What are all these new icons on the Forum?

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What are all these new icons on the Forum?

Postby Artisan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:35 pm

You will see that on the site are lots of orange “RSS” icons as well as clickable links to “Facebook” and “Twitter” as well as many more “Share” options. If all this social networking malarkey is not your cup of tea then just carry on as before as all the old features are still there. However if you want to join us on some other mediums then this article will explain what to do.

What do RSS Icons do?
“RSS” is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favourite websites. “RSS” stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to. In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added.

RSS reverses this process. If you want to know every time there is a new post at the UK Fibromyalgia forum, RSS will send you the new post automatically. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published. You do not have to sign up to every post that appears on the forum, you can specify which topic(s) that interest you the most, for example you may choose to receive updates on just the topics of “Medication” and “ Coping tips”. If you pick a big topic it may take a few seconds to load. It’s like subscribing to another fibromyalgia magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month, when the magazine is published, it is delivered to your ‘RSS Feed Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.
You will need a “RSS Feed Reader” to read the feeds as they are shot over to you. If you wish the UK Fibromyalgia site will do all this for you, once you click the little orange coloured icon saying “RSS” you will be given a range of options with which to see your forums threads on your computer. These offer options like:
Add to Google, My Yahoo, My MSN, My AOL, etc

Personally I find the easiest thing to do is use the “Add to Google” option. When you click this option you will be given yet two more options, this time choose “Add to Google homepage” .This will create an “iGoogle” page that besides having your forum updates as they arrive it will come pre-loaded with a lot of widgets like weather and news and the such like. Get rid of the widgets you don’t like by clicking the drop down bottom in the title box of each and just click “Delete this gadget”. In no time at all you can have a nice empty page with just the news feeds you want to see. If you are like me you will quickly get addicted to looking out for RSS feeds on your favourite websites and your iGoogle page will soon be filled with just the information that you want and you will probably end up making it your home page.

Facebook and Twitter
The buzz online now is all about social networking, with sites like Facebook and Twitter leading the way. This now means that instead of connecting rarely with fellow FM’ers you can now choose to interact with them on a daily basis if you so wish.
For people who already have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts you can jump to the end of the article to see how to log into our new features. If you are new to social networking and are curious and may want to get involved I will spend the rest of the article explaining how easy it is to have a Facebook page and or Twitter account.

Having resisted Twitter for a long time I now need to confess that as well as been a great method of communication it is also great fun. You can only send 140 characters so the messages are pithy and to the point. For the fibromyalgia community this means you can “Follow” organisations and people who have something to say about the condition. On a typical day you could receive Tweets about new research, Benefit news, blogs from sufferers and just the day to day feelings of fibromyalgia suffers like yourself.

For both Twitter and Facebook the great news is that you do not even need a computer. Modern day so called “Smart” phones can all easily be set up with an “app” that can enable you to see your Tweets as they arrive. The shop selling the phone will gladly show you how to download these widgets onto the phone to enable you to see the messages. You will probably find it easier to manage your Twitter account on a computer and find people and organisations that you want to follow. Eventually as you get going you will even find that your friends and family start following you, but perhaps not upto the two million followers that someone like Stephen Fry has hanging on his every tweet!

At the UKFM forum if you find a thread interesting you can add it to your own Twitter pages by clicking the “Tweet” button on the page where you have found the thread. It will send it together with the url so your followers can check it out as well.

Mark Zuckerberg only started Facebook in 2004 and as of now Facebook has a staggering 600 million active users. Once you have registered either on a computer or on your phone you may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common interest user groups, and this is where the fibromyalgia community is rallying.

If you search for fibromyalgia in Facebook you will find people and organisations who are “liked”. This is the same as “followers” on Twitter and the most popular fibromyalgia organisation with over 59,000 people “liking” them is the National Fibromyalgia Association of America. This does not mean that all the communities are American centric, many UK fibromyalgia organisations are quickly building up networks as more British people open Facebook accounts.

You can do much more in your Facebook account than you can in Twitter. It can be a discussion forum, an information resource, a place to watch videos, look at photographs and support worthy causes such as the acceptance of fibromyalgia as a serious medical condition.
As you read above in respect of Twitter you can say that you “Like” a UKFM forum thread by adding it to your own Facebook account by clicking the “Facebook” button (a small blue “f” icon) on the page where you have found the thread. It will send it together with the url so your friends can check it out as well.

If you have stuck with the article to the end-Congratulations- and I look forward to perhaps meeting you on a social network, sometime soon!

To follow UK Fibromyalgia on Twitter
Once you have created a Twitter account just click on the “Tweet” icon on the forum. Alternatively you can search for our name “ukfibromyalgia” at http://www.Twitter.com

To follow UK Fibromyalgia on Facebook
Once you have created a Facebook account just click on the blue “f” icon on the forum. Alternatively you can search for our name “ukfibromyalgia” or “martin westby” at http://www.facebook.com
Malcolm (UKFM Forum Admin)
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