create a group?

Anyone can create a new group, although we suggest that you first do a search to see if an appropriate group already exists. You can do this via the search box on the right hand side on the 'groups' tab.

Can everyone see our group?

You may choose whether a group is public or private. Private groups only show to nonmembers the group name, description, and the total number of books in members' libraries. In public groups, all information is viewable to everyone.

How do I find a group?

On the "Groups" tab, there are several sets of Groups. You can also search the groups with the search-form in the right-hand column. "Search for Groups" looks at group tags and descriptions.

How do I make a group findable?

Editors / owners of groups should write a good, descriptive blurb about the group in the group description.

Anyone can tag groups with appropriate terms.

Are there any limits?

You can't use a group to connect free "shell" accounts to supersede the 200 book limit. Users who do this will find their accounts suspended.

How are Groups and Talk connected?

All the group forums are connected through Talk. With Talk, the forum system, you can see the conversations happening in all groups, or just your groups. You can also find just the topics that mention your books.

What are touchstones?

"Touchstones" are works and authors "touched on" by your message (in a group message board or talk posting). To add a touchstone, put brackets around the works and authors in your message - single brackets for works, double brackets for authors.

Example: "If I were on a desert island, I'd bring along that [Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook]. If that wasn't allowed, I'd go for [Lolita] or [Pale Fire], or really anything by [[Nabokov]]. I'd also bring along [[Lisa Carey]], because she's my wife."

Touchstones will guess the appropriate works and authors to link to. If the wrong work or author comes up in the touchstone list to the right of the textbox, click "others" to specify the appropriate links.

What does "flag abuse" on a topic mean?

"Flag abuse" is a way for users to monitor the Talk discussions. If you see something wildly innappropriate (such as spam) in a post, you can click the "flag abuse" link, and a little red flag will appear. After four different users have flagged a post, it will be deleted. Definitions of abuse and more guidelines are on the Terms of Use page. Please do not flag posts simply because you disagree with what is said, or if someone criticizes your favorite book, author, or idea - that's not abuse, it's a difference of opinion. A counter-flag option exists. This registers the member's opposition to flagging the post concerned. The procedure to counter-flag a post is the same as that for flagging a contested post: click on the blue hyperlink "flag abuse" at lower right; a window will appear presenting the option to invoke a flag or a counter-flag. Counter-flags, like flags, have a cummulative effect in the opposite sense of the flag's contestatory character.

How can I tell if I've read a topic already or not?

You can sort the topics in both Talk and in Group Forums by all three of the column headers: topics (sort alphabetically), unread (sorts all the unread topics to the top), or last message (most recent message on top). If you've already read something, it moves to "read" status (if you're sorting by "unread", then it will move to underneath all of the actual "unread" topics).

What's the star for?

You can "star" a topic to mark things you want to re-read, keep track of, etc. You can pull up a list of just these topics using the "My Starred" link on the left-hand side of the talk page.

What's the little "x" mean?

If you're tired of one topic that keeps appearing at the top of your unread list, click the little x to "ignore" that topic. It will swim down to the bottom of the list, never to bother you again. (Unless you want it back, in which case you can find it, and click to stop ignoring).

How can I search Talk?

If you are looking for a Talk topic or trying to find out if something has been discussed before, there are two main options. On the left-hand side of the Talk page there is a search box; however, the results from this search are mixed. Alternatively, you can search on Google, specifying "site:librarything.com/talktopic" before your search string.

Message Threads?

Short and sweet: No.

In many chat forums, such as Usenet News or LiveJournal comments, messages are "threaded" such that a user can comment any specific earlier message, and fork the discussion in any tangential direction completely unrelated to the subject heading of the discussion.

In LibraryThing, Talk follows the convention of people talking in a physical room or on a conference call. Each utterance is made at a specific point of time, and there is no way to rewind the clock to make your line appear at an earlier point of the conversation.

If there is a fork in the discussion and a tangent gets more speed, please feel encouraged to take the new topic to a new thread.

How do I put links in a Talk message?

If you type (for example)

My favourite book is <a href="http://www.librarything.com/work/2770499">Little Women</a>.

It will show up like this:

My favourite book is Little Women.

Ignore the little blue arrow thingies. This wiki automatically puts web addresses in blue type, underlines them, and adds an arrow thingy. That won't happen when you type a web address into your profile editing page.

For more in-depth help, see HTML Tips

How do I include photos in a Talk message?

  • You'll need to use some basic HTML to post photos in Talk. The basic syntax is
<img src="http://www.librarything.com/wiki/images/thumb/4/46/Splash1.0.jpg/200px-Splash1.0.jpg">

For more in-depth help, including linking and resizing images, see HTML Tips

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