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Open Edit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-05 04:44 PM
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How to use this Forum
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Edited on Tue Nov-29-05 02:05 PM by 0007
Welcome to the Democratic Underground Research Forum. This is what we call an "Open Edit" forum, and it works in a completely different way than any other forum on our website. It works a little bit like a wiki, but it's been integrated with our forum software. If you are familiar with Democratic Underground, then you shouldn't have too much difficulty figuring out how this forum works.


About this Forum

What is an "Open Edit" forum?

In this forum, registered members of Democratic Underground can all edit any topic. That's why we call it an "Open Edit" forum -- because any member can edit any topic.

Appropriate topics for this forum

This forum is for collaborative research by members of Democratic Underground, on current topics relating to politics and public policy. This forum is not intended to be an exhaustive encyclopedia of everything. Please only use this forum for topics that have a practical interest to our members today. For example: Information about politicians or other individuals that are currently active in politics; Information about current events, or about events in recent history; or any other information that has immediate value to the members of this community.


Posting and Editing in this Forum

Starting a new topic

To start a thread in this forum, simply click the icon at the top of the forum that says "Post." You will be prompted to type a subject for the thread. When you click "Submit" a new topic will be created with that thread title, under the username "Open Edit." Next you will be taken to an edit screen where you can edit the topic.

The software will automatically insert some default text in the edit screen. You should first remove the text that says "This new topic is awaiting edits. It was started by (username)," so you can input your content there. (The "div" tag marked "talk" is the Talk Box. This is the area of the page where members can discuss changes to the page. See below for more information.)

While you are editing, note that there is an automatic "Edit Lock" placed on the thread. This Edit Lock blocks all other members from editing the thread while you are editing it. The Edit Lock lasts for 15 minutes, or until you click the "Post message" button. The edit screen will show in bold red text what time your 15-minute Edit Lock ends. Look for the words "Edit Lock Ends."

After you finish editing the topic, type a brief explanation for your edits in the space marked "Briefly explain your edits." Click "Post Message" just like you would with a normal discussion thread to publish your changes. The software will then update the topic with the text you provide. Your edits will update the first post in the thread, and they will also be saved as a reply to the original post.

Editing an existing topic

To edit an existing topic, first click the link to enter that topic. You will see the title and the current version of the topic. Click the small black "Edit" link in the bottom right corner of the message to go to the edit screen.

While you are editing, note that there is an automatic "Edit Lock" placed on the thread. This Edit Lock blocks all other members from editing the thread while you are editing it. The Edit Lock lasts for 15 minutes, or until you click the "Post message" button. The edit screen will show in bold red text what time your 15-minute Edit Lock ends. Look for the words "Edit Lock Ends."

The edit screen will show the current text for the topic. You can then edit the text yourself. After you finish editing the topic, type a brief explanation for your edits in the space marked "Briefly explain your edits." Click "Post Message" just like you would with a normal discussion thread to publish your changes.

The original post in the thread will be updated to show your changes, and your updates will also be saved as a response to the thread.

Browsing edits for a particular topic

To browse edits for a particular topic, first click the link to enter that topic. You will see the title and the current version of the topic. If you wish to browse edits individually click the "List Edits" link near the top of the page. You will then see a list of all the edits to that topic, chronologically, so you can click on each one. After listing edits, you can view all of the edits on the same screen by clicking the "View All Edits" link.


The Edit Lock function

In order to minimize the chances that people accidentally over-write each other's work, we have instituted a simple Edit Lock function.

While you are editing, there is an automatic "Edit Lock" placed on that thread. This Edit Lock blocks all other members from editing the thread while you are editing it. The Edit Lock lasts for 15 minutes, or until you click the "Post message" button. The edit screen will show in bold red text what time your 15-minute Edit Lock ends. Look for the words "Edit Lock Ends."

Other members can tell that a thread is in Edit Lock because it will show a small clock icon or in the forum listing. Note that the username of the person who is editing the thread displays next to the thread title (in parentheses). This information also shows in the top right-hand corner of the thread, in bold red text.

If you start editing a thread, but then change your mind and decide not to publish your edits, simply click the "Abort Edit Lock" button to exit the edit screen and remove the Edit Lock from the topic.


Keeping Things Organized

The Index Thread

We have pinned an index thread to the top of the Research Forum. It is right here.

When you add new information to the Research Forum, take a moment to add it to the Research Forum Index, under the appropriate category. And feel free to add new categories, as necessary.


Talking with Other Members & Resolving Disagreements

The "Talk Box"

Whenever you start a new topic, an area is set aside called the "Talk Box." It looks like this:

This is the Talk Box. If you don't see a gray box here, you need to click the reload/refresh button on your brower.


The Talk Box is provided so members have a place where you can discuss edits that you are making to a particular page. This is particularly useful for resolving disagreements between members, or for getting second opinions on possible changes for the page. To write in the Talk Box, just look for the talk box code in your edit screen:



Remove the default text between the two "div" tags and write your comments in that space. Remember to include your forum username with your comments. So, discussions will look something like this:

How do I use this Talk Box thingy? --Skinner

Just type between the "div" tags. --Elad


Fixing mistakes or malicious edits

If someone overwrites or screws up the text of a particular topic, it is not difficult to revert to a previous version. Simply browse all the edits for that topic and find the most recent version before the problematic edit. Click the small link in the bottom left corner of the post that says "View Code." This will display the code for that edit on your computer screen so you can copy it. Simply follow the instructions to edit the topic again and paste the code from the previous edit into the topic.

Dealing with disruptors

If someone deliberately erases or otherwise disrupts the Research Forum, simply click alert on one of their posts to let the moderators know. We can easily block members from this forum if they are not using it in a productive manner.


Browsing This Forum & Finding Information

We hope that members will use care when writing their topic titles, so information can be found relatively easily later. If you are looking for information, there are a few ways you can find it.

Search

Click the "Search" icon at the top of the forum to search the Research Forum. Try searching by thread title in order to improve your chances of finding what you're looking for.

Browse by most recent edits

In default forum view, the topics in this forum will be listed chronologically, with the most recently edited topics listed at the top of the forum. If for some reason they are out of order, you can click here to sort by last updated date. Remember that topics "kick" to the top of the forum whenever they are edited, so that is an easy way to keep track of which topics have been recently updated.

Browse by topic title

To sort the topics in this forum alphabetically by title, simply click the link at the top of the forum view that says "Discussion Topic". Or you can click here to sort by title. When topics are sorted alphabetically, you can easily browse topics like you would a dictionary or encyclopedia.


Research Forum Tips & Tricks

If you have any tips and tricks for the Research Forum, please feel free to post them here.

Templates

If you are creating anything resembling a list, there are templates available. The first is for alphabetical listings and is found here:
<http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... >

The second is for listings by state and is found here:
<http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... >

To use these templates simply post the code from these templates and paste it into your new thread body. They will provide an easy structure for your thread to grow upon.

achtung_circus
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