Quick Start Guide
From the main BF menu on the home page, head to login.
To login in, put your email and password.
When you first log in you will be taken to your Hub area, where you manage your BF activity, broadcasts, etc.
NB. When you click on the tree it always takes you back to the home page.
Hover on the left hand menu bar to reveal full menu.
The place where you manage your personal settings, passwords, avatar images, your shop, resources, transactions, etc.
Go to Control room link, in the left side drop down menu, where you can/should put up an avatar/featured image which will show in the main BF Colony as you…whatever you like.
Input your name, chose a handle, disciplines, location, avatar/featured image etc. and if you like, change your password.
There are also the mentoring, collaboration and swaps option boxes which define how you are shown in your colony micro-bio, by selecting the option boxes you want, these options will display in your colony micro-bio showing all that you are open to people contacting you for possible collaborations, skill swaps, or mentoring.
Don't forget to hit save to save your settings, you can update and save these settings at any time.
Information on how the shop works appears under the shop tab in your control room.
Information on how to make a resource appears under the resources tab in your control room.
Is the central management area you arrive at when you first log in. You can create broadcasts, view Headline Broadcasts from BF central, and view broadcasts and inspirations from fellow colonists.
In the left hand side drop menu you will find these links: Gallery, Hub, Creator Space, Control Room, Media Library and Messaging.
There are also quick links at the bottom to other parts of the site (text boxes at the bottom).
Headline Broadcasts. (top row/first drawer in the Hub).
BF central Headline broadcasts, calls to action, the big stuff.
Broadcasts. (second row/drawer in the Hub).
Where you manage your broadcasts, send broadcasts out to your followers, and receive broadcasts from creators you are following.
Click create broadcast; fill in the data fields; choose an image, video or audio item; click the button at the bottom to broadcast it to all those following you - it also inputs it into the Colony Broadcast area ! (Video and audio content needs a cover image.)
You can also broadcast to social media from here too.
For handy hints and more information on the hows and whys of broadcasting click here.
BF News feed. (third row/drawer in the Hub).
The BF News feed!
Inspirations Feed. (fourth row/drawer in the Hub).
Your inspirational content feed.
Where you see your own and your followers inspirational content, which can be image, video, audio or PDF. More detailed information on how to tag your content as inspirational is in the "Inspirations" information below.
Everyone would love to see what you are into - whatever you like - bear in mind the other creators are likeminded and so everyone is genuinely open and interested in what you find creatively stimulating and exciting.
Have a play around - visit your Hub, send a few messages/create a few broadcasts to your followers (Tom and Sue are following you at the moment and we have set you up to follow Tom and Sue … feel free to change that once you are up and running!).
Find the link in your main left menu.
This is your portfolio/presentation area - what you want to show the world, what people will see when they check you out…via your avatar/micro bio in The Colony (link to from menu on left).
To get started on your Creator Space layout go to your creator space link via your left side menu. You will arrive in your blank creator space.
When you go to your Creator Space, it is always in live edit mode. It is dynamic, and so automatically uploads as you input, move or change any content; so you are effectively always in live edit ‘input’ mode.
The 'Creator Home' is the Home Page of your Creator Space - and is the anchor page to the rest of your space. It always remains at the top of your menu and cannot be moved.
You can create new sub pages by clicking the new page button in the left hand menu within your creator space. Hover over the new page name link which will reveal the settings; cog icon to name the page, copy current page icon and trash icon to delete.
Your sub pages can be dragged up or down to change position in your menu if you so wish.
How to populate your Creator Home page or new sub pages:
Grab a content widget of your choice from the right hand side bar and away you go. You will see that any content item you choose and place in your Creator Space layout will open the sidebar content info/metadata fields on the right hand side of the screen, along with the media library in the main drop down menu. This is where you input content names and any/all metadata you decide for that content item, which can also be tagged as whatever you choose and can then be searched by the global search engine.
If you want to preview how your Creator Space or sub-pages look to others - there is a preview button on the top right hand side..it will open the current page in finished published view, where you can see it as others will when browsing the site. Click the 'Edit' button on the bottom right hand side to take you back to edit mode where you can make further changes as you like.
So grab a content widget from the selection in the right hand side bar. You can upload whatever you like images, audio, videos, PDF’s; anything that you want to show; that represents you the 'Creator', your story, your creative process, your inspirations, whatever you would like to share with your audience.
You only need to save when you have dragged on a text Widget and you are in text mode - you won’t be able to move on if you don’t! Otherwise, content is automatically saved as you go.
There is a Page Settings menu (right side bar next to Widgets menu). These page settings offer controls for page colour; 4 headings; defining fonts, sizes, colour etc and grid and snap to grid functions. All are current individual page level settings.
Help people find you through search engines. Click here for important information on:
Start forming your own curated colony and show your support by following the creators who’s work you appreciate. (You will automatically start receiving up-dates from them in your Hub.)
There are the drop down filter menus and a search toolbar at the top of the page, which allow multiple search options to allow the viewing of inspirations, broadcasts, resources, creators and everything by discipline, name, country.
Find link in your main left menu.
This is the place where you connect with and promote fellow creators, those who you follow, or who you are followed by - you can check out who to follow in main BF Colony link in main menus.
There are the drop down filter menus and a search tool at the top of the page which allow multiple search options … (what drop down menu offers creator, inspirations, broadcasts, resources, and everything views, search the colony by discipline or country, or the search tool, by name, or any other content metadata - which is why it is important to input meta data or tag your content in the media library, etc).
You can share things that inspire you with other colony members - this works to promote others but also creates footfall for you by linking back to your page. Anyone can visit your inspirations space and see all your vibey creative stuff all in one place.
There are two ways to create an inspiration:
1. Create an inspiration that only appears in the Inspiration feeds on the site.
Upload the 'inspiration' file (image, video, audio, pdf) into your media library.
Click the image and the right hand content information input bar appears:
*Use the Title Box to title your Inspiration
*Use the Description Box to add the text you wish to add to describe or introduce your inspiration.
*Tick the inspiration box - then -
* Click the Save/update box
2. Create an inspiration from files (image, video, audio, pdf) already on your creator space/as you upload to your creator space.
You can create an inspiration by tagging an image/audio/video/PDF as you are uploading it to your creator space.
Just click on the widget content box that holds the file you have just uploaded and placed on the page - a listing box comes up on the right hand side where you can add titles/captions, etc. Just tick the inspirations box.
Your inspiration will then automatically show up in the inspirations feed in the Hubs of all of your followers. It will also be placed into the inspirations area of your colony and main BF colony inspiration feed as content you wish to share/promote, (chose inspirations in the “what” on The Colony/My Colony drop down search bar to view), or click Inspirations in the left hand menu bar.
It also creates a link in your Creator Space (Inspiration will appear in the left hand menu of your creator space) - just make sure you tick and tag the content as you upload it so it appears in the sites search engine…please put credits/links to the original source.
You can also assign a cover image on audio, and video content so that you have an identifiable image that shows up in the inspirations, which, when clicked, opens top reveal the audio, video content inside.
NB You can also tag any content already in your media library as an inspiration, which inputs the content item, as before, into all inspiration feeds, but means you do not have to put the content item into you Creator Space.
Please put as much content in as you feel.
Important info about video and audio files
File formats allowed
The video widget text states 'You can upload videos in the following formats - m4v, webm, mp4 or flv'. Max. File Size is Currently 1GB
The audio widget text states 'You can upload videos in the following formats - mp3, ogg, wav or m4a'.
Keep photographic images to a reasonable image size and keep your file size between 300-600KB - it uploads quickly for you when designing your space; it uploads quickly for your audience to view; it protects from people utilising and printing off your images (as the quality for printing isn't high), and it does not affect the quality for online viewing.
More on file formats
We do not allow any other video formats apart from the above as they cannot be shown to consistently work across multiple browsers, so if we did allow them then a number of users would not be able to see them in those formats.
We do not do any encoding of any movies or audio you upload, it will be uploaded 'as is'
How to encode a movie into m4v (for example if you have a .mov format movie)
The best way to do this is to encode directly in iTunes. It's easy.
1. Drag the movie into itunes
2. Once it has imported, select the movie and then go to the file menu and choose 'Create new version'
3. Select either 'Create iPad or Apple TV version' (this creates the highest quality version) or choose 'Create iPod or iPhone version' (this creates a smaller, lower quality version - but it's still good)
4. When you have selected one of the options in (3) it will convert. Drag it to desktop when done and then upload into your Media Library as normal. DONE!
You can also pre load any/all of your content into your media library, (Media library: link in your main left menu) which makes your preloaded content available for selection within the widgets browse section for instant input and you can also input more focused layers of searchable meta data, define tagging and tag as inspiration any of your or anyone else’s content for search - art/music/book/photograph/blog/architecture whatever you are into showing the rest of us.
Either drag and drop from your desktop or use the upload file button.
Please bear in mind we are currently in Beta with the production server, so, if you encounter any issues at all, or have any support questions please feel free. In fact please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to come back to you straight away.
You can also use BF messaging – just type Baby Forest into the recipient box and send us a message.
Any questions, queries, suggestions, comments, feedback, things you would like to see, anything at all you want to say, please let us know - you can message us at Baby Forest - through messaging on BF.
We have optimised use for Chrome browser, and are currently optimising for all other browsers. So use Chrome for now, its free to download, and is actually a nice interface.
Looking forward to seeing you
We would love to see what is going on in your creative world, your creative interest/your thoughts - everyone else would too - cross pollenated, inspiring, creative content, multi discipline sharing within the colony to other creators/disciplines is really the nuts and bolts of what the colony is about. Some people have said they want to write pieces about things that matter to them - looking forward to seeing some of that!
Have a play around - and if you’d like any help/discussions about how best to put up/sort content to best suit what you do LET US KNOW - we’d be more than happy to talk things through with you. And please let us know about anything, little or large - we will all grow via your feedback so we really do encourage it!