What is Elowel.org?
Elowel is a free blogging community. Free from charge, from from extraneous restrictions on free speech. It’s also an open source project.

How is the site funded?
User contributions, developer contributions, contributions from strangers.

I just signed up for an account and I don’t know what to do…
Post. Post to your journal, post replies to other people’s journals. Read someones journal.

How do I make my journal look cool?
There are three options to make your journal cooler:
Chose from one of the neat premade layouts
Make your own layout
Beg someone else to make a layout for you

Your journal code (HTML or CSS) can be found on your “Settings” page (which is a pretty neat page that allows you to customize your Elowel experience). Scroll past the Avatar and Mobile sections and you’ll see a little drop down menu for the Premade Templates. There are seven premade layouts to try out, and they’re pretty sweet.

If you want to make your own layout, go ahead! Making your own layout is a fun process that allows you to experiment and express yourself. that is, if you know what you’re doing with HTML or CSS. There some good sites out there that can help you learn basic coding. If you totally mess up the code you can always select one of the premade templates.

There are some pretty computer-savvy Elowel users out there, so you might be able to beg someone to make you a layout. Go ahead and try it by posting a request for one in your blog, but don’t be too annoying (ex:”Pleeeezeee some1 make me a layoutttt!!!”) and be sure to thank the user afterwards!

How do I get an avatar?
First of all, an “avatar” is that little picture which appears on the left hand side of your username. It appears whenever you make a reply and also on your menu. All avatars must be 60×60 pixels big. Here’s how you can get one:
Find the image you want. You might find one that’s already 60×60 pixels big, if so you’re lucky! If not, go on to step 2.

Make sure your picture is the right size. Remember, all avatars must be 60×60 pixels! You’ll need to crop/resize the picture with a photo program like Photoshop.

Upload your picture to the internet. Your avatar must be “hosted” online so that the internet can find the image and display it. Some people have their own servers that they can upload on, but most use free online storage sites like ImageShack.

Copy and paste the “image location” into the avatar area on the Elowel settings page. The image location is a web address that leads directly to your image, like this (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/vets/images/okapi.jpeg).

Scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and click Save Settings.

Log out and log back in.

Now go reply to someone’s journal and you’ll see if it worked!

How do I change my password?
It’s a good idea to change your password every once in a while, especially if your little brother or arch enemy finds out what it is! Luckily it’s easy to do: just go to the Settings page and scroll down to the last section, then change your password.

Hint: the best passwords are a combination of letters and numbers! Like frodo4ever or pancakes424.

How do I delete posts/replies?
You can’t delete posts, but you can click the “edit post” link on your journal and erase everything if you have second thoughts about it.

There is no way to edit or delete replies, so think before you type and remember that anyone and everyone can read it!

Why is my name so tiny/big on the users page?
The size of your name on the users page reflects your activity in the past month with size and color representing posts and received replies respectively. Remember, friend, that size matters not. but if you want your name to be bigger, be an active member of the Elowel community!

What’s the thing that says “on” beside my name in the “currently online” section?
That image is a representation of whether or not you are showing your online state to other users. Clicking it toggles your state. If you’re not using javascript, this can also be changed on your settings page under “disable online status.”

What are those star like objects beside some names? How do I get one?
They’re stars! Stars first appeared during the spring of 2006. Our server (an ancient Sun Ultra 5 in those days) was nearing failure and the domain name was coming up for renewal. The stars were a cheap and easy way for users to donate money to help us buy a new server and pay for the domain again.

It was totally a success! The money covered the cost of a new server utilizing components manufactured in this century and there was just enough left over to pay for the domain. Elowel users are super awesome.

If you’d like a star, the custom ones are still available. Paypal $10 to elowel at gmail.com and include a description of what you’d like. We’ll try to represent it in an 8×8 pixel image.

Does Elowel have some sort of users code of conduct or something?
The Elowel caretakers don’t want to limit your expression, but be aware that harassment is not cool and will not be tolerated. Just remember this ancient Baha’i prayer.

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.

Be fair in thy judgement, and guarded in thy speech.

Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger.

Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.

Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart,

and a fruit upon the tree of humility.

What’s the Talk page and how to I use it?
The Talk page is a place that all users can use to post questions or specific problems that aren’t answered here in the FAQ. If you want to post on the Talk page, go to http://talk.elowel.org and click the link that says “Write Post on Talk.”

Talk is the best place for bug reports and site issues, things you want to make known to elowel at large.

I would like to post but would not like people to know it’s me. How can I hide my disturbing voyeuristic practices and prevent another endless cycle of shame?
Post to anon. Anon is purposebuilt to store all the dark secrets and gross trivialities in your life.

I have a problem with another user or a problem that I don’t want to discuss on talk or I need my password reset.
Send an email to [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].

Who makes all this?
Paul, Alex, David and Max.

Who wrote this FAQ?
Mostly Sara, with a handful of additions by Max.

P.S.: What sort of XML services does elowel provide? RSS, XML-RPC and atom more and more each day.

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