General Operating Instructions.The basics of this software work like this:
click the topic on the upper list, or category on the lower list, that interests you.
- To read a question, or contents of a "thread,"
To answer a question or respond to a comment, click on the link at the bottom of the window the question or comment is in that says, "Contribute an answer to...(question or comment title)." That will bring up a screen in which you can enter and submit your comment.
(Messages can also be typed into email or WP programs and then copied and pasted into the question and answer text entry boxes.)
To "Ask a Question" (start a new thread),click on those words at the top left of the main window. A screen will come up that will allow you to enter a new question or topic. The "subject" of that question or topic will appear on the main list after you've submitted it.
Also, when starting a new "thread," notice the pull-down menu in the text entry area. Please use it to categorize your posting. In it's original form, this forum will contain six categories:
Announcments (Bulletin Board) Awareness Directory (Network) General Discussion (Communication) News Tools
These categories are listed on the bottom half of the main page, along with the category heading of "Uncategorized." After the length of time specified by the forum administrator (7 days, 14 days, etc.) all postings wind up "filed" under one of the headings on that list. Selecting a category when initiating a thread will make this forum easier for people to navigate.
Relatedly, another step in that direction is to preface the subject line of initial posts with the category name or an abbreviation. For instance:
ANNOUNCEMENT: Smokey Hills Meeting Friday, 12/11 AWARENESS: New GAO Report on Medicare GEN D: Anyone heard from their power company yet? ANNOUNCEMENT: County Commissioner to speak on y2k 11/17 NEWS: Vice Mayor Goes Mad!!! DIR: Cahttum Neighborhood y2k group contact
Not mandatory, but a nice touch. (And if you want to really get into the organization thing, you could break it down even further:
GEN D; Food: What about buying directly from farmers or elevators?
If you have suggestions for categories, send them to the forum administrator by clicking the email link in the lower part of the main screen...
CAUTION: Please doublecheck your email addresswhen entering a new question or topic. Responses to initial, "top level postings" you make will be forwarded to you via email. Your address will also be inserted at the end of any messages you leave so that people can communicate with you "offline" if that seems more appropriate. Also, if you change your email address, please let the administrator know...
To receive automatic updates of new postings, click on the link below that says, "request to be notified." this is a very powerful feature of this software that you'll probably want to take advantage of.
How this System WorksThis bboard software was written by Philip Greenspun and hosted for free by him started in 1995. Anyone could come in and create a forum and moderate the discussion. Most of the thousands of forums on this server were and are publicly searchable by Google and other Web indices.