There are two ways to register to begin posting on the DORR forum:
- Click on the Register link in the lower right-hand column under Meta, and fill out the form with your intended user name, and your e-mail address. An e-mail containing your password will be sent to you at that address. You can log in to the forum, fill out your personal profile, and change your machine-generated password to something you can remember more easily. Choose a strong password, with upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. The forum software will guide you in doing this.
- You can also register in the comments section following an existing post. If you want to begin by commenting, clicking on the Register link in the Post a comment, or Leave a reply window at the bottom of any comment thread will initiate the same registration process as in no. 1 above.
The easiest way to begin making a contribution to the DORR forum is to comment on someone else’s post. Once you’ve completed the registration process described above, you can add your comment to any post by clicking on the Comments link at the bottom of the post, and then choosing either to add a new comment, or reply to one already there by clicking on the Add a comment or Reply links. Each comments section is threaded, which means that a reply to an existing comment will be indented under the comment it is replying to.
The DORR forum uses an automatic preview plug-in for comments. If you look below the comments window as you type, you’ll see a running, real-time preview of how your comment will look once it’s published. This can be very helpful in spotting typos, and in checking to see if your formatting codes, links, etc., are appearing as you expect them to.
Your first comment will be moderated, which means that it won’t appear in the published comments thread until it has been approved by the Forum Administrator. Once your first comment has been approved, however, it and all of your subsequent comments will be published immediately.
You can either type your comment directly into the editing window at the bottom of each thread, or you can copy text from another source and paste it into the comments window. If you do the latter, however, you must paste only plain text. Microsoft Word and other word-processing software use formatting codes and codes for special characters like accent marks which are incompatible with the forum’s commenting software. If you want to paste from these programs, you must save your word processing file as plain text first. All subsequent comment formatting, including URL links, YouTube embeds, etc., must be done directly in the comments window using standard HTML codes. If you don’t know these codes, a good guide can be found here.
Posting on the forum is similar to commenting, except that it’s done in a larger window on the Dashboard page. To get to that page, click on the Log in link under Meta in the lower right-hand column of the main page. (If you’re already logged in, the link will read Site admin.) All you have to do once you’ve arrived on the Dashboard page is to click on the New Post button and begin.
The main differences between posting and commenting are as follows:
- The buttons above the editing window generate the HTML code needed for some types of special formatting — bold, italic, numbered lists, etc. — and one even allows you to paste directly from a Microsoft Word document. If you hover over them with your mouse, you’ll be able to see what each one does. This is a great help to those of us who aren’t fully familiar with HTML codes. Please note that if you’re in the habit of coding your HTML by hand, you must switch from Visual to HTML in the tab above the editing window before entering the code you want.
- Posts have to be titled. You do this in the window above the main editing window. You can also edit the Permalink to match any changes you might make in the title before you submit your post for publication. You’ll also need to pick one or more Categories to label your post from the list in the right-hand column of the Edit Page.
- Previews aren’t automatic. To see a preview, click on the Preview Changes link at the top of the right hand column. A preview of your post as it will look when published will open in a separate browser tab or window.
- The main editing window has an autosave function, which is useful if you’re one of those folks who forget to save as they go. The time of the latest save is always shown on the bar under the main editing window, as is a running word count.
- All posts are moderated. When you click on the Submit for review button in the right-hand column of the Edit Page, your post will be reviewed by the Forum Administrator before being published. (This may be changed later for experienced posters, subject to a vote of the DORR Board of Directors.)
There aren’t many rules, but they WILL be enforced by the Forum Administrator. Failure to comply with them may result in the deletion of your post or comment, and repeated violations may result in your being banned from the Forum altogether:
- Etiquette: Profanity in common use is acceptable, but abusive or potentially libelous language, including personal attacks on other posters and commenters will not be tolerated. Judgment in these matters will be the responsibility of the Forum Administrator, subject to confirmation by the DORR Board.
- Copyright: When posting or commenting, please do NOT paste in entire articles from copyrighted sources. Copyright law permits only fair use, which generally means a short quote for review purposes. If you want to direct your readers’ attention to a copyrighted article, post a short quote, and provide a URL link if the article is available online. If not, cite the source document, making sure to include the publisher and date of publication.
- Content: This is a forum for DORR members, which generally means that its focus is on political and social issues and commentary of interest to Democrats. Please try to adhere to those guidelines when posting, and please try to stay on topic when commenting.
- Media: Video and graphics links are acceptable, but please use them sparingly — keep in mind that DORR is paying for every bit of bandwidth used by the forum.
It’s Up to You!
The DORR Board hopes that you’ll enjoy this forum, and more than that, that you’ll make it your own. If you would like more information, or help getting started, please contact the Forum Administrator.