PCN Services – High Life Newsletter, News, Events, Deaths, Illness Notices and PCN Calendar
PCN Blog FAQ’s (followed by PCN general FAQ’s): Rev 2/10/12
Why change? Big changes with the upcoming 116th issue: Our High Life newsletter is becoming more. Starting with the 116th issue (can you believe that we have been at it that long?) the High Life will remain a pdf newsletter in Google Docs but also become a Blog. I am using Blogger.com which is owned by Google and have run some beta testing for a few weeks. Now I think it is ready for rollout. Why am I changing? Well, you never flew the same airplane forever, and change is sometimes a good thing. That is what I am hoping for here. There are better and better tools available on the internet each and every day and most of us just scratch the surface. A modern blog allows for most of the same features that we currently enjoy with the addition of a whole lot more. I am confident you will begin to see these new features as beneficial in time. Also, I am hoping that I will be able to keep up with the blog better as personal time for publishing the High Life has become an issue. I am hoping the Blog will be a little easier for me to publish and maintain. Here below most of your questions should be addressed and highlights of some of the advantages will be discussed:
Is this Blog and the “Flight West” Blog the same? NO! Our Flight West Blog has been designed as a notice vehicle and a respectful honoring archived memorial for those from within our group who have made their final flight west. It is located at: http://pcnflightwest.blogspot.com/
What are the advantages of this change? Well, here is a short list:
- Will be more interactive with the ability for members to comment on specific posts similar to that of regular online news stories. This has the effect of
making our newsletter more “alive” with member interaction. Navigation of sections of interest will be much easier. All Secitons have a label and just look the side columns because you can search this blog a number of ways: section, week its published, or key word, etc.
- ability to email or share a particular post directly with someone you like. Icons at the bottom of each section allow this.
- ability to “follow a particular section”. If there is something posted of particular interest you can “follow” it and when updates or comments are made you will get an email.
- Now a “SEARCH” feature. I archived the old newsletters first as Word doc. Then later as pdf files. Searching them was often requested but I didn’t have the know how. The Blog however, can be search as if one big file. This will prove to be a useful feature in time. Further, certain topics will be “labeled” and you can then search on the entire postings for that label. An example of this would be the numerous postings regarding Pension or Travel. Lots of posts organized all in one spot. I believe that will be useful.
- Links to YouTube and Facebook are simple and easy
- And there are a few more benefits even I haven’t learned of yet but will surely come.
Can I view the blog on my mobile device correctly reformatted for the smaller screen? Yes, we are excited to have this new capability because the blog is formatted for phone devices as well as a PC screen. (formatted properly for small screens) On your phone visit the blog URL then bookmark it, now save it to your homescreen. Try it, you'll like it.
What are the tradeoffs? Well, I guess two that I can think of, since it is a free service by Google it has a few limitations, such as I cannot “add” a list to follow it. However, each PCN subscriber can manually do that. Also, it is semi- public. I say semi, because I have chosen not to allow the blog to be “crawled” by the big search engines, making it difficult for non invitees to find this site. Even so, I would prefer it were capable of being completely private.
Is the High Life still going to be published and how often? Absolutely! The PCN blog is just another way of distributing the High Life. It will still be my goal to publish a newsletter (with a few exceptions) every week as I currently do, and I will attempt to get them out by Monday morning.
What is the difference between posting vs commenting? Below each section of text will be a comment option. If you click on it and comment than the comment now becomes part of the blog. Yes, I am taking a little risk here because I am asking for self moderation on the comments for vulgar or offensive language. Comments of that nature may cause a policy change. Posting is done the old fashion way. Simply email something you wish to share and I will post it with your name on it.
What does it mean to “follow” the blog? That is a simple one. You become a “follower” just by submitting your email and when anything on the blog is either published or updated you get notified. You can also “follow” an individual section (such as Pension or Travel) so that when anything gets published in those sections you will get notified. I am hopeful to in time do away with my google group notification (that a new “High Life is Now Available” notice). Because if everyone who is interested signs up to “follow” the blog they will get a notice automatically.
Why are commercial ads included? Are these endorsed by you? Only in the Right column and no they are not endorsed. Having the ads present is part of the price we have to accept for this new format.
How can I PRINT one section or post? I think one easy way is to email the post to yourself. Another option is to open the PDF file in Google groups and still a last option is to Copy and Paste the text into a document and print it.
Can I share the blog or a single post with a friend? Absolutely, and it couldn’t be easier. Below each post is a little menu of options on sharing via Facebook, email, Twitter, etc. click on it and away you go. What a great thing.
What resides on the Left hand column? Only PCN related links and tools. No Ads will be placed on the Captain’s or left side of the blog.
Archives of past issues will be done a little differently.
Searching for info has been a little tricky, will it be better with the blog? This is one of the main reasons for the switch. YES! It will be a lot easier. You can search on anything you have seen once in the high life blog. Search a word, a subject (label) or a date. It will open up a lot of great options for us seeing historical info.
My eyes are not so good anymore. Can I make the page easier to read? Sure, but first may I may a suggestion if you haven’t already done so. Please consider a bigger monitor. That in itself will give you greater flexibility. Then size of font is a browser setting now. Every browser allows you to set the “zoom” for each page. Many times the control is in the lower right corner. But in any case look for a tool to increase the zoom. In Internet Explorer click on “page” then on “zoom” and that will do it.
All Sections are not visible. What gives? Well, each published issue I will publish 13 sections even if there is no current content for that section. They may not all appear on the front or main page. Please click on Older Posts at bottom to see the balance of published sections. You will know which issue the section belongs to as stated in the title.
Can PCN managers contribute to the blog? Yes. Theoretically, we could assign a section over to a particular manager that blogspot calls an “author” who could either edit or compose a series of posts. That would be helpful to all of us. So if any interest out there in taking over a section, by all means let’s talk.
All in all, I am excited about this move and looking forward I think you will be too. After you get done cussing the change, I’m sure you will be on board as well.
PCN's Google Group FAQ’a & Tidbits: Rev 12/2/2009
First, thanks for joining this group. There are many benefits to our google group and staying connected is primary. Email distribution, via the google group, is the biggest reason we created a g-group. As a subscriber, there is more control for you personally.
General Group Info:
1. Is this the main group for Deltoids? The PCN is, to our knowledge, the largest web community, but by no means would we call it the main group. That is a matter of preference and there are a number of other groups, that we happily promote, that may be more in tune with your preferences.
2. Who is welcome to join this group? All Delta active and retired pilots and their family members, and all affiliated Delta employees and their families are welcome.
4. What services does the PCN provide? I have broken down our job description to a few services which we (the PCN team) attempt to provide. As I pass these along, please keep in mind that this is a completely volunteer effort by a few committed people trying their best. That said, here is what the PCN provides our group:
e. and we send out the following email notices
1) High Life Newsletter,
5) Illness Notices
5. Why does the PCN have a web site and a google group? Isn’t that duplicity? No. We have a group primarily for membership control and email distribution. The web site serves a wholly different purpose of collecting info and publishing info that is of interest to our community. As a side note, the PCN will adopt technologies that come along (like this group) that promises to help us with web connection in our community.
Signing Up questions:
8. Why are there 2 STEPs for signing up? It evolved that way, but now there are distinct advantages. The 1st step places your data in our data base. The 2nd step, allows you to apply to our google group. Your application, is compared with the data base, and in that way the membership has a very tight control. The google group then is used for publishing info and distributing email notices.
9. I signed up MULTIPLE times but still get nothing from the PCN. Do you have something against me? No, nothing what-so-ever. Everyone who has submitted a STEP I signup form we have you data and your email as you typed it. Since we do not type emails (we transfer and copy them) every email we have is what you gave us. If that is not the problem, then it is likely your spam filter at your end. Here this loud and clear; YOU MUST SET YOUR EMAIL FILTERS TO ACCEPT EMAILS FROM, any at "@pilotcommunication.net” , email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: we use multiple emails from that domain. So if you allow the domain, then you will get them all. Further, now that we are moving to google group email notice distribution, you must complete a STEP II part of the sign up as well, to get notices from the PCN. Any difficulties not mentioned above, email: email@example.com
10. I got a “confirmed” but also an email stating that my account is “non-verified”, what is that all about? The “confirmation” is something I do as a group administrator, but the “verification” should happen before that and is something Google Groups does when you create the group account. This is simple to fix and can be done quickly.
About 2% of you who join the G-Group still have not “VERIFIED” your g-group account with a simple mouse click. What that means is that technically you do not have an account yet. PLEASE CLICK to VERIFY YOUR GROUP EMAIL - by one of two ways:
Sign in to Google groups and you will have another opportunity to send out a verification email to yourself then finish the process. Look for the message (on the left I believe) that says your account needs verification and click on it to resend yourself another email that requires a click inside it.
Or do a search for this email: accounts-noreply@Google.com; (Check even in you trash bin because the link you need to click would still work).
Inside that email is a link for you to click to VERIFY your account. Unfortunately, Google doesn't label it properly and I think it says something like "to view your group - click here". None-the-less for you guys, it still needs to be done.
12. I have a ROADBLOCK on STEP II at the Google Group word scramble test! I fail every time. Can you help? I complained to Google about that all to no avail. It is a touch scramble. But here is a tip. Click Refresh the page (or press F5) to load the page again and do it until the word looks easier. That will make it a snap.
13. When I REPLY to a Group Notice nothing happens or I get an email that says my REPLY didn’t go to the right email address. What gives? REPLY button a No-No: Guys because of the way this thing is set up the REPLY feature seldom gets your message to where you intended it. I know that that is a big time habit for a lot of you, but I am asking that when it comes to the PCN either directly email or forward to a specific PCN email address.
14. I am getting DUPES from the new Google Group distribution. Can you fix it? YES, Dupes all over again: Some of you got a little carried away and have applied to the google group twice or have completed STEP I of our signup more than once. That often times puts duplicate entries in the data base. For a short time there are duplicate notices sent from 2 separate sources. If the dupes continue after we announce using only 1 distribution from the group alone, contact Mark. firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Group Settings in your control:
15. Can I change the way I receive emails from the group? YES. Log in with your google group login in and then to our group. http://groups.google.com/group/PilotCommunicationNet Then look on the right to “Edit my membership”. Once there you can edit your settings. Be careful about the Digest method. I believe this consolidated email comes very infrequently.
16. Can I limit the type of emails that I get from the group? YES. The control is completely in your hands. We purposely use separate email accounts for different types of notices and consistent title words in the subject line. For example “Death Notice” from the “PCN Illness Mgr” for Illness notices. If one didn’t want to receive those emails in your inbox, the control is completely yours. We cannot stop all our notices from going out. But you can very easily set your incoming message rules to place notices with certain “subjects” or from certain addresses to be placed in a folder of your choice, including the trash bin. Ie. PCN will appear in every subject line. You may direct messages that have PCN Illness Notice to a particular folder or even the trash folder.
17. I cannot post to this group. What gives? Members can post info just not through the group method. The PCN uses the G-Group for distribution and info publishing purposes. At this time the group is public and member posting opens another can of worms that we have not turned on. Should you have an item that needs distribution, use our forms; (http://pcn.homestead.com/Contact.html )or email it in, and we will post it.
19. The PCN Calendar is great! Can I merge that google calendar with my own gmail calendar? YES. Inside your gmail account click on your calendar. Now on the lower left under “other calendars” click ADD. Now click on “ADD a Friend’s Calendar” then enter the PCN email of email@example.com That is it!
20. I can see the number of members, but I cannot see WHO has joined? Open it up! Sorry, we religiously protect the privacy of our members. ONLY mgrs can see which emails have joined and even they do not have the member’s complete name.
21. I wish to have more than one email account get the PCN notices. Can you help? Sure. Just create another google group account with the 2nd email address (I have many separate google group accounts for multiple email addresses) then go to STEP II-2 on our webs signup page and apply for registration with the 2nd email but include a note of who you are and that this is a 2nd address. We make the comparison to the data base and approve it. Simple as that.
22. When I get a notice it isn’t formatted very nicely? What gives? Google groups limit us to plain text formatting for our notices. I am hopeful that in the future that will change to allow basic text formatting, such at BOLD or Italics.
23. Notices URL addresses are not clickable? Because of the above restriction we cannot send out hyperlinks, only URL’s. If your email is set to HTML then it is no problem as your email client will automatically make the address clickable. Otherwise some of our subscribers that have an ole fashioned email account will have to copy and paste the address.
24. I have 2 residences and use 2 different email accounts, both part year. Can you change my email distribution to start and stop for part year distribution? No, the PCN doesn’t have newspaper like capability. Please don’t ask us to jump into that fryin’ pan. The control is at your end where it should be, but we cannot subscribe and unsubscribe multiple times during the year for you. What is suggested is that you create 2 accounts (see the answer prior) and receive all notices at both. Delete, what you don’t want.
25. I wish to Un-Subscribe from the PCN. Help me! Could not be easier! Come and go as you please. Subscription must be approved by the PCN but un-subscription is completely your call. Log in to google groups then visit our group at: http://groups.google.com/group/PilotCommunicationNet Now on the right side click “Edit my membership” then Un-Subscribe. Or at the bottom of ANY notice you will find Un-Subscribe instructions. Done.
Contributing to the Group:
26. Hey Mark, I have a desire to help. Are there any tasks that volunteers can help the PCN serve our group better? Thought you would never ask. YES. Under the philosophy if a few do a little than no one will have to do a lot. I do have tasks and roles for people to help with the PCN. We are organizing a team as we speak. Just shows you that the job David Roberts did needs more than one to pull off aptly. Come on and volunteer! Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org