We've finally found a message board software provider that allows posting and voting in polls without the need to register. Many people are understandably reluctant to disclose personal details on the internet and most providers seem to require more than seems strictly necessary.
Our goal has always been to provide a means for bridge players to discuss hands and exchange ideas, with the minimum amount of fuss. We think this provider has the best solution.
If you're happy to just browse the board and vote in polls, with maybe the occasional post, then registration isn't needed. However we don't want to put you off registration altogether, as there are significant advantages in becoming a member - we've set them out below.
Basic tips on using the messageboardViewing threads: Just click on the thread title in the thread index to view the original post and all its replies. If you are a registered member, the "unread icon" next to the thread title will then disappear from the thread index page. This enables you to see at a glance which threads have been read or unread by you. The icon will be redisplayed after a new reply has been added to a thread.
If you click on the unread icon itself, it will take you to the first post that you haven't yet read, rather than the first post in the thread - very useful in a long thread, where you're not sure yourself where you're up to!
There are a number of different options as to what order threads are displayed in each forum. You can choose between:
N.B. If you click on the actual number of replies in each thread, a popup will tell you who has posted in that thread and how many times.
On the main page (forum index) there are links in the last column to "First Unread" and "Last Post", so that you can go directly either to the first post that's unread by you, or the last post made in that forum. The menu on the left contains links to the last 5 posts made on the board. These shortcuts and the "quick jump" box on the thread listing page, make navigation anywhere around the board very quick and easy.
Voting: Click on your chosen option and then click the "Vote" button.
Posting a message: Click on the "Add Reply" link (or the "New Discussion" link if you want to start a new topic) and the message posting screen will appear. If you are registered and logged in, your username will automatically be displayed on the posting screen. Otherwise, you will see a blank space there, so just type in the username of your choice - it can be either your real name or a "screen name" as it's called.
Type your message in the message area and then click the "Submit" button.
As an unregistered user, you won't be able to either edit or delete your message, so please bear that in mind when posting. You can preview your message first though before finally submitting it.
More about postingThere are some interesting posting accessories, which you will see when you click on the "New Discussion" or "Add Reply" links.
If you wish, you can insert an "emoticon" from the drop down list at any point in your message - you just need to click the one you want.
Then there are the codes, which you will find in the "Select a Code" box and which give you options to quote text, or make it colored, bold, italic or underlined. You can also include a link to a web page or email address. The "Hidden Text" code is used to post text that is not immediately visible. To read it, viewers have to click the Hidden Text box and "highlight" the text with the mouse. This is a useful tool if, for instance, everyone is posting their solutions to a bridge problem and they don't want to "give the show away" too soon.
The Bbcodes are accessed (as are the emoticons), via a drop down select menu. To use a code, just click on it and the appropriate opening and closing tags will appear in the message window. For example, suppose you want to make some text bold. If you click on the "bold" code, this is what will appear in the message window:
Just type the text you want to be bold inbetween the two bracketed bold tags. All of the codes can be used in this way. You can also use more than one code at once: for example, if you want some text to be bold and underlined, this is what the finished text would look like on the posting screen:
[B][U]This text is bold and underlined[/U][/B]
UPDATE: You can now apply codes to selected text: simply select the text you wish to format and then click on the code(s) you want, one at a time. For instance, you might want to make one word bold, colored and underlined. If you select the word with your mouse (so that it's highlighted), you can then click on each code you want, i.e. Bold, Color and Underline and the system will place all necessary tags around the word so that it appears like this.
Here is a full list of the codes and what they do:
The "Select Action" boxIn each message in a thread you will see a drop down "Select Action" box. These are some of the options listed there:
The "Search" featureThe search feature is extremely powerful and fast, enabling you to search by keyword or username in any (or all) forums, in virtually any time frame you wish to name. For instance, if you wished to find all posts about "Lebensohl" made at any time on the board, you would select all the forums and set your time frame to "5 hours ago and older", with the keyword "Lebensohl". On the other hand, if you wished to find posts made by bridgeaddict in the Bridge Table forum during the past week, you would just select that forum and set your time frame to "1 week ago and newer", with the username "bridgeaddict".
User Control Panel (Options)Here you can edit your profile and various other user controlled settings, including your time zone and preferred date display.
A couple of useful options are for users to choose to see new posts only and to return to the forum after replying, rather than the thread
Receiving and Replying to Posts by EmailYou can elect to receive all posts by email if you wish and you can also reply to them by email. Information about this can be found HERE.