Tagged With forums

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In a lengthy post in the official hub for site announcements, the CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman, has apologised for comprising users' trust in the site by "attempting to troll the trolls" and added that the site will be "taking a more aggressive stance against toxic users and poorly behaving communities". If you're a Reddit user, here's what you need to know.

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The internet gives us all a platform to make our voices heard. That's incredibly powerful, but with that power comes responsibility. That's right, like any citizenship, your internet privileges carry with them responsibilities. "But I'm no troll," you say. That's not enough; there's more to being an upstanding citizen of the internet than just not trolling. Here's how you to embrace the responsibilities of your citizenship and become a model internet citizen.

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Want to build an online community for your gaming buddies but don't fancy grappling with setting up the software yourself? Enjin provides a hosting service designed specifically for gaming guilds and communities.

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Dear Lifehacker, I really like reading your blog and others around the net, but I'm getting really sick and tired of all the trolls. Is there any way to easily block all the offensive comments that seem to swarm blogs these days?

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Site forums are useful for asking and finding answers to specific problems, but the fact that the same query appears multiple times isn't always evident. In its latest tweak to search results, Google is grouping together forum posts on similar topics from the same site.

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Not long after Lifehacker posted about imminent changes to eBay Australia's discussion boards, we got an email from the company's PR wallahs. The good news? Next week's redesign of the discussion boards will include a general discussion board for non eBay-topics, branded "Community Spirit". That's a welcome development for eBay chat enthusiasts, although only time will tell how closely monitored discussions on that new board prove to be.

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Next week, eBay Australia is planning a relaunch of its discussion boards, which will include new personalisation options and some other technical policies. However, the change will also see a number of changes to discussion board policy, including a likely ban on general (non-eBay) discussion on any of the forums. Unsurprisingly, that proposal has proved unpopular with many longtime eBay users, who argue that the change is yet another example of eBay putting short-term profit ahead of community development (an issue that regularly flared during last year's abortive attempts to make PayPal compulsory). Do you think eBay has the right to control what gets discussed on its site, or is it going to far? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Human-powered search site Mahalo launches a familiar-seeming group Q&A forum, Mahalo Answers, with a Google-like twist—having the best answer might just earn you a few bucks from the question-asker. In other words, it's intended to be a cross between the pay-for-answers seriousness of Google's now-shuttered Answers tool, which tilted toward researchers and super-specific questions, and Yahoo's own wide-open Answers. Mahalo is seeding a few hundred thousand "Mahalo Bucks" (worth $0.75 in real dollars, cash-able after accumulating $40) to current Mahalo members and testers for spending on answers. And to prevent fraud and cheap-skating, askers will have four days to pick an answer before other users choose it for them, and rating systems are intended to kill off spammers and griefers. If Yahoo just isn't cutting it for you, or you're looking for a semi-serious answer to a question you're willing to spend a few on, Mahalo Answers might be the place to sound off. Mahalo Answers

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Windows only: Browse web forum threads and posts like RSS feeds with Web Forum Reader, a free Windows application. Adding forums you frequent to the app is done through an easy-to-grok wizard, and the program parses through the topics you haven't looked at with better speed than you'd find on often ad-loaded forum pages. You can also have the program track and alert you to changes in certain threads, and load your forums into tabs for quicker navigation. Web Forum Reader is a free download for Windows systems only. Web Forum Reader

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When it comes to getting help with computer or nearly any other problem, subject-specific forums can be far more helpful than a Google search. Then again, as with Google, you have to know where and how to look. Twing, a multi-forum search site, does a great job of parsing through the results from hundreds of user-driven forums and gives you the tools to winnow down the multitude of results you're likely to find. You can pull out specific phrases, dates of posting, languages, or only the topics and threads that contain video or pictures, for example, and sign up to be alerted whenever a thread you're following is updated—saving you the hassle of signing up for the forum itself. There are many forum search aggregators out there, but I'm liking how Twing does its job, and with no mandatory sign-up.

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Tech support website Satisfaction walks the middle ground between the extensive, but nameless, answers found on community forums and official, but not always extensive, answers from company reps. Covering webapps, gadgets, and desktop applications, Satisfaction has more than 400 companies being discussed, and some of them, including Google, Sandy, Twitter and Microsoft, have actual employees helping to answer questions and troubleshoot. If you ask a new question, Satisfaction emails you when the answer appears, or you can follow the thread via RSS. It's not an all-in-one stop yet, but especially for help with webapps and newer programs, it's a good place to find help beyond the FAQs.

Satisfaction