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*forms

Frequently Asked Questions

What the heck is a splatform?

A splatform, or *form (as we like to write it here at splatforms.com), is a generic web data entry form that contains the properties for a very specific type of commonly used entity. The current version of the site contains five (5) different *forms to support five distinctly different types of entities:

  • Simple Text Messages
  • Links/Bookmarks/URLs/etc
  • News Articles/Blog Entries
  • Calendar Events/Appointments/Meetings/etc and
  • Contacts (People)

What can I do with a *form?

When you fill out a *form and submit it, you identify one or more Tasks that you would like to initiate using the data that you entered on the form. For example, you could fill out a Contact *form with the contact information for a new business prospect, and then select Tasks that would import that contact information into a number of different address books that you maintain on various web sites. Or you could fill out an Event *form with the data about a meeting, and then select Tasks that would post that meeting on your personal calendar, your work calendar, one or more social networking sites, and maybe even your smart phone or PDA.

The only limit to what you can do with a *form is the availability of Tasks to perform the things that you want to have done, and new Tasks are being added by independent Task developers all the time. In fact, if you know of something that you would like to be able to do, and you don't see an existing Task that does that, let us know -- developers are looking for ideas all of the time. And if you are a developer, we encourage you set up Tasks for as many things as you can think of.

How does this all work?

Basically, it is pretty simple once you get your account established and get everything set up. When you enter data into a *form manually, you simply log on to the site and select the *forms tab, and then select the type of *form that you want to fill out. At any time you can click on the Tasks button to review all of the Tasks that you have chosen in your account preferences to be associated with this type of *form, and you can remove any that are not appropriate for this particular instance. When you are finished entering the data, you just click on Submit and you're done.

Although your part of the process is now complete, the real work of the system is just beginning. Once you submit your *form to be processed, a "to do" item is created for every Task that you have associated with this instance of the process. The *forms Local Agent that is running on your computer will then detect the presence of those items, and will then carry out your specified Tasks using the data that you entered on the *form along with any necessary site credentials that you have stored on your local machine. The results of each Task are then reported back to site, where you can review them by selecting the Processed tab.

Why do I need a "Local Agent"?

The *forms Local Agent is an integral part of process, and provides a number of important features:

  1. It stores all of your credentials for logging in to any target sites on which you would like to post your *form data. Your usernames and passwords for your various accounts around the Internet are not things that you would want to share with another web site (and that's not something for which we would like to accept the liablity, either!), so the Local Agent provides a safe repository on your own equipment to retain this information, which is required when performing functions on other web sites on your behalf.
  2. It monitors the *forms web site, watching for any "to do" items posted to your account.
  3. When there are unprocessed "to do" items associated with your account, your *forms Local Agent will combine the *form data that you entered, the site credentials that are stored locally, and the instructions laid out in the Task script to interact with the target web site from your own computer as if you were personally sitting there typing at the keyboard and doing all of this activity by hand.

Do I really need to add stuff to my web browser?

No, you don't.

Unlike the *forms Local Agent, which is required for the successful operation of the process, the *form Loaders that can be added to your browser's tool bar are simply there for your convenience, and are not required in order to utilize the system. They do greatly simplify certain operations, however, so you really should take a look at them and see if one or more might just help make things a little easier for you. But they are definitely not required.

What do you mean by "Free for casual use"?

Free means free. Period.

There is no cost or obligation to set up a splaforms.com user account. We don't charge you anything, and we don't ask you to promote our site or clutter up your own site with badges or links back to ours. It's just free. We do validate your e-mail address, though, just to make sure that you are at least signing up with a real, working e-mail account to which you have access, but that's it. There is no charge.

There is no cost or obligation to post *forms to the site. You can fill out as many *forms as you want every day, and you can associate as many Tasks as you want to each instance. We do not limit in any way the number of times you submit a *form, or the number of Tasks that you associate with a *form. Submit *forms as often as you want, and submit as many as you want.

There is, however, a limit on the number of *forms that can be successfully processed each day. Every night at midnight Eastern Time (U.S.), every active splatforms.com account holder is allocated 50 free posting credits. Every successfully processed "to do" item consumes one of these credits. "To do" items that have not completed successfully (hey, things happen -- not everything makes it through, for a variety of reasons) are not counted, and do not consume credits of any kind. When your free credit balance reaches 0, the system no longer attempts to process the "to do" items associated with your account. Those items do not go anywhere, however, and at midnight Eastern Time, when your free posting credit balance has been replenished, the system will once again start processing your items.

The daily limit of 50 free posting credits represents our concept of "casual use." Your free posting credits do not accumulate; if you had 17 left at the end of the day, you would not start the next day with 50 + 17. Your account balance is simply reset to 50, and the leftover 17 credits just go unused. 50 free posting credits seems to us like a reasonable number to place on "casual use," particularly considering that your items just sit there waiting, and whatever we can't fit into the limit today will just get picked up and processed tomorrow.

OK, but what if I decide that I want more than just "casual use"?

Too bad.

Actually, that's not entirely true. We do *NOT* offer any kind of paid subscription service or any kind of recurring credit card processing or any method of periodic billing or any other type of repetetive charges or annual fees. But we do will* provide the ability to "add funds" to your account through the web site at any time, and for any amount at or above the minimum of $10.00 USD. This system is completely voluntary, and each such transation is an independent, one time operation that does not obligate you to anything further in the future. It is *NOT* a requirement to use the system; it is simply there as an option.

When you have funds available on your account, those funds will be used to purchase additional credits above and beyond your base allocation of 50 free posting credits, but only as needed, and only when needed. As long as there are free credits available, the system will always draw first from the free credits, and will not touch any paid credits. But when the free credits have been exhausted, if there are paid credits available, the system will continue to process your *forms rather than waiting for your free credits to be replenished. Again, adding funds to your account is *NOT* a requirement of using the system; it is simply there as an option, if you choose to do so.

* Note: Currently, we have disabled the ability for customers to add funds to their account for the purpose of increasing their transaction limit. While we fully intend to support this feature in the future, we are not quite ready to throw open that door right at the moment. We will update this page with the information on that capability as soon as it becomes available.

What if I don't want to pay anything, but I submit more items than I have credits?

When your free credit balance reaches 0, if your paid credit balance is also 0, and there are no funds available on the account, the system simply stops attempting to process the "to do" items associated with your account. Those items do not go anywhere, however, and at midnight Eastern Time, when your free posting credit balance has been replenished, the system will once again start processing your items. If your free credit balance reaches 0 again before all items have been processed, then they just go back into a wait state again until more credits or funds have been added back to the account.

Wow, this sounds like just what I need ... how do I sign up?

Setting up a splaforms.com user account is free and easy. Just click on the Create Account link found in the upper right-hand corner of every page on the site, fill out the simple form, and submit it. You can log in right away and start setting up your account preferences, and as soon as you verify your e-mail address using the e-mail that will sent to the address that you provided, you will be ready to start submitting *forms.

OK, I've signed up -- now what do I do?

Once you are able to log in to your new splaforms.com user account, you will have access to the Getting Started page, which lays out all of the steps you need to take in order to get fully set up and ready to start submitting *forms. Just follow those few simple steps and you will quickly be on your way to taking advantage of the benefits of your new splatforms.com account.