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Back to Forum manager resources Simply search for "REPLACE" and put in the address portion of you posting address (i.e. mpls-cr as in mpls-cr@forums.e-democracy.org) and then post to your forum from time to time. Or make a "Sticky" post and mention it every so often.

You may need to paste this text in Notepad, search and replace, then adjust any formatting before copying and paste into your e-mail. Or click Edit and copy from there.


Issues Forums offer many exciting options and tools for online participation. Sometimes it is a bit confusing. This quick guide should help.

Below is a concise list of options you can use to improve your Issues Forum experience:

1. Issues Forum Home Page
2. Reading Topics via the Web
3. Posting, Reply-to-All
4. Daily Topic Digest
5. Unsubscribing - How to Leave
6. Web Feeds
7. Photos
8. Files
9. Video
10. Member Directory, Your Profile, Your Own Web Feed
11. 24 Hour Posting Limit
12. Forum Statistics
13. Rules, Complaints


  • 1. Issues Forum Home Page

The main starting point for this forum on the web is:

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE

It describes the forum, shows latest topics, links to the charter and other related community links and "wiki" pages we can all edit on http://pages.e-democracy.org


  • 2. Reading Topics via the Web

Topics - The best place to quickly catch up is via the main Topics page:

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE/messages/topics.html
  From this page you can find important "Sticky" topics like the place for an informal Introduction where you can let everyone know a bit about yourself.

Access to posts by time, and a list of posts here:

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE/messages/posts.html
  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE/messages/postsSummary.html?l=60


  • 3. Posting, Reply-to-All

To post to the forum via e-mail, send your message to:

  REPLACE@forums.e-democracy.org
  

To reply _publicly_ via e-mail to everyone, press "Reply-to-All" not just reply. Being "public" is an expressed choice. Web replies are always public replies, but you can request contact via someone's profile page if as a web user you want to send a private reply.

To post or reply via the web, login on the top right, select the topic, scroll to the comment box at the bottom or "Start a new topic" from the Topic Index page.


  • 4. Daily Topic Digest

To receive a single e-mail with links to recent posts and topics, click just below via e-mail:

  REPLACE@forums.e-democracy.org

In the subject write simply:

  digest on

Via web, "Log in" from the top right and then select "Your Name (profile)" and note the e-mail setting options on your left. (You may also set the forum to no mail and even upload an image of yourself that will be displayed with your posts.)


  • 5. Unsubscribing - How to Leave

We recommend trying the digest version first, but if go you must ...

E-mail:

  REPLACE@forums.e-democracy.org

In the subject write simply:

  digest on


Via web, when logged in, look for the "Join or Leave" in the center just below the forum introduction at:

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE

If you need to projects your e-mail address or add a back-up address, do that via the web instead of leaving and creating a second account.


  • 6. Web Feeds

For those of you who would like to follow posts via a web feed, it is here:

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE/messages/posts.atom


  • 7. Photos

Share Pictures - To share pictures, simply attach to your e-mail or upload via the web when posting to the forum. Photos are resized automatically and those attached to the same topic become a manual slide show.

Upload Picture of You - To add your own photo to your profile (public bio) and web version of your posts, via the web, "Log in" from the top right and then select "Your Name (profile)" and click the change image option on your left. In the _future_ we will resize profile images for you.


  • 8. Files

Just like pictures. Upload via the web or attach via e-mail. Big files are fine because they are put on the server and not e-mailed to people. Your e-mail provider probably limits the size of files you can send.


  • 9. Video

Simple paste the web address of specific YouTube video in your post and the player will automatically be displayed in the web view of posts. The content of the video must be within the forum's scope and the usual forum rules apply.


  • 10. Member Directory, Your Profile, Your Own Web Feed

We promote Issues Forums as friendly public gatherings around a table. As "citizens" engaging in public life, we have a right to know who is with us in the room (meaning registered in the forum and able to post). This builds trust, respect, and civility. If you are logged in to the website, from the member list you can view the optional profile (bio) information other members have chosen to share as well as posts they have made anywhere on public groups across our forums site. See:

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE/members

Update Your Profile - "Log in" from the top right and then select "Your Name (profile)" and click the change options on your left. Make sure your "Display Name" is a version of your legal real name (you can add in a nickname in addition to your full real name).

Personal Webfeed - At the bottom of your profile is a list of your "Latest Posts" and at the bottom a link to "more." Select more and you'll see a "web feed" orange icon option with just your latests posts. Use this to share your posts via Facebook - http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/179 - or if you have your own blog or website, you can use the feed to display your posts on your sidebar or something.


  • 11. 24 Hour Posting Limit

To spread the discussion out, reduce flaming, and maintain a posting volume that allows e-mail to remain a viable option, most forums allow only two posts in a 24 hour period per person. This can be frustrating for new members excited to post frequently. If you adapt and allow others to diversify the voices on a topic you can still post up to 14 times in a week. Plenty.


  • 12. Forum Statistics

In some forums it may seem that certain participants dominate, the statistics often tell a different story. When 15% or more of registered members typically post in a month we have more than doubled the usual participation rate in other online forums/user generated content systems.

  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/REPLACE/stats.html


  • 13. Forum Manager, Rules, Complaints

Your local "charter" sits a top a universal set of rules which govern all Issues Forums:

 http://e-democracy.org/rules

Each Issues Forum has a volunteer Forum Manager. A volunteer. They are empowered by E-Democracy.Org and your agreement to our rules (terms of service) to facilitate the forum, enforce the rules, issues warnings, and suspend members. Forum Managers are not required to review or "pre-moderate" each post. You may help us by filing a complaint - http://e-democracy.org/contact - on a specific post to bring about a rule violation review.

They are accountable to their local volunteer team and a basic appeals process is provided when warnings reach a certain number.

Everyone enters an Issues Forum with a right to participate, but you can lose your right to post in the future based on past actions. This is a "citizen-based" initiative not administered by government. It is our shared freedom of assembly which allows us to voluntarily define and impose rules on ourselves. While participants do influence rule changes adopted by the E-Democracy.Org Board, our model is not for everyone and does constrain notions of unregulated "free speech" in order to promote civility and public agenda-setting my maintaining access to a public audience.

 

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