Instructions for the Cafe Commons
Why can't I access the Cafe
The two most common reasons someone can't access the Cafe Commons are 1) they have not yet signed up for their Amazon City Passport and 2) they are not entering in the proper username or password. You MUST get an Amazon City Passport to enter the Cafe Commons. To get your passport, click here. Then, when you come back to the Cafe Commons, enter in the username and password you chose exactly. If you already have a username and password, see the next topic. Occasionally, you might have logged in first as a guest or another user, in which case see the section "I'm trying to access the Cafe Commons as a different user but can't!"
My username/password won't
Nine times out of 10, the reason a username and password won't work is because you are entering it incorrectly. Try again, and make sure you enter your username and your password exactly as you received them in your confirmation email. Both usernames and passwords are case-sensitive, which means that a lowercase letter is considered different from an uppercase letter. "Amazon" is different from "amazon" for example. Tip: ALL usernames are lowercase.
Note that if signed up prior to March, 1998, and you want to use our new chat software, you'll need to get a new password generated. (See notes on the chat page.)
I forgot my username or
In this case, please stop by the Amazon City help section to generate a new password and have your account information emailed to you. Note that if you signed up for a "Cafe" account more than a year ago and have not used it since, your account has most likely been deleted. Sign up for a new account here.
The chat channels don't
Currently, we have two chat channels: One from Chat Planet and one from Talk City. Both are Java-based chatrooms, which means you MUST have a Java-capable browser to use them, and you MUST have Java turned on in your browser. Because everyone uses a different browser, we cannot guarantee these rooms will work on your particular browser. In addition, we do not create the software used for the chat areas. For more help turning Java on in your browser, see your browser manufacturer's home page. For specific help on how to use the Chat Planet system, go to http://www.chatplanet.com/. For specific help on how to use the Talk City system, go to http://www.talkcity.com/.
What is Java and why do I need
it for the Chatrooms?
Java is a special programming language that allows your browser to download and run a program while you wait. Our chatrooms are currently Java-based, so you must have a Java-enabled browser to use them. (See above.) Since we understand not all of our visitors will have Java-capable browsers, we are working on adding new chat areas that do not require Java. Stay tuned!
I'm trying to access the Cafe Commons as a
different user but can't!
When you sign in to the Cafe Commons, it remembers your username and password for you. (It will also remember if you sign in as a guest.) Unfortunately, the Cafe Commons will continue to remember the same username and password until you have exited your browser. We are working on a way to allow members to manually "log off" and then sign on as a different user, but until then, the only way to sign on as a different user is to close your browser program and then restart it, and then log on as the new user.
CAFE COMMONS INSTRUCTIONS
An Overview of the Conferencing System:
The Cafe Commons contains many conferences. These are the first level. Conferences can be regular conferences, or they can be classes (currently a feature of the original conferencing software and not yet used in the Cafe); they can be public (in which case anyone with a Cafe account can access them), or they can be private (in which case you must ask permission of the fair witness (host) by mailing her or him).
At the bottom of each conference's main page is a list of topics. Topics can only be started by conference "fair witnesses." They provide additional structure to each conference.
Associated with each topic are conversations, the third level. This is where the actual conferencing goes on. Anyone can start conversations and reply to conversations here. or conversations.
What The Buttons Do:
|Brings you to the help page (this page).||Takes to to the Cafe Commons Directory.|
|Takes you to your HotList, which is where you started. Whenever you are helplessly lost, click this one.||Click this one to edit your password, real name, or profile with respect to the Cafe system.|
|The HotList Editor lets you add or remove conferences from your HotList.||In a topic page, allows you to mark all new posts and replies as read. Not allowed in some conferences.|
|In a topic, click this one to start a new conversation.||In a topic, this button displays the ten most recent conversations (if there are that many).|
|In a topic, this button displays the twenty most recent conversations (if there are that many).||In a topic, use this one to show all conversations ever posted to that topic (could be big).|
Managing Your HotList:
Entering a Conference:
number new name
where number is the number of the topic, new is the number of new postings since the last time you checked that topic, and name is the name of the topic.
Reading a Topic:
Reading a Conversation:
Number Total New Conversation 8 11 4 JAVA JIVE 9 3 2 TCW has a NEW CATEGORY!!! 7 4 1 First Post here 6 4 1 The future of the Web
These four conversations can be found in a sample conference under Topic 4: "The Web". A topic may list up to ten conversations at the bottom of the page. Use the Last Ten, Last Twenty, or Show All buttons to see more (and older) conversations on a separate page. The first column of the listing gives the number of the conversation. Notice that they are not listed in numerical order. In fact, they are listed in order of most recently posted or replied to, so that little used conversations will be at the end of the list or they won't appear at all. The second column shows the total number of posts and replies to the conference. It is also a link to the actual listing of all the replies to the conversation. The third column shows the number of posts or replies since you last checked the conversation. The last column is the subject of the conversation. These last two are also a link to a listing of replies to the conversation since you last read it.
Note: if you are a new to the conference, the number of unread replies to a topic's conversations may be a bit larger than your appetite for reading. In that case, you may want to click the Mark All As Read button at the bottom of the topic page. This will update your "last read" list and change the third column of the listing to all 0's.
To read a conversation, decide whether or not you want to read all the replies, or just the ones since you last checked the conversation and click the appropriate link. You can also read a conversation since a certain date using the little form under the list of conversations. Enter the number of the conversation, the number of days back you want to check and click Read.
Using CafeScan to Create A Summary Report:
Replying to a Conversation:
Note that you must click the submit reply button in order for your reply to be processed. Simply typing in the box and leaving the page for elsewhere doesn't do anything.
Also note that most browsers do not at this time support automatic line
wrapping in the text box for your reply. This means that, when typing, you
must hit the
Starting a Conversation:
Posting and Replying in HTML
There is also a built in HTML checker that makes sure you don't have any mistakes in your post. If you press the preview or submit buttons (with the HTML checkbox checked) and the software finds an error in your HTML code, then an error message shows up telling you about your error. If this happens, use the BACK button in your browser to go back and fix the error. Then re-submit.
The software checks for three kinds of errors in your HTML code:
Hiding a Response
To edit your profile, simply enter what you want to say in the text box and click the Change Profile button. Nothing gets changed when you preview your profile or when you leave the page without clicking the Change Profile button.
By checking the Check here to have your profile interpreted as HTML checkbox, your can have the software interpret the HTML tags in your profile so that you can personalize your profile to a high degree. See the section on Posting and Replying in HTML for more information. Note that the software does not check for HTML errors in your profile.
You may peruse other people profiles in the Directory.
Changing Your Pseudonym:
Back to the Amazon City Cafe