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  1. Welcome to the Chiriqui.Life Website Understanding and Taking Advantage of Chiriqui.Life If you want the "quick and dirty" on how we recommend accessing CL, scroll down to the section that talks about the activity stream. What is Chiriqui.Life? Chiriqui.Life (CL) is a free information resource available to anyone having access to the Internet. From the domain name you can discern that the target audience is not just Boquete, but all of the residents, businesses, and clubs/groups of the Chiriquí Province of the República de Panamá. The content on CL focuses specifically on any aspect of life (residing, working, or visiting) in the Chiriquí Province, as well as topics about Panama in general that may affect life in the Chiriquí Province. A few forums have a more global scope, but those forums are limited in number and incidental to what CL is about. Think of CL as your [digital] homegrown, daily, self-published, neighborhood newspaper targeting Chiriquí and its highlands region, principally Boquete. The URL for this website is www.chiriqui.life (or simply chiriqui.life in most browsers). The Goals for Chiriqui.Life The owners/administrators (i.e., the management team) of CL have two primary goals for this website: to assist in the integration of the different cultures that are coming together in the area, and for everyone using CL to have a satisfactory experience in the: sharing of information, sharing of ideas and thoughts, announcing events (via a calendar) or things (discrete postings), inquiring about things that are important to its users, and helping others in their journey. On the Subject of Language(s) No "official language(s)" has/have been mandated for this website. English is likely to be the lingua franca used on CL. Given that Spanish is the native language for Panamá, those choosing to use Spanish are welcome to do so. We do ask that languages other than Spanish and English be used sparingly. The Registration Procedure If you wish to register for an account on CL, then you first need to have three pieces of information: a valid email address, your "real name" (see the next section about names); all valid keyboard characters are acceptable, and your desired "Display Name" (see the next section about names); your Display Name can be your full real name, a nickname, your first name, a phrase that "defines" you (e.g., "Photo Pro", "Pet Lover", "Fisherman Par Excellence", "Poet", "Boquete Retiree", "Bird Aficionado", etc.), etc., etc., whatever you like, as long as it has not already been used by another member; Display Names must have a minimum of three (3) characters and a maximum of sixty (60) characters; only alphanumeric characters and space characters are permitted (no periods, no dashes, no underscores, etc.). The registration procedure is initiated by clicking on the "Sign Up" button in the upper right area of the home page. Registration for a new login ID (called a "Display Name") is a simple procedure that involves two steps. There is no charge for requesting, having, or using an account on this website. During the registration procedure you will be asked a few questions, some of which are required to be answered, and a few of which are optional. Step one after you submit your registration request is that you must verify your email address. All that means is that the server will send an email to the address that you specified, and you must respond to that email. Once done, then step 2 comes into play. Be advised that "bad guys" and computer robots (“bots”) now routinely attack websites, and so the owners of CL have elected to have a second (manual) review step. During step two, the administrators of this website will then review your information and check public databases against known spammers, and blocked or hostile IP addresses, etc. Once your registration request has been reviewed then you will receive another email confirming that your registration has been approved. This two step procedure may take as much as 48 hours. Until your registration is completely finished, you will not be allowed to post any content, but you will be able to update your profile with additional information such as your avatar/gravatar, cover photo, personal interests, signature block, etc. More About the 'Display Name' and the 'Real Name' Be advised that anonymous postings are not permitted on CL. One data field in each member profile that must be completed during registration is that member's real name. For a person, a real name consists minimally of a first name and a last name; for a business, club, or group, the real name means the public name by which that entity is known, plus the real name of a management level person for that entity. Without a valid real first and last name, a registration request will be either delayed or rejected. Your postings will be identified by your Display Name. The Display Name is the name that you provided when you created your account. You may login into this website using either your Display Name or the email address that you provided during the registration procedure. Display Names can consist of any alphanumeric characters or spaces, but no special characters. Users are free to choose whatever Display Name they choose, providing that that Display Name has not been used by someone else. Going further on the real name topic, your login ID is how you will be identified in your postings. However, other users can look at your profile and see who you really are. We are taking an approach very similar to Facebook; in Facebook you post under your real name (Facebook calls it an "authentic name"). For Chiriqui Life, you will post using your Display Name, but users will be able to see your real name in your profile. If there is reason to question your asserted real name, Chiriqui.Life retains the right to request written documentation from you to validate your asserted real name. We trust that you can appreciate this approach to avoiding anonymity as a way to dramatically reduce abuse and negativity on a public information resource such as Chiriqui.Life. We start out assuming you to be honorable and will question your identity only when necessary because of some untoward action or posting on your part. What Is the Difference Between a Guest, a Member, and a User of CL? A guest is an unregistered user of CL. A guest is limited to reading most but not all of the public content on CL. Guests have very limited access to the functionality offered by CL (see the next section), including no privileges with regard to posting, uploading, downloading, no access to premium content, etc. Guests do not even get to see signature blocks at the bottom of member postings; signature blocks often contain contact information. A member is a registered user of CL. A member is someone who has successfully registered, and who is logged into CL at the time they access CL. A member who is not logged into CL is treated as a guest. Members have full access to all functionality offered by CL (see the next section). A user is a collective term that includes both guests and members. What Functionality Does CL Offer? Functionality of this website includes: threaded community bulletin board forums with unlimited nesting, Q&A (question and answer) forums, blogs, photo albums, document archives, sharing of audio and video files, calendaring, event reviews with ratings, display of upcoming calendar events, polling (surveys), private messaging (PM), tagging of postings, including title prefixing, reputations of users, rating of topics, reporting inappropriate content, sharing of content links via social media or emailing of content links, display of a configurable "activity stream", viewing only new content since last login (a subset of an activity stream), viewing only previously unseen content (a subset of an activity stream), following of forums, following of topics, following of members, ignoring selected members, configurable notifications (online and/or email) of a comprehensive list of activities of interest. The two highlighted items above are perhaps the most important functionality of CL. Because of the importance of activity streams, please read the section further down in this posting about activity streams. The initial configuration of this new information portal is complete, but we know that this website will change based on user needs and feedback. This is a work in progress. Who Is Behind This Website? Chiriqui.Life is intellectual property of Oswego LLC OÜ, which is an LLC chartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The servers are located in the USA. The principal behind this project is Bud Huber, along with his wife and a small team of volunteer administrators, moderators, and advisers. Bud first came to Boquete in 2001. He and his wife live full time in Boquete. The owners/administrators of CL and a small volunteer advisory group (i.e., the management team) administer the website. The management team receives no compensation. Who Sponsors CL? CL is a non-sponsored website. All costs are underwritten by the owners. There are no sponsors who pay or provide favors for advertising, endorsement, special consideration, promotion, etc. What If You Need Assistance? Send an email to support@chiriqui.life. Who Can View, Post, and Download? Anyone (guests) will be able to view most of the public content of CL. To post any kind of content and to view all of the content will require a successful account registration procedure. See the section above regarding the registration procedure. Once registration has been completed, members will then be allowed to post and upload, etc. Only members (registered users) who are logged in are permitted to download content. To download is different from reading/viewing. Guests (unregistered users) are not able to download any content stored on CL. To Moderate or Not Moderation means that registered members can post, but those postings must be approved (by CL's moderators or administrators) before their postings display to other users. Management has opted not to routinely moderate postings by members, and not even postings by new registrants, but rather trust that members will honor the published guidelines and governance documents (see the next two sections). Moderation may be invoked on a case-by-case basis in situations where members wish to test the limits of the guidelines and the rules (see the next two sections). Website Guidelines There are only two basic “guidelines” for the use of this website: respect others, and know and abide by the law and respect community standards. We trust that users will heed those two simple guidelines, but rest assured that the tools necessary to enforce compliance are available. The Specific Rules About Using CL - The Governance Documents There are three documents that comprise the governance for this website, and we strongly urge you to read those three documents because registration with or use of this website implies your understanding and concurrence. Those three documents are: the Site Guidelines, the Terms and Rules, and the Privacy Policy. Classified advertisements (i.e., buy and sell forums) on CL have some additional rules based on member request. See Forum Specific Rules for Classified Ads. Freedom of Expression versus Censorship Always present in the life of a community information resource is the topic of censorship. Management knows from prior experiences with similar websites that the topic of censorship will not go away and will never be acceptable to everyone. One goal of CL is to allow everyone to express themselves in an unfettered manner. However, there are limits. It is okay to disagree with someone, but (as documented in our Terms & Rules) one should respond to the topic and not attack the person. Sometimes people get caught up in the moment and become emotional. That is okay, but then maybe an apology might be in order. If in the final analysis someone has gone over the line and takes no steps to correct the situaiton, then there are various tools available to deal with an untoward incident in varying degrees of severity. Why Is An 'Activity Stream' Important? CL uses a community bulletin board content structure. That simply means that postings by members are placed in forums (information folders or buckets) based on the subject matter. An alternative content structure is what is called a blog, in which everything is posted in a single channel or bucket. In a blog, it is easy to read what has recently been posted because it is at the top of the channel or bucket, and there is only one bucket. In a community bulletin board the new information can be in any of many different forums or buckets. An advantage of bulletin boards is during historical research. For example, if you are interested in everything associated with banking, then just go to the banking forum (bucket). A disadvantage of bulletin boards is that most users want simply to (a) get in, (b) read what is new, and (c) get out. Absent some assisting tool, getting in and out of a bulletin board forum structure efficiently would be time consuming at best, probably frustrating, and possibly difficult to impossible. The good news is that there is an assisting tool. It is called an activity stream. An activity stream is simply a synoptic display of the activity on the website, typically sorted in descending chronological order. Thus by invoking the activity stream, a member gets the best of both worlds (referring to bulletin boards versus blogs). You must be a registered user and logged into CL in order to use an activity stream other than "all activity". The activity stream on CL is accessed in one of two areas. In the upper right of the screen of the "landing page" (where you are immediately after logging in), then just below your Display Name you will see two hotlinks. One of the hotlinks reads "Mark site read", then just to the left of that link is your default activity stream. Unless configured otherwise, the default activity stream normally will read "Unread content". The other area to access the activity stream is in the upper left of the landing page where there are various "channel" tabs. On CL the channels typically will be "Browse", "Activity", and so forth; use the "Activity" channel tab for access to all of the activity stream functionality. An activity stream on CL is far better than having everything in a single channel or bucket because the activity stream on CL is configurable. If a member wants their activity stream to show all previously unread content (as opposed to all content, for example), then they can achieve that. Or if a member wants only to see new content in certain forums, that is also possible. There is no limit to the number of activity streams that a member can configure and utilize. Only one activity stream can be set as the default. The importance of activity stream functionality on CL cannot be over-emphasized. The activity stream is how almost everyone uses CL. It is how the management recommends that most members should use CL. The combination of the activity stream and CL's search functionality (see next section) are incredibly powerful tools. For more information about activity streams, see http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/2256-how-do-i-configure-the-activity-stream-to-see-only-the-new-content-that-i-want-to-see/. Searching Content - What If I Am Looking for Something Specific? The search capability of CL is quite powerful. Look for the "magnifying glass" icon in the upper right of most pages here on CL. Type something rather unique about what you are interested in. For instance, if you are looking for everything that contains content about Banco Nacional, then perhaps either "banco" or "nacional" (you could include both words if you wish) might be a good search argument. Search arguments are not case sensitive. The only "rule" about searching is that there needs to be at least one search argument (word) of at least five (5) characters. Search arguments of four or less characters are ignored. Multiple search arguments in one search are permitted. Once the search argument(s) is/are entered, then click on the magnifying glass to execute the search. If you use more than one search argument, then consider opening the "advanced search" panel to specify whether you want all or any of the search arguments; all is the default, but you may prefer to search based on any. Note that searches are for words, meaning a character string (of at least five characters) that is bounded by white space or punctuation, etc. If you search for "elephant" and all occurrences of that word are "elephants" (note the plural), then the search will be unsuccessful. So search for all reasonable variations of the words. However, the search argument may include a "wild card" character at the end so as to match anything. For instance, the search argument "elephant*" (note the terminal asterisk wild card character) will find all words that start with "elephant" plus any additional characters on the end of that word. That search argument would find "elephant", "elephants", "elephantiasis", "elephantine", "elephantabcxyz", etc. If you wish to search in other than the entire website, then just to the left of the search argument is a drop down menu of other more limited targets to be searched (e.g., blogs only). If you are looking for a specific phrase, such as the title of a movie, then consider putting the search argument inside of quote marks ("example here of a phrase consisting of several words"). Doing so effectively makes everything inside the quotes look like a single word for the search argument. For instance, assume someone wrote a review of Around the World in 80 Days. A search argument of "around the world in 80 days" (specifically including the quotation marks) would look literally for the exact phrase as entered inside of the quotation marks other than case insensitivity, and be successful. If you entered a search argument of "around world the in 80 days" (specifically including the quotation marks; also note that the words 'world' and 'the' are transposed), then the search will not be successful. Search arguments inside quotation marks are literally interpreted as one word/search argument, other than case insensitivity. Your Personal Data and Privacy In the interest of full disclosure, during the registration procedure users will be asked a few questions. Most of these questions are optional — but obviously recommended. For instance, to share what your interests or hobbies are, so that others with similar interests can reach out to you. One question, which is not optional, is the requirement to provide your real name. That field, once entered, will be viewable by anyone. The underlying purpose behind the voluntary disclosure of some of your information is so that others with like interests can connect up with you. For those who object to such disclosures, a "choose not to reply" type response is acceptable in most of the fields (but specifically not including the real name field). Closing Comments CL is YOUR resource. The management team doesn’t create the content; we simply are providing a community resource for you to: share information, share ideas and thoughts, announce events (via a calendar) or things (discrete postings), inquire about things that are important to you, and help others in their journey. For more detailed information, simply look at the website (www.Chiriqui.Life, which can be shortened to Chiriqui.Life in most browsers). If you need to contact management, you may do so via the website (use the Problems, Feedback and Suggestions forum) or send an email to support@chiriqui.life. Management prefers that feedback and comments about the website be posted online (see the Problems, Feedback and Suggestions forum) for the entire community to see and respond as desired. There also is an online Questions and Answers forum. Use Problems, Feedback and Suggestions for general support questions; use Questions and Answers for questions about specific website features or functions and how to use them. Management will be monitoring the website and responding to suggestions and criticisms. Welcome aboard. Enjoy. Sincerely, Marcelyn Jandreau and Bud Huber Owners / Administrators, Chiriqui.Life support@chiriqui.life