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Forum Usage FAQ

Frequently asked questions about how to use the TechSoup Community Forum

The community forum has a different look?
A few years ago, we moved the community forum to a new, robust platform with many more features for our users. We also periodically revise the community forum categories.
What about my user account? What about the past forum discussions?
You have the same user account you've always had! And all of the previous forums, topics, posts, and private messages are still present on the forum.
What kind of cool enhancements does the new forums platform have?
Here's a few of our favorite new features:
  • Tagging: You can add descriptive keywords (tags) to any posts you make, or previous posts you've made! Users can then search topics by tag, making information even easier to find. When creating or editing a post, look at the bottom, and you will see the Compose tab, and a field called Tags. You may enter tags manually or click Selected Tags button and a list of existing tags will appear for your use. Commonly used tags will appear larger than others. For more information on tagging please see the TechSoup article 13 Tips for Effective Tagging.
  • RSS: You can subscribe to a forum, topic, thread, or user via an RSS feed. To subscribe to an RSS feed, click the RSS feed icon in your browsers' address bar and select the RSS subscription of your choice and this will be added to your RSS reader. For more information on RSS, please see CommonCraft's short video: RSS in Plain English.
  • Favorites: Favorites to mark one another as friends. It also allows you to identify favorite posts or favorite forums for quick access, which will then display in your favorites list on your user profile.
  • Ratings: There is a rating box at the upper-right corner of each forum post. You can rate the value of a post by highlighting one to five stars. Your rating will display in the forum post list when you close the post. The more stars you highlight, the higher the rating. Ratings can help remind you of the value of the post or to alert other members of the community to its value.
  • Activity stream: The activity stream shows all of your recent activity on the forum. You can click on a specific activities, users, and forums within the activity stream to navigate directly to a particular activity.
But what about all my forum branch and thread subscriptions?
Forum subscriptions were not carried over from the old forums platform. You will need to re-subscribe to any forum branch, topic, thread, or user that you wish to receive email or RSS notifications for.
How do I subscribe or unsubscribe by email to a forum thread?
You can choose to get an email notification when a user replies to a specific thread. This feature is useful if you want to follow the discussion about a specific topic. To unsubscribe, check or uncheck the "Email me when someone replies" button at the bottom of a post. You can also click on the link at the bottom of your email subscription and that will take you directly to the thread where you may unsubscribe.
How do I subscribe to a forum?
You can manage your forum subscriptions by clicking on the "forum subscriptions" link at the top right of your dashboard page. From there you may select which forum branch you would like to subscribe to via email. You will then receive an email every time there is a new post in the forum(s) for which you subscribe.
Where do I modify my TechSoup Forum User Profile?
When logged into the TechSoup forum, click on your username at the top of the page. Your forum page should appear. From here, click on "Edit profile" to manage your profile information, site preferences, and email subscriptions on the two settings tabs.
What if I don't want certain profile information to display publicly?
By modifying your TechSoup Community Forum user profile, you can determine what information is publicly displayed. To get to the "Edit Your Profile" page, select "My Account" from the top right links. Leave any field blank that you do not want to appear on your profile.
What are announcements?
Announcements are any message you would like to make public to others. When you post an announcement, this will display on your public profile. Users can subscribe to other users announcements via RSS by clicking on the little RSS button at the side of the announcements box.
What are comments?
Users can make a comment on other user's profiles which will display publicly. If you want to send a user a private message, you may email or send the user a private message.
When I try to upload an avatar and click update, why doesn't my picture stay?
After the image is uploaded, scroll to the bottom of the page and click save. Then your picture will be saved as your profile image.
What are the "Gallery" and "Edit API Keys" for?
By default, these fields appear on your profile page, although these do not display publicly. The forums will soon be updated to remove these fields.
How do I add a favorite feed to my user profile?
Copy and paste the RSS feed (not website URL) of the feed you wish to share into the "Shared Feeds" field. You can get the feed address by selecting the RSS feed icon in your browser's address bar and copying the URL for the feed.
How do I change my password?
Your password is changed through your TechSoup account, not your forum user profile. At the top of any TechSoup page, click "My account" from the top right links and then select "Edit my user profile" to change your password information.
The font size is too small and hard to read. How do I fix this?
Click on the "My Account" link at the top of the page and then click the Site Options tab. Under Font Size, you can select the font size you'd like to use. In the future we will be changing the default font size to a larger size for easier readability.
How do I view only new posts?
To see only new posts, view the main forums page. At the top of the forums is a section called Sort By, then click Unread At the bottom of the Topics box click the View More link. You'll then see a two drop-down menus that will let you filter by forum and a timeframe. You can also link directly to this page.
How do I see who has responded to an individual post as well as the full discussion thread?
You can view forum discussions as flat discussions where content is displayed in the order as it was posted or you may view the forums as threaded discussions that show the relationship between authors as they respond to individual posts.To change your view, click on the "My Account" link at the top of the page, click the Site Options tab, and select Flat or Threaded.
What if I have a question about the community forum that isn't answered here?
Post it in the TechSoup/TechSoup Stock Help forum and we will help you.