The changes to CTBirds over the last month or so have been a bit rocky at times, but it also provides some new capabilities. I am going to take a stab here at outlining them. Some of you might want to take advantage of them..
First, it is now possible to have a password with your ID. The new software calls this being Registered. Registration opens up several new capabilities. To Register, start here: https://lists.ctbirding.org/login#. In the upper right corner there can be found "Don't have an account yet? Sign Up!" Click on Sign Up and you will get a place to enter your name, email and a new password. When you fill that in and press the Sign UP button below YOU WILL BE SENT AN EMAIL TO CONFIRM THAT YOU INTENDED TO SIGN UP! That confirmation email can end up in your SPAM folder! You MUST follow the instructions in that email to complete the process. (There are currently five such confirmation messages that have been sent out without that last response step being taken.)
Once you have completed Registering, and have signed in, that puts you in a new tool for managing your account. The tool is called Affinity. You will see your name in the upper right corner of the screen. Click on that and you will have the opportunity to Update Profile. In your profile you can:
It is also possible to remove yourself from CTBirds if that is what you want. Be aware that you MAY have to deal with confirming emails (that can land in your SPAM folder) for some changes.
Another area of the list has been completely changed is the List Archive. The new address for the archive is:
The tool to view the new archive has a name, Empathy. If you are not signed in you can still read the messages there. They are in Threaded order, sorted by the threads with the most recent activity at the top. Some of you may find this a useful alternative to the ABA site. It is possible to filter by month.
For those who have Registered, and who have Signed In, Empathy offers another new feature: posting to the list directly from Empathy. It allows you to start a new Thread with the "Post new thread" button, or reply to a message you are viewing. WE HAVE NOT EXPLORED THIS CAPABILITY YET. It would probably be best to refrain from using it until we actually understand it.
Some things have not changed. CTBirds is still plain text. CTBirds still does not support attachments such as photos.
Please understand that the above is no more than a first draft. Something more detailed should be written from this, but it was past time for this information to be shared.
Before I end this I must acknowledge the outstanding work that Steve Morytko has been doing in the shadows to support the list transition and the issues that have resulted. He has been doing far more than I have on this, and invaluable doesn't begin to encompass his contribution. Thanks, Steve!
Thank you all for your patience during these... interesting times, and...
Thanks Roy for getting everyone up-to-speed on some of the new functions available for using CTBirds! I have a few additions that I hope don’t confuse anyone as we’re throwing a lot of information out at once.
First, I’m writing this reply from the Empathy interface (not replying to email). So the posting/replying option works, so I’d suggest you try it but you must register first on the Affinity interface as Roy mentioned. You might think of Affinity as where you register and manage your CTBirds account and Empathy as where you read, post, and search the CTBirds list. That may not be entirely accurate but for our purposes let’s go with it. While you can view CTBirds posts as a Guest without registering you can’t reply or post nor can you manage your email and account settings.
I would encourage everyone to register for a CTBirds account - even if you’re happily receiving CTBirds via email as there are several important advantages when you do.
Subscribers to CTBirds have endured some pain lately with changes to the new interface and various other frustrating issues with email processing - much of it beyond our control. By using the Empathy web interface you can still enjoy everything about CTBirds without actually receiving email! All posts and replies are available via the web interface so you can avoid issues that come with sometimes chaotic email processing … and you can still continue to receive email if you wish.
Rich text processing is available from the web interface. You’ve noticed I’m using bold and italic characters for emphasis. You can’t do that with email as the listserve currently converts everything to plain text format.
You can use a powerful search interface that goes back to the beginning of CTBirds time on Earth. Search all your old posts, find out where and when someone saw a King Rail, …
You can manage your email settings (change to digest mode, disable email delivery, and more). We’d appreciate that too as lately we are awfully busy processing requests from people wishing to switch to digest mode so that posts are sent in batches rather than individual messages. You can do that yourself from the Update Profile page.
That’s enough for now. Again, I’d encourage you to register for a CTBirds account by visiting: https://lists.ctbirding.org/register I suspect you’ll be glad you did.