Starting a discussion
This is our guide to starting a new discussion on the forum. This lets you to start conversations with other people to discuss anything that may be on your mind, ask for advice and support or share what's going on in your life.
Picking the topic for the discussion
When starting a discussion the first thing to do is to decide where it will appear. Have a look through the forum and see where you think your discussion would fit. Then click the link that says 'Start new discussion':
Creating a discussion
After starting a discussion you'll be taken to the page which allows you enter the details of the message you want to publish.
The first field to fill in is the subject. This is the title of your discussion. It will be shown in the topic's index and at the top of each page of your discussion.
Type in this box the title you would liked to use. Try to be as clear as possible. If you aren't certain have a look at other discussions for examples.
Next you have the option to change where the discussion will appear. You shouldn't need to change this:
Finally you should complete the body of the message. This is the content of your discussion. There's no limit on how long this can be, so write as much as you would like:
There are extra options available in the grey bar at the top of this box.
Most of these options are similar to those you will find in common word processors, such as Word. The two options you may not be familiar with are smileys and adding links.
You can add smileys to messages in two ways.
You can use normal text shortcuts and they will be replaced with with appropriate images. A list of all the text shortcuts can be seen in our discussion about smileys.
You can also click on the smiling face in the grey bar. This will make a new window appear from which you can select an appropriate image:
Just click on the image you would like to use and it will appear in your message.
There are two ways to add links.
You can type in or paste a full web address (a URL such as 'www.autism.org.uk'). When your message is posted this will work as a link.
The other option is a little more complicated but allows you to link words or phrases to websites. To do this first select the word or phrase you would like to appear as a link and click the 'link' icon (this looks like links in a chain):
This will open a new window:
In this window you have three boxes.
The Link URL is the web address you want the link to go to (such as 'http://www.autism.org.uk)
The Target option allows you to decide if the link will open in new window or the same window.
To make the link open in a new window select 'Open the link in a new window' from the drop-down list.
To make the link open in the same window leave this blank or select 'Open the link in the same window'.
The Title sets the text the link will use. You can leave this blank and the original text you selected will become the link.
Once you are ready click the 'Insert' button. If you change your mind and don't want to post a link you can click the 'Cancel' button.
You link will now appear in your message:
Publishing your discussion
When you're finished creating your discussion you should click the 'Submit' button to publish it:
Your discussion will now appear in the topic you picked, ready for other people to respond.
That's the end of this section covering posting new discussions. You can continue to read about replying to discussions.
If you need any more help please contact us and we'll reply to you about the problems you're experiencing.
The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org