What can an ordinary member do with Gathery?

If you are just an ordinary member (as oppose to super users) of an organization, it will be very easy to use Gathery. After logging into Gathery, you will be able to see the following services (shown on the left of the screen) available:



You can check, send, reply messages with other members of the same organization. Every time you list or search other members and see an envelope symbol , you can click to send a message to that person. When others send you a message, you will see it next time you log on to Gathery or you can do a "list messages" to see all messages.

In Gathery there is a distinction between "internal mail" and "Internet e-mail". (Please see details below.


bulletin boards

There is an organization-wise (called group 0) bulletin board and for each group there is a group bulletin board. The bulletin board is the place for members to post messages for all other members to see and respond. Everybody in the organization can see, post, and reply to messages on the organization bulletin board. If a group is a public group, or if a group is a private group and of which you are a member, then you can see, post, and reply to messages on the group bulletin board.


Calendar of events

When you click on "calendar", a calendar of current month will show up. If there is any event in a day, then a "star" symbol will appear next to the date. When you click on the star, all events on that date will be listed.

Any event could be either an organizational event or a group event. "Organizational events" are posted and maintained by the "webmaster" or "manager" of your organization. Each group has its own "group events" which are posted and maintained by each group administrator.

When you click on "calendar", all organizational events and group events of those groups you are a member of will be shown. You will not be able to see groups events of those groups of which you are not a member.



You can list all members (30 a time), or search for a member by entering a partial name (portion of last name or first name). The following example will show the result of searching of an example organization. Assuming you are "John K Smith", member ID "JS001", and you have entered "joh" as the search string:

The red circles are explained below:
  1. you will see an envelope symbol in front of each name listed. click on the envelope in front of a person you will be able to send an "internal message" to that person.
  2. you will see the name and member ID of a person. click on the blue name of the person, you will be able to see the complete details about that person, subject to the "privacy preferences" set by that person.
  3. you will see one phone number (the primary one) here, if exists and allowed to show. There is no phone showing on this person "Jack Johnson". It is because either the phone numbers of "Jack Johnson" are not in the database or "Jack Johnson" has set his privacy preferences to not let you to see his phone numbers.
  4. you will see the city, zip, and country of residence of this person.
  5. you will see one e-mail address of the person if exists. click on the blue e-mail address, you will be able to send an "Internet e-mail" to that person.
  6. the second person does not have an e-mail address.
  7. if you are the same person listed; then instead of the envelope, you will see "edit". click on "edit" you can edit and update your own information.


frequent contacts

You can maintain a personal copy of your frequent contacts in this organization. To add to or delete from the frequent contact list you simply enter the member ID of the person you are interested.



When you click on "group", you will see names of all public groups and private groups of which you are a member. You can click on the group name to enter the group. Once you enter a group (what is a group?), then you can perform the following functions:


vote in organization issues

If the "manager" of you organization has set up a ballot of issues to vote, then you can vote and view the voting results instantly. Only full members are qualified to vote. One member has one vote. You can vote on the same ballot multiple times, but only the most recent vote will be counted. That is, you can change your mind and re-cast the ballot. The vote is anonymous, that is nobody, the manager has no exception, will know who voted on what.

Each group has its own group ballot also. Only members of the group can vote on group issues.


update my information

You can update you names, phones, addresses, e-mail, personal web, and other personal information easily by clicking on "my info".


change my password

You can change your password easily. You can also set up a "password retrieval" key so that you can automatically retrieve your password in case you have forgotten it.


make pledges and see contribution history

You can make pledges to the organization on-line. Also you can specify the specific purpose (the default is "general purpose") of the money when you make a pledge. Your actual contribution data will be entered by the "treasurer" of your organization. You can see your past contributions to this organization easily. With this feature, at tax time you don't even have to call your organization to find out how much you have contributed last year. You can come to Gathery and find out yourself.

The contribution data is confidential that only you and the "treasurer" of this organization can see. Nobody else can see your pledges and contributions. Not even the "manager" or "webmaster" will know your contributions.


set personal privacy preferences

You can set your personal "privacy preferences" to control who (in the same organization) can see which parts of your personal data. The following five pieces of information can be controlled separately:
  1. your date of birth, default "nobody"
  2. your phone numbers (home, work, cell, pager, fax), default "everybody"
  3. your street address, default "everybody"
  4. your family members, default "everybody"
  5. your picture, default "everybody"
For each part, you can set to show:
  1. viewable by all other members of the same organization
  2. not viewable by anybody (except the manager of your organization)
  3. viewable by selected groups of your organization
Please click here for more details about privacy issues.


upload a personal picture

You can upload a personal (or family) picture for others to share. The picture must be in "jpg" format and no bigger than 120K bytes. If the picture is too big, you should use a graphic tool to reduce the size of the picture. It is preferable to limit the picture screen size to be less than 800x600 so that it will fit most monitor screen without scrolling.


Internal mail or Internet e-mail

In Gathery there is a distinction between "internal mail" and "Internet e-mail". The envelope symbol is an "internal mail" that you can only send to members of your organization. Internal messages will not go outside Gathery. That is the recipient must log into Gathery to see them. Internal mail is very easy to use and also can be used among members even without a personal (Internet) e-mail address.

On the other hand, you can also send "Internet e-mail" to other members if the other member has a (Internet) e-mail address. When you list of search for members, you will see the blue-colored e-mail addresses.


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