Frequently Asked Questions
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Is it free to join Beliefnet Community? How do I sign up?
Joining Beliefnet is free and easy. Once you are registered, you can post messages, join dialogue groups and seminars, start your own journal, build commemorations and prayer circles, and participate in other community events. To register using your email address, click here.
How do I choose a user name?
Choose a user name or screen name that resembles your name or reflects a favorite aspect of your personality. Please keep the following guidelines in mind when registering: Each Beliefnet Community member has a unique screen name. This is the name that will be associated with all your community posts, journal entries, uploaded photos, and more. If you want to preserve your privacy, choose something other than your actual name for your screen name. If you are trying to register a name that is already in use by someone else, the system will prompt you to choose an alternate name. Screen names can contain letters and numbers only with no spaces or punctuation marks. In addition to your username, you'll be asked to choose a password.
Can I change my user name?
Choose your user name carefully, because you cannot change it yourself. If you no longer want to be associated with your current user name, you can register a new Beliefnet Community account and let your old one become inactive. However, anything you posted under your former username--videos you uploaded, journal entries you wrote, etc--cannot transfer over to your new account.
I receive Beliefnet newsletters, but I can't log in to Beliefnet Community. Why not?
If you are a Beliefnet Newsletter subscriber, you may not be aware that signing up for newsletters and registering with the community are two separate processes. In order to get a profile page and start interacting in the Beliefnet Community, you can complete your registration by clicking here.
How can I change my password?
Just visit the Forgot Password page to have a new password sent to your chosen email address.
How can I delete my account?
As long as you do not log in to Beliefnet, your account will remain in the system but will become inactive. In the future, if you wish to take advantage of Beliefnet's many features, just log in again to reactivate your account. If you would like to remove, add, or change any information from your profile, you may log in and click "Edit My Profile" near the top of your personal home page. Don't forget to save your changes!
How can I find my Prayer Circle, Memorial or other Commemoration?
Visit the directory for each type of commemoration. Commemorations are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
How do I add or change information in my profile?
Log in to Beliefnet here and click "Edit My Profile" near the top of your home page. Be sure to save your changes.
How do I edit my profile?
Log onto Beliefnet Community. Go to the 'Home' page (you should get there automatically). Click on the "edit my profile" button next to your user photo. You'll be taken to the editing profile page. Across the top of the page you'll notice some blue buttons labeled with different parts of your profile—your audio and video, your friends, and more. You can either click on individual buttons and do one section of your profile at a time, or you can start on the "About Me" page and go through each one in a row.
How do I find people of similar faiths?
When you see your faith in the list of faiths, click on that and you'll get a list of other people of that faith. In addition, you can set up your profile so your searches only show you people of your own faiths (we call this the "faith filter".) When you create your profile, on the first page you are asked your religious affiliation. Once you have checked a box in the "What's Your Faith?" section, you'll see that the next line is "I am primarily interested in meeting people of the faith I selected above." If you click "yes," your searches will be filtered to show you people of the same faith as you.
How do I find people of similar interests?
While you're creating your profile, one of the pages you're creating is called "About Me." On that page, there's an empty box where you can tell some things about yourself, and then a list of popular topics you can click on if you're interested in them. If there's something you're interested in that isn't on our list, you can add it in the empty box below. You should write your interests as nouns separated by commas, not as whole sentences. Here's an example.
DON'T WRITE: I like going to the movies. I also like chocolate.
DO WRITE: movies, chocolate, running, meditating, etc.
Why do we ask you to list your interests this way? Well, once you complete your profile and view your page, you'll notice that each of your interests has turned into a link. If you click on one of them, you'll be taken to a page where we list other Beliefnet members or groups who have the same interest as you. Click on "movies," and you'll get a list of other people on Beliefnet Community who also listed "movies" as one of their interests. You can also see groups that talk about movies and be able to join one you think is interesting.
Can I sell things on my page?
You can use the blank "About Me" page in your profile to say whatever you want about yourself, and that includes mentioning something you're selling or linking to an item you have for sale. However, please keep in mind that Beliefnet does not take any responsibility for what you sell. We will not do any customer service for you. Therefore, you must be extremely careful about selling items through Beliefnet Community.
How do I add a friend?
Go to the page of the person you'd like to add as your friend. To the right of their user picture, you'll see a button that says "add as friend." You'll be taken to another page to make sure you want to add this person. Choose "send friendship request." Once you click this button, the person will get a message saying you'd like to be their friend. Once they approve your request, they'll show up on your Friends page.
How do I remove a friend?
Go to the page of the friend. To the right of their user picture, you'll see a button that says "remove friend." Simply click the button, and you'll be asked if you're sure you want to remove this person from your friends list. Click "remove as friend."
What is a friendship request?
If you log on to your Beliefnet Community home page, you'll see a link for "Friendship Requests" to the right of your user photo. If there's a bright red link that says "New," it means someone has asked you to be their friend. Click on the red link and you'll see which member or members would like to be friends with you. If you want to be friends with this person, click on "accept." If you don't, click on "decline."
How do I know if I have messages?
When you log onto Beliefnet Community, you'll go to your Home page. Next to your user photo, there's a box called "My Inbox." Just like your email account, your inbox is where your messages are stored. If you have a new message, there will be a bright red link telling you that you have unread messages. To read the new message, click on the red text.
How do I send a message to someone?
If you want to reply to a message someone sent you, simply press the "reply" button at the bottom of the message. If you want to send a new message to someone, go to that person's profile page. Under the person's user photo there will be a button labeled "Send private email." Click that button, and a blank email form will appear on your screen. Then fill in the email and press "send."
Why do I have to choose an avatar or photo?
There are a lot of people on Beliefnet Community, and you want to be unique. Choosing a picture to represent yourself is the fastest way to show people your personality. Whether you choose a picture of yourself or an avatar you like, the photo on your profile page is the first thing any new potential friend knows about you.
How can I change my default photo?
First you have to make sure the new photo you want is already uploaded into your gallery. Go to 'My Home.' Next to your picture there will be a button that says "Update/change photos." You'll be taken to a new page. Scroll down to the second box—"Current Photos." Click on the photo you'd like to make your new default picture. Click the button "Make default."
How can I add a picture in the 'About Me' area?
First, log into Beliefnet Community and go to 'My Home.' There will be a button that says "Upload Photos." You will be taken to a new page. At the top of the page there will be a white box labeled "Upload Photos." In the slot for "select photo" you can either type in a link to a photo (it must be saved as a .jpg or .gif file) or hit the "browse" button to the right of the slot. Once you hit "browse" you can go through files on your computer and click on a photo you already have. In the second slot, you can type in a caption for your photo. You can choose something simple, like 'my dog' or a sentence that explains what the photo is 'I took this on my vacation last year to Hawaii.' If you'd like the photo you just uploaded to be the one on your profile page that represents you, click the box next to "set as default." If you're OK with other people on Beliefnet Community being able to see your photo, click the second box, "share in photo gallery." Then press the blue "Upload" button and voila!
How can I delete a photo I have posted?
Log in and go to your main profile page. You'll see a series of navy buttons across the top. If you want to remove a photo, click the "My Photos" button. It will take you to the page where every photo you've uploaded is listed. To delete a photo, simply click on the "delete" button next to that particular photo.
How do I make some photos public and some private?
If your profile page is viewable to the public, then all of the photos you put in the gallery will also be viewable to the public. However, you do have the choice of making your photos live only on your page or also having them appear on the big site wide community gallery. When you first load a photo, you'll see a check box that says "share in gallery." If you'd like your photo to be posted in the mega-community gallery, check that.
How does the star-rated voting tool work?
If you're browsing through photos, audio, and videos on Beliefnet, you will notice yellow stars underneath each item. You can click on the stars to rate the picture, audio clip, or video on a scale of 1-5.
Personal Blogs and Journals
How do I write in my journal?
When you're logged into Beliefnet, you'll see a string of yellow ovals across the top of the page. Start by clicking on the oval labeled "Home," and a dropdown menu will appear. On the dropdown, click on "My Journal." You will be taken straight to your journal page. There will be options along the side: you can click on "Start my journal" (or, if you've started it already, "Add a new post") to get started. You'll be given a template page to write on. First, type in your title at the top in the small box. Then in the larger box, write your journal entry. Move your mouse along the buttons at the top of the journal box to learn what they do—you can use those buttons to change fonts, boldface or italicize words, add links, and more. If you want to add a relevant photo to this entry, you can insert it at the bottom of the page in the spaces provided.
How do I make my journal private?
Making a journal private means no one can see what you've written but you. You can make your journal private by going to a specific entry. Click on "edit this entry." Once you're on the edit entry page, scroll down to the bottom. You'll see a link that says "Show this journal to." Pull down the bar next to it, and you can choose one of three options: "everyone," "group members only," or "just me." Choose "just me" if you want your journal to be private.
How do I join a group if I don't have a personal profile?
Alas, you can't. To join a group you must also create a personal profile, even if you only intend to hang out with your group.
What can my group do on the site?
Lots of things! Have discussions, select curriculum for group study, maintain a calendar of group events, raise money for a group cause, and more. Whether you meet in person or only online, Beliefnet Community is a way for your group to gather regularly in a focused, intimate way.
If my house of worship already has a website, can I use the Beliefnet community too? Absolutely. For one thing, you can use your Beliefnet community site to promote your existing website and the houses of worship activities. More important, this community has many tools that your own site might not have, including personal profile pages, journals, photo galleries and much more. When you're creating your group profile page, be sure to put a link back to your existing house of worship website, and vice versa.
If my group is part of a bigger organization, how do I connect my small group back to the larger organization or to other related small groups?
You can use tags and skins to connect your groups. Here's how. We'll soon be adding more features that will connect groups even better. If you're part of a large organization that would like to use Beliefnet Community in broader ways, please write to us here. (Select "partnerships" in the feedback drop down menu).
Who controls what goes on in a group?
Whoever first creates a group will be the administrator. However, the administrator can give other members of the group authority to help run the group, including deleting posts and deciding who can join the group.
Can I make a group private?
There are 4 privacy settings. When you create your group, you can select from these options:
What's the web address going to be for my group?
Your web address will be: community.beliefnet/yourgroupname (note: there is no need to include a 'www').
How do I post a video?
When you log into Beliefnet Community, you'll see a string of yellow ovals across the top of the page. Click on the one labeled "Video." You'll go to a page full of videos uploaded by other Beliefnet members. Across the top of the page there are blue buttons—click on the last one, which is labeled "Upload Videos." There are two kinds of videos you can upload to Beliefnet—one that comes straight from a file on your computer, or one that comes from a video sharing site like YouTube. If you have the first kind, click on the circle labeled "Upload file to Beliefnet." If you have the second kind, click on the circle labeled "Link from another site." If you're uploading a file directly to Beliefnet, hit "Browse" to go through your computer and pick the appropriate file. If you're uploading a video from YouTube, be sure to get the "embed code" (this is provided for you on any YouTube page, to the right of the video) and put it into the space marked "Link." Then type in your title for the video underneath. If you're OK with this video being seen by others on Beliefnet, click the "Share in gallery" button. When everything's ready to go, press the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page. You will then be taken to a confirmation page to let you know that your video was successfully uploaded.
How do I delete audio or video I posted?
If you want to erase an audio or video file, click on the navy button that says "Audio/Video." You'll be taken to a page that lists all the a/v files you've uploaded. To delete one of them, simply click the "delete" button next to the file.
What is a Donation Badge?
A Donation Badge is an easy way for you to raise awareness in the community about a cause that matters to you. Whether you are raising funds for a favorite charity or you're making collections for a house of worship, you can use your Donation Badge to let people know why and how they can donate to your cause.
Register for a badge through our partner Network for Good and then generate your badge embed code via Network for Good's website. You can get going on creating a badge by following the helpful steps provided here. Read the instruction to register and choose your favorite nonprofit organization from the list. The registration process will take you through the proper steps for choosing, building, posting and sharing your badge around the web. Check your badge regularly to offer updates on your cause and to watch your donations grow in real time. Share your badge by sending a link to friends and family.
Will people be able to see my email address?
Your email address is private and only used to log in to Beliefnet Community. If another member wants to contact you, they can send you a private message. If you choose to give another member your email address so you can keep in touch outside Beliefnet, please do so at your own discretion.
How do I report objectionable content?
Anytime you look at a photo on Beliefnet Community, there will be a button underneath that says "Report as Objectionable." If you think a photo is objectionable, click on the link. A white box will appear. In the white box, you can explain why you think the photo is objectionable. Make sure you are logged in, because we'll know how to contact you if there are questions. Once you've typed your reason in the box, click the blue "submit" button. If you are reporting a particular blog or journal entry, then click the "Report as Objectionable" button under that entry.
You can also report a specific member. Go to the member's profile page. Under his or her photo there is a button labeled "Report Member," which you should click on.
How do I activate the privacy settings?
When you log into Beliefnet Community, go to your Home page (if you're not already there). Click on the "edit my profile" button next to your user photo. You'll be taken to the editing profile page. Across the top of the page you'll notice some blue buttons. The last one is "Account Settings." Click on that one. On this page you can decide which things of yours (your profile, your photos, your blog, and more) are visible to the public, visible to your friends only, and which ones are only visible to you.
To see a complete list of the terms we use on Beliefnet Community, click here.
If you're looking for tips on building your profile, click here.
If you're trying to post video to Beliefnet. click here.
If you're an author who wants to promote your writing on Beliefnet, click here.
If you want to start a fan club, click here.
If you want to make a profile for your house of worship, click here.
If you want to start your own small group, click here.
If you want to start a support group, click here.
If you want information about creating your own donation badge, click here.
If you're looking for tips for creating, writing in, and sharing your journal, click here.