Etherpad is used as a tool for the Peer to Peer University community for their "community calls" and on-going planning.
Unlike a tool like Google Docs where users need to log in to collaborate, this is not needed for Etherpads.
Primary Pad is an installation of Etherpad set up by a teacher who saw the value of pads for school-based educators. However, it is possible to install Etherpad so little information can be gathered which can be used to incriminate users. If this kind of digital 'eavesdropping' is a concern for you then choose an Etherpad where HTTPS is available. Rather than leaving data hanging around on the Internet you may choose to use an Etherpad service that deletes data after a certain amount of time if it is not being used. If you do use an Etherpad with password protection, it is important to always use HTTPS to connect to it. As with many aspects of Internet security, for very sensitive information it is best not to publish it to a webserver on the Internet at all. If you choose not to use Etherpad as you collaboration tool then there are other services and software that may be useful to you.
It provides a secure space to collaborate with your friends and colleagues by allowing you to create different spaces and use tools for collaborative writing, organising and decision making. OwnCloud is Free Software that provides an online storage area for data (cloud storage) for you. The system is mainly designed for the sharing of existing files but there are also simple tools for editing documents and it is possible to integrate Etherpad.
Booktype is a more advanced tool for collaborative writing, It has a focus on producing printed books or booklets. It is possible to hide books from general users however Booktype has not been designed as a secure space for sensitive documents. Although most wikis are not designed to be private or encrypted, they can be password protected. There are good tools in most wikis for keeping a track on edits that have been made and reversing destructive changes. If you are interested in trying a more secure wiki tool, which allows for encrypted use, you can try Wiki on a Stick. While there are many advantages to using online collaboration tools not many of them have been designed to be very secure.
You can now send this link via email or and instant messaging service inviting other people to join you in the writing of the document you have just started.
To start writing you can use the pad in the same way that you would a normal word processor or the writing window of an email editor. These are in order: Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethough, Numbered list, Unordered list, Indent, Outdent, Undo and Redo. As you type you may notice that there is a background color behind what you type.This color is called an Authorship Color. One of the core reasons for using Etherpad is to be able to collaborate in real time with other writers remotely. To view these changes click on the icon that looks like a clock to show the time slider of the project. There is a playing head slider which you can drag to the left to move between versions.The playing head starts at the right with the latest version of the pad. Dragging this playing head back to version 0 should show the default message and the time when the pad was created. It is possible to click on the play button to the right of this timeline screen to replay these changes at a speed where you can generally keep a track of what happened. While Etherpad saves all work and changes in small increments by default, you may want to set intentional versions or revisions.
If you go to the Timeline view of a pad where these saved revisions have been used you will see the intentionally saved revisions as stars marked along the timeline. You may want to start a pad with a word processing document you have already created.When you have finished collaborating you may also want to export the document you have created. Additionally, you'll need node.js installed, Ideally the latest stable version, be careful of installing nodejs from apt.
As any user (we recommend creating a separate user called etherpad-lite):Move to a folder where you want to install Etherpad Lite. One of the first things you should do is actually use Etherpad, and get to know it, read about it, be evangelical about it, and engage with the wider community.
The features described in this chapter may not be available in all versions of Etherpad as they may depend on your adding other plugins. If you click on the Plugin Manager link at the side of you page you will see the following screen.
You can point your browser back to your Etherpad installation to see if the changes have taken place.
Using Etherpad SettingsYou can access other settings for Etherpad documents by clicking on the cog icon. Depending on the installation of Etherpad you are using you will have different options available to you.

You can find out more about these additional options in other parts of this guide including Taking Ethernet Further.
If you are used to organising your written text with headings then you may feel the lack of this ability on the most basic etherpad installations.
Added the Align plug in adds a toolbar option to align your text to the left, right, center or justified. There is a similar plugin called List Pads which creates a list of pads on the home page of your installation. Put a tick in the Email Notifications box and you will see option appear to add your email and select an option to choose if you want to receive an email when someone starts editing or finishes editing the Pad.
This option, when installed it allows users to always displays the chat to the right of the pad. Sometimes the talk will go quiet and people will concentrate on adding information to the Etherpad adding it form memory, cutting and pasting text from from different sources or linking out to more in depth information. Often these pads are not secure in the sense that they are password protected but they do offer the possibility of anonymous collaboration. While most large scale services log information like the IP address (identifying addresses) of connecting users, it is possible to configure an Etherpad server not to keep any record of the users who connect to it. There is more information on HTTPS (also called SSL) in other guides like the FIrefox Manual. Details of these tools can be found in similar guides on Bypassing Censorship and the Firefox browser. When authorities track Internet use or take possession of Internet servers as part of investigations, it is often these IP addresses which are used to incriminate Internet users.
Before running a service and declaring it to be a secure tool you should ensure you have  good depth of knowledge on your subject.
It is possible to keep a log of your chats and have encrypted chats making it a good tool for quick collaboration on texts. For formatting wikis use something called "wiki markup" which can make wikis more tricky to use that other tools in this guide.
To avoid this problem you may want to use more tried and tested ways of communicating securely.
These include HTML, Plain text, Microsoft Word, PDF, ODF (Open Document Format), DokuWiki and MediaWiki. If you are not familiar with these concepts then you will need to do research or ask a specialist to help you. Integration means users can log in using their existing usernames and this information can be used to create author information.
That means that everything, from this website to the core of the application itself, has been contributed by passionate, helpful individuals (such as yourself) who liked what they saw and wanted to make something even better. This depends on how much extra functionality or plugins have been added to the basic installation. When the plug in is installed you can sign up to get email notifications on  each pad by clicking on the Cog image to access the pad settings. The weekly meeting process encourages the disparate team to pool information to have it visible in one space. As such, it is not advisable to use this tool for information that you do not want to be in the public domain. It may be possible to check that you have connected to a website even if the contents of what you have read or written can not be detected. Very briefly, HTTPS connections encrypt the data between your computer and the website you are connecting to. If you have technical skills you can find out how to do this in the section on Installing Etherpad. If you are only writing by yourself then this may be distracting and you can choose to remove these Authorship Colors by clicking on the multicolored icon. So if you like what you see, and want to make something even better, we'd like to see your contributions. If you do not have admin access you can still find this chapter useful as you may be able to request the administrator to add some of the following plugins to the installed Etherpad version you are  using. A link to a Google HangOut (an online chat tool), links to additional pads detailing past meetings and projects. One of those conventions is to make it clear to see who is editing what part of the pad, new users sign in as attendees. The real time element focuses attention on the task and ensures that there isn't a project drift in terms of not finishing the work in time. This chapter deals with these aspects and suggests different tools which may be useful to you. It doesn't matter how familiar you are with real-time applications, or whether you know how to write programs for Node.js.

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