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Forum How-to's

Posting

Posting HTML

Reading

Troll help

Posting

How do I post a message?

In the light blue navigation bar for the message board is a link that says Post Message - click that to navigate to the posting form.[post message link on forum]

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What if I accidentally double-post?

Ooops! Email me at

and 'fess up, I'll take care of it.

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How do I reply to a message?

In the lower right hand corner of each message is a link that says Respond to this message - click that.

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How do I put smilies where I want them?

Below the Post message form there is a selection of smiley icons. When you click a little smiley icon on the Post page, the URL for the smiley picture is attached to the end of your text in your message. You can move this text most easily by highlighting it with your mouse, then dragging it to the position you want.

screenshot

Will display like this:

screenshot

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How do I put a link in my message

If you want to refer users to another web site, type the full URL into the message composition textbox. For example: http://www.recommendedsite.com/. The programming code behind the forum will automatically recognize this as a URL and turn it into a clickable link.

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How do I add a picture?

First of all, the picture has to be stored somewhere on the Web. Any picture stored somewhere on the Web has a Uniform Resource Locator, or URL. This is what you need to type or paste into your message for the image to display. An image URL will begin with 'http://' and end (usually) with '.gif' or '.jpg'. The programming code behind the forum will automatically recognize this as a URL for an image and turn it into a picture.

If your picture can be seen on another web page, you can get the URL by right-clicking the image and selecting Properties (right down at the bottom of the menu in Internet Explorer.) The screenshot below shows the URL visible in the Properties menu of Internet Explorer.

[an image url][an image url]

If your picture is not already on the Web but is stored on your computer, you will need to upload it to the Web, generally to a free image service such as flickr.com.

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How do I link to a news site that requires subscription?

An increasing number of news sites are requiring visitors to subscribe before they can view some or all of the articles, etc. To make it easier for people to read articles at these sites, I have created a Squalor Survivors registration with the username squalor1 and password squalor for the following sites:

and for these sites, the login uses the email address squalor@mailinator.com and the passsword squalor1

When you post a link to clutter/squalor/hoarding-related articles on these sites, include the username and password in the message. Oh, and when I create the registration, I often use the name Pig Pen. So if any of these sites display the message "Welcome, Pig", don't take it personally! :-)

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How do I edit my message?

To edit a message you have to be logged in, both when you initially post it and when you edit it. At the bottom of the post there is a link that says Edit Message - click that, make your changes, and save them. A message will appear on your message saying when you edited it.

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Why are there funny symbols in my message?

Then my guess would be: you composed your message in Word so you could spell-check it before copying and pasting it into the posting form? The trouble is that all sorts of invisible formatting information goes into your text, that the message board can't handle very well. If you really want to continue with this method, save your Word document in Rich Text Format (in the Save As Type: drop-down box), before you copy and paste. That gets rid of the pernickety formatting information, and still lets you spell-check. :-)

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How do I add a signature to my message?

Underneath the posting form there are a set of options to add a signature to any posts you make while you are logged in. Check the Include Signature box and click the Formatted Text Signature link. This will display a text area where you can include a signature as shown in the screenshot below.[signature box]

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Where will my post fit into the forum outline structure?

The following applies to all the outline forums: Squalor Survivors forum, Byways off-topic forum and Oh, Pigpen! forum. The image below shows the thread structure when the fictional user arrives:
[forum thread structure]

The image below shows three possible actions by the user.

The orange node is where the message is placed if the user clicks Respond to this message in the original post.

The green node is where the message is placed if the user clicks Respond to this message in the last reply to the original post.

The blue node is where the message is placed if the user clicks Respond to this message in the first reply to the original post. As you can see, responses to the root message made after the first response are shifted down a line to let this message be inserted
[forum thread structure]

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Posting HTML

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML consists of a set of tags that markup documents on the Web. Browsers use these tags to decide how to display Web pages. Most of these tags come in pairs: an opening tag and a closing tag. The content that will be affected by these tags appears between the two tags. The opening tag may include an attribute inside which stores more information about how the content betwwen the tags should be displayed. The attribute stores this information in its value. The structure of an HTML tag is shown below.

[html tag structure diagram]

Not all tags come in pairs, and not all are enabled for the Network54 forums, but instructions for ones that are enabled follow.

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How do I put my text in italics?

[html italics tag syntax]

Will display like this:
This text will appear in italics.

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How do I make my text bold?

[html bold tag syntax]

Will display like this:
This text will appear in bold.

How do I underline my text?

[html underline tag syntax]

Will display like this:
This text will appear underlined.

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How do I change the color of my text?

[html font tag syntax]

Will display like this:
This text will be colored blue.

In the example above, the font tag takes the attribute color (note U.S. spelling) which takes the value "blue". There are many other named colors, which you can find listed at W3Schools. The color attribute also takes Hexadecimal color code values, e.g. #000FFF instead of "blue", and you can find these listed here.

The font tag can take more than one attribute, so you can specify the color, size and font type of your text in just one font tag.

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How do I change the size of my text?

[html font tag syntax]

Will display like this:

[html font tag syntax]

How do I change the font type of my text?

[html font tag syntax]

Will display like this (if you have Comic Sans installed):
This is a casual sans-serif typeface.

Other users will only see your text in the font face that you specify if they have that font installed on their computer. Here is a list of common fonts.

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How do I cross out my text?

[html strike tag syntax]

Will display like this:
Ooops! I did it again.

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How do I center my text?

[html center tag syntax]

Will display like this*:

Ooops! I did it again.

*I added a border so you can see the text is centered. :-) Note the U.S. spelling of the center tag.

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How do I add horizontal lines?

[html h3 tag syntax]

Will display like this:

[horizontal rule examples]

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How do I add a link using HTML?

[html anchor tag syntax]

Will display like this:
Useful productivity tips

This is especially useful when you are linking to a page with a URL a mile long (like an Amazon book listing) that often widens a message board post to the point where users need to scroll horizontally to read any messages in the thread. By using an HTML anchor tag, all that will be displayed in your message is the text between the a tags and the horrible URL is hidden in the value of the href attribute. And you can make the text betwwen the tags tell the user something useful about the page they are going to, instead of alphabet soup.

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Reading

How are the messages sorted?

The message with the most recent reply goes to the top of the message board.

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What does "bump" (or "n/t") mean?

Posters will sometimes post an empty reply to a message to force it to the top of the message board. Putting "bump" as the message title lets other users know this is what happening.

Sometimes a message is so brief, it can be contained within the message title. In this situation, appending "n/t" (for "no text") to the end is standard netiquette to let users know they need not waste their time opening the message to discover no further text has been added. Please keep the subject lines of n/t posts brief.

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What timezone is used for the forums?

The forum timestamps are set to GMT-08:00 Pacific Time (US & Canada).

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Glossary and common abbreviations translated

BRB
Be right back
BTW
By the way
CHAOS
Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome
DH/DS/DD etc
Dear husband/dear son/dear daughter, etc. Sometimes the D stands for something else ;-) A number after the abbreviation indicates the person's age, e.g. DD15 is my dear 15 year old daughter
ETE
Erase the Evidence..like if you make a sandwich, clean up after yourself like you were never there.
FIL/SIL/DIL etc
Father-in-law/Sister-in-law/Daughter-in-law, etc
Fridge pudding
Occurs when you have water plus assorted spills that accumulate on the bottommost floor of your fridge usually underneath some crisper compartments. Since you don't clean the spills nor the fridge itself, one day you discover that there is a gelled bunch of gunk shimmying down there like jello from another planet. (Term coined by Illuminata, defined by Vildachaya)
FWIW
For what it's worth
HTH
Hope this helps
IMO/IMHO
In my opinion/In my humble opinion
LOL
Laughing out loud
Panic mode cleaning
A mad frenzy of cleaning up for someone's impending arrival to your home
PDT
Petrified Dog Turds
ROTFLMBO
Rolling on the floor laughing my butt off
Shop & drop
Coming home with purchased items but just leaving them on the floor or counter, rather than putting them away
Sink pudding
3 inches deep grot in the kitchen sink that has dried out and can be removed like a NEAT PUDDING in one piece. (Term coined by Kimmy)
Stash & dash
Storing, tossing, and hiding things in closets/bags & boxes/closed-door rooms for a quick clean-up (See panic mode cleaning)
TTYL
Talk to you later
25-fling boogie
Quickly picking up/bagging up 25 items of trash
UFB
Un-"freakin'"-Believable!!! Note: insert the more preferred term for "freakin'" (Term coined by Little Ninja)
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What does the padlock picture mean?

[Padlock icon] This icon means that the thread has been 'locked' and no more replies can be made to it. It can still be viewed. Threads are generally locked when there are so many replies that they become unwieldy.

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Who are visitors and "guests"?

At the top of the message board, the Visitors in this forum in the last 10 minutes: feature shows who has visited recently. If there is a name, it means the user was logged-in when they visited. Logged-out users simply show up as "guests". There is an approximately ten minute time-lag after a user leaves a forum before their login or guest status is removed from the list. screenshot Visitors and guests are also shown in the far right column of the Community index.

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Who is Anonymous?

The forums do not require you to be logged in to post a message. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Because "coming out" as a person living in squalor is often a really scary challenge. Allowing posting without a login lowers the barrier of entry for "newbies".
  2. Some readers can't create logins for technical reasons I haven't been able to resolve.

If someone posts without being logged in, and does not fill in the "Your Name" space, that person shows up as "Anonymous". This is the default term supplied by the forum software because this box cannot be left empty for technical reasons. Even if you are not logged in, you can fill in this box with a nickname, which is more friendly than "Anonymous" and just as, well, anonymous!

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How to degrade the forum

The following is intended to be humorous, but like most humor it contains a kernel of truth. It is supposed to get posters thinking about how they contribute to the forum - whether the posts they write are in line with the sort of forum they would like to read.

  • PUT THE CAPS LOCK ON BEFORE YOU TYPE YOUR MESSAGE. ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING ON THE INTERNET.
  • Call other posters names or otherwise insult them. Double demerit points if the recipient of your rudeness is a newcomer to the forum.
  • Post about a topic completely unrelated to squalor/clutter/housekeeping/contibuting causes, etc, like which candidate you favor in the coming election.Post an off-topic post on the Squalor Survivors forum, instead of the Byways forum which is provided for these posts
  • Post a message which contains copyrighted material without permission to reprint. (Short attributed quotes and paraphrases are okay. )
  • Post about your business in order to get users to buy products or services.

The last two types of posts will be deleted.

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Troll help

What is a "troll"?

A troll is someone who seeks to deliberately incite anger, arguments, and disorder on a discussion group, thereby wasting your time and energy. A simple example would be someone who comes on to this board and says that people who live in squalor are disgusting/lazy/just don't care. "Troll" can refer to the poster, or the post. A troll is usually posted by someone who hasn't posted on the forum before.

Why would someone behave in such a strange way? The practice seems to be a cry for attention by people who can't or won't get it in a more productive manner.. The usual advice for handling trolls is "do not feed the troll", i.e. do not respond. Trolls are fulfilled if a flame war (argument) starts, but regular posters become upset, and some people get turned off and leave. If we ignore trolls, they get bored and go away, but if we don't respond to their posts at all, some people might not realize that such posts are from trolls. These people might leave the forum because of what they perceive to be an unsupportive atmosphere.

Instead of wasting our time arguing with trolls, we can post this link in response to each troll post in the forum: Message for trolls. (Right-click on the link, choose Copy Shortcut, and paste it into your post.) This link leads to this section of this page.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that not everything you personally find offensive is necessarily a troll. Someone who posts an unpopular opinion may be easily labeled a "troll". If you're not sure, I suggest just ignoring the post.

I think that after every major dramatic change on this board (emotional posts, troll visits, etc.), the board gets stronger and stronger - just like a tough/rubbery piece of celery that won't break.Little Ninja

Trolls need help, too

Trolls are sad, stumpy, misshapen, and humpbacked creatures who find pleasure in causing disturbances, like spoiled children. Trolls need help, but not the kind of help that we can give.

They come in any size and can be as huge as giants or as small as dwarves. They are however always regarded as having poor intellect (especially the males), big noses, long arms, and as being hairy and not very beautiful (except for certain females). Wikipedia

If you're a troll, you were directed here because we know your type and we've seen it all before.

You have two choices:

  1. Read about squalor and its contributing factors at this website, and hopefully learn something.
  2. Continue with your childish antics until you get bored and leave

We aren't playing your game; we're here to help.

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