In this FAQ, you will find answers to the following questions:
1. How do I log in?
2. How do I create a new account and confirm my email?
3. What do the tabs on the main page mean?
4. How do I start a new discussion?
5. How do I reply to a discussion?
6. How do I send a Private Message (PM)?
7. How do I enter Chat?
8. How can I support Ben’s Friends?
9. Why does Ben’s Friends have corporate sponsors?
10. How can I improve discussions?
11. What do I do if I see a problem?
1. Log in
If you previously have registered an account, select “Log in.”
A pop-up will appear. Enter your email address in the “User” field, and password below. If you have forgotten your password, select “I forgot my password.” Enter your email and follow the instructions to reset your password.
That’s it! You will know you are logged in if your “Avatar” picture appears in the top right of the green bar.
2. Create a new account and confirm email
First, you must create a new account.
After creating your new account, two steps must occur before you can post and reply to discussions:
- You will have to confirm your email address
- Our moderator will approve your account.
Open your email inbox, and look for an email from Ben’s Friends. Click the link to activate your account.
Once our moderators have approved your membership, you will receive another email. As our sites are run by volunteers, it can take up to a few days for this to happen. You can still view discussions even if your membership isn’t approved. Once approved, you are good to go!
3. Understand the main page
Here you will find this summary (and others) instructing you how to use Ben’s Friends sites!
The Welcome tab contains our site guidelines, etiquette, privacy information and general information about your Ben’s Friends site.
The About tab contains information about the Ben’s Friends organization.
The General Discussion tab contains all the discussions by our members, listed in chronological order from when posted. You can also select the drop down menu (highlighted with the red rectangle and number 1 below) to sort discussions based on topic. For example, you can look at “Symptoms,” “New member introductions,” or “Treatment” categories (these vary between Ben’s Friends sites).
The Members tab contains a list of all members on the Ben’s Friends site. See “Send a PM” below for information on how to search for a member.
The Profile tab tells you how to update your profile, and change your password.
Here is our online Chat! Click on the tab for instructions.
The Search Bar
Enter a topic you are interested in, or use it to find old posts.
- The Menu Bar
The Menu bar gives you quick access to discussion topic categories, as well as this FAQ.
- Your Avatar button
Click here to access your profile page
You can bookmark posts for later, just like you do with internet pages. If you have bookmarked any posts, you will find them here.
Access your private message inbox here.
Here are your settings. You can update your username, email, “About you” section, and profile pictures here. You can also change your email preferences here.
Below these buttons, a list of your notifications will appear. You will get a notification if someone replies to your post, likes your comments, or sends you a private message.
4. Start a new discussion
From the “Home” page or the “General Discussion” page (sometimes called Forum), select “+New Topic” on the right-hand side of the website.
A new window will pop up from the bottom of the website. Name your post, choose a category to appropriately sort the topic of your post, and type your post! Click “+Create Topic” to post. That’s it!
5. Reply to a discussion
There are several ways to reply to a post!
1.The button at the bottom of the thread replies to the overall topic. Your reply will show up at the end of the current list of replies.
2.The button after each individual post replies to that particular comment / person. Your reply will show up at the end of the current list of replies, but will have an indicator to show that it is intended as a reply to a specific comment in the discussion. Another indicator will appear directly under that comment to show that it has received a reply. Click on either indicator to see full details of the discussion.
6. How to send a Private Message
If you know the name of the Member you want to private message, select the Members tab. Search for their name using the search icon, click on their Avatar picture, and select Message from the pop-up window.
If you would like to respond privately to a member in a discussion, select their Avatar picture, and choose Message from the pop-up window.
A Message box will pop-up from the bottom of the website. Fill out the fields, and select Message to send.
A copy of your message will be in your Inbox, which you can find by selecting your Avatar followed by the Message button.
7. How Do I Enter the Chat Rooms?
Just click on the Chat Tab at the top of you page (just right of center) and follow the instructions! Click on the Here an you are on your way! This is what you will see:
Click [Here] to enter chat!!
Be sure and use your “screen name” when it asks for your name! Type where it says “message” and click enter to post. You can register by clicking on the Gear Box. This way you won’t need to enter your name each time:
Enter your post where it says message and enter. Ther will be a slight delay before it posts in case you want to edit your post.
There is a presence feature (lower right hand corner of posts):
If you look at the time/date there is a red bubble for not online and green bubble for online.
Be sure and say HI when you enter the chat so everyone knows you are here!
8.How can I support Ben’s Friends?
HELP. SHARE. GIVE.
Reach out and HELP patients in your community by welcoming new members, making connections, joining discussions, and encouraging everyone on the journey.
GIVE to our 2017 campaign to add 10 new communities here: http://www.bensfriends.org/donate (Ben’s Friends is a non-profit 501©3 organization and all U.S. donations are tax deductible)
9. Why does Ben’s Friends have corporate sponsors?
Ben’s Friends is primarily supported by donations from individuals. However, we do accept donations from companies and organizations who have a special interest in our membership. In those cases, we always disclose this type of financial support.
10. How To Improve Discussion
Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.
The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.
One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.
11. What if I see a Problem?
If You See a Problem, Flag It Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police. When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.
In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time