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Guide to using the forum - Help Needed!

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Hi all,

I am currently sat here at the beginners imaging day and somebody has mentioned to me a great idea - a lot of people join the forum and have never used a forum before and there are a lot of concepts (PM's etc..) that are new if you have never used a forum before - it would be good to put together a crib sheet of forum concepts, how to do things - e.g. setup a signature, send a private message.

We can then automatically email this guide out to new members when they join as well as making it available on the forum.

I think it would be good if we can collectively create this document - this will probably help us all learn a bit more about features etc.. we might not know about.

I am happy to collate it all and edit it, but perhaps you all could help contribute - either ideas for topics that should be included or a paragraph or two about a particular topic which I can add in to the whole document...

What does everybody think?



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Good idea - I answer quite a few questions on forum navigation and facilities. The latest one I discovered is the "Private Messages" link at the top right of every page for intant access to your unread PM's. I'll bet not many use that :)

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That's a good idea. Here are a few things off the top of my head.

Setting up Albums (public and private).

Uploading an image to an album.

Adding an image from your album to a post.

Attaching an image directly to a post.

Subscribing to posts

Changing the Automatic subscribe option.

Adding a Signature.

What to do if the forum keeps logging you out.


Sending and receiving PM's

Friends - what this means.

How to stop automatic emails from threads.

I'm happy to help out.



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An exellent idea! There must be many people out there who have very limited IT skills in general and may well be scared away by the technology of simply joining a forum. Youngsters are used to the web and forums but those over "a certain age" may have little or no knowledge of how to "operate" on the internet. All of us on here have, by definition, at least basic IT skills!

I suspect that the "certain age" is not actually all that old!

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How about: how to embed links within the text?

E.g. there was more about that in THIS THREAD. and you click on the THIS THREAD and it opens that thread in a new window.


I don't know how to do that :)


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As the 'somebody' who raised this subject with Grant may I add to the comments received so far by saying that in the sme way that we needed a 'Beginners Course in Imaging' ( it was BRILLIANT!) some of us need a course or advice in how to make the best use of the Forum. It took me two years to find out what a PM is, and even now I do not consider myself competent to add details and 'funnies' to any message, which is why I have not got any mention of what telescopes,etc I have when I do manage to put something on the Forum. Having said that I still think its a superb internet forum and I recomend it to all my Astro friends.

Old Codger

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  • 2 months later...
We can then automatically email this guide out to new members when they join as well as making it available on the forum.
Personally I would recommend instead of e-mailing, you simply incorporate this information into the automated welcome PM. Where relevant you could also link to various information threads/forums so people know where to go for - knowing any rules for example.

Another thing you could do is set up some FAQs. This vBulletin comes with an extensive FAQ system that you can easily add to, and it's linked to right up there in the navbar/tabs for ease of locating.

If you still want it in e-mail form as well as a three-fold cord that's all well and good, but not in place of those suggestions.

Edited by King
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