An Avatar is a small image which you can associate with your nickname. When you log in to the site you see it in your My DentalWeb panel. If you look at the other members posts you will see the avatar images they have selected.
To select an avatar go to My DentalWeb and select My Info. There a number of options in there including My Avatar - simply click List and you will see an assortment of avatars from you can choose. If you move your mouse over an image you will see the filename. Click Go Back and select that filename from the dropdown menu.
To start a new "Topic" or conversation thread, select the forum in which you want to post and see if there is already a conversation thread in progress on the topic you want discuss. If there is, simply click on the topic and click Post Reply.
If you want to start a fresh conversation click the New Topic button and type your message.
Smilies are the use of key strokes to relay certain feelings to those you are communicating with, so that our words are not taken the wrong way
For example, using :) is used to represent a smiley face which indicates you are smiling. ;) is used to show a wink which means you are pulling someone's leg. :D is used to represent a big smile, or laughter.
There are lots of these symbols, which are used internationally in email, web forums, mobile phone text messaging, newsgroups and so on to help convey emotion or feelings in messages.
You can use these symbols in your private messages or fium messages either by typing the characters or using the Emoticons provided (see below).
Essentially they mean the same thing but the difference is actually that smileys can be typed on any keyboard, and are familiar to many people, whereas the Emoticons are little graphic icons which are selected using the mouse.
Our messaging makes use of both so that if you type in ;) you will actually enable the winking emoticon. If you prefer to select an emoticon from the panel, the text version of that will be added to your message. Emoticons make using smileys a little easier for those not so familiar with the text versions.
If you want to quote another message, perhaps as other messages have since been posted and you want to refer back, simply click on the Quote button which appears on that message. This will start a new reply message box and put the conmtents of the message you want to quote within the correct Quote tags so that it is displayed correctly. Click Preview and you will see how your message will look.
If you only want to quote part of the message, edit the text within the [quote] and [/quote] tags.
To do so you either need to quote the entire message and remove the section you don't want, or highlight the text in the message you want to quote, type [quote="membername"]paste your copied text and type [/quote] to complete. Preview your message to ensure it looks the way you want it to.
Instead of typing the quote tags you can click on the quote button instead but the buttons will ALWAYS add the tags to the end of your message.
Clicking the tag buttons such as Quote, URL etc will always add the tags to the end of your message so it is easier to add them as you go rather than try to insert afterwards. If you do want to insert after typing a message, click where you want to insert and type the tag name such as [quote] or [url] or copy and paste the tag from the end of the message to the position you want it.
The star images displayed under memmbers names are used to represent their level of involvement in the site. Whe you first join you have one star to show that you are a new member and more experienced members can help if you get stuck. Also, other members will be more tolerant if you make a mistake if they can see you are quite new.
Once you have posted over 100 messages in the forum you are "promoted" from a participant with one star to a contributor with two stars! Members with 3, 4 or 5 stars are those of a higher rank who have made many more posts and/or who moderate forums or act as mentors.
Some of our forums are for specific groups of users only, for example, members of an association or customers of a particular company. In order to be able to get entry to these forums, you must request membership from the forum moderator. They will check that you are entitled to join (for example that you are a member of that association) and if so, they will add you to the group. Once you are a member of that group, you will be able to visit the forum and participate.
If you are declined membership it may be because you are not a member or customer.
The moderators have the right to edit any message which the feel is inappropriate, illegal, indecent or dishonest. We hope that every member will behave responsibly in these forums but on rare occasions it may be necessary to edit messages.
There is also an automatic censorship system in place to replace any foul language with stars.
When you visit the Forums, any messages in any thread in any forum to which you have access which have been posted since your last visit can easily be viewed by clicking the "View Posts Since Last Visit" link top right of the forum area. You will then be shown a list of all the messages posted since your last visit.
There is a legend within the forums explaining what the various icons mean. An orange icon and a black arrow are used to signify that new unread messages are within that particular thread.
A white icon shows that there have been no new messages since you last looked.
A black padlock shows that a forum is locked and that you do not have access.
You can choose to use simple HTML tags in your message if you wish to allow you to use some basic formatting. If you pass your mouse over one of the tags shown on the buttons when typing a new message, you will see a short description of how to use the tag in the code entry bar.
For example, if you want to add a list of items then when you are ready to start the list click the List tag button and you will see that it inserts a "[list]" tag in your message. You then need to add each of the things you want on your list and click the List tag button again when you are finished. This adds the "[/list]" tag and you can continue to type your message.
You can instead type the tags where they are needed instead of pressing the button.
You will notice that the tag button always adds the tags after the last item of text in your message. If you decide you want to insert a tag into text you have already entered, you will need to click where you want to insert and then type the tag.