My Place Tutorial: Getting Started with My Place

About My Place

What Is My Place?
Rules for using My Place

Customizing My Place pages

Backgrounds and Styles
Avatar and Profile Photo
Personal profile and bio

Finding Friends

Browsing and Searching for Friends
Inviting Friends / Adding to Friends list
Communicating with Friends (not yet fleshed out)

Building My Home

Uploading layouts and albums
Posting blog entries
Posting tips, quotes, poems, and titles
Using your wish list
Shopping specials
Using Find It Fast


About My Place

What Is My Place?

My Place is your home at Scrapbook.com. What does that mean, exactly? It means that at Scrapbook.com you have your own personal web space where you can share your life and creations with others. Among other things, you can use My Place to:

  • Share your layouts and pictures with others
  • Write your very own Blog (online journal) to share with others
  • Post your tips, tricks, techniques, titles and quotes in one place on the web
  • Link to all of your other friends on the site and keep in touch with them
  • Communicate with any other Scrapbook.com member through Private Messages
  • And much more

What are the My Place Rules?

Basically, all of the rules are variations of two simple, primary rules.

First rule: If you haven't been given permission to advertise other websites on Scrapbook.com, don't do it. There is absolutely no linking to other Scrapbook sites.

Second Rule: Follow the "Golden Rule." Treat others as you'd like to be treated, and always give them the benefit of the doubt. Be nice. Read written correspondence in the most charitable way that you can.

For detailed rules, click here.

Customizing your My Place Web Space

Your My Place pages can be customized to fit your personality. You can customize them in various ways - primarily by selecting the look and feel (called your style), uploading a photo and avatar, and personalizing your profile description.

Customize the Look and Feel of your My Place page

My Place web pages are designed to look like layouts. So each page has a background (paper) and frame boxes (elements).

You can change the way your My Place pages looks. There are several "styles" which you can choose from. To select the look and feel of your page:

    1. Go to your profile page by clicking on the My Place icon in the upper navigation bar (the one with all the houses)
    2. Once you are logged in to your account, select "Customize My Place" from the "Navigation" box located in the upper left hand corner of your Profile page.
    3. You'll be taken to a page that has a green button that says "Choose a Different Style." Select that button.
    4. You'll then see a list of different styles you can choose from (you can even look at the styles by categories, just click on the categories in the list to the left of all the styles).
    5. Select the style you want by clicking on it.
    6. You'll then be shown a preview of how your site will look with that background. If you like it, hit the green "Select this style" button.
    7. Your new style is now selected. You can change styles as much as you want (go ahead and try on a new "outfit" every day, if you like!) We regularly roll out new styles too, so check in often.

Customize your Avatar and Profile Photo

You can upload a Photo onto your profile page. If you don't upload a photo, your avatar will be used. An avatar is an image that appears next to your name in the Scrapbook.com forums. Your avatar and your profile photo can be the same image; you'll just need to upload the image into both places.

To change your profile photo:

  1. Go to your profile page (it's the default page you will be at after logging into My Place)
  2. You'll see a big box in the center of the page, and inside that box on the left side will be an image with a link underneath that says "Edit Photo". Click on that link.
  3. You'll then be taken to a screen where you can upload an image. Just click "Browse," then find the file you'd like to upload, and select it.
  4. Hit the "submit" button and that image will now be your profile photo.

To change your avatar:

  1. Go to the Scrapbook.com Forum and log in (link to the Forum can be found in the Navigation bar at the top of the page - one of the homes).
  2. Click on the "My Settings" button from the list at the top of the forum
  3. A small drop down list will appear. From that list, click on "Control Panel."
  4. That will open your Control Panel in the window below. Select "Avatar Settings" from the list in the Control Panel.
  5. From there you may choose to:
    • Show no Avatar
    • Upload an image as your Avatar (click "Browse" to find the file on your computer, then click the "Proceed" button at the bottom of the page. Avatars can be up to 512kb in size.)
    • Use a stock Avatar from the Scrapbook.com list.

Update your personal profile and bio

Your personal profile offers visitors to your My Place a unique look into who you are. Please remember that whatever information you provide may be viewed by others, so only post information that you are comfortable with others seeing.

To update your personal profile and bio:

  1. Go to your Profile page (your default My Place page)
  2. Click on "Edit Profile". This link appears below the "Edit Photo" link, which appears right below your Profile Photo in the Profile pane in the center of the page.
  3. Fill out your personal information in the fields provided.
  4. Click the green "Proceed" button at the bottom of the page.

Here's some brief information about each of the profile fields.

  • Display name - This is the name that will appear all over the site. It can be different from your log-in name. You get to choose it.
  • Full Name - This is your real name (as opposed to your "displayed" name).
  • User Title - This is updated for you. You don't need to do anything. As you reach certain benchmarks for numbers of posts, your title will change.
  • Display email - This is the email address that will appear in your profile. Don't worry, if you don't want people to see it, you don't have to add it. You can keep it private. When you're logged into your My Place profile page, you'll see your registered email address, but you are the only one who is seeing it.
  • Home Page - Currently a disabled feature, so don't worry about it.
  • Occupation - Pretty self explanatory.
  • Hobbies and Interests - Again, pretty straightforward.
  • Location - Where you live.
  • Gender - Female or male.
  • Birthday - Only if you both provide your birthday and click the "Share Your Birthday" box will your birthday show. Your date of birth will not be shown. Only your month and day of birth.
  • Bio - This is where you tell everyone about you. It's a maximum of 500 Characters (not words, characters), so you may have to economize.

Finding Friends

Part of the My Place fun is linking up with other like minded people. If you visit other people's My Place pages, you'll notice that they have a friends list of all the people they have linked up with. There are several ways to find friends and link up with them so that they appear on your site.

Browsing for friends

Forums - The easiest way to find friends is through the Scrapbook.com Forums. This is the place where Scrapbook.com neighbors congrate when then want to discuss something publicly. As you browse the posts of others, you'll find neighbors who have interests similar to yours, or whose posts you just really like to read. Click on a user name (which will appear in every post made) and you'll be taken to that neighbor's My Place page where you can learn more about that person (see layouts, read blog entries, review the bio, and view Library contributions, etc.)

Galleries - Another easy way to find friends is through the Scrapbook.com Gallery. This is the place where Scrapbook.com neighbors post their photos and scrapbooking layouts. As you browse the layouts and photos of others, you'll find people who have a style that intrigues you. Click on their display names and you'll be taken to their My Place page where you can learn more about them.

Friends Lists - Visit the friends lists on the My Place pages of your friends. This is probably the fastest way to find like-minded people. If you have a friend you really like, chances are that their friends will also be people with common interests you may like to get to know.. Go to your friend's My Place page, and click on your friend's "Friends" link at the bottom of the Profile page. From that page you can visit the My Place pages of all that neighbor's friends and see if you'd like to strike up a friendship with them.

Searching for Friends

You can also search for friends using the Scrapbook.com forum search tool. There are a couple of different ways. First, if you know the user name of the My Place person you want to find, you can search for that. But we're assuming that you're trying to find new friends, not make old ones, so what you'd probably want to do is search for threads that contain keywords you are interested in. For example, if you are looking for other pregnant scrappers, you'd search for threads containing the word "Pregnancy." If you live in Australia and you're looking for threads that might connect you to other Aussies, you might search for threads containing the words "Australia" or "Sydney." To perform a forum search:

  1. Go to the forums by clicking on the "Forums" icon at the top of the page
  2. In the tabs at the top of the page, you'll see a tab that says "Search"; click on that tab
  3. A drop down box will appear; in the "Quick Search" field type in any area of interest you have and then click the "Search" button
  4. A list of threads will appear that contain that search term; you can visit that thread by clicking on it
  5. When you find people talking about the things you're interested in, click on their user name next to their post, you can send them a private message and introduce yourself, or just send them an invitation to be a My Place friend; don't be shy!

Inviting Friends / Adding to Friends list

So you've found people you want to be friends with. Now what? You need to send them a friend invitation. To do that:

  1. Go to their My Place profile page
  2. Click on the link "Add [so-and-so's name] to My Friends".
  3. You will then be take to a screen where you can write them a short note. This is optional.
  4. Click "Continue", and they will be sent an invitation to approve you to be added to one another's friends lists.

Communicating with Friends

Communicate with your friends by posting commenting on their layouts and blogs, and by sending them private messages. You can check (and send) your private messages at any time by logging into your My Place page and clicking on the "My Private Messages" link in the "Communications" box on the left hand side of the profile page.

Building My Place

My Gallery

Every registered user of the Scrapbook.com Neighborhood automatically has a personal photo and layout Gallery. Your Gallery is the place where you will display your layouts and photos. On your My Place profile page you'll also notice that your layouts and photos rotate through on a slide show loop. Your Gallery is a very robust tool. You can upload images of your layouts or photos to the gallery, comment on them, then post them to the gallery where others will be able to see them and comment on them. You can even group your layouts and photos into "albums." There is a Gallery FAQ that you can reference at any time. Many of the more common Gallery "how to's" are spelled out below.

Post Photos and Layouts to your Gallery

The simplest method is to take a photograph with a digital camera. For the best results, work in a clear, well-lit area. Remove any surrounding objects that may cast shadows on your layout, or lighting that will cause a glare on your pictures or embellishments.  Another common method is to scan your layout with your scanner at home and then upload the resulting image. For best results, make sure that your layout is placed evenly in the scanner. If your page is "lumpy" or contains many embellishments, you may wish to place a dark towel or cloth over the scanner while scanning. This prevents shadows from creeping in through the sides of the lid. If you don't have access to a camera or to a scanner, many stores that specialize in printing (such as Kinko's or Staples) will scan your layout and then put the image file on a CD which you take home. You can then upload this file into the gallery.

If you are scanning your image and your layout is 12x12, but your scanner isn't that large enough, you have some options.  The best option, in our opinion, is to scan the two sides of the layout as separate pieces, and then "stitch" them together using graphics software. The tips section in our Resources area has helpful advice on stitching with several popular programs:

http://www.scrapbook.com/tips/tech/131.html

If you don't find directions for your program in our Resources area, you can also post to the Technical Support Forum in the Forums, and someone may have directions or advice for your specific program:

http://www.scrapbook.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/14/

Scrapbook.com's gallery supports .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, and .BMP. The file type JPG generally allows a good use of image size and resolution. The maximum file size is 10MB for a single image upload.

If you are uploading more than one file at the same time (up to 10 at a time can be uploaded), the combined file size that can be uploaded is also 10MB. No single uploaded image can be bigger than 6,000 pixels wide or tall. The optimal size for the gallery is 600 pixels by 600 pixels, so images above this size will automatically be resized by the gallery software. Now that you have images you want to upload to the Gallery, you'll need to upload them.

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Please note that the speed of your connection will affect your ability to upload multiple files, especially large ones. This is not limited to dial-up users - most "high speed" connections have upload speeds that are significantly slower than download speeds. If you're experiencing issues uploading your file, try to upload 1-2 files at a time, and increase this number until you find the comfortable limit for your connection.
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To upload your images, do the following:

1.      Go to the main site menu, at the top of the screen, and click on Gallery. Or, go to My Place, and click on Gallery in the upper right.

2.      You'll see a list of menu items - click on Add Images, to the far right. Now click on the Browse button, below the menu. Select the file on your PC, and click on Open to add the file to your upload list. You can upload a maximum of 10 files at a time - we recommend uploading no more than 5 files at a time for Neighbors with slower connections. If you change your mind about uploading a file, simply click the X to the right of the filename, and it will be removed from your upload list.

3.      When your upload list is complete, click on the Upload button and your files will be uploaded.

4.      You'll now view a 2nd screen where you have several different options to choose for your layout or photo. To the left, you'll see a thumbnail of your picture. Below this thumbnail, you'll see Main Album, and listed below that are any personal albums that you have created.

5.      In the center, you'll see options for classifying your picture. You can choose Layouts, Photographs, Digital Layouts, or Other Projects. You'll also be given a 2nd chance to change your mind about the upload - simply click on Delete, then click on Submit Image.

6.      To the right, you'll see a column with the last set of choices regarding your picture.

a.      Title - the title of your creation or photo.

b.      Description - what you would you like to tell viewers about your layout, photo, or project.

c.       Keywords - words that can be used to search for files in the gallery. For example, if your creation is an altered paint can, you may wish to enter "paint can" in the keywords area.

d.      Products used - click on this button to search for products in the Superstore that were used in your creation. When you've found a matching product, simply click on the Add To List button. When you're through selecting products, click on the Done adding products link to the left to return to the upload window. If you find that you've selected a product in error, simply click on the X to the right of the product name to remove it from the list.

e.      Other products used - this box can be used to list products that aren't carried in the Superstore.

f.        Categories - this is the area to select the specifics of your layout. Click on the X to the left of any main category to expand the subcategories and select the subcategories that best reflect what your creation expresses. This will put your creation in searchable categories that will help other artists find inspiration.

7.      You're almost done! Click on Submit Image to finish uploading your picture - if you're working with multiple pictures, scroll to the bottom, and click on Submit All Images.

Now, you might want to create some personal albums and group certain layouts together.

To create an album, do the following:

1.      Go to the main Gallery screen, and click on My Gallery, to the right of Community Gallery. From the menu below My Gallery, click on Albums, then click on the Manage Albums link.

2.      You'll see any existing albums listed, and below that will be the option to add a new album. When adding an album, you'll need to make several choices.

a.      Name - in the box to the left, enter the name of the album that you'd like to create.

b.      Privacy - this option has several choices. Public means that anyone viewing the Scrapbook.com gallery can view your album and the images that it contains. Friends means that only registered users who are on your Friends list can view the album and contents. Best Friends means that only registered users on your Friends list that you have designated as Best Friends can view the album and contents. Password means that only individuals with the password can view your album and contents. If you'd like to choose this option, enter your chosen password in the box to the right of this selection.

3.      When you're done configuring your album, click on Update in the lower left, and your album will be created. You can create multiple personal albums.

If you decide that you'd like to change any of these options in the future, simply return to the Manage Albums link, make your changes, and Update again.

If you wish to delete an album in the future, return to the Manage Albums link, and check the box to the right under Remove. Then, click Update at the bottom. This will delete the album only, not the layouts in the album. The layouts will default back into your main album.

To move an image into a personal album or to change the categories that I chose when I uploaded, do the following:

1.      Go to the image that you'd like to work with, and click on Edit Image & Details - this button is to the lower left of the picture.

2.      From this screen, you can change any of the initial options, select a personal album, and/or delete the image.

3.      When your selections are correct, click on Submit in the lower left.

Now you can share the album you've created with anyone you want! These albums will also be available for individual viewing at the Gallery page in your My Place web space. Once you've uploaded images to your gallery, you'll also notice that there is a running slide-show that will appear on your My Place homepage featuring your layouts.

You can also select your favorite layouts for easy viewing later. Simply browse the layouts gallery to find layouts you like, then select the add to favorites button. You'll be able to store them in your favorites list for future reference and inspiration.

Posting Blog Entries

What is a blog?

A blog is an online journal where you can post diary entries and photos about anything you want: personal experiences, hobbies, whatever! Think of a blog as your own private printing press. You can write anything you want and have it on the world wide web instantly to share with anyone you'd like!

How do I post a blog entry (i.e. how to use a WYSIWYG editor)?

First of all, the blogging application works best with an Internet Explorer browser, so use IE. If you don't have an IE browser, you can download it by clicking here. As soon as you're on your My Place page:

  1. Click on the word "Blog" in the Navigation Pane in the upper left hand corner of the page.
  2. Click on the "Add New Entry" button on the upper right-hand hand corner of the page; you will be taken to a WYSIWYG editor. WYSIWYG is an acronym that stands for "What You See Is What You Get"
  3. Pick a title for your blog entry. For example, if I were going to blog about something funny my friend did, I might write, "Jen always makes me laugh!"
  4. Type your blog entry into the big, white box underneath all the buttons in the center of the page.
  5. When you're finished journaling your entry, hit the "Add entry" button at the bottom of the page.
  6. Voila! You've blogged.

So you undoubtedly noticed all the buttons above the posting field that you can use. Experiment with them. You can use them to bold or italicize your words. You can even post images and insert hyperlinks (a hyperlink is a web address that is embedded in a word; for example, this).

How do I post an image in my blog?:

  1. You'll need to upload your image to your image library. To start, click inside the blog form where you'll be inserting the image.
  2. Click on the "ibrowser” button. It's in the first column, third row.  It’s yellow and looks like a little photo. 
  3. When the "ibrowser" dialogue box appears, go the upload filed near the bottom and click on the "Browse" button.
  4. From the files saved on your computers, find the image you would like to upload and select it.
  5. Click the green "Go" button. Congratulations, the image you've uploaded is now in your image library to be used any time and anywhere you would like to insert it into a blog.
  6. To insert the image, highlight the one you want to use in the list of the uploaded images, then click the “Insert” button at the very bottom of the ibrowser window. 
  7. Your image now appears in the blog form.  When you publish your blog your image will be viewable to the world.

How do I create a link (hyperlink) in my blog?

  1. Remember that a hyperlink is a web address that is embedded in a word so that when a neighbor click on the word they are taken to the webpage link embedded in the word; so first, type the word (or words) you want to hyperlink.
  2. Highlight that text (by holding down the left button on your mouse and dragging over the text.
  3. Click on the "Hyperlink" button (it looks like a little world-globe with an arrow on it).
  4. A dialogue box with 4 input fields will appear. The only one you need to worry about is the 2nd, called "URL"; into the URL field, type or paste the link people will visit when they click on the words you are hyperlinking.
  5. Click "OK"
  6. Congratulations, your text is now hyperlinked. It should appear as blue, underlined text. When someone clicks on your link, they'll be taken to the URL you have embedded.

Posting Tips, Quotes, Poems, and Titles

The Scrapbook.com Library is a truly interactive library where neighbors can posts scrapbooking tips, titles, quotes and poems, and then others can browse through them to learn. The My Library box on your My Place page gives you a count of the number of contributions you have made to each library category. If you click into your library page (of the library page of another neighbor), you will see a list of all of your (or their) contributions to the library aggregated into one place. Click My Library to see all the contributions you've made so far - you'll see links you can click on to go directly to the page that contains your contribution.

To post to the library, simply:

  1. Log in to your My Place page.
  2. Click on "My Library" in the library box on your profile page.
  3. Click on one of the four category buttons at the top of the page to post a resource to that category.
  4. Follow the instructions on the resource page (it's pretty straightforward).

Other people can now find your contributions by visiting your My Place page, or by searching the general Library section.

Shopping Tools

The My Shopping box contains several elements to help you shop and save, including a wish lists, shopping specials, links to the Scrapbook.com Superstore, and a link to the Find It Fast search tool, the fastest Scrapbooking search tool on the planet, only found at Scrapbook.com

Using your wish list

Wish lists are perfect for keeping track of all those products you can't get today, but would like to get someday. You can email the URL (web address) of your Wish List to friends and family during the holiday season or when you have a birthday coming up so that they can easily shop for you..

Once you have registered for My Place, you automatically have a Wish List feature enabled. To add items to your Wish List, simply:

  1. Go to the Scrapbook.com Superstore and find the product you'd like to add to your wish list.
  2. Click the "Add to wishlist" button on the in the product description box (it's found near the "Add to cart" button).
  3. Your product is now added to your Wish List.

You can access your Wish List at anytime by going to your My Place page and clicking on the "My Wish List" link in the shopping pane on the right hand side of the page. You can see others' wish lists by going to their My Place pages and clicking on their wish list buttons. This will only work if the neighbor has chosen to make her wish list visible to others. You also have the option to make your wishlist visible (or invisible) to others by clicking or unclicking a checkbox that appears at the bottom of your wishlist page.

Shopping specials

This is a listing of Scrapbook.com featured products, discounts, and third party offers that will save you money.


Using Find It Fast

The Find It Fast The fastest way to search for scrapbooking products in the world. Go to find it fast, start typing what you're looking for (whether brand, theme, product, etc.) As you're typing, find it fast will begin looking for products that match your criteria and return them to you as you type, without you ever having to click a button. Find It Fast will then give you a list of products that meet your search criteria. You can hit the "Add to cart" button and the product will be added to a mini-cart on the page, without taking you to a new page, so that you can continue to add items to your cart and you see fit! When you're done shopping, click the checkout link in the right hand corner. It's that easy. Find It Fast has been shown to help Scrapbookers shop 20 times faster!