FAQ for users

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Revision as of 16:07, 17 November 2012 by Jaywink (talk | contribs) (Clean dead/old links for getting help)
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Getting Help

What if my question is not answered below? Where else can I get support?

You can try a tutorial:

Or ask your specific question:

  • In a public post on Diaspora using the #question hashtag.
  • On IRC (Live support)

For more technical questions about maintaining pods or development/coding see the FAQ for Pod Maintainers and the FAQ for Developers.

Pods and Seeds

What is a pod? A pod is a server where Diaspora is running. There are lots of different pods. You can add friends from other pods and communicate with them. (You can think of a Diaspora pod as similar to an email provider: there are public pods, private pods, and with some effort you can even run your own.) "Pod" is a metaphor referring to pods on plants which contain seeds.

Is there a directory that lists public pods (servers) that I can join? Yes. For a list of unofficial, community-driven pods/servers, see podupti.me.

What is a seed? A seed is a profile or an account, and contains all the data of a specific user. Your seed interacts with the seeds of your friends to keep each other up to date. You can see it as a package of personal data...which is all yours! Seeds are hosted on servers running the Diaspora software, which are called 'pods'. In the future you will be able to move your seed between pods. For now, you can export a file containing all your information. "Seed" is a metaphor referring to seeds from a plant, which are contained in pods.

How can i join diaspora? You can freely sign up on any of the pod in the podupti.me list. You can choose your pod basing on the data on podupti.me, you can also check the pod nearest to you here. If you don't know where to sign up, diasp.org is usually known as a good pod, anyway any pod on that list works fine (check ratings too). All the servers communicate with each others, so no matter where you sign up, you will always be able to communicate with anyone from any pod. If once you've signed up you've got any question, just make a public post and tag it as #question.

I just joined a pod, how can I find people to share with? Invite your friends. Follow #tags to discover others who share your interests. Meet new contacts on this Diaspora Forum thread.

How do I use the search box to find particular people to share with? Search for their full Diaspora handle (e.g. `username@podname.org`). If you are on the same pod you can search for just their username. If a search does not work the first time, try it again. Once you have added someone to one of your aspects, you can search for them using just their username. (The person you are searching for will need to have "allow people to search for you within Diaspora" checked on the "edit profile" page.)

Aspects

What is an aspect?

Aspects are the way you group your contacts on Diaspora. An aspect is one of the faces you show to the world. It might be who you are at work, or who you are to your family, or who you are to your college friends.

When I post to an aspect, who sees it?

Only the people you have put in that aspect. Contacts you have that aren't in the aspect have no way of seeing the post, unless you've made it *public*.

Can I restrict the posts I see to just those from certain aspects?

Yes. Click on the aspects in the list on the left side of the main page to select or deselect them. Only the posts by people in the selected aspects will appear in your stream.

Do my contacts know what aspects I have put them in?

No. They cannot see the name of the aspect under any circumstances.

What does "make contacts in this aspect visible to each other" mean?

If you check this option then contacts from that aspect will be able to see who else joins it in "similar contacts", on your profile page under your pic. They still won't be able to see what the aspect is called.

If I remove someone from an aspect, or all of my aspects, are they notified of this?

No.

Can I rename an aspect?

Yes. In your list of aspects on the left side of the main page, point your mouse at the aspect you want to rename. Click the little 'edit' pencil that appears to the right. Click *rename* in the box that appears.

Once I have posted something, can I change the aspect(s) that can see it?

No, but you can always make a new post with the same content and post it to a different aspect.

Can I post content to multiple aspects at once?

Yes. When you are making a post, use the aspects menu to select or deselect aspects. Your post will be visible to all the selected aspects. Also, the aspect(s) that you have selected in the list on the left will automatically be selected in the aspects menu when you start to make a new post.

Can I add a person to multiple aspects?

Yes. Go to your *contacts* page and click *my contacts*. For each contact you can use the menu on the right to add them to (or remove them from) as many aspects as you want.

How do I delete an aspect?

In your list of aspects on the left side of the main page, point your mouse at the aspect you want to delete. Click the little 'edit' pencil that appears on the right. Click the *delete* button in the box that appears.

Public Posts

When I post something publicly, who can see it?

Both logged-in Diaspora users and the Internet at large can see a post you mark public.

How can other people find my public post?

Public posts are visible to anyone on your pod's tag pages and your profile page. Every public post also has a special public URL that anyone can view, even if they're not logged in - thus public posts may be linked to directly from twitter, hn, etc. Public posts may also be indexed by search engines.

Who can comment on, reshare, or like my public post?

Any logged-in Diaspora user can comment on, reshare, or like your public post.

When I comment on, reshare, or like a public post, who can see it?

Any logged-in Diaspora user and anyone else on the internet. Comments, likes, and reshares of public posts are also public.

What happens when I deselect one or more aspects when making a public post?

Deselecting aspects does not affect a public post. It will still appear in the streams of all of your contacts.

How do I like, reshare, or comment on the public posts shown on the tag pages?

Currently you can click on the time stamp ("_about an hour ago_") to go to the post's page to like, reshare, or comment on it.

Private Posts

When I post a message to an aspect (i.e., a private post), who can see it?

Only logged-in Diaspora users you have placed in that aspect can see your private post.

Who can comment on or like my private post?

Only logged-in Diaspora users you have placed in that aspect can comment on or like your private post.

Who can reshare my private post?

Nobody. Private posts are not resharable. Logged-in Diaspora users in that aspect can always copy & paste it, though...

When I comment on or like a private post, who can see it?

Only the people that the post was shared with can see its comments and likes (the people who are in the aspects that were selected by the original poster).

Public Profiles

Who sees my public profile?

Any logged-in Diaspora user, as well as the wider Internet, can see it. Each profile has a direct URL, so it may be linked to directly from outside sites. It may be indexed by search engines.

What's in my public profile?

Your name, your 5 tags, and your photo. It's the stuff in the top section of the edit profile page. Your profile page also shows any public posts you have made.

Who sees updates to my public profile?

Anyone can see changes if they visit your profile page on your pod. Public profile updates also propagate to the pods of people you are following, and the pods of people who are following you.

What do the tags on my public profile do? They help people get to know you. Your profile picture will also appear on the left hand side of those particular tag pages, along with anyone else who has them in their public profile.

Private Profiles

Who sees my private profile? Any logged-in user that you are following (meaning, you have added them to one of your aspects). However, people following you, but whom you do **NOT** follow, will see only your public information.

What's in my private profile? Bio, location, gender, and birthday. It's the stuff in the bottom section of the edit profile page. Logged-in users who can see your private profile will also see the private posts that they are allowed to see, mixed in with your public posts, when they visit your profile page.

Who sees updates to my private profile? Any logged-in user that you are following sees changes to your private profile. Changes are propagated to the pods of everyone you follow.

Sharing

What happens when I add someone to one of my aspects? Or when someone adds me to one of their aspects?

Let's say that Amy adds Ben to an aspect, but Ben has not (yet) added Amy to an aspect:

- Ben will receive a notification that Amy has "started sharing" with Ben.

- Amy will start to see Ben's *public* posts in her stream.

- Amy will *not* see any of Ben's *private* posts.

- Ben will *not* see Amy's *public* or *private* posts in his stream.

- But if Ben goes to Amy's profile page, then he will see Amy's *private* posts that she makes to her aspect that has him in it (as well as her *public* posts which anyone can see there).

- Ben will be able to see Amy's private profile (bio, location, gender, birthday).

- Amy will appear under "*Only sharing with me*" on Ben's contacts page.

This is known as asymmetrical sharing. If and when Ben also adds Amy to an aspect then it would become symmetrical, bi-directional sharing, with both Amy's and Ben's public posts and relevant private posts appearing in each other's streams, etc.

Who are the people listed in "Only sharing with me" on my contacts page?

These are people that have added you to one of their aspects, but whom you have not (yet) added to one of your aspects. In other words, they are sharing with you, but you are not sharing with them (asymmetrical sharing). If you add them to an aspect, they will then appear under that aspect and not under "only sharing with you". See above.

Is there a list of people whom I have added to one of my aspects, but who have not added me to one of theirs?

No, in the interest of helping to keep each person's own aspects private to them. However, you should get a one-time notification that someone has started sharing with you when they add you to an aspect.

When I add someone to an aspect, can they see older posts that I have already posted to that aspect?

No. They will only be able to see new posts to that aspect. They (and everyone else) can see your older *public* posts on your profile page, but they *may* also see them in their stream if you are both on the same pod, or if you are on different pods but someone on their pod is already following you. (Posts from the past are not shared between pods retroactively, but they may have already been shared between them when they were first posted.)

Posts and Posting

How do I hide a post? How do I stop getting notifications about a post that I commented on?

If you point your mouse at the top of a post, an X appears on the right. Click it to hide the post and mute notifications about it. There is a temporary "undo" option, and you can still see the post if you visit the profile page of the person who posted it.

How can I format the text in my posts (bold, italics, etc.)?

By using Markdown. Give it a try, or check out the full-blown Markdown Syntax.

How do I insert images into posts?

Click the little photo icon to insert an image into a post. Press the photo icon again to add another photo, or you can press the control key to select multiple photos to upload.

Can I insert images into comments?

The following Markdown code

![image text](image url)

can be used to insert images into comments as well as posts. It also allows more control over embedding images into the text of posts.

Can I customize the size of images in posts or comments?

No. Images are resized automatically to fit the stream. (And MarkDown) does not allow specifying the size of an image.)

How do I embed a video, audio, or other multimedia content into a post?

You can usually just paste the URL (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ ) into your post and the video or audio will be embedded automatically. These are some websites that are supported: YouTube, Viddler, Qik, Revision3, Hulu, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Cubbi.es. (Diaspora uses oEmbed for this feature.) Remember to always post simple, full links: no shortened links, no https; and refresh the page after posting for seeing the preview.


What is the character limit for posts?

10,000 characters. That's 9,860 more characters than you get on Twitter! ;)

What is the character limit for posts shared through a connected service (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) with a smaller character count? In that case your post is limited to the smaller character count, and the number of characters you have left to use is displayed. You can still post to these services if your post is longer than their limit, but the text is truncated on those services.

My stream is full of posts from people I don't know and I don't share with -- why are they in my stream? How can I remove them?

Your stream is made up of 3 types of posts:

  1. Posts by people you are sharing with, which come in two types:
  • Public posts.
  • Limited posts to an aspect that has been shared with you.

To remove them from your stream, simply stop sharing with the person. 1. Public posts containing one of the tags that you follow.

To remove these, stop following the tag.

  1. Public posts by people listed in the Community Spotlight.

These can be removed by unchecking the “Show Community Spotlight in Stream?” option listed under “Stream Preferences” in the Account tab of your Settings.

Tags

What are tags for?

Tags are a way to categorize a post, usually by topic. Searching for a tag shows all posts with that tag that you can see (both public and private posts). This lets people who are interested in a given topic find public posts about it.

Can I put tags in comments or just in posts?

A tag added to a comment will still appear as a link to that tag's page, but it will not make that post (or comment) appear on that tag page. This only works for tags in posts.

What are "Followed Tags" and how do I follow a tag?

After searching for a tag you can click the button at the top of the tag's page to "follow" that tag. It will then appear in your list of "Followed Tags" on the left. Clicking on one of your followed tags takes you to that tag's page so you can see recent posts containing that tag. Click on "Followed Tags" to see a stream that contains posts that contain one of any of your followed tags.

Who are the people on the left hand side of a tag page?

They are people who have listed that tag in their public profile.

How can I filter/exclude some tags (eg #newhere or #nsfw) from my stream? This is not (yet) available directly through Dispora, but some third-party tools have been written that might provide this.

Mentions

What is a "mention"? A mention is a link to a person's profile page that appears in a post. When someone is mentioned they receive a notification that calls their attention to the post.

How do I mention someone when making a post?

Type the "@" sign and start typing their name. A drop down menu should appear to let you select them more easily. However, adding mentions only works for people you have added to an aspect.

Can I mention someone in a comment?

No, not currently, but there is no harm in using the "@username" convention in comments anyway.

Is there a way to see the posts in which I have been mentioned?

Yes, click "_Mentions_" in the left hand column on your home page.

Resharing Posts

Can I reshare a public post with only certain aspects?

No, when you reshare a public post it automatically becomes one of your public posts. To share it with certain aspects, copy and paste the contents of the post into a new post.

Can I reshare a private post with only certain aspects?

No, it is not possible to reshare a private post. This is to respect the intentions of the original poster who only shared it with a particular group of people.

Account and Data Management

How do I move my seed (account) from one pod to another? In the future you will be able to export your seed from a pod and import it on another, but this is not currently possible. You could always open a new account and ask your contacts to search for it and add you again.

Can I download a copy of all of my data contained in my seed (account)? Yes. At the bottom of your settings page there are two buttons for downloading your data.

How do I delete my seed (account)? Go to the bottom of your settings page and click the close account button.

How much of my information can my pod administrator see? Communication *between* pods is always encrypted (using SSL), but the storage of data on pods is not encrypted. If they wanted to, the database administrator for your pod (usually the person running the pod) could access all your profile data and everything that you post (as is the case for most every website that stores user data). Running your own pod provides more privacy since you would control access to the database.

Can the administrators of other pods see my information? Once you are sharing with someone on another pod, any posts you share with them and a copy of your profile data are stored (cached) on their pod, and are accessible to that pod's database administrator. (There are plans to implement a system of privacy badges for pods so that you can easily understand to what degree the policies of someone else's pod would safeguard the privacy of your information, before you add them to one of your aspects.) When you delete a post or profile data it is deleted from your pod and any other pods where it had previously been stored.

Miscellaneous

Is there a quick way to go back to the top of a page after I scroll down?

Yes. After scrolling down a page, click on the grey arrow that appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window.


Are there photo or video albums?

No, not currently. However by clicking a users picture on their "profile" or "user page" you can view a stream of their uploaded pictures.

Can I subscribe to someone's public posts with a feed reader?

Yes, but this is still not a polished feature and the formatting of the results is still pretty rough (you get raw markdown text, for example). If you want to try it anyway, go to someone's profile page and click the feed button in your browser, or you can copy the profile URL (i.e. https://joindiaspora.com/people/somenumber), and paste it into a feed reader. The resulting feed address looks like this: https://joindiaspora.com/public/username.atom Diaspora uses Atom rather than RSS.

Is there a Diaspora Android-app?

You can find an alpha version of it here. It still under development, you can find here some infos about it and here the code. You can help developing it simply joining the google group.

Is it possible to connect my identi.ca account to diaspora and post my diaspora posts automatically on identi.ca?

Yes, you can make your public diaspora posts to be automatically posted on identi.ca. There are two methods:

  • Add your profile atom feed ( yourpod/public/yournickname.atom) to identica.

You can subscribe to a feed on identi.ca going to http://identi.ca/settings/mirror and set the infos

  • Follow this french (anyway clear) tutorial