Use the links or search box below to learn more about GARDENAWAY.
Forums, Discussions and Posts
What is a forum?
A forum is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'board' or 'bulletin board'. It may contain several categories, consisting of sub-forums, discussions and individual posts.
How is all this structured?
The bulletin board as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain discussions (conversations on a topic) which are made up of individual posts (where a user writes something).
The board home page has a list of categories and forums, with basic statistics for each - including the number of discussions and posts, and which member posted the most recent message.
How do I find my way around?
When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of discussions it contains. A discussion is a conversation between members. Each discussion starts out as a single post and grows as more individual posts are added by different users. Discussions can be rated (?) to show how useful or popular they are and may contain polls (?).
To start a new discussion simply click on the 'Start New Discussion' button . You must be a member of GARDENAWAY.
Discussions can be ordered in many different ways. The default is to have the discussion with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the discussion with the most posts at the top, or the highest rating. Simply click on the appropriate column heading at the top of the list of discussions (Discussion, Discussion Starter, Rating, Last Post, Replies or Views). You can also reverse the sorting order by clicking the arrow next to the name of the active option. (Note that 'sticky' discussions will always be at the top no matter how you change the viewing options).
When there are more discussions to display than will fit on a single page, you may see the 'Page' box, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of discussions has been split over two or more pages.
This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the board.
What are sticky discussions?
'Sticky' discussions are created by moderators or administrators (?), and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.
How do I read a discussion?
To read a discussion, click on its title. Each post in a discussion is created by a member or a guest. You'll see some brief information about the member who created the discussion above the main post message. In some cases it will be to the side of the post.
To post a reply to an existing discussion, click on the 'Post Reply' button. If the 'Post Reply' button does not appear, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, or that the discussion has been closed to new replies.
If enabled, there will also be a 'Quick Reply' box where you can quickly enter a reply without having to go to the 'Post Reply' page. You may need to click the quick reply button in a post to activate the quick reply box before you can type into it.
On long discussions you may want to change how the posts are ordered. For more on different ways to view and navigate discussions, click (?).
Is there a faster way to get to forums?
If you know which forum you want to go to, you can use the 'Quick Navigation' control, which appears at the bottom of many pages within the board.
How do I find out more about members?
To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to their public profile page (?).
What is the Navigation Bar?
The navigation bar at the top of every page has links to help you move around. A 'breadcrumb' area at the top left shows where you are now. A form on the right allows you to quickly login. With one click you can reach areas such as: My Settings (?), Help (which you are reading now), the Calendar (?), Search options (?) and Quick Links (?) to other useful features.
You are required to join GARDENAWAY in order to use all the features of the forum. Being registered gives you an identity on the board, a fixed username on all messages you post and an online public profile.
Registration is free, and offers an extended range of features, including:
- Posting new discussions
- Replying to other peoples' discussions
- Editing your posts
- Receiving email notification of replies to posts and discussions you specify
- Sending private messages to other members
- Creating albums of photos and comment on others' photos
- Adding events to the forum calendar
- Setting up a 'contact list' to quickly see which of your friends are online.
How do I register?
You register by clicking on the 'Join GARDENAWAY!' link at the top of the page. You will be asked to choose a user name, password and enter a valid email address. In addition there will be some other fields to which you will be invited to respond. Some will be mandatory while others are optional. Once this is complete you will either be fully registered, or in some cases you may have to click on a link in an 'activation email' sent to your email address. Once you have done this you will be registered.
Note that entering your email address will not leave you open to 'spam', as you can choose to hide it from other board users. You'll probably be able to allow other registered users to contact you via email, but the system won't display your email address to them unless you give permission.
If you are under the age of 13, the administrator may require that a parent or guardian provide consent before allowing you to complete the registration process. More information about this is available during the registration process.
Searching Forums and Discussions
How do I search for something?
To quickly find a discussion or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Search' link in the navigation bar at the top of most forum pages. Then, type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search for, and select either 'Show Discussion' or 'Show Posts' to view the results. By selecting posts, you will be shown only the actual post in which the search word appears.
For more control over the search, select 'Advanced Search' from the drop-down box. The advanced search page allows you to restrict your search to individual forums, find posts or discussions by user, or return results based on tags (?). There are also options to find posts from a certain date, or discussions with a certain number of replies.
How do I search a specific forum or discussion?
If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a discussion or post within it by clicking on the 'Search this forum' link near the top of the page (it's above the list of discussions). You can also search for individual posts within a discussion by clicking on the 'Search this Discussion' link at the top of any discussion view page.
What are announcements?
Announcements are special messages posted by the administrator or moderators. They are a simple one-way communication with the users and you can't reply. If you wish to discuss announcements, you will have to create a new discussion in the forum.
Announcements are displayed at the top of forum listing pages, above regular and sticky discussions.
How can I see the latest posts?
There are two ways to quickly view recently created or updated discussions.
If you are not logged in, the 'today's posts' link will show a list of all discussions that have been created or updated in the last 24 hours.
If you are logged in, the 'Today's Posts' link will change to 'New Posts', which gives you a listing of all discussions that have been created or updated since your last visit.
What are ratings?
The forums allow you to rate discussions between 1 star (terrible) and 5 stars (excellent). Once enough votes are cast for a discussion, stars will appear next to its name in the listings. These show the average vote, and can be an easy way to see which discussions are worth reading if you are on a busy forum.
On the forum viewing page you can also arrange discussions by rating, with either the highest or lowest at the top.
It therefore makes sense to rate discussions because it helps all users. To do this, click on the 'rate discussion' link at the top of the discussion viewing page. Choose the number of stars you feel best represents the quality of the discussion. You may or may not be able to change your choice of rating at a later date.
What are discussion tools?
At the top of each discussion, there is a link called 'Discussion Tools'. By clicking on this link, a menu will appear with a number of options:
- Show Printable Version - this will show you a page with the discussion post content in a reduced graphics format that is more 'printer friendly'.
- Email this Page - if you think the discussion may be interesting to someone else, you can forward a link to it to their email address.
- Follow (or Unfollow) from this Discussion - by following a discussion, you will receive periodic email updates on recent activity within it. Click here for more information on subscriptions.
- Adding a Poll - if you started the discussion, you can add a poll to it with this option. Click here for more information on polls.
What is 'Automatic Login'?
When you register (and also when you login using the form at the top of the screen), you will be given the option to 'Remember Me'. This will store your identity securely in a cookie 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 recommend you do not enable this.
How do I clear cookies?
You can clear all your cookies set by the forum by clicking the 'logout' link at the top of the page. In some cases, 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: Click the 'Tools' menu. Select 'Internet Options' from the menu that appears. Click 'Delete Cookies' on the dialog box that appears. It will be in the center area of the 'General' tab.
In Internet Explorer 7: Click the 'Tools' menu. Select 'Internet Options' from the menu that appears. Click 'Delete...', beneath 'Browsing History' on the dialog box that appears. It will be in the center area of the 'General' tab. Click 'Delete cookies...' on the next dialog box that appears.
In Firefox: Click the 'Tools' menu. Select 'Options' from the menu that appears. From the dialog box, select 'Privacy' on the left. Find 'Cookies' on the main pane, and click the 'Clear' button adjacent to it.
In Safari: Go to Preferences, Security, then show Cookies and either select 'Remove all' or select individual cookies and then the 'Delete' button.
In Opera: Go to Tools, Preferences, Advanced, Cookies, Manage cookies then select the name of this site and click the 'Delete' button.
Your cookies should now be removed. You may want to restart the computer and revisit the forums to be sure.
Other browsers may have a different method of clearing cookies. Refer to the documentation for your own browser if you are unsure.
I forgot my password. What can I do?
If you forget your password, you can click on the 'Forgotten Your Password' link. This will appear on any page that requires you to fill in your password.
This link brings up a page where you should enter your registered email address. An email will be sent to that address shortly, with instructions for resetting your password.
Since passwords are encrypted, there is no way to resend your original password. This option provides you with the ability to reset your password.
You must be able to receive emails to your registered email address for this to work. You may need to check your spam filters and folder if you do not see this email in a few minutes.
What is the Members List?
The members list shows the registered members of the board. Providing the administrator allows this, you can view the member list ordered alphabetically by username, by the date they joined, by the number of posts they have made or by reputation (?).
To view the members list, click on 'Members' under the People navigation bar at the top of the page.
To quickly find a particular member, click on the 'Search Members' link and type a username (or partial username) into the box. For further search options - including searching based on join date, post count or home page - click on 'Advanced Search' on the search menu.
Are all members listed?
Some members may not be on the list. The administrator has options over who is shown on the list. They may, for example, omit members who have not made many posts or who belong to certain user groups.
What are Your Notifications?
When you have logged into the board, a link to 'Your Notifications' may be displayed in the 'Welcome' box near the top of the forum. 'Your Notifications' will show if you have any one of the following:
- Unread Private Messages (?)
- Unread Profile Visitor Messages (?)
- Profile Visitor Messages Awaiting Approval
- Incoming Friend Requests (?)
- Requests to Join Your Groups (?)
- Invitations to Join Groups
- Unread Photo Comments (?)
- Photo Comments Awaiting Approval
By clicking on the 'Your Notifications' link, you will be able to quickly see how many of each type you have received. Clicking on any of the links in the menu will take you to the relevant page from My Settings or elsewhere in the system.
If there are no notifications, then this link will be replaced by a link to 'Private Messages' (?).
Can I email other members?
Yes. To send an email to another member, you can either find them on the member list, or choose the Send Email option from the username menu in any post they have written.
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.
Can I see email addresses?
For privacy reasons, the recipient's email address is not revealed to you during this process.
Why can't I send an email to someone?
If you cannot find an email button or link for a member, it means either that the administrator has disabled email functions for this forum, or that the member has said that they do not wish to receive email from other members.
Can I email a link to a friend?
Another useful email function is the ability to send a friend a link to a discussion you think they may find interesting. Whenever you view a discussion, you will find a link somewhere on the page which will allow you to send a brief message to anyone you like. Your referrer ID 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.
Dealing with Troublesome Users
Can I block posts, emails and messages from specific users?
If there are particular members that bother you and you do not want to see their posts or receive Private Messages and Emails from them, then you can add these members to your 'Ignore List'. There are several ways to do this:
What if I see something offensive?
You will find 'Report' links in many places throughout the board. These links allow you to alert the GARDENAWAY staff to anything which you find to be offensive, objectionable or illegal.