Thursday, March 23, 2006

Members Forums Tips

As a lot of members have joined since I last sent out some tips on using the forums I thought I would send out a few more tips along with some old ones.

Firstly when you log in to the forums you will see under where it says Sunterra Member Forums there is a blue bar, the left hand link is User CP if you click on this you are in the User Control panel page.

The first link is "Edit Signature" here you can write what ever you like to sign any messages you send out, it could be as simple as "regards your name " or you could include your email address or a few witty words if you like. When you have typed your choice you can either Save your signature or just preview it which is probably a good idea to make sure it appears as you want it to.

The second link is "Edit Profile" the top option is edit email and password but if you click on that you will see that you can't actually change your email address or password on that page, It used to be an option but it only changed your details for the forums not the website so you would need to log in twice. If you want to change your username, email address, password or your contact details you should go to the profile page

The items you might want to edit on the forums profile page is under where it says edit email address and password there is a box for "Optional Information" here you can add your date of birth so members can see when your birthday is in the forum calendar, you would also get a happy birthday email from the forum on your birthday every year. If you have ICQ, MSN, YAHOO or SKYPE you can add your user id's here and the icons would then appear in your messages so members have more ways of contacting you. That is about it for the edit profile page so when you have made your changes click on save changes at the bottom of the page.

The next link is "Edit Options" the first two options I would encourage you to leave un-ticked, The next box down is Messaging & Notification, the top two boxes you should leave ticked but the next option down is email notification, this is if you want to be notified by email when a thread you have posted receives a reply, obviously this is a really good idea if you are trying to sell points or are asking a question but is also useful for all of us as it lets you know when someone has replied to your messages. If you want to change this to receive notification emails click on the box and choose "Instant Email Notification"

The next three boxes should all remain ticked. The next category on this page is "Thread display options" all of these options are ok and you don't need to change any of them. The next category down is "Time & Date Options" You do need to change this!

When you log in to the forums you may have noticed that messages you send are appearing as if you had sent them in the middle of the night? This is due to the default time zone being Canadian time, we can't correct this for all as we have members from all over the world and the default doesn't seem to want to change universally. All you need to do is click on the box where it says (GMT -7) Mountain time and then when the list opens up choose the one about half way down the list that says (GMT) Western time, London, Lisbon, Casablanca. This will ensure that all your messages and everyone else's messages appear with the correct send times. The bottom option you can leave as it is and just click on Save Changes.

The next link is "Edit Avatar" if you open this up you will see that I have already added hundreds of avatars for you to choose from. (An avatar is a small picture that appears in any messages you send) You can choose any of the ones I have provided, or you can do as I an a lot of other members have done and upload your own avatar or small picture!

To add your own avatar you need to have on your computer a small image no bigger than 100 X 100 pixels, go to the bottom of the avatar page you and you will see a link that says browse, if you click on this it will allow you to navigate to the folder where you have the image stored just click to select that image and then click on Save Changes at the bottom of the page. The image you have chosen should then appear at the top of the page so you can make sure it is right.

If you don't have a small image and don't know how to shrink a picture you want to use, email it to me telling me you want to use it as your avatar and I will sort it out for you

The only other link you might want to edit is "Edit Profile Picture" this works in exactly the same way as described for the custom avatar just click on the browse button and navigate to the picture you want to use as above.

Finally, back to the blue bar where we found the User CP link have you noticed what we have a calendar where you can enter your holiday dates, great if you are interested in meeting other members on holiday, also you can see who has a birthday coming up!

Another great tip is to make use of the search option on the blue bar, here you can type in a word or words and search all the forums for any matches. For example if you wanted to know about Sunset Bay you type Sunset in the search box and click search, you would then have a list of all the messages from all the forums that contain the word sunset in them.

I think that is probably enough for one day,

Hope this helps

Tony Pearce

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