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Step-by-step Guide for Entries Used When Registering

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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:17 pm    Post subject: Step-by-step Guide for Entries Used When Registering Reply with quote

Note. Initial registration directly from the message board's main page has been disabled. (See Registration Problems) However, some of the information below still pertains to any modification made to your membership.

If and when you register on this message board (by clicking on the ‘Register’ link in the upper right on the pages of the board), you will first have to agree to the standard legalese. You will then be confronted with a page that has a lot of fields, only some of which need to be filled in.

In the Registration Information section, you must of course provide a Username. You are free to enter any name you wish. A common practice is to use your initials and last name or first and last name. (Some prefer not to use their full first name for various reasons.) You will have to include your e-mail address so that you can be notified when registration is approved and send other notifications to you. It also allows others to contact you. (If you change your Internet Service Provider later, be sure to update your profile.) Then, enter a password and reenter it again on the next line to verify that you typed what you wanted. Pick something easy to remember. Security is not that big a problem because we don’t expect anyone to post any sensitive information. It’s used primarily to prevent someone else from posting something with your username. You will then see a string of characters in a fuzzy box. Type that character string in the box below it. The purpose of this confirmation is to stop automated robots that spammers use to flood message boards.

In the Profile Information section, there are a number of boxes that need not be filled in. The first four of them are probably not used by most people. If you have your own website, you can enter it here to advertise it. It’s nice to enter a location so people know where you are living. Occupation is entirely optional. The signature block can be used to add information at the end of each of your postings. Some people like to add cute expressions here. Personally, I don’t bother with that.

Finally, the Preference section has a lot of buttons that are already filled in by default. These are the standard options used by most people but you can change them to suit your tastes. I prefer to show my e-mail address but others may not because they are concerned that it will get copied and they might receive added spam. (That hasn’t been a problem for me.) Note that, even if you choose not to show your address, an email button will still appear next to your name. Only registered members will be able to contact you by email through the message board using that button. The message board adds a prefix to the e-mail so that you know why and how you received it.

The ‘Hide your online status’ selection determines whether or not your username shows up at the bottom of the main page of the message board while you are online.

You will probably want to have the board notify you when someone posts a reply to one of your messages. That reduces the need to keep checking the board (however, do check it occasionally anyway). That can also be specified for each individual message when you enter the posting.

Private messages are another feature provided by the message board. They can be used in place of e-mails, particularly if you know someone else is on the board at the same time. (That’s why you might not want to hide your online status via the earlier button.) Then, you would select to be notified and have a pop up window when one arrives for you. I prefer to use e-mails although that requires one to check their e-mail server, but you can have a more permanent record. ‘Attach signature’ only applies if you fill something in the corresponding box above.

It’s nice to allow BBCode, i.e. Bulletin Board Code. With those codes (that are entered in brackets), you can make some words bold or italicized and add other features like links to other web pages. The page on which you post a message has instructions for using these above the entry box when you mouse over them. Unless you are an expert programmer, don’t allow HTML code. That’s a bit complicated and can mess up your posting. Most of what might want to do is available using the BBCode. You can enable the Smily faces or Emoticons. People use them to spice up their posting (some too much).

The remaining boxes can be left at their defaults except that you may want to change the Timezone. GMT – 5 hours is Eastern time, GMT – 6 is Central time, etc. This is used to timestamp the posting using your local timezone.

When everything is filled in to your satisfaction, click on the Submit button. Then, after the management approves your registration, you are ready to start posting. Note that you can always change your preferences at a later time by using the ‘Profile’ link on any page of the message board.[/url]
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