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» How to Participate on PlantSwap
How to Participate on PlantSwap

The site can seem intimidating to visitors who are not used to forums. This page hopefully will simplify the process and encourage you to join our community.

First, I highly recommend you bookmark the home page to the site in your browsers "favorites" or "bookmarks". If you are using a web based bookmark system like del.icio.us, you can use that too (we have a few links in the menu on the home page to make it easy).

Registering an Account

It's really easy! Register an account if you haven't already. There is a link in the navigation menu at the top of the screen (white text) that says register. Click that and follow the prompts.

When you register, the forum will send an email to the address you supplied. That email will contain a link that you must click (or copy & paste into your browser) to activate your account. This is required to prevent automated spam bots (and the occasional banned user) from accessing the forum with invalid/forged email addresses.

If you don't see the forum's activation email in your email account after a short period of time, please check your spam folder (especially if you are using Yahoo! mail or other free mail services). If you can't find the activation email, just send us an email using your email address and we will activate your account.

Logging in

Once you have registered and activated your account, you will need to log in so the site knows who you are. There are a couple of boxes in the top right corner of the page where you can enter your name and password.

If you are using your home computer and no else in your house is going to be using this site, you can also check the option to keep you logged in on that computer. The forum will set a "cookie" on your computer to remember who you are the next time you come to the site (ie. you won't have to log in again).

User Control Panel

After logging in, you might like to (all of this is optional) go to your User Control Panel and use the links in the menu on the left side of the screen to edit your profile (tell folks a little about yourself), options (editing the time zone is recommended), avatar (image that will show next to all your posts) and signature (text that will appear at the bottom of all your posts).

You can also upload a profile picture if you like that only shows on your profile page (it's optional).

Posting a New Topic

Once you have logged in to your account, you can start using the forums. When you are ready to introduce yourself the community, you can go to the Podium and click the button that says "new topic". Then fill in the forms (subject, message, etc.) and click submit. The new topic buttons only appear on the forum category pages because the site needs to know where your new topic belongs.

Replying to a Topic

Easy! Just click the Reply button when you are viewing a topic and fill out the form just as you would for a new topic (the subject is not required when replying to an existing topic/thread discussion).

You can also click the Quote button if you are responding to a specific sentence or comment that someone made to provide the necessary reference for your message.

Private Messages

This site has a "private message" system. It's like a self-contained email system where members can communicate with each other privately without divulging your email address (to maintain your privacy).

To send someone a private message, you can either visit their public profile page or click on their username when viewing a post they made and select the send a private message link from the menu/page.

Graduation

Congratulations, you now know all the basic steps to using this site and interacting with the community. A lot of the links you see on the site are redundant. Don't be intimidated and you will be flying around the forums like an expert in no time.

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