Lake Barcroft  
 
association

 

Lake Link


 
By George McLennan (george.mclennan@gmail.com)

This article is about our community information sharing system. You will learn what LakeLink is all about and how to subscribe. I've also included a few tips on LakeLink etiquette.

WHAT IS LAKELINK?

LakeLink is a free service that provides a way to bring together the Lake Barcroft community through an e-mail group (sometimes called a listserv). This service offers a convenient way to connect with others in the community who share the same interests and ideas. It turns the community into a giant "brain trust" that everyone in the community can tap into. Well, maybe brain trust is overstating a bit, but the people in this community are it's greatest resource and LakeLink is one of the keys to tapping that resource.

Okay, okay so what is it really? LakeLink is a service provided by Yahoo [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LakeLink] and works by forwarding every message it receives to all of its subscribers. When someone replies to a message from Lake Link, the reply is also forwarded to all of the subscribers.

For example, let's suppose you wanted to know what restaurants in the area deliver. You would send your question in the form of an e-mail message to LakeLink. Everyone would see your question and those with an answer could reply. And, everyone could see the answers you received. One of the greatest benefits about this is that everybody learns from your experience.

How do I join? - The easiest way to join is by using the JOIN button at the top of this page. Please note, you must reside in the Lake Barcroft community.

Do I have to share my private information? - No. Neither Yahoo nor I will share your name and address with anyone. Only current community residents may join.

Will I get too much e-mail? No. The most mail you will ever get is one message per day. Everyone has the option of using the "digest" mode or the "individual messages" mode. In the digest mode, each day's messages are bundled into a single message with a table of contents. If you want to use the individual message mode, where you get each message as LakeLink receives it, you may change it yourself (please read on) or let me know and I will change it for you.

How do people use LakeLink? - There are many, many ways. Here are just a few: - Finding a babysitter; getting contractor recommendations; learning the latest community news; receiving police department crime alerts; getting help with computer problems; finding an auto mechanic; tracking the bald eagle; learning where to get help with your taxes; setting up car pools for kids.

CHANGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS    top

The easiest way to change your subscription options is with the buttons at the top of this page.

  • Join - Start a new subscription or change your email address.
  • Set Digest - Change to digest mode for one message per day.
  • Set Messages - Change to individual message mode to receive messages instantly.
  • Set Pause - Temporarily stop receivng messages.
  • Quit - Cancel your subscription.

To change an address, you must Join the new address and Quit the old address.

It is best to Pause delivery when your mail is set to auto-reply.

All subscription settings may also be changed using the links at the bottom of each LakeLink message.

ETIQUETTE    top

Please, please, please follow the few simple guidelines below to make everyone's LakeLink experience a pleasant one.

1.      Consider the tone of your message. It is not only your "voice" to the community but also a voice of the community. Perceptions of our community will be derived from that message.

2.      Speak in the polite and considerate manner that you would use if you were face to face with another person.

3.      Consider that in the heat of the moment, your message may be more abrasive than you intended. Perhaps you should wait a couple of hours before you fire off a reply. Also consider that some people are more sensitive to a tone than you might expect. Additionally consider that many do not get subtle humor or irony and will make a different interpretation than you intended.

4.      When replying to a message, include ONLY the specific parts of the previous message to which you are replying. When you click on the Reply button, most mail software will include all original message in the reply plus other replies. This means you must delete all parts of the original message that are not related to your topic. This is particularly important if you are receiving the digests.

5.      If you are subscribing in the Digest mode do not use the default subject line. Change the Subject to reflect you topic, for example:

Bad form:      LBA Digest - 13 Nov 2010 to 14 Nov 2010 (#2000-103)

Good form:    The eagle/fox/neighbor’s dog is in my yard

That way a reader can look at the table of contents at the top of the digest message and see what's being discussed. Once a message is in the archive, it can't be changed. In addition, it keeps the annoyance factor down for the other readers.

6.      Send replies meant for an individual directly to that individual and only to that individual by clicking on the Reply button. It keeps the annoyance factor down for readers by not having to read through what they would otherwise consider "junk" mail. To reply to both the individual and to LakeLink, click on the Reply All button.

7.      Send replies to an invitation only to the sender, not to LakeLink.

8.      Keep personal messages personal. Do not send them to LakeLink. Imagine the potential for embarrassment.

Please note that those that do not follow the first three guidelines above will have their subscriptions suspended for a minimum of one week for the first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in loss of posting privileges for up to a year or account termination.

ACCESS TO THE LAKELINK WEB SITE    top

The Yahoo LakeLink web site has a number of neat and very useful features that you can only use once you have direct access to its web site. (By the way, please do not confuse the Yahoo LakeLink web site with the community web site where you are now, and which also has neat and useful features.) The LakeLink web site features include:

  • Searchable message archive
  • Subscriber list
  • Database that could be used for many things
  • A place to share photos, bookmarks and files
  • Chat room
  • Community polls (this one we really have to use).

The fact that you are a LakeLink subscriber doesn't mean that you will automatically have access to the LakeLink web site. That would be far too easy. In order to access the site you must get your email address registered with Yahoo. Unfortunately, Yahoo's instructions are a bit confusing so here is a set of simpler instructions as prepared by Pablo Zurzolo of Dockser Terrace.

1.   Go to the Lake Link home page [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LakeLink]

2.   On the upper left hand corner of the page, click on “New User? Register”

3.   On the next page, if you already have a Facebook Account, a Gmail Account or a Yahoo Account you can just click on the one of the 3 pictures (icons) on the right and use your name and password to link the two accounts together, and now you can go to step 7. If you don’t use Facebook, Gmail or Yahoo already, then continue the process below to set up a new Yahoo ID.

4  . Fill out the form presented.  First select a name and hit the “check” button to make sure that someone already doesn’t have that name registered.  Put in a password (note that lower and upper case letters DO make a difference, so write it down in case you have to go back and change things later).   

4a.  In the next section, take note of the line that says "Alternate Email."  Here you will enter your EXISTING email address that you typically use.  (Background: this process is going to give you both a Yahoo ID and a Yahoo mailbox where you can also receive email,  but you never have to use the new Yahoo email address if you don’t want to,  so by entering your existing email, all Lakelink messages get forwarded to the email you use every day).

4b. In the next section you will need to put in some security questions that you will need in the future in case you ever forget the Yahoo ID or password and want to recover it. Finally, you will have to enter the numbers and letters shown in the box below.  Most web sites do this now to prevent spammers and computer programs from automatically setting up fake credentials. (here’s a trick…the code isn’t case sensitive, meaning you can enter it in all caps or lowercase and it will still accept it)

 If you can’t make out the image, and sometimes it is almost impossible to do so,  click on the “try a new code” right below the box, or if you have speakers on your computer you can also click on  “audio code” above the box and it will read out a series of numbers for you to type in (don’t mind the background noise, just listen for the numbers).

4c. Before you finish…just write down your new Yahoo name and password because we all have enough to remember as it is!!.  Finally, click on “Create my Account”

5. At this point you will be taken to a confirmation screen.  You can print out your new ID and email name and security questions you just answered (but not the password) if you didn’t already write it down.

6.  Now….this is an important step for most people…. Go to your existing email inbox.   You should have an email from Yahoo asking you to verify your email address.  Again, because of all the spammers out there, they want to make sure that someone doesn’t misrepresent you.  If you don’t go through this step you will not be able to get Lakelink updates to your existing email.  When you open the email from Yahoo you will see a link…go ahead and click on it.

OK…you are almost done!!

7.  Go back to the Lakelink home page [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LakeLink] .    Click on the “join this group”.  You will be asked to log into your new Yahoo account, and then be taken to a confirmation screen.  If you confirmed your existing email address, it should give you the option to have Lakelink delivered there.  If you didn’t go through step 7, then you will be receiving Lakelink email in your new Yahoo email box.

8.  Further down in the form you will have option of getting an email everytime there is a new post to Lakelinks or a “digest” once a day.  Make a selection, and then enter the code displayed on the bottom to confirm you are a real person at the keyboard and not a spamming machine….and  finally….click “join”

9.   Congratulations!! If you have persevered through this entire tedious process you are now finally ready to go to the LakeLink site. Just click on "View my groups" and click again on "LakeLink." I sincerely hope you find all this effort worth the trouble.

TESTIMONIALS    top

LakeLink is emerging as another essential way for people to feel a part of the community, and to get "fast breaking" info. Example: the day the listserv mentioned the problem with identity theft from autos, I promptly cleared out all identity info from our cars. The very next morning we found evidence of someone going through each car, parked in our driveway 80 feet from the street! Now we are more careful about locking the cars, too.
-- Anonymous Lake Barcroft Resident

This system really works; we sold our car through LakeLink [in three days]. We are happy that we have this wonderful tool in our community.
-- Milt and Priscilla Stevens

[Lake Link helps us] to feel part of the community and know what is going on.
-- Fred and Lisa Abbey

I subscribe to Lake Link because we are a unique community, and what better way could there be to keep a finger on the pulse of everyday life in a community than swapping information which may be of interest or even importance throughout the community? Lake Link furnishes a "live", active feeling of belonging to the community which just driving around and looking at fine houses, green acreage, and sparkling water can't provide. The more residents of the community who participate in LakeLink, the more vital the community life becomes. AND IT'S FREE!!
-- "Dake" Hollis Daken

[Lake Link is] a great way to know what's going on around Lake Barcroft in almost real time. It's great to be able to ask folks "does anyone know about ....?" It's a good way to sell things quickly, and to get a quick answer (like that weird stuff growing in the lake). [LakeLink is] a part of the community connection that we all need and can contribute to. Everyone has good and bad experiences to share. The police alerts are really important.
-- Regina Derzon

I very much value LakeLink I found our puppy--a complete joy to us!--through Lake Link, along with our vet, and the wonderful woman who comes and walks him mid-day while I'm at work...I've also printed and saved a number of recommendations for services that I anticipate needing. I feel much more "connected" to the Lake Barcroft community as a result of subscribing to Lake Link and I highly recommend it.
-- Dani Kehoe