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Help:Forums

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Wikia's forums are adapted wiki pages that are automatically organised with index pages. Using a forum is simple. Each forum has an input box that allows you to type a title for a new page and press a button to create it. The page is loaded with a template, which ensures that the page has the correct category for indexing. It's important not to delete this template when you write your message.

Once the page is saved, it will show in a list of all pages in that forum. Other contributors can then add to the page in the same way as to other wiki pages. Pages with new messages are shown in the list as bold and with an Forum new icon. You can also view recent changes for the forum by clicking the link above the forum list.

Adding new forums

Step 1

A new forum can be added by editing Forum:Index. This isn't necessary to make the forums work, as the two default forums are ready to use, but it can be useful in an active community.

To add a forum, the following code (copied from this page, not from the source) should be added to Forum:Index on your Wikia, after the previous </forum> tag if there are any.

<forum>
namespace=Forum
category=Name of forum
title=Name of forum
shownamespace=false
addlasteditor=true
</forum>

The only part of this code that needs editing is the "Name of forum" after "category" and "title". This can be set as anything you choose, and will show in the index and in the navigation links at the top of each page.

Step 2

Once this is saved, there will be a link to the new forum page. This can then be edited to add the following:

<div class="forumheader">'''Forums:''' [[Forum:Index|Index]] > {{PAGENAME}}</div><br />

[{{SERVER}}{{localurl:Special:Recentchangeslinked/Category:{{PAGENAME}}}} View recent changes for this forum]

----
<table width="100%"><tr><td><!-- You could create (or transclude) a forum header here --></td><td width="50%"><createbox>
break=no
prefix=Forum:
preload=Template:Forumheader/{{PAGENAME}}
buttonlabel=Add new topic
</createbox></td></tr></table>
<table class="forumlist" width="100%"><tr><th class="forum_title" align="left">Topic</th>
<th class="forum_edited" align="left">Last Edit</th>
<th class="forum_editor" align="left">Last Author</th></tr>
<forum>
namespace=Forum
category={{PAGENAME}}
shownamespace=false
addlasteditor=true
</forum></table>

[[Category:Forums]]

Nothing usually needs changing in this text. However, there is sometimes an issue with {{PAGENAME}} in the preload= section (hilighted in red). If you find the template not preloading, change this to the name of the template specifically. So if the Forum name is Forum:Gossip, create the preload template as Template:Forumheader/Gossip and change the preload line to preload=Template:Forumheader/Gossip.

Step 3

The last thing to do is to set up a template to be loaded when someone adds a page to the new forum. This should be at "Template:Forumheader/Name of forum", changing the name to the same forum name you used in the index. This should contain the following:

{{Forumheader|Name of forum}}

<!-- Please put your content under this line.  Be sure to sign your edits with four tildes ~~~~ -->

Again, "Name of forum" needs to be changed to the new forum's name. Once this is saved, the forum is complete.

As with many elements of Wikia, many aspects of this can be changed. The layout, the template style, the items shown in the index, the new messages icon.... you could, for example, have an image appear automatically at the top of each page added, or have new messages show in red text. It's also possible to use the same code as above to make subforums such as "Forum:Help/technical". For this, the first code should be put into the parent forum page instead of the index. The inputbox forms can also have an instructional template above with the editintro parameter (See m:Inputbox for info).

This extension can be enabled or disabled using Special:WikiFeatures.
For help using the older, wiki-style forums, please see Help:Wiki-style forums.
ForumOnNav
ForumActivityTU

The Forum Activity module

The Forum feature provides a central location for discussion about the topic of a wikia and other matters important to the community. Any user can participate in a Forum conversation, and registered users can follow discussion threads and received notifications when updates occur. The overall structure of the Forum is managed by the community's administrators.

A wikia's Forum can be accessed from the "On the Wiki" navigation tab or from the Discussions module found at the bottom of some article pages.

The five most recent Forum posts can be showcased on a wikia's main page, or any other page, by using the <wikiaforum /> tag to display the Forum Activity module.

Step-by-step

Forum hierarchy

A wikia's Forum has three levels:

  • Special:Forum – This page is linked from the wikia's navigation and lists all of the boards on the Forum, and their descriptions. The Forum's policies and frequently asked questions can also be accessed from a button in the upper right of this page
  • Boards – These are different subject areas within the Forum, created by the wikia's administrators. Each board contains discussion threads. Clear board names and descriptions will help visitors find the conversations that interest them.
  • Threads – These are the actual user discussions, with replies displayed in chronological order, newest at the bottom. Below the most recent reply, topics can be added, which make a connection between the thread and specific articles on the wikia.

Starting a discussion

ForumHelpStartDiscussion

Start a conversation!

KermitDiscussionsHelp

On Muppet Wiki, discussions about Kermit are linked at the bottom of his article page.

  • The Forum can be accessed via the wikia's navigation or from the Discussions module at the bottom of some article pages. From the main Special:Forum page, choose one of the boards and then simply click into the "Start a Discussion" field. If you're coming from an article page, you'll be able to choose the best board for your thread before you publish it.
  • Be sure to make the subject of your thread clear and concise. Confusing titles may prevent readers from exploring the conversation.
  • In the body of your message, add images, videos, links and whatever else you like!
  • Add topics to the thread, which can be the name of any article on the wikia. This will connect your thread to those articles, and to other threads about those articles. This will make more viewers aware of the discussions and encourage participation. If you start a discussion from an article page, that article name will already be added as one of the topics, but you can have as many as four topics on a thread.

Participating in a discussion

ForumButtonsKudosHelp

Use Kudos to show your approval, and use the Quote button to respond!

  • Finding a thread is as simple as browsing through the boards and choosing a discussion that looks interesting. You can scroll to the end of the thread and start typing. You can also reply to specific messages using the Quote button, found in the lower right of every message. Click Quote, and that user's message will be copied into your new message box, and you can start your entry below it.
  • Use the Kudos option — the "thumbs up" icon at the upper right of every message — to show that you like what another user has said. The number of Kudos a message has received will be shown. Be generous with the kudos and maybe you will get some of your own!
  • The Discussions module at the bottom of article pages is another way to find existing forum conversations, by displaying recently active discussions on the topic of that article.

Forum management

Highlighting a discussion

ForumHelpHighlight

Highlight a thread to notify all community members

Administrators can use the Highlight feature to notify all logged-in users on the community about a specific thread, via the notifications system. At the time of a thread's creation, this can be done using the Highlight check box next to the preview and post buttons. At any later time, the option to Highlight appear on the "More" drop down menu on the thread's initial post. Admins can Un-highlight a thread at any time. Highlights will expire automatically after 7 days.

Managing Boards and Policies

ForumHelpCreateNew

Admins can add more boards to the Forum

  • On Special:Forum, administrators have a Manage Boards button in the lower right corner that allows creation, renaming and reordering of boards. Boards can also be removed by merging their threads into another board.
  • Board descriptions can contain bold and italic formatting, links and templates. Templates will display on the individual board page, but not on Special:Forum.
  • Wikia has provided basic forum policies that become available when the feature is first enabled. Administrators can edit the policy page (a MediaWiki message) using the edit button on the Policies pop-up, if community-specific policies are preferred.

Enabling the Forum

When the Forum feature is enabled in WikiFeatures, three changes occur on the wikia:

  • A link to Special:Forum is added on the navigation.
  • It becomes possible for the Discussions module to appear at the bottom of article pages, if topics are used on a thread.
  • The "Forum" namespace, used for the older, wiki-style forums, becomes editable only by administrators (for maintenance purposes) and all content in that namespace acquires a header directing users to Special:Forum. The header is styled according to the wikia's theme, and should prevent any user confusion if the wiki-style forums had been used on the wikia in the past.

See also

Further help and feedback

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