How to use Forumosa

If you are new to using web forums in general, and Forumosa.com in particular, please scan this page before you start using our website.

Sometimes, the decisions or actions by our moderators and administrators may seem odd, harsh, or lackadasical. More likely, we may (sincerely) forget that – as a new member – you would not be familiar with “the way things are done around here”. What seems blindingly obvious to me, may be quirky and unintuitive to you.

I hope the following notes help out, and save you from feeling that “the powers that be” don’t like you. They probably will like you, especially if you don’t ask them these questions

I will try to keep this up-to-date about: so please e-mail new questions and suggestions that belong here to me at admin @ forumosa.com

Gus “Goose Egg” Adapon
admin @ forumosa.com
January 2006

How “best” to use Forumosa.com

– an insider’s guide

SOME BASICS
How do I change my avatar? And what is an avatar, by the way?

DELETING POSTS
How do I delete my own post?
Why take a hard line about deleting posts?
My post is no longer meaningful, why keep it?
What is the proper way to remove my post?

SOMETHING IS MISSING
Where did my post go? Didn’t you say you do not like to delete anything?!
The Flame Forum? Can I see it so I can learn what not to do?

CAN’T FIND ANYTHING
The search function is useless! Can’t you do something about it?

How do I delete my own post?

Normally, you can’t. In fact, we actively discourage you from removing what you have written on our forums! If you were to “remove” your post by clicking the EDIT button, we might go so far as to ban you from ever posting the forums again!

Why take a hard line against deleting posts?

First, Forumosa strives to reflect the international community in Taiwan – as much as possible. What you post – however inane or strange it may seem – could (hopefully) stir a meaningful discussion, or affirm someone else’s thinking or experience. That said, there are some things that should not remain on Forumosa: please review the forum Rules for a clear idea of what I mean.

Second, removing your comments risks disrupting the “integrity” of a discussion. Some have even resorted to editing their comments so that the subsequent replies are rendered meaningless or nonsensical. Removing or editing posts this way and changing the meaning of the discussion is consdered “defacement” and is a clear example of what is against our rules

Since what you write is probably going to be left up there in perpetuity, please think carefully about what you will post.

Yeah, whatever, but my post is no longer relevant, so why leave it up there?

If your post is about your now-rented apartment or now-sold toaster oven, then you probably posted it in an area that automatically removes posts after a certain period of time.

I really need to remove the post – and I don’t want to be banned or anything – what can I do?

Write us at admin@forumosaYOURPANTS.com (don’t forget to remove YOURPANTS before writing to this address) – let us know exactly where the post is and why you so need to remove it. If you make sense, we’ll take it down. What is important to us is that you understand how seriously we feel about keeping thread discussions whole

Where did my post go? Didn’t you say you do not like to delete anything?!

I hope Forumosa.com becomes the most useful website about Taiwan… in English. Sometimes, posts appear that violate the rules, or at least, the spirit that the rules are designed to encourage. These posts will probably be removed. Moderators have wide discretion on what should stay or go in their forums – and usually, what goes are postings that break the rules or seem likely to provoke a personal attack.

Actually, we don’t usually delete them outright – we usually transfer them to a private and hidden forum called the Flame Forum. Storing them there reminds us who are problematic members.

The Flame Forum? Can I see it so I can learn what not to do?

The Flame Forum is hidden precisely because we do not believe its contents represent what Forumosa “is about”. If you want a clear understanding of what not to do, please read the Rules page and take note of the way most Forumosans write. Most do not seem to have a problem posting in the forums

The search function is useless! Can’t you do something about it?

Using the search function does seem pointless sometimes, doesn’t it? Either nothing shows up (and you are absolutely sure you saw whatever-you-were-looking-for mentioned on the forums some time ago) or too many results are returned.

Searching the forums can be challenging, but it is far from being useless. Usually, there are simple steps you can take that will help you search more efficiently and more effectively.

First, do not forget that there are several ways to conduct a search – there are “quick search” forms on the front of the website and within each forum, but there is a “full search” form located at forumosa.com/taiwan/search.php – this “advanced” search page can be reached by clicking on “Search” links that appear in the Sitemap at the bottom of every forum page, and at the top, too (if you are logged in). The big quick search form at the front of the website also has an “options” link that also takes you to the full search form

Next, give some thought about where you might find the answer you are looking for, and then narrow your search to that category or specific forum. Limiting the number of discussions the search function must filter to find what you need tremendously raises your chances of success.

At the same time, choose search terms carefully. As the forums grow, the software automatically builds a list of very often used words to add to it’s “ignore” list. These are words appear so often in our forums, that searching for them would not really be useful. For example, words like “the” and “and” could not produce meaningful searches, obviously. Not quite so obvious is that words like “Taiwan” or “Chinese” would also not be good search terms in Forumosa. Think about it.

Let us know your favorite methods and tips for searching on Forumosa. You can usually use Google to search Forumosa, but chances are, you may fall into the same traps if you don’t take care in “how” you search.

What is an avatar? How do I get one? And how do I change it once I have one – I couldn’t find the link to my profile… Where is it?

An “avatar” is an “icon representing a user” – a small picture or logo that appears below your name when you post on Forumosa. Specific dimensions and expectations about your avatar are described in our rules page.

Down in the SiteMap, click on either Forumosans.com Profile or Your Account

Posted in Forums