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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Top 10 tips for's Forum

Posted in: Community
By Matt Akersten - 22nd February 2009

Our Forum is always buzzing with news and views from around LGBT Aotearoa - and we want you to get the most out of it.'s Forum has almost 700 active members who discuss LGBT events, debate gay issues, share photos, post video clips and just chat about their lives.

So whether you're an active Forum poster, dip in occasionally, or just 'lurk' there absorbing all the info, you're very welcome here - and below are a few tips to help you along the way.

1) Joining up

You can read all the posts on our Forum without joining up, but to add to the conversation with your own posts, you need to register as a new member. This is FREE and surprisingly easy. Register using the link at the very top of each Forum page… just pick a username and password, and you're on your way. You can provide as much or as little info as you like.

2) General goodness

Not so much 'rules' as suggestions for making sure your views are understood and respected.

1) Please write in fully formed sentences, and use paragraph breaks for long postings. Avoid txtspk plz, and abbreviations that are likely to not be understood by everyone.

2) If you're not into a topic/thread, just move on... don't post things like 'boring!' or 'I can't believe you're still talking about this!' Seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? But we're surprised how often this sort of thing happens.

3) Try not to wander too far off a thread's topic. Don't be afraid to start a new thread on something else!

3) Getting to know you

We love it when new people come onto the Forum and new friends are made. We've even started Forum Meet-Up events in Auckland and Wellington (we'll let you know when the next ones are… with a Forum topic!).

There are several ongoing threads which are particularly good for new people to add to. 'What's one thing you did today' and 'True or False' in the General Forum Area, and 'What's everyone listening to?' in the 'TV, Movies, Music etc' category.

We're looking forward to learning more about you!

4) Polling

When you're in a Forum category, look across to the top right and you'll see you can 'post new poll'.

Go ahead and ask a question, giving a few options for other Forum members to select from. It's a great way to find out more about our community, and to check how many people agree with your views. You need to be logged in to be able to create or vote in a poll.

5) Adding pictures to your posts

Now there are whole threads of mostly pictures and hardly any words… but there are still people who don't know how to post them.

You'll need a photo hosting website like or They're free to join, then you upload your photos. Each uploaded photo will have an 'image posting code' like this: [IMG][/IMG]

Just insert the codes into your posts wherever you want them. Dazzle us!

Please don't post pictures of anything dodgy. You know what we mean. Porn, gore… that kind of thing. We want our website to remain as broadly accessable - a PG-13 rather than R18, as we know there are many younger folks who like to look in on what we're up to.

And hey, only link to images that are no bigger then say 200kb. Some of our members are on dialup and BIG photos delay the page loading.

6) Linking to other webpages

There are a couple of options of adding links to your posts. You can just type in the url… or alternatively click the button that looks like this:


And you get this:


Then, say you want your text to say 'Look at this' and the website link is, you need to make the url link code look like this:

[url=]Look at this[/url]

It'll appear underlined, and will open the link in another window when people click the text. No advertising or commercial links though please!

7) The Law

We appreciate and defend your free speech. But there are a few things no-one can allow on any Forum, as they can get us into a legal mess:

1) Don't 'out' people. And please don't make claims about dodgy things people get up to… this is called 'defamation'.

2) Don't post links to illegal file downloads – eg. Music or video sharing sites.

If you see a posting which you think might be a problem or could violate our User Agreement, please click into ‘report to moderator' shown on the bottom right of each post when you're logged in. We appreciate your help!

8) Seeking people

From time to time we get people who are actively looking for love/sex via our Forum. Please don't! It's not the best place to do it - our Dating section has hundreds of personal ads for you to scroll through. Browse around in there and we hope you'll find what you're looking for.

If you're seeking a flat or flatmate, you're welcome to post that on our Forum, but remember you're also able to advertise flatting situations free via our dating section too.

Jobs and jobseekers are also welcome to post their stuff on the Forum. Be as specific as possible in your post about what you want and who you need.

Your LGBT events are fine to post about too - just don't be too pushy and annoying with reminders about them… and bring a thick skin, as some posters get quite harsh events that don't live up to their expectations.

Remember you can reply discretely to any post by sending the poster a private Message. Just click their Forum name to the left of their post. The poster will see your message, but no one else will.

9) Sharing YouTube clips

People love sharing their favourite YouTube clips, so we've made sure it's very easy to make them appear in your Forum posts. Simply click the 'YouTube' square above the emoticons and where you type. [youtube][/youtube] will appear – simply insert the link to the YouTube clip you want into the space between the middle brackets… like this: . [youtube] [/youtube]


The clip will then appear when you post. Well done!

There's a couple of troubleshooting pointers though. If you are looking at the 'NZ' version of YouTube, make sure the start of your link looks like this: not this: Also, some clips can't be embedded – it will say 'Embedding disabled by request' beside the 'Embed' code in the YouTube clip's details. You can still post a link to the clip for people to follow.

10) Playing nice

Sometimes we think there are two types of people on the Forum: those who see themselves as "the voice of reason" and those who like to "ruffle feathers and make people think". Both have their place, and the arguments between them can make interesting reading… until they get down to personal insults. Abusing other Forum members goes against our User Agreement and will lead your entire post to be edited out by our moderators.

We hope you'll agree that our Forum is a better place if we agree to not harass and insult others when we give our views. Have a look at our User Agreement for more information on the best way to use our Forum… and what to avoid.

Happy posting!

PS. We love this video clip on how to behave on an internet forum… take a look below.

Matt Akersten - 22nd February 2009