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The CL Activity Stream -- What It Is and How to Use It

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The CL Activity Stream -- What It Is and How to Use It

 

The owners/administrators of the Chiriqui.Life (CL) website strongly recommend and encourage users of CL to display the content on this website using what is called an "activity stream". The purpose of this topic is to provide a basic understanding of what an activity stream is, what it does, why it is important, and how to invoke it.

 

What Is An Activity Stream?

An activity stream is a display of CL's activity (not necessarily just the posted content). Activity includes the newly posted content, as well as user actions, such as member "reactions" to a posting, registrations, "following" a topic, "following" a particular member, etc. When invoked, an activity stream displays a listing of the activity/postings on CL in descending chronological order. If a user is interested in pursuing an item in more detail, then the user can display the item simply by clicking on its title.

 

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 posted is in a single bucket (or channel). In a blog, it is easy to read what has recently been posted because it is at the top of the bucket (channel), and there is only one bucket. In a community bulletin board the new information can be in any of many different forums (buckets).

An advantage of bulletin boards is during historical research. For example, if you are interested in all content related to banking, then just go to the banking forum (bucket). A disadvantage of community bulletin boards is that most users want simply to (a) login, (b) read and possibly respond to the new content, and (c) log 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 (summary or abstract) display of the activity on the website, typically sorted in descending chronological order. Thus by invoking an activity stream, a member gets the best of both worlds (referring to community 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".

 

How Does A User Display An Activity Stream?

This is where we need to go in one of two directions. For a guest user (an unregistered user or someone who is not logged into CL), that user will have access only to an activity stream displaying "All Activity." The other direction applies to a registered member of CL, one who typically will see the default activity stream as "Unread Content" (assuming that the member has not reconfigured their default activity stream). The activity stream button (hotlink) is in the same general area on CL's homepage regardless of registration status, but the wording of the activity stream button/hotlink being displayed depends on the user's registration status (member versus guest).

Quote

How An Unregistered User (Guest) Displays An "All Activity" Activity Stream

On CL's homepage, simply click where shown in this screenshot:

Activity Stream part 1.png

 

--OR --

Quote

How A Registered CL Member Displays An "Unread Content" Activity Stream

Once logged into CL and on the homepage, simply click where shown in this screenshot:

Activity Stream part 2.png

 

Examples of both activity stream versions (All Activity and Unread Content) are shown below. Utilization procedures basically are the same regardless of what variety of activity stream is being displayed. The only difference is what activity (content) is being displayed. All you need do is to scroll down the displayed list, and if something is of interest then simply click on that title and you will be taken to that posting. When finished with that posting of interest, simply invoke the activity stream button/hotlink again to keep moving forward.

Activity Stream part 1-2.png

-- OR --

Activity Stream part 2-2.png

There is a LOT more to the functionality of activity streams on CL, but the above covers the basics. Two capabilities not described here are that registered members may reconfigure the standard activity streams that are provided by the system, and also that members can create as many activity stream profiles as they wish, but only one activity stream can be designated as the default. 

The importance of activity stream functionality on CL cannot be over-emphasized. An activity stream is how CL's management recommends that most members should approach CL.

For more detailed information about activity streams, see How Do I Configure The Activity Stream to See Only the New Content That I Want to See?.

 

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