Frequently Asked Questions

Heather Smith • 19 June 2019

Read the FAQs below and if you still have questions, post in the comments. You can help us out by adding questions and their answers to the Master Googledoc

Your instructions don’t make sense

The Open Social links below will sometimes provide false information because they refer to platforms managed by the Open Social team (the premium product if you like).

Who owns my data? and Can I delete my account?

Anything you post is in the public domain, (or the group domain if you post in a closed group). The following links give some idea about the control you have when you close your account. 

Everything is managed on a local server and we will be looking to work with the user community if that ever scales up.

Your personal data is only visible by administrators - or on your profile if you choose to make it visible. You can see more information about how Open Social ensures compliance with the EU regulations here: GDPR (General Data Privacy Regulation).

We will only use your personal contact details to contact you in relation to this site, but generally we will use the site itself for communications and shouldn't need to use your email etc.

What do I do if I forget my password?

Follow the instructions here:, check your Spam if the message doesn’t come through. Still nothing - did you remember the right email address? and if you are still having trouble email heather[at]

What happens to my content when I delete my account?

The Open Social website gives you details about deleting accounts at this link , “Users can delete their entire account. After the account is deleted their profile information and private messages will be deleted, and other content they created will be anonymised.”

What am I looking at?

Before you log in you will see anything that has been created in "public" mode on the site. You will see different buttons on some pages that encourage you to Join (Sign up) or to Log in.

When you log in you will be able to join groups and add comments in spaces where comments are enabled. Once again, groups and topics created in "public" mode will be visible. Within closed groups, content is only visible once you join. Once you join, a profile will be created for you and you can edit it to let people see your interests and activity. 

When you look at a groups’s activities you can see the conversation in "stream", information "about" the group, "events" created by the group, "topics" created inside the group and who its "members" are.

When you look at a person’s profile you can see their commenting activity in "stream", "events" they are going to, "topics" created by them, the "groups" they belong to and the "information" they paste on their profile.

Who can see my profile information?

Who can see my posts and topics?

My time zone is Adelaide - how can I change it?

How can I learn more?

There will be regular online training sessions (see dedicated training post) We are planning to create a series of mini videos on:

Adding topics

Adding comments

Adding posts

Adding a navigation page (like Sandpit) or a resource (like Embark) - contact me

How will I know if someone has interacted with me on this site?

Read more about notifications and how to change your settings:

Inappropriate content?

We will build the social rules on this site over time. Is it Spam?, Abuse? or Offensive material? Let Heather Admin know if you are having trouble dealing with it directly because administrators can remove accounts etc if necessary.

My content has disappeared

Get in touch and we will trouble shoot the problem.

Who manages my group?

Here’s some introductory information about groups.

Each group has the group manager/s in the sidebar and accessible via the menu


There are many online tools that already help us grow our communities and the golden rule is to go to where the community has already gathered. We imagine this site as a companion to the websites, Facebook groups, email threads, Slack workplaces and google docs that community energy groups already use. But here are two advantages none of those other technologies offer:

  1. On this site you can create static content that stays up to date so anyone can find a resource, note the conversation around it, use it and provide their own feedback.
  2. On this site you can work out loud. Knowing and learning are social activities. You can make thoughtful contributions and then grow as others offer their perspectives and improve a piece of information or a decision. If you do this in a more public way, others can watch the conversation, learn themselves and also contribute when they feel ready. In this way, we grow our communities.


We are thinking of this space as a town square.

The citizens of this fine town are all the members of community energy groups around Australia. This is a space where we can gather and share.

The Embark wiki is resurrected here - but we can all help to update it. It can become our Library, closely linked to our University where researchers busily develop the new knowledge the sector needs.

The groups are like a busy Cafe with different clusters working at each table. The Marketplace, a space for you to promote and sell your services.

Everyone can help deliver the News, offer to help and share their resources and insights.

Tourists are welcome and we want this town to be a famous place to visit. The media, politicians, investors and policy makers can all learn more about community energy here. They can see us at work and be impressed by what our sector is achieving. Let's show the world, through this Hub, what a thriving sector we are.


Understanding topics and other choices.

“A topic can be a piece of news, blog, document or a discussion. Each topic is tagged with a topic type to make it clear what this topic is about.” For this knowledge hub we've also added project updates and resources as topic types to make these easily searchable.