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Discussion Forum FAQ English (vBulletin, Finlander, Suku)

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Finlander and Suku?

This FAQ is written with two discussion forums in mind - both related in a way since both are used to discuss Genealogy and Finland.

The older one of these two is the Finlander forum, created by Hasse Nygård for SFHS in order to enable a discussion channel between emigrant descendants living outside Finland and relatives still living in Finland. The main language used on Finlander is English with a few subforums in Swedish.

In 2007 the Suku Forum was created to replace the Suku mailinglist managed by the Genealogical Society of Finland. Suku Forum is a discussion forum where the main languages are the national languages in Finland, ie. Finnish and Swedish. The name of the forum, "Suku", stems from the Finnisg word for "family" or perhaps better - "ancestry".

Since both forums are based upon the same software package this help file is intended to help members and visitors on both forums

/Hasse

How can I change the language of the forum

On every page you can find the "Quick Language Chooser" pull-down menu. Look for this in the down left corner of the forum page. Of course the label of the pull-down menu depends on which language you are using currently.

The registration - what does it mean

Only registered individuals may write messages to the forum. In order to get an identity on the forum one has to register, ie. create a user, choose an own secret password and inform the forum how one can be contacted. This means that everyone who is a member of the forum has to have a valid email address at all times. The forum and the web site owner will from time to time send emails to the email address. If the email address is unaccessible the account can be terminated.

  • Rules
  • Choice of name within this forum?
    • On this forum we require that all members must be recognisable (Suku). Thus the best would be if the user name you choose woud reflect your name, type "Jesse James". If you choose to use a nickname - then your proper name will be found in your profile . We recommend that you sign your messages with your proper name.
  • Your username and password...
    • When you have chosen your username (remember the recommendations!) please remember to write down the exact username and password combination you gave for further needs and store them in a secure place. Remember that the exact spelling is required with all the "dots and spaces", in the password also if you used capital characters or not. If you nevertheless have forgotten your password there is a password recovery mechanism that can be used during the login process. Please follow the instructions. The recovery process can work only if your email address is up-to-date, working and accepts emails from the forum.
  • My name wasn't accepted...
    • This can happen if the name you tried to enter during the registration process is already taken. If the name is a very common one it may be that somebody else already has registered the name. Otherwise - can it be that you have registered sometimes in the past yourself?
  • Why it is necessary to use ones proper email address...
    • The forum must be able to reach you via this email address. The working email address is not only used to get in to the forum, to be able to get registered. It is needed to stay registered.
  • The registraration doesn't accempt my email address...
    • On this forum we may have two restrictions activated. If you or somebody else already has registered using the same email address then your new registration will fail. One email address can be connected to one and only one user account. As a way of fighting the many spammers, email harvesters and other misuse of the forum we can remove the possibility of an automatic registration form free-of-charge email addresses. This means that often popular addresses like hotmail.com, yahoo.com, gmail.com may at time be banned from the automatic registration. Here you either have to use a commercial and thus traceable email address or contact the administator or moderators for a manual activation.

If you're banned from registering

As described in the previous chapter an e-mail address can be banned from automatic registration, maybe because your email provider is blacklisted. If this is the case you have to notify the and he will create the account manually. Please include the following information: user name wish, password wish, email account. Also include your reason for registering.

Login - what does it mean?

The forum needs to know who you are when you are trying to post messages to the forum. The process where you present yourself using the user name and password combination you selected during your registration is called the "login". You can see if you are logged in and recognized by the server if you see the "Welcome" (followed by your user name) - greeting in the top right of the web page.

  • Your username and password...

The forum is forgetting that I am logged in...

The most probable cause is that your browser's settings doesn't allow for cookies to be stored for this web site. Please check your browsers settings. If this is the case you will be asked for the password "too often". If the cookie settings are allowing for cookies from this forum and your browser is working ok it should be enough if you have logged in with your user name/password combination and crossed the selection "Remember me".

Private messages - what are they

Some messages may be to private to be posted to the forum and be read by averybody. These can be sent to another user using the private messaging (PM) system.

One rule is - private information such as addresses, phone numbers, information about living persons should be sent via PM. One simple rule is - don't post such information about your neighbour to the forum that you wouldn't like to read about yourself.

What is the recommended way of use

Everybody may use the forum in the way they like. But there is a few features that makes life easier. When you are logged in and the forum recognizes you as a member of the forum you may use the "New Posts" menue item or the "Today's Posts" in the "Quick Links" menu. Usin these commands you can see which messages have arrived since your last visit or within the last 23 hours. Frequent visitors can use the "Today's Posts" and more seldom visiting members may find the "New Posts" more suitable.

User Maintenance

This section contains lots of information about maintaining your own user profile, avatars and browsing options etc.

Why should I register?

In order to fully utilize the abilities of this forum, the administrator will probably require that you register as a member. Registration is free, and allows you to do the following:

  • Post new threads
  • Reply to other peoples' threads
  • Edit your posts
  • Receive email notification of replies to posts and threads you specify
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Enter events in the forum calendar
  • Set up a 'buddy-list' to quickly see which of your friends are currently online

To register, you will need to specify a username and password, and a valid email address. Entering your email address will not leave you open to 'spam', as you can choose to hide your email address, and messages sent to you via email do not reveal your address to the sender in any case. (To verify this, you can try sending an email message to another user.) The administrator may have configured the forum to send you the final part of the registration process by email, so ensure that the email address you provide is valid and working.

If you are under the age of 13, the administrator may require that a parent or guardian provides consent before allowing you to complete the registration process. More information about this is available during the registration process.

If your email address is not accepted or is banned?

There may be two limitations when registering. If somebody else already has registered using the email address you're trying to register, then the registration fails. One registration per email address is allowed.

In order to fight different spamming, phishing etc. some email server domains may be banned from automatic registering. Here we use commonly used blacklist -lists of problematic email domains and IP-numbers. Automatic registering from those email domains thus may be disabled and we have to do registrations manually or you have to use another email address, preferably commercial addresses. Please contact the administrator or the moderators in these cases, at the same time providing the necessary information: suggested username, password and email address.

Does this forum use cookies?

The use of cookies on this forum is optional, but may enhance your experience of the site. Cookies are used to enable functions such as showing whether or not a thread or forum you are viewing has new posts since your last visit, or to automatically log you back in when you return to the site after being away for a while. When you register, you will be given the option to 'Automatically login when you return to the site'. This will store your username and password in a cookie, stored on your computer. If you are using a shared computer, such as in a library, school or internet cafe, or if you have reason to not trust any other users that might use this computer, we do not recommend that you enable this. This forum also gives you the option to use a cookie to track your current session, ensuring that you remain logged-on while browsing the site. If you choose not to store this information in a cookie, the session data will be sent through each link you click. Choosing not to use a cookie may cause problems if your computer's connection to the Internet uses a proxy-server and you share links with other users behind the same proxy. If in doubt, we recommend that you select 'yes' to enable the cookie. After you have registered, you may alter your cookie options at any time by changing the settings on this page.

How do I clear my cookies?

You may clear all your cookies by clicking the link that can be found on the internal FAQ page of thr forum:

If you return to the main index page via the link provided and you are still logged in, you may have to remove your cookies manually.

In Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP:

  1. Click the "Tools" menu.
  2. Select "Internet Options" from the menu that appears.
  3. Click "Delete Cookies" on the dialog box that appears. It will be in the center area of the "General" tab.

In Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Click the "Tools" menu.
  2. Select "Options" from the menu that appears.
  3. From the dialog box, select "Privacy" on the left.
  4. Find "Cookies" on the main pane, and click the "Clear" button adjacent to it.

Your cookies should now be removed. You may want to restart the computer and revisit the forums to be sure.

How can I change the information in my profile?

It is your responsibility to keep the information in your profile up-to-date. You should especially ensure that your email address is kept current. You can alter any of the fields in your profile, except your username. Once you have registered your username, it becomes yours for life. In extreme circumstances, you may request that the administrator change your username, but he or she will require a very good reason to do so.

  • for Finlander forum - edit your profile here.
  • for Suku Forum - edit your profile here.

What is the signature for?

After you have registered, you may set your signature. This is a piece of text that you would like to be inserted at the end of all your posts, a little like having headed note paper.

If the administrator has enabled signatures, then you will have the option to include your signature on any posts you make. If you have specified a signature, then the forum will automatically append your signature to any messages you post. You can disable signatures on a per-post basis by un-ticking the 'Show Signature' checkbox when you compose your message.

You may turn the signature on and off on posts you have already made by editing the post and altering the state of the 'Show Signature' option.

You can set your signature by editing your profile.

I lost my password, what can I do?

If you forget your password, you can click on the 'Forgotten Your Password' link on any page that requires you to fill in your password.

This will bring up a page where you should enter your registered email address, and an email will be sent to that address instantly, with instructions for resetting your password.

  • for Finlander forum - resetting your password here.
  • for Suku Forum - resetting your password here.

How do I add a custom status to my profile?

If the administrator has enabled custom status titles, then you can specify the text you want to display by editing your profile and entering the text you want in the Custom User Text field.

How do I get a picture under my username?

These small images are called Avatars. They are displayed below your username on all posts that you make. There are two kinds of avatars: those provided by the administrator and those that you upload yourself.

If the administrator has provided a set of avatars, and avatars are enabled, you may select an avatar that best describes your personality.

The administrator may also have enabled custom avatars, which allows you to upload an avatar image from your computer.

  • Finlander Forum: For more information about avatars, click here.
  • Suku Forum: For more information about avatars, click here.

What are the buddy and ignore lists?

The buddy list is used to keep track of the friends you have made on this forum. By going to your "Open Buddy List" in "Quick Links" menu of the navbar, you'll be able to see which of your friends are currently online and send them a private message. Adding people to your buddy list also allows you to send private messages to multiple forum members at the same time. You may add any member of the forums to your buddy list by viewing their profile or by going to "Buddy / Ignore Lists" in your "User CP".

Ignore lists are used for those people whose messages you wish not to read. By adding someone to your ignore list, those messages posted by these individuals will be hidden when you read a thread.

General Forum Usage

Can I search the forum?

You can search for posts based on username, word(s) in the post or just in the subject, by date, and only in particular forums.

To access the search feature, click on the "search" link at the top of most pages.

You can search any forum that you have permission to search - you will not be allowed to search through private forums unless the administrator has given you the necessary security rights to do so.

Can I send email to other members?

Yes! To send an email to another member, you can either locate the member you want to contact on the member list, or click the Email button on any post made by that member.

This will usually open a page that contains a form where you can enter your message. When you have finished typing your message, press the [send email] button and your message will be sent instantly. Note that for privacy reasons, the email address of the recipient is not revealed to you during this process.

Note that if you can not find an email button or link for a member, it either means that the administrator has disabled email functions for this forum, or that the member in question has specified that they do not wish to receive email from other members of the forum.

Another useful email function is the ability to send a friend a link to a thread you think they may find interesting. Whenever you view a thread, you will find a link somewhere on the page which will allow you to send a brief message to anyone you like. Your referrerid is added to the link you send, so if your friend registers on this forum as a result of viewing the link you sent to them, your referrals total will automatically be credited!

Registered members may also be able to send messages to other members of this forum using the private messaging system. For more information about private messaging, click here.

What is Private Messaging?

If the administrator has enabled the Private Messaging system, registered members may send each other private messages. This is not, however, the main way of using the discussion forum - only an exeption.

Sending Private Messages

Private messages work a little like email, but are limited to registered members of this forum. You may be able to include vB Code, smilies and images in private messages that you send.

You may send a private message to a member of this forum by clicking the 'Send A Private Message' link in the private messaging section of your user control panel, or by clicking the Send Private Message button in a member's posts.

When you send a message, you have the option to save a copy of the message in your Sent Items folder.

Private Message Folders

By default, you will have two folders in your private message area. These are the Inbox and the Sent Items folders.

The Inbox folder contains any new messages you receive, and allows you to view all the messages you have received, along with the name of the person who sent the message to you, and the date and time the message was sent.

The Sent Items folder contains a copy of any messages that you have sent, where you have specified that you wish to keep a copy of the message for future reference.

You may create additional folders for your messages by clicking the 'Edit Folders' link.

Each folder has a set of message controls which allow you to select messages, then either move them to one of your custom folders, or delete them completely. You may also have a button which allows you to forward multiple messages from a folder to another member of the forum.

You will need to periodically delete old messages, as the administrator has probably set a limit to the number of private messages you can have in your folders. If you exceed the number of messages specified by the administrator, you will not be able to send or receive new messages until you delete some old messages.

Whenever you read a message, you will have the option to reply to the message, or forward that message to another member of the forum. You may also have the ability to forward that message to multiple members of your buddy list.

Message Tracking

When you send a new private message, you may have the option to request a read-receipt for that message. This will allow you to check whether or not a message has been read by its recipient by viewing the Private Message Tracking page.

This page is divided into two sections: unread messages and read messages.

The unread messages section shows all messages that you have sent with a read-receipt request, that have not yet been read by their recipient.

The read messages section shows all messages you have sent with a receipt request that have been read and acknowledged by their recipient. The time that the message was read is also shown.

You may choose to end the tracking on any message you choose by selecting the message and clicking the end tracking button.

When you receive a message with a read-receipt request, you may have the option to read the message while denying the read-receipt request. To do this, simply click the 'deny receipt' link rather than the title of the message, if it appears.

Posting messages

Members of the discussion forum may post new questions and post replies to existing message threads. To be able to post you have to be logged in. This way the software knows who is writing the message.

Posting a new question is easy:

  • select the suitable sub forum from the list of subforums on the home page of the discussion forum
  • click the button "New Thread" to create a new message thread, ie. a new subject within the sub forum
  • enter the subject line and message into the proper fields
  • Save and send the message with the proper below the message field

Posting an answer is easy:

  • locate the message you want to comment
  • click the button "Reply" to create a message/comment
  • enter/modify the subject line and message into the proper fields
  • Save and send the message with the proper below the message field
  • you may also quote the message you are commenting. In that case use the "Quote" -button instead of the "reply" button. (Don't erase the [quote] and [/quote] tags that surround the quoted message!)

How do I use the Members List?

The member list contains a complete list of all the registered members of this forum. You can view the member list ordered alphabetically by username, by the date that the member joined the forum, or by the number of posts the members have made.

The member list also has a search function, which allows you to quickly locate members according to categories you specify, such as searching for all members who have joined in the past week etc.

Note that the members list is now viewable to persons not logged in!

How do I use the calendar?

The calendar functions in a way similar to the forums in that there can be multiple calendars. One calendar could hold just events that you are able to see, while another may list birthdays.

There are two types of events on the calendar: normal events and recurring events.

Normal Events span the time frame from when the event starts until the event ends.

Recurring Events repeat over a set period of time based on certain criteria. Examples would be an event that occurs on the first Monday of every month and an event that occurs every Monday and Wednesday.

The administrator may have enabled registered members to post events, but usually this is not the case. You can most likely post your own private events that are only viewable to you.

Birthdays may be shown on the calendar if the administrator has enabled this feature. Your birthday will automatically be shown on the calendar if you have entered the date of your birthday in your profile. Note: if you do not enter the year of your birth when you edit your profile, your age will not be shown on the calendar.

If you enter your birthday, your name will also appear on the main forum page when it is your birthday.

What are announcements?

Announcements are special messages posted by the administrator or moderators. They are designed to be a simple one-way communication with the users. If you wish to discuss announcements, you will have to create a new thread in the forum, since you cannot reply to announcements.

How do I rate a thread?

You may find a small menu on thread pages which allows you to 'rate this thread' with a number between 1-5.

Casting a vote for threads you view is entirely optional, but if you think that the thread is superb, you might rate it as a 5-star thread, or if you think that it's unspeakably dismal, you might choose to rate the thread with a single star.

Once enough votes have been cast for the thread rating, you may see a set of stars appear with the title of the thread in the thread listings. These stars reflect the average vote cast, and can allow you to quickly see which threads are worth reading if you are on a very busy forum with a lot of threads.

What are referrals?

The administrator may have enabled referrals, which allows you to be credited for any new users you invite to the forum.

You gain referrals by promoting the Forum using your unique referral link. The link you should use as your referral link is this:

http://finlander.genealogia.fi/index.php?referrerid=1
http://suku.genealogia.fi/index.php?referrerid=1

Each time someone follows this link and registers as a new member, your referral count will be incremented by one. The number of referrals you have can be viewed in your profile.

Your administrator will have more information on any prizes or rewards that may be given out for referrals. Please be courteous when promoting Suku Forum by not spamming other web sites with your referral link just to gain referrals.

What are the various thread display options?

When viewing a thread, you will be able to view the thread from a choice of four modes.

  1. Linear Mode (Oldest First) - In this mode, posts are displayed chronologically from oldest to newest. Posts are shown in a flat mode so that many posts can be viewed simultaneously.
  2. Linear Mode (Newest First) - This is the same as the above mode, except that posts are ordered in an opposite way (newest first).
  3. Threaded Mode - In this mode, a tree is shown along with every post. This tree allows you to see the relationship each post has to others, in terms of who responded to whom. Only one post is shown at a time.
  4. Hybrid Mode - This mode is a mixture of the linear and threaded modes. The post tree is displayed like in the threaded mode, but multiple posts are displayed simultaneously like in the linear modes.

Where can I find the RSS feed?

The administrator may have enabled RSS syndication, this allows you to view newly created threads in guest viewable forums without visiting the board.

The feeds are currently provided in two formats, RSS and RSS v2. The differences are as follows:

  • RSS 0.91 - This feed is based on a standard written by netscape and provides a link and the title of the thread.
     http://finlander.genealogia.fi/external.php?type=rss
     http://suku.genealogia.fi/external.php?type=rss
  • RSS 2.0 - This feed contains title, author, date and the contents of the first post of the thread.
     http://finlander.genealogia.fi/external.php?type=rss2
     http://suku.genealogia.fi/external.php?type=rss2

To add this to MyYahoo click here.

The forums to which this applies can also be limited to specific guest viewable forums by adding another parameter to the URL containing the forumids as follows:

http://finlander.genealogia.fi/external.php?type=rss2&forumids=123
http://suku.genealogia.fi/external.php?type=rss2&forumids=123

If you would like the content to be generated for multiple forums you can separate the forumids by commas. Reading and Posting Messages

Are there any special codes/tags I can use to format my posts?

For the most part, your posts will contain plain text, but on occasions, you may want to emphasize certain words or phrases by making them (for example) bold or italic.

Depending on the rules of the forum, you may use HTML code to produce these effects. However, more often than not, the administrator will have disabled HTML code, and opted instead to use vB Code: a special set of tags which you can use to produce the most popular text-effects. vB code has the advantage that it is very simple to use, and is immune to malicious javascripts and page layout disruption.

You may also find that the administrator has enabled smilies, which allow you to use small icons to convey emotion, and the [img] code, which allows you to add pictures to your message.

  • Finlander Forum: For more information about vB code, click here.
  • Suku Forum: For more information about vB code, click here.

What is email notification?

If you post a new thread, or reply to an existing thread, you can choose to be notified by email when someone else replies to that thread. You can also choose to receive email notifications of new posts in a thread without posting in that thread, by clicking the 'Subscribe to this thread' link displayed in the thread page.

If you choose to stop receiving email notifications from a thread, you can turn off the option by either editing your post, or by unsubscribing from the thread here:

Only registered users may receive email notification, and they can set whether they want to receive email notification by default by editing their options.

Email notification is also referred to as 'Thread Subscription'.

What are smilies?

Smilies are small graphical icons which you can insert into your messages to convey an emotion or feeling, such as a joke or embarrassment. For example, if you entered a sarcastic comment, rather than type 'that was a joke', you could simply insert the 'wink' smilie.

If you have used email or internet chat systems, you will probably be familiar with the concept of smilies already. Certain combinations of text characters are converted into smilies. For example,:) is converted into a smiling face. To understand smilie codes, tilt your head to the left and look at the text: you will see that :) represents two eyes and a smiling mouth.

  • For a list of the smilies currently used by Finlander forum, click here.
  • For a list of the smilies currently used by Suku forum, click here.

On occasions, you may want to prevent the text in your message being converted into smilies. You will see a checkbox which you can select when you make a new post, which will allow you to 'Disable Smilies'.

Code Buttons and Clickable Smilies

These controls allow you to quickly and easily enter vBcode into your posts and messages. To use them, simply click the appropriate buttons or select items from the lists to enter vBcode.

There are three editor modes available: Basic, Standard and Enhanced mode. When using the Basic editor, there are no vBcode buttons to assist your editing. You must enter any vBcode markup manually in this editor.

When using Standard mode, highlight the text you wish to modify and press the appropriate button. This will place the proper vBcode tags around the selected text. Pressing a button while not having any selected text, will insert vBcode tags at your cursor. You may then enter your text between the tags.

When using the Enhanced mode, pressing a button will modify any highlighted text. This mode is a WYSIWYG mode, What You See Is What You Get, whereas your final post appears the same while being edited. Clicking a button while having no text selected will not have any effect.

To use the clickable smilies, simply click the smiley that you want to insert into your message, or click the Show All Smilies link (if available) to access the full list of smilies.

How do I create and vote in polls?

You may notice that some threads on this forum also include a section where you can vote on an issue or question. These threads are called 'polls' and this is how to create them:

Creating a new poll

When you post a new thread, you may have the option to also create a poll.

This function allows you to ask a question and specify a number of possible responses. Other members will then be able to vote for the response they wish, and the results of the voting will be displayed in the thread.

An example poll might be:

What is your favorite color?

  1. . Red
  2. . Blue
  3. . Yellow
  4. . Green
  5. . Sky-blue pink with yellow spots

To create a poll when you post a new thread, simply click the 'Yes! post a poll' checkbox at the bottom of the page, and set the number of possible responses you want to include.

When you click the submit button, you will be taken to the poll creation page, where you can specify the question and the list of responses you want to include.

You may also want to specify a time limit for the poll, so that (for example) it only stays open for voting for a week. Voting in and viewing a poll

To vote in a poll, simply select which option you want to vote for, and click the [Vote!] button. You may view the current results for a poll before you vote by clicking the 'View Results' link. Voting in a poll is entirely optional. You may vote for any of the available options, or cast no vote at all.

Generally, once you have voted in a poll, you will not be able to change your vote later, so place your vote carefully!

What Are Attachments?

The administrator may allow you to use the attachment feature of this forum, which gives you the ability to attach files of certain types to your posts. This could be an image, a text document, a zip file etc. There will be a limit to the file size of any attachments you make.

To attach a file to a new post, simply click the [Manage Attachments] button at the bottom of the post composition page, and locate the file that you want to attach from your local hard drive.

After posting, the image attachments may display a thumbnail, depending on the forum settings. To view the contents of the attachment (if it is not already displayed) simply click the filename link that appears next to the attachment icon.

What are message icons?

The administrator may have enabled message icons for new threads, posts and private messages. Message icons allow you to specify a small icon to accompany your posting, which is used to convey the emotion or content of a post at a glance. If you do not see a list of message icons when you are composing your message or post, the administrator has disabled the option.

Can I edit my own posts?

If you have registered, you will be able to edit and delete your posts. Note that the administrator can disable this ability as he desires. Your ability to edit your posts may also be time-limited, depending on how the administrator has set up the forum.

To edit or delete your posts, click the button by the post you want to edit. If your post was the first in the thread, then deleting the post may result in the removal of the entire thread.

After you have made your modifications, a note may appear, which notifies other users that you have edited your post. Administrators and moderators may also edit your messages but this note may not appear when they do so.

What Are Moderators?

Moderators oversee specific forums. They generally have the ability to edit and delete posts, move threads, and perform other manipulations. Becoming a moderator for a specific forum is usually rewarded to users who are particularly helpful and knowledgeable in the subject of the forum they are moderating. == Why have some of the words in my post been blanked? Certain words may have been censored by the administrator. If your posts contain any censored words, they will be blanked-out like this: *****.

The same words are censored for all users, and censoring is done by a computer simply searching and replacing words. It is in no way 'intelligent'.

General Forum Usage

Reading and Posting Messages


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