Keeping up with 5 zillion topics

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  • Laure Hittle

    So the forums have taken off! There’s been so much conversation around here in the last week that it might feel overwhelming to know where to start, or you might have only so much time over a break at work and wish you could drill down quickly to one or two great threads without having to sift through the rest of them.

    For starters, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. i titled this tutorial “Keeping up with 5 zillion topics” because that’s sometimes how it feels, but you don’t actually have to keep up with every topic. For some encouragement and tips on how to engage intentionally, check out Rebecca Reynolds’ welcoming post, “A Love Note to the Lurkers.”

    If your question is how best to find out where the action is, or how to stalk your friends’ forum activity, keep reading.For starters, check this out:

    Oooh. What happens if we click that pipe in the top right-hand corner of the screen?

    This is the global feed. Holy cow. Literally everything that happens, anywhere on the site, shows up here—and not just forum activity, either, but blog posts as well. (Okay, not literally everything; it doesn’t tell you when something sells out in the store and it doesn’t catalogue blog post comments, but i dare you not to be impressed with this feed.) Anywhere you are on the site, whenever you click that little pipe icon, you’ll immediately get this up-to-the-second overview of new forum comments, new blog posts, new friendships, new site members, new profile updates. If a photo or video is embedded in a forum comment, you’ll even be able to view it directly from this feed. Like i said: Holy cow.

    Now, head over to your profile by clicking your name in the top left of the screen.In your profile’s Activity pane, you’ll see five tabs: Personal, Mentions, Friends, Groups, and Global. Each of these gives you a separate activity feed, sorted with the most recent activity at the top.

    Personal: All your own activity.
    Mentions: Every time you’ve been mentioned, with a handy link to the place where the mention took place.
    Friends: A super-handy way to creep on your friends! If you’ve confirmed friend requests with others here at the Rabbit Room, their activity will show up here.
    Groups: Activity in the groups you’ve joined.
    Global: We’ve already seen this, but: WOW.

    You can also click on anyone’s name or profile picture and be taken to their profile, where you can see the same five tabs. (Anything they post in private, such as in a group that doesn’t show its posts to nonmembers, stays private.)

    In your profile or anyone’s, you will also see a Forums link on the left. That will take you to another view of your (or that friend’s) forum activity. In anyone’s Forums pane, you’ll find three tabs: Topics Started, Replies Created and Favorites. Topics Started shows you all the forum topics this user has started. Replies Created shows you every comment this person has made in every thread in the forum (excepting private threads). Favorites shows you this user’s favorite forum topics. In your own Forums pane, you’ll also find a Subscriptions tab.

    For more on identifying the most recent conversations, visit the “Navigating the forum” tutorial. For more on favorites, subscriptions, and notifications, we’ve got a tutorial for that, too. 🙂

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