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Notes on candidate ‘FAQ’ topics

A Smug Dill



Membership types, levels, ranks, badges, points, etc.


The membership types, groups, and levels are detailed here.

The table of ranks is here. In some places, you'll seen a redundant “(n/15)” shown next to the name of a rank.


What can a Silver member do that a Bronze member cannot? What can a Gold member do that a Silver member cannot? I'm not sure, and I have no access to reference material detailing the entitlements and/or differences. I see examples of Bronze members having changed their profile photo, or ‘avatar’ (and I recall seeing someone change their profile photo before even making his/her first post, so rank is not in question, either). Posting status updates may be one of the things Bronze (or perhaps even Silver) members cannot do.


Why do my post count and the number of points until my next rank not reconcile? Your post count also counts certain contributed content that are not forum posts; and your ‘points’ take into account even more types.


What are those round badges partially obscuring avatars next to posts in discussion threads? I know of only three types: hand in the top right corner for Bronze members who have “joined recently”; shield in the top right corner for moderators (but not forum administrators); and, in the bottom corner where the rank-related badge goes, a rocket for any rank above New (which is the first out of fifteen).


Why do some names listed in the Who's Online panel appear differently? They are (different types, or levels, of) FPN supporters and premium account holders; and I'm sure you can figure out who is what visually.


Buying and Selling


… on FPN


For as long as I can remember, there were two ways to legitimately conduct buying and selling fountain pens and paraphernalia on FPN: using the Classifieds section, or posting in The Mall forum.


The Classifieds section on FPN — with a guided ad template, standard sales lifecycle process, and all that — hasn't been working quite right since late 2021, and hasn't been working at all for at least the past 12 months (since June 2021).


The most recent update regarding Classifieds from the forum administrator is here.


Don't even try to press for an answer as to when it will be coming back. You'll know when it's back, if you're still around then; and there is no point in agitating for action or exclaiming how important being able to sell, free of commissions and charges, to a targeted group (i.e. hobbyists) is to one's hobby. FPN is first and foremost a hobbyist forum, and the forum administrator has said,


On 4/28/2021 at 6:45 AM, wimg said:

Chatter was actually excluded to prevent people from posting rather nonsensical stuff in their hurry to become a Gold Member, as the latter was and is allowed to post in Classifieds for free, for up to 24 classifieds yearly. And that cut-off was also chosen to prevent people from only registering to offload their pens etc., without any of us knowing anything at all about these people, and prevent false registrations in a way. it is about the hobby, and Classifieds is just a service for our membership.


so being a trading platform is not the primary reason why it exists, for hobbyists who can sign up freely — both free of charges, and free of obligation to contribute content or participate — and in turn owed nothing.


Premium account holders can craft and post ads and such, in any format they like, in The Mall. There is no barrier to entry in terms of getting a premium account; you don't need to be a registered business, or prove your identity to the administrator's satisfaction, etc. to acquire a premium account on FPN. (I am proof that a random nobody, who does not run a retail business trading in pens or anything else, can sign up for a premium account.)


If you — with or without a premium account — post Want To Sell or Want To Buy ads anywhere else on FPN, in contravention the forum rules, and at the very least your post will get removed promptly going by the history of those who have chose to test the moderation team. So just don't. Not having a ‘free’ way to buy and sell is not regarded as a valid excuse, or reason to be accommodated in the absence of a working Classifieds section. There are other places, away from FPN, where you can sell your pens and stuff; and it's not anyone else's business whether they are convenient, allow you to do so on your preferred terms, or negatively impact your bottom line as a seller, etc.


Selling a collection or lot that you picked up, inherited, or just want to be rid of


That question, in various guises, have been asked several times on FPN. Just do a forum search for those threads. It has nothing to do with FPN, and so is out-of-scope of any guidance/articles on how to use FPN.


Tailoring or customising the user interface


Dark mode (or night mode): There were a couple of different implementations, since FPN came back from the platform upgrade in late 202, but they are both no longer available. If you need one — and it isn't anybody else's business to argue with you about the validity or importance of such to you — then you should look for a local, ‘middle-man’ solution to only show you the reprocessed output of every page retrieved from FPN, does exactly what you want to suit yourself.


Repositioning or disabling image panels, Chatbox, etc.: No user-initiated selection or customisation options for those, and every one of your fellows are served the same ‘features’. Again, if you must, then look for a local-to-your-computing-device solution to intercept the FPN server's output before presenting an altered version to you.


Integration with Tapatalk, or otherwise accessing FPN through an app that is not a web browser on your mobile device: Not available, never was, and not likely to happen any time soon.


Disabling external ads: FPN Supporters and premium accounts have the option to disable ads, if you’re looking for a solution that the forum software platform provides.


Showing only  topics that interest you as unread (i.e. with new replies): The forum software has no such feature. Find your own local solution, if you must; and it'd be nice for you to let us know how you go, whether you succeed or fail.


Following discussion threads, fellow FPN members, etc.




These are the types of things that one can follow on FPN. What ‘following’ actually means may be different for different types of things. For most types of things, it covers being notified when something new has been added to them, but not when the followed content has been edited. For example, if you follow an album, then the triggers are when new images are added to the album and/or, if the album owner has set the album up in a way to allow it, when a comment is made against the album, but not when the description or settings for the album are changed; if you follow an image, then the trigger is when someone comments on that image, but not if the image's caption is changed or the image itself is overwritten. (Note to self: Files may be an exception to this, not that anyone has uploaded any new files per se for sharing in several years.)


Note also that following an album does not mean a comment made directly against an image contained therein will trigger a notification; there is no hierarchy or ‘inheritance’ in the way things are followed or watched.


Following an FPN member means getting notified whenever he adds new content that has its own container — a reply in a discussion thread, an image to a gallery album, a status update, a comment against a blog article, etc. If he changes his profile photo (or ‘avatar’), or starts openly following someone or some piece of content, even though it is something that will appear in the All Activity stream, his followers will not receive a notification for such activity.


(note to self: comment on auto-follow)






Procedural stuff

’Universal’ personal links



Activity streams


(note to self: integrate this series of explanations here, eventually; not urgent)


For now, see this and this.






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