Posting Problems

Discussion in 'The Dockhouse' started by Carib_Jim, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Carib_Jim

    Carib_Jim New Member

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    Dear Sunfish Forum administrator/moderator,
    I would send this as an email directly to you, but I have tried using the “contact us” and all I get is an automated response that says, “Thanks for attempting to contact the Sunfish Forum. The email you replied to was generated automatically from an unmonitored mailbox. To contact support visit us online at http://www.sunfishforum.com/sendmessage.php.” To say the least, this is frustrating, because #1) I did NOT reply to anything and #2) that hyperlink takes me right back to the same “contact us” box.
    So, I am sending this as a Forum Post in hopes it will indirectly get to the Sunfish Forum administrator/moderator. I have spent two weeks trying to post a question to the Sunfish Forum. I spent the first week trying to “join” the Forum, ie: creating false names and passwords and trying to find the secret passage to post a question by going into every option I could find. (At one point I had a flash of inspiration and decided that the email address that was assigned to me by the Forum must be for posting. I tried that and latter realized that all I had accomplished was to send an email to myself, which was only accessible through the forum pages.) I gave up trying to find the secret passage.
    So, during the second week, from the Officer’s site, I found an officer’s email address and sent an email. That person responded that she didn’t know how to post a question, but she gave me the email address of the Sunfish Class Office. (I had also told her that I would like to join the class, but there didn’t seem to be any information on the website about doing that.) So, I then sent an email to the Sunfish Class Office. They responded by sending an attachment with the form to join the class and related that if I joined the Class Listserve, that I could post forum questions there. Ah-ha, the secret passage has been revealed. Having already joined the Sunfish Forum, who would have thought that you also have to “join” a Class Listserve (whatever that is) separately. After I successfully joined the Class Listserve it appears that I am now able to post on the Forum – although at this point, I don’t see where I can specify which part of the Forum I’m trying to post to. Perhaps it is the job of the Forum administrator to decide which category to put posts into. Although, I did see a post where the person was chastised for posting under the wrong category. So, I’m still trying to figure out the system.
    A day later, I got an email from what appears to be the publishers/owners/programmers of the software used by the Forum, telling me they had forwarded my email (Post) to the Forum moderator. There has been no further reply to my email (Post). I now have to believe that this is NOT the way to post a question to the Forum. So, I am again looking for the secret door. It appears this time that it may be related to the “New Thread” button when you go into one of the Forum categories. I was under the impression that the original “Post” was a “Post” and that any replies to that Post were “threads”, that is to say “new threads”. However, it appears that “New Thread” is the original Post and any replies are also threads. To be able to submit a “New Thread” I had to create some more false names and passwords, which I found surprising, since I had already done this to join the Forum and to join the Listserve, but I guess this all has something to do with world security problems. Today, two weeks from when I first tried to post a question to the Forum, I was able to do it!! Also, since it appears that using the Listserve to post a question to the Forum is not a correct use of the Listserve, I have to ask the question, “What is the purpose of the Listserve?”
    The point of this story is to strongly suggest that a step-by-step procedure page be created that tells a newbie how to join the Forum (and the class) and how to create a post (New Thread). The Sunfish Forum is not “user friendly” in being able to do that. One would intuitively expect that once a person “joined” the Sunfish Forum AND once that person had “signed in”, there would be a POST button somewhere on the Forum Home Page that would allow you to post a question. Since that is not the case, there is a strong need for a procedure page that can be downloaded, printed, and followed step-by-step. I would gladly volunteer to create that procedure page, if I knew enough about the subject to do it. Obviously, I don’t know enough, yet. However, as a newbie, I am in a perfect position to proofread any proposed procedure page and make suggestions on how to improve it. In other words, if I can follow the instructions of the proposed procedure without getting lost, then the instructions are very good. And if I can’t follow them, then I can tell somebody where it needs to be improved.
     
  2. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: To Forum moderator re problems posting

    Hi Jim,

    First, I'm sorry you had so much trouble signing up for the forum.

    Second, the list serve and this forum are completely unrelated. One doesn't have to be a member of one to belong to the other. Further, Jelsoft (the makers of the software) have nothing to do with this site either. I'm not quite sure how you would have gotten in touch with them. Maybe it was someone else? Also, this site is independent of the Class so the office doesn't provide technical support.

    Third, the registration and posting process on this site is the same used by most forums across the internet. Jelsoft's software, vBulletin, is very popular. This site pretty much follows the internet standard as far as forum posting and terminology goes.

    Nonetheless, the process goes as follows:
    Register: Fill in the required fields and respond to the automated email to confirm your account.
    Post: Go to the section you want to post a new thread in (descriptions are posted under the titles). Click the New Thread button and type your message/question. When finished, click Submit and your done!

    Fourth, I apologize for the email form not working. I didn't realize it was going in an endless loop. I will get this fixed as soon as possible. You can always click the Forum Leaders link on the middle of the home page to find direct contact information for the site administrator(s).

    Best Regards,
     
  3. Carib_Jim

    Carib_Jim New Member

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    Re: To Forum moderator re problems posting

    Dear Bradley,
    Following your letter items:
    #1) Thank you for responding and indicating you were sorry I had so much trouble signing up for the Forum.
    #2) You said, “I’m not sure how you would have been referred to Jelsoft. Maybe it was somebody else.” Yes, it was to University at Albany Listserv server (14.5), whatever that is. Who, supposedly then forwarded it to you.
    #3) You said, “The registration and posting process on this site is the same used by most across the internet. Jelsoft’s software, vBulletin, is very popular. This site follows the internet standard as far as forum positing and terminology goes.”
    This is where you and I have a problem. You seem to think that since this vBulletin system is popular, that any idiot like myself should be able to sign on without any trouble. Well let’s get real, anybody that signs up for a forum has to do it for the FIRST TIME at some point in their life. This happens to be my first time and let me tell you it makes no difference whether this program is popular or not, it is still not user friendly to a newbie, first time forum user. What you, and other computer veterans, have trouble understanding, or even contemplating, is that there are still millions of people who have never used a chat room, and have never signed up for a forum. More specifically, I would guess that includes a substantial number of Sunfish sailors. To the credit of the vBulletin system, it lets anybody read what’s on the discussion sites without having to join anything. But, I would guess there are many Sunfish sailors who would occasionally like to post a “new thread” and/or respond with a continuing thread and are intimidated by the challenge of signing up as a member. (Let me remind you that the class officer who I got in touch with did not know how to post a question to the forum, and the Class Office pointed me in the wrong direction.)
    As per my initial post, the point of this is to suggest that a procedure page be created that could be downloaded and printed, giving step-by-step instructions on joining the site and how to post a new thread, etc. Your lack of comment on this idea in your reply indicates that you don’t feel that newbies should get any extra help. You seem to prefer to keep the forum limited to the more computer literate part of the class. I’m usually a very benign, “don’t rock the boat” person, but this elitist attitude (which is probably unintentional) really irritates me. Sorry to be such a pain on this subject.
     
  4. Zeppo

    Zeppo Member

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    Your frustration aside.......you should sell the rights to your e-mail for use in a comedy skit. Hilarious, well written!!
     
  5. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll have to admit, I did get a chuckle out of your first message. Anyways, I have fixed the contact us link. I will work on some kind of FAQ for registering and posting but I don't think a downloadable guide would really be that useful. If one can't find clearly marked buttons such as Register or New Thread, I doubt he or she will manage to download this guide you suggested.

    Welcome to The Sunfish Forum and let me know if you have any further questions.
     
  6. scap114

    scap114 Member

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    I don't consider myself a 'computer veteran' but I can read and I had no trouble registering for this site. I have been able to reply to posts with minimal problems and could probably start an original thread if I had anything important to discuss. I have found people on the site, as well as the administrator more than willing to lend assistance when contacted. As I assume this forum is for and made up of real people, I did not have to make up 'false names' to join, as I take full responsibility for my opinions. I have found this site to be informative, entertaining and 99.99% of the time devoted to issues common to Sunfish sailors. Keep up the good work, it is greatly appreciated!!
     
  7. Carib_Jim

    Carib_Jim New Member

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    I agree with Scap114 that this Sunfish Forum is an excellent site for Sunfish related info. And I'm pleased that he had no problems registering and posting to the site. However, I did have problems and my arguement is that there are others who might have had problems and gave up. Scap114 also says he didn't have to use any false names -- so I am to believe his name is really Scap114 --I don't think so.
    Regarding Bradley's last comment that, "if one can't find clearly marked buttons such as Register or New Thread, I doubt he or she will manage to download this guide you suggest." Bradley may be correct in that observation. However, Bradley is still having trouble comprehending the mind of a genuine new user. "Thread" is an item that is used in sewing. A "clearly marked" New Thread button means nothing, absolutely nothing, to a genuine new user. At the very least, please put a definition of the words Post, Thread, and New Thread in the FAQ section. If a definition of these words had been part of FAQ at the time I was trying to send my first Posting, it would have only taken me a few minutes instead of a week to accomplish that task.
     
  8. Carib_Jim

    Carib_Jim New Member

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    P.S. In rereading my original post on this subject, I asked what is a "Listserve". I have never received an answer to that question and I still don't know what it is or what its purpose is. This is another word that needs defining in the FAQ section.
     
  9. scap114

    scap114 Member

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    Oh come on now, get real. If you go to any "thread" and look at who has posted, 99% of the time you will not find a "real name", you find "log on" names. People pick a name to "log on" under, that is not their real name. They may want to paint a picture of themselves, such as "Old Man of the Seas", or "Rookie" or use an identifying "Log on", such as Petrel1040 which may be a sail number. You find "real names" under the Profile of the user. My "real name" is not Scap114 but the "Scap" does come from part of my real name, just like the "Jim" comes from part of your real name.
    As far as "thread", one of the meanings you will find in a dictionary is "a train of thought" along with " a continuing element". "Thread" is not limited to sewing. I happen to "thread" my mainsheet through the blocks on my boom. I also "thread" my way through the cars in the parking lot when I go to the waters edge after parking my car. I have been known to "thread" the bolt of the goose neck back into the goose neck when adjusting it. Sew much for that.
     
  10. Carib_Jim

    Carib_Jim New Member

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    Whoa – I didn’t mean to upset anybody, I was only pointing out what I had previously said, that there were false names involved in signing up for the site – nothing more, nothing less. Since I know more about it at this point, I would guess it’s a common practice with forum sites, etc. Regarding the various uses for the word “thread” you are certainly correct that it can be used in many ways. Unfortunately, being a total newbie to a forum site, the button with “new thread” didn’t mean anything to me. I was incorrectly looking for a button that said “Post” or “New Post”, which I never found. Perhaps I really am the only stupid person who has trouble with internet site language and I will now stop trying to beat a dead horse.
     

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