Help with Conferencing

Guide to using conferences at The WELL

Conversation at The WELL continues over time. You read and respond in forums called conferences at your convenience. When you check back, you can track all the activity since your visit.

Topics are organized within conferences such as “books,” “berkeley” or “current events.” Conference hosts are there to assist participants.

Follow the table of contents to the right for detailed help.

Note the Shortcut page, which provides two kinds of shortcuts, for use in the shortcut box in the navigation bar, and for keystroke commands you can use to move around the site.

You can see this guide at any time by selecting the “Help?” icon in the Toolbar when you are logged in.

How can I get the most out of my participation on The WELL?

When you start out you’ll want to look at some of the descriptive pages where our conferences do outreach for new participants.

The basic way to participate is to read up on a recent conversation, add your comment if you have one, and then return, perhaps the next day, to follow the new responses. The responses or posts are organized into linear topics within each conference.

Some topics are fast moving, some are slow accumulations of resources or ideas. Many people read new posts from all the topics in a given conference daily, and keep those conferences on a personal list to make it easy to catch up. Others just check in here and there around the system with no particular pattern. Going back to the same conversation is a good strategy, because it lets you gain context, know people, and begin to be known over time for your suggestions, opinions and contributions in general.

While it doesn’t happen in real-time like chat does, text conferencing can have an equally powerful sense of living dialog and vitality. The delayed response feature actually favors more thoughtful participation.