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    Quick Start

    The main functions of the forum serve three purposes: providing posts, answering questions and evaluating information in a structured way. The forum offers several options of indexing and sorting contributions in order to make it easy to find relevant entries. Active participation in the NEPSforum requires a one-time registration and to be logged into the forum website.

    • The button „Write a Post“ allows to post questions, notes and similar to the forum. The text editor facilitates the embedding of syntax [Insert Code Snippet]. For each new post, an appropriate subject has to be specified. It should be made sure that a subject is not already available before starting a new thread on it.
    • Tags are keywords to categorize the topic of a post in order to structure the content of the forum. They are necessary to enable a quick identification of relevant contributions. Each post has to be provided with at least one tag. It is possible to select or create up to five tags per post. Already existing tags can be retrieved by the respective link in the menu bar.
    • At the end of each thread there is a text editor to formulate an answer to the question. Posts can have several answers. The responses are displayed according to the selected criterion in chronological order or by rating.
    • Comments can be added to every question and answer by using the respective text field. Own contributions are typically commented for the purpose of specification, other contributions are usually provided with a comment for the purpose of further inquiry.
    • The rating gives information about how helpful an answer or question has been perceived by other forum participants. Ratings can be assigned by clicking the arrowheads on the left side. Positive ratings for a post increase the reputation and the privilege level of its author, however, own posts are excluded from rating. The rating always and exclusively refers to the quality of the post; negative evaluations should be used in well-founded cases only.
    • To report posts is an opportunity to indicate improper contributions (e.g., spam) or redundant content. If a post is repeatedly reported it is no longer displayed in the forum. Reporting is limited, a parsimonious use of this feature is highly recommended.
    • To subscribe posts or tags makes it easy to keep informed about ongoing activities in the respective topics. The subscriber is notified of each new post or comment by e-mail. The list of subscription can be managed in the personal dashboard.

    All privileges within the NEPSforum are regulated by so-called points of reputation. These points are generated either through own posts or through positive evaluations by other forum participants. The current number of reputation points is shown by the privileges in the personal dashboard at the right sidebar. The more points are achieved, the higher the trust within the community and the more possibilities or privileges to act in the forum.


    Forum Privileges

    How the privileges and reputation points work

    When your create questions and answers, you generate reputation (points). When other user's up-vote your questions or accept your answers, you also generate reputation (in addition to other actions).

    Reputation is a rough measure of:

    • How much the community trusts you
    • Your communication skills
    • The quality and relevancy of your questions and answers

    As you earn reputation from your peers, you earn the community's trust - and will be granted additional privileges on the site. The complete list of privileges is listed down below, in rising order. The most basic privileges are at the top; the most advanced at the bottom.

    1) Create post

    This means you can create a post or provide an answer to an existing one. This privilege is granted to any user who has logged into the site and viewed the module while logged in, thus any person who is logged in can ask a question or answer one.

    2) Vote up (by clicking on arrow up on the left side of a post): 

    Voting up is how the community indicates which questions and answers are most useful and appropriate.

    When should I vote up?
    Whenever you encounter a question or answer that you feel is especially useful, vote it up! You have a limited number of votes per day, so use them wisely.

    How do I vote up?
    Users can up vote a question or answer by clicking the 'vote up' button located next to the total votes score on any question or answer. Please note: users cannot up-vote their own posts (questions or answers).

    What happens on an up-vote?
    If a question is up-voted, the author of the question receives a +5 in reputation. When an answer is up-voted, the author of the answer receives a +10 in reputation.

    3) Comment everywhere

    Comments are notes left on a post or answer. Comments do not generate reputation, there's no revision history and when they are deleted they're gone for good. Comments are a way to clarify something that may have not been clear in your post OR a way for another user to ask for clarification in your post.

    Please note that you can always comment on your own posts once you have been granted the 'remove new user status' privilege. However, commenting on others people's posts is what this privilege grants.

    4) Vote down (by clicking on arrow down on the left side of a post): 

    Voting down is how the community indicates which posts and answers are least useful.

    When should I vote down?
    Use your down-votes whenever you encounter an no-effort-expended post or an answer that is clearly incorrect.

    You have a limited number of votes per day, and answer down-votes cost you a little bit of reputation on top of that, so use them wisely. Keep in mind, you should flag inappropriate and/or spam content and NOT down-vote it (why waste your reputation?)

    What happens on a down-vote?
    When a post is down-voted, the author of the post receives a -2 in reputation. Also, the user down-voting receives a -1 in reputation if the post is an answer and no change if the post is a question.

    Down-voting alternatives?
    If a post is spam, offensive or a duplicate, please flag it. If something is wrong, please use comments or edit the post.

    5) Remove 'new user status'

    To safeguard the community from spammers and “bots”, new users need to achieve trust so they can post freely and often. Users achieve a level of trust by creating questions and answers that are NOT flagged. If the questions or answers are up-voted (or an answer is marked as accepted), the user receives even more reputation points thus coming closer to achieveing a level of trust.

    What can new users not do?

    In addition to any higher level privilegs, new users:

    - Cannot post multiple questions or answers within a small time frame
    - Cannot edit their own posts
    - Cannot comment on their own posts
    - Cannot edit tag descriptions
    - Cannot answer their own questions

    6) Flag posts

    Flagging a post is a way of bringing inappropriate content to the attention of the community. When a post is flagged a certain number of times, it no longer will display in the list of questions or answers on the site.

    When should I flag?
    If question or answer makes you feel uncomfortable please flag it and bring it to our attention! If a post is a duplicate, you should flag it too (you may wish to reference the original question by editing the post or adding a comment).

    How do I flag?
    Once logged in, you can flag posts by clicking the 'flag' link next to any question or answer once you have achieved this privilege level. This link will also show the number of times user's have flagged the individual post.

    What happens on flagging?
    Once a question has been flagged a certain number of times (3), it will no longer be displayed on the 'home' view of questions. Once it reaches 6 times, the question will no longer be displayed anywhere in the module (as if it were deleted). At this time, the post author will lose some reputation points too.

    7) Retag questions:

    Each question must be associated with at least one tag when the author creates it. However, once the tags are set they can only be changed by the original post author or other users with this privilege level (meaning besides the question author, only users who have achieved this privilege level are permitted to retrag the question). To retag a question, simply edit it (this will only be available to you once you gained this privilege).

    Note: Users will only be able to retag the question at this privilege level, they will not be able to edit the actual question unless it is their own or they have been granted the 'edit questions & answers' privilege.

    8) Edit questions & answers: 

    Users can edit their own questions and answers once they have been granted the 'remove new user status' privilege. However, in order to be able to edit the questions and answers submitted by other users you must be granted this privilege level.

    When to edit?
    Any time the question or answer can be made better, this includes:

    - correct spelling
    - clarify the meaning of the post without changing it
    - to correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages
    - try to make the post substantively better when you edit, not just change a single character. Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged.

    What happens on post edit?
    When a post is edited, the content is immediately updated. A version of the previous post content is saved in the database too but is not available to be viewed in the user interface.

    9) Create tag synonyms: 

    Tag synonyms allow us to fix incorrect tags by associating them with the correct ones. For example, if a user misspells a tag a synonym with the proper spelling can be associated so it can be easily found. User's with the 'create tag synonym' privilege are permitted to create, in addition to up-vote and down-vote, tag synonms from a tag's detail description page.

    When to create a synonym?
    User's should suggest tag synonyms for several reasons including abbreviations (DotNetNuke and DNN) and a different spelling of the same thing (c# and c-sharp).

    10) Cast close/ reopen questions: 

    Closing a question restricts it from futher answers and comments and is similar to down-voting

    11) Approve tag edits

    12) Access to moderator tools​​​​​​​

    13) Protect questions: 

    What are protected questions?
    A protected question prevents any further answers and also locks them from edits.

    14) Trusted user: 

    What are trusted users?
    Trusted users are allowed to perform trusted actions, including:

    - Voting to delete answers with score of -1 or lower
    ​​​​​​​- Voting to delete questions immediately after they are closed (even if they are new)

    Editing all tags on the site.