I decided to write a few blogs, chock full of Community tips, not only to help newbies get their bearings but to help those seasoned users learn more to take the next steps or help others. Before I get into the nitty gritty, I wanted to share the most important tip of all:
Don’t be afraid.
Play around with the different features, click on buttons, test them out, see what they do. You won’t break it, I promise. I've always thought that the best way to learn something new is to try it. Use me as a test subject! Send me a contact request or a private message to see how those features work. If you believe you have made a grievous error and you’re really worried about it, just shoot me an email. I can fix it! This is a tool for you and I want you to feel comfortable using it. If there’s another way you prefer to learn (detailed screen shots, live demo, written instructions), let me know. Odds are, I can put that together for you!
Now that you’re already feeling more confident, let’s move into the world of Discussions. Discussions are the most popular activity in the Community, as you can probably tell by the Daily Digest that arrives in your email each day. What is a discussion? A discussion is the beginning of a new conversation and requires a response from someone else. It can be a question, a survey, someone seeking advice, etc.
To see all the discussions within the Open Forum, go up to Community, and slide your mouse down to “Open Forum,” then “Open Forum Discussions, ” as shown in the picture below:
A list of the 10 most recent discussions will appear. If you want to see more than that on one page, change the display to 25 or even 50.
Review the subject lines of the discussion topics. If you see one that grabs your attention, click on it. This will open the entire thread, or conversation. You’ll be able to see the initial question and all of the responses that have been posted.
REPLYING TO DISCUSSIONS
To the right of each reply, you will see a light gray bar with a lot of different ways to interact with the post. The most useful ones are REPLY TO DISCUSSION (post a public response) and REPLY TO SENDER (send a private reply to that person). If you read something really interesting or helpful, it's nice to click on “recommend” so they know you agree or appreciated the question/response.
Here’s a picture that shows what each option means:
To the left of the post, you will see the poster’s photo, and various ways to interact with them. Right from that page, you can see their profile to learn more, add them as a contact if they’re someone you know, or contact them.
STARTING A NEW DISCUSSION
Do you have a new question? Start a new discussion. Here’s how:
The “Post a Message” window will open as shown below:
When finished, read through it (you won’t be able to edit it once submitted) and click “Send.”
Your post will then be included in the next day's Daily Digest for all to see. All that's left to do is sit back and watch the responses roll in!
-The subject of your new question should be clear and easy to understand. Instead of posting “Help!” or “I have a question,” give it an informative title like, “Need a Squeaking Door Sound Effect” or “What resources will help me create an Australian accent?” This will help others find these types of questions and answers through the Community “search” feature.
-Remember your manners. You agreed to our Code of Conduct, which means you agreed to be positive and respectful to your peers, even if you have a different opinion. If you notice a serious issue, contact me privately.
-Make sure your responses are ABOVE your signature line as shown in the last picture above. If they are below it, they may get lost.
-You won't be able to edit a response once you post it, so read over it once before clicking "send." Perfect grammar and spelling aren't requirements in this casual environment, but it never hurts to review.
That's all for now, if there's something you want to know more about it, contact me through the Community, by email, or just post a comment below.