Frequently Asked Questions

The information here is designed to address common questions about Tera’s community. You may also find information you are looking for on the Platform Assistance page


What should I use this community for?

This online community is meant for sustainability focused individuals to come together to share, learn, and grow with one another.  You can join any number of the four main Groups, which are based on our four pillars of sustainability.  

You can join and create any number of Topics centered around specific discussion. We have created three topics to get the ball rolling. You can also join and create any number of Events to help you and the community take action to fight for a sustainable planet.  

The community is yours and what you make of it! Feel free to engage however you see fit, as long as it is consistent with the Community Guidelines and Policies.

 

How do I learn more about using this community?

You can access various types of information in the Community Guide, including a Virtual Tour of the Community, Platform Assistance, and Community Guidelines and Policies in addition to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

 

What do I see in the activity stream?

You will see when new Topics and Events are created, as well as the posts from all the Groups you are in. You will also see posts from other community members.

 

Who can see what I write?

When you create a Post, Topic, or Event, you have the option to set the visibility to Public”, which anyone can see, or “Community”, which can only be seen by community members who have logged in. However, despite the visibility setting on a Topic or Event, comments are only visible to people who are logged in.

Activity can also take place within Groups, which can be Public, Open, Closed, or Secret. The different types of Groups are discussed in the question after next.

 

How do I use Groups?

Groups offer a way to organize events and discussions, and to connect with people around common interests. You can view the current Groups by viewing All Groups

There are currently three types of Groups: Public, Open, and Closed. You need to join a Group to participate in the discussions within. You will see a blue JOIN button on the right side of the screen when you visit Public and Open Groups. Membership in Closed Groups is controlled by the Group Managers.

Public Groups: Activity is visible to anyone who visits the community, whether or not they have an account. 

Open Groups: Activity is visible to any community member who is logged in. 

Closed Group: Anyone who is logged is able to see, but only Group members can see the events and discussions within them.

You will receive notifications about new Topics, Events, and Posts in the Groups you join.

To leave a Group, visit the Group page, click the button that says Joined and then select Leave group.

Got a great idea for a new group?! Simply request that a new group be added by using our Group Request Form

 

How do I use Topics?

Topics offer a great way to organize conversation around a specific topic. We have three different topic types: Product Recommendations, Discussion, and Take Action. You can also view all the current Topics in All Topics.

  • Product Recommendations
    • Tera has already created Product Recommendation topics within each of the four lifestyle groups. If you have any questions and/or suggestions for the community about any type of sustainable products, these topics are place to go to!
    • Please refrain from making any other product topics, as we want to make sure everyone is engaging in the same space.
    • Pro Tip: Hyperlink the text (CTRL+K) rather than just past URLs
  • Discussion
    • This topic type allows community members to create a discussion around any specific topic they want. Want to discuss going Carbon Neutral by 2050, create a topic! Want to discuss the Best Hiking Trails on the PCT, create a topic!
    • Pro Tip: A more narrow topic will allow for better discussion!
  • Take Action
    • Tera has already created Take Action topics for the community, and while we encourage you to do those action items, please feel free to create your own. If you want to share an NGO to donate to, or a call script you’ve used to contact your reps, the Take Action Topic is the place to do it.
    • Community created Take Action Topics will only be accessible through All Topics and using the filter feature to search for them
    • Pro Tip: Hyperlink the text (CTRL+K) rather than just past URLs

You can create a Topic within the larger community, or within a Group. Topics created in a “Public” or “Open” Groups will be visible by anyone in All Topics, but any topics created in a “Closed” or “Secret” Group will only be visible in All Topics for users in those Groups. 

You have the option to receive notifications whenever people comment on a Topic. For more information check out “Follow Content” in Platform Assistance.

 

How do I use Events?

Events offer a great way to organize either in person or digital events. You can view the current Events by viewing All Events.

Just like Topics, you can create an Event within the larger community, or within a Group. Events created in a “Public” or “Open” Groups will be visible by anyone in All Events, but any Events created in a “Closed” Group will only be visible in All Events for users in those Groups.

If an Event is created within a Group the organizer(s) have the ability to limit enrollment to only group members. This doesn't matter for “Closed” Groups, because only those group members are able to see those Events listed. For an Event created in “Public” and “Open” Groups, the larger community will be able to see those Events in All Events, however, if enrollment is limited, community members will only be able to enroll in the Event after they have joined the group.  

Aside from limiting enrollment to group members, the organizer(s) of an Event can set enrollment parameters

  • Open to enroll - users can enroll for this event without approval
  • Request to enroll - users can "request to enroll" for this event which event organizers approve/decline
  • Invite-only - users can only enroll for this event if they are added/invited by event organizers

 

What are the forms for?

There are three forms under the “Form” tab in the main navigation bar. 

  • Climate Mayor Application
    • Use this form if you wish to be a Climate Mayor in your city. For more information about what the role would entail click the link above.  
  • Group Request Form
    • As mentioned before, use this form if you have a great idea for a new group
  • Feedback Form
    • Use this form if you have any additional questions and/or suggestions for the community

 

Can I send a private message to another community member?

Yes you can!  Private messaging can be accessed through the envelope icon in the main navigation bar, or through the “Private Message” button on someone's profile page. You can read more about private messaging here.

 

Should I fill in the alternative text field when I upload a photo when I create a Topic or Event?

Yes you should. The text is read by screen readers in place of images, allowing your image content to be accessed by people who have different accessibility issues. Here are a few tips for writing good alternative text:

  • Never start with “Image of …” or “Picture of
  • Include text that's part of the image
  • Be specific, and succinct

 

Why do I see a blank white screen on the “Take Action” Pages?

You are most likely seeing a blank screen because you have some form of Ad Blocker on, preventing the widgets from loading. Once you turn it off and refresh the page, the widget should appear.