MARK SIREK Administrator Posts: 317

If you’re new to this sort of community interaction–sharing, learning, and stoking out your fellow adventurers–here’s a list of tips to help you get the most out of the experience.

Use the reactions. These let you share how you feel about other’s comments. The most liked content shows up on the Best Of page.

Mention others. Put an @ symbol before the username to mention someone. They’ll get notified when you do.

Update your notification preferences. Currently, all of your notifications are set to "ON." This means you’ll receive a notification if someone mentions you or posts to a discussion that you’ve bookmarked. You can modify or reset notifications from the Edit Profile page, or by clicking the "bell" icon in the upper right corner, and clicking the icon to the right of the word, "Notifications."

Send messages. You can message members privately by going to your inbox, or visiting their profile page (click their username anywhere).

Don’t want to see everyone’s signature? You can hide signatures by going to Edit Profile > Signature Settings.

Check out the forum from your mobile phone. Just go to the forum URL in your browser - no need to download an app.

Want to embed a YouTube video, a Pinterest Pin or a Tweet?

Scroll down and on the right column, click “New Post” and then “New Discussion”

In the bottom of your main message body box, there are four icons: "Emoji," "Photo," then "Media," followed by "Attachment." 'Click on the "Media” icon.

Go to your YouTube video of choice and click “Share” under the video player. Then copy and paste the shareable link into the URL space of the "Insert Media" pop up box.

Click “Insert” and the video will appear in the copy box and be ready to share!

Same for Vimeo- just make sure your video is either public or embeddable!

Check out what’s going on with other community members on the Activity page.

To make your own posts:

Make the discussion title or question as descriptive as possible. A good discussion title is a short preview of your post and is what gets people to click and read. A well written title is also going to help search engines better index your post which will bring more people into the discussion. For example, instead of ‘Gear Question’, try ‘Looking For The Best Canister Stove Above Treeline.’

. To share or compose a post from a separate doc, use "shift + command + v" to paste the text into a new post on The Trailhead, otherwise it ends up looking kind of wonky. You can drag photos - they need to be labeled as "JPG or JPEG" - into the spots you want them to be.

Proofread. Spelling mistakes, typos, and bad grammar will distract readers from the point you’re trying to make. Vanilla automatically saves drafts as you type. If you’re writing a long post, save it as a draft and come back to it after a few minutes or as long as it takes your brain to forget what you had written.

Use minimal formatting. Overly formatted posts can also distract from the message, and it encourages others to do likewise and you end up with a hard to read thread.

Put your post in the right category. The right category can be the one that has a relevant category name, or it can be a category where this kind of post is often made.

Use tags. Tags are helpful for others to find keyword related posts. It also helps the site admins get a sense for what topics are popular.

If you want responses, ask for them. In marketing this is called a ‘call to action’. If you want others to comment, you can encourage them by asking them to do so. If your post is just an FYI then don’t.

Go easy on the insider jargon. Inside jokes and inside references can be fun and make the community unique but too much of it can turn off new members.

Add an image. Images add visual interest and make your post look great when shared to social networks. You can embed an image using the button bar or you can upload one from your desktop or phone.

Mention others. Credit other members if you are building off their previous comments or if you want to draw them into the discussion. Put the @ before a username to mention someone.

Take ownership. Most important of all, take ownership of the discussions that you have created. Respond to comments promptly and thoughtfully. Thank others for commenting on your discussion and help with moderation if things get heated.

Thanks for posting! Have fun!