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Help: Message Boards

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  1. What are the rules for posting?
  2. Who are all these jerks on the talk list?
  3. How do you un-ignore a thread?
  4. Why can I only favorite certain message boards?
  5. How do I create a new message board?
  6. What is the "rude" button?
  7. What is Pulling the Cyclonic Card?
  8. How do I post to a specific board?
  9. How do I search the message boards?
  10. What are some hot-button topics?


What are the rules for posting?


The main rule is no attacking others. It is never okay to call someone names or insult their mother. Using foul language, cross-posting, or posting spam will get your post deleted pretty quickly as well.

There are many other additional suggestions described in the Best Practices document for posting to the message boards. (The link for this document can always be found directly under the Boards menubar option.) Most of these are common sense kind of things that are equally applicable to any message boards or forums you use on the Internet.

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Who are all these jerks on the talk list?


In the heat of the moment, discussions can become heated. If you find yourself angry, it's probably best to walk away. Most people can't and will post in anger, and they'll sound like jerks. Most of the time, they aren't. Some people aren't very good at expressing themselves online in a diplomatic manner. And when you cram thousands of people together, there will, in rare cases, be those you won't get along with. It happens, and it's something you will need to learn to deal with. There are options to ignore specific members in the message boards, or to ignore heated threads that have no interest to you. Use these tools to make your experience better.

Most letterboxers are wonderful, caring people. Don't let the occasional bad egg keep you out!

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How do you un-ignore a thread?


If you view the Recent Threads, it will show all threads, including ignored ones, with an option to unignore the thread. As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't ignore a thread unless you really mean it since it tends to cause a chicken-and-egg issue. The thread is ignored, so it's hard to find links for it, but unless you can find links to it, you can't unignore it. The easiest way for most people is to look at the list of recent threads and unignore the thread from that page.

If the thread is not recent, you're out of luck. You need to find a link for the ignored thread, but you would need someone who can still see the thread to send you that link at which point you can unignore the thread.

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Why can I only favorite certain message boards?


You can mark any board as a favorite, however, it might require two steps to do so. Each board is assigned to a specific Member Group. If you are not part of the group, Atlas Quest assumes you have no interest in reading any of the boards on it, so it doesn't make any sense to be able to mark it as a favorite. It's like saying you hate cheese, but then you want the cheese board to be your favorite. Make up your mind!

So before marking boards as favorites or not, check that you are a member of the group it's a part of. At that point, you can add individual boards from the groups as favorites or to be ignored.

In theory, if you find a board and mark it as a favorite, Atlas Quest is supposed to automatically make you a member of the associated group if you aren't already. BUT! It is possible there are bugs. If you find an instance of this happening, please inform the Green Tortuga. Additionally, if you later choose to remove yourself from that member group, it will no longer save any of your favorite board from that group. If you leave the group, you essentially walk away from the boards that are a part of it as well.

So to have a board marked as a favorite, you must be a member of the group it is a part of.

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How do I create a new message board?


Each message board is assigned to specific member groups, so first you must identify a group for your board. You can create message boards in any group that you own or are an admin on, so most people normally have to create a new group if they haven't already. If you want a board that anyone and everyone can read and post to, make sure your group is public.

When you create a group, the first message board is automatically created with the same name as that of the group. You can edit the message board name or delete it completely if that default does not suit you. You can also add additional message boards to your group if you find such a setup useful. For instance, if you created an "Outdoor Sports" group, you may want several boards for each of the outdoor sports you want your group to cover. As a good rule of thumb, it's usually best to have one board that can cover any topic within a group, then as that board gets busy or cluttered, create new boards to keep things better organized.

You can add, modify, and delete boards from the group details page.

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What is the "rude" button?


The message boards have various buttons available—funny, educational, interesting, agree, disagree, etc. But there's also the "rude" button, which doesn't work quite like the others. The other buttons allow you to see how many people have clicked on it, but the rude button will only show you a maximum of one click—your own, if you had clicked it. This button is used primarily for moderators to better monitor problem posts, including those that might not technically break any official Atlas Quest rules but are inappropriately harsh or rude. Moderators have special tools available to see which posts are the 'rudest' and who is generating rude posts most often to better keep track of potential problems before they become full-fledged problems.

Only moderators can see the actual number of people who've clicked the rude button to help alleviate hurt feelings if someone thinks it's funny to click rude on lots of posts that are not actually rude. Additionally, Atlas Quest does some additional processing of rude clicks so if you chronically abuse the button yourself, your clicks will not be reported to moderators anymore. Basically, if you cry wolf too often, moderators will ignore your clicks. So your better off using it solely on posts that you genuinely feel are rude or otherwise inappropriate for the message boards.

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What is Pulling the Cyclonic Card?


Pulling the Cyclonic Card is when, for some reason, you find yourself in total agreement with Cyclonic on a particular subject, an exceedingly rare occurrence. You then find yourself vocalizing said agreement as the final word on a given subject.

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How do I post to a specific board?


When you write a new post, you'll see two drop-down lists. The first is labeled Group and the second is labeled Board. By default, the group will be set to the Everybody group, and the board options will show only the boards assigned to that group. If the board you're looking for is in the everybody group, simply select it.

If the board you are interested in is not in the Everybody group, you must change the group to the one that has the board. For instance, all boards for US states and regions are in the United States Letterboxing group. If you change the group to this, the board options will change to include all of the state and regional boards in the United States.

More of the most commonly used message boards are in the Non-Traditional Boxes group and the Yakking It Up group.

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How do I search the message boards?


The simplest, quickest, and most common search you'll likely run on the message boards is to look for posts with a specific keyword or phrase within the message. You can run this type of search from most any message board page just by entering the keyword in the search box in the upper-right corner of the page. For more advanced search options such as searching for posts by specific members, on specific boards, during a specific timespan, and more, use the dedicated Search Messages page.

A few things to know about keywords searches. First, searches are case-insensitive, so capitalization will not matter. Second-and this is important-keywords with just one or two letters or numbers are not recorded. If you try to run a search for "Rt 10", for instance, it simply will not work because the AQ database does not track such small words. Continuing with the example, you could search for "Route 10", but that would return all posts with the word "route" regardless of whether there's a 10 after it or not.

Some common words are automatically ignored such as and, then, don't, etc. These are called stopwords, and the full list of stopwords used are:

a's, able, about, above, according, accordingly, across, actually, after, afterwards, again, against, ain't, all, allow, allows, almost, alone, along, already, also, although, always, am, among, amongst, an, and, another, any, anybody, anyhow, anyone, anything, anyway, anyways, anywhere, apart, appear, appreciate, appropriate, aq, are, aren't, around, as, aside, ask, asking, associated, at, available, away, awfully, be, became, because, become, becomes, becoming, been, before, beforehand, behind, being, believe, below, beside, besides, best, better, between, beyond, both, box, boxed, boxes, boxing, brief, but, by, c'mon, c's, came, can, can't, cannot, cant, cause, causes, certain, certainly, changes, clearly, clue, co, com, come, comes, concerning, consequently, consider, considering, contain, containing, contains, corresponding, could, couldn't, course, currently, definitely, described, despite, did, didn't, different, do, does, doesn't, doing, don't, done, down, downwards, during, each, edu, eg, eight, either, else, elsewhere, enough, entirely, especially, et, etc, even, ever, every, everybody, everyone, everything, everywhere, ex, exactly, example, except, far, few, fifth, first, five, followed, following, follows, for, former, formerly, forth, four, from, further, furthermore, get, gets, getting, given, gives, go, goes, going, gone, got, gotten, greetings, had, hadn't, happens, hardly, has, hasn't, have, haven't, having, he, he's, hello, help, hence, her, here, here's, hereafter, hereby, herein, hereupon, hers, herself, hi, him, himself, his, hither, hopefully, how, howbeit, however, i'd, i'll, i'm, i've, ie, if, ignored, immediate, in, inasmuch, inc, indeed, indicate, indicated, indicates, inner, insofar, instead, into, inward, is, isn't, it, it'd, it'll, it's, its, itself, just, keep, keeps, kept, know, knows, known, last, lately, later, latter, latterly, least, less, lest, let, let's, letterbox, letterboxed, letterboxes, letterboxing, letterboxer, like, liked, likely, little, look, looking, looks, ltd, mainly, many, may, maybe, me, mean, meanwhile, merely, might, more, moreover, most, mostly, much, must, my, myself, name, namely, nd, near, nearly, necessary, need, needs, neither, never, nevertheless, new, next, nine, no, nobody, non, none, noone, nor, normally, not, nothing, novel, now, nowhere, obviously, of, off, often, oh, ok, okay, old, on, once, one, ones, only, onto, or, other, others, otherwise, ought, our, ours, ourselves, out, outside, over, overall, own, park, particular, particularly, per, perhaps, placed, please, plus, possible, presumably, probably, provides, que, quite, qv, rather, rd, re, really, reasonably, regarding, regardless, regards, relatively, respectively, right, rock, said, same, saw, say, saying, says, second, secondly, see, seeing, seem, seemed, seeming, seems, seen, self, selves, sensible, sent, serious, seriously, seven, several, shall, she, should, shouldn't, since, six, so, some, somebody, somehow, someone, something, sometime, sometimes, somewhat, somewhere, soon, sorry, specified, specify, specifying, still, sub, such, sup, sure, t's, take, taken, tell, tends, th, than, thank, thanks, thanx, that, that's, thats, the, their, theirs, them, themselves, then, thence, there, there's, thereafter, thereby, therefore, therein, theres, thereupon, these, they, they'd, they'll, they're, they've, think, third, this, thorough, thoroughly, those, though, three, through, throughout, thru, thus, to, together, too, took, toward, towards, tree, tried, tries, truly, try, trying, twice, two, un, under, unfortunately, unless, unlikely, until, unto, up, upon, us, use, used, useful, uses, using, usually, value, various, very, via, viz, vs, want, wants, was, wasn't, way, we, we'd, we'll, we're, we've, welcome, well, went, were, weren't, what, what's, whatever, when, whence, whenever, where, where's, whereafter, whereas, whereby, wherein, whereupon, wherever, whether, which, while, whither, who, who's, whoever, whole, whom, whose, why, will, willing, wish, with, within, without, won't, wonder, would, would, wouldn't, yes, yet, you, you'd, you'll, you're, you've, your, yours, yourself, yourselves, zero

Any word you attempt to search for in this list will be ignored.

Search Operators

By default, Atlas Quest will return all searches that include one or more of the keywords you specify. You can, however, change that behavior through the use of operators. Supported operators include:
Operator Result
+ A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every post returned.
- A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any post returned.
( ) Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions
* An asterisk is the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word, not prepended.
" A phrase that is enclosed in double quotes matches only posts that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed.

Examples

Search Results
apple banana find posts that contain at least one of these words
+apple +juice find posts that contain both words
+apple -macintosh find posts that contain the word "apple" but not "macintosh"
+(apple banana) -macintosh find posts that contain "apple" or "banana", but not "machintosh"
apple* find posts that contain "apple", "apples", "applesauce", "applet", etc.
"some words" find posts that contain "some words of wisdom", but not "some noise words"


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What are some hot-button topics?


There are certain subjects that, when discussed, invariably wind up in heated discussions that wind up causing hurt feelings and other problems. They shouldn't, but like a moth to a flame, it happens. Unless you have a very thick skin, it's suggested that you don't delve too much into the following subjects:



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