First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who’s helping me get this site working. You’re all very much appreciated.
My goal is to make Sims 3 Stories user-friendly for everyone, regardless of their comfort level when it comes to blogging. So when all y’all share your experiences as you interact with the site, I try to figure out how to make it better. (Even if the original experience isn’t bad, there’s always room for better.)
Sims 3 Stories consists of two parts: a blog network built on the WordPress platform, and a community site for TS3 fans to hang out together. While it is required that you join the community in order to establish your own blog on the network, you’re not required to have a blog to be part of the community. This post will introduce you to the features of the main site.
The Sims 3 Stories community
Finding your way around within the community
When you arrive at the homepage, you see the giant slider at the top, with a menu directly above the images. As you scroll down you’ll notice that a “sticky” menu appears at the top of the page. This menu gives you tool tips to help you understand the different links, though many are probably obvious without the help. Let’s go through each link individually, though, so you know what to expect when you arrive.
This link takes you to the homepage.
- Build a Blog
This page is open to the public and describes what you get if you sign up to build your own Sims 3 blog.
- Community Blog
This is a blog for members of the community to use. As a member, you can add posts to this blog anytime, even if you have your own site (whether it’s on this network or not). The categories for your stories are based on the generations of the Sims game; select the one that’s right for your game. I’ll be using the “Blog” category for posts like this that aren’t game related.
- Site Directory
This link will show you a list of all the sites built on this network. This page, and the two below, are open to the public.
You could call this the news feed — this page will show who’s being doing what.
Your list of friends within the community. I hope you all end up with a huge list here.
As a member of this community, you can send (and by extension, receive) private messages and friend requests, the groups you join may also send messages to members, and occasionally I may need to send a message to everyone. This link will let you see what’s waiting for your attention.
Here’s where you can see what other members of the community will see about you. This is also where you can make changes and upload an avatar. I should add here that your community avatar is not the same as the avatar that you might set up in the blog admin area under your user profile. This one will only show up alongside your activity on the main Sims 3 Stories site.
Here’s where you can change your account password and email address; choose what type of activity you want to receive emails about; make changes to your default chat settings; or change the visibility of the different sections of your profile.
This is your Sims 3 Stories community mailbox. You can send private messages to any user within the community, or everyone at once. Sitewide notices will also be found here.
Your activity on the site doesn’t always have to be something big like building your blog site, adding posts to the community blog, or participating in groups. Maybe you just want to vent a little about your game crashing or hitting the Error 12 wall after spending 3 hours in CAS building the perfect wardrobe for your favorite sim. You can add little status updates from either your profile or the Activity page.
This first image shows the update box — you have a large text area to express yourself verbally, plus a smiley face in the upper right corner and some media icons at the bottom to express yourself visually. Those media icons allow you to attach images, embed videos, or add a link. Clicking on the smiley face will get you a menu of emoticons to show us how you really feel.
A quick word about the links you add: Although many of us have aged up to YA or even Adult, there may also be some Children and Teens joining us so please make sure that the links you share don’t open up to pages with adult content and try to limit the use of links to adult content sites that have a buffer requiring visitors to verify their age before they can go further.
There is a 10 MB file size limit for uploads, so if your videos are more than a few seconds long it’s better to upload them to YouTube or Vimeo and embed the link than to try to self-host them here.
Bottom Corner Chat and Other Chat Options
In the lowest right hand corner of your browser window you’ll find the Sims 3 Stories chat box. This is an open chat that will follow you around from page to page, so you don’t have to stay on the homepage to use it. You can also click on the tiny blue arrow in the box header to make the chat box “pop out” into it’s own window. This feature should allow you to continue participating in the chat while you browse the Internet, just as long as you keep a tab open to Sims 3 Stories and stay logged in. The chat box is for members only, but should be visible to the public.
The chat capability is also available for each group and for private chats between users. By default, whenever you’re logged in you will be seen as available for chats. If you’d like to change this, you can do so from the Settings tab in your profile. To launch a private chat with someone, simply click on the chat button when they’re available.
Now that you’re familiar with the highlights and features of Sims 3 Stories I hope I’ll be seeing you here on a regular basis — and invite your friends, the more the merrier. If you find something on the site that I didn’t cover in this post, or you still have questions about anything, mention it in the comments and I’ll try to respond to you as quickly as possible.