Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers! :-) [Click a question below to open and close the answer.]

If you don't find an answer to your question, please click this link to ask us directly. We'll reply by email as quickly as possible. We'll also use our interaction to refine and update our FAQ section to ensure that DropaBalm.com social game players have a fun and easy-to-play time helping Good Causes and lips throughout the land!

General questions

DropaBalm is a social game environment where players give a gift to a loved one, contribute to a cause they support, and collect game points toward achievements and game rewards.

People send lip balms as greetings to their friends and family. Each purchase links a buyer (Balmer) and a receiver (Balmee) into a network of other players who are also playing the same StoryNet game.

Each lip balm purchased includes a “cause dollar” – a $1.00 contribution that goes to the worthy cause(s) supported by that StoryNet game.

Each StoryNet builds its own unique story about the cause(s) it supports, the players who join, and why they are playing that particular StoryNet game.

Lip balm has been around since the early 1880s. It is a small, but much appreciated lip care aid. Sending a lip balm to a friend costs less than sending a greeting card, and it keeps on saying you care with every single use.

Raining Rose Inc., our lip balm supplier is located a few blocks away from us in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Raining Rose products are made from the finest quality natural ingredients -- natural vegetable oil, virgin olive oil and pure aroma therapy-grade essential oils. Whenever possible, they use organically grown ingredients. And, their products are cruelty free.

Terms we use

A Balmer is the balm dropper, also known as the lib balm gift-giver and the person who purchases the balm to be sent to someone else.

A Balmee is the 'target' of the balm, also known as the lip balm gift-recipient. This is the person to whom we send the lip balm that the balmer has purchased.

My account
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Setting up an account is very easy to do. On the navigation bar to the right of the page, find the User login area. Just below the login button you will see the link Create new account.

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Click on the link to open the User Account page. Here you fill in your Username and a valid e-mail address, then click on the Create New Account button. Information is provided below each field to help you as you set up your account. Once you click on the Create New Account button, you will then be taken back to the Home page.

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At the top of the Home page, just below the DropaBalm banner you will now see a message. It tells you that your password and further instructions have been mailed to your e-mail address (the one you provided when you created your account). To complete your account set up you must get your temporary password and follow the instructions in this e-mail. Using this two-step set-up process helps to keep SPAM bots from setting up accounts.

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The e-mail we send you will have "Account details for (your Username) at DropaBalm.com" on the Subject line. Open the e-mail, copy your temporary password and click on the link provided to take you to the Userlogin on the Home page where you can enter your Username and paste your temporary password and Login to your account. Replace your temporary password with a new password and SAVE your changes.

Once you have an account you can drop a balm by starting your own StoryNet or by joining a 'Join Us' StoryNet in progress.

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Here is what you will see on your brand new Account page. As you become active, your Account will automatically show the list of StoryNet Games in which you are playing, your Achievements to date, story-bits you have provided as a Balmer and story-bits you have received as a Balmee, and the History of how long you have been playing at DropaBalm.

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After you have dropped and/or received balms, when you click on the DropaBalming Activity tab you will see the history of your Balm Drops and your Incoming Balms (with some related Story-bit data). In the Link-in Messages list you will see any e-mail messages you have received from people who would like to link with you so they can enter a 'Join Us' StoryNet game.

Once you have dropped a balm or received a balm, address information will be stored in your Account. Click on the Addresses tab to open the list of address(es) you have used for yourself and the list of addresses of all your your Balmees. You can edit or delete any address in your list.

The Edit tab, allows you to make changes to your Account or your Profile.

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When you select the Edit tab in your account, you can change the data in your Account or you can create a Profile. If you click on the Account link, you can change your Username or Password, and you can upload a Picture. When you select the Profile link, you can add whatever information about yourself you would like to share. You can come back at any time to revise both your Account and Profile data.

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Your Profile and Picture will appear anytime someone clicks on your Username in a StoryNet. And your Picture will appear in the Social Network image of each StoryNet game in which you participate.

Any time you want to change your Profile or upload a different Picture, your changes will appear wherever your data is visible on the DropaBalm website.

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Do not forget to SAVE your changes by clicking on the Save button when you are done editing.

Dropping balms

When you drop a balm, your story-bit (who are the balmer and balmee, and why are you dropping a balm, etc.) is added to the StoryNet. If you do not drop a balm, you do not have a story-bit to add to the StoryNet.

First you must log into your account (or create an account if you don't already have one). Find the "Drop this balm" and "Buy this kit" purchase buttons on the right navigation margin.

If you click on either the Drop this balm button or the Buy this kit button you will go directly to the Shopping cart page to continue your purchase.

All the information about you and about your purchase - your Balmee, why you are dropping this balm, which StoryNet is related to your purchase, and which of the StoryNet causes you support - will be collected during the Check Out process on the Check Out page. All this information makes up the story-bit for this transaction that will be added to the full StoryNet of the game you are playing.

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As soon as you complete your transaction, an e-mail is sent to your Balmee. The e-mail subject line is a DropaBalm.com HEADS UP that they have been balmed by you (the Balmer).

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Inside the e-mail your Balmee will find information about the DropaBalm vocabulary (Balmer, Balmee, Drop a Balm); all the details which make up this unique story-bit (who, why, which cause(s), etc.); and mailing and e-mail addresses for both you, the Balmer, and your Balmee.

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There is also an invitation for the Balmee to set up an account - an option we make available but not a requirement at all. We provide a temporary username, a temporary password, and a one-time-use URL for the Balmee to quickly access the new user account set-up at DropaBalm.com if they choose to do so.

All the information about you and about your purchase -- your Balmee, why you are dropping this balm, which StoryNet is related to your purchase and which of the StoryNet causes you support - will be collected during the Check Out process on the Check Out page.

StoryNets

When you drop a balm, each lip balm you send tells a 'story-bit' about who you are and why you are dropping a balm on someone. Each Balmer’s story-bit is added to the story-bits of others in the same social game network. The chain of story-bits together make up a StoryNet (as in Story Network).

StoryNets can be wildly different from each other. The Story they tell depends on why the StoryNet was created; how many Balmers are participating in the StoryNet and where they are located; which cause(s) the StoryNet supports; the chain of story-bits that unfolds as the StoryNet expands; and which type of game the StoryNet is playing.

There are currently three types of StoryNet games availabie, but more types of games are already in development.

An individual (Balmer) can join a game in progress or start his/her own StoryNet Game.

If you click on "StoryNets" in the navigation bar at the top of the page, you will learn more about StoryNets in general and all the StoryNets in progress.

A StoryNet captures and displays the bits and pieces of data that tell the whole story of a particular StoryNet Game. You can access the whole story by clicking on the title of any one of the StoryNets.

You can see who created the game and why, and which causes the Story Creator wants the game to support. You can see who the players are to date, which of those causes they want to support, and read interesting story-bits of how people are connected to each other.

You can see who is connected to whom (social network) and their general geographic location (geo-map). You can easily see the "reach" of the game network by checking out it's size and how players are spread across the country or the world.

All this data - story creation, social network, geo-map and story-bits - make up the whole story of a StoryNet.

Each StoryNet is both a story of how people interact with each other and a network of their connections.

The Story Teller View shows you how the story of this StoryNet has unfolded, step-by-step, as each new story-bit has been added.

The Explorer View allows you to see how the network of this StoryNet has evolved. By clicking on individual story-bit buttons in the Dropped Balm Stories list; on people icons in the geo-map; and on individual links in the social network image you can explore how the people in a StoryNet are connected.

If you are looking to enter a 'Join Us' StoryNet already in progress, the Explorer View provides information to help you choose the player you want to connect with to join that StoryNet game.

The Story Teller View starts from the beginning - who created this StoryNet and why - and then step by step adds each new story-bit - who drops the next balm on whom, where, and why -- until the StoryNet unfolds to its current point in time. You can read each new story-bit and see each new connection as it is added to the network geo-map, while watching the Donation Tally increase in cause dollars.

The Explorer View allows you to see all the information displayed at once about the StoryNet to date: the full geo-map of connections, the full list of story-bits, and the social network diagram of who is connected to whom.

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Click on any story-bit button in the Dropped Balm Stories list, to open and display its story-bit information, to see the two players connected in that story-bit displayed with a green link and jumping icons on the geo-map, and to see their profile pictures and the link between them highlighted on the social network diagram.

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Pass your cursor over a picture on the social network diagram to highlight that player's connections in this story network. Do the same over any link and the story-bit connecting the two players appears. Click on any link and the story-bit button opens in the Stories list, the connected players display a green link and their icons will be jumping on the geo-map.

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When you pass your cursor over an icon on the geo-map, the player it represents is identified. A red link shows a balmer-balmee connection, a blue link shows an e-mail Link-in between someone who entered a 'Join Us' StoryNet through a player already in the game.

Each time a Balmer drops a balm on a Balmee a story-bit is created. Story-bits can be as informative, creative, and entertaining as the Balmee chooses.

During the Checkout process the Balmer provides a a few choice words to describe himself or herself and a few choice words describing their Balmee. The Balmer explains why they are dropping this balm on their Balmee. And, finally the Balmer chooses which of this StoryNet's causes he/she is supporting, and why this cause is being supported with this particular balm drop. All these pieces of information make up the story-bit of a single connection between one Balmer and one Balmee.

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The social network diagram shows the Username and Profile picture (if one has been uploaded) of each of the individual players in a StoryNet. It shows how each of the players is connected to all other players in the same game using links drawn between them.

Red arrows are drawn from a Balmer to a Balmee. If this is a 'Join Us' StoryNet, blue arrows designate who sent an e-mail to whom to Link-in to this game. The number next to each link shows which story-bit is related to that connection.

In this sample diagram you can see that in story-bit #6, Maria Sato sent Maria Davis an e-mail to Link-in to this 'Join Us' StoryNet, then proceeded to drop a balm on Annie4Wind.

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If you click on a link in the social network diagram, the related story-bit opens in the Dropped Balm Stories list, and the two players' icons on the geo-map jump up and down. If this is a 'Join Us' StoryNet, the two players' icons will invite you to send one of them an e-mail to Link-in to this game.

aha -- good one for a graphic

StoryNet games

A game is a chain of interactions where there are rules and some kind of scoring. In a StoryNet game individuals connect with each other following the rules of the type of game being played.

At present there are two types of scoring being tracked: 1) cause dollars raised by a particular StoryNet and all StoryNets combined, and 2) individual achievements accomplished as a StoryNet player.

There are four main goals in playing a StoryNet game: 1) to have some fun; 2) to give a gift to people you care about; 3) to raise money for good causes that you care about; and 4) to connect with others to develop a Story Network – a StoryNet.

There are three different types of StoryNet (SN) games currently being played at DropaBalm.com: Grow Chain, Join Us, and 6 Degrees of You.

This is a “closed” game. Balmers invite people they know to grow their StoryNet by dropping a balm on them.

The StoryNet Creator chooses the cause(s) this StoryNet will support. If the Creator chooses only one cause, 100% of the cause dollar from each sale goes to that one cause; two causes, 50 cents goes to each of the two causes; three causes, 33.3 cents goes to each.

It's called a "closed" game only because people who are already in the StoryNet invite others to join by dropping a balm on them.

Anyone can start a new 'Grow Chain' StoryNet, but growing that StoryNet is by invitation.

This is an “open” game. Anyone who wants to drop a balm can send an e-mail to an existing player in the StoryNet game and join the StoryNet.

The StoryNet Creator selects the cause(s) this StoryNet will support, and the cause dollar from each sale will be divided up depending on whether the StoryNet supports one, two or three causes.

'Join Us' games are called "open" games because anyone who wants to join that StoryNet can join the game by sending an e-mail to anyone in the StoryNet already to announce they are joining the StoryNet.

Entering a Join Us game is a good way to support a StoryNet you find interesting while giving a gift of some excellent lip balm to one of your friends or family and supporting a worthy cause.

Anyone can start a new 'Join Us' StoryNet, and anyone can join a 'Join Us' StoryNet that already exists.

This is a “drop one and pass the token on” game. The StoryNet Creator selects the cause(s) to be supported and then buys a 6 game token for 6 balms.

The StoryNet Creator then drops one balm on their Balmee. The game token (now a 5-balm token) is passed to their Balmee, who then drops one balm and passes the 4-balm token to their Balmee. this continues until there are no more balm-tokens left to pass and the StoryNet pauses.

At any time, any player in the game can refill the game token by buying more tokens - as many as they choose to purchase - to keep the StoryNet growing.

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The token counter on the StoryNet's home page will always show how many tokens are currently in the game and who refilled the token counter with how many tokens.

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At any time, any player in the game can start a new "branch" in the same StoryNet by buying a 6-Degrees of You StoryNet Kit and dropping the first of those 6 balms on a new balmee.

Anyone can start a new 6-Degrees of You StoryNet, but you must be invited to join a 6-Degrees of You StoryNet that is already in progress by someone in the game dropping a balm on you.

write something worthwhile here....

Of course you do! Your Balmees will think you are GREAT for caring enough to drop a balm on them - you get more affection from family and friends (and maybe become their Balmee in return). The cause you support will be cause dollars richer because you dropped a balm on its behalf - you get a good guy/good gal pat on the back. You rack up game achievements the more you play. You meet new people and you have fun setting up or extending a StoryNet game.

There's a whole lot of WIN in a DropaBalm game.

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but you can
and so on and so forth

write something great here use graphics

Six-Degrees StoryNets

The term "six degrees of separation" refers to the idea that everyone on Earth can "reach" any other person through a chain of connections, that on average is approximately 6 people long.

Your friend is a 1-degree connection to you; your friend's friend is a 2-degree connection to you; your friend's friend's friend is a 3-degree connection to you, and so on. A good number of research studies show that a chain of "a friend of a friend" connections can connect, on average, any two people in six steps or fewer.

The trivia game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and the DropaBalm '6-Degrees of you' StoryNet Kit are based on this idea.

The 6-Degrees of You game is a fun way to see how extensive a StoryNet can become in support of its purpose and the cause(s) it supports. It has a number of goals and many achievement levels possible.

The main goals of all of the DropaBalm games are to have fun, send a 'cool' gift to a loved one, and to raise money for worthy causes. The 6-Degrees of You game adds a few more goals that make this game quite interesting.

One goal is to see how connected people are to each other - in 6-degrees of you, who can you "reach"? Another goal is to keep extending the StoryNet to see how many cause dollars can be raised for its causes. A third goal is to see how long the game can continue - will players recharge the drop token to keep the StoryNet growing?

Causes supported

If you are a registered community member and would like to harness the power of DropaBalm for your fundraising efforts, simply click the Cause or Organization link under the Create Content menu link in your personal navigation menu in the right-side sidebar of any page. Then fill in the form with as much information as you can, especially including your nomination statement, and you have started the ball rolling for this new Good Cause.

We will quickly review your nomination. If necessary, we'll work with you to ensure as much information is included for us to accept and process donations, etc. Once provisionally approved as a Good Cause Candidate, your nomination will be published on this Good Cause Candidate page.

As soon as your nomination has ten (10) community members that 'fav' your candidate, we'll do our final review and announce the availability of your Good Cause for support at DropaBalm.com.

To launch DropaBalm.com, we 'seeded' the site with three Good Causes that we felt a special and personal interest in supporting:

  • The HALO Trust – which is dedicated to the eradication of unexploded landmines and war debris – was a natural for our personal peace-loving ways. Also, honestly, we did not want folks to read too much into the verbal word-play of "dropping balms" as our means of creating a social gaming experience and commerce transaction to support Good Cause fundraising. So we felt that supporting The HALO Trust was a good way to show that our word-play is purely metaphorical and that we are sensitive to the seriousness of dropping actual bombs rather than balms.
  • The American Cancer Society was another easy choice for us. Like so many folks, both DropaBalm Jambo and DropaBalm TeeBee have lost loved ones to cancer. If there is anything we can do to help understand and find a cure for cancer, we're there.
  • Finally, Common Cause, the non-partisan citizen-action organization dedicated to helping to make democracy work primarily through promoting election finance reform and citizen civic education. This, too, was an obvious and easy choice for us. No matter which side of the ideological/political debate you are on, it is certainly apparent that we live in challenging times. If there was ever a time to "double-down" on supporting Common Cause, this is it.

These three Good Causes were our initial 'seeds' for DropaBalm.com. All other Good Causes and Organizations available for StoryNet support are nominated and championed by our community members.

another good question ... wr've the ansrwr

Checkout and order handling

In Part 1 of 'The Checkout Series' we present a 5-minute background overview of everything you need to know to drop balm. For best result, please view in full screen HD mode. (We produced this in full HD 1080p resolution. It looks pretty good at lower resolutions, too. But the HD is way cool if you can do it.)

Watch the DropaBalm.com webcast on YouTube

In Part 2, we walk you quickly through the checkout process and show how to create a new StoryNet while dropping balm.

All your story-bit data is collected during the Check Out.

All the information about you and about your purchase -- your Balmee, why you are dropping this balm, which StoryNet is related to your purchase and which of the StoryNet causes you support - will be collected on the Check Out page.

Privacy and security

Our Straight-Up Guarantee about Your Privacy
We never sell or share any information about you!
Not to anyone! Not ever!
And, anyone you send a DropaBalm has the exact same guarantee!

Privacy Policy
Keeping your information secure is very important to us. All information gathered on this site is strictly confidential. We do not distribute your e-mail or personal information to anyone. It is not shared with or sold to any other company, organization or service.

When you create an account at DropaBalm.com your LogIn ID, e-mail address, password, and all order placement data are recorded in databases on our servers. Our servers are protected from direct access by anybody else on the Internet through proxy server firewalls.

Our site uses a contact information form for customers to order products. When you place an order at DropaBalm we collect your contact information (name, address, email address, etc.), the contact information for your Balmee (name, address, etc., OR just the e-mail address - your choice as indicated on the order page). And, we collect your "story" (who, why, which causes you support, etc.).

Contact information is used to send orders (to you or your Balmees), or to get in touch with you if/when needed. Your "story" data is used to calculate donation percentages for the causes you support; to track social network connections in the social network gaming experience; and to add to the total count for a state, city, or other geo-location.

Access to your personal information here at DropaBalm is strictly limited to only those employees who are directly providing products or services to you.

When a a visitor requests to view a web page from a web site, information about the request is automatically stored in a log file. Log files are used to assess network traffic and to understand how content is being viewed on a web site.

A log file includes the name of the domain accessing the Internet (e.g., "company.com," "school.edu," or "agency.gov"), the Internet Protocol Number (IP Address) of the computer making the contact, the time and date of the request, and the type of web browser being used. Log files do not contain the visitor's name or e-mail address. Our IP address may be used to gather broad demographic information only.

The DropaBalm site has security measures in place to protect all of the information under our control. We use encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates to ensure that our visitors are safe from sign-in, to browse, to purchase, to sign out.

You can trust the site and trust the transaction.

We do not have access to any of your financial data, nor is it stored anywhere on the DropaBalm system.

All financial transactions are handled through the PayPal system directly.

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You can fine-tune the way that information about you is used to generate StoryNet stories. Although we use your general location when plotting the geo-maps for StoryNets, we never directly reveal your specific address to anyone other than you and your balmee.

When you set up your profile you can also make choices that affect text references to you (e.g., hide your gender) and you can determine how precisely (or less precisely) your location marker is placed on StoryNet Google maps.

Website questions

Short answer, yes. You absolutely need JavaScript enabled in your browser to fully enjoy the content and social game participation here at www.DropaBalm.com.

JavaScript is essential for proper construction and display of the Google maps which showcase the geographical dimension of DropaBalm StoryNets. We use JavaScript as well in composing the GraphViz-based social network diagrams that show the linkage among DropaBalm social game players.

And, just as importantly, we use extensive JavaScript-enabled scripting to facilitate the efficient e-Commerce checkout process/work-flow where you do way more than just conveniently purchase and drop a balm. We've worked diligently to provide an easy-to-use checkout system that eases creating new StoryNets and helps you associate drops and StoryNets with the Good Causes supported here at DropaBalm, etc.

So if you just can't bring yourself to turning on JavaScript as you surf the Internet, thank you for visiting www.DropaBalm.com. If and when you do venture out with a JavaScript-enabled browser, please come back by and join in the fun.

Most likely – such as you don't see the geo-maps or social network diagrams, or if you don't seem to be able to make it through the checkout process – you are here with a browser that either does not support or you have disabled the client-side JavaScript programming language.

We absolutely need our happy visitors to have JavaScript enabled in their browsers to take full advantage of the social gaming features here at www.DropaBalm.com.

For more information, see this FAQ: 'Do I need JavaScript?'

Well, if it's late afternoon and you missed lunch, perhaps just one... Actually, web browser type cookies are not needed nor used here at DropaBalm.com.

PLEASE BE ASSURED: We in no way create nor use cookies in any way to track your activity or otherwise intrude on your activity here or anywhere else you travel on the Internet.