izwe is a tool created by and for the community who use it so we would love your input into every part of it – design, the features we should provide, the people we should work with and much much more.
At the bottom of this page you'll find a brief Frequently Asked Questions section.
Having trouble understanding this site? Then read our quick and simple 'beginners guide to izwe'. Don't worry if it seems strange at first - we've had people of all ages and experiences get to know and understand how to take part.Download the Beginner's Guide as PDF
Finding my way around
About izwe, structure and words
About Privacy and Personal Information
Most common issues and solutions
Check in your inbox and your 'spam' or 'junk' folder for an email from 'the izwe team', and if you find it, click on the link inside. If you can't find it, try re-registering. If it then tells you that 'the username already exists', contact us at help_ATIZWE_izwe.com, or ask a web-savvy friend/family member to help.
Finding my way around
There are two main ways to find a conversation:
1. If it is public: Search for a word in its name in the search box at the top right. Then select 'conversations' from the drop-down list, and it should appear.
2. Go to the community page of your community (e.g. bexleytalks.izwe.com)
Don't be put off. Sign in in the grey left column with your email address and password you chose at registration. You should then be able to see the conversation! If not, check that whoever has invited you used the same email address as the one you're using on the site.
Don't panic, and don't think you won't be able to understand: Read our beginners' guide - it's short and explains how izwe is structured.
If you're looking for a community forum (to discuss anything about that community) scroll down the central list on the page. If you're looking for a forum inside a conversation, scroll down the 'have your say' list until you see it - if your conversation is called 'education' it will be called 'the education forum'.
Go to their profile page, write your message in the box and press 'share'.
On their wall, it displays that they've posted a message but it doesn't display the message - so you can control who sees it. Go to your wall to see their reply. Similarly, your wall displays others' messages to you, but not your messages to others.
We believe in protecting your privacy - only people who have been allowed to see both your and your friends wall can see the whole conversation.
Don't get caught up by what we call it - you don't have to be close companions! it just means your interested in being able to post on their wall and see what they've been up to on the site. So you can 'friend' people you respect or who share your interests, or someone you have an interesting discussion with in a forum.
Please let us know! Contact us clicking the 'feedback' tab at the bottom right of the screen and select the suitable category or email us at help_AT_izwe.com
Frequently Asked Questions
About izwe, structure and words...
Good question. Though simple forum threads are useful, there are other ways to give your views and share your thoughts. Although we do have forums, discussions in different threads can be on very similar topics to other ways to share your views, like calls for ideas, surveys, blogposts, and quickpolls. So we've these different types of tools together by theme, inside 'conversations' (if you are confused at this point, see our beginners' guide, it should make things clearer).
Answer for those used to normal internet forums
If you like, think of each community as one big forum. Each 'conversation' is a topic inside that forum, and 'have your say' element is a thread inside that topic
Answer for those unfamiliar with internet forums
Each community page is like a permanent town hall meeting, each conversation is a specific conversation going on in that meeting, and each have your say element is a different way of joining in with that conversation (through talking, filling in a voting sheet, writing an idea on a post-it note...). For more detail, see our Beginners' Guide (link)
Your control centre: receives all the updates from your friends, conversations and communities. Displays your messages to your friends and theirs to you. From here, you can also set your status ('what would you change') and create a quickpoll to share with your friends ('ask a question').
Your dashboard is where you can ask questions, tell your friends and community what you would change in the world (or slightly closer to home) and read the updates from communities, conversations and groups you participate in. It is also where you can see the friends’ activity and read the messages they've left for you.
You have a public profile on izwe which allows people to see your participation in groups, conversations and communities as well as read your public profile information. You can change what people see within your privacy settings page. Your profile is where your friends come to share something with you and to answer the questions you've posed. People will never see your dashboard but will be able to view your profile page
About Privacy and Personal Information
We require that you register with a username and valid email address - this both helps to build community on the site and across different discussions, helps keep comments spam-free, and lets you keep track of what you've taken part in.
The information collected here is to ensure that participation on izwe is by real people and we are providing age appropriate material. As so much of izwe is based on bringing people together in local areas to make better decisions and collaborate on improving your community we also ask you to provide a postcode. This is used for statistics and can be (if you let us) used to display your content and participation on a map for others to engage with. We never locate you to your exact location in order to protect your identity. Everything on izwe can be made private or only available to the people you want to see it.
The information you add to your more about you page is completely private within the social sides of the website and is only used behind the scenes to make sure we are as representative as possible and allows us to make better interpretations of the opinions expressed. None of this information is compulsory but we appreciate any answers you're happy to give. When we are analysing the results of surveys and other participation on the website we remove all of your profile information (name and profile picture) and aggregate the information to protect your identity. On the more public side we have made the defaults on the website:
Personal information: Friends only
Your activity: Members
In order to appear on our maps you have to give us permission by ticking the box in this settings page. Even once you've given us permission we will only display a rough location (located only to your area code - the first three digits) and you will not be identified by your exact address. This is all easily changed. And if you think our defaults should be different please do let us know.
About Ownership and Moderation
Mostly you (see below). Otherwise, different people in different conversations - organisation staff, community members - you'll see the 'admin' list in each conversation and community page.
If you use Facebook this allows you to link your izwe account and your Facebook account. We have it on izwe because we think it makes your life easier as it allows you to:
- automatically update your Facebook friends with your izwe activity
- invite your Facebook friends to join you on izwe
- find your Facebook friends who are already on izwe
- speedily log in to izwe when you are logged in to Facebook
We know there's still work to be done with fine tuning this but we've made a start and if you let us know what you want to be able to do between the accounts then we'll work on making it better.
Beta is used to describe a particular phase that a website is at with its development. We are technically in public beta as we want everyone to come along and use what we've built so we can get the most amount of feedback to make it better. It tends to mean there will be a few things that are temperamental (ahem) but we hope you'll be patient.
... not only will we answer you, but we might also get to know what our actual 'frequently asked questions' are! Click the 'feedback' tab at the bottom right of the screen or email help_AT_izwe.com