FAQ

How do I import my Listserv list?

How do I import my Listserv list?

Follow the directions at How-To: Import from Listserv.

What Are Open Groups (And When Should I Request One)?

What Are Open Groups (And When Should I Request One)?

Targeted posts get sent to groups. Groups are of two kinds: open and closed. Membership in a closed group is determined by the Timeline (through integrations with back-end systems, or by the group owner). Membership in an open group is open, i.e. anyone who can login to the Timeline can join an open group. Joining an open group is somewhat analogous to subscribing to a tag—you do so because you are interested in receiving posts published to that group/tag.

So the question arises: when should you request the creation of an open group, as opposed to requesting the creation of a new tag? To being with, you should first check to see if a group (open or closed) or tag already exists that covers your interest area, and publish to that group or tag if it exists (you may need to request posting rights to the associated group or tag). If the group/tag does not currently exist, then you should use the following guidelines when trying to decide whether to request the creation of a tag or an open group:

  • Tags are hard to get: We want to keep the number of tags limited, because people have to be able to easily navigate the tag hierarchy to subscribe or post to tags. This means that there should be dozens to hundreds of tags, not thousands, and the new tag should easily fit into the existing hierarchy. Top-level tags are particularly hard to justify, because they show up as part of the initial tag list when you go to subscribe (or you go to post), and we do not want people to have to scroll through hundreds of tags to find the ones they are interested in.
  • Open Groups are easy to get: The Timeline can support a nearly unlimited number of groups. The Timeline only displays groups of which you are a member, or to which you have rights, so a large number of groups will not clutter the Timeline display, nor make it hard for people to publish or view posts.
  • Tags can only be placed on events: You cannot post a deadline or announcement as a tagged post. 
  • Tagged posts show up under Events, not on My Calendar: Targeted posts are things that people are supposed to know about (or have to know about) because of their role/status, while Tagged posts are things that people might want to know about because of their interests. The Timeline displays these in different areas (My Calendar versus Events), so think about where you want your posts to appear.
  • Do your intended posts represent things people HAVE to know about, or just things they might WANT to know about: This is a judgement call on your part, but the following example might help you make the right tag/open-group decision. Suppose you are the president of the Chess club at Princeton. You want to be able to reach all members of your club to tell them about an upcoming competition. You could ask for a “Chess” tag to be added to the tag set, and then tell Chess devotees to subscribe to that tag, or you could ask for a “Chess” open group to be created, and tell chess players to join the group. The open group makes sense if you want to use Timeline to reach all people who play Chess. The tag makes sense if you want to use Timeline to reach all people who follow/watch Chess. It is likely that you need the former, rather than the later.

How Do I Reach The Right People Using Tags?

How Do I Reach The Right People Using Tags?

To ensure that your post gets to its intended recipients, it is important that you understand how tags work. Tags are arranged hierarchically (for details, see the How-To: Tags). When a person subscribes to a tag, they will receive posts that have that tag, and any sub-tags of that tag. They will NOT, however, receive posts tagged with a parent of their subscribed tag (unless they have also subscribed to the parent tag). For example, if a person subscribes to Music (and not to the parent tag of Music, Arts), they will see posts that have been tagged with Music, or any sub-tags of Music (if there are any), but they will NOT see posts that have the Arts tag. The reason that tags work this way is that this allows people to avoid getting posts in which they are not interested (e.g., I am interested in Music, but not in Drama, so I subscribe to Music, and not to Arts, which includes Drama). Given that tags work this way, there is one very simple rule that you should follow when it comes to selecting tags to put on your tagged posts:

Always post using the lowest level tag(s) that describe your interests.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but If you follow this rule, people interested in the subject area named with a tag will receive your posts. If you use higher-level tags, they very often will not.

What Tags Can I Include In My Posts?

What Tags Can I Include In My Posts?

Tags are of two types: open and closed. To publish a tagged post to a closed tag, you need to have the associated tag posting right. To publish to an open tag, you just need to have the “publish to open tags” right. When you go to create a tagged post (click on the My Posts(link is external) sub-tab under Publish, then on Create Tagged Post), the Create Tagged Post form, in the Event Tags section, will have an Add Tags button that shows all the tags to which you have posting rights. If you do not see a tag to which you think you should have posting rights, please see the Tags how-to in this website.

When Should I Publish A Tagged Post?

When Should I Publish A Tagged Post?

Tagged posts are sent to people who have subscribed to one or more of the tags contained in the post, or have subscribed to a “parent” of one of the tags in the post (see the Glossary item on Tags for an explanation of the tag hierarchy). They should contain information that people need to know about because of their interests, as opposed to their group membershipFor example, if you are posting an ad about an upcoming orchestra concert, you should publish it as a tagged post, using the “Music” tag. Anyone who has subscribed to this tag will see the post on their timeline. You may, in addition, wish to publish a targeted post to the members of the orchestra, telling them when they should show up at Richardson for the concert – anyone who is a member of the orchestra group will receive this post, regardless of their interests.

Tagged posts show up on the Events (link is external)tab in the timeline app. You can also tell the Timeline to publish the post using additional media (e.g., email, text messages). You can also publish a tagged post to a Destination, which currently can only be a Drupal web site. Please see the How-To: Add Timeline to a Drupal website for instructions on setting this up.

Tagged posts can ONLY be events. So, if you are publishing an announcement or deadline, then your choice about whether to publish a tagged or targeted post is simple – it has to be a targeted post, not a tagged post.

What groups can I post to?

What groups can I post to?

To publish a targeted post to a group, you need to have the associated group posting rightsWhen you go to create a targeted post (click on the My Posts(link is external) sub-tab under Publish, then on Create Targeted Post), the Create Targeted Post form, in the Targeted Group(s) section, will have an Add Groups button that shows all the groups to which you have posting rights. If you do not see a group to which you think you should have posting rights, please see the Groups how-to on this website.

When Should I Publish A Targeted Post?

When Should I Publish A Targeted Post?

Targeted posts are sent to a group, or groups, of people. They should contain information that people need to know about because of their membership in the group(s). For example, if you are posting the deadline for submission of senior theses by History majors, then you would want to publish that deadline as a targeted post to senior History majors. Every senior History major needs to know about this, because they are seniors majoring in History. Another example of a targeted post would be an announcement to all seniors of a change in the venue of the graduation ceremony. All seniors need to know about this, regardless of their interests. When you send a targeted post, every member of the target group(s) will receive the post—they cannot NOT receive it.

Another example: the head of the Glee Club would send a targeted post to all Glee Club members telling them when they needed to show up for the next Glee Club concert. All members of the Glee Club must receive this post, because of their membership in the Glee Club (and not because they are interested in choral music, although that is likely to be the case as well). You should NOT send out a targeted post if people should receive it based on their interests, as opposed to their group membership. Instead, you should send out a tagged post. In the above Glee Club example, the head of the Glee Club might publish a tagged post to timeline advertising the Glee Club concert – this post would use tags appropriate to this kind of event (e.g., “Music”), and it would be received by anyone who had expressed an interest in any of the associated tags (“Music”).

Targeted posts show up on the My Calendar tab in the timeline app. You can also tell the Timeline to publish the post using additional media (e.g., email, text messages). You can also publish a targeted post to a Destination, which currently can only be a Drupal website. Please see the How-To: Add Timeline to a Drupal website for instructions on setting this up.

Targeted posts can be of three kinds: eventsdeadlines and announcements.

  • Events have two associated dates/times (start and end of event).
  • Deadlines have one date/time (deadline).
  • Announcements have no associated date/times.

[Note: all posts have an associated posting date/time; here we are referring to the date/times associated with the event/deadline itself].

Tagged posts can ONLY be events. So, if you are publishing an announcement or a deadline, then your choice about whether to publish a tagged or targeted post is simple – it has to be a targeted post.

I’ve Decide To Post To The Timeline: What Now?

I’ve Decide To Post To The Timeline: What Now?

Before you publish a post in the Timeline, you have to make a fundamental decision: should I publish a targeted or a tagged post? If you don’t understand the difference between these kinds of posts, please read the Overview or consult the Glossary. Once you know what you are going to post, follow the instructions in How-To:  Post to the Timeline.

What Should I Post To The Timeline?

What Should I Post To The Timeline?

The Timeline was built to facilitate distribution of short, time-critical information to the Princeton community. Things like announcementsevents, and deadlines. It was NOT built for distribution of documents or long, multi-paragraph text.

Here are some things for which the Timeline IS intended:

  • Email: The prime use case for Timeline is to replace the emails used for sending event/deadline/announcement information to members of the Princeton community (very often done through Listserv lists). When you post through the Timeline, you CAN request that Timeline generate emails (e.g., use Timeline just as you would use Listserv), but one of the goals of the Timeline is to reduce email traffic, so you should request email delivery only if it is required for your communication purpose.
  • Listserv lists: Listserv lists used to post announcements/events. Such lists typically have lots of members but very few posters. Timeline is NOT a good replacement for discussion lists (those that have lots of posters). Also, the Timeline currently only supports people with Princeton netids. If your list includes non-Princeton people, you cannot replace it with Timeline.
  • Announcement/Event/Deadline postings on Websites: The Timeline will insure that your post reaches all intended recipients, whether they visit your website or not. You can also teach the Timeline to publish posts into your Drupal website. For details, see How-To: Add Timeline to a Drupal website.

Here are some things for which the Timeline is NOT intended:

  • Web Pages: The Timeline cannot function as a replacement for a departmental or program web page, but it IS possible to have the Timeline feed information into an existing web page (See How-To: Add Timeline to a Drupal website).
  • Newsletters: The Timeline is not an appropriate mechanism for distributing the extensive text found in a typical newsletter. However, you can post announcements about a newsletter into the Timeline (and have those posts point to the newsletter).
  • Discussion Groups (including Listserv lists used for discussions): The Timeline is not intended for back-and-forth communication.

Why can't I see the Publish tab?

Why can't I see the Publish tab?

To publish a targeted post in the Timeline you must have posting rights to one or more Timeline groups. To publish a tagged post, you must either have the right to post to open tags or the right to post to one or more closed tags. If you have none of these rights, you will not see the Publish tab. Please contact the Timeline administrator if you should have one or more of these rights.

How do I send email from the Timeline?

How do I send email from the Timeline?

When you send a targeted post you can request that the Timeline send the post as an email to all the members of the target group(s). To do this, on the Create Targeted Post form, click on the Add Notification link under Additional Publication Notifications, select your options and click Save

Why can't I see my events in Google?

Why can't I see my events in Google?

To have Timeline events sync to your Google calendar you need to do two things:

  1. Tell Timeline about your calendar, and
  2. Tell Timeline to sync events into your calendar.

To add a Google calendar to Timeline, follow the instructions in Account Info. Once you have added your Google calendar to Timeline, follow the instructions in About Me or My Groups to redirect posts to your Google calendar.

Note: if you have previously added your Google calendar to Timeline and events are still not syncing try removing your Google calendar from Timeline and re-adding the calendar. If you are doing this from a web browser, make sure you disable your popup blocker.

How do I add a personal event to my Timeline?

How do I add a personal event to my Timeline?

To add a personal event to My Calendar, click the New Event button in the My Calendar tab. More details can be found in the How-To's.