If you are new to the forums or site, here are a few tips and tricks I have learned to help you out.
-Be sure to start off by posting a Hello on the "Say Hello!" forum. We're meeting all kinds of nice folks in there and people from all sorts of areas of the world are always surprised other artists are practically in their back yards!
-If you just want to read the new posts since your last visit, while on the main Forum page, on the right hand Shortcut menu, click "Posts you have not read". You can even bookmark this page, and go right to new posts.
-If you really want to keep up with threads, you can subscribe to the forum topics. To do this, from the main Forum page, on the right hand Shortcut Menu, click "Forum Subscriptions". On the page that appears, click on the forums you wish to subscribe to, and click Save at the bottom when finished. Now each time someone posts, you will get an email notification. Too much email? You can always unsubscribe from the same page.
-Speaking of email, don't forget that you can change your email on your Profile. To do this, click Edit Profile in the upper right corner. Click on the Site Options tab and scroll down to Email Notification. Don't forget to click Save! (and don't forget to let QA emails through to your email provider... Sorry Interweave, that one was my fault...)
-If you want to "private message" someone, and not have a discussion out on the forums or in a public response to a photo, you can start a "Conversation". (Say you want to send something to someone, but don't want someone to post an address on the public forums, where everyone can read it.) Do this by clicking on their profile and on the left under their "avatar" is an option for "Start a Conversation". You can see if you have a conversation to respond to in the upper right corner of the site above the Search box. I'm calling them "Convos". Try it by starting a convo with me. I'll write back so you can see what a convo looks like.
-Don't forget to make Friends! From a person's profile, on the left under their avatar is the function to "Add as Friend". Try it out by clicking on my user name above, and when you go to my profile, click and add me as your Friend! :)
-A thread that has a star icon in it is a "hot topic" so maybe you should check it out. It really just means it has a lot of posts.
-Don't forget Pokey's video tutorials on using the site too! and to show you something cool, I have added the link to her videos on my profile as a "Shared Favorite", found on the left side of my profile. Want to add a cool thread or post to your Favorites? In any thread, if you click the "More" with the down arrow in any particular post, you will be able to mark the thread (or individual post) as a Favorite!
-If you like what you see, rate the thread or photo gallery with the yellow stars you see in the top of any thread. Try it out on this thread, by hovering your mouse over the stars. You will see them "light up" yellow. Click to which star rating you want to give the thread or photo. It's that easy!
Hope this helps you, and as I learn more tricks, come back to this thread and I'll post more.
Cheryl / Muppin