Frequently Asked Questions

for BikeCC -- the Bike Columbia County group 
 

What's here 

bulletPurpose and focus 
 
bulletReading messages
 
bulletCreating messages -- Reply
 
bulletJoining this group -- and Leaving
 
bulletControlling your Preferences
 
bulletAdvertising
 

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Purpose and Focus 

What is this group about? 

This Bike Columbia County discussion group is a convenient way for bicyclists in Columbia County in New York state to exchange messages by Email or on the Web. 

Use this group to exchange information and ask questions about 

bullet places and routes to ride 
bullettrip reports 
bulletroad closures and trail conditions 
bulletfolks to ride with 
bulletcurrent issues 

 
Where is Columbia County? 

Columbia County is next to the Hudson River on the eastern border of New York state, a bit south and east of the state capital in Albany.  The county seat is in Hudson, and some other villages and hamlets are Kinderhook, Valatie, Chatham, Philmont, Copake, Ancram, Taghkanic, Germantown, New Lebanon.  It's about two hours north of the New York City metropolitan region by car or Amtrak train. 

 
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Reading Messages

How can I view this group's messages on the Web? 

You can read the messages on this group's Web page on Yahoo Groups.  Visit 

Bike Columbia County page on Yahoo Groups

You may need to get a Yahoo Groups identity in order to do this.  For how to do this, see the instructions

 
How can I get fewer Emails from this group? 

The first way is to change your Email delivery preference to "Daily Digest".  Then you will normally receive only one Email each day, which will contain all the group's messages for that day.  For how to do this, see the instructions

The second way is to change your Email delivery preference to "Special Announcements"  (see instructions) -- then you will receive only "special announcement" messages.   Or you could change your delivery preference to "No Email"  (see instructions) -- then you will receive no Email at all.  You can still read this group's messages on the Web, by visiting this group's Web page on Yahoo Groups (see how). 

 
Can I participate in this group without using Email? 

Yes.  You could read your messages on this group's Web page on Yahoo Groups, and turn off the Email delivery of messages.  For how to do this, see the instructions.  

 
How can I change the way I receive messages for this group? 

To change your preferences for how messages are delivered: 

bulletFollow the instructions under How can I change my preferences
 
bulletOn the "Edit My Membership" page, view the different options under "Message Delivery" and "HTML Email Conversion"
 
bulletChange the options to what you want. 
 
bulletGo to the bottom of the page, and click on "Save Changes". 
 

Message Delivery options -- some ideas: 

bulletthe usual way people get messages is by "Individual emails" -- one Email comes to your address for each message posted to this group.
 
bulletif you'd rather receive only one Email per day, then select "Daily Digest".
 
bulletif you'd rather read the messages on the Web, we recommend selecting "Only special announcements"
 

HTML Email Conversion options -- some ideas: 

bulletif you'd prefer to see fewer advertising graphics in the messages, we suggest selecting "No conversion".  Then you will likely get more advertising text lines instead.
 

 
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Creating Messages

How can I create a message for this group which others will see?

Follow the "How to Create a Message" instructions on this group's main page. 

 
How can I create a message without using Email? 

You can create a message without Email by using this group's Web page on Yahoo. 

Before you can post a message without Email, you must: 

bulletbe a member of this group (see instructions on how to Join
 
bullethave a Yahoo Groups identity (see instructions on this FAQ page). 

Follow these steps to create a message: 

bulletVisit this group's web page on Yahoo Groups. 
 
bullet"Sign in" to this group, with Yahoo ID and Password. 
 
bulletClick on "Post". 
 
bulletType in your message. 
 
bulletFollow the instructions to post your message. 
 

 
Are there any restrictions on what I can put in a message?

Yes.  See the "Guidelines" on this group's main page. 

 
Who can read a message that I post to the group?

See under "How to Get the Messages" on this group's main page.

 
When I reply to a message, how can I make my reply go to only the sender of the message, and not have the entire group see it? 

Manually type in (or copy-and-paste) the Email address of the individual person you wish to reply to -- and remove any Email address or identifier for the discussion group.

Caution:  If you create a message by using the Reply command in your Email reader to respond to a group message, your reply message normally gets distributed to all members of the group, not just to the message's author. 

To reply to only the sender of the message, you must manually type in (or copy-and-paste) the Email address of the individual person you wish to reply to -- and remove any Email address or identifier for the discussion group.

 
What if I do not receive the message I posted -- or cannot see it on the group discussion page on Yahoo?

Sometimes you post a message to this group, but you're not sure if it was sent correctly and received by Yahoo correctly.  

bulletSometimes it takes a while for Yahoo to send your posted message out by Email to everyone who has requested Email.  Normally your posted message will show up more quickly on the group discussion web page on Yahoo -- so looking there after 15-30 minutes is a good way to check.  But that requires that you join Yahoo and set up your own Yahoo ID.
 
bulletSometimes there is a problem or obstacle with your Email provider's service, either in transmitting or receiving your message.  With all the concern these days about blocking out unwanted "Spam" messages, sometimes Email service providers are also blocking out messages that you want.  If you suspect this is the problem, you need to work with your Email service provider.
 
bulletIn rare cases, a member whose participation has not followed the purposes or guidelines of the group is placed "under Moderation", which means that each of their posted messages must be approved by a Moderator before it is published to the group. To determine if this is the problem, you must join Yahoo and set up your own Yahoo ID, visit the group's main web page on YahooGroups, and check your membership status.

But sometimes your message does not get through even though everything in the YahooGroups and Email services is working just fine.  Two possible causes for this are:

bulletYou are not yet a member of this group. 

Only members can post messages to this group.  See instructions on how to Join.

bulletThe "From" address in the Email message you sent was different from the Email address you used to join this group. 

Yahoo checks incoming messages and uses the "From" address to get the identity of the member sending it.

If you wish to use multiple Email addresses with this group, one convenient way is to first get a Yahoo Groups identity (see instructions).  Then visit this group's web page on Yahoo Groups and "Sign In".  Then go to "Edit My Membership" and add a new Email address.  You can also go to "My Preferences" and manage multiple Email addresses.

What if I get an Email from Yahoo saying that my message was rejected?

See above under "What if I do not receive the message I posted, and cannot see it on the Yahoo group web page?"

 
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Joining this Group -- and Leaving

How do I become a member of this group? 

To join this group, follow these instructions on this group's main page

 
How do I stop getting Emails from this group? 

The first way is to change your personal preferences so you will view messages only on the Web.  For how to do this, see instructions

The second way is to unsubscribe from this group -- see these instructions

 
How do I leave this group? 

To leave this discussion group, or "unsubscribe" from it, send an Email to this address: 

 
How do I unsubscribe from this group? 

To leave this discussion group, or "unsubscribe" from it, send an Email to this address: 

 
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Controlling your Preferences

How can I get more control over how I participate with this group? 

Most of the personal preferences and more sophisticated uses of this group are available only if you have a Yahoo Groups identity -- see how to get one

 
How can I change my preferences? 

To change your preferences about how you participate with this group: 

bulletGet a Yahoo Groups identity first (see how)
 
bulletVisit this group's Web page on Yahoo Groups:

Bike Columbia County page on Yahoo Groups

bulletClick on "Edit My Membership". 
 
bulletView the different options under "Message Delivery" and "HTML Email Conversion". 

We recommend that you especially consider changing the "HTML Email Conversion" to "No conversion". 

bulletChange the options to what you want, then click on "Save Changes".
 
bulletYou can also change other preferences which apply to any groups linked to your Yahoo Groups identity, by clicking on "My Preferences". 
 

 
How do I get a Yahoo Groups identity? 

Most of the personal preferences and more sophisticated uses of this group are available only if you have a Yahoo Groups identity. 

To get a Yahoo Groups identity, visit this group's Web page on Yahoo: 

Bike Columbia County page on Yahoo Groups

Then click on "Join this Group", and follow the instructions.

 
What if I already have a Yahoo Groups identity?

To use your existing Yahoo Groups identity with this group:

bulletVisit the Yahoo Groups home page.
 
bulletClick on "Sign In", and enter your Yahoo ID and Password.
 
bulletVisit this group's page on Yahoo Groups.
 
bulletLook under "Membership" in the upper right part of this group's page. 
 
bulletIf you see words like "You are a member of this group", then you do not need to do anything further, since your existing Yahoo Groups identity is already linked to this group.
 
bulletIf you see words something like "You are not recognized as a member" or "Join this Group" on this page, then your existing Yahoo Groups identity is not yet linked to this group.  In that case, click on "Join this Group", and follow the instructions.
 

 
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Advertising

How can I stop seeing so many of those advertising graphics in the messages? 

You may have noticed that the some of the messages you receive from this group have large advertisement graphics at the bottom.  These are added by Yahoo Groups to most HTML-format messages. 

The quickest way to cut down on these is to change your "HTML Email Conversion" setting on Yahoo to "No Conversion" -- see steps below

The second thing is to make sure each message you create and post goes out in plain Text only format -- see steps below.  

 
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Details -- What are the details I might need to know for cutting the advertising? 

This takes some explanation:  Currently Yahoo Groups sends out messages in two formats, plain Text and HTML.  It adds advertising text lines to most of the plain Text format messages, and it adds big advertising graphics to most of the HTML format messages.  We cannot stop Yahoo Groups from doing that.  What we can do is to make more of our messages come through as plain Text, and fewer in HTML format. 

There are two ways that messages get into HTML format.  First, the "preference" set up by Yahoo for most members when they join this group is to have all messages converted to HTML, even if they were posted in plain Text format.  You can change that "preference" -- see step 1 below.  Second, if a member creates and posts a message in HTML format, it gets sent out the same way.  You can start creating non-HTML-format messages -- see step 2 below. 

There are two things you can do to cut down on the advertising graphics: 

(1) Change your "HTML Email conversion" setting on Yahoo for this group

bulletFollow the instructions under How can I change my preferences
 
bulletOn the "Edit My Membership" page, view the different options and your current settings. 
 
bulletUnder "HTML Email Conversion", click on "No conversion".  
 
bulletGo to the bottom of the page, and click on "Save Changes". 
 
bulletYou can also click to your "My Preferences" page on Yahoo and make a similar change there. 
 
bulletIf all you ever do with this group is Read messages, then you are done.  Otherwise please go on to the next step. 

 
(2a) Create messages in plain Text by doing it on the Web through Yahoo Groups, instead of using your own Email software. 

Go to this group's web page on Yahoo Groups, sign in with a Yahoo Groups identity, click on "Post", and follow the instructions to create a message. 

But many folks find it more convenient to use their own Email software.  If you're one of them, please see step 2b. 

 
(2b) Set your Email software so that it sends your message out as plain Text only, not HTML and not Rich Text.  

That way people who read the messages you send will get fewer big advertising graphics.  

The steps to make this change depend on which Email software you have.  No change is needed if your Email software is already set to normally send plain Text only to all addresses -- but often modern Email software is not set up for properly using this discussion group.  If the messages you send out have colors or graphics or interesting typefaces or multiple fonts -- then please change the settings when you send to this group. 

There are two approaches: 

bulletFor each message you send, make sure the format setting is for plain Text only.  How to do this depends on which Email software you use -- see details below
 
bulletIn you use your address book, change the properties in your address book entry for this group so it is set for plain Text only.  How to do this depends on which Email software you use -- see details below.
 

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Details
for different Email software

bulletOutlook Express (Microsoft) -- version 5

to set each message:  In the "New Message" window, go to the menu bar at the top of the window and select "Format", then select "Plain Text".  There should now be a black dot next to "Plain Text". 

to set the address book entry:  Open your Address Book and find the entry for this group.  Right-click on that and select Properties.  In the "Properties" window, select the "Name" tab.  In the bottom left-hand corner, set the check in the box for "Send Email using plain text only". 

bulletInternet Explorer (Microsoft) 

The usual Email software used by Internet Explorer is Outlook Express, so if that's what you've got, then follow the instructions for that.  Otherwise figure out which software you are actually using to create and send Email. 

bulletMicrosoft Outlook -- versions 9 or 2000

to set each message:  In the "New Message" window, go to the menu bar at the top of the window and select "Format", then select "Plain Text".  There should now be a check mark next to "Plain Text". 

to set the address book entry:  Open your Address Book and find the entry for this group.  Right-click on that and select Properties.  In the "Properties" window, select the "Name" tab.  In the bottom left-hand corner, set the check in the box for "Send Email using plain text only". 

bulletNetscape 

[ to be added

bulletothers  

[ Please send us "plain Text only" instructions for other Email software.

 
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How come the messages have advertising at all?

Because this group is currently set up and operating on Yahoo Groups.  There is no charge for this, and it offers convenience and lots of helpful features.  But the people and systems at Yahoo Groups need to get paid for, and Yahoo Groups gets their money from advertisers.  And the advertisers prefer big graphics.

Perhaps later in this group's life we will switch to some other way of operating it, but for now it has to come with some advertising.

Most members of most other groups we're familiar with don't mind this if most of the advertisements come in the form of text lines.  We can achieve that for this group if we make the small effort to follow the steps under How can I stop seeing so many advertising graphics.

 

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