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Answers to Common Questions

What information do I need to provide when I sign up?

You provide your email address.

Then you choose a password.

You subsequently enter your first and last names. You select a fictitious user ID as well. (Please note that on the .net, only the first and last names can be used as the user ID.)

Will my name be shown or can I use a fictitious ID?

You can choose to set it up to use either your first and last name (if you want to reveal your identity), or a fictitious name (if you prefer to remain anonymous); or you can use your Twitter name.

Once you choose one of these 3 options during the sign up process, that selection will be permanent, unless you change this option in the tab titled "User ID Settings", in the Settings area, (in which case all the stories you have previously written will now appear with the updated name).

Do I sign up separately for PreAcquaint.net if I'm interested?

When you signs up for PreAcquaint.com (WILT), you are automatically signed up for PreAcquaint.net.

The social network will only become active if the user activates it by completing the profile form on PreAcquaint.net, otherwise it remains inactive.

There is a link on the Sign Up page for those who have previously signed up for PreAcquaint.net so they can start using PreAcquaint.com.

Is there something special I should know about the "View by Categories" link?

It's pretty self-explanatory. Many stories will be assigned a category by the user, even though this is optional, and so by selecting this link, the user can access a page which displays the categories; and when selecting a particular category, a page opens which shows all the stories within that category with a “1-2-3-4-5-next” page system.

Tags can also be assigned to stories and will be used for search.

What is the purpose of the link "Create a Story"?

It opens the page that provides you with the tools necessary to create and publish your story.

The drop-down menu to the left is what you use to create your story. The purpose of the site is to tell someone what it is like to be, to do, or to have something. For this reason all stories must start with one of the three following phrases, which are selected using the drop-down menu on the left:

  • What it's like to ... (used to create empathy)
  • What it was like to... (used to create empathy as well or to relate history)
  • What it will be like to ... (used to make predictions)

The drop-down menu on the right offers a range of options you may elect to apply to your story.

The text editor is used to compose or paste your story, if you have previously written it.

I assume that I use the "Create Account" link to sign up for the first time, and the "Sign in" link to access my account after that ?

That is correct.

What is the "Featured Stories" section about on the home page?

It contains stories which have been verified or written by us, as well as stories which have been posted by verified Twitter users. So if a story appears here by a well-known celebrity, it will have been verified to have come by this person, either by us or by Twitter. The words "Featured Stories" constitute a link which opens to the same page as the “View All” link in the same section to show more featured stories.

What about the sections, "Most Viewed Stories" and Most Influential Stories?

The former contains the stories with the highest volume of views, and the latter contains the story which have scored the highest on PreAcquaint's Influence Score system, which is explained below.

What is the purpose of the column on the right?

It lists the title of stories which are offered as suggestions for someone to write. As you scroll down the two lists present in this column -- Most Requested and Other Suggested Stories (which you can expand by selecting the "Show All" links), you have the option for each title to either request it as well, or to start creating this story, which by doing so will remove its title from the column on the right on the home page.

What do the thumbnails represent next to the titles on the home page?

Stories on the home page have a thumbnail next to them, which is taken from one of the photos or videos uploaded by the user for that story.

Depending on whether it’s a video or an image, the thumbnail will be shown accordingly.

If a topic has no image or video added to it, there will be a “Text Only” box instead of a thumbnail.

What does it mean when it says "Commercial Story" at the top of some pages?

This will only be shown when the user has accepted to pay a fee to promote his or her business and adds an offer to the story, which will be found in the "Offers" tab.

What if I don't want to see commercial stories?

You have the ability to filter out the commercial stories by opening the Filter tab, which you can access on the search results pages.

What is the influence score?

Each story will has an influence factor, and each user has an overall influence factor.

The influence factor is a score based on an algorithm which determinates how popular a story is, based on a series on factors, such as how many unique visitors it has had, how many repeated visits, how many tabs were selected for that story, how many times it has been shared and how many times the "republish" tab was opened when for that story and how many times it was flagged.

This is an important component of the site as people like to be influential and will compete for it.

The influence factor provides an additional motivation for striving to post good content on the site.

Every action related to a specific story decides its score, and each story has an influence score.

And this is also used to rank the listing in the "Most Influential Stories" Section of the home page.

And every user will have his own overall influence score to show how his stories rank overall.

So if a user writes 10 stories and 8 of those stories have a high score, but he or she writes 2 bad stories, the score will be reduced accordingly.

And you will make those templates as I did not make them, but I believe it will be clear what to do. I can be available to answer any questions your designer may have about their requirements.

-- Other facts related to the story page --

1- The comments and contributions pages will be opened when their respective links are selected. So when you read a story, you will be able to open these tabs and see what the comments are and what others have contributed to this story. If the author of the story has not enabled contributions and comments, then these tabs will not be shown.

2- The "Photos" tab will open the page where the pictures uploaded by the author will be shown. If there are pictures contributed by others, they will not be shown here, but rather, in the "Contributions" tab.

3- If the user decides to choose a different template for how the story will appear other than the default one, then the tabs will be different or they may not need to be shown, based on the requirements of the particular template chosen.

4- The "Videos" tab will open the page where the videos uploaded by the author will be embedded. Pictures will be uploaded to our site, but videos are not; they are embedded by having the user paste the HTML code or paste the URL link from a video uploading site.

5- The Influence Score algorithms includes the rating of stories by the users as well. You can select the "Rate" link and therefore give a rating to the stories, which will be factored in with the other variables mentioned earlier, in order for the system to calculate the Influence Score of a story and the overall score of its author.

6- The share options page will allow to share a story’s URL by email. Or it will allow the user to post a link to it on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. Along with the link, it will allow the user to add an introduction.

-- Other facts related to the story creation tools --

7- When a user selects the link "Create a Story", a page opens which displays two drop-down menus. The one on the left, labelled "Add Item" must be opened first so you can create a story. Within this menu you have three choice for how your story title will start:

a) What it is like to ...

b) What it was like to ...

c) What it will be like to ...

These are the only three possible ways by which a story can be started. The reason for this is that PreAcquaint is about sharing with others what something is like, and that is only what it does.

So by selecting one of these three choices in the drop-down menu "Add Item", your story file is created, and the text editor will appear, along with two boxes above it.

In the top box, you complete the remaining portion of the title. For example, if you have selected "What it is like to...", you could add. let's say, "raise three kids as a single mother" in the title box; in which case your story title becomes "What it is like to raise three kids as a single mother".

When you complete the remaining portion of the title in its corresponding box, do not capitalize the first word, as it is factually mid-sentence.

In the box below the title box, you can enter a short description of your story, which will appear below the story title on the home page, if and when the story appears there.

8- You can type or paste your story in the text editor. Once you are done, you can select the "Preview" button so as to get a glimpse of how your story will appear. Once satisfied, you select the "Save" button to save your story. Note: if you don't save your story, it will be lost. As well, saving your story does not publish it. You can start a story, save it, and then come back to it later to complete it by accessing the "My Stories" tab in the Preferences Section, which you will find by selecting the arrow next to your user name.

9- By selecting the "Save" button on the text editor page, the publishing page will open. On this page, you are given the options to change the opening phrase and even edit the entire title, in case you've changed your mind about it; and you can enter tags for your story, as well as select a category for it. Once satisfied with your choices, you select the "Publish" button to post it on the site.

You can subsequently put it on hold, restore it or delete it by accessing the "My Stories" tab in the Preferences Section.

10- Before saving your story, you may want to explore the drop-down menu on the right, labelled "More Actions", as it contains features which can greatly enrich the experience of those reading your stories. It also contains the interface for making your posting into a commercial story.