Forum Orientation

One of the perks of being a member of the VMQG rather than attending meetings as a guest is our forum. It’s a great way to get to know other members better and stay in touch between meetings. However, how active and interesting the forum is depends completely on how much you post, and so far it’s not the busiest of places. Several members have requested an orientation to our board, so here it is.

Registration
We require registration to access the forums. When you complete your registration, an email goes to Heather so she can ensure you’re a member. Once she approves it, you will get an email informing you and you can enter the forums using the password you chose during registration.
Not sure if you’re registered? Can’t remember your password? Email Kalin or Heather and they’ll get it sorted out.
Also, remember that our memberships expire each year on October 31st. In early November, members who have not renewed will be deactivated, but can be reactivated if they re-join the guild.

TOP ROW MENUS
These links at the very top of the forum are your master links when you need info other than the actual forum posts:

User Control
This is basically where you set all the aspects of your profile (personal info, password, display options). Add an avatar here, manage forum subscriptions (email notifications), view your bookmarked threads, and other things like that.

Messages
This is where you can send and receive private messages with other members.

Members
View a complete list of members on the forum. Great to scan for everyone’s blogs, or if you want to send a message to someone, but you don’t know their username.

The Team
This shows your board moderator, Heather and Kalin, if you have any concerns about the forums.

BELOW BOARDS MENUS
Right below the three main boards, there are four buttons that can make viewing the forums much easier:

Unanswered Posts
This will show you all the posts that don’t have any replies. A great way to see if someone has asked for help, but received no response. Maybe you can help them out?

Unread Posts
This is the first place I go when I check the forums. This gives a nice list of all the messages/threads from all three boards that I haven’t read.

New Posts
Similar to the last one, but this is just new posts since you last visited. This won’t include posts that you didn’t read on your last visit, like the previous one will.

Active Topics
This will provide a list of threads that are recently and frequently posted to. A good way to see what’s getting the most attention.

PICTURES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS

When the Picture is Online
When you are making a post there is a row of formatting options just above your message. To add an image to your post click the “IMG” button and insert the website address of your image between the two [img] tags in your message.

When the Picture is on your Computer
When the picture isn’t online you can’t add it directly to your message, but you can add it as an attachment to your post. Below your post-in-progress there is an “attachment” tab. There you can browse for the file on your computer and enter a description.
The attachment function also works for file types other than images, like pdfs.

Subscribing to a thread or board
Whenever you are viewing a board, sub-forum or thread you will be able to scroll to the bottom of the page and find a check box for subscribing. When you check this box you will receive an email when a new post is added to the board or thread.
You can set it to notify you of each update, or only the first update made before you log in to check them. Subscriptions are managed in the “user control” area.

Bookmarking a Thread
Bookmarking can only be done on threads and just keeps them in a tidy list that can be found in the “user control” area. This is nice if you don’t want update notifications, but you want to easily find something at another time.

Hopefully this is helpful to some of our members who are unfamiliar with this forum set up. We’d love to see this area become more active and and a long-term resource for future members, as well as a way of documenting what we’re all up to.

Have any tips or more questions? Just leave a comment or send me an email.

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