People Online

As a WELL member, you can communicate with other people who are online at the same time. You can start a conversation by sending your own observation, message, or question, and getting a reply in return. Plus, you have the opportunity to create and update a biography 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

The people-to-people aspect of The WELL is handled 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 logged on?                 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 2  Search the WELL member directory            .
 3  Read a WELL member's online biography       .  HELPFUL INFORMATION
 4  Create or change your online biography      .
 5  Filter posts by a WELL member...            .   40  Definitions
 6  List WELL support email addresses           .   41  Notes
                                                .   42  Quick Commands
SPONTANEOUS CONVERSATIONS (SENDS)               .
                                                .   43  Explain a specific term
 7  Send a live message (do a "send")           .   44  Help from a real person
 8  Reply to a live message                     .
 9  Review last message                         .  GETTING AROUND
10  Review all previous messages                .
11  Block live messages                         .   66  Go back one menu
12  Accept live messages                        .   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 work with your own biography, see biographies elsewhere on the Internet, and get email addresses for WELL support.

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 now.

For example, you might see something like this:

  arbie artob billing bldric borbar burnh ciope caro catn celott
  daa dom43 edk ellik exfiml farn fhelsing fernande gareth hanking helpdesk
  imanutt jdchest jez jaroanee jmsoniac jmtrrt joereber jordan12 josher
  karnbckt karrtln kthu lauram lana mafe marcus mcowdrr microxen mrebber
  msadon nagger nxliuha treeleaf pedxing polfaby rabbit4 rebba sabinate
  sarac scaredlt sulann support svaughn the717 tigrface tomblack varder
  verafie
  OK (Return for menu):
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.
  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 an example of using this search function, see Getting and sending email.
Reading a WELL member's online biography

When you first begin using The WELL, you have a chance to write a public biography that other members can read to get an idea of who you are. You can also read their biographies. To read the biography of a WELL member, you need to know the login of the person whose biography 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 biography for you to read.
Creating or changing your own biography

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

  1. From the People menu choose 4 Create or change your online biography. The WELL will display your biography.
    • If you are creating your biography, go ahead and type it.
    • If you are editing your biography, 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 biography has been updated (or created).
Live conversations with people online

At any time there may be 30, 150, or 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 digital communication. The WELL lets you send, reply and review messages. You can also decide whether to accept or reject messages that others send you.

Unlike email, conversations take place in real time. You can send a message at any 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 posts it to the person's email in-box.

Netiquette note: Live conversations usually take place between people who know one another. If you want to send a message to another WELL member, consider sending an email message first, to introduce yourself.

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

To send an online 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.

When someone sends you a message, 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.

Sometimes your online 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

You may have only a few minutes right now to do some uploading of files you promised to deliver, to download files you need to work on next, and to compose three email messages. You won't have time to converse with anyone else online. You can prevent any messages from reaching you. Then later you can open up to accepting them again.

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

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

Once you instruct The WELL to accept or block messages, 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
Accessing Other Internet Sites
The muse
Managing files on The WELL
Checking and changing settings
Accounting and billing
Troubleshooting
PicoSpan Command Summary

 
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