Frequently Asked Questions

Our Mission Statement

The Plankton Forums are a community of marine biologists and other scientists, students, marine life enthusiasts, scuba divers/snorkelers/surfers/boaters/fisherpeople, etc. and conservationists whose goal is to further the knowledge and enjoyment of the ocean and its life in a (hopefully) fun and informative way. Due to the fast pace of the big social networks like facebook, etc. where discussions and the related resources are often quickly lost in the noise, our members suggested we create these Plankton Forums. After extensive research and many weeks of development, here we are. We hope you enjoy it. Please let us know if have any questions or suggestions by sending us an email at info@deepwildblue.com.

How do I create my Plankton Forums account?

Fill out your information at https://deepwildblue.com/register and you will be sent an email to verify your email account and then you will be able to login. Once you login you can go to your your Profile page where you can customize it at will (pixabay.com and unsplash.com are two great sources of free images to consider for your profile and cover images). If you have any questions, see other FAQs on this page or send us an email at info@deepwildblue.com.

Is my account free? Do I have to pay anything?

Your account is totally free though we greatly appreciate donations (starting at just $5) that help keep these forums updated and running. Our Sponsors also help and we encourage you to find out more about them. If you have any questions, see other FAQs on this page or send us an email at info@deepwildblue.com.

Who can see my profile information? Can I make it private?

You have full control over what you share with the public and other forum members and friends. We allow Private Profiles that only show your profile information to accepted Friends. It is a good idea to check out other member’s profiles before accepting their friend requests. As these forums are on the Web, we highly recommend you only share information about yourself that you don’t mind everyone seeing. If you have any questions, see other FAQs on this page or send us an email at info@deepwildblue.com — we’re happy to help.

Do you have any rules I should know before signing up?

Great question. Yes, we have pretty standard forum rules (basically Be Nice) about conduct and banning, etc. posted at https://deepwildblue.com/forums/topic/welcome-to-the-marinebios-plankton-forums-please-read/. Please read through them and if you have any questions, see other FAQs on this page or send us an email at info@deepwildblue.com. Because this site is new, the rules will likely evolve over time so keep an eye out for update announcements.

What are my Profile options all about? And what are Points & Badges?

When you first click on My Profile after you login, you’ll land on your Overview page. This page will display the following Widgets (My Profile > Settings > Widgets Settings), but only if you have them filled out:

  • Slideshow – up to 25 of your favorite photos in a slideshow.
  • Project – where you can show off your current project you’re running or involved with…
  • Skills – let other users know what your top skills are, limit is 10.
  • Portfolio – up to 9 photos of anything with a title and linked wherever.
  • Services – if you offer services that you’d like to be asked about, you can add them here.
  • Link – a full url like https://marinebio.org to your company site or facebook or instagram page, etc.
  • Quote – your favorite quote, allows for a background image as well…
  • Video – your favorite video, see the link to https://en.support.wordpress.com/videos/ for what’s possible.

In the right column you’ll see (again, only if you filled them in) the following (most are self-explanatory):

  • About Me
  • User Balance – your total of points earned from various activities (logging in, updating your profile, posting topics, comments, etc.) at the Plankton Forums. Basically the more active you are, the higher your points. Just for fun at this point 🙂
  • User Badges – also for fun, these are awarded based on milestones reached such as joining, posting X number of topics, comments, etc. There will also be special badges for donors and moderators.
  • Keep in Touch
  • Friends
  • Groups – groups you have joined.
  • Instagram

The navigation menu in your Profile contains the following:

  • Overview Tab
  • Wall Tab (Activity you and your friends are involved in…)
  • Info Tab
  • Groups Tab – groups you’ve joined and those available to join
  • Friends Tab – your friends list, you can message them directly from here too.
  • Forums Tab – topics you’ve posted, etc.
  • Bookmarks Tab
  • Reviews Tab
  • Badges Tab
  • Media Tab

Lastly, the smiley face, messages icon, and lighting icon to the left of your user name (in the upper right) each serve to tell you when you have:

  • Friend Requests: hover over it and click to accept or deny friend requests from other Plankton Forums members.
  • Messages: this icon shows you how many instant messages you have from other Plankton Forums members. Hover to read them, etc.
  • Notifications: this icon lets you know you have a notification (that’s not a friend request or instant message). As with the others, hover over it to read your notifications.

Note: Notifications and Messages are also accessible via links under your My Profile menu.

If you have any questions, see other FAQs on this page or send us an email at info@deepwildblue.com — we’re happy to help.

How do I add an image to a Topic or Reply?

When creating a Topic or replying to one, the 8th button in your editor has a button with the image icon and if you click on it you’ll get a box asking for the Source (link) to an image (the description and dimensions are optional). You can link to one online by copying (ctrl-c)/pasting (ctrl-v) the url into it (not recommended, this is called hotlinking and besides, links change so these often end up broken…) or, what we recommend, is to upload your image to your Media section (in your Profile or Group, look for the Media tab) and then open the image and right-click on it and choose “Copy image address (Chrome)” or “Copy image location (Firefox) ” and then paste that link in the insert image Source field of your Topic or post.

NOTE: Please obey photographer’s copyright instructions for each image.  If you can’t find the photographer or their instructions, then simply do not upload the photo/s. Violators will be banned without warning. Only upload your photos or photos from rights-free sources like pixabay.com, unsplash.com, the NOAA Photo Library, etc.

So, in short, to add an image to a Topic or reply:
1. Find your image and upload it under your Media tab in your Profile or Group.
2. Open the image (so it’s the only one showing) and right-click and copy its address/location (Source/link).
3. Go to the Topic or reply and click the button with the image icon and paste the link in the Source field via ctrl-v.
4. Save your Topic or reply, check it, edit at will (it will allow editing for up to 24 hrs), etc. until you’re happy. 🙂

As always, send us an email to info@deepwildblue.comif you have any trouble or questions.

Who can I contact if I have any questions about using these forums?

Once a member, the quickest way to get help is to contact the user MarineBio (the Keymaster) anytime by sending him a Message via the button at /members/marinebio 🙂

Otherwise, you can always send us an email to info@deepwildblue.com (be sure to include your forum’s username).

How can I help with this site?

We would love your help! You can help (other than donating or becoming a Sponsor) in the following ways:

  1. Report bugs or other irritating things to us at info@deepwildblue.com. Please provide as much detail as you can including urls of the pages in question. Copying urls is easy, double-click the url in the location field of your browser to select the whole thing, ctrl+c to copy it and then ctrl+v to paste it in your email. Without urls it can sometimes be impossible to figure out where the bug, etc. is.
  2. Suggest/post Events and Blog posts! Either PM (Private Message) a moderator, email us or start a forum topic in the forums.
  3. Get involved in the forums. We’d love everything from our facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/marinebio/ available in here that’s worthy of discussion (probably about 30% of all posts), for example. Post relevant news and tell us what you think about it. Look for questions and do what you can to help other members out. Report anything you don’t think belongs in here to any moderator or via email below.
  4. Become a moderator. Moderators in our facebook group can automatically be moderators here if they like. Otherwise, after a few months of being a productive member, let us know that you’d like to be a moderator and why. We are very careful with choosing moderators so don’t be disappointed if we don’t approve you right away.
  5. Most importantly, have fun! These forums should be fun. If you notice ways they could be more fun, let us know asap. 🙂

Why isn't the domain name planktonforums.com or something similar?

We used to run planktonforums.org many years ago and like to think of this as version 2.0. The reason we went with deepwildblue.com is because 1) planktonforums.org/.com is a pretty long domain to remember/type and 2) we’ve had deepwildblue.com for a long time and think it’s a pretty cool domain name. We’ll be linking here from marinebio.org and search engines will pick us up as the Plankton Forums soon so we don’t think it should cause much trouble (fingers crossed). Please let us know if have any questions or suggestions by sending us an email at info@deepwildblue.com. 🙂

How can I delete my account?

There is the option to delete your account in your Profile settings. We chose this option to give you full control over your information (you can also export your data as well). Once deleted, your account cannot be restored so be sure to select a very strong password and keep your computer secure. See our advice at the following page that we follow (skip down to “General online/computer advice for frontline conservation/science groups“): https://marinebio.org/marinebio/frontline-marine-conservation-support/.

If you have any questions, see other FAQs on this page or send us an email at info@deepwildblue.com — we’re happy to help.

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