FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

This page will evolve over time based on feedback. 

Much of the content in this FAQ is driven by the IDB Team answering questions from users (send us questions here) about how various aspects of the site work.  In general, our main approach is to make a site that 'just works' and does not generate bushels of questions from users.  But, in some cases, there's still a need for a FAQ, so here it is.

1) How do I join the site or how to I sign up?

A: Click the 'Sign Up' link in the top right corner of every page.  You will only see this link if you are not logged in.  Then sign up!  It's simple.  

2) What can I customize on IDB?

A: You can customize many things including:

  • Font size (My Account -> Board Preferences -> Settings tab)
  • How many messages you see in a message list (My Account -> Board Preferences -> Settings tab)
  • Private Messaging to Email settings (My Account -> Account tab) 
  • Per-board email notifications when a new post is made(!!) -> click on 'notifications' to the right of 'go to post number' when reading a board or when viewing a message board post.  Sends you an email per post (except if the post is authored by you) or sends a daily digest of posts.  Can do daily nofications on one board, per post notifications on the next board. (VERY COOL) Stay up to speed on the conversation VIA email without having to check in on the board all the time.  
  • Remembered Logins (My Account - Preferences -> Profile tab) -- you'll only see this if you told the system to 'keep me logged in' when you logged in.  It's in the 'Security' section of the tab.
  • You can remove users from your Ignore List, your Follow List, your Ignore Recs List (My Account -> Board Preferences) -- and you can add users to these lists by clicking links next to the author's name when reading posts.  You can also block users from being able to send you a PM.
  • Remove items from your Saved Searches (My Account -> Saved Searches tab)

3)  Message Board Features:

Q:  Can I edit posts?

A:  Yes, there is a 15 minute window after a post is submitted where the author can edit the post.  Revisons of all submitted edits are retained including time/date as well as the full text of each version of the post.  Use the edit feature only to correct errors.  If admin is required to remove a post due to a IDB User Agreement violation, the prior versions of the post are retained for admin to review.  Basically, every time you submit a post or a revision, a copy is retained of that version.  Only admin can see the revision history.

Q:  Can I save a draft post?

A:  Yes.  Draft posts are saved in My Account -> Draft Posts

Q:  Can I insert images into my post?

A:  Yes.  Using the editor tool when creating a post, you can upload an image from your PC or you can paste a URL into the image tool if the image is on the Internet.

Q:  Can I attach files such as spread sheets and PDF documents to my post?

A:  Yes.  You can upload one or more files of up to 2MB each.  The files must be one of the following file types:

txt pdf xls xlsx doc docx ppt pptx rtf png jpg jpeg gif zip

Images placed using the image tool mentioned in the previous question will be immediately viewable to user.  File(s) uploaded using the file upload tool will appear as downloadable files that the user can click on, download, and then view on thier local PC.  IOW, if you want to place an image into a message, use the image tool.  If you want to upload a .doc file or a spreadsheet, use the file upload tool. You can add multiple files to one post.

Q:  Can I view posts as a thread?

A:  Yes. There is a 'view entire thread' link below the body of every post.

Q:  How does the board search / filter work?

A:  The board search is persistent to your username which means, if you filter a board to show only posts with 3 recs or more and you then open the site in another browser on a different device such as your iPad, that same filter will still be applied when using the site from your iPad.  You have to 'clear search' to eliminate the filter -- it's 'persistent'.

Q:  When viewing a board, what can I filter or search on? 

A:  Key words, from date, to date, author, in-reply-to author, min recs.

Q: Can I save my searches?

A: Yes.  Do a search and a 'save search' link will appear which you should click on if you want to save the seatch.  The saved searches will appear both in the 'Saved Searches' pull down in the search tool and in My Account -> Saved Searches.  You already have a list of saved searches including 'My Posts' and 'Replies to Me' and other helpful searches. By saving a search, you add to this list. You can remove saved searches in My Account -> Saved Searches and then delete items from the list that appears on that tab.

Q: What can I ignore?

A: You can ignore users, and recs from users.  Add users to your ignore list by clicking links next to the user's name when that user has authored a post.  You can remove users from your ignore lists in My Account -> Board Preferences. 

When you ignore a user, any posts from that user will be greyed out.  When you ignore recs from a user, any recs from that user will be subtracted from the rec count in a list of posts and from the rec count when viewing the post.  The purpose of 'ignore recs' is to not get baited into reading a post when it is rec'd by a user or users who, in your opinion, make poor quality recs.

Q: Can I Follow Users?

A: Yes.  When you are viewing a post, click the link 'Follow' next to the user's name (i.e the author) when viewing a post that user has authored.  You can remove users from your 'Follow' list in My Account -> Board Preferences -> Follow List.  Followed users show as bold in a message list.

Q: Can I Ignore and Follow the same user?

A: Yes.  Unless someone thinks of a reason that we should not allow this, you can do both.  What ignore does is grey out the post when in a list of posts.  What Follow does is bold the posts from that user when in a list of posts. To Ignore and Follow and author means posts from that author are greyed out and bolded.  We're looking for feedback here.

Q: Are Ignore, Ignore Recs, and Follow lists board specific?

A: No.  They are site-wide.

Q: Can I create a Private or Semi-Private Board?

A: Yes.  Contact Admin (or see link at bottom of page) to create any type of board (public, semi-private, private).  Also, see our page about creating discussion boards.

Q:  Can I become a user-admin of an existing Private or Semi-Private Board?

A:  Yes.  If you asked to create the Board, you will be offered to be the user-admin of the Board by the IDB Team.  If there already is a user-admin(s) of the board, contact the user-admin VIA PM.  The user-admin will then contact the IDB Team with the request and we will make the additions.  The user-admin is under no obligation to add you as a admin of a Private or Semi-Private Board just because you ask to be added.

The role of the user-admin is to control who is a member of the Private or Semi-Private Board.  The Board must meet the terms of the IDB User Agreement.

3) Private Messages (PM)

Q:  How do I read a PM?

A:  Go to My Account -> Private Messages -> Inbox

Q:  How do I send a PM?

A:  Go to My Account -> Private Messages -> Write New Message. Once there, if you start typing a username into the "To" field, the system will suggest usernames to you.

Q: Can I block users from sending me a PM?

A: Yes.  When viewing a PM from a user you would like to block, click on the 'Block' link next to their username.  Or, click on My Account -> Private Messages -> Blocked Users and there is a tool where you can add names to the PM Blocked User list.

Q: Can I unblock PMs from a user I've blocked?

A: Yes.  Go to My Account -> Private Messages -> Blocked Users and you will see a list you can remove users from.

Q: Can I edit a PM once it's sent like I can edit a post for 15 minutes after it's been subitted?

A: No. Once you send a PM, you cannot edit it.  Once you submit a post, you can edit it for 15 minutes.

Q: Can I get an email when a new post is made or a daily digest of posts?

A: Yes!  Click on 'notifications' to the right of 'go to post number' when reading a board or when viewing a message board post.  Sends you an email per post (except if the post is authored by you) or sends a daily digest of posts.  You can do daily email notifications on one board, per-post notifications on the next board. (VERY COOL)

4) My Boards

Q: What is My Boards?

A: It's two things.  It's a list of boards you have added to your 'My Boards' pull down list AND it's a list of Semi-Private and Private boards you are a member of.  Do not delete Private and Semi-Private boards from this list unless you no longer wish to be a member of those boards.  If you do delete a Private or Semi-Private board from the list and wish to rejoin, return to the invite PM from when you were invited into the board.  That PM will have a link to rejoin the board.

5)  How can I change my password?

A:  Go to My Account -> Account and you will be able to update your password (and your email address).

6) How can I change the email address for my account?

A:  Go to My Account -> Account and you will be able to update your email address (and your password).

7)  Member Counts and Guest Counts

Q:  What is the basis for the Member count on a Board? 

A:  The Member count is the number of IDB subscribers that have viewed at least one post on the given Board in the past 24 hours.

Q:  What is the basis for the Guest count on a Board?

A:  The Guest count is the count of unique, non-subscriber IP addresses that have viewed at least one post on the given Board in the past 24 hours.

8)  How can I add a link to the "Board Links" list on a Board?

A: Contact Admin and we'll add it for you.

9)  Any time you see the IDB Team logo, you should be able to click on it to get to our contact/help page.


The IDB Team