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People Online (using SSH and PicoSpan)

When you SSH to The WELL to use the older PicoSpan interface, you can communicate live with any other members who are online at well.com providing they are also using this pre-Web method of connection. Plus, you have the opportunity to create or update the optional "Plan" part of your online bio statement that any other WELL member can read.

  1. Using the People menu
  2. Seeing who's online now
  3. Finding the login of a WELL member
  4. Reading a WELL member's online biography
  5. Creating or changing your own biography
  6. Making your online biography readable from the Internet
  7. Live conversations with people online
  8. To block or accept live messages

Using the People menu

To open the People menu, from the Main menu choose 4 People online.


PEOPLE ON THE WELL                              .  Menu name : people
                                                .  Conference: wellcome
 1  Who is currently using PicoSpan?            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 2  Search the WELL member directory            .
 3  Read a WELL member's online biography       .  HELP and INFORMATION:
 4  Create or change your online biography      .  www.well.com/membersguide
 5  Filter posts by a WELL member...            .  
 6  List WELL support email addresses           . 
                                                . 
SPONTANEOUS CONVERSATIONS (SENDS)               .  
                                                . 
 7  Send a live message (do a "send")     
 8  Reply to a live send                        .
 9  Review last live send                       .  GETTING AROUND
10  Review all previous sends                   .
11  Block live sends                            .   66  Go back one menu
12  Accept live sends                           .   77  Go to the Main menu
                                                .   88  Go to a menu by name
                                                .   99  Turn off these menus
                                                .
                                                .  100  Exit from The WELL
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OK (type a number or command):

The People menu also allows you to change your own short biographic statement or "plan file," see bios of other members, and look up email addresses.

Seeing who's online now

If you're online using PicoSpan, and you want to talk to someone, you can send messages to other users who are online using PicoSpan. To do so, you first need to know who is online now. To see who's online, from the People menu choose 1 Who is currently logged on? The WELL displays a list of the logins of those people who are online at the shell now.

Finding the login of a WELL member

When you want to send a message online or send email to a WELL member, you need to know the login of the person you want to contact. The WELL provides a search facility that can show you the login and name of WELL members. As long as you know some part of what you want to see—part of a name, part of a login—you can see a list of matching names and logins.

  1. From the People menu choose 2 Search the WELL member directory. The WELL prompts you for a search string -- a sequence of letters or numbers.
  2. Enter the characters you know from the person's name or login. The WELL displays a list of all the names and logins that match what you enter.

For example, if you enter "arno" as the text to search for, The WELL displays a list like the following:

        name or part of name (no quotes): arno

        Ok: Type a number or command> name "arno"
                    ovrrtt   Mary Arnold
                     eawwy   Jansen Arnold
                      abcd   Hillary Arnot
                    moreme   Sandra Karnokoff
                      rtak   Arnold Krassler
                     dlaur   Arnold Lawrence
                 carnoodle   Tom White

Notice that The WELL finds all the entries that have the particular sequence of characters anywhere in any part of the name or in the login.

Important: WELL members who have logins that are longer than 8 characters have off-site email addresses. Type bio login to find their email addresses.

Reading a WELL member's online bio

When you first begin using The WELL, you have a chance to write a short bio or statement that other members can read to get an idea of who you are. You can also read their statements, also known as plan files. To read the biography of a WELL member, you need to know the login of the person whose bio you want to read.

  1. From the People menu choose 3 Read a WELL member's online biography. The WELL will prompt you for the login.
  2. Enter the login of the person you want to read about. The WELL will display the bio for you to read.
Creating or changing your own biography

If you passed up your first opportunity to create a bio, or if you want to change the short biographic profile you wrote back then, you can create or make changes to your bio using WELL menus.

  1. From the People menu choose 4 Create or change your online biography. The WELL will display your bio.
    • If you are creating your bio, go ahead and type it.
    • If you are editing your bio, use the Arrow keys to move the cursor to the right location, and type over what is already there. You can delete a whole line by pressing Control-K. The other editing commands available are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
  2. When you have finished, press Control-X. The editor will prompt you to enter a filename. The message looks something like this:
      File Name to write : /home/y/o/yourlogin/.plan
    
    • Your own login is displayed instead of "yourlogin." This is the path to your home directory and the .plan file stored there.
    • The .plan file is the one the system looks for to display your biography. Don't change this filename.
  3. To save the file, press Return. The editor saves the edited file using the filename .plan. Your bio has been updated (or created).
Live conversations with people online using "sends"

At any time there may be any number of people online at The WELL using PicoSpan. If you know one of them, you can send a message that appears on that person's screen, and then you can receive a reply: one-to-one live text communication. The WELL lets you send, reply and review messages. You can also decide whether to accept or reject messages from particular people.

Unlike email, "send" conversations take place in real time. If the person happens not to be online, or if the person is blocking live messages, The WELL automatically creates an email message and shoots it to the person's email in-box. If they are logged in at the shell, they see the send immediately break into their PicoSpan session.

Netiquette note: Live conversations usually take place between people who know one another from the conferences. If you want to send a message to another WELL member and you have not posted much, consider introducing yourself politely to be sure the interruption is welcome.

If you have an interesting online bio, and if you post regularly in topics of interest to you, you'll find it's easier to make close personal acquaintances among WELL members.

To send a live message, you need to know the login of the person you are sending a message to.

  1. From the People menu choose 7 Send a live message (do a "send"). The WELL will prompt you for the login.
  2. Enter the login of the person you want to receive your message. The WELL will prompt you for the message.
  3. Type your message. The last line of your message should have just a period. When you enter a period on a line by itself, the message is sent.
  4. To bypass the menus, simply enter: send puffball at the OK prompt to send a message to a user called puffball. As above, when you enter a period on a line by itself, the message is sent.

When someone sends you a message, (referred to locally as a Send), you can reply. You know the login already, because it appears in the message that is sent to you.

  1. From the People menu choose 8 Reply to a live message. You don't need to enter a login. The WELL automatically directs a reply to the last person who sent you a message.
  2. Type your message. The last line of your message should have just a period. When you enter a period on a line by itself, the reply is sent. These messages are referred to locally as "sends."
  3. To bypass the menus, simply enter: replay at the OK prompt to reply to the most recent send. As before, when you enter a period on a line by itself, the message is sent.

Sometimes your sends conversation may go on for some time, or a reply may come back after several minutes. If you don't know what a message refers to, you can review your last message or all your messages.

To review the last message, from the People menu choose 9 Review last message. The WELL will display the last message you received.

To review all of your previous messages, from the People menu choose 10 Review all previous messages. The WELL displays all the messages you have sent and received during the session.

To block or accept live messages ("sends")

You may not wish to converse with anyone else online right now. You can prevent any real-time "send" messages from reaching you. Then later you can open up to accepting them again.

To block incoming sends, from the People menu choose 11 Block live messages.

To accept incoming sends, from the People menu choose 12 Accept live messages.

Once you instruct The WELL to accept or block sends, the instruction remains until you change it again, even after you log out and back in again.

Contents

WELL policies and etiquette
Getting connected
Menu basics
Getting and sending email
Starting out in WELL conferences
Working with WELL conferences
People online
Publishing a Web page
The muse
Managing files on The WELL
Checking and changing settings
Accounting and billing
Troubleshooting
PicoSpan Command Summary

For instructions about using PicoSpan menus, see Menu basics. Note that to Enter a command, you type the command followed by the Return or Enter key.

Look for more documentation of legacy commands in the picohelp conference. For documentation of the newer web-based access to the same conference content, see the newer guide to direct engagement using your browser.

 
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