To create an account you will need to visit the Registration page and complete the form for creating a new account. Here you will specify details such as your login name and email address – depending upon how VitalVotes is configured you may also be asked to specify a password. If you are not asked to specify a password, one will be emailed to you after successfully registering.
After successfully registering you should have a username and password. You can then visit the login page and enter your username and password to login.
When logging in if you do not check the ‘Remember Me’ option you will be automatically logged off after an administrator-defined length of inactivity, usually 20 minutes. If you would like the site to always log you in automatically, please check the ‘Remember Me’ checkbox.
If you forgot your username and/or password you can visit the Forget Your Password page and have both your username and a new password emailed to you by entering the email account you're registered with. You will be sent a new password since we store your password encrypted and have no way of retrieving the original value. Once you receive your username and new password you can login and change your password.
If you’ve registered and can’t login, check to ensure you have a valid username and password. If you are sure the username and password are valid, but still can’t login you may either require account activation or your account may be on hold. In this case please contact our customer service at http://support.mercola.com or call us at 877-985-2695.
First check to ensure your username and password are correct. If you still can’t login your account has either been put on hold or deleted due to inactivity. Please contact our customer service at http://support.mercola.com or call us at 877-985-2695.
User Profile & Settings
A profile is information about your account that controls how you view information within VitalVotes . This includes details about posts you’ve contributed to, personal information you wish to share such as your web address or weblog address, as well as setting that control how you interact with this VitalVotes site such as: themes, time zone, and many other settings.
Setting your timezone will enable VitalVotes to display all dates and time relative to your time zone.
An avatar is a feature of the articles which allows for an image to be displayed along with your posts. Avatars may be enabled or disabled by your administrator.
If avatars are enabled by the administrator you will see an avatar section when viewing your profile. From here you can complete the article to name the avatar you wish to use, either uploading an avatar or specifying a URL to your avatar. You will also need to enable your avatar for it to be displayed with your posts.
The date format used to display any date information can be configured from your profile.
Email tracking is a feature which will send emails to you when messages that you are subscribed to change. You can turn off all email tracking globally from your profile.
There are many different icons that can show up next to usernames in the articles. Common examples are administrators, moderators, or top posters. Other images may be displayed based on groups the user belongs to.
Privacy & Security
Once logged in you can change your password from your Profile page.
Unless the administrator has configured the site to allow username changes you cannot change your username. Otherwise you can change your username from the Profile page.
You can update your Email address by clicking on Edit Profile after you’ve logged into your account. Then select "Change Email Address" under the Personal Information header.
You can also contact our Customer Service Department at http://support.mercola.com or call toll-free at 877-985-2695 (US) or 847-252-4355 (International) to update your email address.
The only profile setting that is required is your private email address. This is the email address that is used when you subscribe to the vitalvotes, when a forgotten username/password is emailed. The private email address is never shared or displayed publicly. If you wish to share an email address publicly, use the public email address field. The remainder of the profile settings is optional.
You can set the option in your profile and your name will not appear in any member listings, including the listing of who is online.
An article may or may not be moderated depending upon how the article has been configured. After posting a message in a moderated article you may receive a message stating that the post is awaiting moderation. Once the moderator(s) approve your post, your post will become visible. The moderators may choose to move, edit, or delete your post to ensure that the post is topical to the current article.
The XML icon is linked to the RSS feed for the article. RSS is used to allow other applications to subscribe to an article's posts.
This icon indicates the user’s online status. A green icon means the user has been active recently (usually within the last 15 minutes). A red icon means the user has not recently been active. You can hover your mouse over this icon to see details about the user’s past activity.
If you are attempting to access an article that you have visited before, but now receive an ‘unknown article’ error there are two likely causes. The first cause is that the article you are attempting to access is private and you are not signed in. The second cause is that the article has been removed.
Yes and no. You cannot type HTML directly into the editor. If you are using Internet Explorer the default editor for creating new posts will be a Rich Text Editor that will automatically format posts using HTML. If you post with a browser other than Internet Explorer a standard HTML textbox is used and BBCode can be used to mark-up posts.
BBCode is a special syntax for formatting plaintext posts.
Yes, however, this requires the moderator(s) or administrator(s) to enable this permission for user’s on an article-by-article basis.
Emoticons are graphical elements that can be added within the body of a post to add emotions to the post. Common examples are the use of smilies within the contents of a post. VitalVotes comes with a pre-defined set of emoticons, however the administrator can add additional ones.
You can post a new message to an article in several ways depending upon how the administrator has configured the site. When viewing an article you should see an image button reading New Topic. Clicking on this image button will take you to a form for posting a message or ask you to login first. Depending upon how the administrator has configured the site you may be able to post anonymously, i.e. no login required. If you do not see the New Topic image button you may not have enough permissions – even after logging in – to post a message to the article even though you are allowed to view the article.
If the administrator or moderator has configured the article or your role to allow editing of posts you will see an Edit image button next to posts you have made. Clicking on this image button will allow you to edit your post.
If the administrator or moderator has configured the article or your role to allow deleting posts you will see a Delete image button next to new posts you have made. If a post you have made has one or more replies you will no longer be able to delete the post.
The administrator may have specified a word filter for posts. When word filters are enabled certain words that are deemed to be offensive are filtered and replaced with the ‘*’ character.
See What is an avatar? And How do I Set my Avatar in the User Profile and Settings section.
User Groups & Permissions
You are given points based on the content of your comments by your fellow Vital Voters. These points contribute to your overall status on Vital Votes as indicated below.
||15 points & Lower points
||Users with a Getting Started badge have reached Level 0. This user is either new to the site or new to participation in Vital Votes but have started the process of contributing to the community!
||16 to 50 points
||Users with a Novice badge have reached Level 1. User is quickly getting the hang of things and has been recognized for making valuable contributions to help others in the area of health.
||51 to 350 points
||Users with a Apprentice badge have reached Level 2. User has more consistent forum participation is getting more providing useful comments recognized by the community.
||351 to 1000 points
||Users with a SuperUser badge have reached Level 3. These users are in the top thousand posters on the site and are constantly expanding and improving the knowledge of the community in a positive direction.
||1001 to 899,999 points
||Users with a Savvy badge have reached Level 4. They're lean idea machines! Their extraordinary nose for news leads them to discover, discuss, and share hot-off-the-press Mercola reports. These users are in the top few hundred posters on the site and are valuable and well respected members of the community.
||Super Savvy User
||900,000 & Higher points
||Users with a Super Savvy badge have reached Level 5. They are the cream of the crop! Their top notch expertise has enabled them to be both a leader and influencing figure to the community on a consistent basis. Only a select few have risen to the rank of Super Savvy.
||Users with a moderator badge are members of the Mercola team, and are not attainable by points. It is their job to assist in answering questions from the community and to ensure the flow of conversation on the board remains on topic.
||Users with an Expert badge are world class experts in their field. Expert badges are not attainable by points, rather they are awarded to the most knowledgeable and highly respected experts in the industry.
Permissions control what you are or are not allowed to do while browsing the site. The permissions you are granted control all aspects of your view within VitalVotes .
An administrator is the highest permission level within VitalVotes. By default, an administrator has full permissions to perform any action, e.g. moderating posts, approving users, and so on.
A moderator is the second highest permission level within VitalVotes. By default a moderator can perform any number of tasks within a particular article or set of articles. This includes approving posts, moving posts, deleting posts, editing posts, or banning users. If you have a problem with a particular article the best place to start is with a moderator. Moderators belong to varying groups configured by the Administrator.
A user group, also known as a role, is a grouping of common users for the purpose of assigning permissions. In addition to common permission assignment a role can also be used to display an image for a user in that role. Roles make the job of administering and moderating the site easier since users can be assigned to roles and then permission applied based on those roles.
Users are assigned to user groups by the administrator. If there is a particular group you wish to join, please send an email to one of its members for more information.