If you're a new user of our Motley Fool Community Boards, we invite you to begin with the following links, which will orient you to our platform.
If you're a more advanced user of our boards, however, we have features that will allow you to customize your experience. Simply click the links below to learn more.
- Customize the Boards — Settings to personalize your view.
- Favorite Boards — Boards you love to read.
- Favorite / Ignored Fools — Read posts from only those you respect, or ignore someone who's being obnoxious or wasting your time.
- Personal Profile — Tell us about yourself.
- Interview Yourself — Tell us more.
- Display Settings — Customize how the boards appear.
- Change Your Password — Update your way in.
- E-mail to a Friend and Format for Printing — Send favorite posts to your friends or print them for yourself.
- Lucky Charms — Tokens of Foolish achievement.
- Mark For Later Reply — Keep track and reply later.
- Mark Individual Boards Read — When you want to clear only some of the boards.
- Recommended Posts — Cast your vote for great posts.
- Style Your Posts — Add italics, bold, and hyperlinks.
- Threaded/Unthreaded Toggling — Change views at the post level.
- Track Replies — See instantly who responds to your posts.
Registered members are also allowed to specially customize the discussion boards. At the top of every screen, you'll see the word "Customize" in the blue navigation bar. Click it! You'll see several options:
- Favorite Boards — Click here to add boards to your Favorites list. You can add a favorite board by typing in a ticker symbol or by manually choosing it from our list. However, the easiest way to add a board to your Favorites list is when you're actually reading through the board. You'll always see a little red heart on each discussion board, like this:. Click it to add it to your Favorites. Remember — You can always access your Favorites by clicking "Favorites/Replies" at the top of the screen.
- Favorite/Ignored Fools — Do you have some favorite friends on the boards, perhaps someone whose posts you love to read? Add them to your Favorite Fools and you'll always be able to see their most recent posts. This way, each night, you can see what all of your friends are writing in just a click or two. Conversely, there are some people you would rather just ignore. Add these people to your Penalty Box (don't forget to turn it on), and their messages will be grayed out and unreadable in the index. A shortcut to add to either list is the smile and frown buttons next to the author's name.
- Personal Profile — This feature allows you to tell the world as much or as little about yourself as you'd like. Heck, you don't have to tell us anything if you don't want, but it's an awful lot of fun to learn a bit more about the people we talk to on the boards. You can read other people's profiles by clicking on their name inside the discussion boards. Chances are, before long, you'll find someone out there who has something in common with you. Maybe you went to the same school or like the same kind of music. You never know and that's the fun! So, take this opportunity to tell the world about yourself, as much or as little as you like.
- Interview Yourself — Yep, the squirrels at Fool Labs have created a cool little "Self-interview" tool so you can have your very own fireside chat with us Fools. We're dying to get to know you better, so click in and interview yourself. We'll supply the Foolish questions!
- Display Settings — This group of options allows you to determine how the boards are set up for you.
- How many Boards or Messages are shown on each page? — This just refers to the number of items that show up on each page. Will you see 10 messages per page or 85? The default is 20, but you can set it as high as 99 per page. The fewer per page, the faster it goes.
- How should the Boards be sorted? — You can sort each board alphabetically by name. This is most common. You can also sort it by ticker symbol and get the tickers in alphabetical order. Sorting by last date allows you to see which boards have had the most recent activity, which is very useful tool. Finally, sorting by total will always show you the most populated boards in each area. This is a favorite of ours.
- How should the Messages be sorted? — This is one of the most unique features we have. You can sort by Unthreaded, Threaded, or Author.
- Unthreaded - Very simply, this lists posts in strictly chronological order. This is our default setting.
- Threaded - Those of you familiar with newsgroups will understand threading. For those of you who don't, it's pretty easy. Threaded discussions are grouped according to a specific subject. For example, you might start a thread by posting on the subject of "Intel's Earnings." If I respond to your post, mine will be "Re: Intel's Earnings" and so forth. All of the replies to your subject will be kept together. This makes it easy to follow each small discussion on a board. The difference between threaded and unthreaded is that threaded takes the subject into consideration first, and the chronological order second.
- Collapsed Mode - If you choose to view posts in threaded mode, you may Collapse or Expand all the threads. Click on Collapse All, and all the threads will be be listed with just the title. That's handy when there are long threads you wish to ignore. The number of posts in the thread will be shown. To then expand individual threads, click the + sign (clicking the - sign collapses individual threads.) To return to normal threaded view, click on Expand All. If you have questions about this or are still confused, mail us at Customer Support.
- Change Your Password — This one is pretty self-explanatory. If, for some reason, you want to change your password, this is where you go. Pretty easy.
Sometimes you want to send along a favorite post to a friend, or print one for your personal archives. To print, click the Format for Printing icon on the bottom left, beneath the message, then print as usual. To email the post, click "Post Reply." A post box will open, and underneath it you'll see some options. Uncheck the "Post This Reply to the Boards" option, then enter the email address of the person you'd like to send the post to, then click "Submit Message."
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Not the breakfast cereal, but tokens of Foolish achievement, badges if you will. Our first foray into Lucky Charms is to single out those Fools who have contributed much to our forum. Beside someone's name on their profile and their posts, you may see a little star icon.
The legend below indicates what each star signifies:
One star for 50 posts
Two stars for 250 posts
Three stars for 500 posts
A big red star for 1000 posts
A big gold star for 5000 posts
A big green star for 20,000 posts
Trophy for the 50 most loved Fools
Crown for the top 50 Rec-to-Post ratio
Old School Fool
New Fool Contributor -- Made 1st post within the last 60 days
A balloon bouquet to celebrate your Foolish anniversary
A green medal showing the CAPS All Stars
A question bubble representing a contributor to Motley Fool Answers
The lamp light of the Ticker Guides
The lamp light of the Coverage Fools
The nametag of the Home Fools
A number one designating the Fools from Motley Fool One
The Supernova icon for Mission Phoenix Team Members
The Supernova icon for Mission Odyssey Team Members
The Supernova icon for Mission Olympia 1 Winner
The Supernova icon for Mission Olympia 2 Winner
The Supernova Space Camp 1 icon for Winning Red Squad Captain
The Supernova Space Camp 1 icon for Winning Red Squad Member
The Supernova Space Camp 1 icon for Winning Blue Squad Captain
The Supernova Space Camp 1 icon for Winning Green Squad Captain
The Supernova Space Camp 1 icon for Winning Yellow Squad Captain
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Have you ever been reading a board and wanted to reply to a post but didn't know if someone had already answered the question? Perhaps you wanted to wait until the end of the conversation to get total context before posting? Now you can mark a post for later reply and keep track of all of those posts on one page. Just click "Reply Later," and you'll find the post in your Favorites/Replies page in a "Marked for Later Reply" tab.
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Sometimes, you want to clear out one board without marking everything as read. On the Favorites/Repliespage, you can mark an individual board as read instead of being forced to mark all of the folders as read.
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All registered members are allowed to recommend posts. If you see a fantastic post, just click "Recommend It!" on the page. Please don't use the Recommend feature to conduct personal polls or solicit responses. Doing so detracts from experience of finding the best posts, as rated by our readers.
To find the best posts, you can sort each board by recommendations and read the very best, member-voted contributions in seconds. You'll also be able to do an advanced search of our entire forum in our "Best Of" section of the discussion boards. This is especially helpful if you've been away for a few days and want to see the best stuff right away.
NB: In order to make the rec-to-post ratio mean anything, we decided to limit the number of recommendations someone can make in any given calendar day. This is intended to prevent rec inflation on posts and make the rec-to-post ratio more meaningful as a tool to find great content (or at least "popular" content). How many recs can you make each day? We're not specifying, because it will change often based on activity.
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Yes, you too can now use bold and italic (even bold italic if you are really clever!) type in your board posts! Fancy!
For those of you who know HTML, just use the standard opening and closing HTML tags when you write your post. The rest of us will need that explained. At the beginning of the text you want to enhance, type <b> for bold, and <i> for italic. At the end of the enhanced text, type </b> for bold, or </i> for italic, whichever you used (using both tags creates bold and italic text, of course).
Inserting a hyperlink is even simpler. Just type or paste it in. The post page will automatically change anything that starts with "www." or "http://" into a link. You don't have to do any fancy HTML formatting.
PRE tags are also supported for table data or ASCII art. Just use <PRE> and </PRE> surrounding the text. For word sentences within those tags, you will need to enter your own line breaks, or the post will be too wide to fit on the screen.
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Sometimes you want to see posts on their own, and sometimes you want to see posts in the context of the thread they're a part of. Now you can toggle back and forth between threaded and unthreaded mode at the post level. Just look for the UnThreaded and Threaded links at the top left of the post navigation, above the author's name.
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From the Favorites/Replies page, you can see at a glance when someone has responded to your posts. This is especially useful if you post to many boards and don't always know when someone is responding directly to you. Best of all, when you view the replies to your posts, you can see all replies on one page and decide very quickly if you want to respond to any of them.
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