Useful Forum Tips

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Nyarlathotep's picture
Useful Forum Tips

Post formatting:
See the formatting tips here:
Generating an accurate hyper-link to a post:
You would think that clicking the permalink button would be good enough to get a permanent link, but this method sometimes fails because of the order in which posts are displayed (a bug). There is a work around. If you click the permalink button to the first reply to this post (by Algebe) you will get the url:

To make a permanent link out of that you need to to make it look like this:

edited 10/30/18 to reflect changes in forum behavior
Searching the forums:
Let's face it, the search function here is basically useless. However, google indexes AR and has an excellent search engine so we'll just use that. Remember that time Breezy told us that mutations only have a 50% chance of making it to the next generation? Yeah, but where the hell is it? Let's search for it on google, put this in the search box:

mutation 50% Breezy nyarlathotep

First result! (edit 08/22/2019: it is now the 2nd result, with this thread being the first result)
Sending a private message (pm):
Sadly, the private message system has a nasty bug. When you click on the button to send a pm to someone it opens a form for you to fill out and populates the "to" field with their current name. But to successfully send a pm you must populate this field with their original name. So if they have changed their name, this auto-populated name won't work. You need to know their original name.

Let's try sending Tin-man a pm. We click on the "send Tin-man a message" button and it presents us with a form pre-addressed to "Tin-man". And when you try to send a message with this it will fail saying your message needs a valid recipient. This is your clue that you are using the wrong name.

If you look at their profile you can sometimes get a clue to a name that might work: looking at Tin-man's profile linked above, we see the line that currently says: "FORUM REPLIES BY TINMAN2577 (887)". The idea is that TINMAN2577 might be the correct name so lets try it. We click the button again and this time delete the name that was auto-filled in and replace it with TINMAN2577. And it works! But this does not always work (perhaps they have changed their name several times?). A last resort is to contact a moderator, who have additional tools to look up this information:
Currently those listed moderators have not changed their names so you just need to click send a message and it will work.

Also once you have successfully send someone a pm, you can just reply to that message over and over again without jumping through all these hoops each time.
Finding new posts in a large thread:
So you read a thread last night, then wake up in the morning and see that it has 10 new posts. You click the "view 10 new" link and
it takes you to the first new post. But since posts are not listed chronologically, you are on your own to find the other 9 new posts. Most browsers come equipped with a find text feature (typically the shortcut is ctrl-F). Use this feature by searching for today's date and you will quickly find the new posts.
I will be editing this thread periodically to add more information.

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algebe's picture
Thanks Nyarlathotep

Thanks Nyarlathotep

CyberLN's picture
Nyar, you’re a rock star and

Nyar, you’re a rock star and we are fortunate to have you as a member of AR. Thank you.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture


ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
They're listed at the bottom

They're listed at the bottom whenever you Start New Topic, which redirect you to a dedicated page:

Never noticed until the addition of the math equations.


Attach Image/Video?: 

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Another useful tip is looking

Another useful tip is looking at the "updated" tag. If it pops up without any "view new" option then it means someone has edited their post. As it did just now (see attachment).


Attach Image/Video?: 

Nyarlathotep's picture
If it pops up without any

If it pops up without any "view new" option then it means someone has edited their post.

Except hat if anyone posts a new post, the updated tag disappears.

It also says update even if the post has not been seen.

It is not reliable.

CyberLN's picture
To add to what Nyar has said,

To add to what Nyar has said, it does not indicate what nor how much was changed.

Jared Alesi's picture
This was more helpful than I

This was more helpful than I was expecting it to be, as it answered questions I didn't know I had. Thanks.

LogicFTW's picture
What a useful thread. Thanks

What a useful thread. Thanks everyone that contributed!

The5thLine's picture
I wish this place had a "User

I wish this place had a "User CP" like you find in vBulletin or other forum software and there was a way to subscribe to threads. This is probably the most thoughtful atheist forum I've found, I just wish it was a little better.

CyberLN's picture
You can subscribe to strings.

You can subscribe to strings. At the bottom of the OP frame, there is a clickable button for doing so. When new posts are added to the string, the subscriber is notified by email.

arakish's picture
I am just bumping this back

I am just bumping this back to the top to make finding it easier.


Delaware's picture
When do I notate that I

When do I notate that I edited a post I wrote?
Is it only after someone has responded?
I all to frequently look at post I made and realized I misspelled a word, or forget something.
So I go back and edit the post.
I have noticed others making some notation that they edited their post.
How and when do I do that?
Thanks, Jo

Nyarlathotep's picture
I'd recommend marking an edit

I'd recommend marking an edit when you are making a major change. I'm not going to try to define what a major change is, but as far as spelling goes, that seems pretty minor.

Unless of course you're engaged in an argument over the spelling of a word, then an edit like that might be a huge change. Use some common sense.

CyberLN's picture
Hi Jo,

Hi Jo,

If you are merely correcting a misspelled word, it’s up to you if you want to note that. However, if you are making additions or subtractions it’s considered both honest and of good manners to make note of it.

When any change is made to an existing post, it gets ‘bumped’ as an update to the entire string. Folks know this and consider dishonesty if a notation that it’s been edited is not included.

If the post has been there long enough to gather several responses, and you are considering an addition or subtraction, it would be best to write a new post in that string.

Cognostic's picture
I will generally edit posts

I will generally edit posts without indicating immediately after I post and reread them. I don't think I am changing the content but I might find a spelling error, a wrong word, or a structural problem with a sentence. I agree with others, when making a significant change in meaning or even after an hour or so has passed, I always indicate the (EDIT!). Recently I wrote a post and submitted but in reading it, I did not like the personal tone it took. I went back and changed all the "you' language to we and our to make the post more general. Though it occurred immediately after the original post, I still indicated the (EDIT!) as, I felt the meaning had been altered.

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You need to know their

You need to know their original name.

timothyferriss's picture
Thank you for providing these

Thank you for providing these useful forum tips. They can be quite valuable for forum users looking to enhance their experience and navigate the platform effectively

acrosscroutons's picture
When do I notate that I

When do I notate that I edited a post I wrote? tunnel rush

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