Welcome to the new forum. It's not the old one so it sucks right? Well, change is hard but this one should be good. The system is Vbulletin and some of you are familiar with it I'm sure. For those who aren't, here's an introduction to the system.
The hardest thing to get used to is the non-threaded view. You can' t see every single post on the main page. However, theres a host of advantages and cool features. Here's some of them:
1. User Profiles
It is key to be able to click on a users' name and see what other messages they've posted, how active they are (post count), how long they've been a member of this site, what equipment they own, where they live, and anything else they wish to share with us. People's posts are more meaninful (or less) when you have context about who they are.
2. My Profile (User Options and Preferences)
Everyone likes to browse the forums differently, and you now have the flexibility to choose different settings. Those setting include: Your user profile (the info people see when they click on your name in the forums). You control how you want to browse this message board. For examaple:
- Your signature (a standard footer that can show up beneath each message you post).
- Your avatar (a small image that can show up under your username).
- Buddy lists and Ignore lists (kind of like a phone book for friends and foes).
- Subscriptions (how you ant to be notified about threads you're interested in).
- Other Options - you have a number of options you can set. You can turn on and off certain settings like: Email notification, the ability to be contacted by - other members, the option to view images/smilies/avatars in posts, ability to be alerted when you receive an email, and how you would like to view the forum (threaded display, linear display (standard vBulletin layout) or hybrid (both). You can access your Profile settings here:
3. Ability to Contact Other Members Easily
One major feature the old forums lacked was the ability to contact other members via email. Now, you can contact others via email or a feature called Private Messaging (a mini-email box stored here on the site). Up top, you'll see a link titled Private Messages, with a count next to it. Click that link and you'll be taken to your Private Message Inbox to read messages people have sent you. Now, of course, if you do not wish to be contacted, you can set that option in your User Options. You can click on any members' username and find the option to email them or Private Message them.
You can now subscribe to threads that you want to keep up with. This means you are sent an email when someone replies to a thread you are subscribed to. You can manage your subscribtions here:
5. Different Viewing Modes
Those who are used to a threaded view may be taken back by the different layout of this new forum system. There is actually a feature which is not exactly the same as before, but is similar. You can choose to view these forums in a few different layouts. Up at the top of each thread, you'll see three icons - Threaded, Linear, and Hybrid. Click on those and see which one you like best. Your settings will be saved.
6. Search Feature
There is a much more powerful search feature available in the forums now:
You can search for keywords, usernames, thread titles, date ranges, etc. It should be easier to find old discussions and information.
7. Ability to See Who's Online
On the forums index page:
You'll notice down at the bottom that there is a list of usernames who are browsing the forums. You can also see how many people are browsing each forum, as there is a user count to the right of each forum name.
8. Report This Post to a Moderator
Yes, we will finally be able to appoint moderators to help keep the spirit of our forums intact. In the past, the forums have been a place of lawlessness and flame wars. No more. We will be turning things around and will begin appointing members who are willing to help keep things clean and restore AudioReview to its past glory.
10. Form and Function
I know that some of you have not used vBulletin-style forums, but ever since I began using them on other sites a few years ago, I've loved them. It's so easy to get to know people, easy to find information, and easy to get involved with the community. It's such a flexible and intuitive system, that I really don't enjoy using any other type of forums system anymore. Now, I know not everyone will share my opinion, but I'd bet that a good portion of you will after a little while of using this system. This is the best forums software available on the market and it's going to open a lot of doors for our users. Have fun guys!
11. Security, Security!! - The old software did not require registration and there was no effective way to ban users and assign moderators. Trolls beware... you'll get kicked out pronto...
12 .Ability for anybody to post quick polls. This could be fun. I haven't tried it yet but I'll try right now. A discussion thread will be attached to each poll which kind of makes sense.
13. Forum traffic counts. Fairly easy to see which forums are driving the traffic!!
14. Edit posts after the fact, as I'm doing now!
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Thread: Forum tutorial and FAQ
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