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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ | IMC User's Manual [Click to see summary view]

A step-by-step guide to using IMC's chat services.

If you've just gotten started with IMC and don't quite know what to do, this document should help. Here is every major function of IMC's chat services, explained in detail.

Logging In and Entering Rooms
Once you receive your user confirmation email, you can go to the IMC homepage and enter your username and password in the boxes near the top of the screen. (If you get an error logging in, make sure your password and username are EXACTLY the way they are in the confirmation email.)

The first thing you'll probably want to do once you have your IMC account is to enter a chatroom and get a feel for the way IMC's system works.

The doorway page for each chatroom has three links on the right-hand side that let you access the room in one of three modes: Frames, No Frames and Streaming.

Public Vs. Private Rooms

IMC has two types of chatrooms: public and private. Public rooms are openly advertised on the site and are available to everyone. Private rooms are created by individual users and can only be accessed by users who know the private room name.

If people want to found a new room, they need to create it as a private room first, advertise for it, and insure that it enjoys enough popularity over time to be worthy of being made public. (Click here for more information on making your own room.)

You can also create invite-only private rooms, one to a user, where you can allow in onlu the people you wish -- for instance, if you wanted to have a room staff conference.

Click here to see a list of all the public and supported private rooms on the site on one page.

No Frames

No Frames is the most basic mode for viewing IMC. Combined with No Frills, No Frames will work in just about any browser on just about any computer. If you're not sure your computer can handle anything else, start with No Frames.

Frames

Frames mode requires a browser capable of displaying frames (which the vast majority of browsers can do at this point). The left-hand side of the Frames page is taken up by a vertical banner which describes the contents of the room and usually contains a few relevant links, such as to the room's homepage or message board. The right-hand frame is split into two sections -- the top of which contains the posts to the room and the bottom of which contains the panel used to send posts to the room.

When using Frames, you'll need to refresh the posts section of the screen by clicking on the Update button in the top frame.

Streaming and Detached Streaming

Streaming is almost identical to Frames, but has one important difference. All posts sent to the room appear in real-time -- no refreshing needed. They are "streamed" to your browser as they are posted to the room.

If you want Streaming to scroll automatically, click the link marked "Scroll", in the gray margin between the user's area and the room area. "Fast" makes the scrolling move twice as fast, and "Stop" turns it off completely. We have found that in Netscape 6, the links do not show up for some reason, but they can be forced to appear by clicking in the gray area to the left side and dragging downwards. We are working on resolving this problem. Scrolling works in IE (all versions) and NS (all versions), but we have not tested it completely with other browsers.

Streaming will not work in more than one browser if you are using IE 5.0 on Windows 95, 98 or Me. It may also time out after a few minutes of inactivity, but we have found that this is a fixable problem (see the entry "Streaming stops after a few minutes"). Windows 2000 and Macintosh users do not appear to be affected.

Streaming and Frames both require cookies and JavaScript to operate.

We have also found that some web browsers do not work well with Streaming no matter what. Konqueror, the web browser for KDE in Linux, for instance, does not appear to handle Streaming properly.

There is another variant of Streaming called Detached Streaming. This mode "detaches" the Send panel and allows you to position it freely around the screen, and also features a bigger box for typing. Some people enjoy this more than the conventional Streaming.

If you're using Streaming and are not sure if the stream is still active at a given time, we recommend you turn on the Heartbeat function and set the keep-alive timeout to ten seconds. This prints a stream of dots in between each post to show that you're still connected; if the dots stop printing, you need to refresh.

If Streaming gives you problems, you may want to consider using New Streaming.

New Streaming

If the regular version of Streaming (and Detached Streaming) doesn't seem to be well-behaved, you can try using a different version of Streaming, called -- appropriately enough -- New Streaming. To use it, go to /users/streaming and select "Use the New Streaming mode."

When you enter Streaming using the new mode, you'll notice a green "LED"-style indicator in your Send Panel that occasionally flickers yellow. The green light means you have active connectivity to the site; the yellow light means your browser is attempting to connect to the site and get new messages.

If the light turns red and stays red, that means you've lost connectivity. Don't reload the browser -- the system will re-establish contact on its own and pick up where you left off. A blue dot means you have reached the end of the current stream and will need to click on the link at the bottom of the stream to reload it.

New Streaming works best in IE6+, Firefox 1.5+ and other comparable browsers. It has been partially tested in Opera and found to be functional, but has not been tested in anything else yet, including any version of the Mac Safari browser. (Note: If you are using FF 1.1, upgrade to 1.5 or better as soon as possible as there are many fixes. New Streaming does not work in 1.1.)

The Formatting of a Post

The posts that you see in the room appear in the order they were posted in, with the newest being the last (or closer to the bottom of the screen.) An average post will probably look something like this:

Let's examine everything we see here.

The image you see is an image that the chatter has chosen to assign to this particular handle. Images can be assigned on a handle-by-handle basis, but must fall within the rules IMC has established for image sizes and content. The image also needs to be on an Internet server that can link images remotely.

The gummi or graphical icon right next to the chatter's name and "tags" (the text in black) shows what kind of user they are based on the color. If you hover the mouse over the gummi, you can see what level of chatter they are. You can also click the gummi to bring up a panel that lets you send that user a private message in a room (although that's not enabled here, of course).

The two tags in black surrounding the user's handle (in blue) can be configured to tell other people more about this handle, especially if it's a handle for a character you are playing. The handle itself can be hotlinked to a homepage or a character sheet.

The parenthetical comment can be used to specify a character's location or a quick personal note or two.

The ICQ and AIM sections are optional, but if you use either of these very popular instant-messaging programs, you can supply your ICQ and/or AIM information.

The date, time, and message number of the post come last. These are useful for logs of RP, and also for reporting incidents to room hosts or SysOps.

Tear-Offs

If you activate the Enable "tear-offs" function in the Send Panel Tools section of the Users area, you'll be able to "tear off" a post that's made to a room by simply clicking on its post number.  When you do this, the post opens up in a separate window, along with a number of control functions:

  • OOC/All: If you click on one of the links in this row, you'll be able to navigate back and forth by all the posts made under that handle.  If you click on "Check for next post", the tear-off will check to see if another OOC post has been made under that handle.  If you click "Auto", the tear-off will automatically check for another OOC post made under that handle every few seconds.
  • IC Only: If you click on one of the links in this row, you'll be able to navigate back and forth by all the posts made under that handle, but only the posts made in character will appear.  If you click on "Check for next post", the tear-off will check to see if another IC post has been made under that handle.  If you click "Auto", the tear-off will automatically check for another IC post made under that handle every few seconds.
  • IC Only: If you click on one of the links in this row, you'll be able to navigate back and forth by all the posts made under that handle, but only the posts logged to whatever log you have running that is capturing that handle will appear.  If you click on "Check for next post", the tear-off will check to see if another logged post has been made under that handle.  If you click "Auto", the tear-off will automatically check for another logged post made under that handle every few seconds.
  • Flip OOC/IC: Reverses the OOC/IC setting of that post.  This is handy if you make an in-character post with the OOC box checked by mistake and don't want to go through the trouble of reposting the whole thing.
  • Shift post to other handle: Click this and you'll get a handle list (the same as the active handle list for that room).  Select a handle and click Move, and you'll reassign that post to the selected handle.  This is useful if you post ICly under the wrong handle and, again, don't want to repost.  Logged posts are also updated.
  • Yank from log [logname]: Yanks the post in question from the log in question.  This is the same as the "yank" function in the log viewer, so a yanked post can always be restored.

How to Mark Up Tags and Posts with HTML

IMC recognizes a few of the most commonly used HTML tags, so you can mark up your tags and your in-room posts (as well as posts to the Message Boards) with them. Tags that aren't recognized by IMC will simply be stripped out, so anything you post that doesn't use a legal tag may vanish.

Here is a list of legal HTML tags:

  • <b>: Bold
  • <i>: Italic
  • <u>: Underscore
  • <font>: Lets you define a font. To change the font to Tahoma, for instance, use <font face="Tahoma">. To close a tag, do NOT use another tag -- use </font> instead!
  • <center>: Centers text. Close this with </center>.
  • <spoiler>: Prints an item as black-on-black (which can be revealed by swiping the cursor over it as if selecting the text for copying).
  • <caps>: Renders text in Small Caps format.

If you want to create the < and > characters without them actually being part of a tag, use << and >>.

If you want to post a URL, simply post the URL with the HTTP:// header and it will automatically be converted into a hotlink.

If you want to post an email address and have it converted into a hotlink, prefix it with mailto:.

If you want to create a link with a custom text (i.e., something other than the URL itself), use this format:

"link text"|http://www.url.com

The text to use as the link should be enclosed in quotes.

You can also use hotkeys in IE and Firefox/Netscape to mark up text with HTML:

  • Ctrl-Shift-I: Italics
  • Ctrl-Shift-B: Bold
  • Ctrl-Shift-U: Underline
  • Ctrl-Shift-L: spoiLers
  • Ctrl-Shift-X: Strikethrough
  • Ctrl-Shift-C: ALL CAPS

If you highlight text and hit one of these hotkeys, the highlighted text will be surrounded by the tags in question. If you just hit a hotkey when there's no highlight, you'll get a pair of nested tags.

To see a menu of the hotkey choices in most text areas, press Ctrl-Shift by itself. Press Ctrl-Shift a second time to dismiss the menu, or wait a few seconds.

If you press a key while the menu is open, you insert that tag -- for instance, if you open the menu and press "I", you get the italics tags.

Problems With Keybindings In Some Browsers

Some people have reported when using Firefox 2.0 that fast-access keys in rooms (like Alt-S to send) don't work. That's because Firefox 2.0 uses a different default keybinding for fast-access keys in webpages: it's now Shift-Alt instead of just Alt alone, to keep it from conflicting with the regular menu commands.

If you liked the old behavior, you can fix this manually. Type about:config in the URL bar in FF, hit Enter, and then in Filter type ui.key to narrow down the results. Set the following values:

ui.key.chromeAccess to 4
ui.key.contentAccess to 4

This should cause the key bindings to behave like they used to.

Note that if some keybindings do not work, you may have another application that is trapping them. ICQ, for instance, traps Ctrl-Shift-I by default no matter what program you're in.

Note also that some browsers trap the hotkey commands as well. Flock, for instance, traps Ctrl-Shift-B to open a blog client window. If the cursor is anywhere other than the text area when you're typing, then the browser's commands take precedence.

Gummis

You're probably noticed the little icon by your handle. There's a method to the madness. The actual design of the icons may change in time to accommodate those with older monitors or who have trouble otherwise distinguishing colors.

(You can also hover the mouse over the icon to get a text label that indicates what the icon means.)

The red, shiny, CANDY-LIKE icon indicating that this person is a SysOp and has the highest level of clearance, site-wide. SysOps are still expected to conform to room standards of behavior and behave respectfully towards the room Host, Staff and chatters. This icon will always show as red no matter what room the SysOp is in as SysOps are always on duty.

The inverse red/black icon you see here is the mark of one of our Site Staff. The Site Staffers are the SysOp's right hands, and have a variety of duties ranging from mediation to providing content to this site. Site Staff are still expected to conform to room standards of behavior and behave respectfully towards the room Host, Staff and chatters. This icon will always show as red no matter what room the Site Staffer is in as they are also always on duty

The yellow-gold icon will appear next to the handle of the room's host. In other rooms where this person is not a host, the icon will change accordingly to indicate that the person may be a staff member or a chatter. This person has the second-highest site clearance. Think of room hosts as the mayors of their chatrooms. They should be treated with respect, and if a chatter has a problem with how the host behaves, a complaint should be filed by email to a member of the room's staff, or on the room's accompanying message board. Flaming the room host (or anyone else in a room) just might end up getting someone banned. Since hosts have the ban power, guess which party that will be?

This gummi shows that you have just found one of the room's co-hosts. In rooms with more than one host, you will find both co-hosts wearing this gummi. All other information as written for Hosts above applies.

This one, in green, will show that the chatter is room staff. Like the host icon, it will change according to the position the person holds in any given room. Staff are like hosts, in a way. They should be treated with respect. They may not be able to personally ban, but they are authorized to contact a SysOp if the host is not available. They have lower site clearance than SysOps and Hosts. If you have a problem with a member of room staff, politely email your complaint to the room host and the room host will deal with it.

This gummi denotes an assistant to the room staff, or a room staffer in training. Otherwise, all information is as shown above for room staff.

This gummi denotes someone who works in room support. It's a way to reward chatters who are not a part of the room staff, but do work to help the room become a better and more inviting place to roleplay. These gummis are awarded at the host and staff's discretion. Such people do not participate directly in the setting of room policy, and they don't have a say in things like determining who gets promoted or demoted or removed from the room entirely. But they do serve a useful function in terms of things like explaining rules to newbies, providing quick answers to simple questions, and making people feel welcome. So, in short, they're not staff -- they're more like honored chatters. Hence the inverse blue.

This icon is for just plain folks; garden-variety IMC chatters. Make no mistake, though -- without the people who are 'just chatters', we have nothing of value here. As with the other levels of clearance, these people should be treated with respect. Yes. You should be treated with respect. Everyone should be. If you have a complaint with another chatter, instead of flaming, politely email a member of room staff about the matter. If it turns out that the chatter is not a regular part of your community, email the SysOps about the problem. We WILL take care of it.

Posting To A Room

To post to a room, type the text of your post in the box at the bottom of the window and click "Send/Update." If you have more than one handle registered to your account (and who doesn't?), you can select which handle you post with from the drop-down list just above the text box.

The check box labeled OOC lets you specify whether or not the post you are making is Out Of Character -- in other words, if you are just posting as yourself, not as the character you are playing. Many rooms require that the OOC box be marked to designate all OOC talk. You can also assign the OOC box to be pre-checked when you post with certain handles (such as handles that you reserve for OOC talk).

Fast Access Keys

If you're using Internet Explorer 6 or Mozilla/Netscape 6 or higher, there are several keyboard accelerators you can use in Frames and Streaming when posting to a room:

  • Alt-Q: Brings the cursor to the drop-down list of handles so you can select from them.
  • Alt-W: Brings the cursor to the text area.
  • Alt-O: Toggles the OOC box.
  • Alt-S: Sends the post.
  • Alt-L: Locks or unlock the handle list when the handle-list locking option is enabled
  • Alt-Z: Refreshes the top frame in Frames and Streaming modes.
  • Alt-P: Pops up a preview window when that option is enabled.

You can also use hotkeys in IE and Firefox/Netscape to mark up text with HTML:

  • Ctrl-Shift-I: Italics
  • Ctrl-Shift-B: Bold
  • Ctrl-Shift-U: Underline
  • Ctrl-Shift-L: spoiLers
  • Ctrl-Shift-X: Strikethrough
  • Ctrl-Shift-C: ALL CAPS

If you highlight text and hit one of these hotkeys, the highlighted text will be surrounded by the tags in question. If you just hit a hotkey when there's no highlight, you'll get a pair of nested tags.

To see a menu of the hotkey choices in most text areas, press Ctrl-Shift by itself. Press Ctrl-Shift a second time to dismiss the menu, or wait a few seconds.

If you press a key while the menu is open, you insert that tag -- for instance, if you open the menu and press "I", you get the italics tags.

Problems With Keybindings In Some Browsers

Some people have reported when using Firefox 2.0 that fast-access keys in rooms (like Alt-S to send) don't work. That's because Firefox 2.0 uses a different default keybinding for fast-access keys in webpages: it's now Shift-Alt instead of just Alt alone, to keep it from conflicting with the regular menu commands.

If you liked the old behavior, you can fix this manually. Type about:config in the URL bar in FF, hit Enter, and then in Filter type ui.key to narrow down the results. Set the following values:

ui.key.chromeAccess to 4
ui.key.contentAccess to 4

This should cause the key bindings to behave like they used to.

Note that if some keybindings do not work, you may have another application that is trapping them. ICQ, for instance, traps Ctrl-Shift-I by default no matter what program you're in.

Note also that some browsers trap the hotkey commands as well. Flock, for instance, traps Ctrl-Shift-B to open a blog client window. If the cursor is anywhere other than the text area when you're typing, then the browser's commands take precedence.

Private Messages (PMs) and the PM Panel

If you want to send a private message to someone, click on the gummi next to their picture and you'll get a panel that you can use to send private messages. All private messages are coded with a strong yellow border to differentiate them from regular messages, along with labels that tell you who the message is from.

Private messages cannot be read by anyone else in the room, not even room admins.

Ignoring Chatters
If a chatter is bothering you or is simply posting irrelevant material, click on their gummi and hit the Ignore button. From then on, all their posts (in all rooms, not just this one) will be ignored. You'll see an indicator that the user in question has posted to the room, but you won't see their post.

If you want to un-ignore someone, click on the Unignore button in the Private Message panel for that user.

Blocking Images
If you don't like the images that someone is using on a specific handle, click the gummi on a post that uses that handle and click the "Block images" button in the PM panel. Likewise, to unblock the image, click "Unblock." Note that this works on a handle-by-handle basis, not image-by-image.

The Attributes Panel

The Attributes Panel is one of the most important things you'll need to familiarize yourself with in IMC. This is the place where you make changes to almost all of your handle and MUN account information.

The Attributes Panel is accessed by clicking the "Attributes" button when you are in a room. If you have a pop-up blocker, you will need to tell it to allow popups from the site before the Panel becomes visible.

Note that none of the changes you make in the Attributes Panel take effect until you hit Submit. Also, the Attributes panel does not automatically update when you switch handles. You must switch to a different handle and then click Attributes again to edit Attributess for that handle.

Email
The Email field lists the email address that is your contact for this MUN account. You MUST use a valid email address; if we find that your email address is not valid, your account will be locked until you can provide a valid one.

No Frills
The No Frills box, when checked, turns off all images in rooms except for gummis and sidebars. This is useful for people on slow connections or primitive browsers.

Handle Name/Image
The Handle Name and Image section list the name of the handle you posted with last, as well as the image associated with that handle. To display an image, enter a fully-qualified URL for the image, such as http://www.myserver.com/myimage.jpg This cannot be a file on your local computer. Also, many free web hosting companies no longer allow you to remotely link to images on their servers. If you want, you can upload an image locally using the Image Uploader. Images stored in your uploader can be accessed quickly from the drop-down below the "Image URL" textbox. (If you have images grouped with that particular handle, they will show up first in the drop-down for easy access.)

Pre-Handle Tag
The Pre-handle tag field lets you specify a text that goes before your handle. A space is automatically inserted between the pre-handle tag and the handle itself.

Post-Handle Tag
The Post-handle tag field lets you specify a text that goes after your handle. A space is automatically inserted between the post-handle tag and the handle itself.

Tagline
The Tagline field lets you specify the parenthetical comment that goes after your post-tag. The parentheses are added automatically.

Handle Link
The Handle Link field lets you specify a URL to link to your handle, so that people can see, for instance, a character sheet when they click it. This must be a fully-qualified URL.

OOC By Default
The OOC By Default box, when checked, means that this handle will post as OOC by default.

Toggle Room List | All Handles
The Toggle Room List | All Handles links brings you to pages where you can choose which of your handles appear in the drop-down list in the posting panel. If you have a lot of handles that you don't normally use, you can shut them off temporarily this way without deleting them. Also, if you are on a slow connection, having less handles active will make your pages load faster.

Set This Handle As My Default
Clicking Set this handle as my default will make the current handle the default handle that comes up when you enter a room. You can always reassign this later.

Paste Tags From...
If you have tags in your Tag Library, you can paste them automatically by selecting a tag library entry from this drop-down and hitting Submit.

The Who's On Panel

The Who's On panel is a list of who has posted to the current room, either publicly or privately, within the past five to ten minutes. People who lurk in rooms will not show up here. You can also click links on the top of the panel to view who's on the whole site, and to sort the list by rooms or by people.

Colored icons next to a user name indicate that the person in question holds rank in a given room. Hover the mouse over the icon to see their rank. A smiley face () means that person is an IMC Friend.

Using the RP Logging / Recording Function

The RP Logging and Recording function allows you to record actions in a room by handle and then download the resulting log later from your /USERS panel.

When you want to log an RP in a room:

1. Open the Who's On panel.
2. Click on Record.
3. Check off all the HANDLES you wish to log -- the log works by HANDLE, not USER.
4. Type a short descriptive name for the log in the "Log name" box.
5. Press Record.

Logging will commence.

To add a handle to a log in progress:

1. Check the name of the handle.
2. Check the box next to the name of the log that you want to add them to. Don't type anything in the "Log name" box.
3. Click Record.

To stop logging a handle in a given log:

1. Check the name of the handle in the little list of names next to the log name. (If you have a log in progress, you'll see this.)
2. Click STOP.

To stop logging a given log entirely:

1. Check the box next to the name of the log.
2. Click STOP.

To download a stopped log:

1. Go to Users | Room/RP Utilities | Download Logged RP.
2. Click the name of the log to download.

See the separate help document we have on this function.

You do not need to keep Who's On open to continue logging. The logging function will continue in the background even if you close the browser.

If you want to start recording from a previous point in the day, check the "Start log from..." box and select the time to start recording fowards from.

You can also use "Start log from..." to append already-made posts to a log. For instance, if you continue a paused scene but forget to hit Resume before you start the actual RP, you can simply finish the scene, select the log in question, select a time from the "Start log from..." dropdown, and hit Resume. Any posts you've made in that time frame using the handles in that log will be appended to the existing log.

Private messages to or from people are not recorded in logs. This is by design and is a security feature.

All RP logs are closed and deleted automatically one month after they are opened.

If you want to create a quick link to the Log panel in your Launchbar, you can do so by adding it manually.

The Dice Panel

The Dice panel lets you roll dice in a room and print the results. Select the number and type of dice you want to roll by selecting or filling in the appropriate fields, then click Roll to roll. The results will appear in the room in a bold, unmistakeable format.

The Launchbar

The Launchbar is the gray bar that sits between the area with the room's posts and the user panel, and is used for many common functions such as launching Who's On. In No Frames mode, it sits below the area where you make your posts.

You can edit the Launchbar , adding or deleting items as you need them. Go to http://im-chat.com/users/bar/, or click on "Edit Launchbar" in the /USERS section of the site. Note that when you put something into the Launchbar, it won't always show up in all modes.

Here's a rundown of all the functions currently available from the Launchbar:

  • Scroll Back | Scroll | Scroll Fast | Stop Scrolling: Controls the scrolling behavior of the main window in Streaming mode. The (no click) versions of these controls do not require that you click on the links to work; you can simply wave the mouse over them.
  • Who's On | Who's On (Sitewide) | Who's On (Sitewide, In Rooms): Opens the Who's On window in the desired mode. You can always switch between these three modes for Who's On when the window is open, but this allows you to choose which version of the window you want to open by default.
  • RP Log: Opens the Who's On window in logging mode.
  • Jump: Opens the room-jump menu.
  • Bookmark This Link: Allows you to bookmark entry into a given room. This function is no longer really needed since it's now possible to bookmark directly into a room no matter what, but it's being maintained for the sake of backwards compatibility.
  • Logout: Log out from the site completely.
  • Room Doorway: Go back to the doorway for the current room.
  • Home: Go back to the top of the site (although remain logged in).
  • Site BBS: Opens the sitewide message board. The (Separate Window) version of this link will open themessage board in another browser.
  • Room BBS: Opens the message board for this particular room. The (Separate Window) version of this link will open the message board in another browser.
  • To Streaming | Detached Streaming | No Frames | Frames: Switches you automatically to the selected room mode. Note that if you are already in that mode, the link in question will not appear (i.e., if you add "To Streaming" to your Launchbar and you're in Streaming, you won't see it).
  • Users Section: Jumps to the Users section of the site.
  • Gummi Control: Jumps to the subsection of the Users section that lets you toggle or edit your room-gummi properties.
  • Handle Editor: Jumps to the subsection of the Users section that lets you control your handles.
  • Image Uploader: Jumps to the subsection of the Users section that lets you upload images for use with your account. The (from handle) version of this link will let you immediately upload images that are grouped with the currently-selected handle. The (thumbnail mode) version of this link lets you go directly to the Thumbnail View version of the Image Uploader (recommended).
  • Image Strip: Lets you open and close a strip right above the Launchbar where you can see all the images (uploaded through the Image Uploader) grouped to a particular handle. Click on a particular image to assign that image to the handle. The (from handle) version of this link (recommended) lets you open an Image Strip for the currently-selected handle. The "[X]" next to the Image Strip link will close the Image Strip when you don't need it. [There is a visual demonstrationof this feature available. You'll need the Flash plugin to view it.]
  • Character Sheet Editor: Opens the Character Sheet Editor function found in the Users section.
  • Notepad: Opens the Notepad function found in the Users section.
  • Hosts Panel: Jumps to the Host Panel for the current room. Note that if you are not a host, this will not show up.
  • Character List: Opens the Character List function found in the Users section, which lets you create lists of characters for the room you're in (or any other room).
  • Reopen Detached Panel: If you like to use the detached Send panel found in Detached Streaming in other room modes, you can add this link to the Launchbar. The link shows up as an "[O]". When clicked, it opens a version of the detached Send panel which functions alongside the main Send panel. You can use this to post from, say, an IC handle and an OOC handle at the same time.
  • Private Message: Click this to set the Post panel in "Private Message" mode, rather than clicking on someone's gummi to open a separate window.
  • Handle List: Opens the the Handle List function in the Users section, which lets you set custom lists of handles for each room. The currently-selected room will be the default for editing when you do this.

Jump Menu, Logout, Bookmark This Link

The Jump Menu lets you move from room to room quickly. Selecting it gives you a list of all available public rooms on IMC. To switch, select the appropriate room from the list and hit Jump To.

The Logout link logs you out of IMC quickly.

The Bookmark This Link For This Room link gives you a quick way to make a bookmark for the current room.

System Messages

System Messages are posts that are directed to all rooms, public and private, to announce something important. They have a bold yellow background and the words "IMC SYSTEM MESSAGE" at the top of the message. Do not respond to these messages. They are the equivalent of an announcement over the P.A. in a public place. Usually we use these to announce imminent system shutdowns, new rooms, problems, or other important breaking information.

Where'd all the posts go?

If you had posts in a room and you can't scroll back (in Frames or No Frames) to see them anymore, check IMC's clock. At 8AM every day the database of posts is emptied out and moved to the post archive.

The IMC Forum

What is the IMC Discussion Forum?
The IMC Discussion Forum is a series of host- and sysop-maintained bulletin boards, or BBSes, on which registered IMC users can post and respond to topics of interest.

The Forum is broken into two categories: the Main IMC BBS Folder and the Room Bulletin Boards.

Main IMC BBS folders
The Main IMC BBS folders contain messages of interest to all IMCers. These are organized into several folders, such as General IMC Announcements (for new information), Roleplaying Rec Room (for people looking for RP or starting new rooms), and so on.

When you post to a folder, you can also select a subtopic to post with, which will vary depending on the forum you are in.

Room Bulletin Boards
The Room Bulletin Boards are BBSes devoted to public rooms on the site. These are moderated and maintained by the hosts of those rooms. Here, you can post and reply to subjects of interest for those rooms. You can also categorize your posts, same as you can on the main BBSes.

Reading the forums
When you enter a folder in a forum, you will see the messages organized into "threads" based on topics. Every reply to a message is indented and below the message being responded to. Click on the message title to read the message, and you can reply directly to it in the space provided below.

The most recently-posted-to threads are moved to the top of the list. This way current topics stay current, and less popular ones are pushed down. Older topics may be deleted entirely by the hosts or sysops.

Private Forums
If you are creating a private, unsupported room and want to use the Message Board system, you can do so by choosing a name for your private message board and typing it into the box on the main Forum page. Because these forums are unsupported, there are many features not available in them -- pinning of messages, locking of threads, and so on. Any threads in the private forum are automatically deleted after not being posted to or revised for thirty days. Messages in these private forums are also checked regularly by the admins for abuse.

Administering Forums
Room hosts can administer the message boards for their public rooms in several ways:

Messages can be deleted by simply clicking the Delete link next to a message. Note that when you delete a message, all of its subordinate messages vanish as well.

The Prune function allows you to take a message from a thread and turn it into a new thread, with all of its subordinate messages attached. The Graft function does the opposite -- it attaches one thread to another at a particular point.

Pin allows you to insure that a particular thread remains at the top of the message board. This is useful for announcements or topically relevant posts.

Lock prevents any further changes or additions to be made to a thread.

Forum Rules
No flaming. Flaming is when you attack someone personally instead of discussing their point of view. "I think you're wrong and here's why" is not flaming; "you're a @#$&%ing idiot" is.

Keep the tone of your messages palatable to all. If you are fond of making excessively sarcastic posts to someone privately, that's one thing, but posting messages like that in public can be misinterpreted. If too many people see snide banter between what they assume to be complete strangers they may assume it to be the norm. It isn't. Joking is OK, but catty combacks aren't, even if they are intended to be in jest.

Also, if you need to qualify what you say with things like "this may sound insulting" or "I mean no offense" or "I probably shouldn't say this" -- don't say it at all. These phrases do not remove the feeling that those being addressed are being insulted or make the speaker sound any less condescending.

Keep posts on-topic. Offtopic posts for a particular folder will be deleted or moved to the appropriate folder.

NO SHOUTING!!! You can make your point without resorting to ALL CAPS or !!!lots of exclamation points!!!

No violating any of the regular IMC rules. The Terms of Service apply here as they do everywhere else on the site.

No foul language or profanity. Self-explanatory. Note, however, that M-rated rooms may have such language within posts (although not in post titles).

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