Forum Community Guidelines

We take pride in keeping our message boards respectful, pleasant, and enjoyable for members of all ages. Please read the following guidelines before posting.

Self-Promotion is Spam

All posts are read by our administration and moderation team. If we catch questionable content, it will immediately be edited or removed for futher investigation. Don't create posts with nothing but a link. If you are going to link to a news article for example, give a summary of it. Any post that is considered advertising for one's self-interests, including the promotion of a personal website or any site one is affiliated with, fits under this subject.

While you are allowed to promote your web site(s) in your signature, you are not permitted to post links to sites you run or are in any way affiliated with in your posts. In addition, users are not permitted to post any kind of affiliate program link with referrer IDs. Repeat violators who post promotional content will be permanently banned.

Language and Trolling

Our community is family-friendly. There are young users and language should be kept within a PG-13 level. Vulgar language is not allowed. This constitutes the use of any kind of offensive, discriminatory, or otherwise inappropriate material deemed unsafe for younger members. Inappropriate language will be removed and users will be warned.

Do not post provocative, outrageous, or pointless messages only to get a response from others, i.e. "trolling." Repeat violators will be permanently banned.

No links to adult content please.

Lastly, if it is abundantly clear that a user has no intention of positively contributing to relevant discussions, combined with an abrasive, combative attitude, they will be banned. Users must demonstrate an interest in contributing to relevant discussions, as this is a community site after all. In other words, users who wish to do nothing but argue are not welcome as they do nothing to contribute to the site and are not worth the trouble and headaches.

Personal Attacks

In order to maintain a positive atmosphere, personal attacks against people will not be tolerated. Offensive language is not permitted. If you have an issue with someone or their products or services, take it up with them personally.  While discussions may become heated, it is not an excuse to result to attacks or insults. There is a difference between a passionate, respectful discussion and one that delves into personal matters. Think of it as debating issues, not individuals. When the line is crossed, the discussion may be closed by the moderation team. Violators will be warned and potentially banned.

Moderators and Administrators Have the Final Word

If you have a problem or a complaint, direct it to the administrators and/or moderators, not to the boards.The appropriate actions will be taken. We reserve the right to ban flagrant offenders when deemed necessary, with or without prior warning.

Cross-Posting

Start new threads in the most relevant forum category. If you have something to post and you're not sure which board it belongs in, do not post it in more than one board. If the administrators or moderators think it would fit better in another location, it will be moved there. Duplicate threads only serve to create confusion.

Signature Rules

Signatures may contain no more than 3 lines. A typical signature contains the poster's name, e-mail address, website, and a favorite quote or saying. Excessive font size are not allowed. Anyone abusing this privilege will be warned and then have their signature removed until they acknowledge this guideline.

Multiple Accounts Not Permitted

If you forget your password, use the password recovery tool, in which case you will be able to reset your password, given that you have access to the e-mail associated with your account. If you are still unable to login, contact the administrator.

Again, please follow the above guidelines when posting on our message boards. If you have any questions, please contact us. Above all, remember to have fun and enjoy our forums.

Help Using Forums

Since you are reading this page then it is safe to say to that you already know basic website navigation such as typing web addresses, clicking through links and maybe even watching or listening to multimedia. That's great! What we'll do here is try to familiarise you with how to use our forum and its many options.

When you get done reading this you will be able to reply to existing posts as well as make new posts. You will know how to format your text, make links, add images and videos and much more. We're not going to teach you how to use every little button, gizmo or forum feature but rather provide you sufficient working knowledge to feel comfortable enough to get involved here in the forum. After that, you can do a sleuthing around to learn what the rest of the goodies do.

Set up your profile

When you find a community and forum that you like and plan on staying with for a while it is a good idea to set up and complete your profile. You access your profile by clicking 'My Profile' located at the top of the forum. This area is not much different than any other form you have filled out online or in real life except that much of the information in here is optional.

Personal Info

  • Summary - All your settings from other tabs summarized.
  • Edit Your Details - Edit your login name, email address and password.
  • My Avatar - Select an avatar from those available or upload your own image. If you upload your own image, you can upload an image up to 250 x 250 pixels and 50 kilobytes. The forum will automatically scale the image for use in various locations.

Forum Settings

  • Look and Layout - Tweak a few forum appearance settings.
  • My Profile Info - Fill in personal information that you don't mind sharing publicly. This is also where you fill out your forum signature.
  • My Posts - List of your posts ordered by most recent. Handy for finding a post that you don't recall which board you posted it in.
  • My Subscribes - List of topics that you have subscribed to send you an email notification for all new responses.
  • My Favorites - List of topics that you have ticked as a favourite of yours so they are more easily identifiable in the forum list.
  • Remember to press the 'Save' button any time you make changes in your profile.

Reply to an existing post

So, you have been lurking around the forum for a while reading every post and getting to know everyone. You have just read someone's post and you have finally decided you are going to reply and contribute some information of your own. Great! This is done by pressing one of the 'reply' buttons.

  • Quick Reply - this brings up a small text area (without reloading the webpage) where you can quickly type a short reply. Press 'Submit' when you are done typing your response. If you have a change of heart you can press cancel and nothing gets posted regardless if you typed anything or not.
  • Reply - This is the standard method in which you should reply when you want to reply primarily to the most recent post. The reason for this is because the subject line of your reply will autofill with the subject of the post from which you are replying. In case you were wondering, yes, you can change the subject. OK, now you are looking at what is called a text editor. Think of it as a slimmed down version of a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) in which you can format your text, add links, images, smilies, etc. More on how to format your post later. For now, type your response and press the 'Preview' button at the bottom of the page if you wish to view your post prior to submitting it. When you are done editing and are satisfied your post is ready to contribute to the forum then press the 'Submit' button.
  • Quote - If you wish to quote someone's post whether in whole or in part you simple press the 'Quote' button located beside the 'Reply' button underneath each post. The is very useful if you wish to make light of or expand upon a prior post. Once you press the Quote button you are brought into the same editing environment that you use to edit or create any other post. At this point, you type your response directly to that quote. When you are done replying, press the 'Submit' button.
  • Reply Topic - This button functions the same as the 'Reply' button with the exception that your subject line will autofill with the subject of the original post (OP). This may come in handy if you replying to a long post whose subjects may have changed over time but you want to reply to the OP. When you are done replying, press the 'Submit' button.

Create a new post of your own

Now that you have responded to a few other posts, and feel like an accepted member of the community, you want to tell us a little bit about yourself. To do this, you should start your very own topic so we can properly respond and greet you. Navigate to our General board and click on it so that you can see the list of all of the existing posts. At the top of the list is a button labelled 'New Thread'. Click that button to start your very own topic. You are placed at the same text editor that you used earlier when replying to posts. Simply type your message telling us all about yourself and press 'Submit'. Now you have your own post topic in the list.

Format your post

Remember we said earlier that the text editor is very similar to a word processor? Well, as in any word processor you can format and arrange your text for emphasis here in the forum.

The first, basic thing you should know is that the forum uses what's called BBcode or Bulletin Board Code. BBcode uses 'tags' to 'mark up' your text. Each 'tag' has an opening and closing 'tag' denoted within brackets. An opening tag will look like <  > and a closing tag looks like </ >. Notice the slash in the closing bracket is the only thing that is different. If you forget the slash, the forum will interpret your closing bracket as an opening bracket.

The easiest way to 'mark up' your text is usually to type it out first, then select it, and press the appropriate button at the top of the editor. For example, if you wanted to make 'some text' bold you would type it out 'some text', then select 'some text' with your mouse, and then press the 'B' icon in the toolbar located just above the Message area (where you are composing your message). You will now see: [b]some text[/b]. When you preview or submit your message it will be displayed as 'some text'.

Alternatively, if you know them, you can type the tags manually right along with the rest of your text or you can use the buttons at the top of the editor to insert the tags the fill in your text.

The BBcode Wiki covers the basic mark up tags so let's move on to what the Wiki doesn't cover.

Lists

There are two types of lists: ordered and unordered. An ordered list is a numerical list like you might use to list the finishing order of a race. An unordered list is a list you might use to list groceries. There are two different tags needed to create a list.

First, you use a tag that creates the kind of list you want.

unordered list = <ul> </ul> 

ordered list = <ol> </ol> 

Second, you use a list tag for each item in the list

each list item = <li> </li>

So, the code for an ordered list would look like this:

<ol> <li> 1st place </li> <li> 2nd place </li> <li> 3rd place </li> </ol>

Videos

Embedding a video in your post is a more recent addition to the forum and makes use of many video sharing websites on the web. This gives us the ability to show the video in our forum without having to host it ourselves or making you follow a link over some other website to see the video. Once you have a video that you want to post you need to find the unique identifier in the URL to that video.

It's difficult to provide detailed instructions or examples here, so we'll only cover the basics. Understand that each video sharing website uses a unique identifier for each video. For example, this video from YouTube whose URL is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqJE5TH5jhc. You need to know the video's unique identifier (which differs depending on what site you visit); in our example, the unique identifier is bqJE5TH5jhc. Once you know what that unique identifier is you can embed that video in our forum by selecting the video hosting website from the 'video' drop down list at the top of the WYSIWIG editor pr typing the following:

[video type=] [/video]

If you were embedding a video from YouTube, for example, the bbcode would end up looking like this:
[video type=youtube] insert_unique_identifier_here [/video]

for example
[video type=youtube] bqJE5TH5jhc [/video]

It's a good idea to preview your post to make sure the video is visible before submitting your completed post.

Edit your own post

There will be times when you make a post and you don't catch a misspelled word, fix a broken link or something that will require you to edit you post. It happens to us all so the edit button is easily accessible. When you are looking at one of your own posts that you need to edit you will find the 'Edit' button at the bottom of your post. Simply press the edit button and you use the same editor you used to create your post populated with the actual post. Edit your post as you see fit and, when you are satisfied, press the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the page. All done!

Visibility and notification of your favourite posts

Now that you have settled into your new community and everyone has met you, you want to be able to keep up with your favourite posts without checking in every five minutes to see if something new has posted. There are a couple of ways that you can do that.

Subscribe

At the top and the bottom of every thread you will find the 'Subscribe' button. Pressing this button subscribes you to that topic so that any responses to that topic will generate an email notification to your email address stating that a new post has been made along with a link directly to said post for your convenience. You will notice the button now reads 'Unsubscribe' indicating that you are subscribed and pressing the button again will remove your subscription to that thread. Remember that you can also manage your subscriptions in your profile.

Favourite

Another way of gaining visibility of threads that wish to keep an eye on is set them as your 'Favorite'. This will place an obvious indicator, such as a star, beside the topic name of the thread so that it will stand out in the forum list of topics. You will notice the button now reads 'Unfavorite' indicating that the post is already one of your favourites and pressing the button again will remove it from your favourites. This is a great way to get visibility on multiple topics that you wish to watch without getting spammed by email subscriptions. Remember that you can also manage your favourites in your profile.

The Karma System

The karma system is one of those neat little things that contributes to the community aspect of a website by empowering you to give feedback to those who deserve it. It is a tool you can use to show appreciation or disapproval for anything that another member has done.

Maybe you posted for help on how to do something and got such a swift and helpful response from another member that you want to show appreciation in more than just words. You can applaud them by giving them Karma. Perhaps another member responded to that same post negatively offering no help and unnecessarily making you look foolish when you genuinely needed help. You can smite them by take away Karma. However, should you smite someone, you should follow that up with a message to an admin or moderator and let them know just in case there is a larger issue.

Please use the karma system responsibly. Don't abuse it by artificially inflating someone's karma or waging a personal war against someone by reducing their karma unnecessarily. If abuse is detected the karma system will be shut off as it is not a necessity.
The karma controls are located in the top, right of each post we make in the forum. The '+' sign adds karma and the '-' takes it away. You cannot adjust your own karma.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to create your own posts, edit them, set notifications, etc, you are ready to explore the rest of the forum. Don't be afraid. Go click things and see what they do. If something 'breaks' or you don't understand how to use something make a post in the forum and ask for help.

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