After joining The News Talkers, do yourself a BIG favor, immediately click on your name in the upper right corner of the page. From the drop down menu, select Account Settings, and a new page will open up. There you can do many things by clicking on the tabs just above the word "Account" in bold lettering at the top right.
Where the page opens puts you at your "Account" tab. Here you can change your email and password, upload a new image for your avatar (after you do the first one under the "Customize" tab), and decide whether or not to share who is on your Friends List.
Under the "Customize" tab, you can upload your avatar, but be sure to submit it to both "Logo Image" and "Background Image" for it to appear everywhere you post.
Under the "Profile" tab, you can add a little bit about yourself and also be sure to check that little box at the bottom that says "Approve Friends". I'm not 100% positive, but if you don't check it, maybe ANYONE can become a Friend just by asking.
And last, but probably most important of those tabs is the one titled "Notification's". It's for exactly what it says--notifications ! There is a problem though; the default is to send EVERY notification to the email account you signed up with. There is a long list of notifications like anything from Topic Update, New Friend, New Discussion, etc.-- that will be sent to you at your email account unless you switch it to another one of two or three possible options (depends on the type of notice).
What I did was go through and set almost every one to NOT notify me, and those notices I do want, I set to "Send a Private Note". Now, I don't have a hundred emails, and when I log on, I go directly to my name and click on it, and the drop down menu tells me how many Private Notes are waiting for me. It's like the Convo Tracker and Inbox here on the Vine combined into one window!
One last note--Be sure to hit the Save Changes button at the bottom of each page before you leave it for the next tab! Enough for one night, I hope these tips help, and I promise to add more soon. Good night everyone!