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    General Questions about the KWAS Forum

    What is a bulletin board?
    A bulletin board is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'board' or 'forums'. It may contain several categories, consisting of forums, threads and individual posts.

    Why do I need to register to participate? What if I want to remain anonymous?
    Registration allows members access to many of the features of the forum. Private e-mails and messages, full search features, sharing of photos and files and many other features. Use an alias to hide your real name, most members currently do this. However please remember all members are accountable for their actions.

    Why do I have to wait so long to get my account after I register? Don't you trust me?
    Our forum uses managed registration. All new member registration is approved by administration first. This gives us complete control and eliminates unwanted spam completely. As a family oriented forum we do not want adult content spam and even regular spam about cell phones etc is very annoying.Typically new members are approved in the morning and late afternoon.

    Why SHOULD I participate? I learn lots by just reading what other people write.
    If you're content to simply "lurk" on the forums and absorb information then we're happy to let you do that for as long as you want. Our club's goal is to educate. However, consider what else you might learn by diving in and asking a question or two. If you find the forum isn't for you, then we hope you enjoyed your stay with us.

    My questions are probably stupid or someone has probably already asked them before.
    Some people may think so, but around here those people just refrain from answering at all rather than calling you on it. If you've been here for any length of time you'll know the moderators have your back. If you ever get an initial response telling you "just use Google you newb" you can be sure that the admins and moderators will not be far behind to reprimand the responder for their unhelpful response. This is a very friendly forum for learning and sharing. We're happy to answer the same questions over and over... and over again. We're here to help.

    What if I make a mistake when I try to help someone? I might be wrong.
    If you do someone else will politely offer their own opinion or politely point out the flaw in your logic. Making mistakes is all part of the learning process. No one here will claim to be "the expert" when they are not. We're Canadian after all.

    How is this forum different from others on the Internet?
    This forum is a direct extension of our club. It is not owned by any one individual. It is owned, paid for and supported by the club. The friendly learning type atmosphere you see here is exactly what happens at our monthly meetings. The administrators and moderators all know each other outside of the forum and are all current club members. While some may feel we run a tight ship, the end user experience is kept very enjoyable. While others come and go, we have had this forum running very successfully since 2004.

    Acceptable Use and Etiquette
    Another member suggested I edit my post rather than post twice back to back. Why?
    Two reasons. First, people who do this are often accused of "artificially inflating their post count" so that they can seem like an expert sooner. That doesn't help anyone, and it's not a contest. Second, If you think of something you want to add to what you just said, then it's logical for it to be presented as a single thought contained in a single post. It's easier for people to respond (and quote you) if your input isn't spread over multiple posts.

    A moderator asked me to edit my comments. Isn't this censorship?
    Perhaps it is, but our moderators should never ask you to change your opinion, merely to state it in a more family-friendly way. Remember, we can only see what your typing not hear you. This forum has members as young as 8 participating so the moderators work very hard to keep the use of vulgar, abusive or in-factual language in check. Actually the use of these types of words is strictly prohibited. They will be removed and that person will receive an infraction. Please do not take offense if a moderator asks you to restate your point more politely. This is a discussion forum not a place to argue. If you have a particular dispute in this regard with a moderator, please contact a forum administrator or a member of the KWAS Board of Directors.

    I've got a hilarious remark for a post, but it'll take the thread off topic. Can I be funny?
    Yes you can. If you must insert a funny comment into a reply please be sure to mention at the end of your post that the thread can now get back on track. It's very easy to get threads completely derailed. The administrators really do not have the time to sort through long threads only to find relevant content in just a few posts. Please keep this in mind. We do have a forum just for humour and jokes. It is appropriately called 'The Lounge'.

    Glossary
    What's a "Sticky" or "Sticky Post"?
    'Sticky' threads are created by moderators or administrators, and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

    What is the difference between a section, a thread and a post?
    A section is just that. An area devoted to a group of sub forums such as Cichlids. Under this section you will find forums devoted to African, South American, Central American, Dwarfs etc. A thread is a topic that is started in a particular section. For example, lets say you are having a problem with cloudy water in your aquarium. You would seek out the section entitled 'Health, Nutrition & Water Concerns'. At the top you would click on 'Post New Thread'. Give your thread a clear title then below that enter any relevant information about your problem. This really helps those who are trying to help you.

    Become a Power User

    How do I find all of the threads I've started?
    Simple. Click on your username located in the upper right of the forum. Once you do that, on the left just below your avatar you will see a quick link to 'Find All Started Threads'. Likewise for your posts.

    Can I get the forum to automatically email me when there is a brand new thread started in my favourite sections?
    Absolutely. This is very common feature. At the top of the forum there are 2 navigation menus. Click on the link 'Forum Actions', then choose 'General Settings'. In here you can set a variety of options. Scroll down to 'Messaging and Notifications' The default has this feature turned off. Choose the option you want.

    How do I find out more about members?
    To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to their public profile page.

    How do I search for something?
    To quickly find a thread or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Search' link in the navigation bar at the top of most forum pages. Then, type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search for, and select either 'Show Threads' or 'Show Posts' to view the results. By selecting posts, you will be shown only the actual post in which the search word appears.

    For more control over the search, select 'Advanced Search' from the drop-down box. The advanced search page allows you to restrict your search to individual forums, find posts or threads by user, or return results based on tags. There are also options to find posts from a certain date, or threads with a certain number of replies.

    How do I search a specific forum or thread?
    If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a thread or post within it by clicking on the 'Search this forum' link near the top of the page (it's above the list of threads). You can also search for individual posts within a thread by clicking on the 'Search this Thread' link at the top of any thread view page.

    Can I change the order of posts?
    You have a choice over how you view threads. When you're in a thread, look at the top bar. On the right hand side you'll see 'Display Mode'. Click on this and it lets you change how posts are ordered.

    You have three choices:
    Linear Mode - posts are displayed chronologically, usually from oldest to newest. Posts are shown in a flat mode so that many posts can be viewed simultaneously. It is possible to change the ordering by changing your preferences in the User CP
    Threaded Mode - a tree is shown along with every post. This shows you the relationship each post has to the others. It's easy to see who responded to whom. Only one post is shown at a time. By clicking on a single post in the post tree, the page will show that post and all posts made in response to it.
    Hybrid Mode - This is a mixture of the linear and threaded modes. The post tree is displayed as in the threaded mode, but many posts are shown at the same time as in the linear modes.

    How can I see the latest posts?
    There are two ways to quickly view recently created or updated threads. If you are not logged in, the 'today's posts' link will show a list of all threads that have been created or updated in the last 24 hours. If you are logged in, the 'Today's Posts' link will change to 'New Posts', which gives you a listing of all threads that have been created or updated since your last visit.

    The administrator can also set up the forums so that each thread you read is marked in the database. If this option is set, then new threads (or threads with new posts) will not be marked as read until you have actually read them. There is a built-in time limit to this, however, that will automatically mark all threads as 'read' after a set number of day, whether you really have read them or not. The default setting is 10 days, but the administrator could make this higher or lower.