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How to Use the Forum – Part 1 – Configure your Forum Profile

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This is the first part of How to Use the Forum tutorial series. In this session, we discuss how to configure your forum profile. When logged in to the forum the first time, you will be redirected to your profile and since the forum is a community it is very beneficial to add some basic information about yourself.

Video Transcript

So what I’m going to do now is just… like I said earlier, talk about how to use the forum. I’ve noticed that we’ve had a number of new members join lately that you know, have asked me questions. And I’ve said, “Well, why don’t you go ahead and post to the forum.” And then it turns out, they don’t know how to use the forum. And so I think what I’m going to do here is explain how to use the forum and then we’ll post those videos on the site. And if you’re already using the forum, you’ll still probably learn something here because there are a bunch of little bits and pieces of the forum that are not necessarily obvious.

But I’m going to start over here as a different member. and when you log in to the forum the first time, you end up going to your profile. That’s the very first ting that happens if you’ve never been to the forum before in a logged in status. You end up right here at your profile page. And I’d like to encourage you to consider filling out your profile before you get very far in this process because it can do a copule of things for you. One is that this is really a community and so it helps put a face to a name for people and you may find yourself interacting with other members of the community. And so this flushes that out for them. That means, your community members can learn something about you.

And then secondly, if you have any interest in your site and your services being linked to from this site, this forum is actually very active and is very regularly and routinely searched. And I don’t have no follow links on it since the only people who compose here are members. All the links that you post on the site are followed. And what you’ll find is that you’ll get some link benefit. You’ll get some link juice to your site. You’ll get some benefit from keywords that you use here by eactually having stuff filled out. So I encourage you to put your website address here because people will be able to find you. I mean, this way, they can look at your site and it’s always interesting, I think, for people to understand perhaps, where you are since it’s clear that people from all over the world are on the site.

And so then you might give a little bit of information here. All of these things are publicly visible by members. They aren’t publicly visible by anybody else. But members of the site can essentially click on your icon in a post. They can get to your profile and they can read this stuff. So that would be the reason why you would do this because you want people to be able to… okay so I’m already obviously on here so I’ll just change that. It’s a different name.

Okay so the next step is your online identity here and you know, if you want people to be able to Skype you or if you want people to visit your Facebook page… if you want somebody to follow you on Twitter, if you want people to find you via LinkedIn, this is the place for you to inlude that information. And if you do that then these badges will show up under your name.

For example, we’ll come back over here and let’s see, let’s just start here for a second. I think we’ll probably find somebody on one of those forums that has badges under their name like that. Well, John is a good example here. Actually, John is a good example of a good number of things on the site so we’ll just go ahead and continue to use him as an example. But here, if you want to follow his Twitter posts you know, you can click on this. If you want to go to his Facebook page, you can click on that. And then this is his signature here. If we click on his picture, I think we’ll probably find that his short biography shows up here and his website, email address, and all this kind of stuff show up here. And so that’s the same sort of information that will show up on your profile once you click on it. If you click on my Admin Profile… well, you can see… anyway, you can see that I have Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and that kind of stuff. These things will show up under your name when you place values in those fields.

So then the next thing is personal options. Now, this one just means that your WordPress display name and your forum display name are in sync. Yo ucoudl theoretically turn that off and then you could have your forum display name be something different than your WordPress display name which, I think, is pretty much useless. So go ahead and leave that chekced. This is something that you really ought to check, auto subscribe to topics that you post in. If you start a topic or if you post on a topic, if you have this thing checked then what will happen is you’ll get an email whenever a new post has been posted to that topic. You won’t get an email for every post everywhere but on those posts that you subscribe to, you will. And this will mean you automatically subscribe to any topic that you have posted in.

Here, you can choose to hid your online status. Now again, I don’t think you should bother doing that. But if you really don’t want people to know that you’re online for one reason or another then you can you know, click this and it’ll hide your online status.

And then this you can use to change your timezone so that it shows the times on the website based on your time. So if it says you know, how many hours the whole thing was posted, it’ll show that information accurately. So you can essentially give your timezone and relationship to the server’s timezone. This server’s timezone is set on West Coast LA time so if you’re in the UK, you would put a -8 here which would be the UK timezone. I think for Brian in New Zealand, it’s probably something like -20. Yeah, I think it’s -20 for your timezone. So anyway, you could set a timezone thing here.

You can change your password and this password change actually affects your entire account. So it’ll change your password everywhere across the account. This, I think, is quite important which is select your avatar. Now by default, if you don’t have an avatar selected, you get one of those little Groucho Marx avatar that I have here and this is the forum default avatar. Now you can upload an avatar directly from here or you can configure an avatar on Gravatar.com and then make sure that your personal identity email is one of those emails listed in Gravatar.com so that your gravatar one shows up. Or you can live with Groucho.

What we’re going to do here is we’re going to select an avatar for this site only so I’m just going to bowse and pick one And I’m just going to go to graphics, let’s see. And I have promotional images. Actually you know, what I’m really going to do here is let’s go back up to websites, BYOB website, graphics and I’m going to pick my girl here as the avatar. And then we just go ahead and hit update profile. And now, the gravatar is updated and if we refresh this, we should see the girl’s gravatar image showing up here. Yeah, there it is, right? So that’s the gravatar that now shows up or the avatar now shows up.

Finally, you can set up a signature and that’s what John’s got going on over here. If you look at John’s site, this is his signature. So he’s got a little graphic with his name in it. He’s got a name here to his link and then he’s got a mail to address and then a phone number. All of this stuff is inside of his signature. This is my signature, this Rick Anderson, WordPress instructor. Well, you can use this system right here to add a signature. You can insert an image. You can even probably insert a little videos if you wanted to. But it’s going to say Rick Anderson WordPress instructor.

And then… if what you do is you can use this like keywords, right? Seelect the WordPress instructor, grab the link and then put your URL in, byobwebsite.com. Insert that. Yeah, we’ll go ahead and add that. And now, this link will essentially have an SEO value because you have linked the keywords. You have linked that to your page. And so every page that is indexed on my forum that has your signature on it will have your keywords linked to your site. So that’s the real benefit from doing this is it gives you an opportunity to get some external SEO links to your site.

Okay and so anyway, now you’ve got your profile set up. Now, you can go off to the forum.

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