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Using the Forums

Your forum profile and settings

What is my forum profile and how can I change it?

How can I have an avatar?

How can I change my signature? How do I include a link in my signature?

Navigating the forum

How can I tell what I've read and what I haven't read?

How can I mark everything as read?

How do I find someone's book list?

What do the different icons mean?

What are tags?

What does the favourites button do?

Posting messages

How do I post a message?

How do I reply to a message and what's the difference between reply and quick reply?

What are private messages and how do they work?

How does the line spacing work?

How can I track conversations I'm interested in?

What does the RSS Available box mean?

Permissions, roles and moderators

What are the different roles on the forum? What are moderators?

What is my forum profile?

Within ReadItSwapIt, you create an account when you register which includes the details you need to swap. However, if you want to join in with the community aspects of the forum, you can enter in extra details. You can access these extra details through either ‘Update your public community profile...’ link within ‘My Account’ or by clicking your user name in the top right hand corner of the forum.

Within this section you can set details such as your avatar, your signature and any extra details you choose.

How can I have an avatar?

An Avatar is an image which you can add to your profile to describe yourself – it could you be you, your pet, your favourite animal or anything you like!

There are two ways to get your avatar associated with your profile. If you want to have an animated image, you’ll need option 2. The Avatar settings are available under the 'Avatar' tab when editing your profile.

Option 1: Upload your avatar image - this puts the image on our server and we store it for you. When editing your forum profile, you can upload an image by pressing browse, selecting where the file is stored on your computer and then pressing Update. Then click 'Save Changes'. The difficulty with the image is that the forum software converts the image you upload (usually a gif file which can move) into a jpeg file (which can't move).

Option 2: Don't upload your image, just provide a link to the image. If you create your avatar and host it somewhere like Photobucket (www.photobucket.com) you'll get a URL for your image. Paste this link to the line that says 'Avatar URL', and then click 'Save Changes'.

How can I change my signature? How do I include a link in my signature?

A signature is a message that is appended to the end of any posts you make in the forums. You can edit your signature from the profile page.

To add a URL (link) in your signature, you'll need to enter a bit of code. As an example, type [url=http://www.readitswapit.co.uk/UserProfile.aspx?UserID=1]My Swaps[/url]. Replace the link with the link you want, and replace the 'My Swaps' text with whatever you'd like the link to say.

How can I tell what I've read and what I haven't read?

Firstly, you need to be logged in to the site. When logged in, conversations you haven't read will be in bold.

How can I mark everything as read?

Within each thread there is a button at the bottom labelled 'More Options'. If you click this you'll see a button which says 'Mark all read'.

How do I find someone's book list?

There is a quick way to see the book list of someone in the forum. If you click on the person's username, you'll be able to view their profile. There is a link here entitled 'View this user's swapping profile'.

What do the different icons mean?

Topic with posts you have not read.
Topic with posts you have read.
Popular topic with posts you have not read. A topic becomes popular after a certain number of views and posts.
Popular topic with posts you have read. A topic becomes popular after a certain number of views and posts.
Announcement you have not read.
Announcement you have read.
A pinned topic with posts you have not read. Pinned topics are displayed before other topics until they become unpinned.
A pinned topic with posts you have read. Pinned topics are displayed before other topics until they become unpinned.
A pinned popular topic with posts you have not read. A pinned topic with enough views or replies to become popular.
A pinned popular topic with posts you have read. A pinned topic with enough views or replies to become popular.
A locked topic with posts you have not read. Locked topics do not allow replies.
A locked topic with posts you have read. Locked topics do not allow replies.

What are tags?

Tags are a way of categorising different posts - it's like giving them a label. This happens on a lot of websites these days and is basically a way of letting the author categorise their own post. You may have heard of a photo sharing website called Flickr (www.flickr.com) - in this site people upload their photos and if they want to share them, they add a tag. Then, when people coming to the site want to search for a particular picture, they search the tags. Have a go - search for photos with the tag 'books' on flickr and you can see everyone who's labelled their photos as being about 'books'.

On the forum front page, you'll also see a box of frequently used tags. This is effectively a shortcut to the most popular tags. As posts get tagged, the more often a certain tag is used, the larger it becomes. This is effectively a way of seeing what's popular. Have a look at the Flickr equivalent at www.flickr.com/photos/tags/

What does the favourites button do?

You can make a person or a conversation a favourite which means you can have a quick link to their details or the conversation. If you click the 'Favourites' button you can add them to your list. You can then access this list my going to your profile and then clicking on the favourites tab

How do I reply to a message and what's the difference between reply and quick reply?

You have to be logged on to the site in order to reply to posts. When viewing a post you'll see two options - reply and quick reply. There isn't really any difference between these options, play with both and see what you prefer. The reply button gives you more choices, but the quick reply gives you a pop up box and can let you scroll the screen to see some of the other posts.

What are private messages and how do they work?

Private Messaging (or PM) is a way of emailing someone without having to know their email address. You can PM someone really easily. If you click on their user name, you'll see an option to send them a private message. If someone send you a PM you'll receive an email to notify you of this. You can also read private messages by clicking on the 'Inbox' link at the top right of the forum.

How does the line spacing work?

The forum text editor will by default add a blank line whenever you press return to space out your messages. If you want to keep your text closer together, press shift whilst pressing return.

How can I track conversations I'm interested in?

You have the option to be notified by email every time there is a post on a topic you are watching. However, this setting is turned off in your profile by default. If you want to set this up, go to your profile and set the 'Enable Email Notifications of forum/thread subscriptions and replies to my posts' to yes.

What does the RSS Available box mean?

RSS is a way of subscribing to content so that it makes it easier to read updated content. For more information on RSS, have a look at the details on Wikipedia or on the BBC's help pages.

What are the different roles on the forum? What are moderators?

Moderators are the more experienced and trusted members of the site, they have volunteered for the role so be nice to them! If you have any questions, they are often a good place to turn to.


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