Little Known Facts About ATP

Posted by @dave on
Think you know everything about All Things Plants? Maybe you do, but maybe you don't! Here's a pile of interesting tidbits of information about our favorite website.

Thumb of 2012-07-02/dave/c010ab
If you put the at sign (@) in front of a username, that turns the name into a clickable hyperlink that others can then click on to go to their member page? Doing this in threads will also send a system message to that user, alerting them that they are being talked about! @Trish loves when people mention her, so I've used her as an example here.

If you're the first person to post a photo to a plant in the plant database, you get two acorns instead of the usual one.

Every day the beautiful graphical banner on the top of every page of the site changes, and each graphic is custom made by various members of ATP. Did you also know that @Calif_Sue is single-handedly responsible for choosing and scheduling them? Also, each banner has its own discussion thread where people talk about it. You can always see today's thread by looking at the bottom of the page, where it says, "Today's banner is..."

Ever posted a photo to a thread and later decided you wanted to also post that photo to the plant's entry in the database? No problem! Click on the photo to bring it full size, then look at the bottom and click on "Import this photo to the database" and you're off to the races. And!! You can do this with ANY photo in any thread. You get Acorn rewards for importing photos from other people. Just be careful that the photo wasn't already posted by them or someone else before you do this.

If you're writing a post or article and you want to include an image from the database, you can do that by simply copying and pasting the "db_photo" tag into your post. You'll see the tag on the page of more details when you view an image full sized.

And speaking of the db_photo tag, did you also know that you can make it appear on the right side of the page by adding a secret attribute to the text? This is a bit advanced, but if you say [db_photo="right"] instead of just [db_photo] then it'll push the photo over and the text before and after will flow to the left. The opposite is true. Be careful with using this! In the threads it can make your posts messy. But inside articles it's great!

How do the threads work? Well, forums like the roses, daylilies, and site talk forums are actually just containers for threads. Other containers are database comments, ideas, db photos, etc. This means that all the features of the forums are also present everywhere on the site. It's how we can discuss everything on the site, including banners and even reviews in the Green Pages.

Speaking of the green pages, that's where we can recommend our favorite gardening companies. Well, did you know that if you wanted to endorse a company but you don't really know what to write as a review, you can simply endorse them without posting an actual review? This way they get the "point" for being endorsed, and you don't have to figure out what to say. You'll see where to endorse the company when you view their entry in the green pages.

Did you know that we're on facebook, and if you like our facebook page, you'll get daily updates from us. Almost a thousand members have liked us on facebook. We also have a twitter feed, but does anyone even use twitter??

Everyone knows that we email out a newsletter every Saturday morning. But you can also read the newsletter on the website. Go to the footer and click "Newsletter" and you can go back in time and view all the past newsletters, including the most recent one, all the way back to day 1.

Articles are a great way to earn acorns, and did you know that there's no required length for an article? You can submit a quick idea with a sentence or two and as long as you include a photo, it can get published on the ATP homepage. Don't even have a photo? Then find a pretty picture in the database and use its db_photo tag.

Have you seen our Garden Planting Calendar? Enter your location and it'll tell you when to plant your various veggies. For most people it is surprisingly accurate!

Never heard of that before? Well, maybe you should visit the Goodies link. You'll find it in the blue menu up top-left of the site. In there we put a lot of our toys that make the site a tiny bit more fun and useful.

Ever feel like you want to just write stuff about your garden, either for your own use or others? Maybe a couple paragraphs about what's going on along with just regular photos? You can do that in our blog feature. It's as easy as posting to a forum but it's YOUR area and you get to control what it is. It's actually pretty useful and you can develop a following. People can "watch" your blog and each time you post, they'll be notified on their ATP homepage.

Do you have microbadges? They cost 5 acorns each and they are a fun way to add flair to your online profile. Did you know that there exist some microbadges that you can't buy, but can only earn by doing various things on the site? There's even a microbadge from an impromptu postcard mailing event we held and only the handful of people who were at the right place at the right time and participated got the badge. Watch for more of those in the future!

You probably know that you can maintain your own lists of plants here. But did you know that you can add plants to your list right from the database? When viewing a plant, click on the blue "Add this plant" button on the left side of the screen.

@Horntoad mentioned the custom links on the side bar. He keeps some of his research pages there, and if someone is looking for an ID or suggestion of native plants for their area, he can quickly open the site and start researching. He also keep links to pages here on ATP like the Planting Calendar. It saves a few clicks and time hunting for them. The links he's talking about are custom links he added to his ATP menubar in the top-left of the site. To add some of your own, click on your preferences area (go to your profile by clicking on the person icon in the menu area, then click on preferences) and you'll see the place to add custom links.

@vic reminded me of the stars feature. In any article, post, plant or other item on the site, you'll see little icons that include a thumbs-up, an acorn and a star. If you click on the green thumb, it is like giving a public "like" to that item. We love giving (and getting) thumbs for our posts!! Clicking on the acorn icon lets you give an acorn tip from your stash to the person who made the post. Finally, if you click on the star icon, it saves the post to your own starred items list, which is then available for browsing via your profile page. Starred posts are a great way to bookmark ATP items for later reference.

We have a photography forum! @evermorelawnless says, "While there are scores of fantastic sites dedicated to photography on the web, this photography forum occupies a unique place in that space because its focus is on shooting things garden related. So...I encourage you to have a look if you've not visited that forum yet. And if you have the time and inclination, please take some time to share what you know about photographing the subjects that we love on this site. Or, if you have questions about some aspect of photography, ask them there. Lots of people there are willing to help site members figure out how to take better shots. The Photography Forum is a great resource on this site, so please visit it (and contribute to it if you are able)."

Last one: Tree-Mail is our private messaging system. You know how to send a person a tree-mail but did you know that you can send tree-mails to multiple recipients? Doing so creates a private group conversation that all the recipients can see. It's like instantly creating a private forum for a handful of friends.

There are surely plenty of other tips. Share your favorite one in the forums below and I'll edit this article later to include my favorites. Smiling

Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Tree Mail Questions by Marilyn Feb 3, 2016 4:00 PM 13
help by Toni Jun 6, 2015 12:39 PM 2
Love the info by donnabking Jan 10, 2015 5:11 PM 2
The last one. by DavidofDeLand Jan 6, 2015 9:40 AM 4
Stars and Quotes by vic Jan 5, 2015 9:20 PM 6
Entering my plants from database entries by jvdubb Jan 5, 2015 4:18 PM 1
Custom links by Horntoad Jan 5, 2015 11:10 AM 5
Photography Forum by evermorelawnless Jan 5, 2015 7:34 AM 1
Multi-plant images by chelle Jan 5, 2015 7:05 AM 1

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