A total beginners guide to foruming

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A total beginners guide to foruming

#1 Post by admin »

What's up :cool: Welcome. Not sure who might need this but I wanted to give a rundown of the vibe of bulletin board style forums for those who might be brand new to the concept of hanging out on a rad forum or have never seen or used one! :cool: Anyway, here's some totally chill facts about forums:
What is a forum ? ?
  • "Forum" is basically a synonym for online message board, or online bulletin board
  • Forums are structured as follows: (1) On the forum there are several boards - each board is a broad category, vibe, or field of discussion - they're kind of like neighborhoods; (2) in each board, members can post a thread where they start a discussion about a particular topic, question, thought, etc; (3) When you create the thread you also create the first post in the thread, then you and other forum members can make more posts to respond to it and one another
  • A lot of forums are based around a single larger topic or field. This one isn't really, though :cool:
  • Forums are the ancestor of modern internet community systems you're probably familiar with such as reddit, facebook's posting/groups, discord, slack, etc. but even the comments section on a YouTube video or Instagram post resembles the basics of a forum. Forums as we know them are descended from Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) that date back to the late 1970's. This forum you're on right now is built on a sturdy tried and true system called phpbb that's been around since 2000 - forums in this style were at their peak popularity during the early web days of the 90's and early 00's.

Complete basics of navigating and using the forum
  1. First of all: if you don't like how the forum looks, you can click the drop-down menu in the top-right corner labeled "Style" and change it to another style the suits your fancy!
  2. To use the forum, first you gotta make an account! To do so, click the "REGISTER" button in the top right corner of the main page and agree to phpbb's terms of use. Then do all the usual account-making stuff just like you would for any other website.
  3. Then you might as well customize your account - you can upload an avatar (150x150 px maximum) and come up with a signature that will appear at the bottom of all your posts
  4. To navigate the forums, click on a board ("Regular Talk Town", "The Creation Station" etc) that interests you and you'll be met with a list of topics. They're arranged from top-to-bottom by which one has been posted in most recently. Some important or long-standing topics might be pinned to the top of the topic list for visibility. Click on a topic to see the thread/discussion within, which you can scroll through. If there's enough posts on a topic you might see numbers at the bottom that denote page number which you'd need to click to view more of the thread.
  5. If you want to respond to a topic, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "POST REPLY". You'll be taken to a new window where you can type your post. You can post plain regular text if you want, but there's also plenty of ways to customize and flare up your post just like you'd find in a normal modern word processor - emphasis, text size, text color, hyperlinks, and lots of other settings. These features can be easily accessed via the buttons on top of the text editor, and will show up IN your text post as coded tags in brackets. These tags can be typed in by hand as well. Some of them have additional parameters you can tweak within the tags, or features that require you to enter information (such as the hyperlink tag, which requires a URL to work if you want to link regular text). Most of the basic info on these can be seen on a computer by hovering over a button and reading the alt text that pops up.

    There are also emote smilies you can use by clicking on them or typing in their tag.

    You can also attach images or audio clips by clicking "Attachments" under the text editor.

    If you want to see what your post will look like in its final form on the forum, click "Preview"
    When you're ready to post just click "SUBMIT"
  6. If you have something to say or a discussion you want to start that you don't see already, make a new TOPIC (or THREAD) by going into a board and clicking "NEW TOPIC" on the top left side of the topic list. The process of making a topic is the same as making a post, with one difference: You have to make a subject title for your topic (just like you would with an e-mail). The subject is what shows up on the board's list of topics.

    You can also attach a poll/survey for forum members to respond to by clicking "Poll creation" under the text editor, next to Attachments.
  7. You can access your personal user settings by clicking on your name in the very top right corner of any page and clicking User Control Panel (UCP). From there you can edit your profile and a buncha board settings.
  8. You can also direct message other forum users much in the same way as you can on most social media platforms by clicking on "contact" in their profile info on a post and clicking "send private message"
  9. Some forum members are Admins and some are Moderators. These folks are founders and trusted board members who have special abilities to alter the forum and its members' accounts. Ask them for help!

Ok. But HOW do I use THIS forum? Like? What do I? Do?
  • Well first off, make sure you're following the THE FORUM RULES
  • Just post stuff! This is a chill hang space. Respond accordingly to threads you're interested in just like you would on social media. Ignore ones you don't care about. Lurk and read threads without responding. It's all valid!
  • Unlike a lot of social media, posting on a forum is more about community and active discussion. You might sit with one post or engage with it for much longer than you might with a single Instagram post or TikTok. In contrast to social media, a single topic on a forum has the ability to last for a long time (sometimes even years!) and still be active.
  • You don't have to be constantly active on the forums! You can make a post, and then close out the forum and not look at it again til the next day. Forums can be a little slower paced than modern social media. But, if enough people are active on the thread, you might have to read back through some posts to catch up next time you're on (which is part of the fun!)
  • Posting on a forum isn't a job - it's for fun! If you find yourself being overwhelmed by a topic or frustrated by a need to read or post, you're not required to keep doing that! You can post in / read a different topic if you want! There's no obligation to read or post anything ever! You could be active on only one board (or even only one topic!) and ignore the rest of the entire forum and that would be perfectly legal and fine.
  • Don't feel nervous or shy about posting. It may feel overwhelming to put your thoughts out there into a giant list of dense topics and worry that nobody will read or respond, but just think about it as if you're posting on social media. Also it's okay if nobody responds. If you haven't gotten the response you were hoping for, it's okay to occasionally post a comment to bump a topic that's fallen down the list due to other topics being more active.
  • If you can't think of something to post, look to the board's theme or other posts in the board for inspiration. BUT don't assume that your post has to fit into some sort of style that other posts employ. Make your thing your own thing! It doesn't have to abide by any sort of standard - other than following the rules :wink:
  • You're under no obligation to post under your real name on these forums or share any real personal information about yourself. Your e-mail is shown publicly by default but you can change it by accessing your User Control Panel, going to the Board Preferences tab, and selecting "no" for "users can contact me by e-mail". Admins will still be able to see your e-mail though
  • If an admin determines that your post is in the wrong board, they may move it and let you know. This isn't any sort of scolding, just tidying.
  • If an admin determines that your post is in violation of the rules, they might edit your post, delete your post, or inform you that your post was inappropriate / instruct you to edit or delete it.
~ so sayeth the admin ~

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