How to use the Bleeping Computer Discussion Forums

  • November 4, 2004
  • Read 18,887 times
 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Discussion Board View
  3. The Forum View
  4. The Topic View
  5. How to post a new topic, reply to an existing one, or add a poll
  6. Further Reading

Introduction


The discussion boards are a very powerful feature of Bleeping Computer. These boards allow you to post questions or answers, share information, or just chat with your fellow members. If you have a problem on your computer than this is the place you want to ask your question. Our discussion boards also contain extensive self-help guides that cover how to remove specific spyware and malware threats from your computer. This tutorial you are reading will discuss how to use these discussion boards to post new information or reply to others posts. By mastering the information found here you will find that Bleeping Computer can be a rich resource for your computing needs.

The Discussion Board View


When you click on a link that takes you to our discussion boards, like the discussion tab on the top of every page, you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below. We will call this the board view as it is the top level of the message board. Please note that when using the actual boards on our site, they will contain many more categories and forums.

 

Tutorials Section of Bleeping Computer
Figure 1: Discussion Board View Screen shot
 

The main discussion board view is broken up into 23 sections which are described below:

  1. Discussion Rules - This link will bring you to page that goes over the rules that you must follow when using the message board.
     
  2. Navigation Bar - The links on this bar bring you to the various sections of the site.
     
  3. Login Information - This will tell you who you are logged into the site as. If it says Guest, then you must log in or create an account before you can post to the message board.
     
  4. My Control Panel - This link will open the control panel where you can change your signature, avatar, or set other board options.
     
  5. My Topics - This will bring up a list of topics that you have participated in.
     
  6. View New posts - This will show a list of new posts since your last visit.
     
  7. Personal Messages - This will show you if you have any personal messages. Clicking on this link will bring you to the list of personal messages available for you to read and respond to.
     
  8. My Assistant - This will open a small window that contains some functions that assist you while using the board.
     
  9. Most current news item - This will show the latest news item posted on Bleeping Computer. This news item will be the top most news item on the front page.
     
  10. Forum Category - This will show you what category you are looking at. All the forums on the discussion board are broken into categories for organizational purposes.
     
  11. Topics column - This column will show you how many topics are in each specific forum.
     
  12. Replies Column - This will show how many replies are in a specific forum.
     
  13. Last Post information - This will show you the title, date, and poster of the last post in the specific forum.
     
  14. Specific Forum column - This column will list the individual forums under a category.
     
  15. Specific Forum - This section contains the actual link to the specific forum itself. By clicking on the name of the forum, you can enter that forum and view the individual topics found within. It also contains a link to the list of moderators for that particular forum.
     
  16. The Moderating Team link - This link will show the members who are considered moderators, or staff members, of Bleeping Computer.
     
  17. Today's active topics - This will display a list of the active topics from today.
     
  18. Today's top 10 posters - This will display a list of the top 10 posters of the day.
     
  19. Overall top 10 posters - This will display a list of the top 10 overall posters.
     
  20. Current visitor information - This section will show you how many guests and registered members are currently using the site. It will also tell the names of those users. By clicking the Last Click link you can see what each individual guest and user is doing on the site. If you would only like to see what the members are doing you can click on the Member Name link.
     
  21. Board Statistics - This shows some basic statistics for the site such as how many posts are on the board, the last registered user, the total amount of users, and the highest amount of users ever on the board at the same time.
     
  22. Delete cookies set by the board - This will delete all the cookies set by Bleeping Computer on your computer. Doing this may require to log back in if you visit the site again.
     
  23. Mark all posts as read - This will mark all the posts on the board as read and therefore there will be no new posts for you.


The Forum View


When you enter a forum you will see a listing of the individual topics that other members have posted in that forum. You can then click on these topics to read them or create a topic of your own if you are a registered member. When enter the forum view you will see a screen similar to the one below:

 

Bleeping Computer Forum View
Figure 2: Forum View

 

The forum view is broken up into 17 sections. These sections are described below:

  1. Discussion Board navigation link - This link will bring you to first page of the discussion board that shows all the individual categories and forums.
     
  2. Forum Category navigation link- This will bring you to a listing of forums under the specific category you are under.
     
  3. The forum you are in link - This link will bring you to the forum you are currently looking at.
     
  4. Pages links - When viewing a forum you will only see a fixed amount of topics per page. If there are more topics that can fit on a particular page, then you can you use the page links to change to another page of topics.
     
  5. Add a new topic link - Clicking on this button will allow you to create a new topic.
     
  6. Add a new poll link - Clicking on this button will allow you to create a new poll.
     
  7. Individual topic link - This link will be the title of a specific topic. Clicking on that topic open it so you can read it.
     
  8. Topic Starter - This is the name of the member who created this topic.
     
  9. Replies - This will show the amount of replies to the topic.
     
  10. Views - This will show the amount of times the topic has been read.
     
  11. Last post to the topic - This will show the last reply, if any, to the topic.
     
  12. Users browsing this forum - This will show what users and guests are reading the particular forum.
     
  13. Topic sorting options - These menus allow you to change the order in which the topics are sorted.
     
  14. Topic status legend - To the left of each topic is an image that gives some information about a topic. This legend shows what those images mean.
     
  15. Search Field - Entering a keyword into this search field will allow you to search only the topics in this particular forum for that keyword.
     
  16. Mark the forum as read - Mark all the topics in this forum as read so they do not show up as new posts.
     
  17. Subscribe to forum - Subscribe to the forum so that if any new topics are created, you will receive an email notifying you of this.

The Topic View


When you click on a link to an individual topic you will be presented with the topic view. This view will look similar to the screen shot below:

 

 

Topic View
Figure 3: Topic View

 

The topic view is broken into 11 sections. These sections are described below:

  1. Add Reply - This button will allow you to add a reply to the existing topic. You must be logged in with a registered user in order to post a reply.
     
  2. New Topic - This button will allow you to create a new topic in the correct forum. You must be logged in with a registered user in order to create a topic.
     
  3. New Poll - This button will allow you to create a poll in the current forum. You must be logged in with a registered user in order to create a poll.
     
  4. Topic Action links - These links allow to do certain tasks with this topic.
    1. Track this topic - When you click this link you will now be sent an email every time someone replies to that topic.
       
    2. Email this topic - This allows you to email the current topic to someone else.
       
    3. Print this topic - This allows you to print the topic.
       
  5. Report/Quote Buttons - The report button should only be used when you find the material in the topic to be offensive. By pressing this button the moderators of the forum will be sent a message with your report. The quote button allows you to reply to the existing topic and at the same time quoting the original post.
     
  6. Poster information - This section contains information about the member who posted the topic or reply. It will contain his avatar, name, group membership, title, and other stats.
     
  7. Poster online/offline status - This will tell you if the member who posted the topic or reply is online or offline at the current time.
     
  8. Message body - This section will contain the actual message.
     
  9. Members reading this topic - This will show the members who are reading the topic at the same time you are.
     
  10. Topic Options - This section contains options that will allow you to track the topic, subscribe to the forum, or download/print the topic.
     
  11. Fast Reply - The fast reply box allows you to quickly type a reply and post it. You must be a registered member and logged in to create a reply.

 

How to post a new topic, reply to an existing one, or add a poll

Now that you know the different sections of each of the various message board views (discussion board view, forum view, topic view) we will explain how you go about adding a new topic or creating a reply to one.

To create a new topic you must be in a forum view or topic view and then simply press the button .

To create a new reply to an existing topic you must be viewing that topic and then press the button.

When you create a new post or topic you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below:

 

Create Topic
Figure 4: Create a new topic

 

When creating a new topic or reply there are 9 sections that you want to focus on which are described below:

  1. Topic Title - You will only see this field if you are creating a new topic. When creating a new reply this field will not exist. Enter a title for your topic, up to 50 characters long.
     
  2. Topic Description - You will only see this field if you are creating a new topic. When creating a new reply this field will not exist. Enter a description for your topic, up to 50 characters long. This is optional.
     
  3. BBCode Buttons - These buttons allow you to format your text.
     
  4. Smilies - Clicking on a smile will insert it into your message at the place of the cursor.
     
  5. Message section - This is where you type your message.
     
  6. BBCode Help - This link will open a help document on the various formatting codes that you can use for your message text. These codes are called BBCode. This help file can be found here: BBCode Help File
     
  7. Post options - These options will allow you to disable certain things like smilies and bbcode. The most important one is the checkbox labeled Enable email notification of replies. By placing a check in that box you will be notified when someone replies to a topic that you are participating in.
     
  8. Post icons - You can place an image next to your post describing the type of post it is.
     
  9. Add Topic/Add Reply and Preview Buttons - Press the Add Topic or Add Reply buttons to post your message. If you would like to see how the message will look before it is posted to the message board, you can click the Preview button first.

Further Reading


Now that you know how to use the Discussion forums it is time to start reading the tutorials on how to use the various other portions of our site.

--
Lawrence Abrams
Bleeping Computer How to use Bleeping Computer Tutorial

BleepingComputer.com: Computer Support & Tutorials for the beginning computer user.

Users who read this also read:

  • How to use the Bleeping Computer Glossary Image
    How to use the Bleeping Computer Glossary

    The Glossary is a list of computer related terms with their definitions. This section is constantly expanding as more people request new terms to be added. If you search for a term and it is not found, please request that it is to be added.

  • How to use the Bleeping Computer Front Page Image
    How to use the Bleeping Computer Front Page

    First and foremost, I would like to welcome you to Bleeping Computer. Our community is devoted to teaching you how to use your computer and to solve computer problems in an easy to understand manner. While many of our members originally came to the site with a computer problem, many have decided to stay after their problem was solved to help take part in and further develop our community. From ...

  • How to use the Bleeping Computer Tutorial Section Image
    How to use the Bleeping Computer Tutorial Section

    Bleeping Computer has an extensive tutorial section which contains information on basic computer concepts, how to guides, and spyware removal tips. The information found in this document will explain to you how to use our tutorial section and find the information you need.

  • Computer Image File Formats Image
    Computer Image File Formats

    If you have ever worked with computer graphic images, whether they be from digital cameras, found on the web, or you create them yourself, then you know there are a lot of image file formats that are available. This is because each format stores the image in a certain way that makes it the best choice for a given situation. This tutorial will cover the most common image formats that you will find ...

  • How to update a Windows hardware driver Image
    How to update a Windows hardware driver

    A driver is a program that is able to control a device that is connected to your computer. These drivers are used by the operating system to enable it to communicate with the particular device the driver was made for. Devices that you connect to your computer are often very specialized which makes it so Windows can not communicate directly with the device without a program telling it how to. This ...

 

Comments:

blog comments powered by Disqus

Login

Remember Me
Sign in anonymously