What are discussion forums?
Discussion forums allow you to share ideas, opinions and information quickly and easily. Organized by threads in an easy-to-follow format, discussion forums are designed so you can quickly locate information, find other knowledgeable users and participate in conversations.

How is forum content organized?
The content in the forums is structured as follows:

  • Forum Categories: Categories represent a collection of forums as well as other categories. Often, categories are used to organize forums into a tree structure so members can find the right discussions more easily.
  • Forums: Forums are the areas where individual discussions take place as a listing of threads.
  • Threads: Threads are the discussions that consist of one or more messages displayed as a list, or in a tree structure of messages and their replies.
  • Messages: Messages are the individual discussion posts made by community members.
  • Replies: Message replies are posts in response to other messages and are organized in a flat or threaded mode.

Do I have to be registered to use the forums?
The community administrator may require you to register in order to view, post or reply to messages. Some forums may be open for posting without registration. To register, just click on Create a New Account and fill in the appropriate information.

How do I login?
To login to the forums, click the Login link. From there you enter your name and password. If you would like to have Jive Forums automatically log you in when you visit, click on the checkbox next to Automatically log me in. (Note: You must have cookies enabled for this feature. Jive Forums will encrypt your login information and store it in a cookie.)

What do I do if I forgot my password?
To reset your password, simply click on the Login link and then click on the "I forgot my password" link. After typing your username and pressing the Submit button, you will receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password.

How do I create a thread or post a reply?
To start a new thread, choose the appropriate forum and select Post New Thread. Type your thread header in the subject line and type a message in the message box. Before you are about to post, you can spell check your message by clicking on Spell Check. You can also choose to watch the thread (which will add it to you watch list, and allow you to receive email notifications when new posts are made) by clicking the Watch This Thread box.

When you are satisfied with your message, you can preview your message to see how it will appear when posted by clicking on Preview. Or you can post your message without previewing it by clicking Post Message.

To post a reply to a thread, select the reply icon next to the message you would like to reply to. If you want to respond to specific text from the original message, click on Quote Original, and that will add the text from the original post in your message.

How do I set my profile and view other user profiles?
To create or update your profile, click on Your Control Panel. Your profile, forums preferences and watch settings may be set from here. To edit these settings, fill in your updated information, then click Save.

To view the profile for any user who has posted to the forums, click on their username wherever you see it as a link. You can also search for their username or ID using the search feature.

How do I search the forums?
From the main page of the discussion forums, type your term(s) into the search box, select which forum(s) you want to search, and click the Go icon.

When you are in a Forum page, you can click on Search Forum to use an advanced search page where you can narrow your search by specifying a date range or filtering by username.

What are watches?
A watch notifies you by email if the thread you are interested in has been updated.

To add a thread to your watch list, click on the "Watch This Thread" link at the top of the thread page. Click on Stop Watching Thread to end the email notifications. After 30 days, inactive watches automatically expire. You can also watch forums, categories and users. For example, when a new message is posted in a forum you're watching then you'll be notified by email.

To see the current list of watches, click on "Your Control Panel" then "Watches". From this screen you can choose to receive email notifications when new posts are made. Just click on Add Email Notification next to the thread for which you want to be notified.

You can delete a watch by clicking in the Delete tick box for the watch you want to delete, then clicking the Delete button.

How can I format the text of my posts?
To format your message text, there are three buttons for Bold, Italics and Underline. Clicking on these buttons will add tags to the message field.

For example, typing: "This is [b]bold[/b] text, and this is [i]italicized[/i] text" will appear as "This is bold text, and this is italicized text" once you post the message.

How do I check the spelling of my message?
To check the text of your message for proper spelling, just click Spell Check on the post screen.

If our spell check dictionary doesn't recognize a word in your message, it will appear in a box. You can correct it yourself by simply typing over what is displayed. If the dictionary has any suggestions, you will be able to see them in the suggestion box.

To choose one of the suggestions, simply select the suggestion you'd like to use and click on the Change button for each of the words you would like changed.

When you are finished checking your entire message, click on Post Message to save your changes and post the message with your spelling corrections. If you want to continue editing your message, hit Go Back or Edit to return to the post message area.

What are questions?
In order to filter through the general discussion "noise", users have the option to flag their post as a question. This provides the community a visual clue to the fact that the poster is wanting an answer to their question. The poster is able to see their open & resolved questions through their profile.

What are question answers?
When a community member posts a questions, other members are able to post an answer. In some cases, the answer is just some hints, or helpful information to aid the poster in resolving this issue. This is classified as a "Helpful" post. In other cases, a community member will post the specific answer to the original questions. This is classified as a "Correct" post. The originator of the post will be able to flag each response as either "Helpful" or "Correct", or not to flag a response at all. The originator of the post will also be able to "close the loop" on the question by flagging the entire post as answered, which provides a visual clue to the community members.

How do I get points for answering questions?
If you provide a response to another user's question, you are eligible to receive points from the question author. The question author will have the option to mark any response as either "helpful" or "answered", both of which will add points to your account. Those points will in turn increase your ranking (or status level) in the community.

Why reward points?
In order to increase community participation, the option exists to provide rewards to those who give helpful or correct answers to community members' posts. Over time, commmunity members accumlate points that increase their status level within the community. Certain point values are associated with helpful and correct responses, for example - 6 points for a helpful post and 10 points for correct post. Members can see their status level by Forum, Category, or at the main Community level.