CONA Forums - Getting Started
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Welcome to the new CONA Discussion Forums

What is a Forum? Simple – it is an electronic meeting place where individuals can discuss, debate, and even vote on subjects of mutual interest.

The CONA Forums consist of a collection of user discussions organized into Forums, Threads and Posts.

What do these terms mean?

Forums are a collection of user comments (also called Posts) which are organized by Topic (also called a Thread). These terms will become clearer once you’ve started to use the system.
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Getting started: Registration.
There is limited public information available on the Forums. In order to access the CONA Members Only Discussions you will need to register with your own username.
Follow these steps:
1) Click on this link to start the registration process: http://conaforums.org/member.php?action=register
2) Click on “I Agree” to signify your agreement with the terms of use for the site
3) Enter your username – which is the name you will be identified by. This should be your real name, properly capitalized. For example, “John Smith” or “Mary Smith-Jones”
4) Enter a password of your choice (twice) along with your email address (twice)
5) Enter the characters from the image you see – this is used to avoid spammers
6) Enter your Neighborhood and whether you are an assigned CONA Representative for that neighborhood
7) The remainder of the registration information is optional
8) Click on “Submit Registration!”
A CONA site Administrator will review your registration request and you will be notified by email when it is approved.

Getting Started: Using the Forums
1) Go to www.conaforums.org – if you are not logged in you will only see those Forums that are visible to the public
2) Click on the “Login” link next to the “Hello There, Guest!” message
3) Enter your username and password and press the login button
4) Click on a forum of your choice
5) Discussion topics or "threads" within that forum are listed down the left hand side – click on a thread to view it
6) Threads are shown with the most recent post at the top and the previous comments/replies in reverse chronological order beneath it, so normally you will want to read from the bottom up. Post authors are identified by their name and all comments are dated and time-stamped

To comment on an existing forum thread:
1) Go to a forum and thread of interest as in (5) above
2) You can create a new post or respond to an existing post. To create a new post click “New Reply” in the upper right hand corner; to reply to a specific post within the existing thread click “Reply” beneath that post
3) Enter your comment in the box labeled “Your Message”
4) If you wish, you may subscribe to the thread - in which case you will get an email when a new post is added to the thread
5) Click “Preview Post” to preview your comment without publishing it
6) To post your comment to the board and make it live, click “Post Reply”

To start a new forum thread:
1) Go to the forum of your choice
2) Click “New Thread” at the top of the forum’s index page
3) In the “Thread Subject” field give your topic a clear and helpful title to enable others to quickly identify the nature of your discussion or inquiry
4) In the “Your Message” box enter the full text of your topic
5) When finished you can preview your topic with the “Preview Post” button if required
6) To make the topic live click “Post Thread”

Getting Started: Notification of new Information

To watch an existing discussion and receive email notification of new threads and/or posts - You can subscribe to Forums and/or individual Threads

Forums:
• Click “Subscribe to this forum” on the right hand side of any existing topic to be notified by email whenever comments are posted there by others
• To stop watching the topic click “Unsubscribe from this forum”

Threads:
• Click “Subscribe to this thread” at the bottom of the Thread page
• To stop watching the thread click “Unsubscribe from this thread”

To be notified of ALL new forum topics posted (regardless of subject/forum)
• Click on this link (you must be logged in): http://conaforums.org/usercp.php?action=options
-OR- Click on the User Control Panel (User CP) link if you’re already logged in
• Under Messaging and Notification select “Instant Email Notification” as the Default Thread Subscription Mode

Getting comfortable
A test forum has been set up so that you can get comfortable with creating new threads and posts and replying to posts of others. The Forum name is “Test Forum” and all posts will be deleted after 10 days. Feel free to use this as your training wheels for the new CONA Forums!
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