FAQs

  • Why the Upgrade?
    • Why did the Beliefnet Community upgrade to new technology? Couldn't you just fix what we had?
      We know how important this community is to you, and we want to be sure that when you need it, it's here. Our old technology was simply not keeping up with the growth of our community. We did our best to get the problems fixed, but the only way to achieve the level of stability we all need was to switch to a new system that is better able to support a community as large and active as Beliefnet.
    • Will the new system have fewer glitches?
      That's why we upgraded! You should not get logged out at random, or lose Journal posts, or put up with any of the other glitches that had been occurring. This new system has a proven track record for supporting large communities like ours, including American Idol, the WWE, Univision's Mi Pagina, and eBay's World of Good. Our community is unique, of course, and doesn't look like those other communities, but it will be using the same underlying technology.
    • Does the new site have the same features we had before?
      This new site has almost exactly the same features. You still have a Profile, Journal, Friends, Photo album, Videos, Groups and Forums. There are a few new treats to be found here, too.
    • Was my information lost in the upgrade? Do I have to fill out my profile all over again?
      Our tech team has worked very hard to import all your information from the old system to the new system. Considering that we moved millions of pieces of data, very little was misplaced. Profile information, Journal posts, your Friends list, Forums and posts, Groups and posts, Photos, Skins (Themes) and privacy options were all imported to the new system. Your new Profile is slightly different, and you might like to freshen it.
    • Are the Forums the same? Did we lose our Forum posts?
      We copied the same forum structure to the new site, insofar as possible, and all the forum posts were saved as well. The same hosts are running the same forums. The main difference between our old site and the new site is that the new forum software is much, much simpler. It doesn't have as many features as vBulletin (our old forum software), but it has all the most important features. We believe most members will find the new forums far easier to use.
    • Will we still be able to access the old Forum archives from prior to October 2007?
      Yes, those archives will continue to be available for viewing, as they are now here.
    • Is there an Activity Feed on the new site? If so, does it have preferences we can set?
      There is an Activity Feed. Those members who like to keep up with their Friends can have it on their home page. In response to the concerns of our members, it is now be possible to adjust your settings to prevent your activities showing up in the Activity Feed. You can also remove the Activity Feed from your page if you wish.
    • Is the inbox message system the same on the new site?
      The inbox system works in much the same way as it did before. In addition to the normal features, our message system now supports a full WYSIWYG editor.
    • Does the new system let us easily locate our own Forum posts?
      There are links on your Home page and your Profile page to your most recent posts in Forums and Groups.
  • What's New?
    • Why does Beliefnet Community look different?
      Beliefnet Community just launched a major upgrade designed to enhance your Beliefnet experience with:
      --Greater stability so you can count on the site being available when you want it
      --New features enabling you to easily access your forums, manage your groups, store your favorite content, and get notified about activity on your profile and content
      --A sleek new design to make it simpler for you to navigate around the site and find what you’re looking for
    • How do I get around the site?
      Your personal homepage,
      My Home, is now the true center of your Beliefnet activity. Visit your home to access your groups, stay up-to-date on your friends, get an easy gateway to the threads you’ve recently posted in, return to your favorite content, post in your journal, and stay in touch with friends. Use the easy side navigation panel to quickly locate all of your content and anything else you may need.
    • What are some of the new features?
      --A better journal tool: tag and categorize your posts, and easily follow your favorite member journals
      --Improved calendar: keep your own public and personal calendars, and easily invite friends to events or gatherings
      --Better alerts: find out what's new in your groups and forums
      --Enhanced video area: directly upload your best—and funniest--spiritual videos
      --Plus much more, and even more to come in the weeks ahead.
    • Why is the top navigation different?
      You'll notice that the site looks and feels more like the rest of the Beliefnet site, giving you easy access to all of Beliefnet's great features, blogs, quizzes, and more.
    • Why is my profile missing information?
      This upgrade was a major technical effort: we migrated more than 3 million pieces of individual member data from our previous platform to this one. We’ve done our best to insure a seamless transition, but we encourage you to take a close look at your profile and your content to make sure nothing is amiss, and take some time to check and update your profile settings.
  • Rules of Conduct
    • What are the Beliefnet Community Rules of Conduct?
      When you registered as a member of Beliefnet, you agreed to abide by these rules.

      Beliefnet is committed to protecting a high level of freedom of expression, and to maintaining a welcoming and safe community in which that expression can flourish.

      Beliefnet members represent a wide variety of religious and spiritual orientations - all welcome to participate in conversations on our Forums. When you participate in Beliefnet discussions, you may encounter persons whose beliefs differ from your own. We hope that you will approach these encounters in a spirit of tolerance, accepting the rights of others to follow freely their own religious beliefs, even if they seem false to you.

      We will not censor members for expressing an opinion, within the limits of these Rules of Conduct. To maintain a welcoming and safe community, and be sure everyone feels free to speak, we cannot permit behavior that disrupts conversations and community of our members. Beliefnet has the right, but not the obligation, to remove or move any member-generated content for any reason, without notice.

      Please check these guidelines periodically as they may be revised for the protection of our valued members. If you come across any violations to this covenant, do not hesitate to let us know. We'll be happy to address your concerns. Please check these guidelines periodically as they may be revised for the protection of our valued members.

      If you come across any violations to this covenant, do not hesitate to let us know at community@beliefnetstaff.com. We'll be happy to address your concerns.
    • Are there some rules that apply everywhere on Beliefnet Community?
      There are 8 Rules of Conduct that apply to all members, and to all content created by members anywhere on the Beliefnet website. We call them the "Big 8".

      By registering as a member of Beliefnet, you agree that you will not display content, or engage in any activity, that:

    • is illegal, or advocates illegal acts;

    • exploits or endangers a minor, or invites private communication between a minor and an adult;

    • compromises anyone's privacy by using or revealing personal information;

    • condones or may provoke violence toward any individual or group on the basis of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation, even if religiously motivated;

    • is vulgar or violent;

    • uses Beliefnet community functions to harass or censure any person, group, or entity;

    • violates intellectual property rights; or

    • may cause or encourage substantial harm or damage to Beliefnet or its members.

    • Furthermore you agree that you will not permit anyone else to display such words or images, or engage in such activity, on any Beliefnet pages you control (your profile, journal, private messages, group pages, etc.). The above rules apply to your activity and content anywhere on the Beliefnet website, including articles, forums, profiles, journals, groups, photos, videos, audio, etc.

      The above Rules of Conduct apply to all members, and to all content created by members anywhere on the Beliefnet website.
  • What rules govern group conversations in Beliefnet Forums?
    The Rules of Conduct below apply to the Beliefnet Forums. While they do not necessarily apply to your personal pages (blogs, profiles and groups), you may enforce these rules on your personal pages at their discretion.

  • Courtesy: You agree that you will be courteous to others, even when disagreeing, and even to those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person's ideas, not about them personally. Do not make negative personal remarks about another's age, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, sexual orientation, intelligence, character, appearance, health, mental health, education or any other personal characteristic.

  • Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions.

  • Proselytizing: You agree not to make aggressive, repeated, or unwanted attempts to convert another member's religious beliefs.

  • Local guidelines: You agree to observe the rules and guidelines posted for specific community areas. Some Forums are protected for use by followers of specific faiths. The Teen Forums are for teens only; no adults may post there.

  • Solicitation: You agree not to use Beliefnet Forums to promote websites, products and services. Please refer to the guidelines in the next section to find out how to promote your cause, your services or yourself.

  • Spam: You agree not to repeat substantially the same content (including URLs) more than once on Beliefnet Forums.

  • Copying messages: You agree not to post or forward transcripts of e-mail or other personal communication without the author's express permission.

  • Use of code: You agree not to upload or link to any other code, tags, scripts, animations, file or program. You agree not to post content that is visually disruptive.

  • Surveys: Researchers and writers who wish to survey Beliefnet members must obtain Beliefnet's permission before doing so.

  • Your contact information: You agree to provide a valid e-mail address in your Beliefnet profile at all times. (It will not be displayed to others.)

  • Impersonation: You agree not to impersonate or spoof revered religious figures, public figures, Beliefnet members, employees, hosts, or volunteers.

  • Complaints: If there are problems, we want to know about them so that we can fix them. Please report complaints and problems appropriately. Do not post complaints on the site; they will be removed. The only appropriate way to report complaints and problems is to use the "report a problem" link at left.

  • May I ask for money? May I promote a cause or service?
    You are encouraged to promote your favorite charity or house of worship by creating a Donation Badge to display on your public profile.

    You MAY use your profile and journal to ask for support for registered 501(c)(3) organizations (including houses of worship, charities, and other nonprofits) and other religious and charitable causes within the limits of these Rules of Conduct.

    You may NOT use Beliefnet Community functions, including private messages, to ask for money for yourself or any individual.

    You may NOT use Beliefnet Forums to promote websites, products or services.

    You MAY use your personal pages (profiles and journals) to promote your work, products and services.

    You MAY create a group to keep your fans up to date about your activity.

    Please use restraint when sending messages to other members containing promotions. Most members resent such messages, and if Beliefnet receives complaints we will take appropriate action.
  • Contact Beliefnet for Help
    • How do I report a problem with the Beliefnet Community?
      See a problem on Beliefnet Community? Be a good citizen and bring it to our attention. You might spot a problem before we do, and your report will help us take care of it sooner. Thanks for your help!

      If you see something that violates the Rules of Conduct, "flag it!" Find the link that says Report Content or Report Post or a small triangle with an exclamation point, and click. Explain the problem, and click Submit Flag to send your report.

      If there is no Report link available, or to notify us of a general problem, send an e-mail to the community mailbox. If possible, please include the URL of the page where the problem is, to help us find it.

      RESPONSE TIME: This mailbox is staffed on weekdays during regular business hours. Please allow at least one business day for a response. We review every problem submitted to us, and will do our best to address the problem as soon as we can. Due to the high volume of e-mail we receive, we probably cannot send you a personal response.
    • I can't log in. What should I do?
      If you have forgotten your password, you can have it e-mailed to you by using the Password Recovery Tool.

      If you still cannot access your account, email us at community@beliefnetstaff.com and we will do our best to assist you.
    • Someone on your site is bugging/harassing/threatening me - what can I do about it?
      The best thing to do in such a situation is to ignore and block the user. If you do not respond or acknowledge them, it is likely they will leave you alone. Blocking them will also prevent them from contacting you.
      If you have been threatened, contact law enforcement immediately.
    • How do I block someone?
      You can prevent another Beliefnet member from contacting you. Visit their profile and click "Block User."

      Once a user is blocked you can manage your blocked users by visiting your Profile page and selecting the menu item Manage Blocks.
    • How do I unsubscribe from Beliefnet Newsletters?
      Manage your newsletter subscription here: Unsubscribe

      To receive a daily dose of wisdom, humor, inspiration & more, Subscribe to a free newsletter from Beliefnet.
  • Journals
    • Why do I need a Journal?
      Whether you call it a Journal or a Blog, writing down your thoughts can be fun and even help your spiritual life. A recent study suggests that keeping a personal journal on a social network can make you happier!

      Some things you might do with your Journal:
      --write a short reflection each day about your spiritual journey
      --write down your thoughts about daily readings of sacred texts
      --review movies, books, or music
      --explain what you believe and why
      --post news about your faith, your house of worship, even about yourself
      --share tips and advice on spirituality at work, at home, with family
      --give your opinion about politics, issues, relationships or religion
    • How do I post in my Journal?
      After successfully logging into your account, go to your My Home page.
      In the left-hand navigation bar, under My Home, select New Journal Post.
      Give your post a title, and select a category. (If you haven't created categories yet, don't worry; you can change it later.)
      Select whether you want your post to be viewable to anyone, your friends, or kept private. You may also choose to share a copy of your post with one of your groups.
      Then just start writing! The easy text editor will help you format your post, insert links and embedded media. Photos and videos can be included by using the Insert Photo or Insert Video buttons at the bottom of the posting window.
      When you are done writing, click Preview Post to see how your post will look. If you need to fix anything, click Make Changes. If everything is okay, click Save Post. And you're done!
    • How do I sort my Journal posts into categories?
      When you have written several Journal posts, you might find it helpful to categorize them. For example, you may write daily diary entries, but sometimes post recipes, or movie reviews. Categories help you organize your Journal entries so it's easy for your readers to find the ones they want.

      To create your categories, you must first create and post at least one Journal entry. Looking at the posted entry, in the lower left hand corner you will see an icon resembling a small notepad and pencil. Click that to Edit Post (Careful not to click the tiny trash can -- that is the delete button!).

      When you click, you'll go to the Add a Blog Post page. In the pale blue bar at the top, see the words: "Additional categories can be added on the manage categories page." Click on manage categories page.

      On that page, click Add to create a category. In our example, you might name it Recipes. Then click Create. You'll see your newly created category appear in the list. Repeat the process to create another category if you wish; in our example, you might like another named Reviews. You can give your categories any name you want.

      You may edit your category any time to change the name, or delete it.

      To assign a Journal post to a category, click that little notepad icon, to Edit Post. Now the drop-down list of categories will include the ones you created, and you can select it from the list.

      When viewing your Journal, you will see your Journal categories listed on the right side of the page. Click a category to see the Journal entries in that category.
  • Missing Items?
    • Why is my profile missing information?
      This upgrade was a major technical effort: we migrated more than 3 million pieces of individual member data from our previous site to this one. We've done our best to help the transition go smoothly, but we encourage you to take a close look at your profile and your content to make sure nothing is amiss, and take some time to check and update your profile settings. If you find a problem, use the Report a Problem link at left to notify us.
    • Where are my old Inbox messages?
      Despite our best efforts, the import of Inbox messages was not entirely successful. If you are missing Inbox messages, first check all your message folders, including the Sent folder, to see whether they might have been misplaced. If you still don't find them, and if you can't live without them, use the Report A Problem link at left, and we will try to recover them for you.
    • I can't find my Group discussions!
      All Group discussions were moved from the old system to the new one. However in a few cases the discussions are not showing up on the Group's main page, even though they are actually there. If you don't see your Group discussion on the Group's main page, go to the navigation panel on the left side of the page, and click Forum. The discussions should appear. If you see the discussions, but it says there are 0 posts, click it anyway. You might find the posts are actually there. If you have tried all these solutions, and your Group's discussions are still missing, use the Report a Problem link at left, and let us know. We will do our best to recover them for you. Be sure to include the exact name of your group.
    • Where are my videos?
      We now have a real Video channel for the first time. It allows you to upload your own original videos to your Beliefnet page. Previously, you couldn't actually upload videos to our site; you could only link to videos that were on YouTube. Because this new system is so much better, we did not move the older YouTube links from our previous Video channel. Instead, we look forward to helping you be even more creative with the new Video tool. And you'll still be able to embed YouTube videos--in your Journal, and in Forum and Group posts.
    • I don't have as many Friends as I used to.
      Please use the Report a Problem link at left, and let us know. We will do our best to recover your Friends list for you.
    • I can't find my Group!
      If you cannot locate your Group, please use the Report a Problem link at left and let us know. We will do our best to locate and restore your Group.
    • My Group has a lot fewer members than it did.
      Please use the Report a Problem link at left to let us know about it. We will do our best to locate and restore your Group.
    • Why are so many items missing?
      The good news is that they aren't really missing. It is taking some extra effort to get all the information out of the old computers. All your information is in there, it is just being a little stubborn about moving to the new site ;-) We have a team of people tugging on the data, coaxing it out of its hiding places, and escorting it to its new home. It may take several days but we are very confident that we will be able to restore your missing posts, Groups, Members, Friends, Journals and usernames.
  • Getting Started
    • How do I join the Beliefnet Community?
      When visiting Beliefnet, a link to our signup page can be found in the top left corner of the screen. If you have trouble finding this link, visit: Signups.
      Creating an account is a quick 3 step process.
      Step 1: Provide basic contact and profile information.
      Step 2: Complete the sign-up process.
      Step 3: Build your site!
    • Okay, I signed up. Now what do I do?
      There is something to suit everyone's interests!

      Do you want to meet other people who share your beliefs and interests? Locate your faith community or your favorite topic in the Forums. Search for people and browse profiles to find friends. Look for a Group that matches your interests.

      Have something to say? Write it in your Journal. From your Home, in the left navigation panel, click Journal to get started. (More information in the Journal FAQ at left.) You can use your Journal as a personal spiritual diary... blog your opinions to share with the world... write your own poetry... or just keep your friends up to date on what you are doing. And be sure to read other members' Journals to see what is on their minds. Subscribe to your favorites to keep up with them.

      Feeling creative? Create your own original Videos and upload them to our new Video channel, or share your best Photos with your friends.

      Looking for inspiration? Use the navigation at the top of every page to access Beliefnet's great articles, blogs, quizzes and more.
  • Username and Log-In
    • I am having trouble creating an account.
      Please send us an email describing how far into the account creation process you were able to complete, as well as the error you received to community@beliefnetstaff.com.
    • I have an account, but I can't log in.
      First, try the Password Recovery Tool--even if you know your password. This tool will re-set your password, and that might help you log in.

      If you have tried the Password Recovery Tool and you still cannot log in, please write to us at community@beliefnetstaff.com from the email address registered to your account. We will do our best to troubleshoot the problem and help you connect.
    • My username wasn't imported to the new site.
      In almost every case, this is because you had more than one username on file that used the same email address. The new system was only able to import one username per email address. We can most likely fix this if you let us know about it. If you are able to log on to one account, and change the email address on it to something else, that will clear the way to import your other account. Please write to us at community@beliefnetstaff.com and let us know about the issue and we will do our best to resolve it.
    • How do I change my password?
      To change your password, from your My Home page in the left-side navigation panel go to Profile > Account. Near the bottom of the page you will find an orange button: Change Password.
  • Forums
    • What is the difference between Forums and Groups?
      Forums and Groups are both great places for group conversations.

      Forums are open to all Beliefnet members, and are neutrally managed by Beliefnet, assisted by volunteer hosts. The full Rules of Conduct apply to the Forums, to protect a high level of freedom of expression, and to maintain a welcoming and safe community in which that expression can flourish.

      Groups are created and managed by individual Beliefnet members. They may be public or private. The top eight Rules of Conduct apply to Groups, however the Group leader is allowed to set the tone for conversation and set ground rules for the Group. Any member may create a Group at any time, for any purpose within the limits of the Rules of Conduct.
    • On the old site, I subscribed to threads. How do I do that now?
      You can subscribe to threads that interest you, to be notified when new replies are posted. Navigate to the thread. Click on the orange button Subscribe that you see at the top.

      You can also subscribe to a thread you create, in the process of creating it. When you are composing the opening post of the thread, check the box "Notify me of new messages posted to this thread."
    • On the old site, I was able to ignore some posters. How do I do that now?
      Our new Forums are much simpler than our old Forums. The good news is that they are much more stable, and most people will find them easier to use. The downside is that they have fewer features. The ability to "ignore" selected Forum posters, and not see their posts, is one of the features that is no longer available. However, we have put this feature on a list of enhancements that we hope to enable in the future.
    • Where is the Today's Posts / New Posts feature?
      Our new Forums are much simpler than our old Forums. The good news is that they are much more stable, and most people will find them easier to use. The downside is that they have fewer features. The New Posts / Today's Posts feature is one of those that is no longer available. However, a number of members have requested it, so we have put this feature on a list of enhancements that we hope to enable in the future.
    • What is a "Respectful Guest"?
      Certain Beliefnet forums are protected for use by people who are a member of a specific faith group or other community. If you are not a follower of that faith, or a member of that protected group, you may post in that forum on the following conditions: Each protected community may decide whether to allow respectful guests to post, or not. Beliefnet will respect the preference of each community.

      The purpose of the board is for members of that community to meet their own spiritual needs and support one another. A guest is just that, a guest, and the needs of the protected community come first in this board.

      As a guest you must not criticize the community in the protected board. Any remarks critical of the faith must be directed to the Debate board. Note that if you consistently post criticisms in the Debate board, it is unlikely that the community will continue to welcome you as a guest.

      You may talk about your own beliefs, even if they are not consistent with the faith in question, in the normal course of getting acquainted. You should ask permission of the community members before doing this, and you must not impose yourself on them against their wishes.

      You must not dominate the board, and must not make community members self-conscious or uncomfortable.

      If more than one member of the community complains about your presence, Beliefnet will review and evaluate the situation and take appropriate action.
  • Groups
    • What is a Group?
      Groups are a great place for members to gather, talk and share discussions, journals, photos and videos. They are created and managed by individual Beliefnet members. They may be public or private. The top eight Rules of Conduct apply to Groups, however the Group leader is allowed to set the tone for conversation and set ground rules for the Group. Any member may create a Group at any time, on any topic and for any purpose within the limits of the Rules of Conduct.