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Welcome Aboard - What Chiriqui.Life Is and Can Do, How To Use It, and The Rules


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Welcome to the Chiriqui.Life Website
Understanding and Taking Advantage of Chiriqui.Life



What is Chiriqui.Life?

Chiriqui.Life (CL) is a free information resource available to anyone having access to the Internet. From the domain name you can discern that the target audience is not just Boquete, but all of the residents, businesses, and clubs/groups of the Chiriquí Province of the Republic of Panama.

The content on CL focuses specifically on any aspect of life (residing, working, or visiting) in the Chiriquí Province, as well as topics about Panama in general that may affect life in the Chiriquí Province. A few forums have a more global scope, but those forums are limited in number and incidental to what CL is about.

Think of CL as your [digital] homegrown, daily, self-published, neighborhood newspaper and community discussion forum targeting Chiriquí and its highlands region, principally Boquete.

The URL for this website is www.chiriqui.life (or simply chiriqui.life in most browsers). The majority of the information on CL is contained in forums, and secondarily in blogs; events and activities are contained in the calendar; a minor portion of the content is in the photo galleries.


The Goals for Chiriqui.Life

The owners/administrators (i.e., the management team) of CL have two primary goals for this website:

  • to assist in the integration of the different cultures that are coming together in the area, and
  • for everyone using CL to have a satisfactory experience in the:
    • sharing of information,
    • sharing of ideas and thoughts,
    • announcing events (via a calendar) or things (discrete postings in forums or blogs),
    • inquiring about things that are important to its users, and
    • helping others in their journey.


On the Subject of Language(s)

No "official language(s)" has/have been mandated for this website. English is likely to be the lingua franca used on CL. Given that Spanish is the native language for Panamá, those choosing to use Spanish are welcome to do so. We do ask that languages other than Spanish and English be used sparingly.


What Is the Difference Between a Guest, a Member, and a User of CL?

A guest is an unregistered user of CL. A guest is limited to reading most but not all of the public content on CL. Guests have very limited access to the functionality offered by CL (see the next section), including no privileges with regard to posting, uploading, downloading, no access to premium content, etc. Guests do not even get to see signature blocks at the bottom of member postings; signature blocks often contain contact information.

A member is a registered user of CL. A member is someone who has successfully registered, and who is logged into CL at the time they access CL. A member who is not logged into CL is treated as a guest. Members have full access to all functionality offered by CL (see the next section).

A user is a collective term that includes both guests and members.


What Functionality Does CL Offer?

Functionality of this website includes:

  • threaded community bulletin board forums with unlimited nesting,
  • Q&A (question and answer) forums,
  • blogs,
  • photo albums,
  • document archives,
  • sharing of audio and video files,
  • calendaring,
  • member “reactions” to forum and blog postings,
  • display of upcoming calendar events,
  • polling (surveys),
  • private messaging (PM),
  • tagging of postings, including title prefixing,
  • reputations of users,
  • rating of topics,
  • reporting inappropriate content,
  • sharing of content links via social media or emailing of content links,
  • display of a configurable "activity stream",
  • viewing only new content since last login (a subset of an activity stream),
  • viewing only previously unseen content (a subset of an activity stream),
  • following of forums,
  • following of topics,
  • following of members,
  • ignoring selected members,
  • configurable notifications (online and/or email) of a comprehensive list of activities of interest.

The two highlighted items above are perhaps the most important functionality of CL. Because of the importance of activity streams, please read the topic at The CL Activity Stream -- What It Is and How to Use It.

The initial configuration of this new information portal is complete, but we know that this website will change based on user needs and feedback. This is a work in progress.


Who Is Behind This Website?

Chiriqui.Life is intellectual property of Oswego LLC OÜ, which is an LLC chartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The servers are located in the USA.

The originator of this project was Bud Huber, along with his wife and a small team of volunteer administrators, moderators, and advisers. Bud first came to Boquete in 2001. He and his wife moved back to USA in 2021, and the site is now primarily managed by Phil Bennett - a resident of Boquete since 2017. The owners/administrators of CL and a small volunteer advisory group (i.e., the management team) administer the website. The management team receives no compensation.


The Commitment of CL's Owners /Administrators

Both owners/administrators are committed to transparently:

  1. providing a comprehensive, user-friendly, non-sponsored, non-confrontational information resource based on facts and truth, and that focuses on life in Panama in general and the Chiriquí highlands in particular,
  2. ensuring compliance with CL's guidelines and rules, and
  3. treating each CL member on a fair, unbiased, respectful, and equitable basis.

When either one of CL's owners/administrators has a concern about an incident then we actually have a "board meeting" and discuss all aspects of an issue. We are human and thus subject to mistakes, and when we misstep, CL members take us to task. That is why we have a small core of CL "advisors" to keep us on that path.

Please also see the last paragraph of the section below entitled Your Personal Data and Privacy.


Who Sponsors CL?

CL is a non-sponsored website. All costs are underwritten by the owners. There are no sponsors who pay or provide favors for advertising, endorsement, special consideration, promotion, etc.


What If You Need Assistance?

Send an email to support@chiriqui.life.


Who Can View, Post, and Download?

Anyone (guests included) will be able to view most (but not all) of the public content of CL.

To post any kind of content and to view all of the public content will require a successful account registration procedure. Once registration has been completed, members will then be allowed to post and upload, etc.

Only members (registered users) who are logged in are permitted to download content. To download is different from reading/viewing. Guests (unregistered users) are not able to download any content stored on CL.


To Moderate or Not?

Moderation means that registered members can post, but those postings must be approved (by CL's moderators or administrators) before their postings display to other users. Management has opted not to routinely moderate postings by members, and not even postings by most of the new registrants, but rather trust that members will honor the published guidelines and governance documents (see the next two sections).

Moderation may be invoked on a case-by-case basis in situations where members wish to test the limits of the guidelines and the rules (see the next two sections).


Website Guidelines

There are only two basic “guidelines” for the use of this website:

  1. respect others, and
  2. know and abide by the law and respect community standards.

We trust that users will heed those two simple guidelines, but rest assured that the tools necessary to enforce compliance are available.


The Specific Rules About Using CL - The Governance Documents

There are three documents that comprise the governance for this website, and we strongly urge you to read those three documents because registration with or use of this website implies your understanding and concurrence. Those three documents are:

  1. the Site Guidelines,
  2. the Terms and Rules, and
  3. the Privacy Policy.

Classified advertisements (i.e., buy and sell forums) on CL have some additional rules based on member request. See Forum Specific Rules for Classified Ads.


Freedom of Expression versus Censorship

Always present in the life of a community information resource is the topic of censorship. Management knows from prior experiences with similar websites that the topic of censorship will not go away and will never be acceptable to everyone.

One goal of CL is to allow everyone to express themselves in an unfettered manner. However, there are limits. It is okay to disagree with someone, but (as documented in our Terms & Rules) one should respond to the topic and not attack the person. Sometimes people get caught up in the moment and become emotional. That is okay, but then maybe an apology might be in order.

If in the final analysis someone has gone over the line and takes no steps to correct the situaiton, then there are various tools available to deal with an untoward incident in varying degrees of severity.


Searching Content - What If I Am Looking for Something Specific?

The search capability of CL is quite powerful. Look for the "magnifying glass" icon in the upper right of most pages here on CL. Type something rather unique about what you are interested in. For instance, if you are looking for everything that contains content about Banco Nacional, then perhaps either "banco" or "nacional" (you could include both words if you wish) might be a good search argument. Search arguments are not case sensitive.

The only "rule" about searching is that there needs to be at least one search argument (word) of at least five (5) characters. Search arguments of four or less characters are ignored. Multiple search arguments in one search are permitted. Once the search argument(s) is/are entered, then click on the magnifying glass to execute the search. If you use more than one search argument, then consider using the advanced search options to specify whether you want all or any of the search arguments; any is the default, but you may prefer to search based on all search arguments.

Note that searches are for words, meaning a character string (of at least five characters) that is bounded by white space or punctuation, etc. If you search for "elephant" and all occurrences of that word are "elephants" (note the plural), then the search will be unsuccessful. So search for all reasonable variations of the words. However, the search argument may include a "wild card" character at the end so as to match anything. For instance, the search argument "elephant*" (note the terminal asterisk wild card character) will find all words that start with "elephant" plus any additional characters on the end of that word. That search argument would find "elephant", "elephants", "elephantiasis", "elephantine", "elephantabcxyz", etc.

If you wish to search in other than the entire website, then just below the search argument is a drop down menu of other more limited targets to be searched (e.g., blogs only).

If you are looking for a specific phrase, such as the title of a movie, then consider putting the search argument inside of quote marks ("example here of a phrase consisting of several words"). Doing so effectively makes everything inside the quotes look like a single word for the search argument. For instance, assume someone wrote a review of Around the World in 80 Days. A search argument of "around the world in 80 days" (specifically including the quotation marks) would look literally for the exact phrase as entered inside of the quotation marks other than case insensitivity, and be successful. If you entered a search argument of "around world the in 80 days" (specifically including the quotation marks; also note that the words 'world' and 'the' are transposed), then the search will not be successful. Search arguments inside quotation marks are literally interpreted as one word/search argument, other than case insensitivity.


Your Personal Data and Privacy

In the interest of full disclosure, during the registration procedure users will be asked a few questions. Most of these questions are optional — but obviously recommended. For instance, to share what your interests or hobbies are, so that others with similar interests can reach out to you. One question, which is not optional, is the requirement to provide your real name. That field, once entered, will be viewable by anyone.

The underlying purpose behind the voluntary disclosure of some of your information is so that others with like interests can connect up with you. For those who object to such disclosures, a "choose not to reply" type response is acceptable in most of the fields (but specifically not including the real name field).

In cases where there may be a [perceived] violation of CL's guidelines and rules, CL management conducts an investigation, and works with the affected parties. Investigations into violations can be initiated either by a member asserting a violation, or, as is more common, by CL management based on the routine monitoring of all content posted on CL. All communications related to investigations into violations are private and never discussed with anyone other than CL management and the affected parties. Be advised that these investigations do take time, sometimes a few days, but they are handled as expeditiously as possible.


Closing Comments

CL is YOUR resource. The management team normally doesn’t post content for others (either members or guests); if you have something to post, then do so, and without cost, and if you need help, just ask. CL management simply is providing a community resource for you to:

  • share information,
  • share ideas and thoughts,
  • announce events (via a calendar) or things (discrete postings),
  • inquire about things that are important to you, and
  • help others in their journey.

For more detailed information, simply look at the website (www.Chiriqui.Life, which can be shortened to Chiriqui.Life in most browsers).

If you need to contact management, you may do so via the website (use the Problems, Feedback and Suggestions forum) or send an email to support@chiriqui.life. Management prefers that feedback and comments about the website be posted online (see the Problems, Feedback and Suggestions forum) for the entire community to see and respond as desired.

There also is an online Questions and Answers forum. Use Problems, Feedback and Suggestions for general support questions; use Questions and Answers for questions about specific website features or functions and how to use them.


Management will be monitoring the website and responding to suggestions and criticisms.

Welcome aboard. Enjoy.

Marcelyn Jandreau, Bud Huber and Phil Bennett
Owners / Administrators, Chiriqui.Life

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