On behalf of the entire team here at BecomeAnEX, we are thrilled to welcome you to the new EX community platform! A monumental amount of work has gone into getting us here. Sincere thanks to members of the EX Community Advisory Board for sharing your feedback, insights, and opinions. And a very hearty thank you to everyone who has made the requested adjustments to get us ready for the move.
I Confess… I NEVER read users manuals
But let me encourage all of you to take just a few minutes to check out the Community Help section. You can get to it in the upper right corner of the site. You’ll find 8 different “tiles” there (e.g., “About Conversations” “About Celebrations and Events”) with a handful of short documents behind each one. We promise these are well worth the time! You’ll quickly see that things here work a bit differently than they used to, and so we’ve taken great care to provide detailed instructions to get you up and running quickly!
We’ve also put together a Getting Started Guide that you can access right from the Home Page. Steps 1-7 cover the basics, so please consider them Must Reads.
If you have a question about how to use something on the site, we have the perfect way for you to do that in Community Help. Ask a Question!
There are some GREAT new features we want to call your attention to:
- Ask and Share is THE place to be. Posts here appear in the Conversations area. It is called Conversations because that’s truly what happens here: genuine conversations, about quitting and also just about life in general. Ask a question, post an update, tag friends, share photos.
- Blogs are designed to be your personal journal. Your blogs are important and people will still be able to leave comments. We encourage you to keep blogging if that feels comfortable for you, but it’s no longer the one-stop-shop.
- @mentions! It’s now much easier to message one person and a group of people with @mentions. Whenever you post something, add as many @ mentions as you want, and the people that you’ve tagged will be notified. If you’re a Facebook user, you know how these work. For the rest of you, it’s simple. Just type the “@” symbol followed by the user name of the person you want to mention in a conversation (no quote marks, no spaces) and that person will receive a notification linking them to the relevant conversation.
- Pictures! We know many of you will be excited about this feature. Be sure to check out the Community Help instructions for how to upload your photos here on EX. It’s EASY! No more clunky work-arounds to create a web link… you can upload images from your computer or phone right into a blog or discussion post. Be sure to upload a profile photo of your choosing.
- Celebrations and Events! Participate in The Daily Pledge, Freedom Train, and Bonfire right from this section. Holding a local, live event? Want to schedule an online meetup? All these events are easy now to set up and manage in Celebrations and Events. Keep your eye out for details on some new events coming soon!
- My EX Feed. Keep tabs on everything in the Community in this section. Plus, see filtered feeds of just your friends or content you care about.
- My Quit Stats. A new section in your profile counts up how long you’ve been smoke free, how many cigarettes you’ve avoided, and how much money you’ve saved. It’s linked to your Quit Date in the My Quit Plan section so be sure your QD is accurate! Share these stats in your posts, check out other members’ stats and cheer them on, or paste a screen shot of these in the Bonfire. We hope you find this new tool easy to use and useful!
Some Finishing Touches Still to Come
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be putting some final polish on the site. Specifically, we’ll be reconnecting some things between the Community and My Quit Plan, and adding in some of the last pieces of data.
- Your wall posts, private messages, group descriptions and the forum discussions will be coming later – on the “second moving truck,” so to speak. Stay tuned for more details.
- Your profile picture will temporarily be missing on the My Quit Plan page.
- In the actual steps of My Quit Plan, the checkbox for “visit the community” will be added back in. No history of this will be lost.
- You can no longer edit your username. If you truly need to change it, send a private message to the EX Community Manager, Mark.
A Few (Odd) Things To Note
- The default view for posts is "Sort by latest activity: newest first" - this will make it look like everything here on EX was posted this week! (This is actually the day the "moving truck" unloaded here on EX with all our data.) To view actual dates, use the dropdown to change this to "Sort by date created: newest first/oldest first"
- On each person's profile, you'll notice two dates under username and above Location. The top date is your quit date; the one below it is the date you last visited the Community.
- If you are using an older Internet browser or operating system, you may find that some things look strange on the Community. Our best suggestion is to consider upgrading your browser to have the optimal experience.
- For a short period of time, emails that are generated from the Community (e.g., if you receive a private message) will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. This will soon be changed so that all emails are sent from BecomeAnEX.
- The first time you visit the Community on a mobile device, you may find the top of the page looks empty and you have to scroll to see content. We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it. If you close the page and come back a second time, you'll find everything appears as it should.
We Hope You Enjoy!
We are hopeful that this platform makes it easier to find the people, content, and groups that each of you will find the most helpful in your quitting journey. We are also hopeful that collectively – as a community – you find that this new platform helps create a strong sense of cohesiveness and unity that translates into meaningful change for everyone. As always, the EX Community Manager, Mark is at the ready to help with any and all questions you have. Don’t hesitate to reach out to him!
Please... share your feedback below about how things are going. I'd love to hear from you!