OK, then. This screen capture is of a reply. Posting a new topic uses the same form, just that it says "post a message"
at the top instead of "post a reply".
This may seem complicated, but trust me, it's really quite simple once you get the hang of it. To post a new topic, click
"post a message" at the top of the board of your choice -- Main, Movie Discussion, Reading Room, whatever. To post
in reply to another post, open the post and scroll to the bottom.
The top line has my nick filled in because I have a cookie set to fill it in for me. You can do that by clicking "Register"
at the top of any board and filling in your nick and password. The second line you don't have to worry about. It just reminds
you what a wonderful computer you have, or how awful and scummy your computer at work is. ;-)
The next line says "Subject". There is an art to a good subject line, and mastering it will add to your "thoughtful
post" quotient. There is no need to put "Reply" or "re: Aerlinn" as your subject line, so feel free
to be creative! But, please: use the message box! Don't put your whole message in the subject line! A rule of thumb: more
than 10 words, put some in the message box. Let's look at some examples:
Good: "I agree" (put reasons in box)
Not so good: "I so agree! I was sitting there crying through the whole scene! Sean is so sweet!"
Good: "Is that from the first or second trailer?"
Not so good: "Which trailer is that from? There are two, you know."
Long subject lines are especially frowned upon when they are accompanied by "no text" markers. There is something
slightly humorous about seeing a paragraph in a subject line with "no text" in green next to it.
("What's no text?" you say. If you click one of those buttons that says *nt* your post will only consist of
the subject line.)
Beneath that is "Image URL". This lets you put a picture into your post. The URL must end in .jpg or .gif in
order to work. The picture will be placed at the beginning of your post, above the text.
"Message" is where you type the text. That little text box that says 00:00 is a timer. A rather unreliable one,
but it will cut you off and dump your message if you're not quick. Combat it by typing long messages in Word or SimpleText,
clicking on the timer (which may or may not pause it), or clicking "Save". Save will save what you've typed so far,
so that if you get interupted, you can click Load and bring it back up again.
"Quote" -- I've never used it. Try it if you want. Be adventurous. :-)
"Hidden Spoiler Message" puts that text in white at the end of your message, so people have to highlight it
to read it. As the name implies, it's designed so that people who are avoiding spoilers can avoid them. The feature is also
used to "whisper" things to people or to put in asides or injokes out of the way of the actual message. "Link
URL" and "Link Title" let you put a link in at the end of your post. When you type in the URL, remember to
include the http:// if necessary.
Above is an example of a Spoiler Tag. Except for in the Reading Room, please, use a spoiler tag on messages that give away
plot points. This way, people who don't want to read spoilers can avoid them. To add one to your message, use the drop down
menu "Message Tag". tygrestick has specified what the spoiler is for by typing in "TTT" in the box below
("If this is a spoiler...")
The drop down menu below says, "Post Message" in the screen shot, but you can preview and spell check your message
by pulling that down. Just a tip from someone with experience: the spellcheck has a weird tendency to repeat words like proper
names that it doesn't recognize. So if you see a post that makes reference to SarumanSarumanSarumanSaruman, the spellcheck's
the culprit. ;-) Those of us with spelling ... issues ... should rely on a program like Word to set us straight.
Phew! I promise you that posting isn't as hard as my poor explanations may make it seem at this point. You'll get the
hang of it, and over time you'll learn all the little ins and outs.
Let's move on to some etiquette, shall we?
Forum Admins and Site Etiquette