We are starting to get a feel for the problems most usually encountered by Forum 2020 users, so here’s some hints and tips for how to get around them along with some musings on good forum etiquette. Please let us know if something’s troubling you that isn’t answered here by emailing us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and we can make sure an answer is added.
Hints, tips and etiquette
User id and password
- Why do I have to keep entering my user id and password when I want to access Forum 2020?
- I’ve forgotten my password – help!
- Why do I have to have such a complicated password – I can’t possibly remember it and have to keep resetting it?
- I’ve tried requesting a password reset, but always get an error when I click the link in the reset email I receive
- I’ve reset my password, but I’m still getting an error every time I try to use my new password
Subscriptions for email notifications
- I can’t figure out how to set my subscriptions to receive email notifications
- I always used to receive email notifications from the old forum, but don’t seem to have had any from the new forum
- Sometimes when I click on links in notifications I can go directly to the forum to see the full trail of posts, but other times I just get an error
- I find that sometimes I get email notifications for replies to posts, without ever having seen the original post
- I’m sure I’m missing some email notifications, can you check if they have been sent?
- I enjoy receiving notifications of village news, but some days it just feels like too many mails
- I used to enjoy receiving your emails, but I just feel bombarded with notifications of things which are of little or no interest. How can I stop them?
- I’ve just posted to the forum but haven’t received an email notification
- I keep finding mails from the forum in my junk folder
Using the forum
- Quite a lot of the instructions refer to the blue banner menu, but I don’t know what this is
- I can’t see the blue menu / the forum categories, why is this?
- If I try to add a new post, there is a long delay after I hit submit before the post is added
- I’m having trouble uploading pictures, why is this?
- When I look at posts on the forum, why do some people’s names have stars after them?
Village noticeboard vs parish pump
In days of yore, people found out about information either by reading notices on a board, or by chatting in small groups around the parish pump. The forum is more of a village noticeboard where information is published for all to see, rather than as a way for several hundred people to listen in to what is essentially a conversation between two people.
To that end, it would really help when you have items that are lost, found or just needing a new home, if you would provide your contact details when starting a new forum topic so that those who are interested can get in touch directly. If you are interested in replying, please contact the original poster directly rather than replying via the forum, which is like posting your reply on the village noticeboard for several hundred people to see.
Similarly please don’t just hit ‘Reply’ to respond to a notification email, it’s akin to replying to the noticeboard when you need to reply to the person!
The reach of the forum
The forum currently has more than 800 members, of whom over half receive an email notification for each new topic that is posted. Of those, the majority also receive email notifications for each reply. When posting a reply it may feel as though you are just responding to the person who started the topic, but in fact you are replying to several hundred people! Please think carefully before posting a reply – is it intended for one person or many?
Politeness is key
Within The Lee, there are people with many differing opinions on politics, the environment, neighbourliness etc. Whilst the forum always encourages discussion, please remember that it should be welcoming to all and not used to disparage others’ views or behaviour.
The Forum wasn’t designed for commercial advertising of goods or services – the place for that is in The Lee Newsletter – it’s there for small ads posted by people selling personal belongings. From time to time we are approached by people wanting to advertise who we point in the direction of the newsletter, but sometimes members forget the T&Cs and post an advert anyway. We always send a quiet note to remind them, and in some circumstances will also remove the post completely.
The exception to this rule is Shop at The Lee, which is a community owned, not for profit shop rather than a commercial enterprise; additionally the Cock & Rabbit and Old Swan are permitted to post no more frequently than once every couple of weeks. We also tend to turn a blind eye to one-off posts by students trying to earn a bit of pocket money.
I have tried to register but not received a response
We had some initial teething problems that meant that some of our confirmation mails went astray. This issue has now been resolved, but if you applied in January 2020 and didn’t receive an acknowledgement, please email us at <email@example.com>.
We are aware that some people have a problem with our emails being incorrectly identified as spam/junk, so recommend that you regularly check your spam/junk folder if you are expecting a mail that doesn’t arrive. We have often found that including our email address of <firstname.lastname@example.org> in your email contacts list can avoid the mails being incorrectly identified.
I can’t figure out how to set my subscriptions to receive email notifications
To set your subscriptions you need to:
- log in to Forum 2020 with your email address/user id and password
- click on Subscriptions in the blue menu
- make your selection – we recommend that initially you subscribe to receive emails for all New Topics which is the same level as the old forum
I always used to receive email notifications from the old forum, but don’t seem to have had any from the new forum
The new forum is completely separate from the old forum, so you will need to set your subscriptions for email notifications again. This can be done by
- logging in to Forum 2020 with your email address/user id and password
- clicking on Subscriptions in the menu and making your selection – we recommend that initially you subscribe to receive emails for all New Topics which is the same level as the old forum
Step by step illustrated instructions for setting subscriptions can be found in the online User Guide.
If you’ve set your subscriptions but still aren’t receiving emails, it’s probably because they are being wrongly identified as spam/junk. The solution to this is to add the forum’s email address of <email@example.com> to your email contacts.
Sometimes when I click on links in notifications I can go directly to the forum to see the full trail of posts, but other times I just get an error
You can only click on a link to go directly to the forum if you are logged in to the forum on the device on which you are reading the notification – if you are not logged in then when you click the link you will get an error message which looks like…
The solution is the same in both cases – you need to login to Forum 2020 by:
- clicking Login in the blue menu above the error
- entering your username or email address
- entering your password
Step by step illustrated examples of how to log in can be found in the online User Guide.
- Checking the Remember Me box when logging in means you won’t be asked to log in again on this device for another two weeks
- Being logged in on one device will not automatically log you in on another device (by device, we mean a PC, laptop, phone, tablet etc.)
I find that sometimes I get email notifications for replies to posts, without ever having seen a notification of the original post
Unfortunately the text in some of the posts falls foul of the rather opaque spam filters applied by the different email hosting systems. BT seem to have particularly strict filters, but you can avoid the problem by whitelisting the forum up as a Safe Sender which will ensure that you receive all our mails. Mail us at <firstname.lastname@example.org> for assistance with defining the forum as a BT Safe Sender.
I’m sure I’m missing some email notifications, can you check if they have been sent?
Because we send thousands of mails each day, we only keep the sent mails for a week. We also keep a log of mails for a month, after which time all records are purged.
If there is a particular mail that you know is missing, and you know it isn’t in your spam folder, please contact us within the week and we can resend it. If it’s been missing for between one and four weeks then we can confirm when it was sent, but won’t have the mail itself to resend.
From time to time we get bounceback messages informing us that our emails have been rejected by the receiving mail system. If this is due to a systemic problem, such as your mailbox being full, we will usually try to contact you by some other means to let you know that there is a problem.
I enjoy receiving notifications of village news, but some days it just feels like too many mails
There are two ways in which you can reduce the volume of email notifications whilst still keeping in touch:
- Subscribe to New Topics rather than All Posts to just get notifications of all new topics without notifications of all the replies; you can always subscribe to replies for individual topics in which you are interested without feeling that you have to have notifications for all replies all of the time.
- Because the forum is divided into categories, you can set Individual Subscriptions to receive notifications of new topics only for those categories in which you are interested. For example, you might subscribe to Shop at The Lee, Parish Council, HS2 etc. but not subscribe to Wanted and For Sale, Lost and Found etc.
Full instructions for how to amend your email notification subscriptions can be found in the Subscription Settings section of the forum’s User Guide.
I used to enjoy receiving your emails, but I just feel bombarded with notifications of things which are of little or no interest. How can I stop them?
It’s easy – although not obvious – how to unsubscribe. The trick is to choose Individual Subscriptions rather than New Topics or All Posts, and then not specify any categories for which you wish to receive notifications. You can find some notes on this in the User Guide.
I’ve just posted to the forum but haven’t received an email notification
The email notifications are intended to alert Forum members to new posts, so an email isn’t sent to the originator of the post as they already know about it.
Unfortunately there isn’t an option to allow you to receive a mail of your own post, but if you can see it in the forum a minute or so after you hit Submit then everything is fine.
I keep finding mails from the forum in my junk folder
Some email hosting systems have strict spam filters which either reject mails from the forum completely, or else incorrectly indentify them as spam and route them to your junk folder. BT and Hotmail are particular culprits, but it could be any of them; spam filters are updated very regularly behind the scenes, so something that is acceptable one week may not be acceptable the next.
There is however a way around this problem, which is to whitelist the forum’s email address of <email@example.com>.
If you have a BT email address (one ending in btopenworld.com or btinternet.com) this can be done by adding the forum’s email address to the Safe Sender list. Please email us at <firstname.lastname@example.org> and we can send you instructions.
For Hotmail and other email systems, you can whitelist the forum’s email address by adding it to your list of contacts. Please note that you have to log in to to Hotmail etc. to add the address to add the address to your mail system’s contacts, it isn’t sufficient to add it to the contacts on your phone. This is because any mail you are sent will first go to the Hotmail etc. server and then be routed to your phone – if you’ve only added the address to the contacts on your phone, the email will have been rejected before it ever gets there!
Why do I have to keep entering my user id and password when I want to access Forum 2020?
We take the security and integrity of Forum 2020 very seriously, and don’t think it’s wise for people to stay logged in for extended periods. If you click Remember Me when logging in, you won’t be asked to log in again on that device for another two weeks.
Don’t forget – you only need to log in if you want to post something or change your subscriptions; you don’t need to be logged in to receive email notifications.
I’ve forgotten my password – help!
Don’t panic, you can reset your password. Step by step illustrated instrutions for this can be found in the online User Guide.
Why do I have to have such a complicated password – I can’t possibly remember it and have to keep resetting it?
We take the security and integrity of Forum 2020 very seriously, and as such want to encourage good practice in always using strong passwords. However, you DON’T have to accept the gobbledegook default password that is offered to you when you set or reset your password, you can always delete the suggested characters and enter whatever you like.
Step by step illustrated instructions for resetting your password can be found in the online User Guide.
The goal for a good password is that it should be ‘easy to remember but hard to guess’, and some helpful tips can again be found in the forum’s online User Guide.
I’ve tried requesting a password reset, but always get an error when I click the link in the reset email I receive
There could be a number of reasons for this:
- Password reset links are only valid for 24 hours, so please do action the link as soon as you receive it.
- If you request multiple password resets, then each link will supersede the previous. This means that only the latest link you receive will be valid.
- Occasionally the links aren’t properly read by the internal software, and the way around this is to paste the link into your browser, rather than clicking on it.
If you need help with resetting your password, take a look at the step by step illustrated instructions for resetting your password in the online User Guide. Step 4 shows how to cope with links that don’t work properly, and need to be pasted into your browser.
I’ve reset my password, but I’m still getting an error every time I try to use my new password
This is a tricky one, but we have sometimes found that your browser/device has saved the old password and is using that rather than the new password. Whenever you change the password, make sure to type in your username and new password rather than letting the system log you in, and ensure that any stored passwords are cleared/updated.
If this doesn’t resolve the problem, please drop us a line and we’ll try to get to the bottom of it.
Quite a lot of the instructions refer to the blue banner menu, but I don’t know what this is
If you are accessing the forum on a full size computer or laptop screen, then the menu is part way down the forum home page, after the text, and looks like this when you are logged in:
or like this when you aren’t logged in:
If however you are using a mobile phone or tablet with a smaller screen, you won’t see the full menu, you’ll just see three blue bars like this:
To see the menu items you’ll need to click on the three bars to expand the menu, which will look like this if you are logged in:
or like this if you aren’t logged in:
I can’t see the blue menu / the forum categories, why is this?
There is quite a lot of text at the top of the forum’s home page, with some tips for using the forum. Depending on the size of your screen, you may need to scroll down to be able to see the blue menu and (if you are logged in) the forum categories beneath it.
If I try to add a new post, there is a long delay after I hit submit before the post is added
The forum developers have identified two areas to which changes could be made in order to speed up the response time, but unfortunately we don’t have an estimated date for when these changes will be available.
Please don’t hit the Submit button again, as this just results in your post being created multiple times.
In the meantime please bear with us, we do recognise the issue and thank you for your patience while we try to get it resolved.
I’m having trouble uploading pictures, why is this?
There are two limits to be aware of when trying to upload pictures:
- no individual picture can be more than 2mb in size
- a maximum of five pictures can be attached to each post
Pictures taken on phones are often much larger than 2mb, so the size needs to be reduced before trying to upload it. There are various ways you can do this:
- if you email the picture to yourself, you’ll be given the option to attach a smaller version than the original; if you then save the picture attached to the mail it should now be small enough to upload
- you can download a resizing app such as Image Size or Compress Photos
- if you are using a Windows PC:
- you can use the Paint app to resize the picture (setting it to 25% of the original size usually works)
- you can use the Photos app to resize the picture (click the three small dots at the top right to get a menu of options, choose Resize, choose Best for emails and messages, and save the resized photo ready for upload)
- on an iphone you can:
- resize a photo in the Photos app, but only if you are cropping it at the same time
- when choosing the file to upload from your Photo Library
- scroll down to the bottom of the screen before clicking Done
- click Choose Image size
- choose Small then go back and hit Done
When I look at posts on the forum, why do some people’s names have stars after them?
Star charts are a way of rewarding good behaviour! In this case, stars are awarded based on the number of times the person has posted to the forum. You get 1* for 10 posts, 2* for 25, 3* for 50, 4* for 100 and 5* for 250 posts.