Autobiographer: Customize your profile



This Quest will enable you to say “I can:”

  • Register an account in Discourse (the software driving
  • Introduce myself to classmates
  • Upload an image

Time required

No more than 1 hour.

Why this Quest

For most of this course’s work we will be using Discourse (you’re using it now!), a relatively new (started in 2013) forum package created by Jeff Atwood, who started Stack Overflow, a question-and-answer site. Unless otherwise indicated, things that you post here will be public and will persist after the course is over. The easiest way for you to log in is to click the the blue “G with Google” button and enter some gmail address (your jagmail address will work). If you would rather log in with some other address, you are welcome to do so. Your email address is never made public.

If you are enrolled in a course, you should have received an email with an invitation in it. If you have not received it yet, you should probably wait. If you think that you should already have received such a message and have not, then please feel free to email your course instructor.

Note: “Discourse” is the software that is running on this site,, just as is the site (or thousands of others). Therefore, “Discourse” and "" may be used almost (but not quite) interchangeably.

Note: It is easiest to register using a Gmail account. If you do not want to use your Jagmail account for this purpose, you should get a separate Gmail account to use here. If you received an invite using your jagmail address and would prefer to use some other address, you can change your email address after you log in the first time.

How should I register?

Whatever email address you use to register should be one that you check frequently so that you get announcements and notifications (you can tweak how much email the system sends you). When you create other online presences for this course (e.g., blogs, and other online services) you should keep these same issues in mind. Only system administrators (currently @pfaffman is the only one) can see what email address you use, and it is not displayed by default.

  1. Click the blue “G for Google” button and use your university account.
  • Advantages: Easiest. No registration required. No new account to create.
  • Disadvantages: Lose access when you graduate.
  1. Click the blue “G for Google” button and use your “regular” Gmail account (assuming you have one)
  • Advantages: Easiest. No registration required. No new account to create (if you already use Gmail)
  • Disadvantages: Work here is tied to your non-school account (and you want to forget what you did here).
  1. Click the blue “G for Google” button and use a Gmail account (especially for this course)
  • Advantages: Work done here is not connected to any of your other personas. Most private.
  • Disadvantages: Having to remember to check yet another email account.
  1. Register an account locally (and not use the Google login)
  • Advantages: Work done here is not connected to any of your other personas. Most private.
  • Disadvantages: Having to remember to check yet another username/password.

What to do:

Get your account set up and click the circle on the upper right hand corner of the page, and click on “profile” or the gear icon for preferences.

Your username will be next to everything that you post here. You should choose one that makes sense for you. Something like abc1234 probably is a bad choice. You are welcome to choose a pseudonym, but something that resembles your name is preferred unless you have privacy concerns; everything that you post here will be searchable via Google and other search engines.

Your profile should include the following:

  • Your name, or a pseudonym if you prefer. If you include your real name in your profile, as either your username or your name, it will be made public. If this makes you uncomfortable, you should use a pseudonym of your choosing and leave the name field blank. If you are uncomfortable participating using a pseudonym, you should email your instructor.
  • A profile picture of yourself, or some avatar of your choosing. (There are free sites that will let you generate an avatar like the one that @pfaffman has).
  • “About me” should include a brief and professional introduction of yourself. It should include something about what you do, why are you taking the class, and what you plan to do when you finish the class and/or your degree. Like all work you do for this course, your profile should not contain spelling or grammar errors.
  • Discourse will email you when it thinks it should, like when someone replies to something that you wrote. You can tweak those settings here as well. It is critical that you keep up with what is posted on this site. I recommend that you have it email you daily when you haven’t visited (the default is weekly). Unless you change the settings (“Do not suppress email notifications when I am active on the site”), it will not email you if you have been on the site that day.
  • Adding a category to the Watched categories will cause Discourse to email you whenever something is posted there. You might find this helpful or horrible.
  • If you find yourself annoyed by messages about posts not about your course, you can add those to the list of “muted” categories.

Evidence of Completion

  1. Reply-as-linked-topic to this message.
  • Make up a title that describes what you did
  1. Select the appropriate “completions” category (hint: it will contain your course number and the word “completions”.
  • enter the tag “autobiographer”
  1. Describe how you figured out what to do or things you wish you had known when you started.
  • Let us know how long it took you. If it takes more time than the instructor has assumed, then they need to know that they are making bad assumptions.
  1. You will earn the autobiographer badge when you select your profile image and write a profile. This does not necessarily mean that you included a proper introduction.

Just Keep Swimming
Success: I customized my Discourse profile!
Profile maker Jon Ledbetter
The things to do
Success (If I manage to post this correctly!)
Scavenger hunt or tasks to do in Discourse
What to do - Reply as linked Topic- Fixed category
Completion of profile
Creating and editing my profile
The directions were pretty straight forward! This program is a little confusing but I am looking forward to learning a lot about it
Editing Profile