User Guide

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The Forum homepage is the first place you land whenever you visit the Forum.

From the homepage you can navigate to any place on the forum. On the homepage, you can see:

  • All the different forums (sections) available.
  • Latest post in each forum.
  • Your user name, avatar, and post count.
  • Members and volunteer staff currently online.

Remember you can always get back to the homepage by clicking on the word "Forums" near the top left of whatever page you are on.

If you click on "Home," you will go to the homepage of our website, not the Forum homepage. You can return by clicking on the back arrow of your browser.

Viewing a Forum

From the Forum homepage, you can select a particular forum by simply clicking on its title. This will bring you to a listing of all threads (discussion topics) in that forum. Each of the threads identifies the original member who created the thread on the left and the latest member to post to the thread on the right. The number of comments in the thread is also shown.

Creating a New Thread

When you are visiting the listing for a forum, you have the option to create a new thread (discussion topic) in that forum by clicking the “Post New Thread” button in the upper right-hand corner.

Like the subject matter on an email, the name you give your thread will have a significant impact on whether it will get read. The system will automatically send you an email when others have responded to your original post.

When posting, you can stick to plain text messages but there are many options to make your post look great. The visual editor lets you add bullets, smilies, different fonts, hyperlinks, pictures, and embedded video, including YouTube and Vimeo. If you are interested in learning all about the visual editor, there is a comprehensive guide published here.

If you mess up, you get to edit your post for 24 hours.

While you're posting you can also share your post to Facebook or Twitter. Once you sign in through the SCNCC Forum, the system will remember your encrypted credentials. Don't worry though: they are kept encrypted so we cannot access them.

WARNING. Don't post your email address or phone number publicly. You can always invite people to start a conversation using the Forum’s private messaging system if you wish to share any private information.

Replying to a Post

To reply, just type in the box at the very bottom of the last page of an open thread. There are some threads that are closed to discussion. You can also click on "Reply" at the bottom of any post in order to quote it. While you can edit the quoted post for brevity or to highlight a particular point, it's unacceptable to alter the words, even in jest.

An easy way to quote only a part of a post is to simply highlight the phrase(s) you want to respond to and you'll see dialog box open. Choose "Reply" and it puts the selected text with attribution into the reply window for you. Now you can easily address point by point without having to quote the entire text and tediously editing it. Simply highlight, select reply, comment and then repeat as you see fit.

Finished? Just click on "Post Reply" in the Actions area. Don't like how it looks or maybe the way you're coming across? Go ahead and edit it!

Watched Threads

Watched threads are the Forum’s way of keeping you updated on threads you have created, participated in, or choose to be updated about. By default any thread you start or reply to will become watched. This will generate an email every time someone replies as well as an alert on the alerts menu. You can change this behavior in your preferences. To watch a thread without participating, simply click the “Watch Thread” link at the top of any thread.

Watched Forums

You may wish to keep track of all posts in a particular forum. You can do this by visiting the listing for the forum and clciking the "Watch" button in the upper right-hand corner. You can select whether you want to be notified of all new messages or only new threads. You can also select the options of receiving email notifications or having the alerts that you will see only if you login to the Forum.

Personalizing and Managing Your Account

The account menu is your shortcut to set many options and preferences, including to:

  • Edit your profile
  • Add an avatar
  • View your news feed
  • Control your privacy options
  • See what you have previously posted
  • Log out

You can always access the account menu by simply hovering with your mouse cursor over your name in the top bar visible on any page within the Forum.
This will reveal the account menu from which you can select access to numerous screens that allow you to manage your account:

  • Personal Details
  • Signature
  • Contact Details
  • Privacy
  • Preferences
  • Alert Preferences
  • Avatar
  • Password
  • Your News Feed
  • Conversations
  • Alerts
  • Likes You’ve Received
  • Your Content
  • People You Follow
  • People You Ignore
  • Two-Step Verification
  • Log Out

When you first use the Forum and from time to time as you become more familiar with how it works, we recommend you peruse the options available by clicking on the various items on the account menu. A few of the screens that you can access from this menu are described below

Personal Details

The personal details screen controls what other members will see on your profile screen.


You can create a brief signature that will automatically be appended to all of your posts on the Forum. Because signatures add the same content to every single post and constant repetition of lengthy or gaudy signatures is akin to late night television advertising, the following limits are in effect:

  • The maximum number of lines in a signature is 3
  • The maximum number of links or URLs in a signature is 2
  • The maximum font size allowed in signature lines is 2
  • No images
  • No all-caps, no alternating caps, etc.
  • Signature text that is too long or obtrusive will be removed. This includes excessive use of punctuation, color, etc.
  • Signatures with just your username will be removed. Usernames are on the top of every post, so there's no need to have it in your signature too.

If your signature is in violation of any of these rules, we may remove it without prior notice. If you have any questions as to whether something is acceptable, please send us a message by clicking on "Contact us" at the bottom of the page.

Contact Details

Your contact details are shown to other members as a tab on your profile. You can restrict who can see what with privacy settings. You may also edit your email address here. You can add information for:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • AOL Instant Messenger
  • Windows Live (MSN) Messenger
  • ICQ
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Skype
  • Google Talk


With the Forum’s privacy options you can control who can view what on your profile. Your options are all visitors, members only, or people you follow only. In lots of cases, visitors are restricted by system-wide settings as to what they can see without your explicitly setting anything. Visitors are everyone including nonmembers. Members are people who have registered here as you did. People you follow are people that you’ve chosen to follow by clicking “Follow” on their profile.


The preferences screen has some basic options for your account. From the preferences screen you can:

  • Set your time zone
  • Set watched threads behavior
  • Enable/Disable viewing others signatures
  • Choose whether or not to display your online status

Alert Preferences

Alerts are closely related to watched threads. Options are all customizable in Alert Preferences. By default, you will receive an alert on the top of the site near your account menu and Inbox links any time someone

  • Replies to a thread you've participated in
  • Quotes one of your posts
  • Likes your post
  • Tags you in a post
  • Comments on your profile


You can choose an avatar--either a photo or a graphic to represent you wherever you post on the Forum. Your avatar can be changed.


The Forum allows for private messaging ("conversations") between 2 or more members. To start a new conversation, simply click on a member's name and click "Start a Conversation." You may always view your Conversations Inbox by clicking on the the "Inbox" link next to your account name near the top of any page. Once started, a conversation is much like a thread but only between 2 or more people.