You would think that searchable reference of memorable links, with a standard feed connecting everything from newsreaders to social media to other sites would pretty much cover it. Almost, but not quite. This article talks about a couple of common needs and how to handle them using membic themes.
What else is needed?
There are two common situations where your profile might not be enough. The first case is when find yourself wanting a searchable reference and feed for a subset of membics you write. This can happen if you have specialized ongoing interests. For example you might have continuing interests in social justice and art. You can add “art” and “social justice” tags to each of the membics you write, but you might want to elevate one or more of these interests to have its own searchable archive and feed.
The second situation that goes beyond your personal profile is when you want to team up with friends or colleagues to collaboratively build a searchable reference archive with its own feed. You could all share an account, but that can be confusing to manage, and signing out and signing in to different accounts gets annoying.
Membic solves both these situations with themes.
What’s a Theme?
A Membic Theme is very similar to a profile. It has a name, an identifying image and a brief description. It has its own feed. When you create a theme, you are automatically set up as its Founder, which means you have full control over everything the same way as you do for your profile.
As a Founder, you can choose to have other members or not. It’s entirely up to you whether having other contributors would be appropriate. You can accept or remove members anytime.
How Theme Membership Works
Themes support three levels of membership:
- Members can post membics to the theme, or choose to remove membics they’ve written. They cannot change the descriptive information or anything else about the theme.
- Moderators are members who are additionally allowed to remove membics from anyone else if they feel a posted membic is inappropriate or off topic.
- Founders control membership and have full access to all information and settings.
At the top of the theme settings dialog, there is a tab for the administrative log which keeps track of all significant actions by Moderators and Founders. There is also a membership tab where you can see who is associated with the theme and at what level.
To become a member of a theme, you first follow the theme and then apply for membership. When a founder sees your application, they either accept or reject your membership application. A founder can later remove a member if things aren’t working out, or promote them to Moderator or even a co-Founder. Founders cannot remove other Founders, but anyone can resign to a lower membership level or resign from the theme entirely if they want.
Posting to the Theme
As a theme member at any level, you will see a checkbox for the theme when you are writing a new membic. If what you are writing is appropriate for the theme, check the box. The membic you write will automatically post through.
If you edit a membic, and uncheck the theme box, what you posted through will be removed from the theme.
If for any reason you inappropriately post through to a theme, and a Moderator or Founder removes your membic, it will be just as if you unchecked the theme box. There will be a note in the theme administrative log explaining why your post was removed. It’s important to consider the integrity of what membics are included in a theme so the theme continues to be useful as a resource.
Themes can optionally have their own keywords. If defined, checkboxes for those keywords will be presented when you check the theme while writing a membic. Custom keywords require slightly more consideration while writing, but can be very helpful for searching theme content. Especially for new visitors viewing your theme embedded within another site.
If you are not sure what keywords to use, it can be a good strategy to wait until you have at least a few dozen membics posted to the theme. That way you can get a better idea what tagging would be most helpful. In general, less is more. As the number of keywords increases, their utility diminishes. The goal is to have keywords that provide the maximum access for yourself and other visitors.
If you are ready to create a theme, click the add icon at the top of the themes page at https://membic.org