Forums

What are UK Forums?

UK Forums have a slightly different purpose to Mattermost – here's a summary:

Mattermost is for:

Forums are for:

So, if the issue needs more in-depth attention, where contributions go towards making decisions, perhaps, or where differences of approach need closer examination, a Forum Topic can act as both a focus and catalyst for discussion. Also, you can look back through the topic's contributions to see how a decision was made – this often helps to promote ideas and help to reach agreements.

Getting access

Important: You should have already completed the steps outlined on the START HERE page before attempting to access UK Forums. Otherwise, you will not have an account to log in to.

To access UK Forums:

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OR

You will then see a screen that looks like this:

The easiest option is to click the log in 'with XR UK Hub' button. Or, you can enter your username and password (same as for the Hub) and hit Log In.

Note: We recommend adding UK Forum to your browser's Bookmarks/Favourites so that it's easier to find in future.

Our Forums are organised in much the same way as Mattermost, but the format is not quite the same. Here's what you'll see when you first join UK Forums.

Basic Functions

Forums 'Landing Page'

On the Forums' 'Landing Page', you will find a complete list of the Forums you're part of as per your Hub Group Membership. For ease of reference, your Forums are classified into Eight Categories which reflect the different Regions/Nations and Working Groups (or Circles) that make up XR UK. Here's a typical Landing Page showing all Eight Categories:

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On the Landing Page, you'll find the Forums from each of your Hub Groups as clickable link names in the different Categories. If there's a new post waiting for your attention, you'll see an 'unread' or 'new' button – click on this to go to the flagged post. There are several other functions, which are descibed in more detail below; but, first, let's see how to read and reply to messages.

Reading and Replying to Posts

When you click on new or unread, you will be directed to the specific topic, where individual posts are listed in chronological order. If visiting the topic for the first time, you will see the initial post. If you've visited this topic before, you will see the post immediately after that visit. In the image, below, the "17/18" figures denote the 17th of 18 posts.

Forum_Post_01_10Mar21.jpg

You may reply to any individual post, or make an additional post using the 'Reply' button. When you reply, you enter your text in the left-hand box – and you will see how the text will be displayed when your reply is posted, to the right. This is very useful for text formatting (Bold, Italics, Markdown formatting, etc.) - see below.

Forum_Post_02_28Mar21.jpg

When you've finished your post, click the Reply button below the text box, and your reply post will be added to the Topic. It really is that simple – and, if you need to edit your reply after it has been posted, click the Pencil icon to re-enter the text box.

Now you know how to Post a Reply, it's time to look more closely at some of the Advanced Functions.

Advanced Functions

Using the Landing Page

Here, we have highlighted seven of the functions you will find on the Landing Page.

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  1. Communicatons tools links
    Click on the icons to go to Mattermost, UK Cloud, XR UK's website and the Hub.


  2. Search
    Click the Magnifying Glass icon to search for keywords, etc. in the Forums.

    Forum_Search_Icon_20May21.jpg


  1. Main menu
    The three bars ('hamburger') icon brings up the main (drop-down) menu:
    Forum_Hamburger_Icon_20May21.jpg

  1. Latest
    This takes you to a list of the latest posts in all your topics in each category.

    Latest_Topics_23May21.jpg


  1. Bookmarks
    This takes you to a list of the topics you have bookmarked.

    Bookmarks_23May21.jpg


  2. Categories
    These include:

    • Help Info & Tech
    • Regions/Nations & Local
    • Our Culture
    • Organising
    • Arts & Actions
    • Media & Messaging
    • Outreach & Training
    • Politcal & Lobbying

  1. Forums
    These are your Hub Group Forums where you can see and reply to posts in various topics.

Using my Forums

Overview

The eight top-level Categories - Help, Regions/Nations, Culture, etc. - are visible to everyone, but your membership of Hub Groups will determine the individual Public and Private Forums that are available to you.

Join other Public Forums

You can join any Public Forum by searching for the associated Hub Group by clicking on the Three lines (hamburger) icon in the top-right corner and selecting 'Groups for Forums'.

This will give you the Hub Groups list. You can search by entering text in the box at the top, or simply scroll down to find the relevant Group name. Click on Join to join the Group and get access to its Public Forums, or click on the name for more info. See the page Join groups for more information.

Join a Private Forum

To join a Hub Group's Private Forums, you will have to be invited into the Hub Group, so you will need to ask one of the Group Admins to invite you to join via the Hub.

Read-only Forums

Some discussions may be read-only for most people, with only certain people able to contribute (e.g. Hints and Tips).

Help - 'Page does not exist'

Sometimes, you will see a page like this:

pagenotexist.png You may see this because you have clicked a link on another Platform, like Mattermost, which takes you to a Forum that you are not part of. To fix this:

Making your post

When to start a new topic

Before starting a new topic, it is always worth checking whether the issue has already been discussed (by looking through the previous topics) – it can be very frustrating when someone begins a fresh topic with a question that has already been answered.

Quote text from other posts

To do this, simply highlight the relevant text in the source post. The 'Quote' button will appear above the highlighted text:

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If you are already editing a reply, or starting a fresh topic, then in the top half of the screen, above the editing pane, you can browse around as normal and select text from any post, and the 'Quote' button will insert it in the editor for you.

If you have not yet started editing your reply, click the 'Quote' button to open the editing pane in the bottom half of the screen. The selected text will be inserted as a quote with the source post and contributor linked to it. You can then carry on and edit your reply as normal.

Formatting posts

There are simple ways to make your message more readable:

quote

Alert someone to a post

If you want to draw the attention of another team member to a post you are making, type @ followed immediately by their username, e.g. '@username'. They will be notified of the mention.

Simply copy the address from your browser and paste it into your new post. The Forums will automatically find the title of the topic and add that as the link text.

Move a Topic to a new Category

If you have set up a Topic and wish to move it to another Category, follow these steps:

  1. Click the "Pencil" by the title of your first post
  2. The current Category is displayed – open the drop-down menu
  3. In the search box, type in the text to help identify the new Category
  4. Select the appropriate Category from the drop-down menu
  5. Confirm your selection by clicking the "Tick"