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Community FAQ

Participation Guidelines

The TechSoup Community, including the forums and the blog, is a place for the open exchange of ideas. Your participation is governed by the TechSoup Global Terms of Use and these simple rules.

  1. Be considerate and fair. Feel free to engage in a spirited discussion or disagree with other participants. However, stay fact-based and avoid creating posts that insult individuals, companies, or organizations. Do not use profane, obscene, intolerant, or abusive language. Do not post anything that includes bigotry, racism, sexism, or hatred. Do not promote illegal activity or physical harm to anyone. Do not post anything that is harassing, libelous, abusive, vulgar, offensive, threatening, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Also, DO NOT SHOUT.
  2. Recognize that you are responsible for your words. You are responsible for the content of your messages. You may be liable for negligent, knowing, or willful misconduct, as well as for damages arising from these actions.
  3. No Spamming. Ever. Please do not start threads in our community only to promote or sell your products or services. You may reply to a post by someone else and mention your product. However, repeated posts with exactly the same information or overly enthusiastic endorsements of any product (whether or not the author is affiliated with the vendor) may be removed as spam by our moderators. You are also forbidden to contact users aside from the community to promote your services. Spammy accounts will be quickly banned.
  4. Stay on topic. We remind everyone that this is a technology discussion area for nonprofits and ask that you only post questions that relate to our mission.
  5. Obey copyright laws. Do not post any material that is protected by copyright unless you are the copyright holder or have the copyright holder's permission. Please provide proper attribution when you use permissive licenses or post items under fair use laws.
  6. Weigh tech decisions carefully. TechSoup is not responsible for any results obtained from information you get from our site, including any loss or damage caused by reliance on information obtained through a post in the TechSoup Community.
  7. Think before you click links. TechSoup is not responsible for the transmission of any viruses, worms, or other forms of malware that you acquire from visiting external links posted in our community.
  8. Be yourself. Do not choose a username with the explicit intention of impersonating another individual. Doing so is grounds for removal from this community.
  9. Have a thick skin when you read about your own product. People often discuss specific products in our forums, and remarks can range from high praise to sharp criticism. We make no attempts to regulate speech outside of the guidelines described here. Most of the time, we find that the best way to transform a negative discussion into a positive one is to actively engage knowledgeable people. In other words, treat a critical message as a chance to educate people about your viewpoint. Patiently addressing someone's concerns can turn an argument into a learning opportunity.

TechSoup reserves the right, but assumes no obligation, to remove or move offending posts and take actions we believe to be appropriate, up to and including terminating your account.

Forums

What are the TechSoup forums?

The TechSoup Community Forums are a community where you can get expert and peer answers to your tech questions. You can discuss issues relevant to the social benefit tech sector, offer advice to others, and comment on matters related to TechSoup's programs. We want our community to be a dynamic, collaborative, neutral space. We want nonprofits, NGOs, libraries, and other mission-based organizations to be able to ask for advice regarding a range of technology issues. And we invite a diversity of views about these issues.

Are the forums only for nonprofits?

Our forums are open to all who use tech for the greater good. This includes nonprofits, libraries, social enterprises, collectives, consultants, and other organizations focused on their mission instead of on profits.

Great! I'm a consultant. That means I can advertise my services in the forums!

Hold up. Spamming is strictly forbidden. You may certainly mention your services in response to an appropriate and germane question, but you do need to respond with helpful information. Please see our Participation Guidelines for more information.

How do I sign up?

If you are already a TechSoup member, your login information is the same. If not, you must become a member. In either case, please create a forums profile so our community can get to know you.

I'm brand new to the forums. Where do I start?

The Introduce Yourself forum is a great place to start. Let us know who you are, what you do, and what you're interested in. A friendly host will welcome you and help get you started.

How do I know when someone has responded to my post?

By default, you will be subscribed to receive email notifications from topics you post in. To opt out of notifications, uncheck Email Me Replies to This Post.

What are the symbols next to names?

The symbols seen next to each profile picture indicate various roles.

  • TechSoup Stars iconTechSoup Stars: You can become a TechSoup star by regularly visiting the forums, asking and answering questions, and offering useful, friendly, accessible advice and commentary. When you have filled out your online profile, posted at least 50 messages, and proven to be a particularly valuable member of our forums, you will become a TechSoup star.
  • TechSoup Gems iconTechSoup Gems: TechSoup gems are proven expert forum users who are also willing to volunteer a minimum amount of time every month. We ask that TechSoup gems post at least twice a week (or eight times a month) in the forums or in the comments section of the blog. These posts can be questions, answers, advice, or observations. TechSoup gems receive access to the TechSoup Royal Court, a private area on the TechSoup website for our leadership volunteers and TechSoup staff to discuss forum moderation and administration.

    A TechSoup gem

    1. Has been a TechSoup star for at least two months
    2. Has posted regularly since becoming a TechSoup star
    3. Has a proven track record of posting to help forum visitors with some aspect of information and communications technology
    4. Commits to posting a message to a forum or a comment on a blog post at least three times a month
    5. Commits to checking in on the TechSoup Royal Court forum at least twice a month
    6. Supports forum moderators in their work of ensuring that the TechSoup community remains a valuable resource
    7. Promptly notifies the TechSoup Community Forums manager before taking a break from TechSoup gem commitments, temporarily or permanently
  • TechSoup Hosts iconTechSoup Hosts: TechSoup forum hosts or moderators are knowledgeable, active community members who volunteer their time every week moderating the forum. They answer questions, start threads, encourage new users, guide users, ensure that each forum has something new posted at least once a week, and keep an eye out for inappropriate messages. Each forum host or moderator commits to spend at least three hours a week on these tasks in addition to their continuing commitments as TechSoup gems.
  • Ambassadors iconAmbassadors: Ambassadors are members of the TechSoup Ambassador Program.

Who are the moderators?

Mark Williams (Mark_W) — community manager, your host; TechSoup staff
Lewis Haidt (LewisH_) — senior manager, social media and online community; TechSoup staff
Yann Toledano (Yann) — host, Design and Web Building
Robert Weiner (rweiner) — host, Databases and Software
Christian (Christian_SEO) — host, Hardware, Networks and Telecommunications
Gary LaMontage (glamontagne) — host, Security; also Hardware, Networks and Telecommunications

Blog

What is the TechSoup Blog? The TechSoup Blog provides nonprofits and libraries with news, tips, and other information to help them better use and understand technology. From event updates and insightful analysis, to resource lists and online learning opportunities, the TechSoup Blog is the place for technology news for the nonprofit community.

Who are TechSoup's bloggers?

Our blog team is composed of TechSoup staff from across Content, Community, TechSoup product donations, TechSoup for Libraries, NetSquared, and other TechSoup Global Network teams and projects. We also have some terrific consultants and community forum moderators who contribute regularly to the TechSoup Blog. In addition, we feature posts from guest bloggers who are experts in nonprofit and library technology fields from around the world.

How do I participate?

If you are interested in contributing content to the TechSoup blog, please review our blog guidelines.

You can also read, rate, and share blog posts without joining TechSoup! Rate a blog post you like by clicking on the number of stars near the title of the post, where it says Rate This. You can also comment on posts and subscribe to posts via email or RSS feed.

How can I comment on a blog post?

In order to comment on a blog post, you must be logged in to TechSoup. If you are already registered on TechSoup, your login for the blog or forums is the same. If not, you must create an account. Learn more about creating an account and a forums profile.

To post a comment on a blog post, you may use the section at the bottom of a post where it says Leave a Comment and click Post when you're ready to share it.

I'm really interested in a specific topic. How can I keep up with all the latest posts?

You can subscribe to any blog post or to the full blog by email or RSS using the links in the My Control Corner or Options sections to the right when you are in the blog.

What is the licensing on the TechSoup Blog? Can I reuse or excerpt the content I find here?

While we authorize and encourage the use of our content, we feel it's important that our contributors receive appropriate credit. All content posted on the TechSoup Blog is published under a a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License. You are free to share or republish, as long as you attribute TechSoup clearly as the original source and include a link to the original blog post.

Other content throughout TechSoup.org, TechSoup Global's other websites, and our international partners' websites has individual licensing, so please see the specific restrictions for that content. If you're unsure about the licensing on a particular post or article, please contact us with any questions at copyright@techsoup.org.

Please note: In the case of images and multimedia that we have sourced from others, you need to obtain permission to republish with those authors or photographers directly, as they may have different terms from TechSoup.

Contact TechSoup's blog team

Questions or comments? Please contact us at blog [at] techsoup [dot] org.

Webinars

What is an online event?

An online event is a scheduled event that happens primarily over the Internet. At TechSoup, we currently offer webinars. Short for web-based seminars, webinars are usually presented as an interview, lecture, or demonstration from experts on a wide array of topics. These presentations can be slide-based and can include visits to live websites. TechSoup uses a variety of different tools to present webinars, including ReadyTalk.

How do I sign up?

Sign up for webinars using the registration link provided on the Events and Webinars page or in the webinar's email announcement.

How do I participate?

Detailed instructions will be emailed to you explaining how to join the webinar. You will need to hear and see the event, so carefully follow the instructions sent to you following registration. As participants primarily communicate with the presenters via chat, you will not need a microphone.

Are online events archived?

Most webinars are recorded and posted on the TechSoup website.

Are your online events accessible?

We're excited to offer live captioning for our webinars upon request. Please contact webinars [at] techsoup [dot] org 72 hours in advance with accessibility requests.

Whom do I contact for more information?

Contact our education team at webinars [at] techsoup [dot] org.