Introduction To Navigating The Forum
There are several ways that our members navigate the forum and how you do so is a matter of personal preference. Some of the more common ways of navigating the forum include:
1. Go to today's posts or new posts and see where the activity is currently
2. Go to UserCP and look at the threads you are subscribed to
3. Go to the Forum tab then the subforums you are interested in and browse that way; maybe looking at the overall Forum home page to see if anything interesting seems active
4. Look at Live Posts and respond in real time
5. Look at your Notifications in the upper right hand corner of the page
Another option is to use the home page and look at what your Friends have posted. If you click on a member's profile, there is an option to add them as a friend. Once you do that, you'll see their recent posts showing up on the home page. It's a nice way to see what your friends are posting about. This is what My Friends Activity looks like
There are several different post views that you can access from the forum's menus:
Today's Posts - My personal favorite, this shows you all of the recent posts of the day. Threads that are bolded are the ones you haven't read. You can scroll down several pages to see recent posts and activity. You need to select the menu option again to get an update with new posts (i.e., to refresh the list).
New Posts - New posts is pretty much the same as Today's Posts except that once you read a thread it disappears from view. After someone posts an update, it will go back into the view. So basically, it includes threads with posts that you haven't had a chance to read.
Live Posts - Live posts is just what it says. It provides a constant feed of new posts that are updated automatically on your screen.
Subscribed Threads - Shows a list of threads that you're subscribed to. You can go to the view directly from one of the menu options or look at it through UserCP (control panel)
Activity Stream - Activity Stream provides a compilation of different updates depending on a configuration established by the system administrator. The following are potential examples of things that may show up in Activity Stream: New Albums, New Album Photos, New Blog Entries or Comments, Calendar Events, New Articles, New Forum Threads, New Forum Visitor Messages, New Group Discussions and Messages, etc. Take a look at activity stream here.
My Threads - Provides a list of threads that you have posted in.
My Posts - Provides a list of posts that you have personally made.
Using The Search Function
We have several features that allow you to find or search for things. Our search function on the forum, called Sphinx search, is a very powerful program. It can handle millions of searches of day across billions of documents. Sites like Craigslist, Slashdot and WordPress all use Sphinx for their search. You'll notice there is a search window in the upper right hand corner of the page. Don't use that. Click on Advanced Search and you'll see a page that looks like this.
You can enter keywords and search for those keywords in thread titles or the entire post. You can put in a specific username and search for posts or threads started by that user. You can put in "tags" that you would search for. What are tags? Tags are words that are associated with threads. You'll see a list of tags at the bottom of most threads. They are generated automatically by the system though members can (and are encouraged to) add tags to threads manually. You can also search in specific forums or for specific thread prefixes (see below). There is also an option to search for a certain date range. Finally, and this might be the most important thing, you can search for threads or posts. Select posts. You'll generally have a lot more success with that. A bit more on the sophisticated side, you can use complex queries through something called Extended Query Syntax, described here
A final thing to note and it's easy to miss, is that you can search your private messages. Notice the little window at the top of your inbox.
In the core typology subforums, the person who starts a thread needs to put in what's called a "thread prefix". These are designed to help you navigate the content better. As an example, all the threads in the Enneagram Subforum that aren't in a general category are "tagged". When you go to the subforum, look at the bottom of the page under Thread Display Options
You can select which prefix you want to pull up threads for. You can also designate the sort you want - such as Number of Views, Thread Rating or Number of Replies - allowing you to sort the most popular threads towards the top. Then click on "Show Threads". So for example, you can select all of the threads for a particular Thread Prefix (like Enneagram 9 or Tritype), in descending order by post views. Here are two examples:
All threads in the Enneagram forum about SXs sorted by Last Post Time
All threads in the Enneagram forum about Enneagram 9s sorted by Number of Views