OK, Guys this is for the newbees…….
How these forums work….
Imagine a tall cabinet with a lot of drawers.
Every one of the drawers is a forum area, (plumbing, electrical, new members etc.)
Now in these drawers are folders, these folders are the topics.
You can make a new folder or topic yourself, but more on that later.
Now every one of these folders or topics contain the messages people post, just like writing something on a piece of paper and putting it in the folder in our imaginary drawer of this big file cabinet.
So lets say you browsing around in the forum, you open one drawer on Plumbing
, you see all the file folders with tabs and writing on the tabs, those are the topics, you choose one in the beginning of the drawer to look into.
The topic or tab says “toilet problem
You open up that folder and in it is the first page that has a question from someone that started the topic.
He asks; “My toilet runs all the time! How can I stop it
The next message is by someone else, he says to check the flapper valve
The next message is by someone else again and he explains how to adjust the float
A third message, again by someone else asks about a carburetor problem on a lawn mower
Wait a minute!
What the heck is this doing in this folder?
It don’t belong here, it’s called “hijacking”.
That is when someone either does not know how the forums work or just does not care.
He might never get an answer from someone that knows lawn mowers, because that person won’t be looking in a plumbing drawer to help someone out with a lawn mower problem because it just is not right.
The point here is put your questions about a problem in the right drawer or no one will find them
and for someone looking in that drawer, it’s a little upsetting to see that sort of mistake.
If that were to continue, the forum would be a mish-mash of all unrelated things!
Just try to find something in that pile of junk!
Now let’s say you are a new member.
To get started on the right foot, you should read the forums for a few days and see what goes on.
Then you should go to the New Member’s
area, or drawer, and make a topic or new folder, ( some people call it a thread. ) The title of this should be something like; Hi All, My name is (your name)
Then in the message area underneath you should repeat that and more, like where you are from, maybe your age, touch on your experience, like; “I do my own plumbing work
.” Or; “I am a retired plumber
Be brief, maybe 50 to 100 words, not your whole life’s history.
You see, that message is in the right place, it’s not attached to someone else's message it’s your OWN!
The same holds true after you get your introductory message out.
So you are this plumber that posted in the new member’s area, you have a question about electricity.
You should go to the Electrical area
or drawer and start a new topic or folder in that area or drawer.
Your topic should be your question in brief, like; “Help replacing a three way switch.
Then in the body of the message describe your question in greater detail…
Hi, I need help replacing a three-way switch. I tried but somehow I mixed it up and it doesn’t work properly. Can any one help?
Then submit the question.
People will come back with advice and maybe more questions like what colors are the wires in the switch box or other related questions.
Answer them if you want help!
Just imaging you are that plumber, you needs to know if that guy with the toilet checked something and asked that question.
The guy never came back.
Wouldn’t that make you a little upset?
Here you are a retired plumber with years of experience trying to help someone out for free and they don’t even bother to answer your follow-up question! It sort of makes you not want to participate or help the next guy out.
So, answer the questions people ask you the best you can, they are trying to help and need more information in order to help you!
Finally, when you read all the answers and get that pesky three-way switch working just like new, stop back and say thanks!
It’s the polite thing to do.
Again, imagine you are that plumber, you helped the guy with the toilet-running problem, his flapper valve was worn out and he replaced it just as you suggested and now his toilet isn’t running anymore.
He stops back at the same plumbing area and in the same folder and leaves a message that says;
“Thanks, (plumber’s name), that was it and it’s working just fine now!”
That makes the retired plumber feel better that he helped someone
and he is more likely to help someone else just because someone said thanks.
Now those are the basics, there are bells and whistles in the forum that you will learn about later.
The key is to be polite, answer questions, try and be to the point, (most of the time) and treat others like you want to be treated.
Help others when you have knowledge of the subject, if you don’t have knowledge, don’t attempt to answer, that just confuses things, instead read and learn so when you have that problem, you will know the answer!
I know others will comment on this or ask questions, but before you ask any questions read it all over a few times and try to think it out.If you have comments, please keep them related to this.
No hijacking please!
It may make you look bad to some people.
Enjoy the forums and remember this is MY
explanation and not an official one
.It is not for any one person, it’s for all new members that have never experienced forums before.