As mentioned in the announcements, the Stream is now a permanent feature of the board. It's quite a radical change from how a message board's main components works, so this topic will serve as a recap of it's core functionality.
Comparison to IOSoBo
For those who were around on last year's April Fools' Day, the Stream first appeared as a mere copy of Facebook. This revised version allows you to post thoughts and long text entry, like AND dislike most elements, and serves as an activity tracker. More functionality will be added as we move forward. More on that below!
Where is it?
You can always access the Stream using the linked called, as you can guess, Stream as part of your user options bar right next to the Logout link. You can also dive in from looking at a member's profile (in the bottom right), or clicking on a thought available at the left of board posts (if a thought is available)
What is displayed
Like many social networks, the Stream will display all of your relevant updates, with the most recent ones listed at the top. These updates include:
- What you directly post on it
- Your main profile changes (avatar and biography)
- Items and achievements that you earn
- Activity from your friends
As indicated in the recent announcement, the old "thought" profile option has been replaced by the Stream. As such, any status that you add to it will automatically get displayed next to your posts on the board.
How to use it
To get the most out of the Stream, you'll want to add your contacts to it. To do so, visit their profiles (by following links or searching through the member list), then click the "Add to contacts" option. Alternatively, once you're viewing their Stream, a "Add to contacts" button will be displayed in the header. All of the activity of the people you add will then be displayed on your Stream.
There's no given maximum length for the status updates you can write. As such, you can submit quick thoughts, quotes, or even entire journal entries. It's all up to you! You can also send messages to your contacts that way, although don't forget that anyone else can read and reply to those entries! If you need something more private, keep in mind that the Private Messenger is always available.
You can look at any item appearing in the Stream and like/dislike it as you go. You can always cancel your selection by clicking the "X" button that appears after you've performed an action. Most entries are also open to comments, so you can discus with other users about whatever crosses your mind.
When something that directly concerns you happens on the Stream, you'll receive a notification. These allow you to keep track of what's going on so you don't miss the main happenings, such as someone replying to a thought you've posted months ago. A bright red message at the top-right of all board pages will warn you whenever new notifications have come in. The "My Notifications" tab in the Stream will also light up. Much like board topics, the notifications will be automatically marked as read after you click on them. You can also clean all notes using the "Mark all notifications as read" link found at the top of the listing.
Coming up next
The core functionality is all there. In the coming weeks and months, it'll get expanded to cover several new elements. Most notably, you'll be able to post pictures directly on your page, edit and delete comments, keep track of new board events, and more. Minecraft players active on the Creeper's Lab's server will also get activity reports conveniently displayed there! If there's something special you'd like to see added, or you have in mind THE thing it needs most, I'm wide open to comments and ideas!
Topic: Guide to the Stream